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Old 13-02-2013, 20:05   #1
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Battery monitor advice

I am currently upgrading my boat's electrical system. I will have a 400 aHr house bank running the 12v loads as well as an inverter. I want to install a monitor to keep track of the battery state. There seems to be three to choose from; the Xantrex link pro, the Vectran 600, and the Clipper BM-1. The Xantrex is quite a bit more expensive than the others. Is it worth the extra money? Does anyone have any experience with the other two? Thanks in advance.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:10   #2
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Re: Battery monitor advice

You may want to look at the BlueSea VSM422. I have been really happy with mine and it also monitors bilge, water tanks and extras.
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:15   #3
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There is also the Tri Metric by Bogart Engineering
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:15   #4
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Also Victron 600 or 602. I have the Victron and am very happy with it.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:23   #5
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Re: Battery monitor advice

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Also Victron 600 or 602. I have the Victron and am very happy with it.
+1; clearly the winner for price/performance.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:26   #6
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Thanks. I was leaning toward the Victron as well. I'll probably go with that.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:29   #7
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Go to Handy Bob's Solar Blog and read it ALL before you do anything. The guy is a wealth of non-BS help that will prevent you from wasting money on less than adequate stuff and you will know how to install good stuff well so that it works. Its the PHD study course.
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Old 13-02-2013, 21:30   #8
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Re: Battery monitor advice

And don't forget Maine Sail's battery monitor thread which tracks the installation of a Victron 600:

Wiring & Installing A Battery Monitor - SailboatOwners.com

I think you can find the V-600 for as low as $145 at Jamestown Distributors.

-M
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Old 14-02-2013, 03:38   #9
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Re: Battery monitor advice

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Originally Posted by kbudd View Post
I am currently upgrading my boat's electrical system...
You might want to look at the SmartGuage which is more accurate than a battery monitor. As batteries age a battery monitor becomes more and more unreliable because the pre-sets you have to enter change - Ah capacity - Peukerts - charge efficiency - and the batteries have a self- discharge every month that a battery monitor cannot measure. We have a BEP and have recently bought a Smartguage because as much as I did to try and synchronose the BM to 100% when I knew the battery was at 100% and as much as I tried to adjust the other parameters it always seemed to be wrong. Smartguage takes time(Cycles) to "learn" your battery bank and improves its accuracy with time - so I am now monitoring my battery monitor with interest.

If you have solar consider an Outback or Blue Sky solar controller, with the optional remote programmer and Battery Monitor.
See posting on "Trickle Charge with Solar Panels".
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Old 14-02-2013, 08:46   #10
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Thanks everyone. Great advice as always. Now time to get to work.
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Old 20-02-2013, 15:12   #11
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Got the Victron today. Ordered it from a place called Inverter Service Center. They sell them for $143 and free shipping. Got it in 2 days. I think it will do the job and looks pretty easy to install. I'll report back this summer when I get everything up and running.
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Old 20-02-2013, 19:02   #12
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Good choice. I got the Victron last year, installed in an hour, and works like a charm. Easy set-up.
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Old 03-03-2013, 19:02   #13
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Re: Battery monitor advice

Looking a a monitor that will monitor two banks..the Victron will do a voltage monitor on the second bank, but not aH etc. Anyone know of a product that will do this?
Thanks
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Old 03-03-2013, 19:47   #14
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Re: Battery monitor advice

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Looking a a monitor that will monitor two banks..the Victron will do a voltage monitor on the second bank, but not aH etc. Anyone know of a product that will do this?
Thanks
For a house bank + starter bank the BMV-602 is perfect (with just the voltage monitor on the starter bank). However, for two independent house banks, it's better to just install two BMV-600's

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 06-03-2013, 13:59   #15
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Re: Battery monitor advice

I bought the Clipper BM-1. I like it but support seems to be non-existant.
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