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Old 07-04-2018, 16:12   #1
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Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Looking for recommendations for a good battery monitor, needs to be easy to install, reliable, accurate quality unit and monitor at least two banks as well as show amp usage.
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Old 07-04-2018, 16:27   #2
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

If you want to monitor voltage, amps in and out I am very happy with my Victron BMV601. To monitor the state of charge however will take some intelligent interaction with the data and settings. Also, it will monitor two separate banks but second bank is voltage only.

If you want a more less no brainer, idiot proof state of charge monitor then the Balmar Smartguage might be a better option.
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Old 07-04-2018, 16:56   #3
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Yes a SmartGauge on each for SoC and voltage.

If you want the AH flow details Victron BMV-702, again on each,

but every coulomb counter needs proper calibration and frequent manual Full-resetting in order to give decent SoC guesstimates, still less accurate than SG.

I don't know of multi-bank units with a good rep other than Bogart Pentametric, but not sure if they're up to a marine environment.
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Old 07-04-2018, 17:17   #4
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

victron 702 for 2 voltage banks. only does one for amps / %.

if you need amps on both. two victron 700's
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Old 07-04-2018, 17:23   #5
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Since I got my SG I’ve used my BM strictly as an amp meter. I am confident enough to keep my Trojan start battery switched into my house bank and rely on the accuracy of SG. I will start isolating the start battery when starting with the house bank causes my MFD to reboot or when I have to call sea tow—whatever occurs first.
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Old 07-04-2018, 18:07   #6
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Those little lithium jumper powerpacks can be bought big enough to crank a big diesel in a pinch.

Just keep it charged, tempting to use for screen gadgets. . .
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Old 07-04-2018, 18:09   #7
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

I got really excited when I read the reviews and the manual on Smart Gauge as I only have the Victron BMV 600 for my 24v house bank.

I thought I could used the SG for my 24v Start (Bat 1) and 12v Radio/Gen Start (Bat 2)

....but different voltages are not allowed for Bat 1 & Bat 2

Any suggestions on small footprint SOC monitors for each, that does the same?
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Old 07-04-2018, 18:26   #8
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Just use the SG on House where you need it and get a cheapy volt readout for Starter
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Old 08-04-2018, 08:40   #9
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

I use the Victron BMV 702. Very happy with it. Volts on each of 2 battery banks. A & SOC (%) on service battery bank. Small, compact, does not take much space on chart table panel.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:12   #10
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
If you want to monitor voltage, amps in and out I am very happy with my Victron BMV601. To monitor the state of charge however will take some intelligent interaction with the data and settings. Also, it will monitor two separate banks but second bank is voltage only.

If you want a more less no brainer, idiot proof state of charge monitor then the Balmar Smartguage might be a better option.
+1 on the Smartgauge . . . see Marine How To's for a lot more info on the unit
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:12   #11
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

I just changed our system from 2 Link 20's to monitor all 4 of our batteries....we use 6 Trojan T105's, connected into 3 house "batteries" plus a starting battery. The Link 20s allowed me to monitor each of the 3 house "batteries" as well as the starter batt, and worked very well for 12+years. But they're old, not supported/available anymore, and have become somewhat unreliable. So I changed to a Victron 712(built-in Bluetooth and monitors 2 batt-combined house and start) and a SmartGauge(also monitors 2 batts). Both were easy to install. I must say the Victron has been spot-on, easy to read and use, and the b-i Bluetooth has been very handy. The SmartGauge, even after numerous exchanges with the Smartgauge techs, seems to read OK on the combined House batts, but is way, way off on the start batt. Voltage for the house bank shows really close to my BlueSea direct-reading digital voltmeter on the Victron, and somewhat close on the SG. But while the Victron shows the start batt voltage almost exactly on, the SG shows it as either very high or very low....I'm getting a near constant Error message on the SG due to it. And I can't seem to find/fix the problem! Highly recommend the Victron 712, but so far.....I'd avoid the Smart Gauge!
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:15   #12
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Those little lithium jumper powerpacks can be bought big enough to crank a big diesel in a pinch.

Just keep it charged, tempting to use for screen gadgets. . .
John - what size do you need though? We use one to start F-350 (Ford) diesels trucks (like a 6.7 or thereabouts) and it has to be about a 1500 AH size . . . would expect a larger boat diesel would take a bit more than that, wouldn't it?
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:22   #13
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

I forgot to add....we have 4-80watt solar panels and a windgen installed, and they are always on. Their (SG) advertising says that near constant charge input will affect the SG, ...and it certainly does! But that alternate energy input has no effect on our start batt charging system, and it's the one the SG seems really far off on. And, I should note, the SOC showing up on the Victron is always significantly different from that shown on the SG...... continuously.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:37   #14
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

Check Mastervolt equipment. Will do everything you want but at a hefty price.
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Old 08-04-2018, 11:49   #15
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Re: Recommend a Good Battery Monitor

I use a BM-1 from NASA Marine, here is the link. I have a starter and then three 100Ah as my house batteries with shore, generator and solar charging. Its a low cost device which jas worked well for several years. Clipper BM-1 Battery Monitor - Nasa Marine Instruments. I think there are a wireless and bluetooth versions.
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