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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 08-31-2009
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shore power battery charger - need recommendation

My boat currently (no pun ..) has an old ferroresonant charger, which I believe is cooking my batteries. I want to upgrade to a multistage charger and am considering the following products:
  • Pro Mariner Pro Sport 20
  • Xantrex Truecharge 20+
  • Guest 16202
All are 20A total, 2 output chargers with multistage charging. The Pro Mariner seems to be more flexible than the others since it can share the 20A total capacity between the 2 outputs. Other than that, on paper, they look to be comparable.

Does anyone have experience with any of these?

Thanks ...
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Old 08-31-2009
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Truecharge comes standard on Beneteau, and I'm happy with mine. Not sure what you mean "share the 20A" but Xantrex balances the 2 output for total 20A. They also advertise the max amps output for 75% of the charging
cycle, while others provide max for a short period only, making charging faster. I have 2 banks only, so house bank will be always the one demanding a lot, while engine will be on float mostly times. The new Truecharge2 has a feature I like most , input voltage range (90-265 Vac, 47-63 Hz), what helps when we sail other areas.
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Old 09-01-2009
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I'd second the Xantrex Truecharge2 chargers. Even if you never need the 240 volt they're very tolerant of low voltage as well. They will give full charging output down to 90 volts and in the winter at a lot of marinas the voltage dips quite low. As far as sharing capacity between different banks, as far as I know every multi bank charger divides its output between the number of banks - eg a 20 amp charger will output 10 amps to each bank of a 2 bank system. Current thinking is to wire your charge sources (including shorepower, alternator, solar and wind gen if installed) directly to the house bank and charge start battery either with a battery combiner or an Echocharge (another Xantrex product and the method I prefer). The start battery never drops down much from full charge as it's only used for engine starting and that takes very little amp-hours.
I installed a Xantrex Truecharge2 40 amp version on a friends boat and it works flawlessly. If you're installing it in an area open to the living area keep in mind that the fan is audible - this might bother some.
Brian
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Old 09-01-2009
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I have one of these.

Xantrex Technology Inc. - Boats - XC Battery Chargers - 12V & 24V - Product Information

I have never looked back, batteries always fully charged and in perfect shape.
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Old 09-01-2009
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I got the Iota 45amp charger, with the intellent Q4.., after recommendations from other members here. The price was great, and I am very happy with the unit. I noticed the father-in-law's RV came standard with an Iota charger and DC panel, and they have used it extensivley for 2-3 years now, without problems.

I bought at Jackrabbit marine, but they have since went out of business, so you could google for dealers.
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Decisions, decisions ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northeaster View Post
I got the Iota 45amp charger, with the intellent Q4.., after recommendations from other members here. The price was great, and I am very happy with the unit. I noticed the father-in-law's RV came standard with an Iota charger and DC panel, and they have used it extensivley for 2-3 years now, without problems.
I posted this query on Anything Sailing as well and based on the conversations there I decided to order the Iota 30 with Intelligent Charging option. I would have gone for Xantrex but their relations with customers appears to be less than desirable.

I will add to this thread after I have installed the Iota charger and have a little experience with it.
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Old 09-21-2009
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postscript

My concern about the charger frying my batteries was a bit belated: the batteries pooped out on a cruise. I had to buy new batteries at a port 30 miles from home. I bought Interstate deep cycles, and the price was not even outrageous.

Now I have installed the Iota DLS30-IQ4 and it seems to be happy keeping the new batteries on float while plugged in.

I also bought an Argus Battery Bug which will help me monitor the health of the new batteries.

It is much too early to tell how well the Iota does in keeping the batteries in good health. The weak point of my system is the Motorola alternator with integral regulator, which will certainly boil away battery acid, but the cost to replace it is a big obstacle.
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Old 10-20-2009
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I've been using a Pro-mariner works fine. I got a good price on a rebuilt new model charger by giving them the serial # of an old pro mariner.
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