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Old 08-03-2012, 15:18   #16
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Re: Charger only recommendations

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I have had Xantrex (20A) for 15 years... (5 of them)! They are quite vulnerable to surges & lightning strikes. I STILL LIKE THEM! They are VERY smart, & do a 3 stage plus "equalize". My current one is 7 years old, and in the past, I have paid the flat rate fee for a "re-built". I have not heard of problems with new Chinese versions, but not surprised. Hopefully, when the time comes, I can still get an old "re-built"? .
I have gone though 2 of the Xantrex 40 amp Truecharger 2 chargers in 2 1/2 years. (not going to make it 3 units in 3 years)
They work great WHEN they work. But, I sure will not be replacing my nonworking 2nd unit with another Xantrex.

When I contacted tech support they said the warranty only covered the initial 2 year warranty period for the 1st unit. They also said that it was most likely a defective motherboard in the unit, and that it was probably caused by a surge from the shorepower. They would offer me a discounted replacement at a cost of $318.00. For What only to replace it again the next year! No way...

So, I too am searching for a new reliable battery charger.
I am leaning towards the Charles 5000 Series, 40 amp unit, but still searching.

If my marina is suspect to shorepower surges, is there a surge protector that is not too expensive and easy to install?

A friend of mine installed his homemade version of a surge protector on his cruiser, and his Xantrex has run fine for several years.

Rob
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Old 08-03-2012, 15:46   #17
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

For economy, performance, reliability, and tolerance of bad AC input power, you can't beat the Iota DLS chargers. Been using them and installing them for years. They come in sizes from 15A to 90A. Specs on these are shown below.

For mid-range very capable chargers, you might consider the new Sterling Ultra AKA ProMariner Pronautic-P chargers (almost if not exactly identical). Mainesail likes these, and I've a new 40A model on test for the past 3 weeks. It looks good so far. Programmable, has a real equalization cycle, etc. Also, has 'worldwide' power input capability. Quite a bit more money than the Iota and largest model thus far is 60A, but a very nice charger.

The Victrons are great, too. Been using and installing them for six or seven years now. More features, more programming capability, etc. But...much more pricey.

Here are the Iota specs:
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Old 08-03-2012, 19:25   #18
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
For economy, performance, reliability, and tolerance of bad AC input power, you can't beat the Iota DLS chargers. Been using them and installing them for years. They come in sizes from 15A to 90A. Specs on these are shown below.

For mid-range very capable chargers, you might consider the new Sterling Ultra AKA ProMariner Pronautic-P chargers (almost if not exactly identical). Mainesail likes these, and I've a new 40A model on test for the past 3 weeks. It looks good so far. Programmable, has a real equalization cycle, etc. Also, has 'worldwide' power input capability. Quite a bit more money than the Iota and largest model thus far is 60A, but a very nice charger.

The Victrons are great, too. Been using and installing them for six or seven years now. More features, more programming capability, etc. But...much more pricey.

Here are the Iota specs:
Hi btrayfors,

Thanks for the info.

Here is some additional information regarding my setup.
I have have a 34ft cruiser, with a 24 series battery for each of my 2 engines. Also, I have 2 deep cycle batteries hooked up in Parrallel for my house battery bank.

I was thinking that a 40 amp 3 bank charger would work for this. Was wondering what you would recommend for my setup.

Thanks,

Rob
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Old 09-03-2012, 13:42   #19
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by RobThatsMe View Post
Hi btrayfors,

Thanks for the info.

Here is some additional information regarding my setup.
I have have a 34ft cruiser, with a 24 series battery for each of my 2 engines. Also, I have 2 deep cycle batteries hooked up in Parrallel for my house battery bank.

I was thinking that a 40 amp 3 bank charger would work for this. Was wondering what you would recommend for my setup.

Thanks,

Rob
Rob,

Without knowing the details of your installation, and how and where you use the boat, it's very hard to make recommendations.

However, assuming that you don't want to change anything, but just install a charger capable of charging 3 battery banks -- 2 start batteries plus 2 paralleled house batteries -- I believe I'd take a good look at the ProMariner Pronautic 1240P or it's Sterling Ultra equivalent.

These seem to be excellent chargers with great flexibility. And, while a bit pricey (you'll pay $375-425 for a 40A model), you kinda get what you pay for.

Here's one I've been testing for about 3 weeks. At this moment, it's finishing the 3rd of a 4-hour equalization on two T-105 golf cart batteries.



Bill
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Old 09-03-2012, 14:38   #20
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

Hi, If your original crapped-out one is a Freedom series, give me a shout, they can sometimes be repaired very easily.
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Old 09-03-2012, 21:19   #21
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Hi, If your original crapped-out one is a Freedom series, give me a shout, they can sometimes be repaired very easily.

Hi,

The first two were Xantrex Truecharger2 40 amp models.

Thanks though,

Rob
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Old 09-03-2012, 21:29   #22
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

Have a look at Newmar chargers.
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Old 09-03-2012, 21:52   #23
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

+1 on the Newmar chargers. They are just about bullet proof. I've sold many brands of marine battery chargers including Xantrex, ProMariner, Charles, Guest and others. We've had warranty issues with all of them, except Newmar. The only Newmar I've had to return in the last six years had been underwater. If you decide on a Newmar I would love a chance to quote you on it.
DC Power Onboard with Newmar's Phase Three Smart battery charging technology is now available in a wide range of power levels, allowing you to select the right size, features and flexibility you require for virtually any application from small recrea
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:41   #24
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by janders View Post
We have a 675AH house bank but I don't think I really need that big of a charger - maybe 40A. How fast do I really need to charge my batteries when I'm sitting at a dock?
I would suggest for sailboats you need the largest charger your batteries will take because you want to guarantee that overnight they will be brought back up to 100%. This is especially important if you are cruising and ONLY go into marinas once a month to get your batteries fully charged.
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Old 11-03-2012, 19:23   #25
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by RobThatsMe View Post
Hi btrayfors,

Thanks for the info.

Here is some additional information regarding my setup.
I have have a 34ft cruiser, with a 24 series battery for each of my 2 engines. Also, I have 2 deep cycle batteries hooked up in Parrallel for my house battery bank.

I was thinking that a 40 amp 3 bank charger would work for this. Was wondering what you would recommend for my setup.

Thanks,

Rob
I have 29' cruiser with 2 battery banks; 1 single 24 cranking for 1 motor, then a bank of 2 group 27's deep cycle for starting 2nd motor and all other loads. Installed the 1240iplus Promariner and have no issues/complaints about it. At a fair price too. Have ordered 2 (1240 and 1230)from Star Depot (I believe that's correct name) have always had best pricing.
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Old 11-03-2012, 19:43   #26
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

One nice thing about the Sterling/ProMariner Ultra and P-series chargers is that they work very well in parallel.

That is, you could hook up two 60A models in parallel to yield a total output of 120 amps. Or three to give 180 amps.

Now, we're talking about serious charging capacity :-)

Bill
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Old 14-05-2012, 09:52   #27
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
One nice thing about the Sterling/ProMariner Ultra and P-series chargers is that they work very well in parallel.

That is, you could hook up two 60A models in parallel to yield a total output of 120 amps. Or three to give 180 amps.

Now, we're talking about serious charging capacity :-)

Bill
Hey Bill (and/or others),

Just a layman/neophyte here but I have a quick question on the extra battery charger capacity you speak of & whether it's really worth it. I guess the same question would go for investing in higher capacity eng alternators.

In my own example, I have 3 LifeLine AGM 8D's (225AH each), 2 for the house & 1 for eng start, with a 50A Xantrex XC5012 "smart" charger. Each of the batts. are wired into each of the 3 ports on the charger separately, & the charger only charges one batt at a time depending on need. My (admittedly) limited understanding is that bulk charging goes relatively quickly (I have a genset & make a point of never drawing them down too much), and while the absorption phase can take awhile, it is dictated by the batt's capacity to take the charge rather than the output of the charger. Same deal with charging off eng alts I assume. In my case, I have 2 @50A each.

Assuming I got this right, and even if one is on the hook or underway a lot, then is it all that important or cost-effective to invest in high-capacity charging systems?

Thanks, as always, for any helpful info.

Dan
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Old 14-05-2012, 10:12   #28
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Re: Charger Only Recommendations

Dan,

An excellent question!

First impression is that an 8D AGM dedicated to starting a small-to-medium size diesel is WAY overkill. A group 31 flooded or AGM would be more than enough (like the Lifeline GPL-3100T). That third 8D could be used for the house bank, increasing its capacity to 675AH.

If I understand correctly, you have two 50A alternators and one 50A battery charger. So, at dockside or with a generator you have a maximum of 50A charging capacity. And, with the engine running you have a maximum of 100A charging capacity.

Those AGMs when 50% discharged will take up to their AH rating in charging amps, e.g., the two 8Ds now in your house bank can take up to 450 charging amps rather easily. Three of them could take 675 charging amps.

While it's highly unlikely that you could ever have enough charging capacity to reach those numbers, it is a good idea to have charging capacity of at least 25-30% of AGM's rated capacity.....so, say, a minimum of 100-125A charging capacity.

From that perspective, it looks like you're way under-equipped in terms of charging ability, particularly for short dockside overnites or for generator-supplied charging.

Also, it's unlikely that the two alternators could put out their full 50A rating each for very long, without overheating. And, through the natural process of heating up to operating temperature, alternator output drops. So, let's assume that those two alternators -- working to their normal operating temperature capacity -- could together put out about 80-85 amps.

AGMs have a relatively low internal resistance, so can take lots of amps even in the acceptance phase.

Whether or not it's worth it to you to upgrade your charging capacity depends on how you use the boat, and whether or not you're comfortable with charging those AGMs long enough for them to reach a full charge at least once every couple of weeks.

FWIW,

Bill
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Old 14-05-2012, 10:34   #29
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xantrex was good up until china made em using the 2 yr olds to put them together. i have a great one in my ericson. my formosa used to have a rebuildable transformer.chager, but i was talked out of it by a racwer waNTING TO LIGHTEN MY BRICK-- I SHoULD HAVE KEPT IT AS REBUILDING IT COSTS ONLY 50 DOLLARS.
Damn racers, says the racer himself, shame on you for listening.

Nothing like a racer to suggest a boat worth 5k replace something on it with something else made of carbon fibre or magic dust for 10k cause they save 5 oz in weight....
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Old 14-05-2012, 10:40   #30
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The Victron Centaur units do not have equalisation facility, The Victron Phoenix range do.

Dave
I have the 50amp victron Phoenix for a 800ah bank. It operates flawlessly for the 5 years I have owned it and the 2 years the PO owned it.

Edit: I have calcium calcium sealed batteries. In my calculations the cost/performance/life cycle of these batts give me the best amp hours and cycles per dollar over time. So can't speak for the lithium or gel crowd....
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