Best Charger under $150? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Best Charger under $150?

So it seems I only need a single bank charger to keep my new batteries happy without spending $300+ to get the job done. There are lots of choices, but I haven't found a smart charger that outputs at least 10 amps with the
DE-SULFATION option built in. So I am still looking.

Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Thanks for helping out with the last piece to complete this project.

Larry
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-20-2012
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

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Originally Posted by justonemoreproject View Post
So it seems I only need a single bank charger to keep my new batteries happy without spending $300+ to get the job done. There are lots of choices, but I haven't found a smart charger that outputs at least 10 amps with the
DE-SULFATION option built in. So I am still looking.

Any recommendations would be appreciated!

Thanks for helping out with the last piece to complete this project.

Larry
Larry,

The best charger for that money would be one of the Iotas. They come in sizes from 15A to 90A. The DLS-30 with the IQ-4 smart-charge option is about $168 from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun: Iota Regulated Battery Chargers, 12 to 48 Volt

These are great little chargers. They don't have an equalization option, but you're not likely to find a fixed smart charger for this price which has true equalization (15.5-16.5VDC).

However, you only need to equalize flooded batteries once or twice a year at most, and this can be done with a portable charger like the West Marine red 30A one which goes on sale a couple times a year for $79.

Even without equalizing, expect good flooded golf-cart batteries maintained by an Iota DLS/IQ4 charger to give 4-7 years of service.

Bill
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

Thanks for the info. While researching Iota chargers this afternoon I came across an explanation of the IQ4 upgrade for the IOTA DLS chargers in which it says that Iota chargers have a self equalizing/ de-suficationcycle.
So I am going to order a DLS 30.

Thanks for your help.

Larry

SMART CHARGER
IOTA Models listed with /IQ4 include built-in auto- matic smart-charging.
BULK
Batteries are charged at the charger’s full-rated output, reducing charge time.
ABSORPTION
Batteries are charged at a lower voltage for a controlled period to ensure a complete charge.
FLOAT
A ‘trickle’ charge maintains the battery while minimizing ‘gassing.’
EQUALIZATION
Periodic Equalization charge dissolves sulfate layers on battery plates and prevents stratification.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-20-2012
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

Iota is a good charger but as Bill would agree they do not have a real equalization stage.

Iota is a good choice for you.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

"EQUALIZATION
Periodic Equalization charge dissolves sulfate layers on battery plates and prevents stratification."

I thought it was the real thing.

The DLS-30 can be ordered with the built in IQ4 or I can get it separately so I can adjust the charging rate. Which one should I get?

Thanks again.
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

Iota chargers never reach a true equalization voltage (15.5 and above) but bounce back to 14.8 on occasion. See post #9 here for the details:Charger Only Recommendations - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on equalization - it should be done very seldom in any case.

I would get the one with the built in IQ4. With 3 stage charging it will automatically adjust voltage as required.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour

Last edited by mitiempo; 05-17-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-21-2012
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

Yes, Brian is right. And, that's what I said in my original post: the Iota's DO NOT have a true equalization cycle. I wish they'd change their product description.

What the Iota does is to periodically revert to the absorption voltage level, which is 14.76VDC with the IQ4.

Yes, you definitely need the IQ4. Built-in or separate doesn't matter.

The undocumented voltage adjust is a tiny hole in the end of the charger, usually covered from the inside with yellow tape, behind which is a little pot. This allows you to pull BOTH the absorption voltage and the float voltage up or down.

The charger is fine in its default mode. But, after you've had it awhile and if you are the kind of guy who pays attention and takes good care of his batteries -- and is comfortable around electronics -- you might bump it up a bit. I run mine at 13.8VDC float (which implies an absorption voltage of about 15.0VDC).

This level works very well with Trojan T-105 flooded batteries which are in decent shape, and helps prolong their life.

Bill
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

Larry, most of the wet cell makers (and possibly only Lifeline for AGMs) suggest equalization. OTOH, "desulphation" is often discussed alongside UFOs and unicorns. Just how much each can really do, how much each is worth...

You might want to see what your battery maker has to say about it, check out some of the different opinions and then decide. Iota has a good reputation, regardless.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

I spoke with Trojan awhile back and they said, for my T125 batts, 13.3 is the preferred float and 14.8 is the preferred charging voltage. I will check about equalization. In the meantime I have ordered the DLS 30 with IQ4 from Boats and RV's in New Jersey. They were very helpful and have the best price I know of at 139.99 plus 13 for shipping.

Thanks everybody for taking so much time to answer all my questions. Today I am going to do a little customizing under the settee figure to make them fit. They are 3/8 of an inch too tall and I am going to rout out the shelf and the lid to squeeze them in. But its going to be worth it once it done. Am I the only one that spends more time working on his boat then sailing her? When it comes to boats, there always seems to be justonemoreproject!!!
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Re: Best Charger under $150?

I think you'll be happy with the DLS-30/IQ4. Try to install it in a cool dry location, NOT in the battery or engine compartments if possible. Use AWG6 marine cable for short runs, AWG4 for runs up to 20' round-trip. Be sure the lugs are securely installed.

You'll also need to install an AGM fuse near the batteries. For the DLS-30, I'd use a 40A or 50A ANL. Best to use Blue Sea Systems ANL fuses and fuse blocks.

Note that ANL fuses are the only kind you can safely use (per ABYC specifications) in your situation, where apparently you don't have enough headroom to install MRBF terminal fuses.

Also, the lack of sufficient headroom will prevent you fitting WaterMiser or HydoCaps which reduce water loss. That means you'll have to be diligent in checking electrolyte levels in the T125s, and use only distilled water to replace lost electrolyte.

Be very careful when you do this to avoid spills, overfilling and, particularly, contamination (i.e., don't let anything enter the batteries other than pure distilled water).

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 03-22-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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