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 > Advice on replacing my IOTA battery charger for boondocking

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dieseltruckdriver

Black Hills of SD

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Posted: 12/27/21 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

BFL13,

I just checked. The input wattage on the 60 amp PD is 1000 watts. That will not make a 2000VA generator run flat out.
This is my experience also. But I will admit I almost never take my batteries to 50%. Why would I when I had a generator, and with the solar I don't even worry about it.

When I would put a hard draw on the batteries, the Honda would pull hard, but not rev up. If you have a Honda you know what I am talking about.

As GDE had mentioned the 9160, that is what was on my previous 5er. The only real difference between that and my 9260 is the cost of the pendant in my opinion. Just press the button once and walk away from it. It takes care of itself.


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opnspaces

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Posted: 12/28/21 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interesting on the 20%c vs .125c (assuming that correlates to 12.5%c) I won't pretend to understand much of this battery charging. But I've read enough of your posts to think that 20%c is probably taxing on the batteries. If there is truly only 15 minutes charging difference between a 45 and 60 amp unit I'll probably go with the 45 amp.

So now my decisions are the PD costs $215 from bestconverters.com It charges at 14.4/13.6/13.2. The PD has the pendant that I can use to force into bulk mode for 4 hours if I want to.

The Powermax is $170 (on the Powermax website) It charges a 14.6/13.6/13.2. the Powermax does not have a pendant, but I can manually adjust the output up to 16.5 volts to equalize. This is done at home with a multimeter and a screwdriver which I'm more than capable of.

The IOTA with IQ4 is $160 from Bestconverters.com. It looks like the IOTA outputs 14.8/13.6/13.4 I think I'm ruling out the IOTA because if the higher bulk and float levels.

I know the PD has a decent following as it works for people. But I'm wondering how much of the higher cost is really goodwill or perceived value and not anything to do with reliability or longevity over any other brand.

Does anybody recall or have any thoughts on the reliability of the Powermax line? I don't recall any real negative posts on here so it seems good. But at the same time I don't want to buy the Harbor Freight equivalent of the converter world.

* This post was edited 12/29/21 09:11am by opnspaces *


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time2roll

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Posted: 12/28/21 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IOTA should not see over 14.6 for 15 minutes maximum. No harm in that and time to call done for the generator. Then 14.2 and eventually 13.6 float if you continue. Cycles back to boost once a week if power is continuous.

Or is this 13.6/13.4 new?


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BFL13

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Posted: 12/28/21 07:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am a shameless PowerMax fan. Been using them for ten years now.

Your 45 amper LK is $117 with free shipping here once they get more in.

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BFL13

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Posted: 12/28/21 07:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP wants to do 50-90s. A 60 amper on a 220AH bank does constant 60 and reaches Vabs at about 70% SOC and amps will then taper for the Absorption Stage.

So your gen will slow down then as amps taper and you can't use that as a marker for when to stop the recharge. You have to keep going until you get to 90% SOC.

45Amps on 220AH will do Bulk at 45 and reach Vabs at about 76%SOC and amps then taper with the gen then slowing down.

Even so the 60 amper will do the 50-90 in less time because it was doing 60 instead of 45 for the 50-70 and then its amps taper but from a higher level for the 70-76. They are equal in time for the 76-90 but the 60 holds its shorter time overall.

It must be time to inflict my ugly graph on everyone again! [emoticon]

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pianotuna

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Posted: 12/28/21 10:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opspaces,

Since they are sulfated I'd try to recover them.


Regards, Don
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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/29/21 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:


I know the PD has a decent following as it works for people. But I'm wondering how much of the higher cost is really goodwill or perceived value and not anything to do with reliability or longevity over any other brand.


If you are looking for a "set and forget" converter, hands down the PD series will do that for you. I do like the lower storage voltage mode of the PD at 13.2V because my RV sits unused for long periods of time plugged into shore power. Very low water use which means I don't have to check the water levels every month as I would if I had a converter that only settled down to 13.6V.

PD should also switch to bulk mode automatically when you apply shore or gen with a partially depleted battery. I know mine does that.

PD does have one strike against it, that is the PF or power factor is not as ideal which means it tends to draw a bit more power than other same amperage other brands. That can be an issue with using a smaller generator. A PD9160/PD9260 can draw more than 1000W at full output because of the PF. May be a bit close with your 2000W gen if you have other 120V items running. For that reason some folks have used a lower amperage PD with small gens.

Iota because of it's higher voltages might deliver a slight advantage to charging a bit faster, it takes more voltage to push more amps back into your battery.. However, the battery will tend to self limit just how much it will accept so any advantage there sort of depends on your type and size of battery.

Both PD and Iota are pretty much set and forget, in most cases, should never have to force modes, just allow them to do their jobs and all will be good.

If you have the need to constantly tinker with charging your batteries then something like the Power max which has the means of manually adjusting the voltage might be your ticket.. Some folks love to tinker with batteries as a hobby (battery maintenance hobby) and some like myself would rather spend time doing other hobby things..

opnspaces

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Posted: 01/22/22 04:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I finally decided on and purchased the Powermax unit. My thought was that all three are basically the same as automatic three stage chargers. But with the Powermax I can flip it to manual mode and crank it up to 16v to equalize the batteries from time to time. Now I may never actually do that. But I have the option and the unit was less expensive than the PD or IOTA.

Thanks everyone who posted here and gave me your input.

otrfun

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Posted: 01/30/22 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

one last question for any of you who run an inverter generator. Currently my Honda 2000i basically idles when plugged in and charging. I assume this is because the charger is stuck at 13.6 volts.

If I go to a PD 45 or a PD 60 amp I'm assuming the generator is going to ramp up a bit and make some noise. Does your 60 amp charger cause the generator to really ramp up and put out some noise? Or does it still stay fairly low in the decibel range? . . .
Yup, at 13.6v not much of a load--maybe 3-4a.

The Honda 2000 just starts getting noticeably louder as its load approaches 8a. 7a or less, it's still relatively quiet. The PD 45a and 60a converters I've used draw 7-8a and 9-10a under full-load at 14.4v. The PD 45a will ramp up the Honda a bit (the 60a noticeably more), but not as much as it would running an a/c.

* This post was edited 01/30/22 07:34am by otrfun *

otrfun

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Posted: 01/30/22 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

opnspaces wrote:

I know the PD has a decent following as it works for people. But I'm wondering how much of the higher cost is really goodwill or perceived value and not anything to do with reliability or longevity over any other brand.
Every PD converter I've owned has always produced their rated output within +/- 1a. I purchased a 60a PowerMax converter about 6 mo. ago to use in our home for various projects. The adjustable charge voltage was a big plus. However, it would never produce its rated output. Max current hovered around 53-54a. Probably not a deal breaker for a number of folks, but it's something worth noting. Based on a number of PowerMax reviews I've read, this appears seems to be a common occurrence.

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