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Holy Sparks when hooking batteries back up - Electrical/Wiring Questions


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Just bought first family boat '06 23 LSV and have a couple questions:

First, it has two batteries w/ the perko selector switch in it. When I pulled the batteries to charge them I noticed that the huge amp/stereo wires just go to one battery, and not into the perko switch. Doesn't that negate being able to use the selector switch to choose which battery is powering the audio system? Is that common practice?

Second, as I was reconnecting the wires everything went fine until I went to connect the negative lead from the speaker system/amp to the battery that I had connected the positive lead to first from the speaker system/amp. Pretty big fireworks. There was nothing when hooking up positives from switch and grounds (not even the tiny ones you'll get sometimes w/ new vehicles and all their computers), which leads me to believe everything going through switch is fine. It has the Medallion MUX switches on it, which I don't think were standard...When they put those in would they have been added to connect to power through the amps/stereo?

I appreciate your help

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3 hours ago, pshirek said:

Just bought first family boat '06 23 LSV and have a couple questions:

First, it has two batteries w/ the perko selector switch in it. When I pulled the batteries to charge them I noticed that the huge amp/stereo wires just go to one battery, and not into the perko switch. Doesn't that negate being able to use the selector switch to choose which battery is powering the audio system? Is that common practice?

Second, as I was reconnecting the wires everything went fine until I went to connect the negative lead from the speaker system/amp to the battery that I had connected the positive lead to first from the speaker system/amp. Pretty big fireworks. There was nothing when hooking up positives from switch and grounds (not even the tiny ones you'll get sometimes w/ new vehicles and all their computers), which leads me to believe everything going through switch is fine. It has the Medallion MUX switches on it, which I don't think were standard...When they put those in would they have been added to connect to power through the amps/stereo?

I appreciate your help

Can you make a drawing of how you think the two batteries are wired?

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The direct connected "little wires" *probably* (hopefully) go to your bilge pump  (would be easy enough to test by pulling on the float switch to see if the pump turns on, and if so, then disconnect the positive wire and try again).

The "wire it straight to the battery" method works, but as you saw from your connection, it does have the potential to throw sparks, and it means that the whole draw is on one battery, no matter what, and that you have no (easy) ability to disconnect the stereo system from a parasitic draw on the battery when the boat is switched off (or in storage).  

It would be OK (probably preferred tbh) to run the stereo main power to the common post on the perko instead.

As a general observation, those wires have some rust or corrosion on the lugs.  It wouldn't hurt to clean those up.  I'd also pull off that electrical tape wrap and cover the connection with heat shrink tubing instead (though if you run a longer line to your perko, you are going to end up replacing anyhow).

Given that you are hooked straight to a battery, you could probably omit that capacitor.  dimming headlights aren't really a thing on boats.  I'd also consider moving those optimas under your observer's seat if they'll fit... as currently configured, with no battery boxes, it means you can't use the observer's compartment for much of anything without rising a short across the battery terminals.

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3 hours ago, shawndoggy said:

The direct connected "little wires" *probably* (hopefully) go to your bilge pump  (would be easy enough to test by pulling on the float switch to see if the pump turns on, and if so, then disconnect the positive wire and try again).

The "wire it straight to the battery" method works, but as you saw from your connection, it does have the potential to throw sparks, and it means that the whole draw is on one battery, no matter what, and that you have no (easy) ability to disconnect the stereo system from a parasitic draw on the battery when the boat is switched off (or in storage).  

It would be OK (probably preferred tbh) to run the stereo main power to the common post on the perko instead.

As a general observation, those wires have some rust or corrosion on the lugs.  It wouldn't hurt to clean those up.  I'd also pull off that electrical tape wrap and cover the connection with heat shrink tubing instead (though if you run a longer line to your perko, you are going to end up replacing anyhow).

Given that you are hooked straight to a battery, you could probably omit that capacitor.  dimming headlights aren't really a thing on boats.  I'd also consider moving those optimas under your observer's seat if they'll fit... as currently configured, with no battery boxes, it means you can't use the observer's compartment for much of anything without rising a short across the battery terminals.

Good points from shawndoggy as usual. Looks like a nicely installed system but I would follow SD advice by moving the stereo positive to the perko and relocating the batteries or at a minimum putting them in covered battery boxes so you can gain some storage space.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Bozboat said:

Good points from shawndoggy as usual. Looks like a nicely installed system but I would follow SD advice by moving the stereo positive to the perko and relocating the batteries or at a minimum putting them in covered battery boxes so you can gain some storage space.

Thanks guys, I appreciate it! With that big of a gauge wire from the amps to the perko does that mean I should switch to bigger gauge wires from the perko to batteries too if they will fit?

Also, when I flip the battery switch on the mux medallion gauges are on even when key is off. Is that standard? Again I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions!

Edited by pshirek
Wrong spelling
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