Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Re: Battery isolater, Whatzitt?
A Battery Isolator keeps a battery from inadvertantly discharging into the system that charges it leaving the stranded.
You have a battery that your winch draws upon to operate. It is charged by your rig's engine alternator along with charging the rig's original battery.
If you find some poor J**P stuck out in the middle of some ORV park and winch him out, you <font color="red">may</font color> end up stuck with him/her if all your winching kills both the winch battery <font color="red"> AND </font color> the rig's battery (which would be connected up in parallel with the winch battery).
A Battery Isolator allows the current to flow only one way between the winch battery and the rest of the rig's wiring (ie. the rig's original battery and the alternator) so that the winch battery does get charged up but NEVER can discharge the rig's main battery leaving you stranded.
The battery isolator is actually a big honkin' Diode mounted on a heat sink and wired in series with the accessory battery. Diodes have the property of conducting electric current in only one direction which, in this case, would keep a load (the winch) from discharging both it's battery and the rig's battery while allowing the rig's alternator to charge both batteries.
We have them at work on our TV remote trucks to protect the truck's battery when the electronic equipment uses the isolated battery as a power source instead of the onboard generator.
Hope this helps!