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Old 08-03-2009, 12:05   #1
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Battery charger brands..Opinions Please

I need a charger for my Catalina 27. Was looking at a 15A unit. Am curious to hear thoughts on brands:

Charles?
Promariner?
Guest?
Xantrex?

Pros/cons to either?

Any thoughts on 15A being to much or two little? Boat has two batteries and the usual electronic goodies.

Thanks

Derek A.
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Old 08-03-2009, 13:25   #2
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xantrex tru charge 20 would be sufficient. I have installed many tc 20/40a with no complaints. the remote is nice for a simple system. if you were thinking of adding more batteries get the 40. the number of usual goodies seem to multiply. I was able to buy a refurbed heart 10-12 1000w inverter/ 50A charger for myself with a 500ah bank also a good choice.
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Old 08-03-2009, 14:15   #3
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Suggest Iota 15amp with additional IQ smart charge module. Excellent value and performance.
IOTA Engineering DLS-15 12VDC Battery Charger and Power Converter - 15 Amps

Consider the dls30 if you are going to expand your capacity.
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Old 08-03-2009, 16:30   #4
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I ahve also had good luck with the True Charge 20 and 40.
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Old 08-03-2009, 16:39   #5
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It's a question of amp-hours and speed of charge. In my neck of the woods, Xantrex is the most highly regarded brand. I have the 40 for my 3 bank setup. The 20 would probably be good if your amp-hours aren't too high. Be aware that the 40 has a cooling fan which is a little noisy. It only runs when the unit is really cranking but might be an issue if the charger isn't out of earshot.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2009, 17:39   #6
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Camaraderie suggests the Iota with smart charge...although I agree with the spec's (3 stage and smart) the reality is that I ordered one of these for a friend that was short of $. The unit we got is pretty much a raw steel case (may have a thin clear finish) and a substantial bit less than marine grade, He has had no problems with it, as it is working. I am afraid it will rust and hesitant to recommend it for marine use.
Jim
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Old 08-03-2009, 18:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captjcook View Post
Camaraderie suggests the Iota with smart charge...although I agree with the spec's (3 stage and smart) the reality is that I ordered one of these for a friend that was short of $. The unit we got is pretty much a raw steel case (may have a thin clear finish) and a substantial bit less than marine grade, He has had no problems with it, as it is working. I am afraid it will rust and hesitant to recommend it for marine use.
Jim
All the IOTAs I have purchased (3) have an aluminum case. Would be surprised to hear that they were made of anything but aluminum.

And they are IMHO hands-down the best value / performance out there. Excellent warranty support.

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Old 08-03-2009, 19:58   #8
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I took a look at the IOTA units, they don't seem to be setup for multiple batteries. My boat is already set up for two batteries and having two sets of outputs seemed to be the right way to go, am I wrong ?
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:54   #9
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Iota Charger

I'll second the Iota. I purchase a DSL 45 /w the smart module. No problems. It is a one channel charger. I solved this problem with a lamp timer from Home Depot and a relay to charge each bank separately. Each bank is 12 hrs on, 12 hrs off.

PaulM
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:39   #10
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Paul, sounds like a good solution, but how would you account for the eqaulization charge? The Iota chargers do a 8 hour EQ charge every week, or when the unit is first energized.

Chris

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I'll second the Iota. I purchase a DSL 45 /w the smart module. No problems. It is a one channel charger. I solved this problem with a lamp timer from Home Depot and a relay to charge each bank separately. Each bank is 12 hrs on, 12 hrs off.

PaulM
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Old 09-03-2009, 14:47   #11
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I have a Xantrex Truecharge 20 for $100. It is in perfect working condition. It can charge 3 banks. It is the model which had the top rating by Practical Sailor magazine.

If you are interested, my email is cchung95@yahoo.com.
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Old 09-03-2009, 22:01   #12
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Dman...many chargers cannot use ALL their amps if split is available...a 2 output 20 amp charger can only give 10 amps to each load in many cases. (Xanrex is one exception on some products I know.)
In most cases the starting battery needs hardly ANY charging at all since it is directly charged by the alternator and you only use it when the alternator will be re-charging it.
What I suggest is a charger designed for your house bank and a xantrex echo charge unit to spill over any excess charge to the starter battery.
That said...the Truecharge 20 for 100 bucks above looks like a good deal to me as it delivers its 20amps where needed and when needed.
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Old 13-03-2009, 15:01   #13
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Iota Charger

witsgall,
The equalization cycle is an issue I'm not completely sure of. I did observe, that when the relay switches, that the charger does not recognize the switch unless one battery has been recently used. At this point, I'm sure that the batteries are not getting equalized for a full eight hours each time.
Paul
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Old 13-03-2009, 15:10   #14
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IOTA Charger

I don't like the idea of a charger doing an automatic equalization charge. Most battery manufacturers specify that an equalization charge should only take place when absolutely necessary. The once a week equalization is overkill in my opinion and could cause damage. Besides, an equalization charge should not take place when there are devices using the batteries. Hopefully the "smart charge" module would allow disabling of the automatic feature.

I would like to hear from those who have the charger installed, if they have disabled the automatic equalization feature or not.
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Old 13-03-2009, 15:24   #15
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I have had an Iota Charger set up on my boat for about two years now. My batteries would not hold a great charge. I was getting ready to buy new ones but after keeping the battieries on the IOTA DLS 55 with equalizer constantly they started working better and now hold a good charge. For a few months I would have to fill the batteries every month but for the last six months I have been checking and have not had to fill the batteries once.

Another point I can recommend is customer service. I bought 3 55 amp chargers in 2007. The were manufactured in 9/2006. I installed one and just got around to installing the other last week. I got it installed and it didn't work. I called Iota. Tech guy had me run two tests. Charger didn't pass the tests. New charger was in the mail that day (Friday) had a new one on Tuesday. I now have 110 amps of charging power that I can run off of my genset. Works great. I only use one of the chargers when plugged into shore power.
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