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Old 04-09-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
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Adequate battery charger???

Trying to determine if I need to upgrade the onboard battery charger. The boat is a Californian 34LRC with twin 3208NA. I replaced the two 8Ds with a pair of 6 volts for the house and two 34s in parallel for starters. Present charger is a Quest 15 AMP 2515 charger. Is this charger up to the technology of the new ones of today, that is three stage etc.? Or, should I upgrade to something like a Charles XP 2000. If the newer chargers are called for what is recommended. I have found negative reviews on the Promariner series and Xantrex, but postive reviews on the Charles. Maybe the Quest 2515 technology is adequate. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #2
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15 amps isn't much of a recharge rate on a boat that size.

We went with a Charles Industries IMC-40. Charles is arguably one of the best chargers made.

This unit has a capacity of 40 amps total. It is a four bank charger.
We connected it to the port engine, starboard engine, generator, and to the house bank through a on/off switch.

For charging the 840 AH house bank we rely mostly on the 150 amp Xantrex inverter/charger. If this fails our backup is the Charles Industries charger.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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battery charger

I had heard the Charles was a good product. I must correct my model however-previous boat was a 2515, this one is 2630C at 30 amps. Just have the installation instructions, no description of how it works and can't find it on the web either. Guest bought out by some company so paper trail is spotty. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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Hi Fighter Pilot, Guest was bought by Marinco. The 2630 doesn't seem to be current production. I would guess it was replaced by the 2631 which has three 10 amp outputs. Guest does things a little differently than other charger manufactures. While they call it a 30 amp charger, it will only supply 10 amps on each lead. http://www.marinco.com/product/30-amp-battery-charger-2 Other chargers might put 10 amps into one battery and 20 amps into another depending on what they need. I'm going to replace my Guest 25 amp charger with a 40 amp Newmar Phase Three Charger. Newmar PT-40 Phase Three Smart 12 volt Battery Charger I'm also installing a Blue Sea Add a Battery kit to control the charging of my house and starter batteries. Add-a-Battery*—*Blue Sea Systems
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:10 AM   #5
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Most battery "charging" is dockside keeping the batt set charged (not overcharged) for weeks on end.

The DC dockside load of fans, lights , radio is usually minor and temporary, , even DC fridges are off 1/2 time so only minor current is required.

3% of the battery capacity would be plenty.
Tho for a good smart charger the minimum of 10A or 15A may be the smallest you can purchase.

The other use is gen set charging of start batts , where zero sophistication is required , just a fast charge.

The usual service station fast charger unit would be first choice for cruising.

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Old 04-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #6
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I noted the later Guess chargers did divide the AMPS. Don't know what this one does but suspect 15-15 or 10-20. On the web listing for it note it is discontinued. Many times one can still find manuals but no luck thus far. I even went to the Marinco site but I haven't called them yet. Thanks
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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My Guest charger has 10, 10 and 5 amp outputs. The 10 amp outputs are marked battery 1 and battery 2. The 5 amp output is marked Start. I only have two batteries so I don't use the 5 amp lead. I plan to combine the two existing 4D batteries into a single house bank and add a smaller start battery. I want a bigger charger so I can limit generator run time while I'm on the hook.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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Before you spend bucks on a marine charger, have a look at the Iota chargers. We have used the 40 Amp Smart Charger on your exact battery set up, The Trawler Beach House: Batteries and Battery Chargers For The Boat , for a couple of years now and the charger has been flawless, its quiet and generates no heat. It will also do a weekly equalization with no input from the user. For much less than the price of a marine charger you can buy two and always have a back up although I can't imagine one failing. We are about to relocate our house bank and add a third pair of 6 volts but won't make any changes to the chargers. Of course these don't offer an inverter option. Chuck
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Chuck View Post
Before you spend bucks on a marine charger, have a look at the Iota chargers. We have used the 40 Amp Smart Charger on your exact battery set up, The Trawler Beach House: Batteries and Battery Chargers For The Boat , for a couple of years now and the charger has been flawless, its quiet and generates no heat. It will also do a weekly equalization with no input from the user. For much less than the price of a marine charger you can buy two and always have a back up although I can't imagine one failing. We are about to relocate our house bank and add a third pair of 6 volts but won't make any changes to the chargers. Of course these don't offer an inverter option. Chuck
I am making the exact same upgrade Chuck is making and I too bought an Iota. The difference is I bought a 55 amp. Make sure that if you get one, order it with the IQ4 option installed.

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Old 04-11-2012, 01:21 PM   #10
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Good point Tom, EXCEPT, if you plan on adding two chargers in parallel later, go for the plug in that goes with the unit rather than the IQ4 built in. With the built-in you can't parallel them. Chuck
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:29 PM   #11
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i guess we are we talking 12V amps? in that case 10 - 15 amps aint much.

btw, for what it is worth, i have a xantrex charger/inverter and it works well, no complaints from here...
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #12
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Have looked at Iota but would need two since it is my understanding they only do one bank. I can get a Charles 2000SP at a good discount from Defender, no tax, but would have shipping charge. 10Amp $209, but am thinking 20 AMP for $285. $100 jump when one goes to 30 AMP. For our use I think 20 AMP would be sufficient on two banks. Can easily mount where the guest is using the same A/C current input and just come out with their DC wires.



I have been checking the Voltage ont he old Guest 2530C but it is my understanding it isn't regulated like the newer ones and I have to keep turning it on an off. Charles has a good reputation so it is under consideration. Thanks
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #13
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What was the uproar about non-marine battery chargers years ago?

Something about how "110 neutral" was wired inside...I'm pretty sure it was the old "wound transformer" type but I couldn't find anything on it in my saved articles or search engine.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #14
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The NON Marine chargers often used an autotransformer which DOES NOT isolate.
Both the transformer input [primary] and the output [secondary] are tied together so they can cause problems on boats.
A good marine charger will be fully isolated with no connection between primary and secondary meaning reduced chance for AC leakage causing electrocution and damage to underwater metal boat parts.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #15
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the Iota's have no issues being used on a boat. The single bank is usually what many object to, however, as I said you can purchase two for less than the price of one. As a marine service tech for over 35 years I have installed more than my share of every make battery charger and inverter. If you must go marine, I recommend Victron or Magnum. Avoid Xantrex at all cost. The Iota does a much better job of maintaining batteries than any marine unit I have used over the years for much less cost. For two banks you can install two chargers and still have money left over. This is our set up on Beach House for two pairs of golf cart batteries for the house and a single start battery. Chuck

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #16
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Captn Chuck, you experience with the Iotas and the 35 years of marine tech. work gives you credibility. A little more discussion would be helpful to me.

Cost. Cheapest like yours that I could find was $178.50. Times two = $347.00
My space is limited, would need to do some rewiring to to make two fit.

The charles marine unit 2000SP series starts at $210 for 10AMPs and goes up to $355.00 for 30 AMPs. For our use could probably use a 15 or 20 amp unit for a dollar savings versus the Iota.

Installation would be simpler.

Now, all that said, does the Iotas offer advantages that would warrant purchase of same in spite of a higher cost and installation issues? Thanks
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:30 AM   #17
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Fighterpilot, If I understand correctly you only have two battery banks, one starting and one house. If you use the Blue Sea Add a Battery system, you only need one output from your charger. Read this explaination of how it works: Automatic Charging Relay - An Alternative to Multiple Output Charging Systems
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #18
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Fiterpilot, The Iota 45 is available from a number of sources at $140-$150. As HopCar stated, there are options to connect a single source charger to multiple banks that are inexpensive and simple to install. But two Iota 45's in parallel now gives you a 90 Amp battery charger and a back up should one fail. A 90 amp Charles battery charger at West marine is $790.00 . A significant difference. A single 90 amp Iota is around $297.00 plus what ever you choose to be able to use it on two banks, I would call that significant. You can of course choose to spend the extra hundreds of dollars for a marine unit. I simply tried to offer you a very good alternative and save you some money. But as with any decision, it's your boat and you have to do what you are comfortable with. For those still interested, there is an excellent article on the Iota Chargers here, http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-...A-DLS1230.html . Chuck
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #19
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Chuck, Have you or would you please take a meter on the ohm scale to one of the plugs between the neutral and ground. Thanks
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:06 PM   #20
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Chuck, Have you or would you please take a meter on the ohm scale to one of the plugs between the neutral and ground. Thanks
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
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