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I have a 2013 Bass Tracker PT175 TXW and my batteries won't receive a full charge from the on-board Guest 2 bank 8 amp charger (factory).  Yesterday, I replaced the trolling motor battery with a new Interstate 27 series (same as factory).  However, I still have the original Interstate cranking battery (old, but no issues).  After 12+ hours of charging, my on-board charger is still displaying red and "charging". I checked both battery levels with a tester and they both registered 12.56v (medium level).  To my understanding, a fully charged 12v battery should read 12.7v. With that said, prior to swapping out the tolling motor battery, the on-board charger stayed in red and "charging" mode with the old batteries as well.  So I'm getting the same charging results with the new/old battery setup. Need some advise...

 

Few questions:

1. Is the age of the original cranking battery preventing the on-board charger to fully charge both batteries?

2. If I replace the original cranking battery, will the on-board charger operate properly and fully charge the two new batteries? 

3. Do I have a bad on-board charger?

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

Perhaps check to see what your charger is throwing out.

Check each bank.

Tough to determine from my spot here in the cheap seats, but that Guest unit might be toast.

Good Luck.

A-Jay

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Are the ring terminals on the charger clean and free of oxidation? Battery posts free of oxidation?

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8 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

Perhaps check to see what your charger is throwing out.

Check each bank.

Tough to determine from my spot here in the cheap seats, but that Guest unit might be toast.

Good Luck.

A-Jay

Thanks for the welcome and the advise.  I will look into that.  Thanks

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Do the wires from the charger to the battery(ies) have a break - even a partial break (most of the conductor wires in the cable-sheath broken) can affect the charging. Visually check for kinks or breaks in the insulation. Do a continuity check along the entire length.

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7 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Are the ring terminals on the charger clean and free of oxidation? Battery posts free of oxidation?

I didn't notice any when I swapped out the new trolling motor battery.  However, I didn't really look at the old cranking battery that deeply.  I will definitely take a look.  Thanks for the info!

1 minute ago, MN Fisher said:

Do the wires from the charger to the battery(ies) have a break - even a partial break (most of the conductor wires in the cable-sheath broken) can affect the charging. Visually check for kinks or breaks in the insulation. Do a continuity check along the entire length.

Will do.  Thank you so much.

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I am not an expert by any means, but I have owned a boat for a while now and I know several guys who've owned multiple boats and I've listened carefully as they have described their various boat issues through the year. So . . . Question #1 - Who knows?  I'm happy if I get 5 years out of my cranking battery.  Replacing it couldn't hurt.

                      I replace my trolling motor batteries every other year - just because I'm on the trolling motor alot and I've tried to "finish out the year" with weak batteries and that wasn't any fun.

Question #2 - I don't know - maybe.  I bought a 3 bank Guest Charger in 1997 and it lasted until     

                     2006 0r 2007  (I forget exactly when.)

Question #3 - In 2006 or 2007, I was whining to my boat mechanic about how my batteries didn't 

                     seem to hold a charge like they used to AND were the batteries that I bought in 2004  

                     (from him) the same quality as the ones that I replaced?  His reply was that 

                     Interstates were good batteries and my on board charger was 9 or so years old so the   

                     easiest fishing was a new on board charger.  Bought a Dual Pro and 10 years later

                     it is still working.

IMO - New cranking battery AND new on board charger would be easiest, cheapest fix in the long run.  If I was upgrading my on board charger I'd go at least 10 or 15 amps rather than an 8.

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UPDATE

 

I took my old cranking battery to Batteries Plus so they can evaluate the condition of it. They tested it and the battery was still putting out decent CCA's.  They advised the battery looks good for being six years old and it doesn't appear to be the cause of my issues. However, a new cranking battery is needed in the near future. They advised the on-board charger is mostly likely my issue.

 

Based on everyone's recommendation, I ordered a new on-board charger.  I ordered the NOCO Genius GEN2 charger from Amazon. I installed it in the boat and hooked them up and immediately received a voltage reading over 12.56. Also, I was able to fully charge the old cranking battery.  It took approximately 2.5 hours to charge the new one and 8 hours for the old one.  I checked the batteries this morning and they are well within the proper parameters. I know the old battery is probably on it's last season (if that), but I am pleased that the issue was resolved.

 

Thanks for everyone's help!  I greatly appreciate it!

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If you have a DVM and know how to use it, it's easy enough to check your charger, and if the batteries have caps on them you can open the check the levels, it's easy to check the batteries with a $10 hydrometer, one with the floating indicator, and not one with the funky balls in it.. 

 

The voltage level for a fully charged battery is based on the type electrolyte in it.  Cranking batteries will typically have 12.6VDC when fully charged and let rest for 24 hours.  Fully charged deep cycle TM batteries will typically have 12.8VDC after sitting 24 hours and some will show as much as 13VDC.  To check that, you need to unplug your charger and wait until the next day to test them.  One note, that has to be done right after the charger has gone into the maintenance mode.  If the charger cycles on and off, then you don't know what part of the self discharge stage the battery is in.

 

If the charger has a float mode, when it has fully charged the batteries and goes into the float mode, you should see between 13.2 and 13.4VDC on the batteries.  If it's one that cuts off and turns back on when the batteries have self discharged for a certain level, the batteries can read anywhere between their fully charged level and the self discharge level they are at until they finally drop enough for the charger to come back on. 

When you first plug the charger in and it's charging the batteries, you should read over 14VDC on the batteries, typical charging voltage is 14.4 to 14.6VDC. 

All this can be checked with a digital volt meter (DVM) very easily.

 

The condition of the batteries can be tested with the hydrometer if the caps come off.  That's still the best way to test them.   If the caps don't come off, you have to use a Midtronics Tester.  A 100 amp load tester comes in pretty handy also if you know how to use it.  The key things you are looking for there is the voltage drop and how quick the battery recovers after turning the load tester off.

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