It’s tempting, when selecting a complex piece of gear like a battery monitor, to dive straight into the details and features, but that’s a near-sure route to a bad decision. First let’s take a giant step back and look at the two main types of monitors and decide which is right for each of us.
These days, most boats with AC generators have signifigant DC (12 or 24 volt) battery banks that need to be charged regularly by the generator. But often that process is horribly inefficient. The good news is that the fix is easy, simple, and relatively inexpensive.
It’s tempting to assume that the bigger a battery bank is on a cruising boat the better, but past a certain point that’s not necessarily so. It all depends on our usage profile. And sometimes there are much cheaper and easier ways to reduce charging time.
John takes an in-depth look at the benefits and drawbacks of carbon foam, liquid filled, and AGM lead acid batteries, and then reveals his thinking if faced with battery replacement today.
John recently replaced the house battery bank on “Morgan’s Cloud”. But before starting the project he had a big decision to make: which battery type. Here’s a look at the options he considered, starting with lithium.
Are you considering a hydro generator? Here’s everything you need to know, warts and all, from an experienced user.
After our miserable experience with Lopolight, we are looking for an alternative. Please help.
Let’s face it, cruising boats are horribly unreliable, and gear failures are the most common cruise-ruiner. But we can reduce the problems a lot by thinking about fault tolerance. Here are three real world examples you can use right now to make your boat better.
The claims made for battery pulse desulphators seem to make them ideal for voyaging boats. A cheap, easy to install gadget that will dramatically extend your expensive batteries’ lives. What’s not to like? But do they really work? John takes a look.
The story of how John nearly wasted a bunch of time and money, but finally got a grip of himself. Lots of electrical system recommendations and a caution to make sure that the complexity we choose is right for us.
John and Phyllis reduced their battery ownership costs by a factor of four. Here’s the report.
Charging batteries fast has all kinds of benefits: less engine wear, fuel savings, less carbon. But how far can we go and what are the lurking dangers?
The details of how batteries charge and how voltage regulators work together…or not. Practical information that will help make sure you have electricity when you need it.
Electricity, batteries and how to charge them are the source of more confusion in the cruising world than just about anything I can think of. But suppose you could really understand electricity? Now you can, and it’s not hard. Read on.
John’s in rant mode. This time it’s marine electronic and electrical technician training that has attracted his ire. But he’s not just throwing rocks, he makes suggestions for improvement too.