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Thread: Solution for fish finder draining cranking battery?

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    Default Solution for fish finder draining cranking battery?

    I've recently added another fish finder so now I've got an SI fish finder mounted at my console and a DI at the trolling motor. Generally I like to leave both running while I'm trolling, but the problem is that my SI is tied into my cranking battery at the fuse panel. Is there any "trick" to use so I don't drain my cranking battery and get stuck on the lake? Was out fishing all day not long ago and thought I wasn't going to get it started. The only option I can think of is to re-wire it to my trolling batteries (I'm running 2 in parallel) but I didn't know if maybe anyone had any tricks I didn't know. I'm trying to avoid pulling any more from my trolling batteries, and I don't have room to add any more batteries. The other option I guess would be to start my big motor more, but I generally don't run it long enough to do much charging. Is there any way to rig up some sort of onboard charger or alternator to charge one battery off of another (or something like that)?

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    The fish finders do not pull much battery. If you fishing all day that happens sometimes. You can get a solar panel that will help a little. I just keep some jumper cables in the boat just in case.
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  3. #3
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    a fresh battery will probably solve the issue .....i had similar issues when my old battery was tired ...didnt strand me but it did struggle
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    What battery do you have now, how old, do you charge it between trips, and what outboard?

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    Another solution might be to give the FF its own battery. You didn't say what FF you are using, but my HB Helix 5 DI GPS pulls about 650 mAH and I have a 7AH gel cell dedicated to it alone. I can run it for over 10 hours before depleting the battery. The batteries can be had for less than $30 and a good charger less than $20. My battery is about 8" long 4" wide and 6" high so it is easy to find a place to tuck it in any area. It doesn't spill so can be in a closed storage compartment and given the low current draw you can use fairly small wire to get the power to the console. At one point I considered mounting my battery under the console so I wouldn't have to run any wires at all other from it to the FF. I have wiring in place so it ended up in the Gas Tank/Starting Battery area just forward of the transom.
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    I have a dedicate battery for my electronics that gets charged every trip just like the other 4 in the boat. I won't leave the ramp without a set of jumper cables long enough to get from my trolling motor batteries to my crank battery.
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    Instead of jumper cables, I added a three way switch in the battery compartment that lets me add 1 of the trolling batteries to the cranking battery or switch to both trolling batteries to start the engine. Works every time so far with less hassle.
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    I think some of the above hit the nail on the head. First thing I would do is to see how old my battery is. If it is aged, I would upgrade to a new battery. Because it is your cranking battery, I would get the biggest you can get away with fitting in your location. For me, I use size 31 for everything.

    I also agree with Catfan. When you charge your trolling motor batteries do you also charge your cranking battery? I recently got into a heated debate with a sales person at a boat place. I looked in the forward battery compartment and said: "you don't have any access or chase to get wires to the back cranking battery". He asked me why I needed it. I said: "so you can add a three bank charger and charge your cranking battery". He said... there is no reason for that, your motor charges your battery. My comment was, so, you leave the dock, you run 5 minutes, you fish all day long running your fish finder, radio, livewell aerator, and so on, you return to the dock (10 minute run) and your cranking battery is fully charged? He had the dumbest look on his face. Even made the comment that their service department doesn't install chargers on the cranking battery. Needless to say, I would never do business with that place!
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    Quote Originally Posted by davebrown42 View Post
    Instead of jumper cables, I added a three way switch in the battery compartment that lets me add 1 of the trolling batteries to the cranking battery or switch to both trolling batteries to start the engine. Works every time so far with less hassle.
    I'm assuming you are running 2 batteries in parallel to your trolling motor? I seriously doubt throwing 24 volts to an outboard would make for a good day.
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    I use a deep cycle battery for starting and running everything but trolling motor . My trolling batteries only run that motor .
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