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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Xantrex Echo Charger Rant
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-07-2014 10:51 PM
mitiempo
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Bill just used what he had on hand for a quick test. Flooded and Agm have virtually the same charge voltages so can and often are mixed. Gel charging voltages are quite different though.
05-07-2014 10:11 PM
mlibkind
Re: EchoCharge Bench Tests 02/24/11

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Maine,

Happened to have a spare EchoCharge on hand, so did my own bench tests this morning.

These are indicative, not definitive since I didn't have the "right" batteries or enough time available.

For the "house bank", I used two 6V gelled golf-carts in series. These are 14 years old and are in pretty fair shape. They were not fully charged.

For the "start battery", I used a small 18AH West Marine AGM. It's about 3 years old and in fair shape. Also, not fully charged to begin the test.

Voltmeter was a Fluke 189. Ammeter was a Mastech MS-2108 clamp-type.

At the start, the resting voltages were 12.736 for the gels and 12.672 for the little AGM.

Note that voltages thruout are a bit higher than they would be with flooded cells, since both gels and AGMs typically have higher voltages.

Here are a couple of pix of the setup, and the results.

EchoChargeTest_0014

EchoChargeTest_0016

Voltage delivered to the "start" battery was never more than 14.4, even when charging voltage was near 15.

The multiple readings at the same indicated time were because I varied the charging voltage to see what the EchoCharge would do. Then, between times, I left the charging voltage at 14.8.

Not sure what all this means, yet.

My EchoCharge had the Heart Interface name on it. Xantrex may or may not have fiddled with the circuitry over the years....don't know for sure.

FWIW,

Bill
I know it didn't matter for your test, but so that others know, you should not, according to Xantrex, use the Echo Charge with different type batteries as you did. At least that is what they say.
03-16-2012 10:24 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyP View Post
that's what I'm interested in finding out more about. This Sterling Power ProCharge-B echo charger. Anyone install one or own one?

I have their combi and the thing is quiet and I like it. I was thinking about adding an "echo charger" or an "on the run" boost charging source for when I'm not plugged into AC.

ProCharge-B opinions anyone?
Decent low cost external regulators. The wiring is a little more tricky and the manual leaves a lot to be desired, but they work.. I generally prefer the options that Balmar offers in an external regulator but the Pro-Charge B is a good bare bones value. The ProReg D is a better unit than the Proreg B for not that much more.

You might also consider the Sterling A2B or Alternator to Battery Charger that replaces an external regulator but does not require customizing the stock alternator to tap into the field circuit. Simple hook-up with all the benefits of an external reg. The only down side is the large form factor...

The A2B's are pretty cool if your stock alt is already sufficiently sized..

Sterling A2B Charger
03-16-2012 08:17 PM
JeremyP
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

that's what I'm interested in finding out more about. This Sterling Power ProCharge-B echo charger. Anyone install one or own one?

I have their combi and the thing is quiet and I like it. I was thinking about adding an "echo charger" or an "on the run" boost charging source for when I'm not plugged into AC.

ProCharge-B opinions anyone?
03-15-2012 06:16 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
For some power boats with large diesels and with big fans connected to the start battery, the continuous draw might exceed 15A, so the DuoCharge will do the trick up to 30A or so.

Bill

Sterling Power is also making some pretty neat battery to battery chargers that can be programmed for different chemistry banks..

Sterling Battery to Battery Chargers (B2B's)
03-15-2012 06:07 PM
btrayfors
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Yes, there could be.

An ACR or "charging relay" simply connects two batteries together. It's a relay, and may or may not have smarts to limit amperage, inrush current, etc. When the ACR is connected, it's a two-way bridge -- current may flow in either direction.

The EchoCharge and the DuoCharge are voltage-follower devices which are one-way devices. And, they have current limits -- 15A for the EchoCharge and 30A for the DuoCharge. The more expensive DuoCharge is also programmable in certain parameters, while the EchoCharge doesn't offer any user-programmable functions.

For most sailors, the EchoCharge is more than enough to maintain the start battery. Typically, it takes less than 0.5 amp hours to start the small or medium-size diesel. This energy is replaced in very short order. And, unless there are heavy loads being put on the start battery other than the starter itself, then 15A is more than adequate.

For some power boats with large diesels and with big fans connected to the start battery, the continuous draw might exceed 15A, so the DuoCharge will do the trick up to 30A or so.

Bill
03-15-2012 05:45 PM
Dantodd
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

If the EchoCharge doesnt manage voltage other than to limit voltage to 14.5 is there a significant advantage to using one rather than using an ACR/VSR?
02-25-2011 12:55 PM
btrayfors
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
OK, I'll buy that. So what float voltage do you use? Not a state secret, right?
No, not at all :-)

I set my voltages as follows:

Bulk and acceptance charging: 14.5 VDC

Float voltage: 14.0 VDC

Note that the Victron charger I'm using has two types of "float" voltages.

One is a "high float". Another is a "low float".

The Victron "low float voltage" applies after awhile when there's no activity. This, with the software in use, is 13.2 VDC and is not adjustable.

There is also a "repeated absorption cycle". I set mine to revert to 14.5VDC for 30 minutes every other day. Kinda gives the batteries a little wake-up call :-)

My batteries all have WaterMiser caps.

Bill
02-25-2011 12:34 PM
Stu Jackson
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
They're still there Stu. Discontinued Power Accessories

When I am searching for a manual I don't go to Xantrex directly, but search google for "Xantrex link 10 manual" for example, and go to the link at Xantrex directly from the search results. Saves navigating difficult sites.
Thanks, Brian.
02-25-2011 12:33 PM
Stu Jackson OK, I'll buy that. So what float voltage do you use? Not a state secret, right?
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