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Old 06-17-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
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Iota Battery Chargers

Is anyone using or has experience with the Iota line of battery chargers? I'm thinking about upgrading my charging system to a 75 Amp charger vs. the 40 I currently own. Charging at anchor takes way too long and I only have a 3500 W gen so I'm thinking I'm tapped at 75.

Here's a link;

Iota Chargers

Thanks
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:01 PM   #2
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Is anyone using or has experience with the Iota line of battery chargers? I'm thinking about upgrading my charging system to a 75 Amp charger vs. the 40 I currently own. Charging at anchor takes way too long and I only have a 3500 W gen so I'm thinking I'm tapped at 75.

Here's a link;

Iota Chargers

Thanks
What type of battery chemistry are you using I'm curious. I have used a Xantrex 2500 with a Link2000R remote control panel inverter/ charger in my Mainship. It could charge my AGM's at up to 120 amps. On the Gulfstar I'll be using a ProMariner true sine wave inverter/ charger. The charger can output 70 amps. The battery profile can be set up as well through either unit I have used. I finally decided that a sine wave inverter was worth it.
I'll ask around about the Iota chargers and see what other marine electricians think of the product. I'll pass it on to you.
It looks like you need the IQ4 charge controller to satisfy most modern battey systems.
At a quick glance I can't say I saw any temperature regulation. If this unit the IQ4 doesn't have temperature compensation that would be a show stopper for me.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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I also looked for a temp prob and didn't see one. That might stop the music here also.

I currently have Prosine in my boat and went with an 1800 inverter and a separate 40 prosine smart charger. I bought these when they first came out and didn't want to gamble in a combo unit. That paid off because both units went back and different times and the inverter was a boomerang for several months.

I have flooded cell Trojan 6V batteries as house, six of them, 240 amp if I remember right. I'm over 700 total. I use a Blue Seas switch that keeps both banks isolated and use the port alternator for the house which is an 80 amp and the starboard for the starting battery which is a group 31.

I never leave the battery charger on for more than a day or 48 hours at the most. I let the house bank rest until I get down enough to justify a charge. When I lived aboard that was about every three weeks and now over a month. The house bank was new in 98 or 99. It is my system and nobody likes it except me but then I don't burn up my batteries every 4 years either.

When I'm on the hook I use a small gen that's only 3500 watts and with the 40 amp it takes all day to fully charge, well about 4 to 6 hrs anyway.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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I have a DLS-55 with IQ4.

IOTA DLS-55 AC/DC Power Converter and Battery Charger

Great charger. Only used it in our old boat for a year before taking it out when the boat was sold. Solid piece of equipment. Iota prides themselves on 'low noise' and their power supplies are the choice of most HAM radio operators for that reason.

The first unit I had, bought used off another forum, broke. Something or the other go jostled loose inside. Iota honored the warranty even though I wasn't the original owner and replaced the entire unit free of charge, all I had to do was cover the shipping back to them. Now there's a company who stands behind their products.

The DLS-55 will go into our new boat to charge the deep cycle batteries for the bow thruster and windlass.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:43 PM   #5
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I always have a spare smart charger in addition to the combo inverter/ charger system.
I would be concerned about the lack of temperature compensation. However since my batteries get supplemental charging via solar and now with the Gulfstar Wind the only time I'll have either charger on is to recover from a deeper discharge while using the electronics at anchor. I'm starting out with (4-6) DEKA Unigy1 105AH AGMs or 420-630AH of house battery depending on the count. I will also have the BlueSea 500 amp ACR and the 3 posiition manual BlueSea ACR control switch.
It sounds like you have a robust house bank using the 6V Trojans. These are used by many with great results.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #6
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Aye Rick, is there a battery temp probe?
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:11 PM   #7
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Aye Rick, is there a battery temp probe?
I don't think so Capthead. I just scanned the literature and their smart charger (IQ4) and it doesn't say. I don't think batteries overheating an issue with AGM or Gel cell batteries is it?
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:19 PM   #8
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I put my house bank in because I had an AC only fridge but the good thing is it was only 155 watts and ran a total of 4 hours a day. We spent weeks at a time on the hook and I wanted adequate power. My problem was charging. If I went underway, no problem, but with the gen it was.

I have a smaller fridge now but it's also AC only.

I've considered solar panels as supplemental charging.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:22 PM   #9
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They don't make any mention of the marine market as an application. Does it have the proper isolation of the DC and AC sides? Conformal coatings? Temp sensor already mentioned as missing. Doesn't say if its UL certification is 1236. None of their competitive comparsions are marine chargers.

Would need a lot more info to have a definite opinion, but based on what is conspicuously missing from their own materials, I'm doubtful. Here is a good missive on charger requirements:

Installing A Marine Battery Charger Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:28 PM   #10
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It really looks like a switching power supply to me. Adding the IQ4 option gives you 4 point intelligent charging.
Good questions George.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:30 PM   #11
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Temperature compensation is not to prevent overheating per say it's to get the maximum charge rate for a given temperature. In other words the battery's environment.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:34 PM   #12
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Thanks for the link George. It felt good reading it and knowing my setup was correct. All except the sizing which is why I'm looking for a 75 Amp charger.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:35 AM   #13
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I have the DLS-55 with IQ4. No temp probe and not UL 1236. I was interested in this fact and spoke with an IOTA tech. He cited a UL spec that mentioned marine applications, but I don't recall the number.

I wanted the larger 75 or 90 amp models, but my little Honda 2000 generator (really 1600W continuous) was best suited for the 55A. So far, no regrets.

I've only had mine for maybe 6 months, but so far, so good. Can't beat the price, it's reliable and silent. I hear they provide good product support and found it easy to speak to a tech.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:03 AM   #14
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We had one and I liked it. DLS-55 w/IQ4. It's not a "marinized" charger, but is widely used in the boating world and is far less expensive than "marine grade" chargers. If you have any questions, you can call them and they are very willing to answer questions.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #15
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I'd have to pass even if the ITOA and the IQ4 were given to me. After I realized this didn't meet the AC to DC isolation standard or could fail in a way that potentially could cause a loss of life injury if it failed and the 110VAC side ended up on your battery terminals.
The lack of temperature compensation would be a show stopper, however it not meeting the UL marine standard is not the same thing as saying the ITOA isn't marinized.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capthead View Post
Is anyone using or has experience with the Iota line of battery chargers? I'm thinking about upgrading my charging system to a 75 Amp charger vs. the 40 I currently own. Charging at anchor takes way too long and I only have a 3500 W gen so I'm thinking I'm tapped at 75.

Here's a link;

Iota Chargers

Thanks
The data sheet doesnt actually say its a three stage charger, rather it says "Compatible with IOTA IQ Smart Charger for automatic three-stage charging"
The discription sounds like a ferro-resonant charger with a trip to float charge. It may take a loooong time to actually recover to full state of charge.
You will need the IQ4 to get fast charging.

Will an IQ4 Smart Charger help me?
The IQ4 Smart Charger is an additional accessory that manages the charging voltage of the DLS charger. The IQ4 uses four different charging modes to decrease charge times, ensure a full charge, and maintain the charge at all times while minimizing gassing and boiling. The IQ4 controller is also ideal for batteries that are not in use for months at at time by providing a charge cycle approximately every seven days. This promotes longer life of the battery by reducing "sulfating" of the plates.
Why isn't the IQ4 a standard feature on the DLS?
A DLS Series unit is essentially two products in one. It can serve as either a battery charger or a power converter for running a DC load from an AC supply. In power converter applications, multi-stage charging is not needed and therefore is not included with every unit. Additionally, some battery owners prefer to manually control the battery charging voltage by plugging and unplugging the Dual Voltage Jack or inserting an external IQ4 pendant. For these reasons, the IQ4 remains an optional addition to the DLS unit, however most DLS Series chargers are available with IQ4 charging control built into the unit for those who want the benefits of multi-stage charging at all times.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:42 AM   #17
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have had a 75A IOTA w/IQ$ installed for 5+ years. my bank is AGM about 1400ah.

Works great. There is a potentiometer which can be adjusted to make the voltage requirement of the battery. Contact the battery mfg. to discover what voltage you need.

2 surveys since installed. Not a problem with the 'non marinized' labeling.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:09 AM   #18
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Guy's I'm not saying anything other than a switching DC power supply (that's what the basic ITOA is) used in the marine environment as a battery charger that is not UL certified is a huge mistake if you have an electrical fire. Now if you use this as strictly a power supply instead of using batteries when your docked or anchored it would probably pass the smell test and possibly the insurance test. However once you add the IQ4 option and tie this "system" into the battery system as a "charger" that's were the problems could start as far as insurance in the case of an electrical fire.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #19
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It is UL Certified.
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:53 PM   #20
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Thanks Al.
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