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Author Topic: Mobile Battery Power Guide?  (Read 892 times)
KG4OJB
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Posts: 4




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« on: May 13, 2003, 09:06:03 PM »

 I don't know if there is some sort of tutorial or schematic for how to set this up, but allow me to explain what I wish to do.

I wish to have a second power circuit in my car, which is powered via the alternator when the car is running, and via a large AGM battery(s) when the car is not running. The auxillary battery(s) should charge via the alternator when the car is running, as well. On this auxillary circuit, I wish to power several 12-volt devices, including mobile radio gear and a DC-AC power inverter for powering normal AC equipment.

Finally, I'd like one or more switches to adjust the mode the system is in when the car is turned off. "No power mode", "DC only mode", and "DC+AC mode".

I've read bits and pieces of this before, but I haven't seen an overall walkthrough of setting something like this up. Can anyone be of assistance? Thanks!

Daniel
KG4OJB
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2003, 08:18:29 AM »

The best place to start is at a good RV dealer.

When you have two battery circuits from one alternator you always run the risk of running one down while the other is up, and it's usually the wrong one!

Modern battery isolators use relays and other circuitry to assure both sets are separate and charged. Most of these units have control panels and gauges to monitor each circuit. They are not cheap, but worth every penny if you can't start your vehicle 50 miles from nowhere.

Alan, KØBG
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K5LXP
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2003, 09:33:07 AM »

A marine equipment store is also another good source for "house battery" supplies.  Be sure the switches and connectors you procure are rated for high current DC.  A 20amp AC switch or relay may only be good for 5A DC.  Make sure everything is mounted securely including the wiring.  There are multiple ways to do what you're proposing, so shop around and see who offers the solution that best fits your goals.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
k5lxp@arrl.net
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K5TEE
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2003, 10:19:22 AM »

Daniel,
Like Mark and Alan said, check around with Marine and RV places.
Another place to look at is Sure Power. Their web site is: http://www.surepower.com
I have installed ans Aux. battery in my vehicle. It is charged off of the Alternator and runs all my radios. It is not used to start the vehicle, that is done with the first battery.
Good luck,
Tom
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KG4PZP
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2003, 03:25:47 PM »

I've got a setup kinda like what you're talking about.  I purchased a battery isolator from JC Whitney (www.jcwhitney.com).  It takes the output from the alternator and has two output terminals on it.  One for the main starting battery, and another for the auxiliary battery.  The isolator keeps the batterys from discharging to one another.

I purchased my auxiliary battery from The Alternative Energy Store (www.altenergystore.com).  It's a nice MK 12v gel cell that weighs about 25 pounds.  I got a nice battery box from a marine store I found on the web and then built a small shelf in the back of my Isuzu Rodeo for this box to sit on right above the wheel well so I wouldn't lose any space.  I got a Coleman power invertor and used some velcro to mount it on the side of the shelf.

I then ran power cables to underneath the drivers seat from the auxiliary battery into a Rig Runner 4005 from West Mountain radio that I mounted on a board.  This provides me with a good DC power outlet for my radios, etc.  I've also built a 12v-5v DC-DC convertor and mounted it on that same board.  I use this to power a GPS board I've interfaced with my TM-D700A, as well as a MAX232 level converter.

Hope this helps.  Good luck.

Mike
KG4PZP
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N8EMR
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2003, 04:10:26 PM »

Problem with the www.altenergystore.com batteries is they are not rated for shock and will not take the punishment a vehicle can put on a battery
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N3IVK
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2003, 12:07:17 PM »

Hi Daniel,
Good question !

Alot of different ideas on this one, but the other posts did well. I isolater is prob your best bet.
I too am contiplating a second battery for my truck, as it has the room for the second battery...just gotta install the battery box and go Smiley

Only thing you wanna watch for from what I can see is the current rating of the isolater vs your alternator output. I do think the gel cell idea is good, seems to me if you had a regular lead acid battery, fumes would be a problem inside a car.

Let us know what you end up doing, and good luck !

Matt N3IVK
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