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Old 08-25-2014
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Recommendations for Battery Monitor

I'm looking to monitor a two battery bank system. One bank for the house, and one for starting. I've been looking at the SmartGauge destibuted by Balmar, and another one by Victron. What I like about the SmartGauge is I don't have to calculate the aH my battery bank can currently hold. What I like about Victron monitors they tell me the draw on the battery and as well as how well my charging system is doing. What I don't like about SmartGauge is it doesn't tell my how much draw I'm currently using and how well my current charging is doing. What I don't like about the Victron monitors is I have to manually determine how much my aH are for my battery and need to re-sink the thing as the battery gets older. What I'd like is one that automatically can calculate the aH my batteries hold regardless of age, as well as provides me additional output like how much current is being drawn out of my batteries and how well my charging system is working, whether it is the alternator on the motor, solar panels, or wind generator. Is there a single meter that is easy to install correctly and does everything I need. Or do I need to buy the SmartGauge, and another monitor to show draw and charging of my batteries. What are others doing to monitor all there batteries without breaking the bank($)?
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Old 08-25-2014
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by DBASailor View Post
I'm looking to monitor a two battery bank system. One bank for the house, and one for starting. I've been looking at the SmartGauge destibuted by Balmar, and another one by Victron. What I like about the SmartGauge is I don't have to calculate the aH my battery bank can currently hold. What I like about Victron monitors they tell me the draw on the battery and as well as how well my charging system is doing. What I don't like about SmartGauge is it doesn't tell my how much draw I'm currently using and how well my current charging is doing. What I don't like about the Victron monitors is I have to manually determine how much my aH are for my battery and need to re-sink the thing as the battery gets older. What I'd like is one that automatically can calculate the aH my batteries hold regardless of age, as well as provides me additional output like how much current is being drawn out of my batteries and how well my charging system is working, whether it is the alternator on the motor, solar panels, or wind generator. Is there a single meter that is easy to install correctly and does everything I need. Or do I need to buy the SmartGauge, and another monitor to show draw and charging of my batteries. What are others doing to monitor all there batteries without breaking the bank($)?
If you want an ammeter you can get one from Blue Sea or other sources but in the end it will cost more than a Victron BMV-700.

All that matters to battery longevity is monitoring your SOC thus the Smart Gauge is the best choice to get the most life out of your bank.

Yes the Victron Ah counters give tons of information but it is considerably more complex and perhaps 99.8% of boaters DO NOT have them properly calibrated. Thus they become informational only tools. Still not bad but far from accurate in the vast majority of installations.

When your batts are new you do okay with this but as they age the BM can exacerbate the out of synch/lack of proper programing and actually accelerate the harm being done to your bank.

If you want the best battery monitor, and one that stays calibrated to YOUR BANK, then buy the Smart Gauge..

If you absolutely need an ammeter add a Victron but DO NOT try and compare the two for SOC as the Victron will almost always be wrong.

Your start battery needs nothing more than voltage monitoring and the Smart Gauge already offers that for a second bank.
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Old 08-25-2014
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

Thanks for the feedback read you article on the SmartGauge. Great stuff, really got me thinking how important it is to make sure the gauge always tells you the correct SOC. What I'm kind of wondering is how to also tell is the number of aH my batteries has left and how much of a draw the autopilot, or reefer, or inverter, or lights might be drawing my battery down. As how well my solar panel is charging, or the alternator. If I get the SmartGauge for the SOC, what should I do about monitoring these other things?
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Old 09-12-2014
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

Have you looked at the British NASA Marine battery monitor?

Nasa Bm2-12 Battery Monitor (12Vdc): Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors Nasa Bm2-12 Battery Monitor (12Vdc): Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors



This can monitor two battery banks - service and engine.

I have recently fitted the NASA BM1 Compact for one battery bank, and it does what it says on the box.

Cheaper if you buy it from a UK retailer than a USA retailer -
Amazon.com: Clipper BM-2 Battery Monitor w/Shunt - 200Amp: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: Clipper BM-2 Battery Monitor w/Shunt - 200Amp: Sports & Outdoors


even with shipping.
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