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Peter Thornton

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    Local Government
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    Stockton Top

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  1. Did we ever find an explanation to the BMC that was apparently revving at 3000rpm? i assumed that it had a wrongly calibrated rev counter but maybe it really was at 3000rpm and has finally melted and been replaced..........
  2. Yes, its a great Marina - as is nearby Overwater. Both very tidy and helpful.
  3. Another thought on this: Our syndicate of 5 owners spends, on average, around £100 a year on batteries. I.e. 4 batteries that last 4-5 years. That’s £20 each, a little more than a pumpout. You can see why most owners don’t want to have to watch gauges and make calculations but just prefer a simple % readout telling them when to recharge.
  4. I do have a clamp meter with me so at 94% this morning it was at 14.1 (read on the Smartgauge) and hovering around 5 or 6 amps on the clamp meter. Upon transferring to the Sterling Pro on board charger it also charges at about the same rate. So maybe our charging system isn’t that bad?
  5. Indeed he has! Having read the back posts from over 10 years ago I’m amazed at the emotions that this little device stirs up .......... I can only say that we have, for some time, just used a digital voltmeter to monitor our batteries and the Smartgauge is streets ahead of this. Remember that this is a share boat and some of our owners don’t want to have to have the interest that we have in this. They just want to enjoy the boat whilst not wrecking the batteries. Smartgauge seems to be just the job for this. I think I might suggest that we also fit an Ammeter so that we can better monitor the charging system and decide whether we need to fit some kind of smart box to encourage a higher charging rate from the alternator - but I guess that this is a whole new subject ........
  6. Very possibly. Here’s the post I referred to: Posted September 23, 2006 (edited) Strangely enough I have one It makes battery monitoring real simple you dont need to know the size of the bank and subtract what you have used just look and so long as its above 50% you are OK. Hasnt really changed how I run my system but I worry less as I can see its still above 50%. I tried to confuse it by running the tumble dryer off the inverter whilst boating which gives me a net loss from the batteries of 50Ah ( TD draws 100A alternator is 50A) it came up with the correct answer, after a couple of hours boating and drying my 400Ah battery bank had dropped from 75-50%. It doesnt always get to 100% it levels off at 94%charged however that could be my charging system Its a small unit 90x60x25mm the only downside is that as mine is an early one it has no mounting brackets so its fixed to the wall with DS tape. Other than that it does what it says. What it will do is control external relays according to voltage so if you havent got a system linking your alternators to charge the domestic bank at a higher rate it should be possible to do this (ask Chris at SG). Would I buy another one? I am about to for the 12v system (first one is on the 24v system)
  7. I deliberately provoked it by leaving lots of lights on as I wanted to test it out and give it a chance to calibrate itself. This evening’s been much quieter and it’s moved from 94% to 90% so about 12 Amp/Hour or so (bearing in mind that 4x100 doesnt equal 400 when they have some age.
  8. It was just over 3 hours - well guessed!
  9. It’s 4, 100AH batteries. I’ll check the charging voltage tomorrow. I do know that when we return to the Marina after a long cruise and hook up the onboard charger (Sterling Pro) it does put quite a bit more in. It’s difficult to track exactly how much as the current keeps varying but probably 20 - 30 AH’s in total.
  10. Good question! I’ll check next time .......
  11. Did my first cruise with Smartgauge today. Started with 66% showing and it climbed nicely for the first 3 hours then slowed and ended up at 94% when I moored. I assumed that was because I have a standard charging system with no trickery? But this evening I’ve been reading some old posts and come across one that says they have a tendency to show 94%. Is this just co-incidence? Just to avoid a three page note on batteries and charging, (!) I’ve always understood that it’s unlikely/impossible to get to 100% whilst cruising with a standard car based alternator set up. So, is this 94% thing a feature? But I’m very pleased with the Smartgauge so far. It seems to work exactly as promised.
  12. That makes sense, thanks Nick. Meanwhile, it seems to be working fine - without my having to understand why!
  13. Have to say, I don’t really understand the principle on which they work. We have been using a voltmeter to monitor SOC and, as anyone who’s tried this knows, the problem is that the volts measured varies with the load on the batteries. So I guess that one function of the Smartgauge is to smooth all of these variations out. But without knowing what load is on the batteries - i.e. the amps being drawn - how does it learn the characteristics of your battery bank and deduce the SOC? One thing I’ve noticed, after having it for all of 30 hours, is that it stays at 100% for quite a long time after charging stops and current draw begins. But I like its simplicity and think it might be very useful on our Share Boat. Incidentally, I spent Saturday night at a marina social event and met a couple who had just embarked upon a Livaboard Life. They seemed a little suprised when I congratulated them on their new life and said that it would now be dominated by batteries and toilets .............
  14. I don’t think the fitting and operation is a “faff”, it’s just that it looks as if there were some faulty units around. Mine reads exactly the same as a good quality meter I have and reads 12.8 on a fully charged bank, which suggests that all is well.
  15. Our boat is a share boat and our owners fall into two camps: 1. Owners who are intensely interested in batteries and spend a lot of time looking at numbers and voltages. 2. Owners who would rather look at the view, don’t want to think about batteries on their holidays and just want to know when the engine needs running or they need to turn some lights off. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Smartgauge is a great aid for the second group. It’s the first group (which includes me) who ask all the complicated questions and who would actually probably be better served by an Amp Hour counter. That’s more or less the conclusion I came to, but I wondered if anyone had evidence other than reading the manual?
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