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  • Power Question, Two Battery Set Up

    Hi, I'm new, been lurking about a month, and have read just about every post. The goal is an install for my son. Mp3's, Navigation, Dvd, and Playstation. I went with the two battery set up because I'd hate for him to get stranded somewhere because of negligence, he gets his license in a few months. I've built plenty of computers, that won't be a problem. Relays, Pots, and Pic Programmers on the other hand will be a challenge I'll get into eventually. I'd like to know if my plan below is the right way to go with a two-battery set up. Is there anything I've left out? The arrows may be a little off, but you get the idea. Thanks for the help.





    Attached Files
    A pic is worth a thousand words.

  • #2
    Wow.... Very cool thinking, there pops...
    My two cents:

    Although, I'd think it would be better to get your son involved in the project so he could learn about what you're doing and how to do similar stuff.
    If he learns from it, he could have a part-time job installing stereos and whatnot for friends....

    And I think a teenaget with a playstation in his/her ride is a horribly BAD idea. The computer itself is iffy, although the logic behind is sound, especilly the navigational capabilities.
    Teenagers are sketchy drivers because of minimal experience. Add in a distraction like that and the problem is compounded.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      My son is not a geek at all, he's a musician, it's just not in him, but I will make sure he knows the basics. As for driving, I've thought of that. Playstation will only play from a ceiling mount, the in dash will be navigation and mp3's. He's a very responsible kid that truly deserves a reward or I wouldn't even be considering it.

      What do you think of the wiring I have in mind?
      A pic is worth a thousand words.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Vee24
        Hi, I'm new, been lurking about a month, and have read just about every post. The goal is an install for my son. Mp3's, Navigation, Dvd, and Playstation. I went with the two battery set up because I'd hate for him to get stranded somewhere because of negligence, he gets his license in a few months. I've built plenty of computers, that won't be a problem. Relays, Pots, and Pic Programmers on the other hand will be a challenge I'll get into eventually. I'd like to know if my plan below is the right way to go with a two-battery set up. Is there anything I've left out? The arrows may be a little off, but you get the idea. Thanks for the help.
        You have left out fuses. You need a fuse at each end of the wire connecting the two batteries...within 18 inches of the battery. This is because both batteries can supply current and if the wire shorts to ground....
        Also it's a good idea to have a fuse for each device you connect.

        Rob.

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        • #5
          Thank you Gommino, I knew I needed fuses, but forgot to include them in the drawing. I didn't know however that I needed one for each device as well, so thanks very much for your help.
          A pic is worth a thousand words.

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          • #6
            You could easily wire it so that the playstation, or any other component will only worj when the handbrake is up...i.e. when parked, or hand brake turning in abonded industrial estates....lol

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            • #7
              Speaking from a teenager's view. I am only 16, and I dont think it would be a wise idea for me to try and look at a monitor or screen when I am driving. I'm not a bad driver, but I am not the best. I am the only one of my many friends who has not wrecked their car, or gotten a ticket. Even the most responsible kid, isn't a perfect driver. I am mounting my screen in the rear of my center consol so I wouldnt be tempted to use it while driving. I most often time hook my up Ipod and play a playlist so I dont have to worry about look at the HU.

              I'm not trying to give a parental lesson or anything, but its my feeling that, well I wouldn't want this in my car if someone gave it to me. Half the fun of putting this stuff in is earning the money and doing it, and having the satisfaction of doing it yourself, and it being yours. I would never want a new car for my 16th birthday, or one with a carputer already installed. I'd want to earn it.

              Plus here is my feeling on it, you put a carputer in for one reason, to use it. And using it while driving is not a good mix.

              just my unsolicited two cents.
              Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
              Kenwood X790 x/ iP500 Ipod Interface
              Elemental Designs 13Kv.2 D2
              CDT ES-620 (omg yayay!!!1)
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              • #8
                If only everyone was as sensible as you lad....the roads might be a safer place.....but I feel we have gone way off-topic here.

                In an attempt to get back on-topic.

                I honestly have no-idea about two battery set-ups....my only suggestion would be to make sure the alternator is capable of keeping both batteries charged.

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                • #9
                  If the inverter is producing mains then the psu is connected to it not the battery? unless I am missing somethig also the isolater needs to only strap together the 2 batteries when the engine is running so its coil is fed from the accesory line (its goes dead on crank) so any voltage drop is not passed to the second battery on crank. Plus with the ignition off he never kills the main battery voltage.
                  EPIA MII: 512m Ram: LinITX 8" Touch Screen: Carnetix P1290 PSU: 802b PCMCIA Wireless card: Slot DVD Player: Touchpad: Wireless Keyboard: BU303 GPS Mouse:
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                  • #10
                    Here's my revised drawing with fuses added in blue. The inverter line goes to the playstation but I didn't label it. I'm also adding a pic of a two battery set up I found at a battery isolator company's website.

                    According to that set up, I'll use 8 gauge wire and 60 amp fuses, right?



                    Attached Files
                    A pic is worth a thousand words.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vee24
                      According to that set up, I'll use 8 gauge wire and 60 amp fuses, right?
                      You should use whatever guage wire and fuse rating is suitable for your setup, taking into account your computer, invertor, amps etc. Remember that when the engine is running the alternator will be supplying all your power (assuming it's up to the job which we'll asume it is).

                      Check this page for more info.

                      You'll also probably find it easier to connect the cable connecting the two batteries directly (via a fuse!) to your main battery rather than the alternator.

                      Rob.

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                      • #12
                        One the 2nd batt. If you are going to ground it to the frame, make sure you have a nice size wire going from frame to engine. And that the sense wire is on only in start pos and not Acc also.
                        If you dont have a deep cycle yet i would suggest the Exide nautilus marine batt. 140RC mins for 70 bucks . Love the thing.
                        Core duo
                        1tb harddrive
                        256 ddr
                        8 lilliput
                        bu-353

                        still installing...

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                        • #13
                          Vee24...very nice drawings. Few questions...first where do you plan on installing second battery? What kind of vehicle is this going into? Have you done any alternator upgrades?

                          I have installed dozens of second batteries in vehicles. Some of them had many more than two batteries. I stop using isolators years ago and now use high current relays. Personally I try to stay clear of installing a second battery because of the draw it puts on the system. A second battery is only needed if the electronics are going to be use for a long time without the car running. Is your son planning on doing this? I do understand your point of view on the subject.

                          Depending on the battery location you are going to need larger gauge wire than 8. I have never wired a second battery with anything less then 0ga. The battery itself is going to present a large current draw to charge. Also make sure your ground goes directly to the chasis. I would also upgrade all grounds under the hood and power wire going from the alternator to the front battery/isolator/relay...whatever you decide to use. Also it is best if you use matching new batteries. I recommend Optima yellow tops but there are alot of other good batteries available. As mentioned before the power line running front to back has to be fused on both ends. This is to protect the car from catching on fire incase of a dead short. Also your second battery if installed in the car should be vented to the outside of the car. During charging batteries (even sealed batteries) can discharge toxic fumes.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Gommino, the link you gave me was very informative.

                            I'll be sure to get a good size wire 84RegalRider.

                            SickVette, I haven't bought the car yet, but I'm looking at a Buick Rendezvous, it has a 105 amp alternator. I'm sure he'll be hanging out in the car playing video games and watching Dvd's, that's why I am looking at the two battery system. 0 gauge sounds good, can't get any safer than that. I don't know where the battery is going yet, but I'll be sure it has a vent. Do you have a link to the high current relay so I can check out that possibility?
                            A pic is worth a thousand words.

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                            • #15
                              Vent the battery how?

                              Sickvette,

                              How would you vent an Optima Yellowtop to the outside? My Prius uses an interior battery with a vent tube. I did not see a vent on the Optimas.

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