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View Poll Results: What Battery Monitor system do you run?
Basic Amp and Volt gauges 41 20.00%
Link 10 29 14.15%
Link 20 22 10.73%
Link 1000 11 5.37%
Link 2000 29 14.15%
Trimetric 2020 8 3.90%
DOC Wattson model R102 0 0%
Victron BMV 602 21 10.24%
CruzPro VAH-35 4 1.95%
Clipper Battery Monitor BM-1 11 5.37%
Other - please add info to thread! 29 14.15%
Voters: 205. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23-12-2008, 11:40   #16
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WOW, did not realize I broke 2,000. We are considering the Victron but can't get much feedback on the unit as it seems to be more known down under and in Europe. The Xantrex issues seem to do with the delicate wiring and the need, for unknown reasons to constantly have to reset the units. Some of these are installation issues and some are not. We liked the Link 10 and it monitored two banks, but that was the older unit. Xantrex has been having issues with chargers and inverters also lately, just have an honest discussion with one of their service centers, so I am concerned about quality control on all of their products. I seldom find only one or two are at issue. I do know Victron has a good reputation but need more input from users before making a decision.
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Old 23-12-2008, 11:40   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post


I also had a Maxcharge controller go bad.

Greg

Greg I think this is what Chuck was referring to with bad Xantrx product? Maybe not? You've had a Balmar regulator failure (the Xantrex alternator regulator and the Balmar's are basically the same re-badged product), I've personally had three fail (know issue) and I know of quite a few others like Tom Young over on CS-BB who have also had Balmar regulator failures.

All I can say is if you have a Balmar or Xantrex alternator regulator CARRY A SPARE!!!

I suspect they don't like heat and as such might be better off remotely mounted outside the engine compartment but that is just a thought after reading about many failures. Most of the failures I've read about were in engine compartments. Was your Max Charge in the engine compartment??
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Old 23-12-2008, 11:57   #18
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The MaxCharge controller was (I think) a MC-412. I replaced it with a 612 after talking to the factory (ain't Skype GREAT!). I now carry an automotive type simple controller as well. I decide on the 612 because it was an older (well tested in the real world) design. So far, so good.


I have not had any problems with my alternator. Been using the same one for years now. After I talked to the factory they told me that there is an internal temp sensor that will cut it off when the inside reaches over 220 F. I find that to be true. I also have the external temp sensors to the Alt and Batt. I had to disconnect the external ones in the Sea in the summer, even with the engine room door off. At that, a couple of time the Alt shut itself down, then restated just fine once it cooled off a bit.


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Old 23-12-2008, 13:58   #19
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I have the EMON system and generally like it. I'm still however learning all the ins and outs. It will combine with their regulator and run the whole shebang but I've got one wire to connect and actually am waiting till I get the EMON fully understood. Then me thinks I'll be a happy camper.

It was a wiring pain to get all the twisted pairs, temp sensors, etc connected up.
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:27   #20
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Link to the EMON system:

Energy Monitor/Controller
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:35   #21
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We use Cruz- Pro VAH 110, nice big display, good value for price
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:38   #22
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it always bothers me when a supplier buries the price of a product so deep in their web site you can't find it or does not publish it at all.
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Old 23-12-2008, 15:40   #23
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Basic voltmeter. I have had 3 of the fancy units mentioned above. (and have a Link now) Who needs it? Monitoring your batteries will not get them charged! and believing a digital meter that says you "have 320 amp hours remaining" may be only minimally accurate. I just a made a little laminated chart showing Voltage level -vs- percent of charge left. Done! The only thing critical is avoiding dipping to low on the voltage to avoid batt damage or machinery going wacky!
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Old 23-12-2008, 17:44   #24
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The chart may be nice but I like to know how much different items are using. Also like to know what my solar is putting back in and my wind generator. At times that knowledge has shown that I have problem with a piece of equipment and I need to look into it before something gets out of hand.
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Old 23-12-2008, 18:35   #25
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Basic voltmeter. I have had 3 of the fancy units mentioned above. (and have a Link now) Who needs it? Monitoring your batteries will not get them charged! and believing a digital meter that says you "have 320 amp hours remaining" may be only minimally accurate. I just a made a little laminated chart showing Voltage level -vs- percent of charge left. Done! The only thing critical is avoiding dipping to low on the voltage to avoid batt damage or machinery going wacky!
You can not effectively measure state of charge without letting the battery come to a resting voltage. This takes time. How long do you let it sit with zero draw and zero charge before taking your voltage reading??

Before measuring state of charge, the battery should have rested for 4-8 hours after a charge or discharge cycle and resided at a steady room temperature during this resting period. A cold battery would show slightly higher voltages and a hot battery would be lower. With sufficient rest and a stable temperature, voltage readings can provide a fairly accurate state of charge estimation. Unfortunately it is a very, very rare situation, while on board cruising, that you will let your batts sit for 4-8 hours with zero input or output. Taking a reading of anything other than a stabalized resting voltage really tells you very little and can in fact be quite misleading..
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Old 23-12-2008, 21:01   #26
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I currently have the Cruz Pro and am very happy. A lot of functionality for a great price. If it broke, I would probably go with the Victron as it tracks history (lowest voltage, average, etc.). It also supposedly can be hooked to a laptop and log values to an Excel file. I could then draw graphs of my volts and amps over time.

Do I need Excel charts about my batteries? Of course not. Would this be another reason that good looking women head for the ladies room when they see me coming? Probably.

Carl
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Old 24-12-2008, 12:13   #27
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Are any of these NMEA 2000 compliant? I've tried looking this up on the web but no real luck there.
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Old 27-12-2008, 09:52   #28
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I have the link 10 and it does the job.
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Old 27-12-2008, 10:38   #29
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You can not effectively measure state of charge without letting the battery come to a resting voltage. This takes time. How long do you ....

Gee, Time was not a problem when I was cruising...... but now I'm curious..... does the Link account for resting voltage when it does it readings amp hours and calculations?
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Old 27-12-2008, 10:49   #30
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My understanding of how the battery monitors work is that they measure power out vs. power in taking into consideration a number of charge factors that are programmed in to the monitor as well as a number of parameters that are input by the owner (whew!). The parameters basically define the battery type and battery bank capacity. With this information the state of charge of the battery bank can be calculated with a reasonable accuracy and so settling time is not required.
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