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post #11 of 17 Old 08-22-2007
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Yes, the house battery switch in the "both" positions works well. Mine has been in this configuration for many years. However, be SURE you have very good clean and tight connections and that all cabling is LARGE.

The Iota's are the best buy on the market. They are serious technology from folks who make chargers for many other suppliers.

When you add a separate starting battery, you'll need a way to charge it when at the dock. Batteries go bad chiefly because of failure to keep them FULLY charged at all times. Have a look at the EchoCharge's good technology and well worth the money. There's another very similar device...I forget the name...which also has a good track record.

Your alternator should be connected to the HOUSE bank, not the starting bank. Starting batteries require very little charging...they put out a lot of amps but only for a few seconds, with a total AH draw which is usually very small....alternators are typically way underused. The work for the first few minutes restoring the amps used for motor starting, then idle along the rest of the time. Makes much more sense on a cruising boat to use the alternator for charging the house batteries (especially with an external smart regulator which will get the most from your alternator), and use just a bit of the charging capacity to maintain the starting battery via an EchoCharge-like device.

Good luck,

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post #12 of 17 Old 08-22-2007
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WOW, Good advise from everyone, BUT you have not stated the primary charging source.

You wrote: "I also have on genset for 110vt power." Will that be your primary or will shore power?

If you will be in a marina hooked to shore power every night, a Xantrex 20 is sufficient. You will be plugged in for 12+ hours overnight and that is sufficient time to charge your bank.

However, if you will be on the hook and using a generator, like a Honda 2000, the 20amp charger is not sufficient. The Xantrex 40 is the minimum. What will be the primary charging source and what other charging sources (wind, solar, generator) will you be using?


Last edited by stoutwench; 08-22-2007 at 12:13 PM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-25-2007
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Before purchasing a Xantrex - read this!

We purchased the Xantrex truecharge 40 amp for our sailboat. After having it for approximately 3 years and using it only a few times, we charged two batteries and the thing burned up. Our 33' sailboat could have easily burned down! We contacted Xantrex and they put us on hold for so long that I hung up and emailed them. It took them about 2 weeks to respond. Basically they said it was out of warranty but they would replace it at a 40% discount. Not good enough. We went to the Annapolis boat show recently and my husband had the battery charger dangling outside of his backpack with "Lemon" written on it, right below the burn markings. Numerous people came up to us and said they had similar experiences. We decided we'd cut our losses ($460.00 new) and even if they GAVE us another one, we wouldn't take it - our boat is worth a lot more than that! Please look into another charger.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-25-2007
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I have had a Truecharge 40+ on my boat for three seasons - which I installed after performing exhausting research on every charger on the market. This is the top rated charger for it's intended purpose.

Your claim is the first I have heard on this unit. Just did a quick internet search for any similar reports and could not find one report of burned units. It would be my educated guess that your husband installed it incorrectly.

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-25-2007
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Another part of the problem could be that the lack of use accellerated the corrosion of the internal parts on the Xantrex. Using a charger will generally allow the electronics to heat up and force out a lot of the residual moisture that may otherwise sit inside the case/housing. Letting it sit for the better part of three years probably wasn't very good for it.


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post #16 of 17 Old 10-25-2007
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Ditto that TB and Dawg. I would fault either the installation/improper wiring and or lack of use in a marine environment as the likely cause. Of course, any product can fail or be defective, but there is simply NO evidence of a widespread problem AND it is unreasonable to expect a marine vendor to make good on a product that is 300% past its' warranty period...though at every boat show there are people that seem to feel embarrassment will get them something the are not otherwise entitled to. Unlike boat shows...this forum can't be used like a backpack to foist unsupported claims on the readership.

We have used Heart and Xantrex products for several DECADES without any problems and they consistently garner high marks from cruisers (SSCA) and magazines and also provide a high level of technical support that many other marine vendors would do well to emulate.
I highly recommend them as a quality supplier.
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-25-2007
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TB, Dawg and Cam, thanks for clearing that up. i am about to install a TC-40+ and the above had me worried for a few.
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