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Old 06-18-2017, 12:30 PM   #1
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Latest thoughts on battery monitor and charge controller

We added the Escape panel and charge controller (GoPower) to our 5.0 TA before pickup. I'm thinking about adding a monitor now and eventually replacing the charge controller. My initial thoughts were to use Trimetric for both, but I'm seeing other brands being used with success. I'm interested in current thoughts on what other owners have installed.
Thanks!
Chuck
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
We added the Escape panel and charge controller (GoPower) to our 5.0 TA before pickup. I'm thinking about adding a monitor now and eventually replacing the charge controller. My initial thoughts were to use Trimetric for both, but I'm seeing other brands being used with success. I'm interested in current thoughts on what other owners have installed.
Thanks!
Chuck
Hi Chuck was going with the Trimetic but went with Victron . Even AM solar is using as well . I found a little less money , so easy to install and everything included including the shunt .. Finally got to use in the field recently and really loved I could get better readings on my batteries . Check out their website . Pat
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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I have the Bogart set (Trimetric monitor and solar controller). I like to tinker so it suits me just fine, although it might be overkill for those who just want something more plug and play.Y ou can use it as simply or as detailed as you like.

I bought it a few years ago when it was one of the few controllers that let one get the max from the Interstate batteries, this may have changed. I haven't kept up with developments.

Bogart gives you free software updates, although it's up to you to send it back to them for such, as well as knowing when they are available.

I found their tech support very helpful, you leave a message and they call you back in the next day +/-.

To really take advantage of the monitors capabilities, you need their controller.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:27 PM   #4
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Like Bob I have the Trimetric, however their controller was not available when I purchased and installed so I am using a Blue Sky 30 for controller. I believe the best solution is a solar controller that has a remote viewing option or an app capability. The Blue Sky 3000i with an optional IPN monitor is an example of this. That said, who wants to toss out a functioning solar controller.

I think the Trimetric is putsy, some arcane instructions, minimal calculations, some prior knowledge helpful. The configuration information is readily available for those willing to search, the key point is it does not work out of the box. I like what it does, I think it could be better designed from a functional perspective. It is definitely a one man shop that you are buying from, good support but what if . . .

I do not know a thing about the Victron, but would certainly consider it a viable option.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:53 PM   #5
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Like Bob I have the Trimetric, however their controller was not available when I purchased and installed so I am using a Blue Sky 30 for controller. I believe the best solution is a solar controller that has a remote viewing option or an app capability. The Blue Sky 3000i with an optional IPN monitor is an example of this. That said, who wants to toss out a functioning solar controller.

I think the Trimetric is putsy, some arcane instructions, minimal calculations, some prior knowledge helpful. The configuration information is readily available for those willing to search, the key point is it does not work out of the box. I like what it does, I think it could be better designed from a functional perspective. It is definitely a one man shop that you are buying from, good support but what if . . .

I do not know a thing about the Victron, but would certainly consider it a viable option.
Victron ,Besides the price , easy instructions with pictures for electrical dummies like me , great phone support . I bought the 700 because I only want to monitor one battery bank 2 6volts , wired in series .They have another 702 which has more bells and whistles for a little more . Latest technology I believe from Sweden . I couldn't believe how easy to install and set up . Everything included but you can buy extra accessories like a toggle . I only had a little volt metering the dummy meter before ,and the Victron gave all kinds of readings . Volts , %, how long I can go etc. as I said AN solar also is now selling on their website . Everything In a nice package that I can understand . Pat
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:40 AM   #6
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What is AN Solar? I'm interested,
Thank you,
Tom
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:42 AM   #7
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AM Solar, the company.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:55 AM   #8
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What is AN Solar? I'm interested,
Thank you,
Tom
Sorry Tom my I-pad decides how it wants it spelled AM Solar . Pat
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:31 AM   #9
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Hi Pat,
Thank you. Yeah I wondered what. My spell check drives me nuts too but often its quite comical.

I'm trying to figure out future moves to make my trailer more efficient. Soon, I think, my microwave will go else ware. It's nice but has just too much electrical drain. What I need is accurate data collection so I can make (somewhat) intelligent decisions for my electrical system design. I'm interested in a good charge controller so am all ears here.

I'll go explore AM Solar....

Thanks for the help.

Tom
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:42 AM   #10
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Hi Pat,
Thank you. Yeah I wondered what. My spell check drives me nuts too but often its quite comical.

I'm trying to figure out future moves to make my trailer more efficient. Soon, I think, my microwave will go else ware. It's nice but has just too much electrical drain. What I need is accurate data collection so I can make (somewhat) intelligent decisions for my electrical system design. I'm interested in a good charge controller so am all ears here.

I'll go explore AM Solar....

Thanks for the help.

Tom
Tom you can check Victron site for information on 700 or 702 . I purchased ours at Amazon . I just recently got to test when we were boondocking and it was very nice to see what was going on with the batteries . I need a lot of help with electrical but was very happy how easy installing the battery moniter was . I mentioned AM Solar using their product because they have the latest and are respected for their installations . Pat
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:18 AM   #11
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Thank you Pat. I will go there a learn all I can. I'm not new to this stuff but it keeps evolving and I need to "get on it" again and catch up. Very much appreciate the help.

Tom
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
Hi Chuck was going with the Trimetic but went with Victron . Even AM solar is using as well . I found a little less money , so easy to install and everything included including the shunt .. Finally got to use in the field recently and really loved I could get better readings on my batteries . Check out their website . Pat
Pat are you using the Victron monitor with an ETI installed GoPower controller or did you buy a complete Victron system?
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:34 AM   #13
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Pat are you using the Victron monitor with an ETI installed GoPower controller or did you buy a complete Victron system?
Eric for now I bought the battery charger you suggested and it really charges my batteries up . I installed the Victron battery monitor in our trailer . I do have Escapes solar pre install when we purchased our trailer, only . I have a GO Power 80 watt folding suitcase portable it has a little charger installed on it . What I found because the 2 , 6 volts are really getting a good charge now from the battery minder at home ,the portable Go Power brought the batteries back up to 100% every day in a few hours . Our biggest draw at night was the heater and of course the water pump for showers . I would like to install some solar on the trailer and am hopeful the newer flexible panels may work . You can see my Victron monitor in my picture albums . Technology moves so fast it is hard sometimes to keep up . If and when I install solar on the trailer I will get a solar charger and install on trailer , will still have the portable as back up to add to the solar . I was just surprised for us and our needs we don't need much in solar especially if batteries start with a good charge . The on board charger didn't charge our batteries as well as the battery minder you suggested and now am using . Pat
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #14
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Pat, I become more and more impressed with the BatteryMinder the more I use it. It resurrected a 12v sealed lead acid battery I used for our solar charged electric garden fence. I've current got a buddy's 12v deep cycle from his Aliner on it and it seems to have brought it back up to a higher charge capacity.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:42 PM   #15
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Pat, I become more and more impressed with the BatteryMinder the more I use it. It resurrected a 12v sealed lead acid battery I used for our solar charged electric garden fence. I've current got a buddy's 12v deep cycle from his Aliner on it and it seems to have brought it back up to a higher charge capacity.
Really see the difference and am happy with this charger . Thankyou . Pat
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #16
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Thanks for all of the replies here. I think I'm going to install the Victron 700 and operate with the existing charge controller for now. We are going to be doing mostly dry camping this summer and fall, so I can at least learn more about our usage and see if the Go Power performs to specification. I would also like to find an additional portable flexible panel to add upstream of the existing controller for early spring and fall sun position (or shaded campsites).
Chuck
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #17
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Be sure to get the Bluetooth dongle with the Victron 700. It's kind of neat being able to take a peek at your batteries from your living room, or when your on the road with your phone or iPad. Scott

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Old 07-22-2017, 10:20 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
Thanks for all of the replies here. I think I'm going to install the Victron 700 and operate with the existing charge controller for now. We are going to be doing mostly dry camping this summer and fall, so I can at least learn more about our usage and see if the Go Power performs to specification. I would also like to find an additional portable flexible panel to add upstream of the existing controller for early spring and fall sun position (or shaded campsites).
Chuck
So I detoured from my plan a bit - I picked up a Blue Sky 30 for $113, plus the temp sensor. I still need the faceplate adapter. I'm going to add the Victron 700 as a monitor and install everything at once.
Chuck
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:32 PM   #19
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I went a little different way. I recently installed a Clipper battery monitor and a Progressive Wildcat from Best Converters. The Clipper compact version is surface mount and comes with a 100 amp shunt that is perfect for our trailers. I would of liked to install the display over the frig, but the cable while long, could not make it all the way from the battery box to the overhead. Instead, i mounted it above the dinette in the back. Display is very easy to read and gives the important information.

The Wildcat kit was a snap. About 30 minutes start to finish. Construction of converter is very robust compared to stock. Mounted the control dongle on the front of the box as others have done.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20170723_152003351.jpg (145.9 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170723_152009512.jpg (152.1 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20170723_162759762.jpg (212.6 KB, 52 views)
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #20
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I just finished installing the Victron 700 battery shunt and the solar controller. Here are the pics of the install. The battery cables were crimped using a 10 ton hydraulic crimper - making the cables up seemed to be the hardest part of the install. While I was at it, I cleaned up the wiring routing as AC and DC wiring shouldn't be bundled together.
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File Type: jpg Solar Controller.jpg (182.5 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg Shunt and controller location.jpg (186.4 KB, 55 views)
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