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Old 16-09-2011, 11:12   #31
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

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Not arguing the operation of the duocharge, and you got a great price on one so you are all set.

However, there is no electrical or charging issue with combining small and large batteries. Each battery will take only the amount of charge it needs and will not be overcharged because the alternator is putting out a high amperage to satisfy another lower charged battery on the circuit.

After all, what is considered a 12v battery is simply 6 2v batteries hooked in series and put inside a box (6v batteries are 3 of these cells). Even though those 2v cells are not equal during discharge/charge, no one is ever concerned about charging them when they are boxed together into a "battery". And rightly so - it doesn't matter because each will stop taking amperage as they reach full charge individually. In the same manner as multiple cells inside one box (a "battery"), it makes no difference in how multiple boxes ("batteries") are portioned or divided - they all become a long series/parallel string of 2v cells and look like a single battery to a charging source.

You have different battery types, and that can make a difference. However, the charging regime for AGM is very close to that for flooded. Combining these wouldn't be an issue as long as your charging sources were set for AGM. I wouldn't do it if one bank were gels.

On the other hand, I think you have the same issue with the duocharge, unless its auxillary output can be set at a different voltage than the primary output.

Mark
If you have a normal regulator as I have, I agree, but if you have an aggressive 3 stage charger that sits in a bulk phase limiting at something like 14.8 volts and you house bank is drawing enough current that it stays at that voltage for some time, meanwhile your fully charged starting battery is at minimum boiling off excessive water.

John
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Old 16-09-2011, 13:16   #32
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

I had a small (50 amp) Yandina Combineer for awhile but it failed. I now have a Blue Seas ACR which is working fine. I have just one 3 way switch also.
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Old 16-09-2011, 16:22   #33
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

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Combiners (I have one on my other sailboat, as mentioned in the opening post) works best with battery banks that are the same/similar. It DOES work quite well on my other boat.

But with a tiny AGM starting battery and a large (2x 262 amp 6v golf car batteries) combining them, and charging them with the high amp balmar alternator would not be the best way to go. The starting battery does not need to be combined and charged for hours and hours on end.

Having it topped off by way of the house battery using the duo/echo charge is a better way to go.
Please know that the Duo Charger has a major glitch in it. I have spoken at length with Dale, Rick and Rich at Balmar about this issue, they are all aware, but as of yet they have not resolved the problem.

If the Duo is ever asked to supply more than the 30A limit it usually locks out. With AGM's, even just used for starting, the in-rush charge can lock them out. Been there..... The Echo does not do this and will just continue to supply the 15A if asked, even if the batteries want 60A.....
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Old 16-09-2011, 16:50   #34
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

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Please know that the Duo Charger has a major glitch in it. I have spoken at length with Dale, Rick and Rich at Balmar about this issue, they are all aware, but as of yet they have not resolved the problem.

If the Duo is ever asked to supply more than the 30A limit it usually locks out. With AGM's, even just used for starting, the in-rush charge can lock them out. Been there..... The Echo does not do this and will just continue to supply the 15A if asked, even if the batteries want 60A.....
Yup. Mentioned above earlier in the thread. Also mentioned in the manual a few times as well
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Old 14-05-2012, 06:07   #35
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

whoo hoo... got the duo charge installed. Nice piece. Easy install. Was able to use the original 12bn switch. added a Heavy Duty on/off (BEP brand) switch for the starting battery. works great! Just needed 2 new segments of battery cable - had them professionally made.

I wasn't sure if I could trim the battery temp sensor wire, so I left it coiled. No biggie. Got to secure the wires at the end as well,

Hope it works as well as it is supposed to!




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Old 14-05-2012, 09:53   #36
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

A Combiner100 for about $60 will connect to the back of your existing switch and do what you need. It even has a regulator function if the starting battery voltage is too high for the AGM house battery you can use the regulator function to protect it.
It will handle alternators up to 100 amps, I think the echo charge is only 15 amps. They have unconditonal warranty and in production (nearly) 20 years.
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Old 14-05-2012, 11:53   #37
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

No doubt there are many solutions. The duo charge fits the bill for my system.
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Old 14-05-2012, 15:05   #38
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

There is a neat Sterling alternator regulator which actually is a 3/4 stage charger with double output - this one takes alternator output and splits it neatly into separate charging streams for each bank. It is a 3/4 stage charging device, very neat, not very cheap. The echo way is cheaper (good if you reyturn to the dock) but the Staerling way is faster (good for offshore). You can have a decent echo from Waeco at a good price too.

b.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:33   #39
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

Just an update on this mod, after a full season of use. Outstanding. Now the balmar 614 regulator and alternator can fully go through all the charging stages. keeping the house battery charged as it should.. and the starting battery was kept charged with the duo charge. No messing up switching the switch..trying to remember if you did switch from starting to house.. etc.. no human element.

great, worthwhile modification!
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:58   #40
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Re: Tired of the 1-2-n-b Switch

You might want to seriously consider relocating that from your engine compartment. Painted circuit boards and heat do not play well together.

Otherwise, nice deal.

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Hope it works as well as it is supposed to!




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