The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

ARCO Zeus Ground Loop Problem

I recently received a link to this forum thread on lithium batteries that includes a concerning quote:

Another note, during installation, there is a yellow and black wire on the Zeus alternator harness, “ALT GND” which is for a ground of the Zeus to the Alternator.

In some installations, this has caused a ground loop, so we are advising to not connect this wire during installation and simply tuck it away.

This is a serious smoking gun. Designing any electronic device with two grounded lines—connection to the negative in the case of boats—is poor practice and, further, being advised not to connect a wire that was provided for in the design is an indication of potential problems that will, I’m guessing, only get fixed with a hardware redesign of the Zeus.

Read on for why.

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