Wiring & Installing A Battery Monitor - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 59 Old 03-22-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thekeip View Post
MS's great tutorial notwithstanding, I have a basic question re battery monitors in general, particularly the "state of charge" function, common to all brands I know of.
I understand (I think) that in order to ascertain how much charge is left in a battery bank...starting from a fully charged battery or bank, one must tell the monitor how big the battery was in the first place...similar to the way the gas gauge works in your car...if you didn't know how much gas the tank could hold, how would you determine when it was half full, for instance.
So suppose you had a house bank of 200 AH. That's the capacity of "the tank" you would program into the monitor and, as energy is consumed, SOC would diminish accordingly and all be well. But what if you decide somewhere along the way you wanted to switch another battery into (or out) of your bank via the 1-2-B switch.
I have a client who does just that. He has a two-battery house bank, a start battery, and an "at large" battery which can be dedicated (by switch) to either house or start function. He likes the sense of redundancy he says this configuration gives him. He makes his decision, where to put the orphan battery, based on the SOC he reads from his monitor.
He brought the boat in complaining that his batteries were unreliable...says his system works all the time that way and there's something wrong with his monitor and would I replace it...and his batteries.
Advice??

Howard Keiper
Berkeley
If monitoring a "bank" the bank should be one bank with no ability to switch batteries on or out. If you do you've just royally screwed up the calculations the monitor is doing and made it all but useless.

Your client would be MUCH better served to apply his "at large" batteries to the house bank 100% of the time, hard wired, without a switch.

However, and this is the big "BUT", as he is using them the batteries will all now be at odd stages of life. The house bank could have 200 cycles to 50% on them and the "at large" only 20 cycles. Permanently combining these is not necessarily the best idea as the good batteries will be out of balance with the used batteries. Banks shoudl ideally be of the same exact battery, purchased at the same time and of the same date code. I actually take it one step further and use my expensive battery analyzer to match CCA when I buy batteries. Just bought two banks for customers in the last week and went though 13 batteries to get 3 matched batteries and two matched batteries.

I also print out a receipt from my analyzer so we have a reference baseline and something to compare to in the future.

The easiest way to get the most life out of a bank is; the biggest bank possible at the lowest possible discharge levels.

Your customer is actually doing himself a big disservice by using "at will" batts and it shows his lack of understanding. He ideally needs to listen to you and let you be the expert but I have customers like that too and they eventually do listen after their "great idea" backfires..

Your customers monitor is not the problem your customer and his lack of understanding are causing the problem. You CAN NOT use a monitor accurately they way he is trying to..

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post #22 of 59 Old 06-13-2011
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Hi Maine Sail,
I realize I'm opening up a old thread, but my question is directly related. I have a brand new Linklite battery monitor that I have yet to install. I got it for a very low price, so low that I could probably sell it for what I paid for it. I do not have the connection kit.

So that being said, would you recommend selling the Linklite, and starting over with the Victron? Would it be that much easier to install?
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J

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post #23 of 59 Old 06-13-2011
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The Xantrex connection kit is expensive. Last time I installed one I purchased 8 conductor wire in a sheath and threw 2 conductors away. Total cost $5

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post #24 of 59 Old 06-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Jos,

I personally like the Xantrex Monitors slightly better than the Victron if price is not the objective. I use a Link-Pro on my own boat and have a pile of monitors to use anytime I want including a Victron BMV-602. The Links are harder to install but the total added time is about 20 minutes and once your done that's it.

If you got it cheap then buy the communication kit. The proper wire for these is very difficult to source in small quantities. I have looked high and low. If someone has a source PLEASE let me know I'll buy a 1000 foot reel and re-sell it and still save people TONS of money.. It needs to be multiple twisted pair. The "twisted" part is important as it cuts any induced noise which can throw the monitor off.

Like most things Xantrex doe not build these monitors they "source" them. The price of the TBS built Link-Lite and Link-Pro is OFFENSIVE when you include the communication kits. If you knew my cost on a Victron you'd have a better idea of just how offensive....

Both are good products but I do think the LINKS are more robustly built. I have never once had a single failure or issue with a TBS Electronics built LINK monitor and I can't say that for the older Cruising Equipment Link-10, 20, 2000 & 2000R. TBS began making monitors for Xantrex with the XBM and make the current LITE & PRO...

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post #25 of 59 Old 06-13-2011
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Maine

I removed the wire I bought from the sheath and twisted the pair to the shunt. Now that I think of it I have never used the Xantrex connection kit.

Brian
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post #26 of 59 Old 06-13-2011
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Thanks for the info, as always.

I'll stick with the Linklite, and work on figuring out the install. The downside is that I'll be installing a battery charger, echo charger, galvanic isolator, additional battery, and battery monitor pretty much all at once. I suppose that's also the good news.

Thanks again,
J

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post #27 of 59 Old 06-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josrulz View Post
Thanks for the info, as always.

I'll stick with the Linklite, and work on figuring out the install. The downside is that I'll be installing a battery charger, echo charger, galvanic isolator, additional battery, and battery monitor pretty much all at once. I suppose that's also the good news.

Thanks again,
J
Nice to start from scratch. I know your boat well and have WAAYYYYYY to many Saber 34 customers. Worked on one all day Friday and another one all day today.... I think I am up to 5 Sabre 34's I work on, all Mark I's ........

This is a Victron Shunt and negative buss I installed on a S-34 MK1. This is the aft wall of the quarter berth battery compartment. Fairly straight forward job.. If you have not replaced you battery cables yet it is about time... I measured a .4V drop today from the alt to the batteries in only 7 total feet of 1 GA battery wire with just 22 amps flowing. That volt drop should have been more like .02-.03...


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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-13-2011 at 11:52 PM.
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post #28 of 59 Old 06-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Nice to start from scratch. I know your boat well and have WAAYYYYYY to many Saber 34 customers. Worked on one all day Friday and another one all day today.... I think I am up to 5 Sabre 34's I work on, all Mark I's ........

This is a Victron Shunt and negative buss I installed on a S-34 MK1. This is the aft wall of the quarter berth battery compartment. Fairly straight forward job.. If you have not replaced you battery cables yet it is about time... I measured a .4V drop today from the alt to the batteries in only 7 total feet of 1 GA battery wire with just 22 amps flowing. That volt drop should have been more like .02-.03...
Mainesail, I haven't replaced anything electrical yet. I'm sure it's time. I hate to ask, but would you mind a few more S34-specific questions, since you're working on them so much as of late? I'm planning to upgrade these pieces of my electrical system much as you've mentioned in other threads. The battery switch will only be used to select the load, but charging will always go to the house bank, using the Echo Charger to charge the "back-up" single battery in the other bank. Makes good sense to me.

So that being said, my questions are a little about "where are you putting this?", "do you have a picture of that?", "can I come to Maine and have a look?" (just kidding about the last one--I'm in Maryland).

If you don't mind some more questions, should I post here or PM?
Thanks,
J

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post #29 of 59 Old 06-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I wish the picture was bigger so I could see the size of fuse you are using

I may post a pic of my electrical "make over" at some time. New #2 wire, new buss bar, new monitor, new batteries in parallel, new EchoCharger. I like it already.

Shalom and thanks Maine Sail so much for all the support and great posts.

Rik

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Rik

Fuse size is not super critical for main bank fuses. From Blue Seas:
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11.jpg  

Brian
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