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Old 06-03-2018, 11:16 AM   #1
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Ideas? Switchable Power Source for Radio?

My in dash stereo is powered by the house batteries currently. That means if I want music while driving down the road, I need my house batteries turned on.

I would love to use the chassis battery for this, but realize when camping I'd be eating the chassis battery down instead.

Anyone know of a solution to change the source on the fly?
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyhog View Post
My in dash stereo is powered by the house batteries currently. That means if I want music while driving down the road, I need my house batteries turned on.

I would love to use the chassis battery for this, but realize when camping I'd be eating the chassis battery down instead.

Anyone know of a solution to change the source on the fly?
Three position switch. On (up)- Off (center) - On (down). You don't need to switch the ground since both the house and chassis batteries grounding is to the chassis frame.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #3
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You can add a switch allowing you to choose the source of power.Click image for larger version

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Old 06-03-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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Ok, I figure i'm missing something here. Why would you want the coach batteries turned off when running down the road?

If the radio is losing memory when the coach batteries are disconnected, then yes, i'd want to see about getting non switched power. It wouldn't matter which battery it came from though.

Ours has the switch but I believe it's only because the 12 volts from the chassis battery is switched via the ignition switch. To play the radio at camp, I can switch over to coach batteries instead of trying to leave the ignition switch on. But here again, i'm wondering what the advantage is in having it set up like this?
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:43 AM   #5
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I have mine setup like that for the sound system,12 volt outlets and USB. Simplest way is to wire in a single-pole-dual-throw (SPDT) switch, which is what I did.



Looking at the picture the two “load” terminals would be the coach battery and chassis battery respectively and the “Battery” terminal would be to the radio.

Alternately you could set it up to switch automatically when you turn-off/turn-on the ignition using a relay.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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As Mudfrog asked, why have them turned off.

The chassis battery, thru the engine charging system, should be charging and maintaining the coach batteries while underway. If its not, something is wrong. ( A common problem )

Having the ability to switch the radio wouldn't change anything except create a situation where you could forget to switch from the chassis battery, while not running the engine, and run it down.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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As Mudfrog asked, why have them turned off.

The chassis battery, thru the engine charging system, should be charging and maintaining the coach batteries while underway. If its not, something is wrong. ( A common problem )

Having the ability to switch the radio wouldn't change anything except create a situation where you could forget to switch from the chassis battery, while not running the engine, and run it down.
Depends on how the radio is wired. On mine it runs from the chassis ignition. I could have rewired it to the coach battery but then it stays on if I leave the coach. (granted i could turn it off) and since I have other electronic items on that circuit, it could be a battery drain.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:13 PM   #8
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I'm not sure that my alternator charges the house batteries. I will need to check. If it does, that's probably the best bet then is to leave it be.

Generally, I leave the house batteries off unless I'm running my generator for the AC or the television while driving. I dont want to kill the batteries before arriving at the campsite
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:51 AM   #9
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I have yet to hear of a MH that does not charge the house batteries while the engine is running, unless something is broken.

Put a by meter on the house batteries, start the engine and see if the volts go up.

You may need to leave the battery switch ON for that feature.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:23 AM   #10
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I'm not sure that my alternator charges the house batteries. I will need to check. If it does, that's probably the best bet then is to leave it be.

Generally, I leave the house batteries off unless I'm running my generator for the AC or the television while driving. I dont want to kill the batteries before arriving at the campsite
Would depend on how far you drive but i'd imagine you could play the radio for hours on the non charging coach batteries and not have an issue.

I'm curious,,, how do you get the frig to work without coach battery power?
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:42 AM   #11
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I added a switch like shown above to my '88 Itasca but had to leave the "memory" wire hooked to a constant power source so the station presets would not be lost. Draws very little power so not an issue.
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