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View Full Version : Mad at donzi battery cable set-up!



fasttrucker
06-29-2010, 01:01 PM
I have a three battery switches.Port,starboard,and both.Donzi wired my port battery to the starter.My starboard battery goes to the boat.The both switch will charge all,I tried to jump the wrong battery and had to tow it:confused:.I found out the hard way:boggled:.3 hours 40 mins of towing behind my 16 baby outboard.:garfield:Two new batterys at the marina(could have done that myself and saved money):wrench:

zelatore
06-29-2010, 01:28 PM
Twin engine boat, right?

If so, that's a little weird but not unheard of.

On a singe engine boat that would be the norm. One battery dedicated to starting, one dedicated to house loads, and a parallel switch to cross connect as needed.

Dr. David Fleming
06-29-2010, 01:29 PM
Not sure what boat you have, but Donzi operator instructions are a bit lacking. I decided to trace my wiring to understand their installation on duel bat 22ZX.

Battery switch has four positions - OFF, BAT 1, BAT 2, and ALL.

Off - means off except the bilge pump and fire system are set up to run anyway.

BAT 1 - The whole system operating except bat 2 is in reserve.

BAT 2 - is an extra battery for starting if you run down the system - you cut this in to start a system run down by anchoring with the lights on or running the sound system too long.

All - means both batteries are operating the system - no reserve - they are charging. I would run the system this way most of the time then switch to BAT 1 for anchoring or with the engine off. Starting after draining the system - anchoring over night - cut in BAT 2 to start the engine with a fresh battery.

Now there are a couple of unanswered questions here -

1. Perko who makes the battery switch has two systems one that bridges the alternator so that if you turn the system off or switch it the alternator doesn't self destruct.

2. Do you have to have the system on ALL to charge the second battery, or to recharge the BAT 1 if you have drained it.

I have not run down a battery to test this situation.

My examination of the wiring shows that the second battery is simply added as an option at the factory or dealer. All the boat wiring is the same they just add the extra battery wire run and the switch with two battery positions. Donzi looks like it has standard wiring systems with code tags on the wires - some wire runs are not used depending on what options are ordered on the boat. For example I added the rear speakers where the factory would put them and found the wiring already in place.

Perko in their catalogue does not explain the design of their switch sufficiently to explain what way they bridge the terminals to protect the alternator of the engine and if this has any way of effecting the charge of the batteries.

I am a doctor not an engineer

zelatore
06-29-2010, 01:30 PM
Either way, instead of being mad at the wiring itself (as I can see a reason for it to be the way it is) I think your real gripe should be with the lack of documentation from Donzi to tell you how they wired it.

VetteLT193
06-29-2010, 01:53 PM
Either way, instead of being mad at the wiring itself (as I can see a reason for it to be the way it is) I think your real gripe should be with the lack of documentation from Donzi to tell you how they wired it.

+1. the manual sucks. I am betting trucker has the exact same manual I got with my boat because it seems to cover the entire ZX and ZR lines put together.

gcarter
06-29-2010, 02:03 PM
This is nothing new.
Donzi has always sucked at manual writing.
I have the 23 year old TR manual and besides a
dimensioned drawing of a 22 in the front, it has
nothing inside but brochures of the engine and outdrive.
Also a little safety info operating the boat.
No wiring diagram,
Nothing else.

glashole
06-29-2010, 02:59 PM
why didn't you check all the positions when you were having problems?

zelatore
06-29-2010, 06:08 PM
This is nothing new.
Donzi has always sucked at manual writing.
I have the 23 year old TR manual and besides a
dimensioned drawing of a 22 in the front, it has
nothing inside but brochures of the engine and outdrive.
Also a little safety info operating the boat.
No wiring diagram,
Nothing else.

Unfortunately, a lot of boat builders are this way. Sad really; how much would it cost to have somebody sit down and write a basic manual for a simple boat like a Donzi? A couple thousand bucks? Amortized over the cost of xxx boats sold, it wouldn't add much of anything to the selling price and would certainly help a lot of owners out.

But hey, manuals aren't sexy - they don't sell boats.

Carl C
06-29-2010, 07:42 PM
Mine starts in any position. I rotate between batteries 1 & 2. I never run it on "both" so that I will always have a charged spare battery.

onesubdrvr
06-29-2010, 07:51 PM
Unfortunately, a lot of boat builders are this way. Sad really; how much would it cost to have somebody sit down and write a basic manual for a simple boat like a Donzi? A couple thousand bucks? Amortized over the cost of xxx boats sold, it wouldn't add much of anything to the selling price and would certainly help a lot of owners out.

But hey, manuals aren't sexy - they don't sell boats.
AMEN,...

I work on all sorts of equipment, matters not to me, I can fix it, but, I will need a schematic, and some of them I get are just horrible,... looks like something my 3 year old makes at school during "project" time. I've had 20 year old compressors that I've had to make my own schematics for, because the old ones were worn away, or weren't worth a crap.

Reading how different manufactures try to explain how their equipment works makes me laugh,... but it keeps me employed I guess, cause most of my customers can't figure out how this stuff works.

Wayne

Carbo
06-29-2010, 08:19 PM
Single engine......one battery to the motor....one battery to the ships 12v system and a switch to combine them. I would say there should be an isolator so the both charge from the motor's alternator but stay separate until an emergency causes you to combine them (if one got low). If there is no isolator or combiner you would need to shut off the both switch when you stopped so both batteries do not drain down. You need to learn exactly how they configured it.

Pismo
06-29-2010, 09:44 PM
If you flip it to neither with the engine running does it still blow the alternator diodes? or has someone fixed that?

Cuda
06-29-2010, 10:10 PM
AMEN,...

I work on all sorts of equipment, matters not to me, I can fix it, but, I will need a schematic, and some of them I get are just horrible,... looks like something my 3 year old makes at school during "project" time. I've had 20 year old compressors that I've had to make my own schematics for, because the old ones were worn away, or weren't worth a crap.

Reading how different manufactures try to explain how their equipment works makes me laugh,... but it keeps me employed I guess, cause most of my customers can't figure out how this stuff works.

Wayne
Sounds like the guy who wrote my Microcomputers book. I've read a lot of text books, but that one is sorriest excuse for a text I ever read. I went to Daytona and put in an official gripe about the text, and the teacher. They both sucked.

Cuda
06-29-2010, 10:16 PM
My Minx had two batteries and a switch just as described. Some fooled wired it with welding lead. Even though they were number two wire, they were terrible for starter leads. I pulled one battery and put in a swith for off and on only. I never sit long enough to run a battery down. If I'm in a boat, I want to be running.

LKSD
06-30-2010, 08:36 AM
It would not be the first time that I have seen or hear of something that was over complicating the simple or done improperly. On both brand new Donzi's I had in the past there were some small silly things done that I had to correct.. Also yes the manuals are very vague in my opinion, but most boat owners manuals are this way with fairly rare exception.. They usually seem to only reprint USCG's basic rules of the road & omit other useful boat info..

fasttrucker
06-30-2010, 11:07 AM
Twin engine boat, right?

If so, that's a little weird but not unheard of.

On a singe engine boat that would be the norm. One battery dedicated to starting, one dedicated to house loads, and a parallel switch to cross connect as needed.
The 27Zr has one 496ho engine and I called my freind with his 35Zr.He has the same set-up.I dont have a round perko unit that Iam used to having on all my other boats.The ZR has 3 sep. switches this is new to me.I was told by the 35ZR guy that in BOTH setting both batterys should still go to the starter.The mechanic at the marina said it is not wired like that and he is a the head guy.He should know.Still the one battery should go to the other battery and that goes to the starter.I will try to flip the switches and start it this weekend to know for sure.I right now think the corosion(that I did not see)on the cable that goes to the starter is or was the reseaon it would not start or recharge.But,like I said I will test this for sure this weekend.The manual is worthless.

fasttrucker
06-30-2010, 11:16 AM
why didn't you check all the positions when you were having problems?
It was geting dark and we worked on it for 15min.My freinds wife who I was rafted up to wanted to go.(you know what thats like) We had another party at the naughty goose saloon to be at.I didnt want to be deserted.We kept jumping the wrong battery we tried two other jump packs and a battery from my freinds boat.Everyone said it must be the starter.I think if we would have cleaned the terminals and jumped the right battery it would have worked.At least it all worked out in the end,I have two new batterys:yes:

Ghost
06-30-2010, 01:15 PM
The 27Zr has one 496ho engine and I called my freind with his 35Zr.He has the same set-up.I dont have a round perko unit that Iam used to having on all my other boats.The ZR has 3 sep. switches this is new to me.I was told by the 35ZR guy that in BOTH setting both batterys should still go to the starter.The mechanic at the marina said it is not wired like that and he is a the head guy.He should know.Still the one battery should go to the other battery and that goes to the starter.I will try to flip the switches and start it this weekend to know for sure.I right now think the corosion(that I did not see)on the cable that goes to the starter is or was the reseaon it would not start or recharge.But,like I said I will test this for sure this weekend.The manual is worthless.


What a PITA. Sounds like the only answer may be to start tracing the wiring and drawing what you find. I hate that cr@p.

(I had a wiring project in my house/garage that took MANY hours of diagnosis, where a whole bunch of things had been blended together, half-undoinng a 3-way switch and de-isolating two circuit breakers. 97% of the battle was with a multitester, pen and paper. Once I knew what the true state was, 20 minutes of planning and 10 minutes of repair time...)

zelatore
06-30-2010, 05:41 PM
Once I knew what the true state was, 20 minutes of planning and 10 minutes of repair time...)

That's almost ALWAYS the case! And then they want to know why you bill 3 hrs for the repair that 'should have only taken 30 minutes'. :bonk:

Cuda
06-30-2010, 05:56 PM
I don't understand how changing the battery position can blow the diodes.

Carbo
06-30-2010, 06:13 PM
I don't understand how changing the battery position can blow the diodes.


Turning a battery switch off when the motor is running creates a voltage spike that can fry things in the alternator. Battery switches are supposed to be "make before break" when switching from 1-all-2 but a little corrosion can create a spike. It is safest to only switch with the motor stopped.

gcarter
06-30-2010, 06:30 PM
Perko makes a series of switches that can be safely switched when running.
Ya gotta look for these things.
I bet that in the number of Perko switches sold on eBay that only 1 in 100 are these specific switches.
They only cost a few dollars more then their regular switches.
It's a lot cheaper than a rebuilt alternator.

Cuda
07-01-2010, 12:55 PM
Turning a battery switch off when the motor is running creates a voltage spike that can fry things in the alternator. Battery switches are supposed to be "make before break" when switching from 1-all-2 but a little corrosion can create a spike. It is safest to only switch with the motor stopped.
I never knew that. I switched while running a lot. I guess I was just lucky.

zelatore
07-01-2010, 02:25 PM
I never knew that. I switched while running a lot. I guess I was just lucky.

Honestly, I've known lots of people who switched with the motor running and got away with it. I know you're not supposed to, but like a lot of things, people do it and get by.....until one day they don't.

fasttrucker
07-03-2010, 09:09 PM
Starboard battery switch(only) is to starter.Port would then go to a second engine which I dont have.So when Iam rafting/docked or floating and listening to the radio,I should switch the starboard side off.

zelatore
07-03-2010, 10:45 PM
I don't think it's that the port battery would go to a second motor so much as it's dedicated to powering the house loads. That way, as long as you don't have the crossover turned on you can leave the stereo/lights/12v blender/etc running all night, drain the battery, and still have the stating battery in good shape.

At least that's how I'm ASSUMING it's set up...don't really know. Heck, I thought you had twins. :bonk:

fasttrucker
07-04-2010, 09:29 AM
I don't think it's that the port battery would go to a second motor so much as it's dedicated to powering the house loads. That way, as long as you don't have the crossover turned on you can leave the stereo/lights/12v blender/etc running all night, drain the battery, and still have the stating battery in good shape.

At least that's how I'm ASSUMING it's set up...don't really know. Heck, I thought you had twins. :bonk:
I was told that when the both or all switch is on it will charge both batterys.The main thing to know is not to try and jump start:shocking: the port side battery.I wish I had known that when It wouldnt start.:frown:

zelatore
07-04-2010, 04:50 PM
I was told that when the both or all switch is on it will charge both batterys.The main thing to know is not to try and jump start:shocking: the port side battery.I wish I had known that when It wouldnt start.:frown:

I'm not sure about how Donzi did the wiring, but if they didn't do so, it's not hard to set it up so your alternator will charge both batteries regardless of the battery switch positions. All you need is an isolator. That way you can have the best possible set-up: 1 battery for starting; one battery for house; both charging all the time but not cross connected unless you flip a switch.

gcarter
07-04-2010, 07:36 PM
I'm not sure about how Donzi did the wiring, but if they didn't do so, it's not hard to set it up so your alternator will charge both batteries regardless of the battery switch positions. All you need is an isolator. That way you can have the best possible set-up: 1 battery for starting; one battery for house; both charging all the time but not cross connected unless you flip a switch.

+1
Isolators are the only way to fly.
It will absolutely solve your problem

royalbcat
08-09-2010, 05:32 PM
I turn off the cross switch & port when hangin' out. That leaves it in reserve when we are ready to go. The one time I jumped it, I used the lugs on the panel & turned all switches on. Have never jumped straight to the battery.