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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am looking at installing a battery monitor for my two deep-cycle house batteries and my two starting bank batteries. My question is this, should I get a monitor that reads both banks? I know that normally the starting bank is topped off as soon as the motor starts and runs for a bit. And I have read here that some feel that you don't really have to monitor the starting bank for that reason. There is a bit of difference in price between the single bank and dual bank monitors. I am looking at the Victron BMV 602 or 600.

Any comments?

Thanks, Bill
 

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Handsome devil
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I am just learning about all this myself but yes that is my understanding..each separate bank is monitored separately not each battery in each bank..Something like a link 20 would suit you well or a link Pro like I have.

Also what type of charger do you have? most now have a remote monitor that is an easy plug in installation for just monitoring battery condition...My truecharge 40 has a remote readout for two banks...They are cheaper as well.

We will be learning togather.

Bill I reread your post ..sorry for the kindergartner answer...:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Clarification

Hi, let me add some info to clarify my earlier question. I have a new Xantrex Truecharge 2 40 amp charger. When I bought it all the info on the net said a remote monitor would be abvailable by mid-2009. Now I can't seem to find even any reference to the remote monitor. So I don't know if they have scrapped the idea or what. On my recent overnight trip, I found myself wondering about the condition of my house batteries. When I returned to the dock, the charger barely registered above 5% charging rate, so I assume that my house batteries were still pretty full. Anyway, I just want to be able to monitor them as to condition and draw.

Thanks, Bill
 

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Something like a link 20 would suit you well or a link Pro like I have.
The victron from the info on the website looks a little fundamental and doesn't appear to have all the features of a Xantrex unit but that could just be the way it is presented. It could also be a whole lot more affordable and then of course it depends on what you need.

I have a Xantrex Link 20 which monitors both banks and the reason I want to monitor my start bank is because it also has in the same circuit the battery for my windlass (mounted up front). The last thing I want is to kill my start bank using the windlass and not know it. All it needs is one dodgy battery . . .

A friend has the Xantrex Link 2000 which he bought because he has different power sources (2 x alts, wind genny, solar panels) which he can monitor independantly coming into two banks and the Link20 won't handle that.

So I guess it's what you need that matters but certainly a decent monitoring system provides great peace of mind.
 

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If your start battery(s) are only used to start the engine I don't think any more than rudimentary monitoring is necessary (voltmeter). By the way you do not need 2 12 volt start batteries as starting only uses about 1 amp/hour or less. A bit of a waste of a good battery. Better to combine the extra start battery with house bank if it is the same type. Some monitors such as Xantrex Linklite only measure voltage on start (2nd) battery. Some like my Link 10 are one bank only so I have a separate voltmeter for start battery. If you send all charging sources to house bank and use an Echocharge or similar to take care of the start battery's minimal needs I think I'd go with a less expensive one bank monitor. What you save could buy an Echocharge. Your Xantrex charger is 40 amp total, or 20 amps to each of 2 banks. No need to waste half its output on a battery that has very minor needs in my opinion. Also best to send all charge sources to house direct and not through switch as that is confusing and can lead to either not charging one bank or blown diodes if it is turned to "off" while the engine is running.
Brian
 

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Handsome devil
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Here ya go Bill..this is where I ordered mine along with my bat.temp Monitor...I cant find one in the Sailnet store.

Xantrex T20-DP - Truecharge 20 Battery Charger Display Panel

Always like your posts Andri

Edit...BOY Im not doing very well on this thread...They are avalibal right here at sail net afterall.

http://shop.sailnet.com/index.php?category=Electrical|wire.jpg&level=2&sub_category=Xantrex Battery Chargers|xantrexchargersCAT.gif
 

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Hi, let me add some info to clarify my earlier question. I have a new Xantrex Truecharge 2 40 amp charger. When I bought it all the info on the net said a remote monitor would be abvailable by mid-2009. Now I can't seem to find even any reference to the remote monitor. So I don't know if they have scrapped the idea or what. On my recent overnight trip, I found myself wondering about the condition of my house batteries. When I returned to the dock, the charger barely registered above 5% charging rate, so I assume that my house batteries were still pretty full. Anyway, I just want to be able to monitor them as to condition and draw.

Thanks, Bill
The remote monitor was available in 2008 actually, I have that setup. WM can order it for you and I think Defender carries it...
 

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I am not sure that the panel you are looking at works with the new Truecharge 2 chargers. I have a Truecharge 2 40 charger like Montivideo.They were supoosed to make one specifically for them with a telephone jack plug in into the charger. Is that the case with the Infinity or is it for the older model Truecharge 20 and 40.

Dave
 

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Handsome devil
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I am not sure that the panel you are looking at works with the new Truecharge 2 chargers. I have a Truecharge 2 40 charger like Montivideo.They were supoosed to make one specifically for them with a telephone jack plug in into the charger. Is that the case with the Infinity or is it for the older model Truecharge 20 and 40.

Dave
Dave: it's the phone jack type..simple plug in..good to go instalation.

This is a picture of a 20...I have a 40...not any real design differances. If his looks like this it will plug right in.

For some reaso I cant post pictures ..tells me I dont have permission....Go Figure??:cool:
 

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I wouldn't worry about monitoring the start bank only your deep cycle bank. Home solar and wind energy projects are puttijng affordable monitors on the market. An inexpensive smart amp-hour monitor for a single battery bank is the TriMetric by Bogart Engineering. You can Google them and they have a lot of info about how to use the monitor to help in deciding if it's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the great opinions and info so far. I have a Honda 2000i that I plan on using to charge the batteries away from the dock. I am about to finish adding a third house battery in place of one of the starting batteries. That gives me a grand total of 225 amp hours capacity. I do not have refrigeration, radar, or other large drains, so I should get some time out of these.

Thanks, Bill
 

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I agree there's no need to use a monitor on the start battery.

Probably already know this, but with a total capacity of 225 amp hours you have about 110 amp hours to work with if you start at a full charge (since you should start charging when you are down to 50%). If you are away from shore power you can only charge efficiently to 80%. After that it takes many hours of charging to stuff the last 20% back in to the batteries. So, away from the dock you have about 65 amp hours to work with. It sounds like you don't have a lot of stuff to run so you should be fine.
 
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