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Old 11-17-2018, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default Charger Advice

In checking the power center of my 97 PW it is a Magnetek 6332. Definately NOT a multiple stage battery charger. It's actual rating is at 32 amps. So I'm trying to figure out the best way forward. Progressive Dynamics does make an almost identical (size configuration) replacement for the whole converter/power distribution. It also makes a replacement board/converter where you can still use the existing distribution center. If I went with PD, I'd probably go with the complete center. Curiously it is less expensive than just replacing the charger portion of the Magnetek. Can't tell you why that would be.

It looks to me that the charger portion of the PD (both) is boost-normal-float-equalize. It also looks as though they are timed?

Since I'm not in any way bound to PD, I'm looking for recommendations for alternatives.

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:55 PM   #2
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In the moderate priced chargers, the PD is not a bad choice if it has the pendant to have override of stages and is used in conjunction with a battery monitor. Not automatic great changing, but not horrible amount of effort either.


There are few other chargers that do measure the amps to control charging and are reasonably priced, but they would have to be a good match for you batteries and use as they are limited in adjustment range or non adjustable.


To get full settability and top quality charging automatically get to be quite expensive
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:36 AM   #3
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If you're going to be into RVing for a long time then maybe buying a really good charger is a good idea. Perhaps even removing it if you sell the current RV.

Either of these Blue Sea P12 chargers - https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...ttery_Chargers - would let you charge your Lifeline battery as recommended in the Lifeline battery technical manual.

You could probably figure out how to disconnect the Magnetek charger portion but leave it in place for easy re-connection later in case you want remove the Blue Sea charger.

----------------------------------

I wonder if this combo would be a good upgrade or bad ..............

Parallax Power Supply - 6345RU Converter Replacement designed for the 6300 Series Power Centers
plus
Parallax Power Supply - 4400TAU TempAssure Upgrade KIt

Approx $300 on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Parallax-6345.../dp/B01DQBSTIO
Plus
https://www.amazon.com/Parallax-Powe...ywords=4400tau

I can't find any description of their Three Current Stage (direct copy from their site). Because of the lack of info I'd probably not take the chance.

-----------------------

There's the Promariner / Sterling charger mentioned in the other topic.

-----------------------

The Xantrex TRUECharge2 was mention recently as well - Truecharge Battery Charger | Truecharge2 20A, 40A, 60A | Xantrex

---------------

All of the units mentioned in this post have Temperature Compensation either included or as an optional add-on. Of those, only the Blue Sea charger can be programmed exactly as Lifeline specifies.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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The Blue Sea Marko mentions is a very good charger without getting too crazy expensive. Fully settable, but does the measuring internally so you have to allow for that or do a little add on circuit to move the coach loads to another of the 3 banks of charging it has which is not difficult thing. Fully settable and temp correction so covers things well but doesn't include a built in monitor like the very expensive Magnums and Outbacks do so you still need a standalone monitor.


We used a 40 amp Blue Sea for several years and it worked well. We would likely still be using it, but at 40 amps it was too small for our battery bank increase to 440ah.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:52 AM   #5
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Thanks marko and booster. I have to admit to being a knowledge-novice for all of this. So, from what I can see, multiple stage chargers can exist in varying forms. Some have timed sequences that approximate where your battery probably is in terms of capacity, some actually monitor capacity, and some monitor capacity adjusting for temperature. Is that an accurate (yeah, simplistic) assessment?

I plan to pair whatever I do with a battery monitor, probably a Victron. And I don't want to spend a ton on a 97 rv. I just want to optimize battery life/efficiency better than the old Magnetek. I doubt that I will expand capability on the 97. It's a part-time enjoyment. One additional question that I do have has to do with capability. IF I'm not adding anything significant to my single battery setup, can I stay with 30A on the charger/convertor? I've read that while you can increase the power distribution center to 45A, it requires a wire guage upgrade. I don't really need this.

Having spend years on another forum for a totally different automotive topic, I have to say that experienced guys like you provide invaluable information for the rest of us. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

best.glenn
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
Thanks marko and booster. I have to admit to being a knowledge-novice for all of this. So, from what I can see, multiple stage chargers can exist in varying forms. Some have timed sequences that approximate where your battery probably is in terms of capacity, some actually monitor capacity, and some monitor capacity adjusting for temperature. Is that an accurate (yeah, simplistic) assessment?

I plan to pair whatever I do with a battery monitor, probably a Victron. And I don't want to spend a ton on a 97 rv. I just want to optimize battery life/efficiency better than the old Magnetek. I doubt that I will expand capability on the 97. It's a part-time enjoyment. One additional question that I do have has to do with capability. IF I'm not adding anything significant to my single battery setup, can I stay with 30A on the charger/convertor? I've read that while you can increase the power distribution center to 45A, it requires a wire guage upgrade. I don't really need this.

Having spend years on another forum for a totally different automotive topic, I have to say that experienced guys like you provide invaluable information for the rest of us. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

best.glenn

I would say your simplified description is on track.



If you are looking for good performance at reasonable cost, I think a 25-30 amp PD charger with Pendant and a monitor will do you fine. A single Lifeline 100ah battery will max at about 40 amps before getting too warm and the min they recommend for deep discharge recovery is 20 amps, so 25 or 30 would be plenty and no new wiring needed.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:14 PM   #7
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I had forgotten about the Kisae Abso chargers: ABSO Battery Chargers - Kisae Technology

Optional temperature probe
Some presets to chose from for Absorption to Float transition
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:44 PM   #8
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I think the lowest amps the Kisae chargers will transition at are about 5% of the output setting on the charger. A 20 amp charger could be set as low as 1 amp. This is quite a bit high for Lifelines, but still better than a straight timer unit. I don't think you can manually over ride the stages in them. Looks like 4 hours max absorption time.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #9
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What about skipping the battery monitor if going with a really good charger like the Blue Sea P12?

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...rger--13908876

blue-sea-battery-charger-P12.jpg..png

In my van I have a Progressive Dynamics charger plus a Trimetric Battery monitor. The monitor is kind of needed else you'd have little idea of what the charger is doing and are the batteries full etc.

In the Class A I have a Samlex Evo inverter charger with remote display panel. That gives me the info I want. I know when the batteries are full by observing amps in. It won't tell me if the batteries are 63% discharged for example but I can guess at SOC by looking at no load voltage. I've never felt the need to add a battery monitor in that RV.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
What about skipping the battery monitor if going with a really good charger like the Blue Sea P12?

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...rger--13908876

Attachment 6732

In my van I have a Progressive Dynamics charger plus a Trimetric Battery monitor. The monitor is kind of needed else you'd have little idea of what the charger is doing and are the batteries full etc.

In the Class A I have a Samlex Evo inverter charger with remote display panel. That gives me the info I want. I know when the batteries are full by observing amps in. It won't tell me if the batteries are 63% discharged for example but I can guess at SOC by looking at no load voltage. I've never felt the need to add a battery monitor in that RV.

The Blue Sea is a very good charger, but it won't replace the battery monitor for much of anything except charging to full evaluation as you can see the amps, similar to what you describe with the Samlex, plus to be accurate you need to move the coach loads to a different bank than the batteries. When we had our Blue Sea, we still had to have a Trimetric to know what was going on with the solar charging, engine charging, and all the discharging stuff.


When you get up into the really nice chargers like Magnum, you can get a real monitor built in to the remote panel which is a nice feature. Some solar controllers also have a built in monitor like Blue Sky. We wound up redundant on monitors because we have a Magnum and a Blue Sky, but both of the use the monitor to get the data to very accurately control their charging.
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