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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2009
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Bill and everyone,

I am thinking maybe the DLS -55/IQ4 would be the safer choice. If I run the generator for a couple hours I could still pump 100-110 amp hours back into battery. Would be nice to get the power of the DLS-75 but I don't want to trash the generator (when I get it).

Along with the new charger I want to get a battery monitor to replace my current 40 amp meter with something that gives me a bit more info, like amp hours remaining etc. Do you think the Zantrex Linklite would be a good choice, I like the shape as I believe it will be a drop in replacement for my current amp meter.

I also wonder if it is worth it to get the DLS with the external IQ4 so as to be able to bump the voltage a bit when doing the charge with generator. I would rather have it built in, but if being able to bump my charging voltage a bit would help me charge the batteries faster when on the hook, I would consider going that route.

Thanks again

Michael
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Old 11-26-2009
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Michael,

The IQ-4 automatically adjusts the voltage for rapid charging. And, in fact, in the bulk mode it uses 14.76V for charging. In the absorption mode it drops to 14.2, thence to 13.6 in the float mode.

Can't comment on battery monitors, except that Xantrex-anything these days is a risk (due to poor business practices). The Victron looks good, and no doubt works well as does everything Victron.

Personally, I don't believe they're particularly useful if you have any idea what you're doing, and are familiar with your own battery setup. A good digital voltmeter and a good multimeter will give you what you need if you know how to interpret what you're seeing. IMHO.

Bill
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2009
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I spoke with a tech at Iota this morning. His advice was do not use the Iota 75 amp charger with the Honda 2000 generator if using AGM batteries. I ordered the Iota 55 with the smart charge feature built in.

Thank you again for your input
michael
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2009
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A battery monitor will tell you so much more than a voltmeter could ever do. And it's real time, not waiting 12 hours for the battery to stabilize. Amp/hours currently being used, amp/hours going in and remaining capacity. Also handy to see the amperage draw of anything on the boat exactly. I've installed several Xantrex monitors lately but would purchase the Victron BMV-600 at Jamestown for 195 if buying now.
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Old 11-30-2009
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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I've installed several Xantrex monitors lately but would purchase the Victron BMV-600 at Jamestown for 195 if buying now.
BTW I don't know how long Jamestown can hold that price as it is only $2.00 more than current dealer cost. Get one at that price while you still can..
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  #16  
Old 12-01-2009
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Thanks guys, I did get the Victron ordered today from Jamestown. Hopefully in a couple weeks I can get it all installed. The joys of working on a boat in December..... brrrrr!

michael
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Old 12-01-2009
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I bought a victron unitm jamestown Nice unit great info The directions are a little vague but with a little time understandable I would buy on again Same with the iota chargers, great unit
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  #18  
Old 12-07-2009
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The Charger arrived today what a suprise when I saw printed in big block letters: CHINA . They don't mention that anywhere on their site that I can find. Oh well if the Chinese can make parts for 767 Jets I guess they should be able to build a battery charger. Time will tell.

michael
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Old 01-15-2010
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Question Charger Questions

I was doing some Googling on "iota chargers" and this thread turned up on the second page...
(I guess that I have not really used my old SailNet id since the last time it went bankrupt. Nice to see that the forums still exist.)

I have an early Statpower 20, from the mid 90's. General opinion is that, reliability wise, it is in the twilight of its years. Also, every techie and marine vendor I know is warning against replacing it with anything from Xantrex. Evidently factory support is well south of nil and zip.

I was considering Promariner, and it gets average-to-a-bit-above professional reviews -- the company is better-thought-of too for support.

A local marine electronics shop tells me that the Iota (a product born in the RV industry) is proving to be durable and reliable -- not to mention reasonable priced. Also that Iota chargers actually meet or exceed their brochure specs, while many other brands do not.
Their appearance is certainly a bit funky compared to the competition, FWIW. Sleek/Stylish they are not.
Still, performance is the important thing.

Since every boat will have a slightly different battery set up, I should explain mine briefly.
I have a flooded house bank of two Trojan T-145's. That's about 260 AH, per their specs.
The Emergency/Starting bank is a single Optima spiralcell, stored back under a quarter berth because that's the only place we could find room to add one -- albeit there's no way to add water to a flooded battery in that area anyway.

Presently the charger feeds only the flooded-cell house bank because back in the 90's the folks at Statpower advised against wiring it to both types of battery technology at the same time.
Now I find that some local technicians say it's OK to combine the Optima and the two-golf-cart house bank, and some others say they would rather not.

In the real world, I have been paralleling the two banks for about an hour, once every one to three months. (The self-discharge rate of the agm Optima is extremely low.) I just started the three cylinder diesel with the Optima yesterday and it worked perfectly, for example.

Any suggestions on charging? Brand? Personal Experiences? Comments?

Thanks in advance,
The Old Cruiser

Last edited by olson34; 01-15-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 01-15-2010
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The Iota chargers would be fine with that setup. Their charging profile is well within the charging specifications for the Optima Spiral Cell batteries. Optima YellowTop Specs - Yellow Cap Batteries by Optima

For your 260AH house bank, I think I'd get either the DLS-45 or DLS-55 with the IQ-4 smart-charge option (either internal or external). The 55 might be preferable if you ever plan to increase the size of your house battery bank and/or change over to AGM batteries. Price difference is negligible.

IMHO, Arizona Wind and Sun is a preferred vendor, but there are others as well.
Iota Regulated Battery Chargers
The IQ-4 is at the bottom of the page. It's important, as it turns the DLS chargers into smart multi-stage chargers.

For charging your start battery, I'd suggest the Xantrex EchoCharge. Yeah, I know, it's Xantrex and most everyone -- including me -- is very wary of them. But the EchoCharge is a good product which they bought from another company and, to my knowledge, they haven't changed. I've had one on my boat for years, and still install them for customers. No problems.

If you wanna go first-class, you could use a DuoCharge in lieu of the EchoCharge. It's more money, but is fully programmable. Frankly, I don't think it's necessary, though.

So....for about $300 all-told, you should be good to go :-)

Bill
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