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Old 08-06-2009, 14:58   #1
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Instruments to Monitor Batteries?

my h27 has two banks of group 24 lead/acid batts., group 1 is starter batts. for the engine, group 2 is deep cycle for house use. I would like to install gauge or gauges to tell me what the cond. of my batts are. Space inboard is very limited so I dont want 5 diff gages. If I only am installing one or two, what would they be and what exactly would they measure?
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Old 08-06-2009, 16:09   #2
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Search Google for the Victron battery monitor type BMV600 or something like that. I think the BMV602 can do two banks. This monitor uses little panel space and has all you ever need to know about the batteries.

also, search this forum as there was a large thread about these monitors.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 08-06-2009, 16:46   #3
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I am still partial to the Xantrex 2000. It measures the number of amps going in, or coming out of your batteries. It measure the voltages available on two different banks. It tells you how many amps you have left, it tell you how long at your current utilization you have left before your batteries drop bellow a safe drain point.

It also controls the Freedom type inverters which I am partial to, but may be a little more out dated than the Prosine or other types of inverters.
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Old 08-06-2009, 21:06   #4
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I have that link2000 thing from Xantrex. I am not impressed with it's control buttons (sticky) plus it's much bigger with buttons and lights that are only useful for controlling their inverter/chargers. Also, it's more expensive.

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Old 08-06-2009, 21:28   #5
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I recently installed a Xantrex Link-Lite battery monitor. It works very well, can monitor a house bank plus staring battery. Detailed specs can be found on the Xantrex Site.
Steve
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Old 08-06-2009, 23:49   #6
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There should be no need to monitor the state of the engine starting battery as it should only be used to start the engine. This only takes a tiny fraction of total Ah capacity and this will easily be replenished with a little engine time.

With this in mind, I recently installed the Nasa Battery Monitor (BM1). I put the shunt (supplied) in the -ve return to the house bank (4 x T105 6V). This was the cheapest unit I could find and has worked flawlessly for the past 6 months. I think I paid £85 for it inc del.

It monitors amps in/out, total amp-hour consumption, time to full discharge at current drain rate/time to recharge as well as a battery (Fuel gauge like) percentage readout. It also accounts for Peukerts law which I think is very important for a battery monitor. Not all of the batt monitors, even the expensive ones I looked at did this.

Here's a link:
Nasa BM1 Battery Monitor - Only £89.99 - TCS Chandlery

I've got no link to either TCS or Nasa, just a satisfied customer!

Cheers,

Iain
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:16   #7
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Since my cat has electric drives I'm thinking about developing a monitoring system that uses my SIMRAD monitor to display the state of charge, Ah, voltage, and time remaining such as the crappy, non readable in day light, link 10 does. I'll be able to monitor both main and house banks usage graphicly as a part screen at the helm and nav station. This system should be able to run on any monitor from the big guys.
Any one interested if we can keep it under a grand? Input would be appreciated.

Steve
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:52   #8
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anyone know where to get this nasa bm-1 in the us?
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:07   #9
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anyone know where to get this nasa bm-1 in the us?
I would love to know this.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:20   #10
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For boats short on space, the Blue Sea Systems VSM looks like a good alternative, with the ability to track battery condition as well as tanks, bilge pump cycles, etc. I haven't used one (yet), but I'm leaning this way for my own boat. FWIW.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:36   #11
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The price for the NASA unit on the link above seems to be pretty good even with conversion. I put in a Microlog unit with 500 amp shunt, cost me about $160 Cdn and can monitor 3 banks. It does not total in and out amps just gives you an indication of what your consumption is real time which is all I wanted to know. They do make another unit that can do in and out totals it's about $260 Cdn.

Available here:

Moteur de recherche avancée Produits nautiques : Boulet Lemelin Yacht
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Old 10-06-2009, 17:27   #12
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anyone know where to get this nasa bm-1 in the us?
Nasa (not the space agency) are a British based marine electronics company. I don't know if they have distributers in the USA or not. Most of the UK online chandlers will be happy to ship overseas though. The US$ is a lot stronger now and the pound soooo weak, so you'll be able to grab a bargain!
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Old 10-06-2009, 19:10   #13
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I recently installed a Xantrex Link-Lite battery monitor. It works very well, can monitor a house bank plus staring battery. Detailed specs can be found on the Xantrex Site.
Steve
Just to clarify...I believe the Lite can monitor ONE battery bank and is limited to JUST monitoring voltage on the other bank. This is all most people need but don't think you can monitor two house banks with this product.

BTW...I believe it is the Victron BMV600 which is under $200 that is the least expensive true battery monitor in the USA.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...attery+Monitor
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Old 10-06-2009, 20:59   #14
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dankno, save your money.

use your multimeter (that you paid sixty bucks for at home depot). each morning measure the voltage at each battery. that will tell you what the percent of charge is. for a good chart showing what voltage equals what percent of charge go to the trojan battery site. i think the interstate battery site also has a chart.

you will learn to predict, from your daily usage, what your state of charge will be each morning. i've used nothing else (37 foot boat, four trojan t-105's in the house bank, one trojan starting battery) and it has never failed me.

over a period of time you will find that the percent of charge each morning seems to be lower and lower. time to think of replacing your batteries.

and the multimeter has any other number of uses on board a boat, making it a good investment. (don't buy a cheapo multimeter - many of them can't stand up to the amps in a large battery).

with all due respect, some of the guys on this board have too much money....
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Old 10-06-2009, 22:00   #15
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Okay, I have an embarassing reason to monitor Starter battery condition. I have a catamaran. The house bank is in one hull, the starter batter, the other. Instead of routing a power line all the way across the boat to a fused location, I have wired the bilge pump in that engine directly to the battery. I have also wired the engine room lights and a DC plug on the same side. The principle being none of these items are used very often. But, if I do find a circumstance where the come into extended play, I know when to switch to the other bank. (I have a 1 2 both battery switch that will let me reverse battery rolls.)
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