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Old 10-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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Dual Batteries and alternator set up

I am getting a winch, i have two kc high lights, i run the factory powered sub and another small amp. I have one optima yellow top battery. Shold I get another one and a powermaster alternator? I was thinking about a dual battery set up but now with a winch I am thinking I really should have one. What are your thoughts on this?

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Old 10-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #2
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The stock alternator should put out plenty of power for your needs. Unless you plan on running the winch for long periods of time while blasting music and having all your kights on, you shouldn't have a problem. If you get dimmings lights with the music, you might need a capacitor for the amps. If you are having troubles running the lights and sound at the same time, you might just need a more powerful alternator. I have a winch, 2 off-road lights, sears battery, and a 600watt amp and have zero problems

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Old 10-15-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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A single battery and the 117 amp alternator most often installed by the factory is plenty for that setup.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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If youre having problems with dimming lights DO NOT get a capacitor. For $150 youd spend on a 2 farad cap you could buy a nice AGM battery like Kinetic or XS Power.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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x2 caps are a total waste of money and actually hurt the power flow more than they help it
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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And not dogging the Yellow Tops, but better batteries with a long reserve can be had for cheaper. Look on sonicelectronix.com upder the battery section and youll find tons of options with the best price on the net. Ive been competing in car audio for almost a decade. I know hiw to squeeze every last amp of power out of your electrical.


Also, do a little research on whats called the "Big 3" upgrade. Will help a lot with your charging system.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:02 PM   #7
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x2 but for 2 decades
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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x2 but for 2 decades
Good to see someone else on this forum who's in the same money sucking hobby as i am. Haha.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
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Well I took it from hobby to business back in 95....but the internet has killed alot of that off. Sorry to hijack
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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No its all good guys, thank youfor all our help, The PO had the yellow top brand new when I got the jeep and I put it in. Will the yellow top be fine until i need a new battery? I don't blast my music and the amp is something like 400 watts. I was just letting you know the major draws of current.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:20 PM   #11
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Oh yes the yellow top should be fine. When you start noticing major light dimming when using the winch or blasting the radio, its time for a new battery since neither of those sources are drawing much power.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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A Jeep size winch pulling its rated load can easily draw more than 400 amperes.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #13
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Didnt realize that. In that case the proper electrical for a jeep with an 8-10k lbs. Winch would be a 300 amp alternator with at least 2 100ah batteries. But not many people want to shell out $1000 in electrical upgrades.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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No, the proper setup would not be 300 amp alternator and two 100AH batteries. A good heavy duty battery can easily provide the total amperage drawn by a fully loaded winch for the non-continuous cycles typical of winching. The typical regular winch user, which I will include myself in that group, does just fine with a standard alternator and simply a good heavy duty battery. Heck I have even winched my two TJs out of situations when the engine couldn't even be started... after the winching was done and I fixed my engine problem, I was able to restart my engine each time without needing a jump start. Proper battery management skills are all you need which is gained after a little experience winching in difficult conditions.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #15
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When i say proper i mean operating above 12.0 volts. Even with the engine on and the winch running at full capacity for more than 2 seconds, your car voltage is dropping way past 10.0 volts. Going that low is a huge danger to your vehicle electrical system. Even running a single 125ah battery in place of the factory battery, pulling 400+ amp is dragging your voktage down in the low to mid 9's. That will in turn cause damage to your winch with prolonged exposure to that kind of voltage. All electric equipment is rated to operate from 10.5-14.5 volts. Moving below or above that boundary will cause excess heat to build inside the electric motor causing premature failure. Winching for longer than 5 seconds without breaks of at least 2 minutes will require at minimum 300ah of battery power.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:12 PM   #16
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Its like pulling 70,000 lbs on a gooseneck trailer with a 1 ton truck. Yes, it will do it and it will do it quite a few times. But the strain youre putting on other components is greatly reducing the life of the truck.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:13 PM   #17
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I believe you need a bit more experience with this subject, especially with how Amp-Hours work, when you claim the voltage will drop down to 10v after two seconds of winching. Go look up a battery's cold cranking amps and you'll soon see how it can power our winches without problem and without the voltage dropping to 10v after your claimed two seconds.

Look up how Amp-Hours and CCA (Cold Cranking Amps work at http://www.batteryweb.com/faqbw.cfm#q20

For example, my Diehard Platinum P4 battery has a CCA of 850 amps which means it can provide 850 amperes at 12v when cold for 30 seconds. On its own.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:24 PM   #18
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Ill give you a challenge then. Take a DMM and have it placed on the + and - of the winch. Pull the e brake on the jeep to give the winch some resistence and winch your jeep toward something solid. Now take a video with a stop watch beside the winch. After 5 seconds the volltage will be plumiting past 10.0. And even at that, anything lower than the resting voltage of a battery (12.4-12.8) is dangerous. If im wrong im wrong, but ive been dealing strictly with electric systems for the past 6-7 years. And cold cranking amps and the AH reserve a battery has have no correlation with each other.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:32 PM   #19
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I'm not going to bother to use a DMM or analog volt meter because this is not a subject I need to prove or disprove since it is something all of us who use winches already know. And I started building/designing electrical and electronic circuits back in the early 60's so that's over 50 years of knowing what is up in this subject. I also taught electronics in the military and commercial industry so it's not a subject I am unfamiliar with.

Go install a winch on your rig and tell me what happens when you start winching heavy loads using normal winching cycles/times. You'll quickly see your concerns are not valid. The vast majority of us who have and use winches have a single battery and the factory alternator. That should be a pretty good indication you're unnecessarily worried.

Edit: Since you didn't like the 880 CCA figure I quoted for the Diehard Platinum, its 20 hour Amp-Hour rating is 68 which means for 6 minutes it can provide 680 amps. Like that figure better?

Since few of us with winches (do you even own one?) have problems with our single batteries and stock alternators, I'll just have to say it's not a problem. If it were, those of us who actually use our winches would all be installing dual batteries and huge honkin' alternators... and we're not.
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:49 PM   #20
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I'm not going to bother to use a DMM or analog volt meter because this is not a subject I need to prove or disprove since it is something all of us who use winches already know. And I started building/designing electrical and electronic circuits back in the early 60's so that's over 50 years of knowing what is up in this subject. I also taught electronics in the military and commercial industry so it's not a subject I am unfamiliar with.

Go install a winch on your rig and tell me what happens when you start winching heavy loads using normal winching cycles/times. You'll quickly see your concerns are not valid. The vast majority of us who have and use winches have a single battery and the factory alternator. That should be a pretty good indication you're unnecessarily worried.

Since few of us with winches (do you even own one?) have problems with our single batteries and stock alternators, I'll just have to say it's not a problem. If it were, we'd all be installing dual batteries and huge honkin' alternators... and we're not.

Youre right. Not knowing the full story can be easier than accepting the facts. Ive seen multiple winches burn up and its rarely over load of the winch, its a poor electrical backing. But i wont stop you from doing what you're doing. Just dont want other people to skimp on electrical now and burn up more than just a winch later.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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You really need to go back and study your Ohm's Law a little more thoroughly if you want to continue believing running a single battery system is going to damage a winch. When R (resistance of the motor) remains the same (which it will) and if E (battery voltage) drops, I (amperage) drops in direct proportion to the drop in voltage... which is simply going to reduce how much of a load the winch can pull before stalling. In other words, the amperage drawn by the winch will not rise if the battery voltage drops... that would defy physics. Not that the battery voltage drops significantly for a typical winching session.

Don't forget to check where I added the Amp-Hour information in my previous post.

In closing... if we truly needed dual batteries and higher output alternators to successfully use our winches on even heavy pulls, then the majority of us would be using and recommending such a configuration. But we don't... dual batteries are a rare thing on Jeeps that even use their winches a lot as I do.

And yes, of course, long extended winching sessions can eventually drain a battery... but that situation is rare enough that few ever experience it.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #22
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Could you highlight it. I couldnt seem to find it. And as you know then, even with engine RPM's between 2-3k (maximum amperage output of alternator is reached), the alternator is onlu supplying around 90 amps of power (for a 117a unit). So that coupled with a 60 ah battery is only giving you a reserve of 170 amps for 3 seconds? And yes, when voltage drops current draw drops, but its a little thing called efficiency that you skipped over. When the voltage is dropping down to 10.5 volts (dangerous) your curreny draw is still abovr 200 amps. So therefore, you still dont have the proper electrical backing. Im not sure why after all that experience and knowledge you would recommend a single battery and stock alternator for a 2-400box amp draw.

In summary, <12.5 volts and you better be looking for a bigger power sources because your equipmemt fail rate has now went up exponentially.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:16 PM   #23
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Where do you keep coming up with 'seconds' like the last "170 amps for 3 seconds"??? With the 68 AH (amp-HOUR) rating battery I have and used as an example, its 68 AH rating means it can provide 68 amps for 60 minutes or 680 amps for 6 minutes. That is how the AH math works. Which for example is how my battery has been able to power my winch enough when I couldn't start my engine to pull my TJ over obstacles and off the trail several times on battery power alone... without a jump start needed afterward. If you had some real world experience with winching, you would be agreeing with me on this.

You personally don't own a winch is my guess. Correct?
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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Where do you keep coming up with 'seconds' like the last "170 amps for 3 seconds"??? With the 68 AH (amp-HOUR) battery I have and used as an example, its 68 AH rating means it can provide 68 amps for one hour or 680 amps for 6 minutes. That is how the AH math works.
Yes, i know what amp hour means. Im giving you real world clamp tests ive done on 4-600 amp drawing amplifiers and the time it took to drop to a certain voltage. And the second you draw more than the alternator can put out, it will quickly reach amd drop below reasting voltage, which is between 3-5 seconds after initial start up. I hope you dont think you can hold 13.5 and above for 6 seconds, let alone 6 minutes.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #25
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Believe what you want, I'm done here. If/when you ever mount a winch on your own vehicle, you'll see just how silly your claim is that you need dual batteries and a heavy duty winch for typical winching duties or you'll burn up your winch.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #26
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Wait, so too much battery power will burn up a winch? I need to remember that one.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #27
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No one else is chiming in, becuase we all know what Jerry is saying is true. I have also been palying with big stereos for a long time(still have a 250hcca in my daily driver). What Jerry said about OHM's law is the truth(it's physics). Sounds like you are over analizing, when playing with competition big stereos we all tend to over analize. When playing in the dirt with our winches we know what works.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #28
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Let me chime in here. I HAVE dual Optima Yellowtop batteries and I have had them since 2005, the XD9000i winch was my first major mod in 2004.

1) The winch worked fine with the dinky factory battery, even though it was 500cca and Warn specified a minmum of 550cca.

2) The winch also works fine with the two Optima batteries (750 cca each), which I normally run on seperate loads. I manage the batteries with two marine-type battery switches which allow me to run the Jeep on B1, B2, or both. The second switch allows me to run the winch and other mods (lights and inverters) on B1, B2, or both.

3) The stock alternator also works fine, even though I require it to charge both batteries on occaision, through a diode isolator which means that it must produce a voltage 0.6v higher than stock, because of the forward voltage drop across the silicon diodes.

4) I have only once needed to use both batteries for winching, in an early Summer trip in the San Juan mountains, when as trail leader, I winched 7 other vehicles through a waterfall. On every other occaision, one battery sufficed to winch me alone.

5) Normally I keep the batteries seperate. I frequently run one battery flat when camping, running a refrigerator and electric lights in camp. It takes a good 45 minutes of driving to get it back fully charged.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:39 PM   #29
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Did someone who only has 47 posts really just try to get in a pissing match with the great jerry bransford???? He must not realize who he is arguing with lol
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:41 PM   #30
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Its sad when post count > knowledge. Just trying to educate the OP, nothing else.

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