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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a rough day on lake yesterday. My partner didn't get relieved on time and was 2 hours late. We fished all day, had 2 in live well. Went to leave and go to weigh in and the new optima gel cranking bat was dead, wouldn't turn engine over at all. The electronics and aerators had been working. I remember hearing the aerators, don't exactly remember looking at electronic the last 30 mins or so. Had to crank boat off of one of the trolling motor batteries. Had the optima about 2 months or so. I have built in trickle charger for trolling motor bats, but not cranking bat. Thinking I might need one, not sure where to mount it though. Didn't run big motor more than 30 mins all day. Do most bass boats have cranking battery on plug up charger? Just looking for thoughts on this, it has me a little gun shy now. What a helpless feeling.

Thanks,
Britt
 

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the onlt batteries on my onboard charger are the trolling motor batteries,the outboard has always taken care of the charging,other then when i put it up for winter and right befor i go out for the first time in the spring,i put a good slow charge on it.
 

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I have a 3 bank charger that charges my 2 motor battery's and my cranking battery. If the boat isn't in the water, the charger is plugged in.

bassass
 

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The first problem that comes to mind is either a bad or heavily discharged cranking battery, or an alternator problem. The usual stuff running off the cranking battery, the main boat bus, shouldn't run it down in one day. Maybe a deep charge using an auto charger would reset the battery. If that battery gives you problems no onboard charging system will help you.

Once you get that working right I highly recommend Jim's All Charge & StaynCharge. 30 minutes of outboard use would go a long way toward topping off those trolling batteries. Trickle chargers are nice, but don't help until you have the boat hooked up to 120 volt AC. With the All Charge you would rarely if ever use a trickle charger. Add the StaynCharge and you could do away with it, except when not using the boat in winter.

Just a few thoughts about conserving trolling power, applying to all of us. Only 30 minutes of outboard use all day says to me you are sticking to fishing a variety of places, probably following a shoreline. We'll discuss it in more detail soon, but consider finding a particular pattern and using the outboard to get to a series of similar places that fit the day's pattern. An example would be finding laydowns to be most productive, outboarding from laydown to laydown area around a lake. I also see a lot of folks using their trolling motor to cross a cove or do other long runs when it's a time waster, time for the outboard. An extra 30 minutes of outboarding with the All Charge would eliminate low batteries IF they are healthy. Using a trolling motor to boat through unproductive areas is a serious waste of time and power. Channel that time to the most productive places.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have one of those Optima gel batteries for the cranking battery. It is less than 3 months old. Can a regular auto charger be used to charge the gel battery? not sure if it can be used on the gel battery though. I know the on board trickle chargers are different for the gel batteries. I will look at the stayncharge systems online this week. I'm not sure what happened. I do know we haven't been running the big motor much at this lake we just finished fishing. The next lake we fish will be a different story though. I just don't know what to say, I never had a problem like this last year.

Britt
 

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If you use an Original Stay N Charge on your boat, it will maximize your charging capabilities on your crankin battery on your way to the lake. The all charge will allow it to top off all the other batteries as well and let your big motor top off your trolling batteries after it ensures your crankin battery has at least 13 volts. Since I have had this system I have never had problems again with any of my batteries.
 

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just a thought,There is a magnet switch on my onboard three bank bps charger,I have to remove it in order to charge gel batteries not all charger are set up to charge both gel and acid.Do not know what you have but that is the first thing that came to my mind,good luck
 
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Wow, great find Jim. I don't own those expensive gel bateries and after reading that I am not sure I want to. So a question for the all charge system, can that charge the gel batteries? According to the site Jim posted it says an Alternator must never charge a battery unless it is kicking out more then 100amps which would ruin the alternator.
 

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We have wuit a few people using the gel batteries and no problems as of yet. As far as hurting a alternator and after eight years of charging this way and almost 4000 units out there we have never had anyone claim that we hurt or ruined there alternator. I can't even think of anyone ever trying to tell us about there alternator not doing the job. You know if we had problems with them there would be comments all over the place saying that and i have never been able to find any negatives about that. I hope this makes since. :tbh_flag:
 

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Maybe i read that site wrong Jim. It says the alternator is not for charging???? I hope not because i will be in big trouble if that is true.
 

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It needs to be pointed out the difference between lead cell and gel. I've noted battery sites warning about trying to charge a gel type with only a trickle charger or onboard AC charger. It would take forever. I just tried to find it, but I'd think an outboard would allow much more amperage than a 2/4/6 amp trickle charger. Wouldn't whatever amperage offered by an outboard alternator make the AllCharge happy? Also, the website indicated a heavily discharged gel battery. I came across a buddy whose trolling batteries were dead. I was wanting to go in while he wanted to keep fishing, so I loaned him my trolling batteries. He put his batteries in and I hooked up the AllCharge. I figured that would get those batteries up OK by the time I reached the ramp, and the StaynCharge would finish the job on my way home. When I got home the batteries were still dead. I had to take them to a battery/alternator shop for a shock charge to revive them. They said dead batteries sometimes won't take a charge until at least 100 amps got on them. Maybe that doesn't have anything to do with this topic. :lmao: Huh, maybe those guys are just full of something else, except that some of their statements appear to completely match statements by battery manufacturer sites.

One of the interesting things about the (dead) gel type is not getting them hot when charging. They recommended a series of charge/cool/charge steps.

Now it's time to say this. An AllCharge on board with some use of the outboard should keep a gel battery from going dead. I'd be interested to know of completely drained gel types being charged on board with any kind of charger.

Anyway, I've researched AGM batteries and am not convinced to go to that.

Jim
 

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Jim, I think they mean trying to use the alternator to recover a completely drained battery. i can see how it might be possible to burn an alternator out. I'm not saying at all the All Charge won't do it. As long as there is adequate current and voltage it'll work. There just appears to be the potential of gel type causing other problems, especially on computerized outboards. I don't think that's nearly as big a problem as with lead cell.

Hey, guy, YOU'RE the expert on this. :dance01: You won't hurt my feelings posting about how wrong I am on this. I just did a lot of reading about AGMs and was not impressed enough to swing for those. Reading only the manufacturer sites would sell me. I went to the mechanic type sites for hands on opinions.

Jim
 

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Jim you know me better then that. :tongue2:
No I really wish I had time to go to all these sites and read up on what the say or maybe not because i might start thinking about it and that could be very dangerous. No I understand what they are saying and yes that part about those batteries being to dead to charge through our system is true also and that is why the engineers put the thresholds were they are. The unit won't charge the batteries if they are under 10 volts (we might drop it to 8) just because we do not want to work the alternator so hard. Now that we are getting more units out there people will start finding out that they do not need those pricey batteries anymore becasue when they use our system the batteries are not going completely dead anymore so they will be able to stay on the water longer and the batteries are even going to last longer then they did before.
I just can't make false statements about the gel cells and wish I could get more on the water info out there so people could see what our customers have seen for the past eight years. You do not I said do not need to buy those high dollar batteries, you just need to charge them in a different way. I remember eight years ago I was not even suppose to be able to make this system work. Jim you are the man and i will always have a open ear for anything you have to say. :tbh_flag:
 

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Great! You said what I was trying to say...I think ;) I was sort of batting around on it. Yep, that's one of the big factors that stopped me from trying a $200 battery. I had your system and no need to have more battery than actually needed. I use the cheap WalMart batteries.

I write a lot of stuff and hope there's always someone keeping me straight when I make too many left hand turns.

Jim
 

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I need to get this system! I do not like Interstate batteries under anyones label and tend to stay with Trojan batteries simply because they have been a very good product for me over the years. I keep my batteries maintained and charged so they will last longer and work together as a system.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I sure wish I had not spent the money on it. NOT to impressed right now. These batteries are advertised heavily on BM tv and mags. Should have known better from that. Anyway, I am going to see what the store I bought it from will do for me. My volts were 7.75 when I got it home. But for now I got to try and figure out how to get this puppy charged back up. Thanks for the article Jim, I'll read it in a few. I currently have a Minn K 2 bank charger. Never had a charger on the Crank bat.

Britt
 
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