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post #11 of 70 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by DBASailor View Post
I'm looking to monitor a two battery bank system. One bank for the house, and one for starting. I've been looking at the SmartGauge destibuted by Balmar, and another one by Victron. What I like about the SmartGauge is I don't have to calculate the aH my battery bank can currently hold. What I like about Victron monitors they tell me the draw on the battery and as well as how well my charging system is doing. What I don't like about SmartGauge is it doesn't tell my how much draw I'm currently using and how well my current charging is doing. What I don't like about the Victron monitors is I have to manually determine how much my aH are for my battery and need to re-sink the thing as the battery gets older. What I'd like is one that automatically can calculate the aH my batteries hold regardless of age, as well as provides me additional output like how much current is being drawn out of my batteries and how well my charging system is working, whether it is the alternator on the motor, solar panels, or wind generator. Is there a single meter that is easy to install correctly and does everything I need. Or do I need to buy the SmartGauge, and another monitor to show draw and charging of my batteries. What are others doing to monitor all there batteries without breaking the bank($)?
I have come to conclusion I need both. I replaced an old Link monitor a year or so ago with the Victron. The Victron is much easier to install with all the wires in 1 cable. The Balmar SmartGuage seems pretty easy to install as well.

The SmartGauge gives an accurate as possible SOC.
Are they fully charged or not ?
At the bottom of the charging/use cycle how low I am running the batteries - 70% of capacity, 50% of capacity (lowest recommend for my Trojan lead acid golf cart batteries), below 50%.
The Trojans have been cycled pretty hard a couple of times when loads were left on (refrigeration) and the 110V supply not reattached or shut off at some point (battery charger running off the 110V). How much capacity does my originally 400AH house bank actually have now ?


The Victron provides the desirable information on loads and sources.
How many amps is the alternator putting out ?
How many amps are the solar panels putting out thru the course the day ?
How many amps is the DC refrigeration unit using ?
How many amp-hours did I pull out of the batteries last night ?
What is reduction in the amp-hours the anchor light is using after the switch from the incandescent bulb to the Lopolight LED ?
....
....
....
The only issues seems to be is funds to purchase both and that if I ever make the switch to Lithium-Ferrics, the SmartGauge ceases to function.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish, Crealock 37 Hull 207
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post #12 of 70 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

The latest innovation to my boat is a Xantrex Linklite battery monitor. OK, its a fourm so everyone may step in now to tell me how I just wasted $300 and should have bought brand Z... Or got mine for $10 on a website...

Anyway, its early days, but you can see in the following two photos the number of amp hours it is down (76 but it was down 97 this morning on a 500 amp hour battery bank), and in the other photo the number of amps comming in from the solar panels on the Blue Sky controller, and the net amps on the LinkLite. My wind generator (amp meter out of shot) is giving me about 2 amps. I have both a fridge and a freezer on so i am getting 2 amps net.

Today its cloudy and about 10 knots wind. Yesterday was worse and I was freezing meat so thats why the amp hours are down.





If you cant read the Blue Sky screen it says 6.6 amps. Now the cloud is gone its reading 15.5!!!

So it seems to provide what I want. I hope this helps.


Mark
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post #13 of 70 Old 02-13-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
In short, if you want to see amps, you would want both.

I am going to try and break this down point by point:
Excellent replies MS - thank you for this.
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post #14 of 70 Old 02-17-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

Its been about 18 months since I last asked, and now the time has come that I need to get a battery monitor as I move from a single 4D to 8 6-volt batteries.
I like the AC and DC monitoring the VSM-422 offers, and it does my tanks too.
Who has one, and do you like it or not?


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post #15 of 70 Old 02-17-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
Its been about 18 months since I last asked, and now the time has come that I need to get a battery monitor as I move from a single 4D to 8 6-volt batteries.
I like the AC and DC monitoring the VSM-422 offers, and it does my tanks too.
Who has one, and do you like it or not?

If you want a do-all the VSM is an okay product. Unfortunately like any device that tries to track SOC by counting Ah's they are less than optimal, especially now that we have better options..

I have installed a number of VSM's but for an Ah counter the Victrom is a better deal. If you want simple, better accuracy for SOC and no continual reprogramming the Smart Gauge is the one to get..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-17-2015 at 08:22 PM.
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post #16 of 70 Old 02-17-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

I nearly bought the link pro at the boat show. Glad I took a pass, as I see no one talking about it.


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post #17 of 70 Old 02-17-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
I nearly bought the link pro at the boat show. Glad I took a pass, as I see no one talking about it.

For an Ah counter the Link-Pro is pretty much the gold standard but it is over priced compared to the Victron...

I use a Link-Pro on my own boat but only because the Smart Gauge does not work on LiFeP04 batteries. If I had lead acid the Smart Gauge would be installed in a nanosecond...

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post #18 of 70 Old 02-22-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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I nearly bought the link pro at the boat show. Glad I took a pass, as I see no one talking about it.
U.P. see the link below as it will explain what you ideally need to do to work an Ah counter well.

Programming A Battery Monitor

P.S. For those who own an Ah counter I apologize in advance for making your head spin with this article....
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post #19 of 70 Old 02-26-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

Does the 702 monitor temperature, or compensate for temperature?


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post #20 of 70 Old 02-26-2015
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Re: Recommendations for Battery Monitor

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Originally Posted by UnionPacific View Post
Does the 702 monitor temperature, or compensate for temperature?
Yes, if you use the temp sensor, and select it in the menu, it is using temp in the SOC calculation. You can also adjust the slope if you can get a temp curve from your battery manufacturer. Depending upon who made your batteries, good luck getting a temp-curve...

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