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power isolation - good idea?

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  • power isolation - good idea?

    My next car (G35 coupe) will have a whole new carputer setup
    I was thikning about putting in an aux battery and getting a power isolator

    Now Ive searched this forum and read some threads and all I see are people having problems with proper voltages and premature battery failure and general issues

    I like the idea of not having to worry about my starter battery dying and I like having the ability to use the carputer for long durations without starting the car BUT I worry about the practicality and if I can even install something like this myself

    Whats your take?
    2004 G35 Coupe project

  • #2
    I like the idea of not having to worry about my starter battery dying and I like having the ability to use the carputer for long durations without starting the car BUT I worry about the practicality and if I can even install something like this myself
    Theres a couple problems with that. If you want to run the carputer for long durations of the battery you will have premature battery failure. Hook up a battery charger or run your car. Even if you have a deep cycle battery draining it and recharging it constantly isnt good for it.

    Personally I am going to fab up a setup that has a plug in through a switch that changes between 2 different AC sources, 1 for the inverter and 1 for an actual plug in that I can plug into a wall. That way I dont have to run off the battery and I can stop in a parking lot and steal their power heh

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    • #3
      Originally posted by aoLhaTer
      My next car (G35 coupe) will have a whole new carputer setup
      I was thikning about putting in an aux battery and getting a power isolator

      Now Ive searched this forum and read some threads and all I see are people having problems with proper voltages and premature battery failure and general issues

      I like the idea of not having to worry about my starter battery dying and I like having the ability to use the carputer for long durations without starting the car BUT I worry about the practicality and if I can even install something like this myself

      Whats your take?
      Installation of an isolated battery isn't difficult. The "trickiest" part will be re-wiring your headunit and amps to it (if you want to have sound when you run the comp without the engine), and even that isn't very tough. As far as voltage drop, some people experience about a 0.7-1V loss through an inverter, but I believe it depends on your specific alternator/isolator model/design. I have a digital voltmeter connected to my aux system, and while driving it usually reads between 13.8 and 14.4V.

      I've had an isolated setup (first 1start/1aux, now 1start/2aux) for over six months and haven't had any problems. Deep cycle batteries are designed for repeated deep discharge and recharge. Hence the name "deep cycle". On numerous occasions the rear bank has been drained to approx 10V and recharged. Battery chargers are designed to charge batteries, not to power accessories, and idling the engine isn't a great idea due to wear and fumes.

      I believe you can also get DC/AC inverters that have an integrated AC input, so you can do a pass-through to a wall outlet. Check RV sites. Or a proper AC/DC inverter, but not a battery charger. Just putting a switch between two 120V inputs won't allow you to do a hot swap without losing power and could be hazardous (at least not without extra circuitry, of which I have no knowledge).
      95 Chevy G20 Vroom Boom Room
      ...with a whole bunch of nifty ****... go check it out: VanDomain Page

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