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Old 24-07-2014, 10:29   #1
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Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

I just wanted to post a note of caution to other cruisers who might be considering the Magnum MS 2812 inverter/charger. I purchased one of these in 2010 to replace my failed Xantrex Freedom 20 for my Island Packet sailboat. In many respects, the system is quite nice. It generates a true sine wave, and it accepts a larger input current than my previous Xantrex system, meaning shorter charge times.

However, I have had one persistent problem. Since installing the system, the battery monitoring component of the system (ME-BMK) has failed four times. I’ve spoken with the tech support people at Magnum Energy, but they do not acknowledge that there is a problem and they don’t have any advice on how to circumvent this issue.

In two of the cases, they replaced the failed units under warrantee. In the other two, they said that since I had gone beyond the 12-month warrantee period, they would not replace it. Fortunately, they are easy to replace, although they cost about $175.

Just a word to the wise. If your experience is like mine, you may find yourself frequently replacing the BMK units.

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Matthew Clegg
s/v Anna Maria
Island Packet 420
Miami, FL
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Old 24-07-2014, 11:47   #2
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

Matthew-
"In the other two, they said that since I had gone beyond the 12-month warrantee period, they would not replace it. "

Unless you are seriously into the no-paper-trail cash economy, consider buying anything like that with a credit card that offers a "one year or double" warranty extension. They're available from many companies, including Discover (lots of paperwork), Visa & MC (varies with the bank) and Amex (top reputation).

A friend of mine had a problem with a high-end Sony TV some years ago, estimated repair cost $1200 two months out of warranty. I suggested they check with the credit card company, and Amex paid the $1200, no questions asked.

With some companies you have to "register" every purchase (Discover) with others (Amex) you just tell them when you bought it, and they'll look up the charge.

Anything electronic, and it can pay to copy the purchase receipt and stick it on the bottom of the item, or in a warranty folder, for that purpose.
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Old 24-07-2014, 12:00   #3
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

I'm considering one
Is this battery monitoring system part of it, is it required for the charger to operate, or is an add on, nice to have accessory?
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Old 24-07-2014, 14:46   #4
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I'm considering one
Is this battery monitoring system part of it, is it required for the charger to operate, or is an add on, nice to have accessory?
It is an add-on. A battery monitor module with shunt that uses the inverter's remote display to display its data. If you already have a battery monitor, then this would be superfluous. If you don't have a battery monitor and want one, it appears that this may not be a good one.

Mark
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Old 24-07-2014, 15:04   #5
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
It is an add-on. A battery monitor module with shunt that uses the inverter's remote display to display its data. If you already have a battery monitor, then this would be superfluous. If you don't have a battery monitor and want one, it appears that this may not be a good one.



Mark

What I thought, but was unsure. I was going to get the $300 soft start for my AC, but it seems more useful to put that $300 towards an inverter / charger and have the inverter assume similar duties as the soft start, plus obviously you have a big inverter and a modern, I assume programmable charger.
What I have now is an old Raritan 30 amp charger and while it is still working, there is nothing adjustable about it and I've never seen it above 10 amps.
From what I gather, I don't want a Xantrex
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Old 24-07-2014, 22:05   #6
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

I've instaledl more bmk's then I can count and have never seen one fail.
I've seen one ms 2812 fail. One out of ~50 isn't terrible.
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Old 25-07-2014, 13:26   #7
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

We've had a Magnum MS-2812 since 2008. We've had a power component on the motherboard fail (replaced under warranty), and the remote control fail (out of warranty), but no problems at all with the ME-BMK battery monitor.

In fact, I have both the Magnum monitor and the monitor from a pair of Blue Sky 3024 MPPT solar controllers connected to the same Magnum-supplied current shunt, and both seem happy. They both track to within ~2% of each other, and have peacefully co-existed for the last 18 months.

My only complaint is the fact that the neutrals for the two supposedly independent L1 & L2 power connection are permanently tied together internally - a no-no when connected to two 30A shore feeds. Neutrals should be tied together only at the "power source", i.e., the inverter when in invert mode, or back at the shore-power pedestal when in pass-thru mode. Other than that, and some RF noise when charging, it's a good inverter overall.
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Old 26-07-2014, 05:33   #8
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
What I thought, but was unsure. I was going to get the $300 soft start for my AC, but it seems more useful to put that $300 towards an inverter / charger and have the inverter assume similar duties as the soft start, plus obviously you have a big inverter and a modern, I assume programmable charger.
What I have now is an old Raritan 30 amp charger and while it is still working, there is nothing adjustable about it and I've never seen it above 10 amps.
From what I gather, I don't want a Xantrex
The Victron Inverter/Chargers are amazingly fast at taking over loads which are more than the programmed generator / shore power limit.

I am running on a 30Amp 120V shore power, using a Victron isolation transformer to get 15A of 230V power and then running into a 8kva Quattro. The result is that even with peak loads of as much as 10kva and an air conditioner compressor start resulting in surges above that I have had no trouble at all.

The Generator is 6kva @ 230V 50hz, I have programmed a limit of 5kva on the generator (Westerbeake 1500 RPM slow turn generator) and the same can be said for that side of the system.

The nice part with the Quattro is that it has two inputs with independently programmable limits and the Quattro transitions between them based upon programmable rules.

There are two outputs from the Inverter, one which is always hot (if the inverter is active) and one which is only hot if an external AC source (generator or shore power) is available.

The result has been a very nice system which transitions between modes cleanly with basically no manual intervention.
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Old 26-07-2014, 06:48   #9
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Re: Magnum Energy Inverter/Charger Issue

Hi
I have the ME 3100, AC50 and BMK. No problems as far as breakdowns but a LOT of noise from the AC50 in my SSB. About a year now.
Bob
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