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Author Topic: Battery Charger (Charles Redux)  (Read 7913 times)

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rappareems

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Battery Charger (Charles Redux)
« on: August 09, 2002, 07:07:12 AM »

I have read most of the discussions from the Message Board re battery chargers, pro and con.  I cooked my Newmar 20 Amp charger the other day.  My local Catalina dealer tells me that Catalina is now finally installing a good charger, the "Charles" any comments?  Anyone no anything about the Newmar?  The Guest 20 amp goes for around $400 and the Charles a bit more.  My charger was mounted in the hanging locker next to the head and I would like to mount the next one in the same place. Any recommendations?
 
 Mark Cassidy
 
 Mark Cassidy
 #232 1986
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Mark Cassidy
#232 1986
"Rapparee"
Lake Ontario

SteveLyle

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Battery Charger (Charles Redux)
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2002, 08:47:44 AM »

Practical Sailor's pick is the Statpower Truecharge 20+.  Performance Yacht Systems ( www.pyacht.net ) sells it for $260.  It handles up to 3 banks and 400ah.  If you need a bigger one there's the Truecharge 40+.  I upgraded this spring and I'm very happy with it.  I've made a number of purchases from PYS and they've provided good service as well.
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Jim Price

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Battery Charger
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2002, 10:37:28 AM »

I also replaced my charger this summer with the TrueCharge 20+ and not at all dissapointed.  I origianaly order the TrueCharge 40+ but realized it would not work with my Group 27 batteries (TOO MUCH CHARGE).  I have 2 house batteries and one running the refrigeration unit.  I also opted for the bells and whistles; got the remote display panel (helps see what is going on at a glance on the 2 house batteries) as I mounted the charger under the nav table.  I also got the temperature sensor; inexpensive contol option.  Ordered all from OnLine Marine.  Cost with shipping was $353.80 for all three components.  I also upgraded with larger wiring to the batteries at same time since I had to disconnect everything anyway.
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Jim Price
"LADY DI", 1119
1991
Lake Lanier, GA

Ted Pounds

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Battery Charger
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2002, 03:02:51 PM »

Ditto.
 
 Ted
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Ted Pounds
"Molly Rose"
1987 #447

tandm

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Battery Charger
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2002, 05:25:20 PM »

I also installed the Statpower Truecharge 20+ over the winter.  Got it on sale at West Marine but don't remember the cost. It seems to work well; I have definitely notice an improvement in battery performance.  I put in all new wiring for both DC and AC to the charger.  I think I spent about $60.00-$80.00 on installation materials
 
 td
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Terry

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Charles Industries
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2002, 05:33:54 PM »

Our boat was made with a Charles Industries charger which is the ferro-resonant charger everybody has been talking about.  If I were going to tackle this project, I would replace it with the Statpower Truecharge 20+.  You want a 3 stage charger but I'm not familiar with the quality of Charles Industries 3 stage charger.  After looking at their website (http://www.charlesindustries.com/marine.html), I can't find a 3 stage charger.  Good luck...
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rappareems

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Battery Charger (Charles Redux)
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2002, 06:22:27 PM »

Thanks for the comments the Statpower 20 sounds like the way to go and also to mount ounder the nav table, much more visible than the locker.
 
 Mark Cassidy
 #232 1986
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Mark Cassidy
#232 1986
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Lake Ontario

pklein

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Battery Charger
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2002, 12:35:29 PM »

Spend the extra money and get the remote monitor panel.  It gives you instant peace of mind and it's the last thing I look at when leaving the boat.  If the monitor is on, the AC power is connected and working.  Therefore my cheese won't melt and my beer stays cold!
 
 Phill Klein
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Steve S.

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Battery Charge Level
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2002, 04:04:40 PM »

I too have been reading this thread with interest and I have a question.  
 
 What is a normal full charge level?
 
 I recently bought a 1988 34 with a West Marine 20 charger.  There are two banks: a single size 24 and a two size 27's.  The highest my voltage meter ever reads for either bank is 12 volts.  I have always been under the impression that it is normal to charge to 13.2 - 13.7 volts (depending on temp.)  What is most disappointing is that the engine will not turn over on the single 24 size battery, which is brand new. (I have a Universal 25XP.)  When I press the glow plug button, the voltage reading drops to 10.  Does it look like I am in the market for a new charger?  Any comments?  (BTW, I am lucky in that I only have to motor 15-30 minutes before shutting her down and raising the sails, so I don't believe that I have run the engine enough to determine if that will charge up the batteries to 13+ volts.)
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Steve S.
Hull 548
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Chesapeake Bay

Stu Jackson

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Dump the Charles, It's Trash...
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2002, 05:49:16 PM »

...enough said already.
 
 Stu
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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SteveLyle

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Steve S...
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2002, 07:43:57 AM »

I've got the #'s in several reference texts, none of which I have in front of me, but I believe I recall that a 100% charged flooded battery should read 12.75v or thereabouts.  This varies with temperature.  I've never heard (or seen) 13.2 or above.
 
 Chargers obviously deliver a greater voltage than that in order to 'push' electrons into the battery, so to speak.  The voltage a charger presents to the battery varies depending on the charger and it's cycles, but 13.1 or so is probably minimum.
 
 There have been numerous posts and tech articles in the mainsheet about starting problems with batteries located far from the engine using #4 gauge cables, especially 'restart' problems when the engine is warm/hot.  Solutions are to move the starting battery closer to the engine (shortening the cables), upgrading to larger cables, setting the switch to 'both', or otherwise combining the batteries when starting.
 
 I noticed in some material on the new Catalina 35 that they placed the batteries under the seat for the chart table, which is located next to the companionway, i.e., close to the panel and close to the engine.  So there's another alternative to solving the problem, upgrade to a bigger boat!
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rdavison

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Steve S - voltage levels
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2002, 08:43:41 AM »

Steve,
 Something is definitely wrong.
 
 I have same charger and flooded cells.  Voltage should rise to about 14.2 as charger is finishing charge.  It should then drop to around 13.3 to float the battery.
 
 My batteries sit at about 12.6 when fully charged, charger off, and after 30 minutes wait to take off the surface charge.  Flooded cells like ours are considered discharged at 11.5 volts at the battery.  Your reading of 10.X volts at the meter is not too bad as it measures somewhere downstream of the battery so you're seeing voltage drop in the wires under the load of the preheat.
 
 Assuming you're wiring is OK, A group 24 should start the engine fine.  This is true even with the stock #4 wire.
 
 My advice is to track down the charger problem quickly and fix or replace as under-charging your batteries and leaving them that way will cause very rapid sulfaction and loss of battery life.  When you relly need them, they won't be there!
 
 Suggest you make voltage measurements to be sure AC is getting to the charger and the output is actually connecting to the batteries through whatever switching arrangement you have.  These chargers do fail but they are pretty reliable.
 
 Randy Davison  k7voe
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Stu Jackson

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Charles Redux
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2002, 09:58:23 AM »

Terry wrote in [above] about checking the Charles website.  So, I did.
 
 My understanding is that Catalina is installing either the Charles 5000 or 2000 models in C34s.  I saw one recently on a newer Mark II, but sorry, didn't jot the model number down.  Charles also makes a ferroresonant charger.  The ferroresonant charger is NOT the one Catalina is installing.
 
 In any event, the Charles website specs are very interesting.  They claim a three stage charger, but their attached table of charging only includes "8 hour bulk rate output voltage" and "Float Rate Output Voltage."  The bulk rate is either 14.4 for lead acid or 14.0 for gel, and the float is 13.5.
 
 What this means is:
 
 1.  You have to buy a model that matches your battery type, since they can't change the output bulk charge voltage inside the units.  No way to switch battery types in the future unless you buy a new charger!
 
 2.  There is NO mention of acceptance phase.  It appears that the chargers do an 8 hour bulk charge and then switch to float.  This is nonsense, and doesn't charge batteries properly.  The bulk phase is altogether too long, and the important acceptance phase is missing!.  The float phase voltage at 13.5 is between the recommended 13.2 and 13.6 volts.
 
 The Charles [claimed 3 stage, NOT their ferroresonant] charger will still eat your batteries alive.
 
 OTOH, the Statpower, now manufactured under the  Xantrex name, will allow you to change battery types by a simple switch on the unit, and, therefore, charging voltages whenever you choose to change the type of your batteries.  It also includes all three phases reqired for proper charging, plus an equalization mode for wet cells.  The bulk phase is not the incorrect preset 8 hours, but is based on the charger's sensing of the state (voltage)  of the batteries with a time limit of about 20 to 30 minutes.
 
 The only conclusion I can draw from Charles claiming that their models 5000 and 2000 are a three stage charger is they have included OFF as one of the stages!  OFF is where it belongs, all the time.
 
 For those of you with Charles chargers, be real careful about switching to gel cells because the boats came with wet cells.  The 14.4 voltage for wet cells will fry gel cells which only need 14.0 or 14.2 volts at the bulk phase [not 14.4 volts like wet cells do].
 
 [This message was edited by Stu Jackson #224 1986 "Aquavite" on August 27, 2002 at 10:08 AM.]
« Last Edit: May 12, 2019, 10:58:54 AM by Stu Jackson »
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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."

mike baker

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Battery Charger (Charles Redux)
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2002, 06:23:12 PM »

I installed a Statpower Truecharge 40+ a few weeks ago and am very pleased.  I installed it under the nav station using all new 4-gage wire to the batteries. My old original equipment charger was only putting out 12.8 volts and my batteries were never charged above 12 volts.  My only complaint with the new charger is that the charger cooling fan makes a little noise, although it is not objectionable unless you are sleeping on the port settee with your head at the nav station end.  After installing the new charger I was still having some problems with starting voltage and found that the old wires interconnecting the batteries and from the batteries to the 1-2 switch were not making good contact at the batteries because of corrosion and bad connectors.  After this was corrected everything worked great.
 
 Mike Baker #815 "Gray Hawk"
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Stu Jackson

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Charles Redux Charger Update
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2005, 11:30:05 AM »

In an effort to be fair to a manufacturer, a recent post has noted that new (2005) boats are still being built with Charles Chargers.  This particular thread/post, in discussions above, had noted (a few years ago) some research on the negative aspects of the Charles chargers based on available information at that time.

It appears that Charles has improved their product line.  

This consists of two things: being able to switch between battery types AND having a true 3 stage charging capability. (Equalization is separate, and doesn't appear in the catalog, or I just haven't read the whole thing yet!)

I recommend that you read the following newer thread for an update, and it includes links to Charles' website and product line:

http://c34.org/bbs/index.php?topic=2143.0

I also recommend that you check your charger on "newer" (say a 2003-4)but not necessarily "newest" (late 2004-5) boats, since I don't know when Charles started making the updated models with battery type switching AND the 3 stages of charging, nor do we know when Catalina started installing the updated products.  The Charles models numbers appear to be the same, but the guts, and, therefore, the operation, may be different.  

If you don't have the battery type switching on a "newer" Charles charger, I doubt you'd have an effective three stage charger, in which case the recommendations in this thread to use Statpower (Truecharge, Xantrex) would still apply.

Any feedback from other skippers would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2006, 11:26:20 AM by Stu Jackson »
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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."
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