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Old 05-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #21
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. In my experience, sometimes wireless works and when it does, it's great. But other times, it fails at the worst moments.
That's been my experience too. If you really want it to work go wired.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:30 AM   #22
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With the discussion of DC-DC converters I think it would be a good idea to protect my chart plotter against voltage drops during engine start. I've noticed that if I have my chart plotter on and then start the engines, sometimes the chart plotter will turn off.

So to prevent this from happening should I use one of these: 8V 40V to 12V 6A Max 72W DC DC Step Down Converter Voltage Transformer F Vehicle | eBay

My plotter specs: Power consumption: 23 watts. This is 2 amps but the fuse requirement is 7 amp.

So would that unit be appropriate for this use?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:51 AM   #23
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Tim, sorry for the detour, but why do your electronics see a voltage drop? Are they powered by the start batts or are the start and house banks paralleled during start?

I run all my electronics on my house bank and my windlass on my start bank. My start and house banks are isolated from each other until the alternators start bringing the batts above 13.1V (+/-), then the combiner ties them. I never see a dropout of my electronics during start.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:49 AM   #24
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Tim: yes, that DC-DC converter/stabilizer will suit and should avoid the voltage sags you are seeing. You can spend more and get even more protection...take a look at the Newmar site & look at their power supply protection products,some of which even provide a back up/UPS battery. But I think the DC-DC converter is a great low-cost solution.

Having said that, Al at post #23 makes a good point: good practice is to have your Start and heavy-draw loads (davit, windlass, even thruster) on a Start bank and have electronics either on a small dedicated battery or (more commonly) on the House bank. Then your electronics are only exposed to heavy inverter loads on the House bank causing voltage sag....but again, the DC-DC converter/stabilizer will largely take care of that.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:03 AM   #25
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This is a link to the Newmar products that Aquabelle mentioned. They make very high quality products and stand behind them. I have a Newmar charger on my boat and it seems bullet proof.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:28 AM   #26
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Tim, sorry for the detour, but why do your electronics see a voltage drop? Are they powered by the start batts or are the start and house banks paralleled during start?
Good question Al. My DC power is set up in two banks with the house consisting of 5 AGM's and the Start consisiting of one AGM. I cannot isolate the banks except thru the battery switch. The position of the battery switch either 1 or 2 or Both powers everything.

The battery switch is almost always in the Both position except when at anchor when I switch to the House position.

I haven't thought of installing a combiner and or isolator, but this would be a good reason. But like Aquabella said perhaps just adding a cheap DC-DC converter would accomplish the same thing at a much cheaper cost, at least for the electronics. Are there other good reasons to consider a combiner or isolator?

I am curious as to why the chart plotter manual states a requirement of a 7 amp fuse but only draws 23 watts (2 amp).
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:36 AM   #27
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[QUOTE=Aquabelle;155167]Tim: yes, that DC-DC converter/stabilizer will suit and should avoid the voltage sags you are seeing. But I think the DC-DC converter is a great low-cost solution.

Without getting into an engineering explanation can these cheap DC-DC converters supply a constant 12v after the supply voltage has dropped for several seconds or are we talking about milliseconds? And how far below 12v can the supply voltage drop and these things still keep putting out 12v?
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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Good question Al. My DC power is set up in two banks with the house consisting of 5 AGM's and the Start consisiting of one AGM. I cannot isolate the banks except thru the battery switch. The position of the battery switch either 1 or 2 or Both powers everything.

The battery switch is almost always in the Both position except when at anchor when I switch to the House position.

I haven't thought of installing a combiner and or isolator, but this would be a good reason. But like Aquabella said perhaps just adding a cheap DC-DC converter would accomplish the same thing at a much cheaper cost, at least for the electronics. Are there other good reasons to consider a combiner or isolator?

I am curious as to why the chart plotter manual states a requirement of a 7 amp fuse but only draws 23 watts (2 amp).
Tim, when I recabled my boat, I wired the alternator charge output directly to the battery banks so that any load switching done at the battery switches would not affect the charging. So the batt switches control LOAD only. Then I added the combiner to allow automatic combining of the banks while charging underway. I never have to touch my battery switches unless I need to remove load immediately, like in the event of a fire. For that reason, I located the switches outside of the ER door.

I defeat the auto combiner with the OFF switch while charging in the slip so that the multi-bank charger can provide what each battery needs rather than treat them like a single bank. I normally throw the Combiner toggle switch to ON when I'm underway so the output of both alternators can be utilized to recharge the house bank more quickly. If I forget to turn it off when I drop anchor again and shut down the engines, no problem...the combiner automatically isolates the banks when the alternator charge goes away so the loads on the house are isolated from the start battery.

It's an automatic way to keep the loads isolated but still be able to take advantage of the charge from both alternators when underway.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #29
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Thanks Al. My alternator 1 goes to house and alternator 2 to start. I think when the battery switch is in the Both position the charging part of my DC system remains isolated because I read slightly different voltages on the helm volt meters.
I see the advantages of your setup. Ball park what is a system as you describe cost?

Back to the cameras; do I keep the ferrite located on the power cord?
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:04 PM   #30
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My Yandina combiner was under $100, but if I were to do it today, I'd go with the Blue Sea ACR for about $60 more. Cables from alternators to batts (instead of using the starter cables as many manufacturers do) under $100...maybe $75?? Most else is just rearranging what I had except for a little switch here or some connectors there...just incidentals.

I tossed the ferrite module and see no interference.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #31
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Timjet, this looks like the cameras I have. The specs are on the website. If I can get a part number off the camera to compare, I'll post up here.

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:21 AM   #32
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Al, they look pretty much identical to mine. I got mine in ORD while on a trip. An electronics store next to the hotel had them on sale for $32 each. I got two, one has a 3.4 mm lens and the other a 6mm lens. I wish I had got a couple more.
I got them working off of 120v, and today I will connect them to the 12v ships power.
The picture below is the 6mm camera and it shows the vacuum gauges much more clearly than the 3.4 mm one. The blue tint is due to my cell phone camera.

Al, how did you get the pictures of the cameras in your last post on TF. Did you use a screen grab program?
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #33
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I right click the image on a webpage and COPY IMAGE LOCATION, then use the tool above the reply box that looks like a yellow box with a mountain and a sun (or stamp) in the corner to paste the image location link and insert the image into the body of the post.

If they're my pics, I use Photobucket hosting and use the same process to link directly to the image.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #34
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Tim, How did they work on ship's power? Did you try it with and without alternators online?

My boat is primarily 12V and propane. The inverter usually supplies power only to the microwave, coffee pot and 2nd fridge when away from the dock. I have a cheao Haier HDTV that I selected b/c it used 12V power output from the wall wart power supply. I tossed the power supply and plugged it into a 12V outlet near the TV. No need for the inverter and no power problems since I installed it almost 2 years ago.

I believe modern 12V components are fairly tolerant of voltage variances in the 11.5-14.5V range. I might be wrong, but I've never experienced a problem with minor voltage spikes or drops. I've not experienced problems with marine electronics because I try to avoid situations which result in voltage drops. But knowing their sensitivity to power interruptions, I don't include typical marine electronics (chartplotter, sounder, radar) in my "voltage tolerance" theory.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:36 AM   #35
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I would just connect the cameras to the ships 12V system and run with it. It's unlikely you will ever get a reliable answer from the manufacturer on the allowable input voltage range. I can just hear it now; "we only recommend using the AC adapter supplied with the camera". Blah blah blah.

The DC to DC voltage converter/stabilizers are the ideal solution, but will probably cost more per camera than the cameras themselves.

I'd just wire direct and re-evaluate when/if one of the cameras fails.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:10 PM   #36
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Do you guys just use these to watch your Gage's or has anyone used them for security? I would love to have a few cameras hooked to a recorder and running on 12v.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:01 PM   #37
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David: Our engine room cameras are just for ER information, but we do have two rear cameras, one facing aft from the boat deck to use docking and one aimed at the rear deck and salon door. I have a friend with the same setup and he has the back deck one wired to a motion sensor to turn on and record. He also has a speaker setup that says "You are now being recorded for law enforcement purposes" whenever the motion sensor is set off! The semi-ingenious part is that the speaker is recessed right beside the camera and he tested it with a lot of friends and the natural reaction by almost everybody was to look directly at the speaker when it went off. Gives a perfect face shot for the camera!
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #38
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Tim, How did they work on ship's power? Did you try it with and without alternators online?
I connected them both to boats power and they worked fine. I haven't started the engines since installing them so can't say about the alternators. I did keep the little ferrites' on them.

When I retire I will have to consider an inverter and bigger battery charger. Presently when we anchor for more than one night I have to run the engines/alternators for about 2 hours to recharge the batteries primarily due to my power hungry refrig. My current 30 amp charger is pretty much worthless. We have a one burner butane cook top that we use for coffee or most anything else when I don't want to start the genset at anchor. This works well.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:10 AM   #39
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"Do you guys just use these to watch your Gage's?"

Watch the gauges? That's very 19th century steam tech.

Murphy Gauges watch themselves and alert on a change for you!
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:15 AM   #40
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"Do you guys just use these to watch your Gage's?"

Watch the gauges? That's very 19th century steam tech.

Murphy Gauges watch themselves and alert on a change for you!
I have some fuel restriction issues I'm trying to track down so I've installed 4 vacuum gauges and a fuel pressure gauge. Installing them at the helm would cost many times what the cost of monitoring them via camera.
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