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Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ
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Brian
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got 36 on ya Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might have a 1968 ignition switch. Not sure of the maker but it worked when pulled.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The youngsters are whining about old age.

Aloha
tp
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Powell wrote:
The youngsters are whining about old age.

Aloha
tp


Tom,
you're just getting broken in.
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Brian
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Razz
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brainwash
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirledTraveller wrote:

This is the "ultimate" setup, fully automatic high amp charging in both directions, and also the capacity to manually combine or manually isolate with very simple wiring. The magnetic latch function also eliminates one of the main drawbacks of the other ACR, which is that the ACR draws about 350ma when it's combining. For my solar setup, this was not acceptable. the magnetic latch version draws only about 10ma or can be manually combined so the draw is zero.

Did you use the ML-Series Switches as well?
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curtp07
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't some of the Westys come with a dual battery setup? Would that mean that the accessories are already wired for the second battery? Thanks!
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brainwash
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:46 am    Post subject: Charging Both Batteries with a Blue Sea Add-A-Battery kit Reply with quote

I've got a red and yellow Optima battery for starting and auxilliary (respectively).

Since my 78 Westy is not my daily driver (I take public trans to work), I like to keep it topped off using the Optima charger which analyzes the battery according to which is hooked up and the button you press to tell it it's yellow or red and then analyzes and charges accordingly.

Now that I have my Blue Sea Add-A-Battery set up, how will I best charge the batteries? Should I hook up the optima charger contacts to the ACR and it will distribute the charge as though the alternator would when driving? Or is it better to take the charger contacts to each battery terminal individually?

Not sure how the Optima charger should be input to tell it which battery to charge. I'll cross post this in the Optima forum and get Blue Sea's take as well, and report back but would love to hear from you all on your experiences.
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I've said before, the Blue Sea ACR has a constant miliamp draw and over a couple weeks of the bus sitting will deplete the battery. I started installing a $5 relay that removes the ACR ground when the ignition is off to prevent this. If you don't remove the ground I suspect that when you install a charger to either battery the ACR will sense 13 volts and close to combine both. You can probably test this and watch for the green light on the ACR. Not sure why Optima uses a charger that works differently for the yellow and red batteries because when your engine is running, it's charging both the same. If you've installed the Blue Sea battery switch, just turn it off if you plan to park the bus for several days.
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brainwash
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Aeromech. Not sure on best practice for charging but will give it a try on individual batteries first and see what the ACR light does. The relay is a good call but I haven't done that yet.
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brainwash
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the interest of paying it forward, I've gathered a few items from my Add-A-Battery installation that may help someone out in the future. There are three sheets to this first file...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Gwxs5gCJBvwzRMWLGYrKSQ4Y02G1i3ruL6LrVHD6Ngg/edit?usp=sharing

The first sheet is a bit of a configurator which allows you to choose the two components you are wiring from/to and it gives you the proper sizing on the ring terminal based on the selection and the key in sheet 2. This way you can make all your cables while you've got the tools setup and heat gun going and the ring terminals fit the posts correctly.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Sheet 3 is for fuses and is borrowed from Ratwell's site http://www.ratwell.com/technical/Fuses.html#7679 (years 76-79 but do a save-as and modify to your needs) with a few additions. I've decided to take the wiring from the number 2, 8, and 9 fuses in the original fuse box and bring them over to the auxiliary fusebox.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Additionally, for those using EverNote, I've compiled those posts I found most useful, mostly from the Samba (and of those, mostly from AeroMech Smile and some Blue Sea Systems documentation.

https://www.evernote.com/l/ABdXhsWzhUxCwoKQ8KcsC_nRtqQrfTnPLAc
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I figure this is a good place for this question. I have installed the blue sea ASR and installed the ground breaking relay as described by aeromech, but when I start the bus the light on the ASR only flashes like it is on standby. I also only have a blue sea single switch going from the aux battery to the inverter since that is all it is powering right now. Any reason the batteries would not be connecting?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If one of the batteries has a voltage below 9 or so the ACR will not connect them for charging and the green light will blink.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm I checked them and both were reading above 12.8. Could there be a connection issue and only nine volts is getting to the ASR? I know the aux battery runs the inverter just fine. Is there a way to check this?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez, that's all I have. Maybe go to the Blue Sea site and read some troubleshooting info.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q: What does the flashing light mean on my ACR?


A:
A slow flashing LED means that the start isolation wire is energized. A fast flashing LED means that one or both batteries are below 9.5V (12V System) / 19V (24V System)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thanks. I'll check out the site, maybe I plugged the ground relay into the wrong side... Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread.

Confused about the ACR. What does it do/is it necessary? Grandpa's set up does not have one, correct? Is this why he said don't set up fridge on aux battery?
Edit: maybe a dumb question... but could a battery tender/charger hooked up to the aux battery be used as "shore power"?

Thanks!
Jacob
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ACR "automatically" connects both batteries together so that if one is charging, the other charges also. When they are discharging, it separates them so that draining the auxiliary battery (from running the fridge etc) doesn't drain the starting battery. This is based upon voltage sensing.

The original Westfalia uses a simple relay to perform this function. The relay connects the batteries together whenever the engine is running using a signal wire from the voltage regulator.

If you are camping, you "need" one of these or a manual switch to enable you to charge your auxiliary battery when driving and disconnect it when camping. All three options do the same thing fundamentally. The switch is the cheapest but not automatic. The relay is simple and cheap and functional which is why it's the "stock" option. The ACR is the most expensive but more robust than a relay and offers more flexibility for alternate charging sources.

A battery charger hooked up to the aux battery could be used as "shore power" provided it's capable of supplying at least 5 amps continuous, which is about what the Westy fridge uses. Most battery chargers aren't intended for continuous use so it's a little hard on the charger and maybe also on the battery depending on the charger and how smart it is. The best is a 12 volt converter (such as what Westfalia used originally) which outputs a steady 13 volts or so, which is easy on the battery.
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