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Thread: DC/DC chargers, How do they work and do you really need one.

  1. #111
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Yep, folding panel blanket is a goid idea.
    2009 Defender 110 2.4. ARB bulbar, Ironman winch, Safari snorkel, Steinbauer chip, AP HD clutch, Lightforce spots, larger tank, Off Road Systems drawer, Traxide 160 controller, Tekonsha brakes, Mulgo seat runners, Uniden UHF, Nuggetstuff seat corners, breathers, Polaris GPS.

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    I won’t post a pic of the boat here but you can see it on my Facebook page - search ‘Lee Fitzpatrick’.

  3. #113
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Quote Originally Posted by Barraman View Post
    Oh dear - you asked for it, so here goes!

    There are 4 stages to my battery/VSR/charger experience with the larger of my two boats. The boat is a 6.7 M glass/composite custom build, side console 'barra boat' ,with front and rear casting decks. O/board is a Yamaha 250 Vmax SHO on a Bob's Machine Shop jack plate. Up front is a Minn Kota Ulterra 112lb 36V trolling motor. It has 4 x combo sounders (Humminbird Helix 7 in the console, Helix 10 and Helix 12 G2 mega SIs above the console, and a Helix 12 G1 SI on the front deck - I think they can each draw 1.75A). I run 4 x transducers, including a Humminbird 360.

    We only use the outboard to get to where we want to fish (often a 20 - 30 nm run) and to change spots, and then spend most of our time on the electric trolling motor. We are mono-species fishermen - lure chuckers for barramundi!

    Stage 1: 1 x 120 Ah AGM 'start' battery and 1 x 120 Ah AGM 'house' battery connected via a standard BEP unit that included separate master switches for the start and house batteries, a switch that connects the two batteries in parallel for and "emergency" start, with the VSR between the start and house batteries. The trolling motor is on 3 x 120 Ah AGM batteries that are quite separate from the start and house batteries in any way. The two sets of batteries were put on separate mains smart chargers overnight on multi-day fishing trips.
    After long periods just on the batteries without running on the outboard, I would get 'low voltage' alterts on the sounders.

    Stage 2: I added a second 120 Ah AGM battery to the 'house' (connected in parallel). Better - but still ran out of grunt, as our time on the water also was increasing - 12 hr days of which only maybe 2 were with the outboard running but the electronics were all on.

    Stage 3: Someone suggested ditching the VSR for a 12v DC-12v DC charger, so I fitted a Sterling Pro Charge B 20A unit. Problem with the sounders was solved but now I had a new problem. We were now spending a week at a time fishing the McArthur R in the NT and after about 4 days the trolling motor batteries were starting to struggle. They were not getting sufficient charge overnight and were slowly running down.

    Stage 4: I fitted a Sterling Pro Charger B 12v DC - 36v DC 30A unit between the two 'house' batteries and the three trolling motor batteries.


    We can fish all day for days at a time without running out of power. My mates suggested that I install a small thermonuclear power plant - but that doesn't seem to be required at our present level of activity.

    When mains power is available the start/house batteries are on a Sterling 240v - 12v DC smart charger, and the trolling motor batteries are on a Pro Mariner Pro Sport 20 Plus 20A triple bank (3 x 12v DC) charger. I have a master switch installed to disconnect the 12-36v charger when the trolling motor batteries are on the mains power charger.

    Yes, the boat has 6 x 120 Ah AGM batteries - and they are HEAVY! I would like to change to lithium, but I don't quite trust them. Fires on boats scare the crap out of me - patricularly when fishing in croc and shark central!
    Hi again Barraman, your requirements are not exactly what I would call an RV situation.

    But that aside, your setup works fine for you, so all is well.

    If you do decide to go to lithium batteries, just a couple of suggestions, I sell quite a few of the Sterling Pro Charge B units, primarily for trolling use.

    These units have one of the best Lithium charging algorithms available ( it’s actually a German based program ).

    But because it sounds like you are going to be using these batteries full time, I suggest you use the AMERICAN GEL setting on the Sterling Pro Charge B unit.

    This setting charges at 14.0v, instead of the 14.4v the Lithium setting charges at.

    For normal everyday RV use, the Lithium setting is perfect, but when lithium batteries are use in long term heavy duty use like it sounds you would be using them, the Lithium setting can be a bit hard on batteries, and by using the AMERICAN GEL setting, you will help to extend the life of the batteries.

    The other suggestion is to make sure you get good quality Lithium batteries, as there are some pretty crappy batteries out there now.

    A word of caution, do not use a lithium starting battery with any Yamaha gear as I have heard through the industry that there are problems where they can damage the electronics in these types of motors and companies like Yamaha are voiding warranties if lithium starting batteries are used. Double check this one to be on the safe side and also check to see if using lithium house batteries will also void the warranty. Your trolling batteries are fine.

    While I use to sell ProMariner battery chargers, I now only sell the Sterling versions. They are the same chargers, made through a Joint Venture Development between Sterling and ProMariner, it is just that Sterling offers far better backup, right here in Australia, through Sterling -Power-Australasia.

  4. #114
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Well I kinda had to install a DC-DC today...

    Was a little worried about restricting charge rate to 40amp/hr.

    200amp/hr battery was at 70% when I collected the car....

    Running around today do a few errands with an under performing solar arrangement (Max. Watts was 105) battery was topped up to 100%.

    That was with no load on the battery.

    Fridge on and will stay on and a weekend of camping will give me a better idea

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