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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2003 6:02 pm 
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The main reason for adding a second battery to your vehicle, in relation to the stereo system, is to allow more playing time of the system with the engine off. Trying to correct a problem, such as an overload of the charging system from the stereo system, will not be eliminated by adding another battery. (It may seem as though it was helping for a short time, but the ultimate solution to that problem would be upgrading the alternator.)

If you decide that you do want to upgrade your charging system to allow two or more batteries, you must decide whether you want to use a battery isolator, or to simply wire the batteries in parallel.

* It is necessary to use an isolator if you are using two different (type, model, or age) batteries or if you are giving priority to the batteries - having a dedicated "vehicle battery" and a dedicated "stereo system battery".
Usually, the isolator will allow the alternator to charge each independent battery as needed, as opposed to seeing both batteries as a single load. Sometimes you can even kill two birds with one stone by purchasing a high output alternator with dual outputs (or by using two alternators), because this does not require an isolator, and upgrades your alternator output at the same time.

* An alternative in adding multiple batteries is wiring the batteries in parallel. Parallel wiring does not require an isolator, but the first thing to consider in parallel addition of batteries is that it is absolutely essential that both batteries be the exact same type, model, and should be as close to the same age as possible.
(If you add a second battery, then you also must replace the present battery in the vehicle). Adding batteries in parallel will present a single load to the alternator, so both batteries charge and discharge simultaneously.

Using either an isolator, parallel wiring two or more batteries, or using a dual output/dual alternator system will give you extended playing time when the engine is off.



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