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Old 12-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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Dual Battery Wiring

I know that there are lots of threads that contain some of this info, but I don't have time to keep searching through them, so I thought that you all might be able to give me some advice. Thanks!


I have a '12 Unlimited.

I've got an aftermarket stereo system. with a 700w amp.

I've got the sPOD set up waiting to be installed.

I'm going to be adding 3 pairs of 50w offroad lights. Piller mount, hood mount, and bumper mount.

I've got front seat heaters to install.

and I just ordered the M.O.R.E Dual Battery tray.

I want to have more amperage for my Jeep so that the lights perform well, and so that I don't end up with a lack of electric during the times that all those things will be running, which should be pretty rare.

So Anyway, I don't have plans for an air compressor, or fridge, or Winch. or anything else for that matter.

So if I just use short jumper wires from battery to battery and connect them positive to positive, and negative to negative, I should be just fine right? Obviously I won't connect them in series positive to negative, etc. (which will create a 24v battery, right?)... So connecting them together positive to positve, etc. will help with my setup, and work alright, Right?

I don't want to spend $150+ to get a wiring set-up with a three way switch, etc... The sPOD has a low voltage cut-off, and my jeep shut's off the lights after a while if the key isn't in the ignition, so I shouldn't ever drain the battery(s) anyway.

I'm going to hook the seat heaters into the sPOD, so that they run through the low voltage shut-off protection as well. They're the kind that actually goes under the seat fabric. and wire into the battery, or in this case into my sPOD junction box...


Thoughts?? Thanks people.

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Old 12-17-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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Well I am no expert by any means, but I would be concerned with the amperage draw on my alternator, when both batteries need charging. For that reason I would, and did, install a smart isolator. This permits only one battery to be charged at a time. The aux battery would only be charged when the main battery is fully charged. You might see it as an unnecessary
expense, but it may save your alternator from being over worked, and prematurely require replacement. I'm sure some more learned members than myself will be able to further explain more clearly exactly what your specific requirements might be, but I chose to go with a complete dual battery kit, just because I didn't want to over tax my system, or run the risk of creating a hazard, or giving my computer a reason to start acting up. Not to mention the fact that once I did this mod, I was pretty sure any future electrical/electronic problems would be quickly denied warranty by the dealer! So please make sure you get this one right the first time.

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Old 12-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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I have had several dual battery systems in different vehicles. Gone cheap on some and all out on others.

The ones I skimped on ALWAYS ended up giving me more trouble and costing more in the long run.

Do it right and forget about it. If you don't want to mess with all the wiring, look into the Genesis system. Comes prewired, ready to go. Seems more expensive than the More tray, but when you look at all you have to add to the More system to get it done right, they are pretty close in price.
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
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Well I am no expert by any means, but I would be concerned with the amperage draw on my alternator, when both batteries need charging. For that reason I would, and did, install a smart isolator. This permits only one battery to be charged at a time. The aux battery would only be charged when the main battery is fully charged. You might see it as an unnecessary
expense, but it may save your alternator from being over worked, and prematurely require replacement. I'm sure some more learned members than myself will be able to further explain more clearly exactly what your specific requirements might be, but I chose to go with a complete dual battery kit, just because I didn't want to over tax my system, or run the risk of creating a hazard, or giving my computer a reason to start acting up. Not to mention the fact that once I did this mod, I was pretty sure any future electrical/electronic problems would be quickly denied warranty by the dealer! So please make sure you get this one right the first time.
x2. Do it right the first time.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:13 PM   #5
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I have had several dual battery systems in different vehicles. Gone cheap on some and all out on others.

The ones I skimped on ALWAYS ended up giving me more trouble and costing more in the long run.

Do it right and forget about it. If you don't want to mess with all the wiring, look into the Genesis system. Comes prewired, ready to go. Seems more expensive than the More tray, but when you look at all you have to add to the More system to get it done right, they are pretty close in price.
...what he said!

...just took delivery of mine...one optima red top...one optima yellow top...

...installing this weekend maybe...
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #6
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Dual batteries only have 3 main purposes. Both batteries directly wired to give more starting amps. Wired separately with an isolator for one battery to serve for accessories, eliminating a dead battery. Often done to prevent a high draw device from killing your only battery. You can also use an extra battery for extended engine off use of accessories.

For what you're doing, a second battery isn't the solution. When the vehicle is running, the alternator provides power for the vehicle, including topping up your battery or batteries. If you're drawing enough power to overwhelm the alternator to start drawing off your battery, more batteries won't correct the issue of overworking your alternator. A larger alternator is the solution.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:55 AM   #7
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seat heaters? 50w lights?

I dont really see the point of dual batteries unless you have a winch and use the fancy wiring.

winches can pull 400+ amps....
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:04 AM   #8
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So, does the Rugged Ridge dual battery wiring kit work the same way as the Genesis kit does?
Anyone know for sure?

The Genesis website describes exactly how it woks, I'm wondering if the RR work's similarly but is just not described so well.

So, you all would say that dual battery is probably not the solution for me, and if I don't go with a controller, than I might as well not go with dual batteries?

Right now I can't spend the $900+ that the Genesis with two new batteries would cost. (you can't use the original battery in that tray). But I do admit that if I really had the need, then that would for sure be my first choice, thanks for pointing me there!

Thanks for any more advice. I'm thinking of canceling the order for the Dual Battery tray, and just wiring everything up with one battery for now. I keep a battery jump starter/air pump(Battery powered jump starter) in the back of the jeep. I've used it plenty of times in the last two years, but never on my jeep =)
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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Are you sure the Genesis only works with Optima? I am pretty sure that I read it works with several batteries.

The wiring should all be the same with or w/o dual batteries. Especially if you are running everything through an sPod. When you do put in a second battery just move the power wires for the sPod over to that.

The best system I had used the primary batter for starting and the secondary battery for everthing else. That way, it does not matter if the car is running or how much you use the lights etc... The car will always start and you will be able to get home.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
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For some reason, I want to say the JK Wrangler uses a 160 amp alternator. With the accessories you are planning on, that should be more than enough power while the engine is running.

I am with the other posters in saying you don't need twin batteries. Use due diligence in wiring and you should be good to go.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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For some reason, I want to say the JK Wrangler uses a 160 amp alternator. With the accessories you are planning on, that should be more than enough power while the engine is running. I am with the other posters in saying you don't need twin batteries. Use due diligence in wiring and you should be good to go.
my 14 JKUR has 160 amp alternator. It will be on your build sheet.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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There is nothing wrong with wiring twin batteries in parallel. It's like having one big ass battery. The alternator will be fine. I assume you want more capacity because you want to power your accessories with the motor off. Twin batteries will provide more capacity allowing you to run things longer before you drop the voltage on them too low to start your jeep. Also for a given load twin batteries will not discharge as much as a single battery and nothing kills a battery more than discharging it over and over again.

So if you want to power your accessories with the motor off go ahead with your original plan. If you only plan to run your accessories with the engine running you probably don't need dual batteries.

My only concern is your 700W amp. Is that peak or R.M.S. per channel? How many channels? 700W is about 58amps @12volts. A real good base line can cause your amp to draw much more than that. You will know that happens when it starts to distort the sound. Now 700W RMS can mean perhaps 100 to 150 amps peak draw per channel under certain conditions. Add that to your other electrical load, headlights, seat warmers, window defrost etc and a single battery may drop the voltage low enough to cause problems. An amp trying to pump out max volume with below spec input voltage may fail.

So depending on how many amperes the amp draws and how loud you like your music twin batteries paralleled without an isolator might be a good inexpensive solution to prevent future problems.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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So, does the Rugged Ridge dual battery wiring kit work the same way as the Genesis kit does? Anyone know for sure? The Genesis website describes exactly how it woks, I'm wondering if the RR work's similarly but is just not described so well. So, you all would say that dual battery is probably not the solution for me, and if I don't go with a controller, than I might as well not go with dual batteries? Right now I can't spend the $900+ that the Genesis with two new batteries would cost. (you can't use the original battery in that tray). But I do admit that if I really had the need, then that would for sure be my first choice, thanks for pointing me there! Thanks for any more advice. I'm thinking of canceling the order for the Dual Battery tray, and just wiring everything up with one battery for now. I keep a battery jump starter/air pump(Battery powered jump starter) in the back of the jeep. I've used it plenty of times in the last two years, but never on my jeep =)
I use the RR duel bat kit and it's easy to wire and like the others have said, it will save you time and money in the long run.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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So, does the Rugged Ridge dual battery wiring kit work the same way as the Genesis kit does?
Anyone know for sure?

The Genesis website describes exactly how it woks, I'm wondering if the RR work's similarly but is just not described so well.

So, you all would say that dual battery is probably not the solution for me, and if I don't go with a controller, than I might as well not go with dual batteries?

Right now I can't spend the $900+ that the Genesis with two new batteries would cost. (you can't use the original battery in that tray). But I do admit that if I really had the need, then that would for sure be my first choice, thanks for pointing me there!

Thanks for any more advice. I'm thinking of canceling the order for the Dual Battery tray, and just wiring everything up with one battery for now. I keep a battery jump starter/air pump(Battery powered jump starter) in the back of the jeep. I've used it plenty of times in the last two years, but never on my jeep =)
If you have some basic 12v knowledge, buy a cole hersee battery isolator part # 48530. Way cheaper. Might cost you $125-130. It can handle 200 amps, which allows you to use a momentary switch to jumpstart your primary battery. You need to install some fuses as well.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:44 PM   #15
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There is nothing wrong with wiring twin batteries in parallel. It's like having one big ass battery. The alternator will be fine. I assume you want more capacity because you want to power your accessories with the motor off. Twin batteries will provide more capacity allowing you to run things longer before you drop the voltage on them too low to start your jeep. Also for a given load twin batteries will not discharge as much as a single battery and nothing kills a battery more than discharging it over and over again.

So if you want to power your accessories with the motor off go ahead with your original plan. If you only plan to run your accessories with the engine running you probably don't need dual batteries.

My only concern is your 700W amp. Is that peak or R.M.S. per channel? How many channels? 700W is about 58amps @12volts. A real good base line can cause your amp to draw much more than that. You will know that happens when it starts to distort the sound. Now 700W RMS can mean perhaps 100 to 150 amps peak draw per channel under certain conditions. Add that to your other electrical load, headlights, seat warmers, window defrost etc and a single battery may drop the voltage low enough to cause problems. An amp trying to pump out max volume with below spec input voltage may fail.

So depending on how many amperes the amp draws and how loud you like your music twin batteries paralleled without an isolator might be a good inexpensive solution to prevent future problems.
A 700 watt rms amp takes in more than 700 watts. Some power is wasted as heat.

Cant run a 1500 watt microwave off a 1500 watt inverter either

But how often is this guy turning the sound all the way up?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:18 PM   #16
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There is nothing wrong with wiring twin batteries in parallel. It's like having one big ass battery. The alternator will be fine. I assume you want more capacity because you want to power your accessories with the motor off. Twin batteries will provide more capacity allowing you to run things longer before you drop the voltage on them too low to start your jeep. Also for a given load twin batteries will not discharge as much as a single battery and nothing kills a battery more than discharging it over and over again.

So if you want to power your accessories with the motor off go ahead with your original plan. If you only plan to run your accessories with the engine running you probably don't need dual batteries.

My only concern is your 700W amp. Is that peak or R.M.S. per channel? How many channels? 700W is about 58amps @12volts. A real good base line can cause your amp to draw much more than that. You will know that happens when it starts to distort the sound. Now 700W RMS can mean perhaps 100 to 150 amps peak draw per channel under certain conditions. Add that to your other electrical load, headlights, seat warmers, window defrost etc and a single battery may drop the voltage low enough to cause problems. An amp trying to pump out max volume with below spec input voltage may fail.

So depending on how many amperes the amp draws and how loud you like your music twin batteries paralleled without an isolator might be a good inexpensive solution to prevent future problems.

Nice! Thanks for taking the time to go over all that with me. You've nailed it on the head!
The amp is 700w RMS. And I never run it very near full volume. But I have been out before with nothing but normal headlights on, driving down the freeway with a good base line going in the song, and if I look carefully my headlights beat with the music.

So thanks again for the advice!
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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Are you sure the Genesis only works with Optima? I am pretty sure that I read it works with several batteries.

The wiring should all be the same with or w/o dual batteries. Especially if you are running everything through an sPod. When you do put in a second battery just move the power wires for the sPod over to that.

The best system I had used the primary batter for starting and the secondary battery for everthing else. That way, it does not matter if the car is running or how much you use the lights etc... The car will always start and you will be able to get home.

Right, the Genesis will work with other batteries, but they have to both be the same height, so my fairly new factory battery wouldn't be able to be used with a Yellow Top, because they have to be the same height.
You are right though that other batteries can be used.

I do for sure like the idea of having the batteries isolated. But it's the whole money thing. anyway, thanks!
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:31 PM   #18
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A 700 watt rms amp takes in more than 700 watts. Some power is wasted as heat.

Cant run a 1500 watt microwave off a 1500 watt inverter either

But how often is this guy turning the sound all the way up?

This guy doesn't turn his sound past half way about ever. this guy likes his ears. Only when the top is down does the volume go up. And only then when there's a lot of wind noise.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #19
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If I were you, I'd return the MORE tray and order the genesisoffroad kit. It comes complete and is 100% bolt on. Don't freak at the price...once you piece together a good dual kit with a smart isolator/management unit, you will notice your cost will be almost the same.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:27 PM   #20
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Don't forget that 2012 & up are 'reverse post' a bit of a pain ?
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:26 AM   #21
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If I were you, I'd return the MORE tray and order the genesisoffroad kit. It comes complete and is 100% bolt on. Don't freak at the price...once you piece together a good dual kit with a smart isolator/management unit, you will notice your cost will be almost the same.
I've actually already canceled the order for the MORE Dual tray. I can't afford the Genesis right now, But after seeing how sweet it was, and reading about the Smart Isolator setup, I decided that most likely if I go with a dual battery tray it will be one of those!
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:27 AM   #22
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Don't forget that 2012 & up are 'reverse post' a bit of a pain ?
Yeah, not sure what that means... But I do remember reading that the '12 and up are harder to convert to dual battery, at least I think I remember that.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:22 AM   #23
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I've actually already canceled the order for the MORE Dual tray. I can't afford the Genesis right now, But after seeing how sweet it was, and reading about the Smart Isolator setup, I decided that most likely if I go with a dual battery tray it will be one of those!
Cool. Dual batteries without a "smart" system IMHO are a waste of money. I thought the genesis kit was expensive as well, but then I did some research, and any decent system (the electronics ONLY) like the Luna are going to costs almost the same amount, and no one has a tray even 1/2 as a good as the genesis tray. Good call on waiting.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #24
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The amp is 700w RMS. And I never run it very near full volume. But I have been out before with nothing but normal headlights on, driving down the freeway with a good base line going in the song, and if I look carefully my headlights beat with the music.

So thanks again for the advice!
Using an isolator (smart, dumb or otherwise) is going to provide you with 2 separate batteries that are isolated from each other unless you switch them into parallel mode.

What you want with that amp is to parallel them all the time so an isolator in my opinion is an unnecessary expense and does nothing to eliminate your flickering headlights. I would not bother with one in your case. Just parallel two identical batteries.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:48 AM   #25
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Using an isolator (smart, dumb or otherwise) is going to provide you with 2 separate batteries that are isolated from each other unless you switch them into parallel mode.

What you want with that amp is to parallel them all the time so an isolator in my opinion is an unnecessary expense and does nothing to eliminate your flickering headlights. I would not bother with one in your case. Just parallel two identical batteries.
The entire point of dual batteries is to ensure that you don't drain them (one at least) far enough so that the vehicle won't start. Without a smart isolator, this doesn't happen, and what you end up with are two dead batteries. Adding so much extra weight without the proper setup IMHO is a waste of time and money. His amp might be rated at 700RMS (peak power) but he isn't pulling anywhere NEAR that (thats not how audio works.)

I agree with the flickering headlights comment, adding batteries will do nothing to solve that problem.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:29 AM   #26
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The entire point of dual batteries is to ensure that you don't drain them (one at least) far enough so that the vehicle won't start. Without a smart isolator, this doesn't happen, and what you end up with are two dead batteries. Adding so much extra weight without the proper setup IMHO is a waste of time and money. His amp might be rated at 700RMS (peak power) but he isn't pulling anywhere NEAR that (thats not how audio works.)

I agree with the flickering headlights comment, adding batteries will do nothing to solve that problem.
I think you misunderstand the issues. The op isn't worried about running the batteries down and being unable to start. The amp draws enough current at times that it lowers the battery output voltage dimming the lights. He needs more capacity to maintain the voltage while he's driving. Isolated batteries will not help this situation, he needs paralleled batteries to double his capacity.

Additional capacity will help keep the battery voltage up thus reducing the flickering lights. Might not eliminate it but it should help reduce it.

Each 3db increase in volume requires twice the wattage or power so if he turned the stereo down 3db it would be similar to having twin batteries.

If I was worried about starting I'd carry a portable power pack instead of isolating my batteries. Then you can easily boost anyone.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #27
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I think you misunderstand the issues. The op isn't worried about running the batteries down and being unable to start. The amp draws enough current at times that it lowers the battery output voltage dimming the lights. He needs more capacity to maintain the voltage while he's driving. Isolated batteries will not help this situation, he needs paralleled batteries to double his capacity.

Additional capacity will help keep the battery voltage up thus reducing the flickering lights. Might not eliminate it but it should help reduce it.

Each 3db increase in volume requires twice the wattage or power so if he turned the stereo down 3db it would be similar to having twin batteries.

If I was worried about starting I'd carry a portable power pack instead of isolating my batteries. Then you can easily boost anyone.

WorkingMan, Thanks, this is exactly what I was meaning... Several people already said that it "wouldn't work right". People? any other thoughts? anyone pretty sure that it "won't" work right?

Here's a link the the jump starter I carry. I've used it on about everyone but myself Amazon.com: Wagan Power Dome EX 400-Watt Jump Starter with Built-In Air Compressor: Automotive

I'm still trying to figure out which way to go. Right at the moment I don't have any dual tray picked out for sure. I'm thinking of hooking everything up that I have now, and seeing how it all goes...

I do have the sPOD with the hole in the center for the Aeroforce computer, and I do have the Aeroforce computer for my Jeep, so I'll be able to see what the voltage is reading out. It's pretty cool stuff. Here's a link to the place that I got my Aeroforce gauge.https://www.speedlogixstore.com/Prod...uctCode=CNCx01
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #28
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I think you misunderstand the issues. The op isn't worried about running the batteries down and being unable to start. The amp draws enough current at times that it lowers the battery output voltage dimming the lights. He needs more capacity to maintain the voltage while he's driving. Isolated batteries will not help this situation, he needs paralleled batteries to double his capacity.

Additional capacity will help keep the battery voltage up thus reducing the flickering lights. Might not eliminate it but it should help reduce it.

Each 3db increase in volume requires twice the wattage or power so if he turned the stereo down 3db it would be similar to having twin batteries.

If I was worried about starting I'd carry a portable power pack instead of isolating my batteries. Then you can easily boost anyone.
My bad, I misread the situation...I thought the flickering lights was the typical flickering headlight issue when plugging into the OEM canbus harness.

If his bass is hitting so hard that it's dimming the lights, a capacitor is a much easier way to handle the issue.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #29
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My bad, I misread the situation...I thought the flickering lights was the typical flickering headlight issue when plugging into the OEM canbus harness.

If his bass is hitting so hard that it's dimming the lights, a capacitor is a much easier way to handle the issue.
This is correct, using a in-line parallel capacitor for you amp power supply smooths out power spikes.

The genesis system is pretty nice except it should have be fused between the batteries and the solenoid on the isolator. I've personally seen solenoids malfunction, and without fuses, it will burn your jeep to the ground.

If you can make a tray instead of paying over $100, you can just buy the exact same isolator the genesis kit uses. Probably DIY for $200
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #30
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Hey guys, so after all those questions, and all the advice from you about dual batteries, I've had a big change of plans.

I need to buy a wood burner for the house(It's $1,800), and I don't have the money, so I'm selling all my light stuff. I never even installed my sPOD, or Aeroforce gauge, my lights have been on my jeep, looking cool, but never hooked up for a while now.
So everything is "New". I've gotta get some money. I'm glad I didn't go with a dual battery set-up. That'd probably need to go also.
Please take a minute and look at my for sale "Write up".

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f14/spo...ml#post7403937

Please pass the word on if you know anyone interested in buying the sPOD, or thinking about buying a light set-up.
Thanks guys!

I figure that if I ever "need" offroad lights, then I can buy them again when I have the money. and so life goes on.

Davidsjeep is offline   Quote Quick Reply
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