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Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Batteries!

It has been decided, and executed: the aft-most dinette riser base cabinet will be used to store batteries. As the contents of the cabinet cannot be readily accessed, its storage is best used for occasionally accessed items. It will be used to store two battery banks:

  • Engine Start Bank - the box is big enough for one or two (in parallel) Group 27 size batteries
  • Communications/Electronics Bank - the box is big enough for one 8D size battery or three golf cart batteries. Why a communications/electronics bank? An amateur radio trick. I am considering this for powering the HF radio equipment. RFI (Radio Frequency Interference), from other devices on the boat's power circuit, like a refrigerator compressor, can travel through the DC system wiring, into the radio's power leads and interfere with even the best quality radios. One of the easiest solutions for this, provided you have room, is to connect the radio equipment to its own isolated/dedicated power source.

Now, even though the batteries are accessed occasionally, there must be access to allow complete removal for replacement as well as access to the terminals and filler caps (if they are flooded cells). Access ports on the top of the riser will provide access (through the inside of the future settee) to the terminals and filler caps. Complete removal/replacement of the batteries will require the removal of a side panel near the floor, and the companionway stairs (which would normally block this side panel), followed by the removal of a couple cleats holding the battery boxes in place. At which point the batteries and their boxes can be removed by sliding them sideways, one after another, towards the centerline.

Essentially, removal is the reverse of installation, as shown by the pictures.
Empty dinette riser/battery compartment
Sliding in the engine start battery box
Engine start battery box in place
Sliding in the communications battery box
Communications battery box in place. Cleats installed to secure boxes.
Access port covers installed.
Even if the communications battery option is not pursued, the box can still serve as storage for something. The point is, it will be "ready".

Next on this front is the permanent wiring of the battery cable leads.


Mike & Julie Hatcher said...

How will you maintain a charge on the communications battery? Echo-charger?

robert s said...

M&J, Yeah, probably an echo-charge or something similar, same for the starter battery.