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Old 09-11-2015, 08:05   #1
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Best inverter charger?

I've sort of narrowed it down to either Magnum or Outback, I've read enough Xantrex stories.
So which is best, best being which is more rugged, reliable and trouble free?
Second being which provides best customer support?
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:22   #2
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Re: Best inverter charger?

I have an Outback, but would not buy it again. Magnum would be my choice.

I have never had any trouble with Outback, but the new ones are made in India. You can PM me if you want.
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:53   #3
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Victron

While the Magnum is a good unit, the Victron has similiar features but also has a great feature called "PowerAssist". Last time I looked, Magnum didn't have anything similiar (perhaps that's changed?).

On the Victron, you can set a "max" amps for the AC input. If the AC load reaches that point, it will first reduce the battery charging amps. If the load is still too high, it will use the inverter to supply extra amps from the batteries. This happens seamlessly and stops a short term load from popping breakers on shore power or the genset (for example, an Air Conditioner compressor starting surge). MaineSail has taught me to look at every shore power cable as a fire hazard, so I keep my Victron set to a max draw of 40amps on a 50amp circuit. I sleep better.

I've had Victron equipment for 15 years and never had a failure. I heard they did have a batch of bad boards six or seven years ago but they replaced them for free.

If you look around, you can find very competitive pricing.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:01   #4
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Re: Best inverter charger?

You can set the max amps on a Magnum too, but I think it cuts back the charger to sat under max amps, not adds a Boost.
Why would I want boost? I have no trouble running everything off of my gen or shore power now, what is boost good for?
I ask out of genuine ignorance, I understand exactly what it is, just don't see the need.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:21   #5
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Re: Best inverter charger?

We have a Victron, and had an Outback in the past (lightning got it), and I have much experience with Magnum.

If I were in the market for another, it would probably be Magnum.

The Outback is very good, but the programming is a bit difficult. The Victron is good, but the programming is dyslexic Sanskrit. I mean, so difficult and non-intuitive that you will consider yourself having earned a PhD after mastering it. And it is pretty loud when the fans hit full speed - which they do often when charging or running a moderate load. The Magnum programming is very easy and the unit is fairly quiet. It is mostly a drop in and forget type of unit.

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Old 09-11-2015, 09:43   #6
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Being that I seem to be unable to figure out my B&G Zeus, I think maybe I need KISS,
and noisy fans I don't need as I may be mounting the thing under the chart table to keep from losing storage behind the settee.
I like things that just work, that you can forget about
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:56   #7
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Re: Best inverter charger?

I have had a Victron . blew up / no service . Same with the xentrex , but I fixed it myself , I found it noisy.
Got a Vanner , love it , turned it on and I have never turned it off. Never makes a sound and works flawlessly. Take a look

Inverter Charger, Power Inverter, Battery Equalizer, Battery Monitoring

Built in the US and service is pick up the phone

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Old 09-11-2015, 13:16   #8
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Re: Best inverter charger?

I have a Magnum 3100 watt. Works well. I have the AC50 panel. Works well but is very noisy for the SSB. Installed recommended toroids but I can still hear it. Turn the back light off and the noise goes away. Bob
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Old 09-11-2015, 13:52   #9
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Victron looks best on paper -- best functions, and massive construction with conventional transformers instead of switch mode. It also appears to be extremely well made.

But like many others, I have had a lot of trouble with mine (and other Victron gear). Bad batch of boards? Maybe -- mine has been trouble free now for three years, knock on wood, in very heavy use. Customer service was exemplary; service prompt and hardly any questions asked about warranty period. That's no substitute for it to be reliable in the first place, however.

The charger-inverter is the heart and nerve center of your electrical system -- all AC power goes through it, and is the interface between AC and DC power. If it goes down -- you have big problems.

So I guess I would try the Magnum if I were you. If nothing else, we'll get fresh data points

When you mount whichever one you choose, pay attention to the need for fresh air. They generate a lot of heat, which will kill them if they don't have adequate ventilation.

Don't expect it to be quiet, either -- they all have more or less noisy fans. Nature of the beast.

Mine is in my soundproofed engine room where the sound is dampened, but you can still just hear it -- which you want, as you really want to be able to hear when a load goes on it.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:34   #10
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Funny you talk about noise . I have run my microwave and a toaster on my vanner at the same time , drawing well over 200 amps, I never hear it . The xantrex made a horrible clicking sound in search mode. The vanner is in the same place , not a peep from it . My victron never worked so I can't comment about them in the noise department .

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Old 10-11-2015, 12:12   #11
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Well I ordered a Magnum 2812, a 2800 W inverter / 125 amp charger with the ME-ARC50 remote, I'm a little intrigued with the possibility of generator auto start although I'm not real sure it would be anything more than just neat to have.
Seemingly you pretty much have to have a remote to set battery type etc. Hopefully will install this weekend, I don't know where to install, if it's noisy it needs I guess to be behind the Settee, if not under the chart table would be best. I hope it won't be noisy as it won't be making many watts, mostly piddly little loads, pretty sure the fans are three speed and I assume not real noisy on slow speed? if I used the thing to full capacity, I think it would eat my 660 AH bank in one hour as it draws 300 amps I think.
But I wanted the big charger to take advantage of my Lifeline bank
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:56   #12
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Re: Best inverter charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Well I ordered a Magnum 2812, a 2800 W inverter / 125 amp charger with the ME-ARC50 remote, I'm a little intrigued with the possibility of generator auto start although I'm not real sure it would be anything more than just neat to have.
Seemingly you pretty much have to have a remote to set battery type etc. Hopefully will install this weekend, I don't know where to install, if it's noisy it needs I guess to be behind the Settee, if not under the chart table would be best. I hope it won't be noisy as it won't be making many watts, mostly piddly little loads, pretty sure the fans are three speed and I assume not real noisy on slow speed? if I used the thing to full capacity, I think it would eat my 660 AH bank in one hour as it draws 300 amps I think.
But I wanted the big charger to take advantage of my Lifeline bank
The fans will for sure run full blast when you're bulk charging.

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Old 10-11-2015, 13:22   #13
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Re: Best inverter charger?

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The fans will for sure run full blast when you're bulk charging.

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Yes, but then the generator will be on-line and I doubt I'll hear them. I don't mind a little noise during the day while the generator is on as it's not silent by any means, but I don't want noise while I'm trying to sleep.
Under the chart table is very close to the battery bank, maybe four feet of cable and I think this thing requires 4/0 cable due to it's high power and that stuff is $10 a foot and a bear to run, plus it is in open air and eats up no storage space.
I plan on putting my Outback 80 there too, but hadn't really given the noise issue much thought until now, maybe that's not such a good place for them after all.
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:26   #14
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Re: Best inverter charger?

With the generator running and both chargers online, I should be able to throw 185 amps at the bank, assuming a 50% SOC, I wonder how long it would take that much current?
I believe the chargers will take almost 100% of the generators output too.
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Old 10-11-2015, 13:40   #15
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Re: Best inverter charger?

It is likely that the generator's dirty power and charger's non-unity power factor will knock 15% off the max charge current.

Although your 3.5 has a different head, so it may be better in this regards.

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