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    Battery Monitor

    I have a 1987 Bayliner 3218 with twin Hino 110 diesels and a four cell house battery and a single start battery. I need suggestions as to what would be the best battery monitor I should get. I need it to give me the voltage, amps in and out and an way to read graphic telling me when my house system is in need of recharging. It should also give me the basic info I need to know from my start battery. Suggestions?

    #2
    Panbo.com has reviewed a number of battery monitors over the years: https://www.panbo.com/?s=battery+monitor
    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
    Anacortes, WA

    Comment


      #3
      I like the Xantrex Link unit. Have had one on several boats now

      KEVIN SANDERS
      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
      www.transferswitch4less.com

      where are we right now?

      https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

      Comment


        #4
        Xantrex link lite
        1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
        twin 454's
        MV Mar-Y-Sol
        1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
        Twin chevy 350's inboard
        Ben- Jamin
        spokane Washington

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          #5
          I have Balmar's SG200.
          Irony
          1989 Bayliner 4588 - EH700TI
          Portsmouth, NH

          Comment


            #6
            Blue Sea M2 1830 is my preference. https://www.bluesea.com/products/1830/M2_DC_SoC_Monitor
            Cheers, Hans
            2007 Carver 41 CMY
            Twin Volvo D6-370
            Montreal, Canada
            Midnight Sun I Photos

            Comment


              #7
              I am currently using a Victron BMV-712 Smart Monitor w/Built in Bluetooth -- Love the ability to use my phone/tablet to monitor things anywhere on the boat.
              https://www.victronenergy.com/batter.../bmv-712-smart

              Jim
              Althea -- 2000 3988 270 Cummins, Hull Extension
              Semiahmoo, WA

              Comment


                #8
                In my opinion, the only true means of monitoring a House Load Battery Bank is with a shunt resistor style monitoring system.
                These allow for the actual tracking of Amp Hours IN, and Amp Hours OUT (consumed).
                The shunt resistor will interrupt the HLBB's Negative current path, and will report data to the head unit.


                Unless there is some form of new technology that I'm not aware of, if the system does not include a shunt resistor, it will not be able to track Amp Hours.
                We want to see Amp Hours, not voltage readings alone.
                Voltage readings alone are not sufficient.


                As for monitoring a starting battery bank (in terms of Amp Hours), I'm not convinced that it's completely necessary.

                .
                Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've had several Bogart Trimetrics - love 'em. I had one Link briefly because it came on Gray Hawk. I got so mad at it that I buoyancy tested it. Worst piece of crap I ever tried to use. Trimetrics will monitor 2 banks but I have never used that feature.
                  R.J.(Bob) Evans
                  Buchanan, SK
                  Cierra 2755
                  Previously 43 Defever, Response LX
                  Various runabouts, canoes & kayaks

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just love my NASA BM-1 Clipper Battery monitor - As Rick said you need to monitor your Amp/Hr draw from your house battery bank through the Negative via a shunt. The NASA unit is easy to use and provides all the necessary data to monitor Battery usage, Current draw, Time to 11.5 Volts (Discharge). Amperage/hr left. The other detail I love is the huge numeric readout. They also have a bluetooth version as well.
                    Good Luck!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by 2850Bounty View Post
                      In my opinion, the only true means of monitoring a House Load Battery Bank is with a shunt resistor style monitoring system.
                      These allow for the actual tracking of Amp Hours IN, and Amp Hours OUT (consumed).
                      The shunt resistor will interrupt the HLBB's Negative current path, and will report data to the head unit.


                      Unless there is some form of new technology that I'm not aware of, if the system does not include a shunt resistor, it will not be able to track Amp Hours.
                      We want to see Amp Hours, not voltage readings alone.
                      Voltage readings alone are not sufficient.


                      As for monitoring a starting battery bank (in terms of Amp Hours), I'm not convinced that it's completely necessary.

                      .
                      Rick - Here's an interesting article on shunt-type monitors vs. the non-shunt Balmar Smartgauge:
                      https://marinehowto.com/smartgauge-b...nitoring-unit/
                      1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                      2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                      Anacortes, WA

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Norton, I had seen this device advertisement earlier and it caught my interest. Receiving such high praises obviously says a lot about its value. I still have some negative bias about it though:

                        1 - No one knows/explains its theory of operation. I have a built-in bias about "trust me" kind of approaches. I am sure this device is covered by patents. There is no reason why a deep-enough technical description of how it can perform its function should not be provided. In the absence of such a description I meet what ever I see with suspicion.

                        2 - The only way you can measure the amount of current passing through the battery is if you can be in SERIES with the battery and its load. This device is NOT connected in series between the battery and the load. So, any measurement about current is based on a model, not a real measurement. Does this device show/display amount of present current in/out of the battery? I find such ability feature very useful. For example, I want to know how much amps are being drawn from the battery when I turn on the inverter to activate a heavy load through the inverter and the AC outlet.

                        3 - The only way this device and its algorithms can make their prediction regarding the state of charge of the battery would be based on (a) an accurate observation about the instantaneous measurement of the battery output voltage and (b) accurate knowledge (or prediction) of battery internal resistance value. Where is that knowledge obtained?

                        4 - Unless the device has its own built-in power source it will draw its operational power from the monitored battery. Thus, if the battery voltage is lost (e.g. when the battery connection is removed because of a repair activity) all "knowledge" would be lost and a new "learning cycle" is necessary; is that true?

                        Looks like an interesting approach but I shall stay with the known technology of the shunt until I understand the new technology better.

                        Stay safe
                        Retired, computer expert / executive
                        Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
                        Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
                        D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
                        [email protected]
                        [email protected]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I’m with Monte Vista on this one.

                          Also reading the article which is factually correct based on my quick reading I want to know the SOC of my battery bank based on it’s initial programmed capacity, not based on what it has degraded to. That way I can make an informed decision regarding battery replacement.

                          Here is a great example....

                          Right now my L16HC bank reads right around 11.7 volts at -400 amp hours or about 50% of it’s theoretical SOC.
                          That voltage is acceptable to me.

                          As this bank ages the voltage will decrease at the same number amp hours removed, and at some point I will decided that it needs replacing.

                          Another thing I REALLY like about shunt based monitors is the concept that I can instantously see if i am charging or discharging, and an exact quantity. I can also look at load management based on the current draw of individual devices that I can turn off or on.


                          KEVIN SANDERS
                          4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                          www.transferswitch4less.com

                          where are we right now?

                          https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

                          Comment


                          • Kwood
                            Kwood commented
                            Editing a comment
                            The Balmar SG-200 [NOTthe Balmar Smartgauge] monitors state of health in addition to SOC and is shunt based.

                          #14
                          Gentlemen, I am an engineer and understand the intricacies of battery charging, battery health, etc. I was not advocating the use of the Balmar Smartgauge; I was simply pointing out a different technology introduced by one of the leaders in marine charging systems.

                          I did a bit more research and found that Balmar now has combined a shunt with the Smartgauge: https://www.panbo.com/balmar-sg200-a...r-gets-better/
                          1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                          2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                          Anacortes, WA

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Originally posted by Norton_Rider View Post
                            Gentlemen, I am an engineer and understand the intricacies of battery charging, battery health, etc. I was not advocating the use of the Balmar Smartgauge; I was simply pointing out a different technology introduced by one of the leaders in marine charging systems.

                            I did a bit more research and found that Balmar now has combined a shunt with the Smartgauge: https://www.panbo.com/balmar-sg200-a...r-gets-better/
                            lots of electrical professionals here at the BOC.

                            I too have read a bit about the previous version of the Balmar unit, and I think the Blue seas unit as well. I never bought into the idea of a non shunt SOC meter, and always thought it was a best effort for folks that wanted a instrument but were unwilling to go through the work to install a shunt.

                            My opinion (as an electrical professional) is that a instrument can only analyze parameters it is aware of. A battery monitor without current awareness can only be aware of voltage and perhaps temperature. It could use that voltage data to compare with pre-programmed values common in certain battery types at typical rates of chgarge and discharge but that’s about it.

                            Add current and you have two data sets to analyze together. You could theoretically determine internal resistance of the battery string, and voltage at various values of discharge.

                            As these instruments evolve I would expect them to store historical data and compare that with current data predict when a battery’s lifecycle end is near.

                            KEVIN SANDERS
                            4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                            www.transferswitch4less.com

                            where are we right now?

                            https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

                            Comment

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