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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Electrical issue | Systems flicker on/off

    I am currently having an issue with my 2006 Moomba Mobius LSV. I have been researching to see if anyone else has had the same issues but have had no luck. If anyone has experience with this issue please let me know.

    Background information:
    Upgraded my stereo system over the winter. Installed 4 Bullet Tower Speakers, 6 Bullet Interior Speakers, 2 Rockford Fosgate Subs, 3 Rockford Fosgate Amps (400 watt, 500 watt, and 600 watt), and 4 golf cart batteries (and kept one yellow top for starting purposes). So I have a total of 5 batteries in my boat. Also installed a 95 amp alternator, depth finder, and a 20 LED tower light bar from Rogue.

    I was having the same issue last summer but thought the upgrades would fix this issue.

    So when I am waking boarding or surfing the stereo system, along with the perfect pass, and depth finder will flicker on and off. It seems that the more systems I have running at the same time the more often that this occurs. Happens more frequently when I have perfect pass on, stereo on, ballast system on, and adjusting the wake plate. I originally was told this was a wiring issue with the stereo system by my local dealer, but I redid all of the wiring and know that it is not the issue. Now they are telling me that it is a ground issue. Since they were wrong the first time, I would rather get some other opinions before I go tearing my boat apart looking for a loose grounding wire. I also thought that it was an issue with having the stock 70 amp alternator but I upgraded to the 95 amp and am still having the issue. Last year I also blew the fuse while surfing with perfect pass, running the ballast system, the stereo system, and adjusting the wake plate.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. This is becoming a major concern because the perfect pass kicks off and has to be reset mid ride.

    Thanks,
    Justin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    Justin,
    A Perfect Pass is very voltage sensitive and is usually the first to act up. That's a normal sign of low voltage.
    Stereos, and pumps (ballast, plates), and tower lamps take tons of current which drop the voltage. Your boat operations and ignition without the mentioned accessories can easily draw 20 amps alone. Depleted batteries add to the alternator load and voltage drop. You must have a Smart AC shore charger in your case....period. You cannot solely depend on the alternator for restoration.
    Yes, you do need to check the grounds on various circuits. You need a multimeter. The best way to test a ground is to check the voltage at the terminals of each individual electrical device while that unit is operational and the systems are under load. Perfect Pass tech. assist. can tell you what their minimal operating voltage is. Simple continuity checks will not reveal much because you are only testing with a couple of millivolts and you are not under load. If the voltage drops substantially from the battery terminals to the device terminals then you know you have a circuit that needs service.
    You can also use a dedicated battery for the more finicky electronics (excluding all audio) with the use of a diode type isolator. You lose a volt but this will allow the battery to get a charge and keep the charged battery from getting depleted by the sagging voltage through the remaining banks. It's a bandaid for sure as a final resort. It would be better to address the real problem.

    David

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default

    David,

    Thanks for the info.

    I do not have the ability to shore charge. What is your opinion on installing a 12 volt solar panel? I was also thinking about talking to a mech here and having him rebuilt my alternator to a 140+ amp alternator. Do you think that if I upgrade my alternator and install a solar panel for charging that this will be a permanent fix and not a band aid?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

    Default

    JD,
    Those things would certainly help. It's also important that the given alternator can produce sufficient amperage at the RPM that you operate. And a dedicated instrumentation battery with diode isolation is still an option.
    A solar panel has less output on an overcast day and zero output in the evening, and a reasonably sized panel won't deliver much amperage. So it can definitely function as a maintenance device once the batteries are charged but won't serve the purpose as a desulphating restoration device when you have a serious discharge....which is exactly what you need. If the panel puts out more than 1.0 amp or so then you really need a Smart module to go with the panel. If I recall Phil with Kicker has some direct experience with knowing what to get.
    As for the alternator, if you upgrade to a big boy you will have considerably more resistance and must upgrade your pulleys and belts also.
    In any case, place the horse before the cart by taking some measurements at the correct times and locations so that you know precisely what you have before you go about fixing it. No point in spending on miscues.

    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    310

    Default

    On solar panels, go big or go home... I am very certain that the little 5W solar panels you can buy at Academy, Northern Tool, Harbor Freight etc. will not work for the application. There is just not enough juice there.
    That being said, this panel is a steal right now:
    http://www.solarblvd.com/Solar-Panel...duct_info.html


    Look at other panels that they show in the 12-volt solar panel section and buy as big as you can afford, or consider buying two smaller ones. The 12-volt panels here go up to 140 watts...
    http://www.solarblvd.com/Solar-Panel...ex.html?page=1

    For any panel of this size, a charge controller is necessary. MPPT - type controller are going to perform the very best but they are pricey. I went with a Pulse-Width-Modulated controller for my solar installation. There are a few brands, but I bought Morningstar brand for my needs from this page:
    http://www.solarblvd.com/Charge-Cont...100/index.html

    Depending on the panel or panels you choose, select the controller that will handle the current potential of the panel, with some margin for safety. As an example I bought the 40-watt Solar Cynergy panels that had a current of 2.57A per panel. I am using two of these in parallel, and that bumps up real close to the current capabilities of the Morningstar SS-6L controller. SO... I instead bought the SS-10L controller to connect the panels to.

    If you are going to use larger panel(s) simply take a look at the potential peak current output from the panel(s) and step on up to the larger controller that will handle it.

    For all of the Morningstar controllers, notice there are L and non-L versions. The L models have low-voltage disconnect. I bought the L-versions for my installation, (low-voltage outdoor lighting) so that the battery bank would disconnect from the load, (lights) if the battery voltage got too low. I do not think this is a feature you will need if you are going to use solar to charge your boat's stereo batteries, and in fact, you probably do not want your stereo connected to the load connection of the controller since the stereo will pull WAY more current that the charge controller will handle...

    For the amount of power you need to replace shore power as a viable charging option, know your solar panel, or array is going to be rather large... I am talking several feet by several feet. Do you routinely moor your boat in a common place like a dock or slip where you can build the solar charging system? I am thinking for your needs you will be better off building a permanent solar installation at your dock or slip, plugging your boat into it when you return, rather than trying to permanently install the solar system on your boat....


    I hope that makes sense and helps you figure out an off-grid charging solution. Holler if you have questions! I am not an expert on this but I am learning fast...

    Phil
    Kicker
    Last edited by philwsailz; 05-31-2013 at 12:24 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    310

    Default

    If you go the solar route, know you probably need to fuse the +12v charge lead going to the battery, right at the battery. It is easy to overlook this, as common sense tells us we need to fuse loads, (i.e. stereo power wires) but not charging devices. Let me explain:

    As I shared above, the best way will be to build a permanent solar charging system at your slip. To make things easy, you would have a shore-power plug on your boat, with wire from the socket going to the battery. This wire between the shore power socket and the battery would be permanently installed and connected to the battery, and is a potential ignition source in the event of a shorted power lead. It is for this fact that you want to install a fuse on the +12v lead, preferrably within seven inches of the battery.

    I figured I better add that...

    Phil
    Kicker

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