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PMF1984 10-27-2018 01:53 PM

Dead West Marine ACR
Well I got all my battery charge sources on the buss bar for my house bank, solar, alternator, charger. The West Marine ACR (unknown age, but the documentation has a copywriter date of 1996) should be transferring the charge to my start battery.

Well the start battery was getting weaker and so I had to flip my selector switch to ďbothĒ overnight while tied up hooked to 110v.

Any way to test this unit for sorta dead vs. sincerely dead?

This is the 70 amp models. What is a good replacement? ( please no overkill suggestions)


DavidM 10-27-2018 03:21 PM

I like Yandina's combiners- Simple and cheap. Use the 100A one unless you have a high output alternator.

Blue Seas makes ACRs with more features and intelligence


PMF1984 10-27-2018 04:33 PM

Thanks Dave,

My ground was a tiny bit loose so letís see what happens. Iíll get a good test real soon.

That Yandina product looks real cute, right price too.

Solly 10-27-2018 07:38 PM

As I understand them an ACR is either connected or not. Think a simple relay, on or off. An electrical circuit 'senses' voltage and at a certain voltage point connects both sides together.
I believe it's 13.4 + or - volts or so. If it senses voltage over the set point it kicks.
I'd think a variable DC power supply and a continuity tester would work. Increase the voltage until the relay connects. Or not. Have to know the voltage it is supposed to connect at too.

PMF1984 10-29-2018 07:32 AM

Thanks guys. So I guess itís working or not working. Iíll keep an eye on the start battery voltage. If it just goes downhill, Iíll take appropriate action.

DavidM 10-29-2018 08:00 AM

There is a fairly straightforward way to check your ACR:

While connected to shore power, check the battery voltage of your house battery bank. It should be 13.5 or greater. Then check the start battery voltage. It should also be the same as the house which means that the ACR has combined the two. If not, either the ACR is bad or you have a bad connection.

If the house bank is below 13.5 after charging overnight, then it is likely that your charger isn't working right.


PMF1984 10-29-2018 08:10 AM


House:13.5. Start: 12.4, after an overnight on power.

PMF1984 10-30-2018 08:58 AM

So I contacted Yandina about the properly sized ACR, and they mentioned they made the West Marine ACR from the 1990ís that is the source of my consternation. They also said that their products have an unconditional guarantee, and they would fix my old unit at no charge.

Sending it off today.

DavidM 10-30-2018 10:21 AM

I should have thought about Yandina's lifetime warranty and that they made the West Marine units from years ago.

Yandina's current combiners switch at 13.3 volts or greater. Not to be picky but most voltmeters aren't accurate enough to tell the difference between 13.3 and 13.5 volts, so there is a possibility that your shore power charger is set to a low enough float voltage so that it will never let the combiner switch on.

Is it an adjustable charger and can you increase the float voltage? Another test is to start the propulsion engine and see if its alternator won't kick the voltage up high enough to switch the combiner.

But if Yandina fixes it, all the better.


PMF1984 10-30-2018 10:34 AM


Good point on the settings for my charger. When I got the solar set-up I was very careful to set everything to the Trojan battery specs. Just havenít really checked my Xantrex settings yet. Will have to do first opportunity.


Heron 10-31-2018 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by PMF1984 (Post 710186)

House:13.5. Start: 12.4, after an overnight on power.

Could also be batteries degrading over time. How old?
A resting voltage check in the AM with no charge and no draw for a day will tell you your battery capacity,,,

PMF1984 11-01-2018 08:51 PM


The batteries are less than a year old.

I am running now so the batteries should be getting recharged every day. Also have solar hooked in. The start battery bank just gets weaker every day. Now I just switch the dial to ďbothĒ during the evening when I am plugged into 120v. That seems to keep everything up.

Also Iím not so sure about the alternator, so Iíll have to take that off when the journey is over and have it checked.

Solly 11-02-2018 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by PMF1984 (Post 711484)

The start battery bank just gets weaker every day. Also Iím not so sure about the alternator, so Iíll have to take that off when the journey is over and have it checked.

If the start batteries are being run down with the engine running the alternator is probably bad.
Volt meter hooked up to the start bank ?? Do you see a voltage increase when the engine rpm's are over about 1000 rpm. Enough for the alternator to start a charge.. Should jump up to about 13.6 volts. A hand held DC voltmeter would work too. Might need 2 people to get a reading..

AusCan 11-03-2018 01:14 AM

The problem may be just the ACR.

Some charging systems are set up with the battery charger, solar panels and alternator charging the house bank. The starting battery may be charged solely by the ACR.

That is how I set up my system and itís been working well so far.

PMF1984 11-03-2018 06:41 AM

So I have the solar, alternator, and battery charger on the house bank. So if the alternator is good and my ACR is bad, my house battery would get charged but not my start battery. I have volt meters hooked up to both banks, so I will start a log on them. Will also give me a chance to evaluate the fact that the alternator has an output of 50 amps.

Solly 11-03-2018 10:59 PM

My bad. Missed or forgot all the charging sources are on the house bank...Back to the ACR being bad...
Do you think that's wise ??? Personally I have the alternator on the start batteries. Probably doesn't make any difference if everything's working but I want the start batteries to charge when the engines running no matter what.....And the engine is the only thing on the start bank...
Is there a 'best practice' on that ????

PMF1984 11-04-2018 12:19 PM

Well the start bank can actually go for a few days without a charge. The house bank, not so much. The theory,if there is one, goes on leaving your combiner switch on house bank, so the starter is reserved for starting and other short high amp loads (windlass,bow thruster). Then the ACRwill take the charging sources and feed the start bank when/if needed. All automatic, donít have to adjust switch positions.

The work around is to switch to ďbothĒ when charging and to isolate the house bank when at rest and when starting. You just have to remember to throw those switches. Helps if they are easily accessible.

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