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post #101 of 281 Old 08-18-2017
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

The miswiring issues may or may not be the primary causes of what the SG is reporting.

They may also be causing the other more fundamental symptoms that also may have nothing to do with the SG.

I would advise getting to the bottom of the latter issues sooner rather, than later.

Best to know what is going on, to inform your planning, know exactly what you want to accomplish before the professionals come on board.

At this point an AH counting monitor seems IMO like a minor investment to help with diagnostics at key circuit locations, even if the SG does end up being more accurate for general SoC once you get things fixed up.
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post #102 of 281 Old 04-03-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Okay, new season. I found some terminal corrosion, so I replaced the batteries with new. (I think my old inverter/charger may have killed them). I have a new Magnum inverter charger and all charge, take off and sensor cables are together, at opposite ends of the bank. That required making a few 2/0 cables. I also did a factory reset to the SG and reset it for Gel. Stay tuned. Hope this works.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
default to what amounts to "kitchen timers".........

Ignore the idiot lights on the charger! All they are telling you is what the charger "thinks" it should be doing and this may be grossly incorrect and usually is especially with "egg-timer" chargers........
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
...... the charge source (Magnum for example) should stay at the absorption voltage for hours......
I went through all the setting on the Magnum again. Definitely set for Gel and Iíve confirmed charge voltages are correct. Itís Absorb that has me puzzled. I understand the Magnum to have a real ďsmartĒ charger. However, in the setup is has a timer for Absorb. For my 400aH bank, it seems to recommend 90 minutes on Absorb. Seems light.

@Maine Sail or @mitiempo what are your thoughts. Batteries are UltraPower Group 31 Gel. 98aH x 4.

From the Magnum manual.

New Balmar SmartGuage experience-7bd8ff9b-19c1-4a61-a658-455630e58d9b.png


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post #104 of 281 Old 04-04-2018
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Your actual goal is 100% Full as per trailing amps. Calibrating an egg-timer approach requires a bit of trial & error.

If your load usage patterns are consistent then just keep bumping up the Hold time, until you observe the source hitting that goal, say at least half the time.

If inconsistency makes this difficult, you may need to Finish charge manually once in a while.
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

After the new batteries charged for about 12 hours, the reset SG now says 89%. It reportedly takes 48 hrs to figure things out, but itís progress from the default of 75%. I shut the charger off to put some load on the batts. A dozen or so lights, the nav equip, etc.

Voltage dropped to 12.5-12.6 volts under load. Seems normal. After an hour or so, I turned the Magnum charger back on and it immediately went to float. I think it will do that at voltage above 12.4. I was hoping it would default to the 90 min Absorb and I could set a timer to 85 mins and watch final amps. Not sure how to do this now.


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post #106 of 281 Old 04-04-2018
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

The only way I can get my charger to get out of float once it goes into it (too early and 1 of the reasons I'm researching replacements) is to put it into equalize. It of course doesn't go into equalize voltage as the batteries aren't really fully charged, but it will drive toward full charge and the voltage will climb as it does. So I just keep an eye on the voltage and acceptance amps till it get to where I want.

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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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The only way I can get my charger to get out of float once it goes into it (too early and 1 of the reasons I'm researching replacements) is to put it into equalize. It of course doesn't go into equalize voltage as the batteries aren't really fully charged, but it will drive toward full charge and the voltage will climb as it does. So I just keep an eye on the voltage and acceptance amps till it get to where I want.
Interesting thought. Thanks. I wasnít sure how to manually charge with this unit.

You canít equalize Gel batteries, as the high voltages will boil the electrolyte in the Gel and ruin them. However, on the Magnum, equalize voltage is set the same as Absorb, to prevent this. I think I have a contact with Magnum in my future.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Interesting thought. Thanks. I wasnít sure how to manually charge with this unit.

You canít equalize Gel batteries, as the high voltages will boil the electrolyte in the Gel and ruin them. However, on the Magnum, equalize voltage is set the same as Absorb, to prevent this. I think I have a contact with Magnum in my future.
it may not allow you to go into equalize then as on a lot of chargers that is only available in the Open Cell program mode

this whole go into float too early is one of those things where the makers of battery charger manufacturers show they don't really understand even though they try to tell you how "advanced" their units are

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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

I figured out it wonít start over in bulk, unless the charger loses shore power for a bit. Batteries were at 12.4 volts. They were 5 minutes in bulk, then to Absorb. Itís been 1 hr on Absorb at 14.3 volts (temp adjusted from 14.1v, as the batteries are 62 degrees) and they are taking 28amps. Weíll see.


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post #110 of 281 Old 04-04-2018
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Most chargers will reset back to CC/CV once disconnected at both ends for a while, maybe put in strategic switches if you regularly need to do this to combat premature infloatulation manually

With the SmartGauge my understanding is it can take a half-dozen cycles before its learning curve for your bank dials in, obviously will vary depending how closely your batt's behaviour matches one of the patterns in its database, as opposed.

The "reset to 100%" feature should not need to be used regularly, but as long as you are being consistently precise in your measurement and actually stopping at endAmps, it may help early in that learning phase.

In looking over my notes from various old threads' speculation on the exact mechanisms used internally, "impedance spectroscopy, micro-burst currents, frequency response analysis conductance tests, deriving internal resistance" I came across

"that's why you have to use #14 AWG wire"

I can't see that in the instructions, ring a bell with anyone here?
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