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Old 11-06-2014, 01:51 PM   #21
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My Zantrex has been fine for 10 years.


North Western Washington State USA
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Old 11-06-2014, 02:08 PM   #22
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Xantrex Truecharge 2-40 with remote and temp sensors, several years old and 3 battery banks still in great shape.

No problems so far.

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Old 11-06-2014, 04:48 PM   #23
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You really have to ask, "which Xantrex?". The one from 10 years ago before they were bought out by a private equity firm? or the one run by the private equity firm? or the one today, owned by the Schneider Group of France? Anecdotally, I hear things have got better since the Schneider acquisition. But my feeling is, when you have really fine All American companies like NewMar, Charles, Magnum, and Outback, why buy anything else unless you are really broke and initial cost of ownership is more important than total cost of ownership (not to mention one's sense of patriotism, all assuming you are a US citizen) ?

Magnum doesn't make pure chargers by the way, they are inverter and inverter/charger guys. They do make a nifty combiner that allows the inverter/charger to charge a starter bank.

Smart Battery Combiner (ME-SBC) - Magnum Energy, Inc.

I am a very happy Magnum customer (apparently one of the first to put one on a boat), by the way, and was a very unhappy "bad Xantrex" customer too.

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:57 PM   #24
City: Venice Louisiana
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IIRC the prosine 2.0 was the "bad" unit. And it was not cheap by any standard. But its kinda like the Ford diesel 6.0 fiasco, even after the problem is fixed it leaves a bad taste for the folks that got it crammed down there throat.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:23 PM   #25
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FWIW, my combo Xantrex gave up the ghost last year. It was about 9 years old. I was told by the distributor it was not repairable.

I replaced the unit with a Victron.Why?, because I posted a thread and got much the same replies that have been posted here, that is Xantrex are not what they used to be.

I don't have the knowledge to argue this point either way, but I was swayed by the stories. The second reason I bought the Victron was that some of the Aussie members here put me in touch with a terrific guy who sold and serviced the units. A very straight shooter, he was quite happy to give me his thoughts on the pro's and con's of each of the units, spent a lot of time answering my questions.

For example I have had battery issues and yesterday I rang my Victon man for a chat about them, I bought the unit about 9 months ago and my question really had nothing to do with the unit he sold me, no problems he spent about 15 minutes walking me through the procedure to track down the problem.

My point is, owning an older boat that needs pretty much continual maintenance it's important to build up a relationship with the people most important to you in your marine life. You may not get the absolute rock bottom price as from one of the big retailers. What you will get is professional advice & support, which can be very valuable in keeping these old girls afloat.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:00 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Edelweiss View Post
The 20 amp Xantrex was reinstalled in my garage and now happily maintains the batteries on my two collector cars and my sons 16' fishing boat.
I wish I had my dad's garage for my spare boats!

I also have had good luck with my $120 1000W Xantrex MSW inverter. It powers what I need powered and runs quietly. It didn't break the bank when I bought it and won't break the bank if it needs to be replaced. So far, it's been there for 2 years without an issue.

My previous Xantrex died because of my own F-up. I inadvertently left a battery ground cable disconnected during a start with the battery banks tied. The load sought ground through the inverter grounding and fried the circuit. That was definitely an "Aw $hit" moment!
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:04 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
You really have to ask, "which Xantrex?". The one from 10 years ago before they were bought out by a private equity firm? or the one run by the private equity firm? or the one today, owned by the Schneider Group of France? Anecdotally, I hear things have got better since the Schneider acquisition.

This is a good point. Here's a rough history:

- Heart Interface made the Freedom inverter chargers show in a previous post. These were crude, but worked, and arguably started the use of inverters in pleasure boats. They also made all the Link battery monitor devices that many people still use today.

- Trace made a very good line of inverters. The DS (I think) models were modified square wave, and the SW models were sine wave. The SW models arguable ushered in the world of sine wave inverters. These were excellent devices.

- Then along came Xantrex, then a Canadian company. They bought Heart, Trace, and a handful of other lower end consumer inverter companies. I'm not sure, but I don't think they ever designed and built anything themselves, but just bought up all the inverter companies out there at the time. At this point everything started getting labeled Xantrex and things became confusing because some of the products were crap and some were still good. Support went to hell and the downward spiral began.

- The Trace guys left and started Outback, and built another line of good products. Their initial product line was the "FX" line, which internally stood for Fu$k Xantrex.

- I'm told that Magnum was also started by another Trace refugee.

- Xantrex attempted to create a more modern version of the SW inverter and it was a complete dud. They also tried to do a firmware update for the original SW so it would meet the new grid-tie regulations and it broke as many things as it fixed.

- The only good thing to come out of Xantrex is the newer (5 yrs old now) XW line of inverters. I've been running my house on one for about 7 years now and they are really quite good.

- Schneider buys Xantrex and appears to do three things:

1) They move the XW line under the Schneider name and target it as a industrial product. The XW line, for example, is not on the Xantrex web site, only the Schneider site.

2) Everything else remains under the Xantrex name, presumably targeted at consumer and commercial applications.

3) They appear to be actively culling the Xantrex product line through aggressive neglect. Looking at their product line up now, many of the problem products appear only in name. But the designs look different. I understand wanting to flush bad products from the market, but normally you would not want to take the company's down the crapper with them. Oh well, can't win them all.

So that's my understanding/interpretation. Anyone got any other dirt?
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:40 AM   #28
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I replaced the Xantrex charger that came with my boat with a Victron charger. I noticed my flooded thruster batteries were suddenly using water at a higher rate. I found that the Xantrex was putting out higher voltage than it was supposed to. I am still surprised that my Victron Gel house batteries survived the experience. I have been happy with the Victron charger and hope to add a Victron inverter next.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I must be the only happy Xantrex customer!

I've has their freedom, puresine, and now the SW series in several boats over the yesrs.

All of them woorked great!

The SW series is a throwback to the old freedom series in terms of heavy duty design. It weighs something like 75 lbs I think. Very robust!
Make that two happy customers. I have had three in as many boats over the years and had a problem only one time (water sprayed into the unit doing internal damage; authorized service tech replaced a circuit board for a reasonable price and the unit was good as new). In fairness, however, I haven't purchased one for 5 years, so things (like customer service) may have changed.

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