Dual battery setup OR Photoman bracket (if still available) and Sequoia alternator? (1 Viewer)

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Aug 15, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA
Hey guys, kinda split on the better option for running a winch and auxiliary lights. I'm thinking a fresh battery, higher voltage alternator and one of the portable jumpstart battery packs for that just in case. Another viewpoint would be cost I suppose. I get the "being able to jump-start yourself if needed" but what other benefits are there to running dual batteries? Thanks in advance for any input.
 

LC4LIFE

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Colorado Springs, CO
Lots of debate on this subject, but it really comes down to the demand and use you will put on your battery or batteries. If you're going to just be running a winch and lights, they yes just make sure to have a good main battery. You really won't even need the high output alternator for winching unless you're going crazy winching. Personally, I really like having dual batteries.
 
Joined
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Bend, OR
If you have a high electrical load most of the time (tons of lights and accessories that are usually on) then an alternator upgrade could make sense. For the high current but short lived loads (such as a winch) then additional battery capacity is what you want. Additionally, extra battery capacity is more useful regarding camping, powering accessories when the engine is not running, etc.

As for solo jumpstarting I wouldn't go dual batteries for this reason alone since there are compact units specific for this purpose (as you mentioned).

I'd say for most folks one high quality, high capacity battery with the stock alternator makes the most sense. For someone who is winching often then dual batteries make sense.
 

Delta VS

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Boise, ID
¿por qué no los dos?

Dual battery is good for much more than winching. Someday, maybe you'll find a smoking deal on a used fridge or something, and just can't pass it up. Then you'll think "hmmmmmm, wish I had that extra battery right about now". Any way about it, having a Wits End quarter panel mount with power distribution block back there is pretty awesome, and having it powered by a house battery makes it even awesomer.
 

richardlillard1

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Aux lighting, 63qt fridge, winch, radio and charging an iPad all at the same time on a stock battery. I’ve also powered a 2,000 watt inverter with a 35lb Makita jackhammer running for a few hours at a time...while also powering the fridge, AC, charging an iPad, etc.

Stock alternator and, up until earlier this year, a 27F lead acid battery.

I don‘t think it necessary to complicate the system. :meh:
 
Joined
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Santa Cruz
From the technical perspective of maintaining one >100ah battery, I would only suggest a higher output alternator if you frequently are in the scenario where maybe you are nighttime low rpm driving with ~300-600watts of extra LEDs (35amps) lighting you on some trail, cold temps so you’ve got the heater going (10amps), radio on, maybe some accessory 12v/usb/110v charging, fridge running. Then, needing to pull out the winch. Your alternator would without a doubt not be able to keep up with all these power needs.

You may need a high output alt if you’re a winchaholic lol. May need one if you pull a trailer and need to charge 2-300 ah of batteries back to full.

It doesn’t hurt upsizing you’re alternator. More important is making sure if you upgrade it is done using a quality alternator and the added modifications are installed correctly.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
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SF Bay Area
I've got dual batteries right now and it's been great for lights, air compressor (I don't need to run the engine to fill up my tires), and a winch. As previously mentioned, would be awesome for a fridge in the future then I can isolate the batteries and keep one just for the fridge when they're independent.
Always wanted to swap the alternator with something more powerful though. The sequoia 150A is nice, but I just found this the other day: 220A Alt. And it's a straight bolt in. Might be a good option.

TL;DR: Start with 2 batteries and get a better alt at some point too. If you got the cash do it all at once!
 
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The Savannah River Valley
I went with the Photoman bracket and a Sequoia 150a alternator to provide plenty of reserve when a fair amount of lights, car audio, commo, aux fans, and still readily recharge the battery. For me, it was personal experience with marginal European car electrical systems and aftermarket add ons slowly but inexorably consuming any reserve in alternator output..and then having to pop start or jump start the vehicle. I decided that but for the price of the bracket and pulley, I could big-league power when my original 80A alternator died. And when a new set of brushes didn't revive the alternator, I went to NAPA and got a new Denso 150....
 

Irish Reiver

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For what it is worth I have a hall sensor ammeter on the output of my alternator. I have 3 of these on various circuits. I wanted to measure what sort of draw was on the electrical circuit. I have 2 batteries with almost every accessory off the second battery. I also have a cut off switch between the 2 batteries so in theory i can measure the stock power requirements of the stock electrical system. With everything on, lights, blowers, stereo it has never registered above 37 amps. If i join the 2 batteries it jumps to 45 amps. I have never tried it with the house battery low on charge but it sure looks like the stock alternator will easily cope with most current demands. If anyone wants me to measure current draw for a particular scenario let me know. I have a winch, 2 amps and a fridge so can test most things..
 
Joined
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Santa Cruz
For what it is worth I have a hall sensor ammeter on the output of my alternator. I have 3 of these on various circuits. I wanted to measure what sort of draw was on the electrical circuit. I have 2 batteries with almost every accessory off the second battery. I also have a cut off switch between the 2 batteries so in theory i can measure the stock power requirements of the stock electrical system. With everything on, lights, blowers, stereo it has never registered above 37 amps. If i join the 2 batteries it jumps to 45 amps. I have never tried it with the house battery low on charge but it sure looks like the stock alternator will easily cope with most current demands. If anyone wants me to measure current draw for a particular scenario let me know. I have a winch, 2 amps and a fridge so can test most things..
What do you have the 3 ammeters measuring? I see one on the alt output cable. Where else? I have measured my original 80a putting out 60-near max with accessories and engine at idle and revving around 2000. I ask cuz I am still going back and forth with replacing my original alt with a Photoman/Sequoia setup, a OEM 80a reman, or a high output DC Power alt. My engine is apart and wide open right now to do the job easy.

Just with my accessories alone (300 watts LED, 325 watts DCDC charging, 30 watts interior accessories=50amps) I would easily demand max of my alternator. Have or can you measure these 3 points: alt output in amps, start battery discharge/charge thru negative terminal in amps, aux battery charge/discharge at negative terminal in amps? At idle and at 2000rpms?

Thanks for any info
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
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Santa Monica, CA
I have both DBS and the @Photoman 150A Sequoia alt upgrade. Love it like baby puppy. My second battery is dedicated to run my @NLXTACY Wit's End QPM, which runs EVERYTHING on my truck that isn't factory installed. The beauty of this setup is that I get to modify whatever I want, add any accessory I'd like, and never touch the factory wiring harness on my truck. OEM system and Aftermarket system(s) are completely isolated from one another, bridged only by the DBS relay. When something goes wrong, I know right where to look.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
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Santa Cruz
I have both DBS and the @Photoman 150A Sequoia alt upgrade. Love it like baby puppy. My second battery is dedicated to run my @NLXTACY Wit's End QPM, which runs EVERYTHING on my truck that isn't factory installed. The beauty of this setup is that I get to modify whatever I want, add any accessory I'd like, and never touch the factory wiring harness on my truck. OEM system and Aftermarket system(s) are completely isolated from one another, bridged only by the DBS relay. When something goes wrong, I know right where to look.
Yep, I am without a doubt a fan of dual batteries in a Start/Aux setup in the 80. Have had no actual issues with my original alt, but it’s 28 years old and I am currently going thru the classic “while your in there” questions haha. I also have had the Photoman kit in the garage for 2 years so time to decide. View attachment 2581638
 
Joined
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San Jose
Wow this reminded me about my photoman kit I've had since 2008! fast forward to 2018 when I got the conversion harness.

Got to decide on this mod too. I am running dual X2 power batts with a national luna system. Recently picked up a redcarc BCDC but it doesn't play nice with the national luna kit. I have to rethink my setup as well.

photoman.jpg
 

Irish Reiver

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Have or can you measure these 3 points: alt output in amps, start battery discharge/charge thru negative terminal in amps, aux battery charge/discharge at negative terminal in amps? At idle and at 2000rpms?

Got home in time to do 1 of the 3 measurements - Alternator output...

At idle with no accessories running - 19.6A
At 2000rpm with no accessories running - 20.9A

At idle with headlights and blower at max - 47.8A
At 2000rpm with headlights and blower at max - 52.9A

These readings were taken with the 2nd battery disconnected from the system.

For the other measurements I need to swap the other sensors to the -Ve side of the battery - at the moment I have them monitoring specific +ve feeds.

**edited to correct readings to Amps..
 
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SteelHunterFJ80

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Seattle Area
I have both DBS and the @Photoman 150A Sequoia alt upgrade. Love it like baby puppy. My second battery is dedicated to run my @NLXTACY Wit's End QPM, which runs EVERYTHING on my truck that isn't factory installed. The beauty of this setup is that I get to modify whatever I want, add any accessory I'd like, and never touch the factory wiring harness on my truck. OEM system and Aftermarket system(s) are completely isolated from one another, bridged only by the DBS relay. When something goes wrong, I know right where to look.
This is brilliant 👏
 

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