Battery monitoring, Gauges or SOC..........?

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by Akgramps, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Akgramps
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Alaska

    Akgramps Junior Member

    I am in the process of rebuilding and rewiring a 24' 1982 Glasply.

    Have been thinking about how I want to monitor the batteries and charging system.

    Initially I had planned on just using a digital volt gauge and 2 amp gauges, 1 on the alternator and 1 on the house battery.

    I am now considering a "SOC" instrument such as the:
    Xantrex LinkLITE
    2025 Trimetric
    Balmar smart gauge
    Blue Sea VSM 422

    This is a IB powered boat (mercruiser) w/ 70amp alternator (may need upgrade, but that will be a different discussion), three batteries total making 2 banks, 1 starting battery and a house bank of ~ 200-250 ah.

    I haven't settled on the batteries yet, considering 2 6V golf cart batteries for the house.

    I was going to avoid a SOC as most seemed like they had more functions then I needed, but then took a closer at the Trimetrics and now leaning towards the Xantrex, which seems like it will do what I need and similar cost to some quality digital volt/ amp gauges & shunts.....

    Any recommendations here.....? Thanks, John
  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Keep it simple. Go with the volt and amp gauges.
  3. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    When your alternator is outputting 50 much is being added to the battery ?

    This is important.

    Your boat is simple, so perhaps you can guess, but on a more complex boat with many consumers running your 50 amp output could only be adding 5 amp to the battery bank and 45 amp to ships systems.

    A meter that measure amps out and amps in , then calculates the difference is very worthwhile on a boat with systems like refer, electronics, autopilots,.....

    These gauges are not expensive .

    Joined: Oct 2002
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    The SOC system is the ONLY! way to know just where you are .

    Think of it as your gas gauge for the house set. SOC = State of Charge.

    It measures and LEARNS your battery capacity , and is accurate as the batt dies over the years.

    A SOC meter should be the #1 first improvement on any boat that is going cruising , and will be anchoring out.

    At under $200 its far cheaper than replacement batts , and weighs almost nothing compared to dragging big batts up and down a dock.

    Monitoring your use , the SOC will easily show weather you need more and bigger house batts , or just a better volt regulator , or both a bigger house set and large alt to charge them.
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