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Old 12-11-2019, 05:39 PM #1
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 452
papabeach will become famous soon enough
Mobile Power Station Build (Camping/Fishing)



I recently upgraded my Kaku VooDoo Paddlecraft with a trolling motor. I previously installed a Power-pole Micro anchor system that was battery operated and was running one of the cheapy battery operated bait aerators. These things are junk and always corrode after a few uses for me. So….given I have been thinking about having a portable power station for camping now I needed one for being on the water so I built a dual use device. There are different ways to look at this but it is expensive nonetheless. It is less expensive than the $1100--Goal Zero Yeti 1000 which is rated at 96.8 AH with similar rating at 92 AH but a very different configuration and not nearly as pretty (I will fix that with more stickers!). It is also heavy ~65lbs. I could have cut costs tremendously with a smaller battery and not buying all the name brand Blue Sea stuff. Tbh the $100 accessory panel was ridiculous and can be pieced together for a fraction of that but when you shop online at 2am around the holidays you don’t always make good decisions.



Parts/Cost
-Engel Cooler: $0 (mine already)
-Duracell Ultra Platinum AGM Group 27M Deep Cycle Marine Battery (92 AH): $220
-Battery Box Vent $9
-SAE weatherproof socket port x3: $39
-SAE plug x 2: $10
-Blue Sea Accessory Panel: $106
-Blue Sea Battery Switch: $25
-Blue Sea 4 position switch panel: $47
-Blue Sea Fuse Block: $0 (mine already left over from prior electrical upgrades in the 4Runner)
-Blue Sea 100A breaker: $41
-Blue Sea 60A breaker: $44
-120A relay: $12
-Waterblade Kill Switch: $29
-Various wire, connectors, heat shrink, silicone, screws, bolts, nuts, etc, : $50
TOTAL: $623



Wiring plan

Goals
1. Battery needs to be easily removable
2. Needs Master battery switch, vent, kill chord (kill motor if I fall in the water)
3. 1x high amperage circuit that is relay triggered for motor—protected by individual breaker
4. Need to be able to run anchor system, bait aerator and other accessories at least part time


Considerations
Battery selection is a personal choice but you should consider the Amp hour rating. This battery is rated at 92AH. This means it could pull 1A for 92 hours before being dead or 2A for (92/2=46H). My motor has a max current draw of 55A so I could theoretically get 1.6hrs of battery life. In real life I am sure these numbers are a bit different. Suffice to say this is a flats fishing setup and I plan to fish more than motor around so I think I am fine but your needs may be different. For camping, I haven’t really given my potential power demands much thought but I think this is more than adequate for dual purpose. My biggest concern is weight but if you want portable power it comes at a cost of weight. My anchor and bait aerator pull very little current so I didn’t factor them into the equation but if you want to be academic about it you should add up all the potential.

Build

I ran 4 awg welding wire from the battery to the kill switch and then individually to each (100A/60A) breaker as well as from breaker to fuse block relay. The ampacity of 4awg welding wire far exceeds my intended draw and I could have used something smaller (and less expensive). The remainder of the wiring was 18awg. The kill switch is pretty simple….it just interrupts the circuit. I wired it into the neg side of the low current relay trigger.

Process (mount and wire)
1. Cut holes: I used a step drill bit for the plug placement on the front and a dremel to cut the holes for everything else. I could have made the cuts looks so much nicer but I was more interested in function. If I were to do this again I would make it nicer for sure. Holes are as small as possible and everything is sealed with silicone. I did use JB Waterweld in a couple places where I cut the holes to large to fill in dead space and add some strength.

2. I took my time to cut wires to the right length and soldered/crimped the 4awg stuff. Then heat shrink and terminal covers. Lots of fun with zip ties to keep it tidy.

3. The only odd thing is that I had to build spacers for the breakers as they were not as tall as the panel/relay. I traced out appropriately sized spacers from some extra paneling out of some old scrap I had laying around, stacked to the correct height/glued and voila…spacer complete.

Difficulty (3/10)

This is tedious and there isn’t much space. It isn’t difficult but it takes time and can be frustrating. I am guessing I spent 6hrs on this including design/troubleshooting/etc. I split it up to 3 hours over two nights. Pretty sure I could do this again in half the time and make it look nicer.

I know there are a number of engineers in this group and others with significant wiring experience. Curious about feedback on wiring design and comments on safety and how to make it better.

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