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General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: scrimshawsc34 on May 29, 2019, 05:49:55 AM

Title: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: scrimshawsc34 on May 29, 2019, 05:49:55 AM
Hello All.

I want to add a Smart Battery Monitoring System to my 86' Mk1.

What makes and models have you used?  How was the install?

Thank You.

Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: Ekutney on May 29, 2019, 06:12:24 AM
I am in the process of installing a Balmar SG200, there is a detailed article at this site & I purchased through him.   https://marinehowto.com/  This site is an amazing resource for a DIY type person, lots of great information & his prices for things are good.

My use is to monitor the House bank & determine power consumption while on the hook for the weekend.

I'll post some pics of the install in a couple weeks.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: mainesail on May 29, 2019, 06:31:17 AM
Hello All.

I want to add a Smart Battery Monitoring System to my 86' Mk1.

What makes and models have you used?  How was the install?

Thank You.

Over the years we've installed just about every battery monitor out there. Traditional Ah counters give a lot of good info but if the owner is not keeping up with the programming they can become grossly out of sync with the bank and essentially display erroneous data in regards to SoC...

These days all we install are either the very simple Balmar Smartgauge or the new Balmar SG200. The reason for this is quite simple, they are the only "self-learning" battery monitors that stay and track accurately, with your bank, even as it ages. Our customers tend to want simple and accurate not something that requires copious amounts of attention to get accurate battery data from.


Easiest to install & Self Learning = Balmar Smartgauge (SOC & Voltage only but very accurate)

Slightly more difficult to install & Self Learning - Balmar SG200 (State of Heath, SOC, Amperage etc. & very accurate)

Slightly more difficult to install & NOT Self Learning - Victron BMV Series (Coulomb Counter, difficult to keep accurate for SOC, no SoH)

There are a bunch of articles on battery monitors here: https://marinehowto.com/ (https://marinehowto.com/)
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: Jon W on May 29, 2019, 07:18:23 AM
I installed the Balmar Smartgauge and the Victron Energy BMV-700. Took some time, but I thought both were straight forward to install and setup. The Smartgauge gives me volts and state of charge for the house bank and the reserve battery. The BMV-700 provides volts and state of charge, amps being used, and total amps used for the house bank only. For the BMV-700, each year I reduce the total amp hour setting of the house bank by a couple percent to reflect age. Simple to do as long as the manual is easy to get to. The percentage I use is arbitrary, but better than not doing it. The two devices have slightly different readings but I like the different capabilities.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: Jeff Tancock on May 29, 2019, 07:34:17 AM
I just installed new batteries and refrigeration. I wanted to know consumption to decide on solar needs so I bought and installed a Victron 712.
Super easy to install, nice blue tooth to my cell phone and tablet and also give voltage of my reserve start battery.
I didn't do a lot of research so I'm not saying it is the best but I'm happy to have the info provided.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: mark_53 on June 10, 2019, 11:31:10 PM
I just installed a Victron 700. I was trying to decide where to mount the readout.  I routed the wire from the battery box  under the floor and up to the panel. Turns  out the Victron fits perfect in the hole left when I removed the OEM volt meter.
One thing Iíve noticed is even with everything turned off it show 2watt input to the battery.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: Dave Spencer on June 11, 2019, 05:28:46 AM
Mark,
Iíve had my Victron for several years and Iím pleased with it. To zero out your meter, press the + & - buttons together for a couple of seconds. This manually synchronizes the unit. Itís best to do it when the batteries are at or very near 100% SOC and there is no current flowing into our out of the batteries.
Interesting choice to mount your display at the cockpit instrument panel. It all depends on how you plan to use your boat. I certainly agree that the OEM voltmeter at the panel is of limited value. Eventually, I plan to replace it with an oil pressure gauge. I have my Victron display mounted at the nav station as that location allows me to monitor and record battery performance more easily while cruising remote areas for weeks at a time.  I certainly see the attraction of the simplicity of the Balmar monitors but I like to be able to see the amps flowing into the batteries through my solar and out through various electrical loads and I donít mind a bit of tinkering.  I like Jonís approach to having both monitors and manually reducing the house battery capacity in the Victron parameters each year to accommodate inevitable house battery degradation over time.
YBYC.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: mark_53 on June 11, 2019, 09:28:06 AM

Interesting choice to mount your display at the cockpit instrument panel.


Dave, To clarify, I mounted the readout in the hole left when I removed the OEM volt meter at the nav station control panel.  The OEM meter is rectangular on the outside but it fits into a round hole.  The Victron slides right into it.  No need to cut any holes.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: Dave Spencer on June 11, 2019, 10:40:10 AM
Ahh!  All clear now Mark. The voltmeter at the nav station is even more useless than the one in the cockpit. Great idea to use up that space.  :thumb:  My VM at he nav station in a linear gauge (vs a dial gauge) with a toggle beneath to select Bat 1 or 2.  I never use it and would love to find a better use for that real estate.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: captran on June 17, 2019, 09:50:53 AM
The original owner put a link 20 system, which was easy to re do when I did repairs due to a hurrican's fresh water getting in.  seems to work well.
Title: Re: Advice Requested: Battery Monitors
Post by: DaveBMusik on June 22, 2019, 07:27:26 PM
I believe the Balmar SG200 is the only monitor on the market that does State of Health