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Old 06-01-2010, 01:20 PM   #1
Snowman
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Default How long will battery last with radio on?

The boat I have, did not have a stereo in it. I just had a deck and 2, 6 inch speakers put in it. I asked how long I could safely listen to the radio while bobbing around without the engine running. He said not more than 10-15 minutes. That seems mighty short to me.
I do not know the age of the battery. I bought the boat used last year.
The installer did say that I could get another type of battery, gel I think he said, that would be smaller and easier to install that could be used for the radio battery. Is that a good option?
The boat is a ski boat, so there is no other electronics like navigation on it to draw power. The engine is a 351 and I have never had a problem with it starting, or tough to start. I would like to keep it that way.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
jet2go
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

That is a ridiculously short time for the radio to run! I wouldn't hesitate to run it for several hours if you have a decent battery. But, the best thing to do would be to add a second battery with a good isolation switch. That way you always have a good charge on your start battery and can run your "house" battery until it is totally dead if you want! And it will still charge while you run the main motor.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Depends on the capacity of the battery and the draw of the stereo - amplifiers can drain a battery fast cause they take plenty of juice to run. Example the 100watt amp in my 2 way radio would noticeably change my signal in about 10 minutes on a cranking battery.
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I call BS, but then again, there are variables. how loud, how old the battery is, how many watts RMS (not peak watts) Trial and error are the only way to find out. run it in the garage or driveway, or have a second batt. installed
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I regularly sit on anchor for hours with the radio and f/f on and have never had an issue. I do have two batts but have never had to switch over. The guy was just covering himself.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I'd strongly suggest two deep cycle batteries with a selector. Run one dead save the other for starting. Both need to be the same size and age.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Two deep cycles aren't ideal IMO. A starting battery for starting the engine and a deep cycle for everything else would be a better move, preferably with a VSR setup. Deep cycles aren't designed to start engines, but will. They are much better for running accessories for extended periods of time.

To answer the original question, you should be able to run a stereo on about any small car sized battery or larger for the better half of the day without being able to notice it, either through the volt meter, or engine cranking speed when it comes time to leave. On our ski boat, I have a 50x4 head unit with 4, 6.5" speakers, and it will run all day on the starting battery (occasionally I fish fall salmon out of it). The tower speakers and 12" sub will drain both batteries quickly with the engine off
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Assuming you have no amplifyer. At least 8 hours, easy. If you dont have a voltmeter on your dash just fire up the motor for 10 minutes every 2-4 hours to be sure.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
Two deep cycles aren't ideal IMO. A starting battery for starting the engine and a deep cycle for everything else would be a better move, preferably with a VSR setup. Deep cycles aren't designed to start engines, but will. They are much better for running accessories for extended periods of time.

To answer the original question, you should be able to run a stereo on about any small car sized battery or larger for the better half of the day without being able to notice it, either through the volt meter, or engine cranking speed when it comes time to leave. On our ski boat, I have a 50x4 head unit with 4, 6.5" speakers, and it will run all day on the starting battery (occasionally I fish fall salmon out of it). The tower speakers and 12" sub will drain both batteries quickly with the engine off
Mike: I agree with Matt (never a good idea). I have set out there and soaked bait with the radio on all day. no problems. But I don't have a girlie boat like yours
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Thanks for everyones replies, except bassins. I didn't think that sounded right at all but I will do some testing as to make sure I dont end up out there without enough juice to fire it up.

Bassin, why are you on this board? Shouldn't you bee on the bass board? PS, if you would actually catch some fish, you would not need to "soak your bait all day". You should catch your fish and come back to shore!
I need to come out your way and get caught up with you and Mrs Bassin.

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Mike: I agree with Matt (never a good idea). I have set out there and soaked bait with the radio on all day. no problems. But I don't have a girlie boat like yours
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

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Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
Two deep cycles aren't ideal IMO.
I have a deep cycle and a starting battery in my boat with a Perko switch. I had a mechanic tell me this is not a good setup. According to him, you do not want to put the switch on "All" with this setup as the batteries have different charging rates/levels or whatevers. (I'm a lover, not a scientist. )

I guess I'll see how long these batteries last as I run them on "All" a lot.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

If you want to run the switch on "all" then you should have matching batteries.......but running it on "all" is not necessarily a good idea.

If there's a problem when running it on both batteries it means you will drain both and end up with two dead ones instead of just one. This could be from leaving something on, charging system problem, short, etc.

You’re better off only using one at a time and having the second one as backup. Having one of each is the most versatile setup.

Last edited by ondarvr; 06-20-2010 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I've run mine on "all" while actually running the motor for years without a problem, but there may be some kind of issue I'm not aware of. I'm not an electrician

If the engine is off, the switch is never on "all." Defeats the purpose of having a switch and two batteries, except it might take a little longer to drain both batteries simultaneously as it would to drain one by itself. I haven't drained the deep cycle running the sounder, GPS, VHF, and AM/FM all day, it will still start the main without a problem.

What I do not have, and feel I should, is a way to disconnect everything from the house battery. The electronics are connected to that, and the engine is connected to the starting battery. The only thing the perko switch controls is how the main gets power. I had everything on the switch, but while cranking the engine the electronics would occasionally shut down, and I'm not ok with that.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

i can run a 8 speaker system with a pair of 4x100W RMS and a 800W RMS sub amp hooked to 2 12" subs with the volume on kill for over 8 hrs on a good grp 27.. and still turn over the engine slowly.. but i have dual batts incase i get a bit to party happy..

a 2 speaker deck power system should run all day long with outt issue and still firee a motor really easily if the battery is sized by the CCA required by the starter... ie a SBC/SBF needs atleast 650 CA/500 CCA or a grp 24.. if you only have room for a single battery.... get a grp 31 HD dual purpose battery and install a properly rated master disconnect if not currently equipped.

Last edited by jackr up; 06-18-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Ran the stereo in our NR 2 weekends ago for ~6 hours on anchor at the lake. Odyssey 925 battery, 4 speakers off deck power. No discernible loss of cranking power. But that's what the 2nd battery is for if needed
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:13 AM   #16
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I left the power on on my Stereo and fish finder overnight and figured it out 24 hours later. No issues.... Separate starting battery is the way to go.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
Two deep cycles aren't ideal IMO. A starting battery for starting the engine and a deep cycle for everything else would be a better move, preferably with a VSR setup. Deep cycles aren't designed to start engines, but will. They are much better for running accessories for extended periods of time.

To answer the original question, you should be able to run a stereo on about any small car sized battery or larger for the better half of the day without being able to notice it, either through the volt meter, or engine cranking speed when it comes time to leave. On our ski boat, I have a 50x4 head unit with 4, 6.5" speakers, and it will run all day on the starting battery (occasionally I fish fall salmon out of it). The tower speakers and 12" sub will drain both batteries quickly with the engine off
Matt is correct. What you need to pay the most attention when matching them, is they are the same type, GEL, AGM, flooded wet cell, etc. If you use GEL or AGM the charging voltage required is VERY specific. Then, with two different kinds of battery, a starting and a deep cycle, you will want to pay attention to their charge and discharge cycles. You will demolish a starting battery by treating like a deep cycle, and letting it drain way down before charging it, they are not designed for that. ON the other hand, a deep cycle battery will start a motor, but at a cost of about 4 times as much initial power loss as a starting battery... There are even combo starting/deep cycle batteries out there! This discussion can go on and on, but just go with two of the same type of battery, get a switch, and if you can afford an extra $100, the charging relay is the only way to go.

And the answer to your original question - you should be able to listen to that radio nearly forever off a good deep cycle battery, as long as you do not have an amplifier in the boat - once you put in an amp, that time could drop to down to an hour or two.

Robert
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

as a note... as required to meet nmma/abyc standards every battery system with dual batterys or a high capacity single battery need to have a properly rated and installed battery shut off switch, a VSR (voltage sense switching relay is over kill on a small pleasure boat with minimal electrical draw... and also no wing nuts on wires larger than 8 GA 6GA and up require posititve fastening with nuts torqued to a specific ft lb torque rating based on terminal size

Last edited by jackr up; 06-26-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

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Originally Posted by MattPark View Post
I've run mine on "all" while actually running the motor for years without a problem, but there may be some kind of issue I'm not aware of. I'm not an electrician

If the engine is off, the switch is never on "all." Defeats the purpose of having a switch and two batteries, except it might take a little longer to drain both batteries simultaneously as it would to drain one by itself. I haven't drained the deep cycle running the sounder, GPS, VHF, and AM/FM all day, it will still start the main without a problem.

What I do not have, and feel I should, is a way to disconnect everything from the house battery. The electronics are connected to that, and the engine is connected to the starting battery. The only thing the perko switch controls is how the main gets power. I had everything on the switch, but while cranking the engine the electronics would occasionally shut down, and I'm not ok with that.

matt what you need is a battery isolator and a secondary combiner switch that allows you to seperate the start form the house but turn a switch to allow the engine to crank off the house in emergancy situations..
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: How long will battery last with radio on?

I guess I didn't clarify, the switch is only connected to the main, and each battery. I can start off either battery.

I mentioned the VSR because I can drain a battery in a day, and the last thing I want offshore is either of my batteries compromised. For those running just a fish finder or GPS I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem.
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