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Old 20-01-2012, 01:25   #31
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Another quick question - the location that I would ideally be fitting this is directly next to (30cm/1 foot away) my rate compass (Simrad RC42) which the AP uses. I can imagine that while charging, there will be a LOT of RF noise etc... but will there be any residual magnetism which will affect the compass?
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:52   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto
Another quick question - the location that I would ideally be fitting this is directly next to (30cm/1 foot away) my rate compass (Simrad RC42) which the AP uses. I can imagine that while charging, there will be a LOT of RF noise etc... but will there be any residual magnetism which will affect the compass?
No, you cant install there, have to find another location or move the RC42.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 05:59   #33
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Originally Posted by mitiempo
Nick

I make the same amount installing any brand of charger - which the customer buys, not me.

But as I said, around here there aren't many choices in the under 40 amp sizes, and as posted by others Iota isn't exactly a fully featured marine charger. 9 out of 10 chargers I see on boats are Xantrex. A lot of the rest are cheaper chargers without any flexibility and nowhere as well featured as the Xantrex.

In larger sizes and in particular inverter/chargers there are others like Magnum which is an excellent product.

Interesting story - recently I was hired to install a Magnum inverter/charger to replace a 5 year old Xantrex - both 2500 watt units. First thing I noticed was the cable was too small for the 198 amp load - convinced the customer to change to bigger cable. When pulling the old cable out I found 5' of negative cable that was charred and stiff with melted covering - that killed the Xantrex - and there was no fuse installed so it could have burned the boat. It was installed by a local yard. Installed the Magnum with the proper size cable and a fuse. Original cable was 2 awg for a 20' there and back run and 200 amp load - surprised the Xantrex lasted as long as it did. New cable 3/0.
You are still in it for your livelyhood so even if you would advice people to buy what makes you earn less money, the OP is better off with naturally objective advice. It's like not hiring the cat to babysit your mice even if the cat tells you it nevers eats mice.

The old Xantrex units were okay for those days. Todays units are not and support is worse. Magnum is not much better but there is Victron, Outback etc. and 2-day Fedex service.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 06:29   #34
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Regarding Jedi's admonition regarding X and your question re: "That bad?"

YES!!!! That bad.

Charlie
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Old 20-01-2012, 11:57   #35
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Victron is available locally but they have had more issues than Xantrex lately.
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Old 20-01-2012, 12:05   #36
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Victron is available locally but they have had more issues than Xantrex lately.
Let's see... yep, you sell and/or install Xantrex equipment so we can't know if this is a sales pitch or genuine info from Victron and Xantrex. I suspect that "they" will be you and/or your suppliers / business partners.

ciao!
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Old 20-01-2012, 12:11   #37
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

The local retail store, where both are sold has several Victron that have had issues. The ones I have installed are fine, but so are the Xantrex I installed.

I don't sell any products.

I wish there was a dealer in Canada for the Sterling - they look like good chargers. Good quality and well featured.
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Old 20-01-2012, 12:41   #38
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
The local retail store, where both are sold has several Victron that have had issues. The ones I have installed are fine, but so are the Xantrex I installed.

I don't sell any products.

I wish there was a dealer in Canada for the Sterling - they look like good chargers. Good quality and well featured.
I recently saw a problem with a Victron Multiplus too. But it was clearly damaged somehow, somewhere, and the problem was not related to it's design nor quality. The other problems I know about are for older units, where a fan or other component fails.

The Xantrex has problems beyond comprehension. A search here on CF will be an eye opener. We recently had an owner who was told his refrigeration was broken while the actual problem was a Xantrex charger that functioned normally, but with a bug in it's firmware. That bug is still there, Xantrex doesn't feel the need to fix it and all the pro's that installed/checked it were clueless too and kept pointing away from the charger. I could correctly diagnose the cause here which finally convinced a tech to check and confirm it.

Other problems are the really ugly output signal of Xantrax chargers. I don't even need to connect a scope to know that, because of the noise coming from VHF speaker (squelched) when the charger starts up. My Frigoboat compressors also went to red alert from the noise on their DC feed. In the end I was not really sad when it broke down, even though it had cost me dearly a couple years earlier.

Edit: Sterling will be delivered by FedEx....

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:10   #39
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

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Originally Posted by CharlieJ View Post
Regarding Jedi's admonition regarding X and your question re: "That bad?"

YES!!!! That bad.

Charlie
Ditto!!!!!!

I have even gone so far as to talk with their head of tech support, Marianna, and still nothing gets done and no one there knows squat about the marine products.

I have been after them for years to make the appropriate changes to the Echo Charger manual. I've sent them multiple emails outlining changes that would help DIY's. I have spoken with Marianna, and multiple other people at X who are all in agreement that the changes need to be made, and they agree.. They make promises and then NOTHING is ever done about it. This fight goes back over three years with me and the Echo Charger manual still remains as poorly written and misleading as it ever was to a DIY.

The last Xantrex charger I installed was done begrudgingly, and with a warning to the purchaser. He did buy the extended WM warranty which is probably good. It was a direct replacement for a failed Xantrex and due to the location, and customization that would have been necessary, and the resulting extra labor, he eventually decided to try yet another Xantrex.

Once burned.... More, like multiple times burned...... It wouldn't be too bad if tech support was not sooooooooooo poor and they actually cared enough to stand behind the product.

I think Brian / Mitempo, has to be the only installer I know of who still likes X...? I do still install the Echo's but that's about it.. They've offensively priced themselves out of the battery monitor market, a market they virtually created, well Cruising Equipment/Heart Interface created it then X bought them and destroyed it by pricing their product at a HUGE premium over Victron, who is now eating their lunch on battery monitors.........
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:19   #40
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
No, you cant install there, have to find another location or move the RC42.

cheers,
Nick.
I thought that might be the answer..

How much separation is enough? I can move the RC42 one metre away with no problems at all and it will still be on the centerline and below the WL, just above the fwd edge of the keel, but it 1m enough? (That also puts it within about 1.5m of the K50F though).

Alternatively I can take the RC42 and put it way off the centerline (i.e. all the way to port and have it below the WL)
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Old 20-01-2012, 13:31   #41
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

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Ditto!!!!!!

I have even gone so far as to talk with their head of tech support, Marianna, and still nothing gets done and no one there knows squat about the marine products.

I have been after them for years to make the appropriate changes to the Echo Charger manual. I've sent them multiple emails outlining changes that would help DIY's. I have spoken with Marianna, and multiple other people at X who are all in agreement that the changes need to be made, and they agree.. They make promises and then NOTHING is ever done about it. This fight goes back over three years with me and the Echo Charger manual still remains as poorly written and misleading as it ever was to a DIY.

The last Xantrex charger I installed was done begrudgingly, and with a warning to the purchaser. He did buy the extended WM warranty which is probably good. It was a direct replacement for a failed Xantrex and due to the location, and customization that would have been necessary, and the resulting extra labor, he eventually decided to try yet another Xantrex.

Once burned.... More, like multiple times burned...... It wouldn't be too bad if tech support was not sooooooooooo poor and they actually cared enough to stand behind the product.

I think Brian / Mitempo, has to be the only installer I know of who still likes X...? I do still install the Echo's but that's about it.. They've offensively priced themselves out of the battery monitor market, a market they virtually created, well Cruising Equipment/Heart Interface created it then X bought them and destroyed it by pricing their product at a HUGE premium over Victron, who is now eating their lunch on battery monitors.........
Wow, I really will have to stay clear of Xantrex then.

The only problem is - I can't find anything else that will do what I need that's relatively compact.

I need:

1. Battery equalization feature (easy to start. not: disconnect, dismantle unit, turn rotary dip switch in hard-to-reach-location, reconnect, equalize, and dismantle, blah blah... (this is the Pronautic 1260 btw)

2. Current limiting feature so I can wind it back if the Honda is not up to it.

3. 240V AC input

4. About 90A output (or stackable) - to get most value out of the Honda and ability to use that for bulk charging if required - instead of the engine.

So far, the ChargeMaster 12/100 meets all of these points, EXCEPT that it is too large to fit anywhere.

I would have loved the Iotas as they're CHEAP, but have no equalization.

A pair of Xantrex 60's stacked would also do, mounted vertically on top of each other (I have height, but not much width or depth)... but Xantrex sucks. So I will definitely heed this advice (as I HATE reinstalling/rework!)

Charles, Magnum and a bunch of others I looked at either are combined inverter/chargers which I don't want, or they don't have enough output..

So I'm fresh out of branded solutions..???

Is there any other way to equalize apart from running the main engine? (my solar is TINY, and have no windgen)

Can I do something like perhaps buy a pair of IOTA DLS-45's and stack them for 90A.. and just use them as a cheap source of current, and then use MagicDevice2000 to just equalize?
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:01   #42
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

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Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
The only problem is - I can't find anything else that will do what I need that's relatively compact.
Okay, here is my advice Buy a Victron Multiplus 3kW unit and find a spot for it. Enjoy the inverter function too.

I am so sure that I can find a spot in minutes How about a side bulkhead in an aft cabin? Under the nav station?

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:24   #43
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Okay, here is my advice Buy a Victron Multiplus 3kW unit and find a spot for it. Enjoy the inverter function too.

I am so sure that I can find a spot in minutes How about a side bulkhead in an aft cabin? Under the nav station?

ciao!
Nick.
ahah... easier said than done - I don't have "aft cabins"... I have quarterberths... and one is a seaberth, so empty, the other is "storage". Having said that - the run to the battery bank is quite a distance away and I'd have to run the 70mm2 cable through the bilge... which is not something I want to do.

But good news! I've just found a place for something larger like the ChargeMaster/Victron etc - again, bulkhead mounted, but again right next to the RC42 :\

OK, so how about this - can I move the RC42 about a metre UP and away from the charger? So 1m vertical separation... but then this brings it almost to deck level - but still on the centreline (just beside the mast actually)

On Mastervolt ChargeMaster v Victron - Apparently the Multiplus doesn't have an equalization function though? (would you really recommend the victron over the chargemaster either way?)
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:26   #44
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

Quote:
Originally Posted by akio.kanemoto View Post
The only problem is - I can't find anything else that will do what I need that's relatively compact.

I need:

1. Battery equalization feature (easy to start. not: disconnect, dismantle unit, turn rotary dip switch in hard-to-reach-location, reconnect, equalize, and dismantle, blah blah... (this is the Pronautic 1260 btw)


Equalization on the ProNautic P 1260 can be done through either the remote display or the buttons on the front panel. There is no "dismantling" of anything with either the Sterling PCU 1260 or ProMariner ProNautic P 1260, they are flat out simple..

"ProNautic P 1260
EQUALIZATION
NOTE: This function is only recommended for flooded lead acid batteries and will only activate when this type of battery is selected.

1. Use the up and down arrows to select the Equalization LED.
2.
Once selected press up/down buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.
3. The LED will remain solid, putting the unit in the equalization setting for 240 minutes.
4. Once complete, the charger will revert back to the previous setting."


Seriously does not get much easier than that.. I had about 11 steps just to get tide data on a Raymarine C-80......


Press up or down arrows to select the Equalization LED, once selected, press up/down buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.

I wish more things were that easy, two steps......
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Old 20-01-2012, 15:32   #45
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Re: Optimal Charging Regimen - Wet Cells

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Equalization on the ProNautic P 1260 can be done through either the remote display or the buttons on the front panel. There is no "dismantling" of anything with either the Sterling PCU 1260 or ProMariner ProNautic P 1260, they are flat out simple..

"ProNautic P 1260
EQUALIZATION
NOTE: This function is only recommended for flooded lead acid batteries and will only activate when this type of battery is selected.

1. Use the up and down arrows to select the Equalization LED.
2.
Once selected press up/down buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.
3. The LED will remain solid, putting the unit in the equalization setting for 240 minutes.
4. Once complete, the charger will revert back to the previous setting."


Seriously does not get much easier than that.. I had about 11 steps just to get tide data on a Raymarine C-80......


Press up or down arrows to select the Equalization LED, once selected, press up/down buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds.

I wish more things were that easy, two steps......
Bizarre... this is what I have in the manual (the heading is desulfation, there is no heading for equalization):

Desulfation Mode Defined (Flooded Lead Acid Only) - battery switch position - 8
Sulfation may cause early battery failure; to reduce sulfation ProMariner has incorporated a
desulfation mode to extend battery life. The desulfation mode should not be used more than 4 times
a year. To use the desulfation mode turn off AC power, isolate the batteries from all equipment/
electronics on board. If this mode is used without disconnecting accessories the potential for
accessory damage is high. Next remove the end cap located on the DC side of the charger. With
the AC power off, change the rotary switch to position 8. After the adjustment replace the DC
cover and turn the charger on. The charger will go into a Flooded Lead Acid charge cycle followed
by the desulfation mode for 4 hours and then shut off. After this is complete turn off AC power.
Remove the DC terminal end cap and reset the rotary switch back into the original setting, reinstall
the DC cover and turn on the AC power. Charger will now be in normal operating mode.
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