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Old 04-15-2012, 03:17 PM   #21
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And the purpose would be? There are no issues between the neutral and ground with the Iota chargers. This is not a clip on the battery, plug into an outlet style charger. Chuck
Didn't mean to offend you or your choice of battery chargers. I know the Iota is being hailed as the next coming by many internet blogers. I have not gotten my hands on one to be sure there would be no secondary bonding issues which was the reason for my request. Thanks anyways.

Bob
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:23 PM   #22
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Bob, No offense taken. Unfortunately too many folks still cling to the beliefs that were indeed issues ten or twenty years ago. But time marches on and so does technology. I have no financial interest in Iota other than being a very satisfied customer and the experience of seeing the units operating in many other boats. They are designed to run in the marine and RV environments and are a favorite for those using solar energy. It is a bit different technology than your average charger designed specifically for boats, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Iota did have a bad batch come from the factory a while back but were quick to resolve the problem and replace any bad chargers. Their customer service is first rate as far as I am concerned. We so often see companies like Xantrex which has gone to pot, that when something comes along that works, is good quality and we don't have to refinance the boat to purchase it, I get the word out. They aren't made to hard wire them, they come with a three prong plug, but it is easy to hard wire. We chose to install an outlet dedicated to the charger and just plug it in. After a few years of service on this boat and about five years on our previous boat, we are happy with how well it has maintained the batteries under cruising conditions where they are often deeply discharged and recharged daily. The other positive I hear often is that they operate just as well plugged into shore power, on a dedicated generator, or a portable Honda, which we have been using for a couple of years now. When something on the boat needs to be marine specific, we don't hesitate, BUT, if there is another product out there that doesn't carry the marine specific cost and does as well or better, I am for it 200 %. Thanks, Chuck
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #23
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And the purpose would be? There are no issues between the neutral and ground with the Iota chargers. This is not a clip on the battery, plug into an outlet style charger. Chuck
sorry beat me to my post!
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:21 PM   #24
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I would suggest that anyone that has concerns about these chargers or that aren't comfortable with the technology, not use them. Chuck
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:28 PM   #25
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I would suggest that anyone that has concerns about these chargers or that aren't comfortable with the technology, not use them. Chuck
The first Iota charger I looked up said RV/Marine applications
IOTA DLS-15 12 Volt 15 Amp Battery Charger

So I'm not worried... Thanks for the info...
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #26
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sorry beat me to my post!
You should probably go back and reread post 13. That was the reason for my question.

Chuck, I have heard nothing but good about Iota chargers. I think the cord is fine. My only question is are the ground and neutral isolated. I am also 200% for something not marine rated that does the job. I asked you to check because you have one and it looks easy to get to.There is no technology questions, they seem like a fine unit.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #27
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Back on the Iota versus the brand X. I do have just two banks. One house, a pair of 6 volts in series and a pair of 34s in parallel. All flooded. Looking at the drawings for the Blue sea, what do I do with two alternators? May be above my ability to get hooked up. Also, why does one need 90 Amps? Why would one buy a 90 Amp Charles when 20 would do? What is the advantage that comes with the 90 amp Iotas? I guess I am missing something, but be patient with me. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #28
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FP,

IMO, you don't need 90A charging on shore power...30-60A would be plenty for your bank sizes. No need to change your alternator connections regardless of what you do for shore charging.

A single bank 3-stage 55A charger combined with a Blue Seas ACR will allow you to charge the house bank pretty quickly and then share that charge with the start bank once the house reaches a min voltage, typically above 13V.

I have 6 GC batts in series/parallel for 12V-660AH. I charge that bank with a 30A shore charger and that is a bit undersized, but the way I look at it, I have plenty of time to charge at the dock.

I don't recall if you have a generator. If so, that will provide a good source of charge at anchor. I use a Honda eu2000, so my away-from-the-dock charging comes from the mains/alternators and Honda/110V charger.

I plan to upgrade my port alternator with a 100A Balmar alternator with 3-stage external regulator to make up for my less-than-optimum Honda/shore charger combo for at-anchor use. But I normally run to another spot after a day or two on the hook, so it hasn't been a problem so far. (The Balmar and regulator has been sitting in a box patiently waiting for me.)

Some day I might add a larger capacity shore charger, but for now, this is working fine.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:21 AM   #29
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The big advantage with a hi amp charger is its ability to recharge accidentally dead start batts , if the noisemaker is large enough.

In port 15A would probably be fine as every modern toy or LED lamp uses less electric..

For folks that cruise with a gaggle , the garage high amp batt charger is far easier to pass aboard a dead boat , and hook up than passing a set of start batts.

YRMV
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #30
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Appreciate all the input and subsequent discussion. Considering my lack of know how in installing one Iota with Blue Sea or two Iotas my safest route is a modern replacement for the old Guest. I can just unhook the Guest both A/C and DC leads and hook up something like a Charles 15 or 20 AMP 2000SP. By the time I buy an Iota system and hire a marine specialist to hook the system up I have more dollars invested than the simple Charles system. Considering my use
Just need something to keep the batteries up. I have a couple solar panels I used on a previous smaller boat with just one battery but don't believe that would be suffiecient. Boat sits at the dock most of the time, unoccupied, and is used for the once in a while fishing trip, cruise the bay now and than, 4th of July fireworks trip, Blue Angel show, and cruising the ICC once in awhile.

Present Guest 2530C does the job but I have to monitor battery charge and turn it on an off as appropriate. Would like to avoid the day to day trip to check on the batteries.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:58 PM   #31
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I had never heard of Iota chargers before this thread got started. I went to their website and noticed that they do not market them to the marine industry. I sent them an email and asked if they were ok to use on boats. Following is the reply I received:

Our chargers do not have a UL “marine” rating but many boat owners do use them. Just make sure it is installed in a location where water will not get to it.

I guess that means that they know their current chargers don't meet UL Marine standards or they feel the marine market is too small to go to the expense of getting the rating. It seems that their primary business is making emergency lighting systems and power backup systems. Looking at them, they don't appear as splash resistant as marine chargers.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:35 AM   #32
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Chuck

Yes, everybody seems to stay limp in coming to Xantrex's defense but anyway, Xantrex as a company is alive and thriving and mine won't give up. When and if it ever does I will stick with my bullet proof Newmar for charging the engine starts and buy a Magnum to replace the Xantrex for the inverter/house bank charging. Since Magnum is located "next door" and they routinely make boat calls I don't care one iota about trying another wannabee in the all too crowded inverter/charger lineup.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:07 AM   #33
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Here is what Iota told me:

Hi Tom,
There are many pirates like you that use our chargers on their boats even though they are not marine rated. Just make sure they are installed in an areas where they won’t get splashed on or in a sealed compartment where gas fumes or battery gas can build up.

Attached are the owner’s manual for the converter and our three stage smart switch (IQ4) if you are interested.
One thing you may want to consider when choosing a charger size is, is your generator big enough to handle the charger and any other loads you may have.

I ended up with a 55 Amp for my 4 6V GC batteries. It seemed the perfect balance between charging speed and won't overload the genset should I need to charge underway or at anchor. That said... I have yet to install it.

Another great feature of Iota is it's ability to also work as a 55 Amp power supply. SO should you need to pull your batteries, there is a dead cell or two, or something that takes them completely offline, the charge can supply most of your DC needs. I don't know if other chargers do this, I would imagine some do, but my 55 Amp was only $200. Can't beat that with a stick.
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