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Old 28-09-2011, 16:32   #16
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

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For what type of batteries? Also Therapy why 55 amp? I thought 20ish was recommended or does this depend on he size of the bank(s)? I'm doing the same research. Maine Sail recommended victron, iota or master volt. SC
I'm the one who listed the 55amp. The OP mentioned a $240 price point for the Truecharge 20 and I just went on a website and looked for an Iota charger around that price. 55amps was it. The Iota doesn't have a 20amp version, but the 15amp is only $157 and the 30amp only $162. Much less than the Truecharge.

I don't have the Ioata yet for comparison, but our Truecharge threw out a lot of RFI and wasn't very reliable. On the other hand, there are bazillions of them out there, so either people treat them as throw-aways, or we got a bad one.

I do know that I had occasion to use Xantrex support for another product and I wish never to go through that living hell again. Those people have the worse combination of arrogance, moronishness and "I don't give a damness" that I've ever dealt with.

And that's just if they even answer the phone or email.

Mark
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Old 28-09-2011, 19:18   #17
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

I have a Promariner 1230plus and a 1240plus in both my boats. Never an issue in the last 5 yrs of operation. The 1240 is on 24/7 from April till Nov.

Best price I found on them was through StarMarineDepot.com and fast shipping.
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Old 28-09-2011, 19:25   #18
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

I've had an IOTA 75 for a couple of years now and love it. Took the cover off to hard wire to the boats electrical system and was very impressed with the quality of workmanship on the circuit boards.

I am going to a Victron combo inverter/charger but will keep the IOTA as a backup.

Victron does make straight chargeres as well.
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Old 28-09-2011, 19:29   #19
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

IOTA with the IQ4 add on.
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Old 28-09-2011, 19:34   #20
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

do a search on this board for xantrex you be the judge
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Old 28-09-2011, 19:35   #21
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

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IOTA with the IQ4 add on.
Yes, forgot to mention that. Definitely with IQ4. Some models have it built in instead of as an add on.
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Old 16-01-2012, 08:09   #22
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

Just found this thread, and it is also my question. Will you guys take a look at my reqts, and give this another shot?

I want at least 20 amps, able to drop to a maintenance amperage, the ability to shut off for a period (say 24 hours), then come on with the appropriate amperage to bring the bank back up to charge, and finally: capability to equalize manually as opposed to automatically.

I have a 400 Ah flooded bank that has to sit in Trinidad, alone and un-cared for, for six months at a time, with the need to provide refrigeration while on the hard for 2 weeks a year, during the boat prep cycles. I have tried minimum charge from the solar controller (2 amps?), but that still dries the batteries down to the plates over six months. I can't fly down from Canada just to put in some water, and do not believe the local help is up to it. That is why I prefer a charger that cycles on and off. AC power for the charger is 110 amps, in Trinidad.

As well, it would be good to equalize the batteries on the hard with the charger after the sailing season, and again after the storage season, and using the charger for that would be a plus.

I was thinking of hooking a portable trickle charger to a timer, but then the charger sucks energy when the timer disconnects it. Also, the timer adds another level of complexity that could screw up. As I finally am on a pension, I can swing for a reasonably priced marine bolt-on charger.

The six months while sailing, the charger would not be used, as I have a wonderful Blue Sky controller with 248 Watts of panel, an Air-X-Marine wind turbine, and two Hitachi 55 amp alternators.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 16-01-2012, 09:42   #23
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

another point in favor for IOTA, is the units have the ability to have the open voltage adjusted for different battery type requirments.

Check with the mfg of your batteries for this setting. I use an IOTA unit to keep an AGM bank happy.


Very nice unit, and the price point can't be beat

good luck
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Old 16-01-2012, 15:54   #24
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

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That is what I have and it works great (not that I use it much) but they (Xantrex) don't have such a great name any more.

Why is that?
Xantrex'x predecessor companies used to make pretty good products- Freedom inverters for one, Trace inverters for another. Not any more.

Xantrex's products fail
Xantrex's products don't meet their specs
Xantrex's customer service is abysmal.

Need I say more.

David
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Old 16-01-2012, 16:19   #25
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

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.....

The six months while sailing, the charger would not be used, as I have a wonderful Blue Sky controller with 248 Watts of panel, an Air-X-Marine wind turbine, and two Hitachi 55 amp alternators.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Then why not use the solar system to maintain the batteries?

Having been in your situation, where I had to leave the boat for months at a time in the Caribbean, I know how hard it is to take care of the batteries. Even with someone local to "care" for the boat. I blew thru a new set of batteries most every year!!

The local power is unreliable. That's hard on any charger. The hot temperature speeds up the self-discharge rate, so you can't just leave them. AGMs and gels would fare better in that dept., but they are expensive and bring other problems. You can't just hook up an unregulated solar panel because you'll likely burn up the batteries.

BUT....if you already have a solar system with a good controller, maybe that would do the trick for you. Be sure to use HydroCaps or WaterMiser caps on the batteries to reduce electrolyte loss.

Bill
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Old 16-01-2012, 19:35   #26
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

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I have tried minimum charge from the solar controller (2 amps?), but that still dries the batteries down to the plates over six months.
You have a battery problem, not a charging problem.

If an unopened/unused fridge is the only load and you have a good solar controller (sounds like you do), then the batteries should not be using that much water over 6 months. They shouldn't be using much water at all, since they should be sitting on non-gassing float voltages almost all the time.

I see I mentioned in an earlier post that the Iota has an equalization mode. Now that I have one, I realize that it doesn't - it is called that in the marketing literature, but it is really just a bump back up to absorption mode after a set time in float mode.

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Old 16-01-2012, 20:48   #27
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

This might solve your water servicing problems. Looks nearly automatic and should only take someone a few minutes to service the battery water level. JANWP.com-- Battery Water Systems, Dock Accessories, Dock Ladders, Electrical Dock Pedestals, Solar: Battery Water Fill Systems Selector
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Old 16-01-2012, 21:32   #28
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

Mastervolt make good gear.
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Old 16-01-2012, 21:41   #29
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Re: What Is a Good Battery Charger ?

I have one of the blue sky controllers with about 270 watts of solar. It (and the alternator, and the AC charger when on shore power) charge the house bank. A blue sea ACR closes the circuit to the starting battery when a charging current exists long enough.

Simple, straight forward, not a lot of gear.
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Old 16-01-2012, 21:48   #30
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Re: What is a good battery charger?

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I installed one of these last winter and couldn't be more pleased.

Truecharge Battery Charger | Truecharge2 20A, 40A, 60A | Xantrex

I bought the 60A model to ensure enough power for now and any future additions.
I have an older version of that (the 20 amp), and it's been terrific. A bit overkill having the ACR in place, but still really nice. It's been working for ~7 years.
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