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Old 10-21-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
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Which battery charger

Well, it's time to replace my 8D starting battery (Perkins Range 4 motors) and have decided to keep this group size. I am installing a flooded 8D and also have 6, 6 volt deep cycle gold cart house bank batteries. My question is; is there a good battery charger that will charge both flooded and deep cycle batteries simultaneously while at the dock?

My current battery charger is unnamed, large, appears original to the boat and I'm sure time to replace anyway. Thought this would be the time to replace.

The boat is only used weekends for a few hours, no anchoring or anything unique.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Goldenstar38 View Post
Well, it's time to replace my 8D starting battery (Perkins Range 4 motors) and have decided to keep this group size. I am installing a flooded 8D and also have 6, 6 volt deep cycle gold cart house bank batteries. My question is; is there a good battery charger that will charge both flooded and deep cycle batteries simultaneously while at the dock?

My current battery charger is unnamed, large, appears original to the boat and I'm sure time to replace anyway. Thought this would be the time to replace.

The boat is only used weekends for a few hours, no anchoring or anything unique.
I think what you need is a smart voltage regulator, like this: http://www.balmar.net/PDF/regulator%...20s/MC-614.pdf

I have this unit, and it allows for charging two banks, with each bank specified whether it is flooded, AGM, or gel. You set up the house bank as primary, and as it reaches the programmable target voltage, starts charging the starter bank with the parameters established by programming.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:38 PM   #3
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Are the 6 volt golf cart batteries not flooded batteries? Just because they're deep cycle doesn't mean they are not flooded. The 8D batteries may be deep cycle as well.

It would be best if you stuck to one type of battery for both house and starting, flooded, AGM or Gel.

I also think it is a good idea to use deep cycle batteries for starting as well as house batteries. As long as they put out enough cranking amps they'll start your engine fine. If you run them down cranking the engine, you're less likely to damage them.
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Old 10-21-2014, 11:52 PM   #4
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Are the 6 volt golf cart batteries not flooded batteries? Just because they're deep cycle doesn't mean they are not flooded. The 8D batteries may be deep cycle as well.

It would be best if you stuck to one type of battery for both house and starting, flooded, AGM or Gel.

I also think it is a good idea to use deep cycle batteries for starting as well as house batteries. As long as they put out enough cranking amps they'll start your engine fine. If you run them down cranking the engine, you're less likely to damage them.
Hop, I think that is good advice. I have, however, been using flooded 8D for starting and Northstar AGM for the house and after 7 years, I honestly can't detect any reduction in capacity for either bank using the charging system I have. Not that it wouldn't be better if I had common technology for both, but it seems to be working ok, at least for now.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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Golf Cart and 8D are battery sizes. Lead acid and AGM are battery types. It's possible to have GC LA and AGM and 8D LA and AGM.

Until earlier this year, I had an undersized multibank charger to charge my house and start banks. I recently changed to a single bank charger for my house with a combiner to share the charge with the start battery if needed. I use my boat at least once a month and often more often than that. I have found that the start battery does not require a constant shore charger input. It hold its voltage just fine for several weeks.

If I need to boost it, I can activate the combiner and charge it with the shore charger. Otherwise, the port alternator does just fine. If you're a single engine/alternator, you might want to activate the combiner when underway. Either way, I doubt a constant shore charger charge is really needed for a start battery.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:55 AM   #6
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HopCar, I need to recheck, but they may be a flooded deep cycle house bank. I know they are sealed and have no provision for checking electrolyte levels.

Delfin, That looks like a good piece of equipment. What about an onboard charger for when tied to the dock and shore power? Guess I should first recheck the house bank first! That would help, huh! Thank you all for your input.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:12 AM   #7
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HopCar, I need to recheck, but they may be a flooded deep cycle house bank.
If they are, then a good modern two bank charger will tend to each bank according to it's need. And as Karl Marx added, from each according to it's ability. In fact. even if the GC's are AGMs,most chargers just have a choice of Gel or wet/AGM . NewMar is based in SoCal, high quality stuff, and you can give them a call and discuss.

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Old 10-22-2014, 08:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post

It would be best if you stuck to one type of battery for both house and starting, flooded, AGM or Gel.

I also think it is a good idea to use deep cycle batteries for starting as well as house batteries. As long as they put out enough cranking amps they'll start your engine fine. If you run them down cranking the engine, you're less likely to damage them.

I'm preparing to do just that, when our oldest bank of 3x Group 31 AGMs eventually fades into the sunset. Happens I can probably (I think) get 4x 6V golf cart batteries into the same physical space where the G31s live now... and I can exceed the engine's MCA/CCA requirements.


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Hop, I think that is good advice. I have, however, been using flooded 8D for starting and Northstar AGM for the house and after 7 years, I honestly can't detect any reduction in capacity for either bank using the charging system I have. Not that it wouldn't be better if I had common technology for both, but it seems to be working ok, at least for now.

Our current (original) charger uses the same setting for both FLA and AGMs, so we were able to transition to all-AGMs gracefully. Newer chargers from the same maker offer many more preset profiles -- 2x for FLAs, 2x for AGMs, etc. -- but it looks fairly easy to tailor the charge parameters to a specific implementation...

And similar to Delfin's results, we've been running that oldest AGM bank for 9 seasons now... using the "FLA" setting. (Our charger happens to be a older ProMariner, FWIW.)

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Old 10-22-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
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"NewMar is based in SoCal, high quality stuff, and you can give them a call and discuss. "

I agree, Newmar makes very reliable products. I've been selling Newmar chargers in my store for more than twenty years. I can count on one hand the number that have been returned with a problem. I have a Newmar PT-40 charger on my boat. They are not cheap but they are worth it.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:40 AM   #10
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This is a strange thread and it is difficult to piece together the facts, but I will try:

1. The OP has an 8D flooded lead acid starting battery.

2. He has 6 golf cart batteries for his house bank. He says that they are sealed flooded cell batteries. I have never, ever seen a sealed flooded cell golf cart battery. Makes me think that they are AGMs.

3. He wants a shore charger, not an alternator regulator to charge both banks, either on separate outputs or through a combiner.

So.... Assuming that both banks are flooded cell batteries (an unlikely assumption) then almost any battery charger will work. If one bank is flooded cell and the other is AGMS then almost all marine battery chargers have a selection switch. Set it to AGMs as they can be damaged by the wrong float voltage. Also flooded cell batteries are very close to AGMs and won't be damaged by the slight difference in the float voltage.

Either get a charger with two separate outputs or use the combiner to charger them both.

I don't know of any battery charger with two outputs that can be set independently. If anyone has one it would be someone like Victron or Mastervolt. But I wouldn't bother.

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Old 10-22-2014, 06:18 PM   #11
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Blue Seas and MasterVolt both make very good smart chargers with the ability to charge different type of batts. Both companies also support their products very well with a tech staff happy to talk to you on the phone with any questions you may have.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:21 PM   #12
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Blue Seas and MasterVolt both make very good smart chargers with the ability to charge different type of batts. Both companies also support their products very well with a tech staff happy to talk to you on the phone with any questions you may have.
But why not buy All-American if you have companies like NewMar and Charles available?
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:42 PM   #13
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How many amps would he need to charge that bank effectively. My shore charger is on it's last leg as well. I have all wet batteries. 6 golf carts and 2 8d batteries, plus the genny start battery. How large of a charger would I need to top off this bank and float charge them?
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #14
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Rough guess is that you have over 1000 amp hour capacity a large charger, such as a 125 amp inverter/charger would not be too large.

However, these are more than just chargers. I was able with a 35 amp charger to bring a 1300 amp hour battery bank to float when on shore power. Not quickly. Depending on the state of discharge it could take a day.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:09 PM   #15
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Rough guess is that you have over 1000 amp hour capacity a large charger, such as a 125 amp inverter/charger would not be too large.

However, these are more than just chargers. I was able with a 35 amp charger to bring a 1300 amp hour battery bank to float when on shore power. Not quickly. Depending on the state of discharge it could take a day.
Well I already have an inverter. I'm not sure why there is a regular charger on board. Maybe for redundancy? Or to top the batteries off faster when running the genny . I'm not sure. When I chartered a NT in PNW, it was set up similarly.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:18 PM   #16
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But why not buy All-American if you have companies like NewMar and Charles available?
The Charles IMC Series chargers are four bank battery chargers with programmable, independent DC output (12 or 24 volts), battery type (AGM, Gel, Lead Acid, NiCad) and charging profile per battery bank.

This will definitely be my next charger to keep the thruster/windlass, engine start, house and generator banks all happy.

It looks like Hodges Marine has the best pricing too.

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Old 10-22-2014, 10:29 PM   #17
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The Charles IMC Series chargers are four bank battery chargers with programmable, independent DC output (12 or 24 volts), battery type (AGM, Gel, Lead Acid, NiCad) and charging profile per battery bank.

This will definitely be my next charger to keep the thruster/windlass, engine start, house and generator banks all happy.

It looks like Hodges Marine has the best pricing too.

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Sounds a little weird to say I really like my Charles...but they are really well built, good chargers, albeit a little pricey.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:32 PM   #18
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Don't know if this description will be of any help or not......

About a year after we bought the boat in 1998 we had the original "dumb" charger replaced with an inverter/charger. At that time we had three batteries to charge: 2 8Ds and a 4D. The 8Ds served as house and start and the 4D was dedicated to the generator.

So we wanted the capability of charging all three (but separate) batteries when we were on ground power or the generator.

On the advice of the proprietor of the marine electric shop we use, we had him install a Heart Freedom 25. At the time, this was the smallest inverter/charger that had two echo chargers.

The main "leg" of the smart charger were connected to one of the 8Ds, the one we used for house power. The two echo chargers were connected to the other 8D (start) and the generator battery. The echo chargers provide only the third stage of the smart charger, which is the so-called "float" charge. This will charge a battery at a much slower rate than the three-stage smart charger and then hold them at a full charge. This "echo charge" is sufficient for the start and generator battery.

This arrangement has worked extremely well. More recently we replaced the two 8Ds with six, 6vdc golf cart batteries, threee in each 8D box. Two of the GCBs have replaced the 8D start battery, and provide roughly the same 100 ah power.

Four of the GCBs replaced the 8D house battery, and provide about 200 ah, roughly twice the capacity of the previous 8D.

The charger connections remain the same--- the full smart charge connection to the four GCB house bank, one echo charge connection to the two GCB start bank, and the other echo charger to the generator's 4D battery.

Were we doing all this today, we'd probably use the same setup with the exception of the brand of inverter/charger. Ours is a Heart from the days when they were an independent company with a great reputation. This repuation went considerably downhill after Heart was acquired by Xantrex. So we would most likely look for a more reputable and reliable brand of inverter/charger.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:54 PM   #19
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I think what you need is a smart voltage regulator, like this: http://www.balmar.net/PDF/regulator%...20s/MC-614.pdf

I have this unit, and it allows for charging two banks, with each bank specified whether it is flooded, AGM, or gel. You set up the house bank as primary, and as it reaches the programmable target voltage, starts charging the starter bank with the parameters established by programming.
Delfin, you got me excited there for a minute, but looking at the MC-614 operation manual, I can't see that it is able to do this. It just controls alternator output and has only one battery voltage sense input.

Maybe you are thinking of the Digital Duo Charge 20145DDC?
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:53 AM   #20
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Delfin, you got me excited there for a minute, but looking at the MC-614 operation manual, I can't see that it is able to do this. It just controls alternator output and has only one battery voltage sense input.

Maybe you are thinking of the Digital Duo Charge 20145DDC?
From memory, the 624 that I have allows independent setting of battery bank by type. Been awhile since I programmed it with the little magnetic screwdriver, but I'll check my manual.
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