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Onboard Chargers??


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I just got my first real fishing boat two years ago and I'm finding it fustrating that my trolling motor battery runs out of juice when I go for a long day. I have been looking in Cabelas at the chargers and not really sure which one to get or if there is really only one good one. I'm looking for a charger that will charge up my 12volt trolling motor battery from my big motor. Or is there any home remidies that will work just as good? Your help is needed very badly!

Thanks in advance!

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It doesn't matter if you use an on-board charger or not...

If the battery is charged and runs out too early then you need to increase the available amps or decrease your consumption rate.

If you have a 12 volt system, then add a second battery in parallel. This effectively doubles the available amps but keeps it a 12 volt system. I added a second battery two years ago (paid like $45 bucks) and now can go two or three hard days of fishing on a single charge.

On-board chargers don't increase the charge in the battery. They do offer convenience in that they provide over-charge protection and keep the batteries at peak charge with float current.

If you use a regular charger, you need to be extra careful not to overcharge your batteries. It is also more important to check battery water levels. I just use a simple car battery charger. Most chargers that you buy for car batteries will shut off when the battery is charged but won't add charge again until the battery drops below a certain current level. This increases the number of cycles your putting your battery through.

An on-board charger will continuously add small current to keep the battery at peak charge.

They do make hardware for charging your trolling batteries from the outboard, but the electronics aren't cheap. Also the current generated by your outboard was not designed for anything other than maintaining charge on your starting battery.

[This message has been edited by wastewaterguru (edited 02-09-2004).]

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For charging while on the water check out the ProXtraII made by Charging Systems International.
This unit hooks up to your starting battery and 2 deep cycles. Any time that your starting battery is fully charged it will put the output from the O/B's alternator into the trolling motor batteries.
While it will not replace a charger in all situations. It will allow you to take advantage of your O/B's output and can allow you to fish for a full weekend without having to worry about charging.
These units sell for about $119 and are very reliable and durable.
*Disclaimer-The effectivness of this unit is dependant on the amount of amperage available from your O/B. My O/B puts out 16 amps and I rarely have to put the batteries on a charger. grin.gif

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I had the same problem. I have two trolling motor batteries and the big motor staring battery.And hated taking them out all the time. It's a 12 volt system, so the batteries are isolated from each other via a 3 way switch. Off / battery1 / battery 2. This way, when 1 battery runs down, I at least have the other one to keep the t.motor going. The extra battery is pricey, but if you keep them charged in the winter, they'll last several years.

I think there may be a way of charging it off the motor, but I think you'd have to be boating around a lot to make it worthwhile.

I bought the onboard Guest 3 bank charger and mounted it just below the shift lever, (its a console boat), and hooked the batteries up to it. Now all I do is plug in an extension cord to the plug on the charger, and all the batteries are being charged at the same time. It has the trickle charge deal. Leave it plugged in overnight, and it will reduce its charging capacity so it won't ovewrcharge the batteries.

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Onboard chargers are for the end of the day, not during the day. Put another battery in as mentioned above, or better yet do that and get a battery combiner too. This will only work though if you have a alternator system working for you.

End of the Line Charters
Lake Superior

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The ProXtraII mentioned above is soley for use with the engines charging system. It has no capability for being plugged in to an electrical outlet.
Virtually every O/B made with the exception of the very small ones have charging capability.
The value of this unit is directly proportional to the amount of amps your O/B puts out. The more output the better it will work.
I keep my boat in a marina and only charge the batteries with a charger when I bring it home to clean it or prior to a roadtrip (Maybe once a month).
In 3 years it has kept my batteries full about 90-95% of the time. grin.gif

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So, tell me if I got this right? I have only one battery now, and after one solid day or two half days on the water I have to charge it. The best way to up my usage time would be to just add a battery inline (24v)? Or have two seperate batteries and run them off of a switch?

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I have two 12V deep cycles hooked in parallel(+ to +, - to -, for 12V) and they run forever. Three solid days of fishing and still going strong with a 55lb thrust Minnekota. I had one battery and it would be shot after a day, now two batteries and good to go for three, so I am a fan of running them together.

Question for everyone. With my set up, two deep cycles in parallel, and one marine starting battery, when I buy a on-board charger, do I get 2 banks, or is there a way to use 3-banks?

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I have been using a Guest 3 bank charger for years. It delivers 10 amps each to the TM batteries and 5 amps to the cranking battery.

After each day of fishing just plug it in and forget it 'til the next trip.

Another advantage is during the LONG winter storage, just leave it plugged in and check the water level every month or so.

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