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Old 07-20-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
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Battery Monitors???

What are some good battery monitors? I did a quick Google search and the Xantrex came up....for ~$200. Here's the link to that one.

Thinking of doing a Renogy kit, like this. And just saw they have a new eclipse kit, here, that has a monitor.

Wondering how the MT-50 monitior included in the eclipse kit compares to the Xantrex above?
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:51 AM   #2
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Xantrex definitely the best. The advantage of something like this is it measures amps in and out, so you have a much better understanding of what is happening with your battery.

Looks like the MT-50 is just a remote monitor of the solar charger itself...
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:15 PM   #3
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Here's the one that I have, and love, in my camper.

https://www.amazon.com/New-CLIPPER-B...attery+monitor


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Old 07-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
Here's the one that I have, and love, in my camper.

https://www.amazon.com/New-CLIPPER-B...attery+monitor


Herb
That looks nice, and surface mount, so easier to retrofit than the Xantrex.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:29 PM   #5
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I have been using one of Victron Energy BMV-700. It is very similar to the Xantrex. I bought it at Amazon.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:12 PM   #6
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The only battery monitor I have used and can recommend is the Bogart Engineering Trimetric

Trimetric TM-2030-RV Battery Monitor System

It's reliable, simple, and programmable. They don't seem popular perhaps because it isn't flashy or heavily marketed. Seems in the same price as most at 160$, but you do have to buy a separate shunt which are about 30$.

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Old 07-20-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
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The choices for Battery Monitors falls around, units like the Xantrex or TBS electronics E-Expert, Battery Monitor Expert pro - TBS - Inverters and Chargers I believe TBS actually makes the Xantrex unit for them. Also the Victron units are very similar. They all have a 500 amp shunt, while the Clipper B only has 100 amp shunt.

As Eric pointed out you have the TrImetric TM 2030 from Bogart Engineering, home - Bogart Engineeringthey make a nice solar controller that can tie in with Trimetric for optimum charging performance. The also have another unit Pentametric that has more options. As Eric said these units are not flashy, but they monitor and present all the good data. I currently replaced my Xantrex unit with the Pentametric.

All of the above units use a shunt, and count amps in and out, another unit that takes a completely different method is the Smartgauge sold in the US by Balmar Smartgauge Battery Monitor | Balmar This unit takes a different approach to measure SOC, it does not count amps. A good write up can be found here Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Smartgauge battery monitor, RC proclaims "paradigm shift"!

-greg
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #8
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I recently picked up a Xantrex LinkPro battery monitor from another member here to use the LinkPro relay output to disconnect my electric water heater if the house battery state of charge or battery voltage gets too low.

The two functions above work great at keeping the water heater from killing my batteries but the other battery monitor functions are great.....state of charge, amps in/out, and battery voltage......

My solar controller displays battery voltage but the state of charge and amps in/out I'm finding indispensable.

Also related to this thread.....I'm presently installing a pair of Renogy eclipse 100W panels to my existing kyocera 120W panel......debating on whether or not to pull larger gage wire to the controller..

The 100W black frame eclipse panels were the smallest/lightest I could find for the energy produced. I've played with them in the driveway and the two put out around 10 amps in direct sunlight. I'm seeing 15 A with the kyocera connected as well...all in parallel as I have a Samlex PWM controller.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:01 PM   #9
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I have a couple of Victrons (older BMV 600 on boat; BMV 700 in van), and also run a Smart Gauge (which Greg mentioned above). I like them both because I like data and like to see just what's happening, but if I only wanted one or the other? Hmmm.... I guess I'd go Smart Gauge if what I really wanted was a really good handle on my SOC (state of charge percent). (presuming not using lithium batteries as it can't do lithium)

The Victron (or any coulomb counter) also gives you great info, but maybe some of it is stuff you only need to know one time or can calculate (e.g. what is the draw of X item). And you have to keep up on adjusting it as your bank ages. It can show you how many amps are still going into the batteries (like say if you want to adjust how long your solar controller is in absorption by manually doing "end amps"). And it's just fun to look at.

But for a good, simple, solid SOC? And if I didn't want to spring for both? Smart Gauge, I think. I poke that 50 times for every 1 time I check the Victron (after the novelty of the first few weeks).

Not that it's a big deal, but SG doesn't use a shunt. Just two small wires (14AWG, IIRC) to each battery post. So if a shunt is intimidating, that's a plus.

I still like both
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:28 PM   #10
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Great info, thanks to everyone. I'll be looking at all these in the coming days as I'm going broke ordering all the goodies for the build.
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