New to me Contest 29 battery setup.

Contest1

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16 Apr 2011
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Dublin and Alicante.
Didn,t go for the Cobra so bought a Contest 29 instead.
Every thing checks out except the battery set up.
Seperate engine battery ok.
Domestic is not charging from the alternater. Mains power charges both.
The engine start requires both key switches on.
The alternator is fitted with a additional charging plate to charge both battery systems independently.
Any views?
Oh, and the domestic reads 3.5 v when mains turned off and theres a pair of disconected leads beside the domestic battery as if there were once two installed.
Any advice on how to proceed to get this set up sorted welcome.
 

VicS

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13 Jul 2002
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Didn,t go for the Cobra so bought a Contest 29 instead.
Every thing checks out except the battery set up.
Seperate engine battery ok.
Domestic is not charging from the alternater. Mains power charges both.
The engine start requires both key switches on.
The alternator is fitted with a additional charging plate to charge both battery systems independently.
Any views?
Oh, and the domestic reads 3.5 v when mains turned off and theres a pair of disconected leads beside the domestic battery as if there were once two installed.
Any advice on how to proceed to get this set up sorted welcome.

Diode splitter ??

check on wiring and then check the diode splitter.. Maybe replace with a VSR if appropriate

Check function of key switches ... do you mean isolators.


At 3.5 volts its cream crackered. Not a lot of point going further until replaced. For safety reasons I'd remove the disconnected wires.
 
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oldbilbo

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Here's a tuppence worth...

Remove the domestic battery showiung 3.5V. Attempt a recovery charge at home, using a quality charger, or have a garage/specialist do it. Determine if it will charge up, hold a charge, and survive a 'dummy load test'.

If it passes that, the problem lies in the wiring/connections on board. If not, the battery is probably fit only for landfill. ( Oops, not allowed to say that anymore )

Take another charged 12v battery to the boat, connect it into the domestic suppy, and measure what happens when you use it. If it charges up after use, the problem lies with the removed 'dead' battery. If it doesn't, the problem lies within the boat's wiring.

In which case, a 'lecky specialist is required to diagnose and fix it.

IMHO. :cool:
 

ghostlymoron

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As a first step I'd replace the dead battery and communicate the revised readings to the experts on here (myself not included). The existing circuits have probably worked in the past so I wouldn't throw baby/bathwater. Of course you may have other faulty components so step by step approach needed.
 

Contest1

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Location
Dublin and Alicante.
Looks like the domestic battery is the first item to check out.
As I,m in Spain and don,t yet know my way about I will try to aquire a pair of 12v lorry/tractor battery, last set lasted 10 years on the Centaur and that included starting duty.
Looking on line it may be Amazon.es offers the best value.
Wouldn't like to rely on the 3v unit as its probably beyond hope and I negotiated the price of a replacement in the price.
The double leads lying by the pair of domestic battery boxes makes me think the PO or some one either couldn't afford replacements when they went down and maybe decided to disconect the
domestic circuit and rely on mains as they didnt go out alot.
Will see how a better batter stands up and work from there.
Thanks for the advice.
Ps the removable key switches are the type suggested as a better alternative to the one two both and off.
The system also has two circuit breakers on the mains and an additional pair of rotary switches on the dc circuit.
looks like a no expense spared system that also has a Rutland wind generator incorporated but hard to fault find without a wireing diagram.
 
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ghostlymoron

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If you have a 123b switch and are thinking of replacing it, Blue Sea make a rotary switch which will energise both circuits (engine and domestics) but keep them seperate, it also has an emergency parallel position. Very good idea and solidly made. So when you get to the boat, you just turn it to 'run' position and you can start the engine from battery and use your domestics too without any chance if flattening your start battery from leaving your lights on. I'll try to post a link. (They are expensive but not prohibitively so)
Can't do a link but force 4 stock them.
 
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jasperthedog

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3 Oct 2006
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Leicestershire
Hi Centaur1

Just saying hello from a fellow Contest 29 owner, did you go for the mk1 or mk2 ?

I sail a mk1 out of the River Deben on the east coast. Sorry I can help you with any better advise than
you have already been given but if you need any other info particular to the 29 I,ll see if I can help.

Also do you by any chance have a diesel heater fitted, just trying to sort a layout at the moment.

Cheers,
Richard.
 

Contest1

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Dublin and Alicante.
Thanks Richard,
I,m assuming shes a mark 1 as shes 1970. Does have a Eberspacher? deisel heater fitted but didn't get round to trying it yet, was 36 C when I was leaving.
I,ll take you up on your kind offer when I return in a late September.
 

Contest1

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Fitted a new domestic battery and seems to be charging ok from the mains charging system. The pair of spare battery leads appear to be fed from the shunt and solar controller neatly fitted along the engine bay. Didn,t have time to sort these out so will have a go when I get back in late September.
 

ghostlymoron

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No one has addressed the problem of why you need both batteries swiched on to start the engine. I can only think that there's an ignition solenoid that's powered from the wrong one. Draw a diagram and all should become clear.
 

Contest1

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Dublin and Alicante.
Never did get to the bottom of the battery set up.
Spoke to the PO but he's none the wiser having never had any problems.
My son, an electrician, had a look on a short visit and reckoned the installation was good but he's not into 12v gear.
Maybe just accept the system is working well and sort out any problems as they appear.
The son spotted the two loose battery cables are identified as being from the wind generator and the missing solar panel.
On a brighter note the autumn weather was fab, only sliped up to the low thirties occasionally. Cooler at night so was able to sleep. The very odd dull day with an even odder spot of rain
The wife was impressed when she arrived for a few days in mid November, even slept on board one night and enjoyed a day out on the water.
Home now in waterlogged Wexford and can't wait for February to get back to the boat.
Happy days.
P's have decided to sell my trusty Centaur as I can't imagine I,ll ever want to sail all wrapped up like an Eskimo again.
 
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Contest1

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Dublin and Alicante.
Not really, have discovered there's a double set of switches for each battery. The key pair are both required to be on for the engine.
The two rotary are required to be on for the domestic.
Strange but at least they represent a safety conscious approach!
I have some photos of the system components in my phone that I'll upload when I get it talking to my new Lenovo tab.
 
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Contest1

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2011
Messages
667
Location
Dublin and Alicante.
Not really, have discovered there's a double set of switches for each battery. The key pair are both required to be on for the engine.
The two rotary are required to be on for the domestic.
Strange but at least they represent a safety conscious approach!
I have some photos of the system components in my phone that I'll upload when I get it talking to my new Lenovo tab.

Back home in Wexford for Paddys day and to get the garden sorted before some serious cruising in early summer!
Here's the photos of the system components minus the diod splitter plate on the engine alternator. Can't find it for now.
Regarding the double switching for engine start and domestic, it was common practice on Northern European manufactured boats according to the RYA diesel book I got for Christmas!
Anyway I had a further mess around and wired up the Rutland 930? wind charger to the replaced engine battery on windy day but it didn't appear to supply any increased voltage.
There's no solar panel so can't do much more until I get one as the mains battery charger is certainly keeping both systems up to peak performance as does the alternator when running.
Any thoughts on why the wind generator is not charging.
 

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