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Old 24-03-2016, 21:33   #16
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

had 2 balmar 612s fail in the past. they gave me the 614 to replace it. been great. also have a backup dumb regulator to get me home...

I often leave my batteries in a PSOC, being on a mooring and not fully charging the battery bank, which has killed hundreds of dollars in batteries, so I need batteries that can take it. so far only the firefly can seem to bounce back at a reasonable price.
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Old 25-03-2016, 05:17   #17
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
West Marine gels, two 8Ds and a smaller one. all one bank.
I got 12 years out of my previous bank.

I am a nut about keeping above 12.1V,
This is the key component, simple and effective. Ideally you want to start charging at 12.15V - 12.2V.

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Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
I also have a little PulseTech Power Pulse. It contributes to better acceptance rate and longer life through desulfing.
I have multiple GEL banks out there beyond 10 years and none of them use a desulfator. One GEL bank is now 16 years old.

In my testing of desulfators, multiple years of combined testing of various products, I have not been able to measure a single example of one actually increasing or recovering lost capacity...

My most recent run was a battery that had lost almost 30% of its capacity in just 7 months due to PSOC use. After six months on a desulfator the total Ah capacity was +0.3Ah different or well within the typical fluctuations you'll see in capacity testing. In other words the desulfator did nothing to actually "desulfate" or recover any capacity in the battery.

I'd love to see them work but I have not been able to measure any evidence that they actually desulfate batteries or restore any lost capacity. The best I can say about them is that they won't harm your batteries...
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Old 25-03-2016, 14:29   #18
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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........
In my testing of desulfators, multiple years of combined testing of various products, I have not been able to measure a single example of one actually increasing or recovering lost capacity...

My most recent run was a battery that had lost almost 30% of its capacity in just 7 months due to PSOC use. After six months on a desulfator the total Ah capacity was +0.3Ah different or well within the typical fluctuations you'll see in capacity testing. In other words the desulfator did nothing to actually "desulfate" or recover any capacity in the battery.

I'd love to see them work but I have not been able to measure any evidence that they actually desulfate batteries or restore any lost capacity. The best I can say about them is that they won't harm your batteries...
This is exactly what we found in an 18-month research study of 10 types of "desulfators". Not a single case of a measurable improvement. We concluded that these are pretty much snake oil.

Now, several years after the study, I continue to believe these devices to be worthless, and will continue to believe that until presented with objective, measured, reliable data from a real-world carefully conducted research effort.

RE: gelled batteries: I still have a couple of gelled golf-cart size batteries which were used in that study. These are now 16-17 years old. One of them still tests pretty good....about 90%....the other about 70% of original CA. In some situations, I can see how these might be termed, "good", and remain in use. No doubt about gels in my mind: a bit finiky about charging voltages, but much longer lasting than either flooded or AGMs.

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Old 25-03-2016, 14:53   #19
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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A more correct terminology, for Balmar's marketing department (& some others),
Okay, apparently I need to be reeducated too, because I've also always called it "bulk".

Isn't "bulk" stage when you are charging at a constant currant --until-- a certain voltage is reached?

If voltage has no effect on the "bulk" stage, then how do you know when it's over?
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Old 26-03-2016, 09:22   #20
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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Okay, apparently I need to be reeducated too, because I've also always called it "bulk".

Isn't "bulk" stage when you are charging at a constant currant --until-- a certain voltage is reached?

If voltage has no effect on the "bulk" stage, then how do you know when it's over?

Re-read what I wrote and I think you'll see we are in agreement....

Bulk is constant current with voltage rising, it is NOT constant voltage with current declining as Balmar incorrectly calls it.

You can have a bulk transition voltage but not a constant voltage bulk stage where you hold voltage steady, which then forces current to decline all the while calling it bulk voltage. In CC voltage is always rising not being held steady....
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Old 26-03-2016, 11:41   #21
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

Hi Mainesail,
I knew that we agreed, but I was having trouble following your thoughts.

I've installed and programed several dozen mc-614's and never really had any issues with the written manual. But then again, I pretty much knew what I was looking for and where to find it. Not really needing to read the manual line for line.
I'm sure the same is true for you.

But I can see where someone with less experience would have trouble with Balmar's verbiage. Especially when, on the same page, they contradict themselves. Example Bv, is it bulk voltage or target voltage. The manual states both within a few paragraphs of each other.

And this is where you and I most certainly agree.
Now a days, with everything being outsourced, the folks who are writing the manuals, are the least qualified to do so. For most, English is not their first language. So a lot get lost in the translation.

I feel sorry for folks like "Phantomracer". Folks who are trying to do things the right way, but even the manufacturers are hindering their success, by printing faulty information.
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Old 26-03-2016, 11:51   #22
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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I often leave my batteries in a PSOC, being on a mooring and not fully charging the battery bank, which has killed hundreds of dollars in batteries, so I need batteries that can take it. so far only the firefly can seem to bounce back at a reasonable price.
And all the good advice you've been given during the course of your travails has been: stop doing PSOC and get a solar panel with a controller, 'cuz the $$ for the solar would save you tons of $$ on batteries. Doesn't matter what type of batteries you're using. Good luck.

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/solar_panel
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Old 26-03-2016, 15:25   #23
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

Quote:
Originally Posted by missourisailor View Post
Hi Mainesail,
I knew that we agreed, but I was having trouble following your thoughts.

I've installed and programed several dozen mc-614's and never really had any issues with the written manual. But then again, I pretty much knew what I was looking for and where to find it. Not really needing to read the manual line for line.
I'm sure the same is true for you.

But I can see where someone with less experience would have trouble with Balmar's verbiage. Especially when, on the same page, they contradict themselves. Example Bv, is it bulk voltage or target voltage. The manual states both within a few paragraphs of each other.

And this is where you and I most certainly agree.
Now a days, with everything being outsourced, the folks who are writing the manuals, are the least qualified to do so. For most, English is not their first language. So a lot get lost in the translation.

I feel sorry for folks like "Phantomracer". Folks who are trying to do things the right way, but even the manufacturers are hindering their success, by printing faulty information.
Thanks

I think I only caught it because I actually was reading the manual on how to program the 614 for the new batteries and thought to myself.. that doesn't sound right. I a believer in the skipper/owner knowing everything possible about every system in the boat. I thought I knew enough about batteries.. like most owners... i guessed wrong
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Old 26-03-2016, 15:35   #24
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
And all the good advice you've been given during the course of your travails has been: stop doing PSOC and get a solar panel with a controller, 'cuz the $$ for the solar would save you tons of $$ on batteries. Doesn't matter what type of batteries you're using. Good luck.

Installing A Small Marine Solar System Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
Understand. A fixed mount solar panel system is just not going to happen. I did, however, buy a small portable one last year to hopefully help the situation, along with the fuel cell keeping the batteries topped off better.

The fuel cell and the small panel didnt help my situation because the batteries were obviously FUBAR

I plan on treating these batteries better, using the new found knowledge

Hopefully this season, and upcoming seasons will be more trouble free!

The new battery bank installed!

Had the 2 jumper cables professionally made. I crimped the new battery lugs on the boat's cables. I fused them as well. Freaking close fit - less than 1/4" space left!
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Old 26-03-2016, 18:59   #25
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

Paul,
Just a word of caution. Don't use your old 612 instructions for programming you new 614. Some of the codes are different.
If memory serves me correctly, I think that the BV code is one of the differences.
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:43   #26
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

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Paul,
Just a word of caution. Don't use your old 612 instructions for programming you new 614. Some of the codes are different.
If memory serves me correctly, I think that the BV code is one of the differences.
Yes i have the 614. it has a lot of different programming options
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Old 26-03-2016, 19:43   #27
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Re: Balmar 614 "bulk charging"

Don't think only Balmar has this problem. Sterling is an English company but, the "English" in their manual was unintelligible, even to an English speaker, like myself. But, have to say, they responded quickly and sorted it out for me.
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