After two months and four defects:
- Bad cable.
- Despite paying full price we were shipped a beta test shunt that could not be updated to latest software.
- Ditto the display which did not have enough memory for the latest software.
- The final problem was a bug in the iPhone up-date software that it seems that Balmar’s support techs don’t know about, since they didn’t tell me when I called, even though it’s on their site. Big shout to member Michael for pointing that out.
I finally got the SG200 we bought for our J/109 working. I will write a review once I have more experience with it.
We have had ours for two years and love it. Finally an easy and accurate way to monitor the house bank. We pair it with Firefly carbon foam batteries, another great product. We’ve had those for seven years and the SG200 says they’re still 100 percent healthy, and our experience bares this out.
I had a much better experience – out of the box and installed in a couple of hours, and worked first try. It’s taken a couple of cycles to get SOC right (was refusing to acknowledge charge states between 80-100%, and would jump straight to 100% seemingly randomly), but now I’m very pleased, and feel much more confident in making charging decisions.
I’m sure most of them are fine, but what was most disturbing was how bad Balmar’s support was throughout the problems I had. To the point that I would not buy anything else from them, at least until they get that sorted out, and I don’t think that will happen any time soon given that the company has just changed hands for the second time.
And if a company gives me crap support, knowing what I do for a living, it does not bode well for the average customer.
Disappointing to hear about Balmar. I’ve heard good things about the new meter and was contemplating it for our electrical upgrade. What would you buy instead given your experience?
I still think it’s a worth while unit to consider. This article may help you decide if it’s right for you, even though it’s about an earlier version: https://www.morganscloud.com/2018/08/13/battery-monitors-part-1-which-type-is-right-for-you/
Thanks John. I’m a little confused….the articles mention that you bought the Victron 702…did you get rid of it already for the Balmar?
We had the Victrons on our McCurdy and Rhodes 56, a boat we sold a couple of years ago. I installed the Balmar on our J/109 when I redid the electrical system specifically to try it for review. For myself, I wold have stuck with the Victrons although that does get us into manual calibration so may not be the right choice for everyone.
Got it, thanks John!
I have fitted 2 SG200s on our Malo 42 which has two separate house banks. I have to say I have had nothing but trouble from them doing an Atlantic circuit in 21-22. Chris Witzall was initially helpful but now I get no response from Balmar. The biggest issue is the SOC appearing to jam at 100%. So the voltage drops to say 24.3 v and it still displays 100% !. When I disconnect power to it and reconnect it displays a reasonable 50% SOC. Just can’t work out why it seems to lock on 100% SOC. It didn’t do this when we first installed it. Any ideas ?
Sorry I don’t have any idea. I think, on balance, I prefer the Victrons I had on the old boat, even though they required calibrating, since I could clearly see what they were doing and how they arrived at read outs. But then I’m a geek, so not right for everyone.
Oh, one thought, have you updated the software to the latest version? The early versions were really buggy, and that sounds like a software bug.
Thanks John will try a software update