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  1. #1
    causeimez's Avatar
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    Hot Wire The Radio!

    Hey Guys,

    LOVE the sound system on my new 310LX. But it kinda sucks that it doesn't stay on when the ski is not running. I'm thinking about adding a second battery (maybe a small, sealed gel cell) to the ski to run the radio and maybe a depth finder...bilge pump...charging port. There looks to be a good spot for the battery right in front of the engine. I would then like to hot wire the radio directly to this battery. Has anyone attempted something like this?


  2. #2

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    The one battery should be sufficient unless your going to be using all this equipment for extended periods of time. If you do put a second battery in your gonna need a battery isolater in so it can charge it when the engine is running. I am going to have to check though to make sure the alternator setup can handle the extra amperage..

  3. #3
    causeimez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
    The one battery should be sufficient unless your going to be using all this equipment for extended periods of time. If you do put a second battery in your gonna need a battery isolater in so it can charge it when the engine is running. I am going to have to check though to make sure the alternator setup can handle the extra amperage..
    When we go out we usually ride for an hour or two then find a nice cove to hang out in for most of the day. I would estimate that the radio would be on for a couple of hours without the ski running. Would this be possible on one battery....dont want to take the chance of killing the only battery and getting stranded. I'm not to concerned about charging the second battery...since its only use will be the radio, If it dies...so be it. Just plan on throwing it on a charger when I get home. Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
    The one battery should be sufficient unless your going to be using all this equipment for extended periods of time. If you do put a second battery in your gonna need a battery isolater in so it can charge it when the engine is running. I am going to have to check though to make sure the alternator setup can handle the extra amperage..
    I have not examined the wiring diagram so I do not know if the power feed for the radio can be easily separated from the rest of the watercraft.

    The term battery isolator is often used in a generic manner when the appropriate device may not actually be sold with that description. I favor the use of a battery combiner. In this case a combiner with an emergency start override feature.

    A combiner does not have internal diodes which cause voltage loss and can cause reduced battery charging and complicate the battery charge wiring.

    The simplest installation would be a second battery and the combiner. Both batteries should be top grade AGM batteries, of the same age and manufacture. Matched batteries. My recommendation is Deka factory sealed AGM.

    The combiner keeps the batteries separated when the engine is not running. In stock factory wiring configuration the radio would not affect the second battery, at all. The second battery would simply be a reserve battery, to be used only if the engine cannot start from the main battery.

    If the main battery was depleted, activate the override function on the combiner. Both batteries would be linked directly together and the engine will start.

    Once the engine is running the alternator will recharge the weakest battery first. The combiner will link the batteries when the charging voltage rises above around 13.x volts, thereby charging both batteries.

    If it is possible to move the radio power feed to the second battery, then the second battery becomes the 'house' battery. The combiner still separates the batteries when engine is not running, so the engine 'start' battery would be unaffected by the radio drain. When engine is running both batteries would be automatically charged through the combiner.

  5. #5
    causeimez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
    The one battery should be sufficient unless your going to be using all this equipment for extended periods of time. If you do put a second battery in your gonna need a battery isolater in so it can charge it when the engine is running. I am going to have to check though to make sure the alternator setup can handle the extra amperage..
    I have not examined the wiring diagram so I do not know if the power feed for the radio can be easily separated from the rest of the watercraft.

    The term battery isolator is often used in a generic manner when the appropriate device may not actually be sold with that description. I favor the use of a battery combiner. In this case a combiner with an emergency start override feature.

    A combiner does not have internal diodes which cause voltage loss and can cause reduced battery charging and complicate the battery charge wiring.

    The simplest installation would be a second battery and the combiner. Both batteries should be top grade AGM batteries, of the same age and manufacture. Matched batteries. My recommendation is Deka factory sealed AGM.

    The combiner keeps the batteries separated when the engine is not running. In stock factory wiring configuration the radio would not affect the second battery, at all. The second battery would simply be a reserve battery, to be used only if the engine cannot start from the main battery.

    If the main battery was depleted, activate the override function on the combiner. Both batteries would be linked directly together and the engine will start.

    Once the engine is running the alternator will recharge the weakest battery first. The combiner will link the batteries when the charging voltage rises above around 13.x volts, thereby charging both batteries.

    If it is possible to move the radio power feed to the second battery, then the second battery becomes the 'house' battery. The combiner still separates the batteries when engine is not running, so the engine 'start' battery would be unaffected by the radio drain. When engine is running both batteries would be automatically charged through the combiner.
    Wow! Excellent response...very informative. Thank you. I never thought of doing it that way. I would much rather try that than trying to tap into the radio power wire. My only concern is power to the sound system is shut off automatically 3 minutes after the engine is shut off. So...the dual batteries with the combiner resolves the stranded with a dead battery issue but I would still have to find a way to bypass the auto power shut off to the radio. Again...thanks for taking the time to help.

  6. #6
    install a battery switch so you can use one for the ski and one for the radio. If the radio runs the second battery down you can get home on the first. Don't ever use the both setting as this will run down both batteries. You can charge the radio battery on the way back too.

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    Also you wouldn't want to keep running down a battery even if you didn't care about it, because it will quickly ruin the battery and you'd be spending lots on replacements. Sorry, combiner is the proper term for sure. A battery switch is a good idea, it's more the manual way of doing it but both are easy to wire in.. Let us know with pics once you get it setup..

  9. #8

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    Bro just get a braven waterproof bluetooth speaker for when your posted up chilling. I used to have a system on my ultra and took it off because it was such a PITA. I even had a cigg lighter plug in the glovebox for charging, I took it all off.


    I bought this instead, it goes LOUD sounds really good and can charge my phone and possible even be strapped to the back of the ski.

    http://www.braven.com/brv-x-rugged-w...h-speaker.html

  10. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Arrow Choosing a battery combiner instead of battery switch or battery isolator

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue1 View Post
    ... combiner is the proper term for sure.

    A battery switch is a good idea, it's more the manual way of doing it but both are easy to wire in.. Let us know with pics once you get it setup..
    Quote Originally Posted by ddowers View Post
    install a battery switch so you can use one for the ski and one for the radio. If the radio runs the second battery down you can get home on the first. Don't ever use the both setting as this will run down both batteries. You can charge the radio battery on the way back too.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I do not like battery switches on PWC.

    Unlike a combiner the battery switch is wired directly in series with the main power cables. If the battery switch or the additional heavy cable connections fails (comes loose) then you can be stranded on the water. Bypassing a failed battery switch while on the water requires tools and if done incorrectly an accidental short to the engine would be bad.

    A battery switch has to carry the full electrical load at all times, including the very heavy starter motor current. If the battery switch suffers from internal corrosion or just fails in some manner then suddenly you can have zero electrical power available, regardless of how the knob is turned.

    A battery switch is fairly large and finding a good mounting location that is also convenient can be difficult. There are three heavy battery cables attached to the switch, which must be routed inside the hull between the switch and the battery locations. These heavy cables must be supported and protected from rubbing and chaffing.

    And the heavy switch itself must be securely mounted so it does not work loose when the hull is pounding across the waves. If the battery switch or any of the heavy battery cables were to short to the engine or other metal there is a risk of electrical fire.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    One of the nice things about a battery combiner is that the original factory wiring to the main battery remains completely unchanged. If the combiner were to fail it is unlikely to disable the watercraft.

    The battery combiner can be mounted anywhere in the hull near the batteries. It does not need to be reachable by the operator.* It just needs a secure mounting and to have the two cables routed securely from the combiner to the two batteries. The two batteries can be in different places inside the hull.

    With any dual battery configuration the actual mounting of the second battery must be done properly. A battery is quite heavy and when the hull is bouncing across the water the stresses on the battery mount can be huge. Make sure the battery cannot work loose or bounce around in the mounting.

    * Some battery combiners have the option of connecting a small manual override switch. The remotely mounted switch is used to force the two batteries to be combined even though the engine is not running. This override allows the second battery to provide boost power to help start the engine, should the main battery become weak. Typically the combiner override mode kicks in for 30 seconds or so when the switch is pressed, which is enough time to start the engine.

    Some combiners provide an indicator light which shows when the combiner is active. This is not absolutely required but it is nice to have visual confirmation that the combiner is indeed linking the batteries.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Tip: Battery combiners are generally fairly compact.

    You will see lots of battery isolators for sale. Battery isolators are an old-school diode device and no longer considered optimal. If the device has a large heat sink with many cooling fins then it is a battery isolator, not a battery combiner.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As an example (not a specific product recommendation) this Yandina combiner has the heavy cables directly attached at the combiner. This means there are no nuts that could vibrate loose and the wire connections are 100% solid electrically. Only the battery ends of the two heavy cables would have bolted connections.

    The less things that can go wrong, the better.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by K447; 08-06-2014 at 09:26 AM.

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  12. #10

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    I'm telling u just get a braven ur wasting ur time I did this already bro

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