Troubleshoot Xantex Truecharge 20i

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George Bean

My Truecharge 20i appears to have bit the big one.  I have shore power to the unit but, the batteries arn't getting charged nor do the led lights are on.  Is there an internal fuse or something?  The original manual has nothing and web searches turned up little useful information (lots of technical wonky stuff about replacing individual components on the circuit card) .  What would be a good replacement?  I have the Xantrex Link 1000 battery monitor and been thinking of their charger/inverter as it would take advantage of all the Links functions and capabilities, but I'm open to better ideas.
George Bean
s/v Freya  1476

Stu Jackson

Quote from: George Bean on July 14, 2019, 11:19:55 AM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
What would be a good replacement?  I have the Xantrex Link 1000 battery monitor and been thinking of their charger/inverter as it would take advantage of all the Links functions and capabilities, but I'm open to better ideas.

Hi, George,

Sorry to hear about your woes.  Perhaps you can send a pm or email to John Nixon (jmnpe here) our tech editor who wrote those excellent charger writeups sticky.  You can pm from any one of his posts, or find the email by looking at the page about officers in that sticky - that's why it's there.

Your options seem to be:

1.  Buy Xantrex to match the Xantrex Link 1000

2.  Buy something else, whether it be separate or combined I & C - which is a completely different thought process for you to determine.

Here's my experience and from feedback from extensive reading mostly from cruisersforum:

Stay away from Xantrex.  It is an almost universal blast on them from truly experienced users.  There are much better combined I/Cs out there - Mastervolt & Victron usually pop up as reliable.

That said, you may recall that I have a Heart Freedom 15 combined I/C and a Heart Interface Link 2000.  I bought them both in 1999, put the charger in then and the Link followed a few years later.  The I/C is still fine.  The Link has its issues:  stuck V button just last week and the backlighting went out a few years ago.  Otherwise it works just fine.

However, I DO LIKE coulomb counters, regardless of what Maine Sail says, because I KNOW how it works and have adjusted the default values and wrote "The Gotcha" article about it, thanks to Rich Stidger and Donalex on

Many folks still don't know how to use them.  They are NOT simple fuel gauges, one HAS to understand how batteries work to get the most out of coulomb counters, regardless of make, and Victron's BMV series is very good, reliable and easier to install than a Link.

If my Link fails, I may, just may, get a Victron BMV.  So far it's back up and running, but we'll see.  Then I'd have to run my charger/inverter manually which is not hard to do.

My understanding of reality is that it is not if, but when, your Link WILL FAIL.   Do NOT whatever you do, base your decision on a charger/inverter because of your Link.  That's just bassackwards. 

I had an issue just this week on a cruise, necessitating a Link unit reset and reprogramming which I could NOT have done with the just the Link 2000 manual (which of course I have at home, on my computer and a hardcopy on the boat) UNLESS, as I had,  downloaded a 1996 Xantrex service bulletin, which actually explained how to do it!!!  And I'm the one who keeps saying RTFM!  :D

I'm glad my stuff is Heart, NOT Xantrex, who took them over and still doesn't know how they work!

Maine Sail's been flogging the new Balmar SG200 (?) but I'm not convinced yet (read cruisersforum on that in their electrical forum) and I LIKE coulomb counters.  Just getting a % SoC and SoH just doesn't do it for me, and I can tell you with my eyes closed what the DC amp draw is if you tell me what's running, to the 100th decimal place!  :D  My friend who I cruised with this week has it, I'm still not convinced.  The key to battery charging and coulomb counters is NOT what you take out, that's easy and linear.  It's what you put back in, and of course associated with battery acceptance, as well as absorption time in the Gotcha algorithm.

And then one gets into the old sawhorse: an I/C puts all your eggs in one basket; what size charger and inverter do you really need, etc.  Those are questions only YOU can answer, because it all depends on how YOU use YOUR boat, not mine.

Your boat, your choice, good luck.  :D      Hi to Kim.

ps - 7/17  Inverters: 
QuoteLook at a Magnum, what drove me mostly to them was I've not heard of anyone having a failure, but if they did, the cards are easily trouble shot and relatively inexpensive.
from a64pilot on CF
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."