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Author Topic: Stu's Wiring Diagram & The 1-2-B & Dual Circuit Switches  (Read 31397 times)

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Gary Brockman

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Stu's Wiring Diagram & The 1-2-B & Dual Circuit Switches
« on: October 30, 2008, 12:17:23 PM »

We recently bought a pretty much stock, 1986 tall rig Catalina 34 (#231), except that it has been fully equipped for racing (7 winches, 3 headsail/spinnaker halyards, sheets, spinnakers, etc.), which I plan do again after not owning a boat for over 15 years.  We renamed her “Squall”, and although she was generally in very good condition, many of the original systems needed updating.

After purchasing Squall, I found this website and promptly became an association member. This is a huge resource that is worth much, much more than the price of membership, and truly adds to the value of the boat.

When I relocated Squall to Marina del Rey from San Diego, where I purchased her, I found that the number two battery was completely dead and would not take a charge (battery only 6-months old). This has prompted me to upgrade my electrical system now rather than waiting to the spring as first planned. After reading a number of very helpful articles in the Forum, I am ready to start purchasing everything I need to update the system and have put together the following shopping list of major items:

•   Trojan T-105 Batteries (4)   
•   Xantrex Truechage2 20-amp Battery Charger   
•   Xantrex Truechage2 Remote Display   
•   Xantrex Echo Charge   
•   Xantrex Battery Temp Sensor   
•   Blue Circle M-7102-HD Alternator   
•   Xantrex Alternator Regulator   
•   Cables, fuses, etc.   

I have an experienced boat electrician who will help me install this system as I have no background in this having only taken a one quarter electrical shop class in my freshman year of high school (early 1960’s).   Is there something I have missed?  Should I include something like a Link___? If so, what would be the appropriate model? 

My wife and I have discussed adding an inverter but are not sure we need one.  I spoke with a Xantrex service rep on the telephone about which inverter I should purchase if we decided to add one to the system and he suggested using a Freedom Charger/Inverter instead of the Truecharge2.  From looking at the specs, it looks to me that if I did that, I would be losing some of the functions/advantages of the Truecharge2 charger.  Any thoughts on this?

Besides purchasing the parts to upgrade the electrical system this weekend, I am planning to install new gate stanchions on each side of the boat (purchased from Catalina Direct), replace the original lifelines with new ones, replace the original non-working NICRO solar vents with new ones, and reinstall the newly painted cowl vents.  I hope all of this doesn’t prove to be too ambitious for the weekend.

Future projects include replacing the hot-water heater and its water lines, as it looks as if it is on its last legs, and installing new vinyl stripes over the faded gell-coat stripes on the hull. Although I enjoy working on the boat, I am looking forward to being able to sailing her more.

 - Gary -

« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 03:58:42 PM by Stu Jackson »
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waterdog

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 01:07:22 PM »

Definitely include the battery monitor.  Link 10 was the old Xantrex model.  I think they may have a newer variant with the same functions.   You only need the monitor for your trojans, so I would not spend money on 2 bank monitoring - voltage off your starter battery is good enough. 

If you don't think you need an inverter, you don't.   But then having a microwave is a nice alternative to sparking up the stove to warm something up.   If you do, an inverter charger would probably be a good way to go.  But I don't know, my boat came with a trucharge 40 and I added a separate inverter.  With the inverter charger, you can get a battery monitor that also has control functions for the inverter.   

It's a really good idea to think this through all at once in the beginning as you are.
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Stu Jackson

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Two Major Choices
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 02:57:18 PM »

Gary,

Good planning and a good system.  I highly recommend that you also do a search on "1-2-B switch" since there is a lot of material on wiring the alternator directly to house bank in those many discussions, some of which you may already have seen.  You should do this especially since you're adding your echo charger and Blue Circle new alternator.  Be careful of the factory supplied ring connections from the regulator to the alternator, you may want to redo them, since most of mine fell off shortly after the install.

Your choices electrically:

1.  Do what you're planning and do the inverter later.  The inverter, being separate is going to require you to think through a completely different side of the electrical system on the boat, the A.C. side.  You'll have to decide if you want to wire the existing A.C. outlets or use the dual plug single receptacle on the inverter.  You'll also need a Blue Seas 8032 or equivalent (search that and 8132 - I keep forgetting which is the right one) to assure that only one source of power gets used if you wire in the A.C. outlets.

2.  Truecharge is a great charger.  However, the choices you have are these:

a.  Go with what you're planning and add (now or later) a Link 10 or Xantrex equivalent (single) house bank or Link 20 two bank battery monitor.  These Link models will NOT control your Truecharge, in fact nothing remote will ever do that, other than the remote idiot lights for the Truecharge, which, if you place the Truecharge where you can see if correctly, the Truecharge remote is essentially worthless and not worth the extra cost nor the hole in your nav station.

b.  Get a combined Freedom 15 or 20 inverter / charger (I/C).  The 15 has a 75 A charger and the 20 has a 100 A charger built in.  Then buy a Link 1000 (single house bank) or a Link 2000 (two bank) battery monitor.  These Link models have a separate telephone cable connection to the back of the I/C and it will control both charging and inverting.  No separate 8132 switch is required, the innards of the I/C do the isolating.  The Link 1000 or 2000 will NOT control a Truecharge.  You would not be losing any functionality of the Trucharge, they're just larger chargers.  The I/Cs are complete smart three stage chargers, plus they equalize, but ONLY with a Link 1000 or 2000.  The Link 10 and 20 will NOT control a Freedom I/C.

Since it's a boat, you can do it either way, and both will work.

Note that the Freedom and Links are MADE to work with each other.  Other manufacturers I/Cs will not work with the Link brand.

You can operate a Freedom I/C without the Link 2000 (or 1000) with the switch on the Freedom.  We did that for nine years until I put the Lnk in.  Downside is you can't equalize.

The battery temperature sensor can be added later.  The alternator temperature sensor would be a better first choice.  If you haven't yet, read this:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4454.15

You have a VERY extensive weekend planned, and I'd simply caution you to stay with one thing at a time.

If there's anything else you need, let me know.  You can also email me at mraquaq@[no spam]aol.com and I'll send you my Tech Notes article from November 2006 with additional electrical installation information and a wiring diagram.  (The Wiring Diagram is posted on page 2 of this thread)

Also see the wiring diagrams for the regulator that I posted here earlier: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=4548.0

When you get to your water heater, see this: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=3769.0

You mentioned you read "articles in the Forum" which I assume is this MB.  If you haven't read the Projects electrical section, you should consider doing that.  Just click on Projects at the top of the MB page and scroll down for the electrical articles.

Better yet, use the new wiki (added 2/09/09)

« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 03:19:44 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 05:26:08 PM »

One other thing:  The Freedom's now come with their own built in echo chargers, which they didn't when we bought.  Ah, um, echo chargers hadn't yet been invented, literally, when we did ours!  The concept was always there, but not commercially available. 

What we did in 1998, with the same issues that you face, was to do a $$ comparison, and since we had a microwave installed by the PO already, the choice was somewhat easier because we leaned in the direction of the I/C for starters.  I didn't install the Link 2000, that we'd bought in '98, until earlier this year.

However, in your case, since you can add the inverter later, the advantage of doing them separately is that you do not have to deal with 2/0 [BIG] wiring in your first go around with the electrical system.  You also have time to get more familiar with the systems on your boat.

The 1998 Freedoms came with attached 2/0 wires, no echo charger.  When they put the echo chargers in a few years later, they discontinued the 2/0 wiring, which you now have to supply on your own.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 05:30:10 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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BillG

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2008, 06:57:22 AM »

I took on the same project shortly after purchasing my 87 six years ago. There is alot of great advice contained on this site and different approaches you can take.  I strongly concur with Stu that the batteries should be directly hooked up to the alternator and not thru the battery switch.  I also am a firm believer that the battery Off-1-2 switch be replaced with just on ON-OFF switch, mean that all 4 of you trojans on either on or off.  Many people including Calder believe this gives overall longer battery life, tho you would definitely want to add a dedicated starting battery. I charge my starting battery thru a Balmar Duo-charge.  Another thought is to replace your Seaward fuse panel with an Seaward circuit breaker type.  There are a number of added safety features in the new panels as well as space for added electrical expansion.  The replacement panel most like the old  c-34 panels are being used in smaller catalinas but have the battery switch as part of the panel,talk to  Seaward about the best replacement.  Finally a battery monitor is a must in my opinion and the XBM is a newer version of monitors by Xantrex.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 11:13:19 AM by BillG »
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Bill
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waterdog

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Re: Two Major Choices
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2008, 09:40:15 AM »

... You'll also need a Blue Seas 8032 or equivalent (search that and 8132 - I keep forgetting which is the right one) to assure that only one source of power gets used if you wire in the A.C. outlets...


This depends on the inverter you buy.  The one I installed this summer had a built in transfer switch.  It was dead easy to wire it to the regular AC outlets.   
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Steve Dolling
Former 1988 #804, BlackDragon - Vancouver BC
Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Stu Jackson

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008, 10:20:13 AM »

Steve, what model inverter did you buy?

Link to switch model #s: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=833.0
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 10:21:48 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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waterdog

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2008, 12:10:12 PM »

Stu, you had to ask that question.   Now I must confess my sins. 

The unit I bought is the XM1800 Pro-Series inverter.  This is one of the modified sine wave inverters.

That means its one of the cheap inverters. 

But I am smart man.  I make my living in the electrical industry.   I sell optical sensors that measure up to 500,000A with 0.1% accuracy.   I'm happy to specify a voltage sensor that you can put in your 500kV substation and meter bulk power interties.   I know my ac power.  I now my waveforms.  Not only that, but Xantrex used to be 6 guys who worked in the basement of a company I used to work for.  I know VPs there. 

I had lunch with one and discussed my application.  Without question and beyond a doubt the XM1800 would do the job for me.  No fancy sensitive electronics powered by ac on my boat.   No need to pay the big bucks for a true sine wave version.  I can handle some sharper edges on my sine wave. 

And so the Japanese food ended and I loaded a box into my trunk and wrote a check for some ridiculously small amount of money and I went away with a new inverter and battery monitor. 

And then I went and spent some multiple of the inverter price to buy the cables and I installed it with only brief interuption to wire in a switch for the fridge and start a boat fire, but we're not going there again, Stu. 

And it worked and so I wired in the ac side.   And all was well.  I can now run my shop vac in the middle of the Straight of Georgia. 

But Stu.  My microwave doesn't work.  Well it does sort of.  Sometimes if I fiddle with it and find just the right setting. 

The modified sine wave inverter was a bad idea as it turns out.   But I will never admit that and go spend big bucks on a true sine wave unit.   Instead, I will use the rationale that sometimes when I go to docks with weak power sources, my microwave doesn't work either.  So instead, I will throw out the $60 microwave and try another one.   Yes.  That's it. 

I'll find one that does work with my cheap inverter.  Then I will never have to admit my error. 

Never trust a VP on a technical matter.  Find an application engineer...
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Steve Dolling
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Now 1999 Manta 40 cat

Stu Jackson

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2008, 05:05:02 PM »

I strongly concur with Stu that the batteries should be directly hooked up to the alternator and not thru the battery switch.  I also am a firm believer that the battery Off-1-2 switch be replaced with just on ON-OFF switch...

I've been working, on again off again, on an article currently, at least this week, called "In Defense of the Much Maligned 1-2-B Switch."  I've discussed this a number of times before and have come to the conclusion that once the alternator (and other charging source) outputs are directed away from the "C"post of the old 1-2-B switch and directly to the house bank, the old 1-2-B switch works just fine. 

The West Marine Advisors and the switch manufacturers' suggestions that new on/off switches and that fancy-schmansy new 1-2-B switch replacement, the dual circuit switch, (which BTW requires an ACR to work) are needed to keep the dumb brother-in-law from switching to OFF and wrecking the alternator is a thing of the past because the alternator is ALWAYS seeing a load from the direct connect to the house bank.  The only thing the 1-2-B switch now does is take current OUT of the banks, based on which one you choose, to the Distribution Panel and the starter.

Think about it.  Two or three switches are required to replace one switch.  Why?  Because they wanna sell you something new?  Because some think it's easier.  I find it harder.  We rarely use our backup emergency reserve (start) bank, so we just turn the 1-2-B switch to 1 (our house bank) and it stays there.  Period.  No extra wiring, no extra switches, and I can use the 1-2-B switch to parallel the batteries (in addition to our combiner, which has it's own on/off toggle switch in it's own ground wire).

So, reconsider installing two new on-off switches for your two banks, which require then yet another to parallel the two banks you've just separated.  Simply run the alternator output to the house bank, find your chosen way of automatically combining them (combiner, echo charger, oil pressure relay, switch) for charging with single output sources (like alternators, solar panels and your charger), and KEEP the 1-2-B switch for battery OUTPUT only.

Why have THREE switches when ONE can still work?

Added 4/26/09:  Also see this topic: Alternator Output and Battery Switch Wiring, http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4934.0.html for a discussion of another way to wire alternator output "around" the "C" post of the 1-2-B switch.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 08:38:42 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2008, 07:11:35 PM »

Guys : I wrote back in the mid 90s that in 1991/2 I purchased a Balmar dual output alternator.  I wired one lead direct to battery bank #1 and the other directly to battery bank #2.  It seemed best to me to by pass the switch for charging (shortening the wire run and minimizing the resistance.)
I've posted many times that the 1 2 All Off switch on my boat is turned to "All" when I get on the boat and then to "Off" when I leave.  The only time I use 1/2 positions is when I want to look at the battery voltages with the engine/charger is off.  I also crimped and soldered each of the connections!!
Another advantage is there is no arcing of current to "dirty up" the switch contacts while the battery selector is changed while charging.  A few thoughts
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 09:09:22 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Ron, Apache #788

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 08:37:25 AM »

The article Ron's referring to can be found in the November 1996 edition of Mainsheet on our Tech Notes page for C34 IA members: http://www.c34.org/mainsheet/pdf/1996_no4.pdf   

In it, Ron describes his electrical upgrades on Apache #788 with his dual output alternator, as well as Hank Recla"s (Bay Tripper #954) and Duane Maher's (Whiskey #1076) systems.  Hank used a Powerline 120 A alternator, and Duane's system upgrade used an Ample 106 A, both single outputs.   This article was literally ahead of its time in explaining "advanced" and comprehensive boat electrical systems, because it described work that had been done a couple of years earlier, soon after the C34 boats were starting to be built.  And, even more importantly, it was only shortly after the beginning of the production of the individual components starting to become commercially available that were required to enhance the electrical systems: high output alternators, battery monitors, regulator controls - and West Marine which was by that time changing the way folks could obtain boating supplies.

During the early days of this website, back during the email "List" days, Hank Recla kindly offered his boat wiring diagram and I took him up on his offer.  It is a masterpiece:  the wiring diagram is prepared on 11 /12 x 17 size paper, it includes every single wire on his boat for the charging system (a Link 2000R, which works as the regulator for the alternator also, including the multiple wires associated with that and its shunt, and all the other battery wiring) with each wire's end identified; plus a separate four page 8 1/2 x 11 wiring component diagram including the fittings at each end of the wire and a description of the wire -- a true professional product).  Studying it helped me immeasurably in figuring out what came with my boat (by comparison only - we were kinda bare bones back then) and what some of the options were in designing my system.

For those who ask about "what do I do about the multiple outputs from my charger when I only have one alternator output?" perhaps we ought to do a FAQ! :D  Heck, it's the same kinda question for three charger outputs with only two alternator outputs from a dual output alternator like Ron's. :D :D  The answer is simple: wire only ONE output of the charger to your house bank and use the same techniques you used for the single output alternator to charge your reserve bank.

As we've noted many times especially for electrical systems, there are always at LEAST two different ways -- that WORK -- aboard any boat.  The referenced article mentions three of the 20-something upgraded electrical system descriptions that I can think of, and that's from only the generous folks who've shared their experiences here on this website with all of us.  Seems it's beyond just the 1-2-B switch, but that's my "pitch" this week, and I stand behind it until someone pushes me into the water! :D
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 05:07:45 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Craig Illman

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Re: New Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2008, 08:51:44 AM »

Gary - My short comment. I don't think I'd upgrade to the four T-105's unless you're planning on refrigeration and/or an inverter. They did seem to address the port lean on my boat. All the published projects and forum threads helped me with my design, yet it's unique as well. I'm satisfied and don't have any plans to modify it. A side benefit will be the knowledge you gain from the upgrade. (It will take about four times as long as you expect, like any boat project) Do a drawing, it's surprising how quick one forgets things. Label as much as you can at both ends of the wire.

A quote from a website I saw a couple weeks ago, "Anyone can make something complicated, it takes a genius to design something simple" - Pete Seeger.

Craig
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Stu Jackson

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Re: New (to me 1986) Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 10:19:54 AM »

My wife and I have discussed adding an inverter but are not sure we need one.  I spoke with a Xantrex service rep on the telephone about which inverter I should purchase if we decided to add one to the system and he suggested using a Freedom Charger/Inverter instead of the Truecharge2.  From looking at the specs, it looks to me that if I did that, I would be losing some of the functions/advantages of the Truecharge2 charger.  Any thoughts on this?

Gary, I just reread this, and I'm not sure if you're right about losing some of the features of the Truecharge2 if you go with a Freedom I/C.  The Truecharge2 is the newer variety of Xantrex's line and was discussed at length in a recent post.  It's features are less than the old Truecharge 20s and 40s.  Only the newer XC has the features of essentially of turning itself off, and are not available on the Freedom I/Cs nor the new Truecharge2s. 

I posted John Nixon's charger evaluation as a sticky, which I'm sure you've seen.  His comparison PDF is important.

The choices are if you're going to leave your boat plugged in all the time or not.  There's an actual "cottage industry" about that very subject right here on our MB! :shock:  Only the newer XCs have that feature of turning themselves off relative to the batteries, as I understand John's evaluations.

We've found the Freedom extremely reliable, no hiccups in over 10 years.  The Truecharge2, as noted, are new technology.

Oh no, not again:  your boat, your choice. :D

What did you end up doing?

Aslo see: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4352.0.html - John Nixon's excellent battery charger evaluation.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 03:21:26 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Gary Brockman

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Re: New (to me 1986) Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 03:14:58 PM »

I want to thank each of you for all of your suggestions and the information you have shared answering my questions. After speaking with my wife again, we decided to go with the Truecharge2 and not with the Freedom charger/inverter.  We are leaving the option open of adding an inverter later if we feel the need to microwave something at Catalina.

I bought four T-105’s from the local distributor last Friday ($143.98 each) and ordered the Truecharge2 20, the echo charger, the alternator regulator and alternator. I should have everything but the alternator by tomorrow morning. I haven’t ordered the battery monitor yet as I am a little confused about which one to order. The Xantrex web site still shows the Link 10, but does not show the Link XBM. I found information on the web on the XBM that says that it replaced the Link 10 and that it is a little more accurate and uses less power than the Link 10. I then found that the Xantrex web site says that the Link Pro has replaced the XBM. After reviewing the data sheets on each of these monitors, it seems to me that the Link Pro offers more than I need. and that the Link 10 would be the better choice for my needs. Thoughts?

Regarding the use of the 1-2-Both-Off switch vs a single on-off switch, I am leaning towards the single on/off but still need to discuss this with my marine electrician once I have all of my components on hand and we sit down to install everything. It won’t be this weekend because of football tickets and family plans, probably the following weekend.

All of my plans for working on the boat last weekend didn’t happen due to the on and off rain we had over the weekend. Didn’t think it would be too good of an idea to start drilling holes in the deck for stanchions and vents with the possibility of rain . The only thing I did get done was re-installing the newly painted cowl vents and loading the new batteries on to the boat. The best laid plans ….

Thanks again,

 - Gary -
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Re: New (to me 1986) Boat - Updating Electrical System
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2008, 07:54:52 PM »

Why get confused?

The XBM seems to have the connectivity for a computer "dump."  For $25 (list) more $.

If that feature is worth it to you, then your choice. 

If not then the Link 10 is a good alternative.

If it's $$, then the tradeoff of the XBM to the Link 20, which would check your reserve bank, also is a good choice.

How'd we know you'd have football tickets....? :D
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 07:55:52 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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