Redarc versus C Tek DC Charger

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 19:24

kwk56pt

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Looking at a DC Charger to charge 2X 100amp AGM batteries in the tray of the ute. The Ctek has the added bonus of being a solar regulator to intergrate both solar and alternator charge. The C Tek with this advantage is cheaper to buy. I have not been able to determine what the Redarc 1220 DC Charger does better than the Ctek to justify the extra cost. I already own the Plasmatronics PL20 solar regulator.
I have read the posts re whether the DC charger is worth the cost but at this stage I am wondering why the Ctek is a cheaper unit so I feel I may have overlooked something.
Apart from the built in Solar Reg in the Ctek what is the difference compared to the Redarc 1220 Dc Charger.
Thanks Peter
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AnswerID: 429778   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 19:37

Lex M (Brisbane) replied:

You are looking at the Ctek D250s Dual aren't you. Not the D250s. Seems to be some confusion around the forums about which one you need to get the solar regulator.
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FollowupID: 700578   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 19:42

kwk56pt posted:

Yes the D250 dual Ctek can handle solar as well
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AnswerID: 429779   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 19:37

Mick O replied:

Peter,

In my current build, I have used a Redarc BCDC charger and the BMS Battery Management System. I have used the BCDC for provision of a hybrid 100 A/H battery under the bonnet and the BMS to maintain and manage two 140 A/H Power Sonic AGM’s in the back pod of the ute. The BCDC is purely a DCDC charger and as such it will provide the necessary charge staged charge rates to provide optimum recharge and maintenance on my aux battery. The BMS is a total system in that it is a staged DCDC charger, a 240 volt charger, an MPPT solar controller as well as providing a greater degree of functionality in respect to battery management and regulation than most other units through it’s graphic interface. It will automatically select the most suitable power source of those available. It will also allow selection of various modes such as travel and storage for appropriate battery maintenance. Then interface will provide everything from Battery temps, voltage, amps in, amps out, charge source, power remaining (days/hours) at current draw rate, time to full charge, charge mode etc etc that it makes a whole stack of gauges you would normally use, surplus to needs. The one drawer back was it’s cost but when you add up just what you would normally put in a vehicle including purchase cost and installation etc, it’s actually a much cheaper solution. It performed faultlessly in this first 6 months including 14,000 outback kilometres and some bloody harsh conditions. The MPPT controller is particularly good.

Looked at the CTek and the Ranox DCDC. Good products no doubt but I’m stoked with my choice.

79 Series Ute Build

Cheers Mick
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FollowupID: 700579   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:06

kwk56pt posted:

Thanks for the prompt reply. I have been following your ute build and did take notice that you had not chosen the CTek Sounds like you were impressed with the total Redarc battery management system that included the BMS. The CTek has the Smartpass Unit which i think does a similar job to the BMS but I will have to do a bit more reading on the BMS. I also own the Ctek XS 2500 240 volt battery charger so the BMS would make the Plasmatronics and 240V charger redundant although i understand that the replacement Redarc or Ctek would be a intergrated system.
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FollowupID: 700592   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 21:15

The Landy posted:

I recently installed a Redarc BMS in 'The Landy' after much research it came up the best for my needs. As Mick says, whilst they appear expensive you get a lot for your money.

Cheers, The Landy
"Those that don't think it can be done
shouldn't bother the person doing it..."
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FollowupID: 700596   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 21:56

Mick O posted:

I did a lot of research Peter. Time spent trolling the net to further ones outbackability is never time deducted from ones lifespan (a bit like time spent fishing as Confucius used to say). I'm sure a considered choice is one well made. It was the complete package that sold me and the "Australian Made" (and backed) didn't hurt either.

Good luck with it all.

Mick

(P.S. You've motivated me to get cracking on the final instalments to the ute build blog...thanks. ;-)
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FollowupID: 700643   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 11:15

olcoolone posted:

If you hold off for another month or so RedArc are about to release a BCDC1240 with selectable MPPT solar input, the BCDC family is a straight 12v DC-DC water proof 3 stage charger....the BCDC 1220 gave around 20 amps of charge with no solar input whereby the new model (BCDC1240) will do up to 40 amps of DC-DC charging plus up to 40 amps solar charging (if you have enough room or money for panels).

The BCDC range are also comparable with 12 and 24v charging systems allowing you to charge 12v batteries from a 24v charging system (OKA, ISUZU, Canter, Jap Landcruisers etc.)

The new BCDC1240 will be a good option for people who need a DC-DC chargers and MPPT solar reg with out the bells and whistles or 240v charging of the BMS.

Good to hear your stuff worked well Mick.

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AnswerID: 429783   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 19:50

Member - Rob Mac (QLD) replied:

Hello Peter, I have been contemplating the Ctek D250S Dual and am working out how to use it in my current system which may change if I go ahead and change the set up of my tray. I see on e bay they are around $358. Haven't checked out the Redarc as the price put me off, I have a Redarc isolator and have not had any problems but have a solar panel now and looking at options.
As an aside what does the "kwk" mean in your name?
Cheers
Rob Mac
Rob Mac
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FollowupID: 700581   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:30

kwk56pt posted:

The Kwk56PT is my designated Login at work. KWK is location Kwinana Department 56 and PT is my intials. American company as you would imagine. For me its easy to remember and isnt used by anyone else so I dont end up with all these different logins because the name is being used by someone else when i go to another forum.

I did wonder how good the Mppt solar reg incorporated in the Ctek is as a stand alone reg such as the plasmatronic are not cheap and the Mppt function was more expensive again.

Nice ute you have. I had aspirations to purchasing a Toyata HDJ 79 but I found t other buyers are very enthusiastic about them and like australian muscle car buyers they were not put off by any price.

Yes the Ctek 250S price is attractive compared to the Redarc. I probably should have bought a Toyota. The question like the Toyota one is simply is the Redarc the better buy?
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FollowupID: 700584   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:53

Lex M (Brisbane) posted:

Interssting, I have yet to see a ctek d250s DUAL on ebay. Have I been missing something?
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FollowupID: 700586   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:58

Member - Rob Mac (QLD) posted:

The KWK caught my attention as I flew a few times in VH-KWK owned by KWK air charter in Derby WA during the mid to late 60's.
I am impressed with what I have read about the Ctek and unless I win the lotto the Redarc is out of my league.
The Landcruiser is a good ute I have done some good trips in it (haven't written up my last two years trips yet slack!) gave it a good workout at Levuka at Easter and was impressed with how it performed
Cheers
Rob Mac
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FollowupID: 700588   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 21:07

Member - Rob Mac (QLD) posted:

Hi Lex, you are right I cannot find the Dual only the D250S but I was sure it was the Dual I was looking at??
Cheers
Rob Mac
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AnswerID: 429786   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:09

Member - Scrubby (VIC) replied:

G`day Peter,
Not the question you asked but have you looked at the Stirling DC-DC chargers ?
I have the Stirling DC-DC 1250, a multi stage charger that delivers up to 50 amps @ up to 14.8 V. from the starting battery. ( only one that I know of that has this output)
All very important functions regarding charge times etc.

Yell out if you want more info.

Regards,

Scrubby
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.
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AnswerID: 429791   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 20:32

Member - Jason B (NSW) replied:

Hey mate

Went through all of the same and ended uo buying the 40 amp pro charger from ABR Sidewinder, which seems like a good thing.



Regards
CheeRS Jason
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AnswerID: 429797   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 21:18

Ozhumvee replied:

There is another Aussie brand of DCtoDC chargers www.gsl.com.au.
I bought one before our last trip and it has worked perfectly. no affiliation etc etc
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome
2005 F250 4x4 Super Duty with Real Lite slideon (in USA)
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AnswerID: 429802   Submitted: Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 at 22:00

paulnsw replied:

technology wise and for best battery maintainence the Ctek D250S or Dual are more sophisticated technology. Majority of the DC to DC charger units are cheap switch mode and expensive for low tech outdated technology.

major feature of D250S Dual if you have solar panel attached and parked up at location and aux battery is fully charged the D250S Dual will then charge and maintain your main vehicle start battery.
you can get a great amp and volt meter from Sure Electronics for $35
for the D250S
With D250S or Dual you don't need a battery isolator. other advantage the D250S or Dual kick in at 12.8v so don't drain your battery like Redarc or other battery isolators down to 12.5v which is not good.
Ctek is fully temperature controlled which is essential for proper battery charging and maintainence. Insufficient attention is paid by most to temperature of battery when charging.

Redarc BMS1215 seriously over priced and poorly designed for intended market.

flog the Plasmatronics for what you can get as it is antique outdated. cannot understand why people waste money on gear like that. MPPT will give you up to 25% more from your panels. Ctek will give you greater battery life compared to Plasmatronics suitable for antique flooded cells. Another major issue is the Plasmatronics has negative regulation which has a heap of problems with modern equipment. find somebody who knows nothing about solar and batteries to flog your Plasmatronics to.

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FollowupID: 700622   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 08:08

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

Can someone confirm that the Ctek can handle low volatges from the alternator? I thought it kicked in at 13.2.

Peter
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FollowupID: 700630   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 08:33

paulnsw posted:

12.8V
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FollowupID: 700644   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 11:19

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

OK. Still way to high for many vehicles.

Quote from the Ctek D250S manual:

"D250 starts when supply volateg is above 13.4v for 5 seconds and stops when supply volatge is below 12.8 for 10 seconds."

The Ranox, Projecta, Redarc and GSI chargers all start when voltage is around 11.6v.

Peter
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FollowupID: 700656   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 13:00

olcoolone posted:

"Redarc BMS1215 seriously over priced and poorly designed for intended market."

Why is it over priced and poorly designed?, is there something better cheaper?



"The Ranox, Projecta, Redarc and GSI chargers all start when voltage is around 11.6v."

All these will start charging when the voltage is around 13v and cuts out at about 12.6v.

Don't know where you got 11.6v from?
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FollowupID: 700660   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 13:23

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

Olcoolone

Agree on the Redarc BMS pricing.

I am referring to the input voltages. Projecta, Recard and Ranox will charge even if input volatge is down to 9v. As I understand it, the Ctek won't.

Peter
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FollowupID: 700663   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 13:31

paulnsw posted:

Oh dear, doubt you have even set your eyes on a Ctek D250 or D250S Dual let alone tested the units. We have both on test prior to been released in Au.

Thankfully I don't guess like so many here like to do with no experience or expertise in the field.

The Ranox, Projecta, Redarc and GSI (GSL) chargers are crude switchmode technology way over priced for featureless basic specifications units. None of these should be more than $100. Basically like a crude 300W square wave inverter.
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FollowupID: 700671   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 13:45

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

Paul

I'll leave detailed technical debate to others that are working in the field.

However, if the fact is that the Ctek starts charging at an input volatge of 12.8 then this is too low for many applications IMHO, regardless of how sophisticated it may be.

Peter
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FollowupID: 700681   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 14:12

paulnsw posted:

There is nothing worse than people that guess and try and make assumptions and the reason so few with expertise in the field post on public forums.

On the solar input on the D250S Dual it starts at 9.0V

"Why is it (BMS1215) over priced and poorly designed?, is there something better cheaper?"
Only takes a lousy 200W of solar panel input which is inadequate, does not have the capability to handle higher voltage panels, 15A output is to low. The price of the unit is a joke. We have taken the Ctek D250S Dual added a $55 12V 29A power supply and gives a 240V 20A battery charger on mains with automatic switchover. Ctek D250S Dual, power supply and metering all under $440.
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FollowupID: 700683   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 14:38

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

Paul,

Ok! I'm not guessing or making assumptions. I have enough expertise to read the manuals and technical specifications.

I wasn't referring to solar input. If input voltage from the alternator is below 12.8 (according to the Ctek specs) then in won't do the job. Are the technical specs wrong?

Peter
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FollowupID: 700693   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 16:13

paulnsw posted:

Peter you are void of the technical aspects of the function of equipment and the method in which they need to operate. If you don't and cannot understand the basics of battery isolators and their function you are well out of your depth of technical experitise. This is at the elementary basics of knowledge in this area. You don't want the equipment to operate at under 12.8V. Reason why Redarc and other brands cause so many premature battery failure and shortening of battery life.
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FollowupID: 700697   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 16:35

Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) posted:

I give up! I wonder what Redarc say to this?

Peter
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FollowupID: 700720   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 19:14

Mick O posted:

You missed the point Pete,

"We have both on test prior to been released in Au. "

Doesn't take an expert to see a vested interest ;-)

I'm not an expert but I'm happy with my choice and the $ I paid. Sorry for the hijack kwk56pt. Hope your getting the info you need.

Cheers Mick
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FollowupID: 700725   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 19:32

paulnsw posted:

This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Personal Attacks Rule .

Forum Moderation Team
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FollowupID: 700727   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 19:38

jdwynn (Adelaide) posted:

"don't drain your battery like Redarc or other battery isolators down to 12.5v which is not good" - gee never had batteries down to 12.5v whilst camping..... LOL

"find somebody who knows nothing about solar and batteries to flog your Plasmatronics to." - charming


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FollowupID: 700735   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 20:36

Mick O posted:

Ahhh freebies. Hmmmm. Anyway, my apologies for my apparent lack of education. Oh by the way,

"We have both on test prior to been released in Au. "

that should be "being" and not "been". Very poor use of capitalisation throughout your response as well.

Perhaps you might pop back to some of the other forums that you troll Paul and leave we uneducated to wallow in the forum of our choosing. Obviously it's well below your standards.

Cheers,

Mick (the infantile)



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FollowupID: 700794   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 10:00

The Landy posted:

I recently installed the Redarc BMS 1215 and have a 140 Watt solar panel (thanks to SolarSteve!) and the system works perfectly for me. Perhaps there is something better, possibly even less expensive.

But Redarc ticked my boxes, Australian made, did what I wanted, user friendly and pretty much set and forget.

And Australian made is a big tick, all too often I see on this forum posts about icons closing, jobs going overseas…you know the story. Sometimes you need to put your money where your mouth is if you want manufacturing jobs in Australia…..and buy local made!

Cheers, The Landy
"Those that don't think it can be done
shouldn't bother the person doing it..."
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AnswerID: 429842   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 08:52

WATTS2C replied:

It's hard to compare the two as they are quite different units - however having said that, as many have already stated, CTEK as a brand produce very high quality chargers and for the price you will be very happy should you go the CTEK way.

MH
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FollowupID: 700738   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 20:42

kwk56pt posted:

Perhaps you could tell me briefly the main differences as I thought they did the same job apart from the Ctek which had the Mppt solar reg built in ? Do you believe the Ctek is better value and the Redarc to be a better unit ?
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AnswerID: 429894   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 16:56

Maîneÿ . . . replied:

Peter,

why not just replace the battery cabling you have now with 2B&S (32mm?) battery cable and see the difference it will make to the battery charging when at a distance from the alternator.

Maîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 700726   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 19:38

paulnsw posted:

This post has been read by the moderation team and has been moderated due to a breach of The Trolling Rule .

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FollowupID: 700740   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 20:51

Maîneÿ . . . posted:

When the two batteries are joined by the battery isolator they form just one ( 1 ) large battery, they are then seen as just the same single battery by the alternator.
The voltages will equalise and the alternator will charge both batteries together, at the same time, simultaneously or whatever word you want to use to show there is only one ( 1 ) battery being charged.

The voltage loss at the rear battery using 4 x Meters of 2B&S battery cable is only 0.02v unless your battery isolator also causes some voltage loss, (if it does, replace it) so if your getting 14.20v at your cranking battery you will be getting 14.18v at the rear battery 4 Meters away.

Maîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 700739   Submitted: Friday, Sep 10, 2010 at 20:51

kwk56pt posted:

Yes the 2 B&S cable is the way to go but my understanding is the alternator will not fully charge the battery but the smart charger will ensure they reach close to 100% much quicker as the alternator takes a long time to put in the last 15% and never charges the battery to 100%. So my understanding is that the Dc Charger will charge fully and quicker. The alternator will put more in to begin with then very slow as the battery charge comes up.
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FollowupID: 700778   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 08:02

paulnsw posted:

This is in fact totally incorrect "When the two batteries are joined by the battery isolator they form just one ( 1 ) large battery".

If you understood and have expert knowledge on batteries you would not make these factually and technically incorrect statements. When you don't understand the basics or have the professional knowledge required you cannot understand why cable charging cannot and does not work.
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FollowupID: 700779   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 08:11

Maîneÿ . . . posted:

Paul,
don't just 'mouth off'
please explain in some detail "why cable charging cannot and does not work"
I say 'Please' as I'm not a rude and arrogant individual.

Maîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 700780   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 08:14

Sir Kev & Darkie posted:

Mainey,

I agree, he looks like yet another person wanting to stroke their ego.


Cheers Kev
The foolish flaunt their little skill while the wise conceal their abundance.
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FollowupID: 700782   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 08:38

ModSquad posted:

Guys,

Let's get back on track and remember that forums help us to learn from each other. If you have any information to correct a statement,please provide it for all to see rather than throw in the "I'm the expert" reply. Help the OP understand the information provided.

Remember that there are others who are following this discussion who want to learn rather than see it moderated due to personal attacks.

Last warning.

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FollowupID: 700783   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 08:49

Maîneÿ . . . posted:

Mr. ModSquad
I'm not the expert, because Paul has told me I "don't understood or have expert knowledge on batteries", he must know something I don't, and as you say I would really like to learn from him, if I don't learn anything new then I believe it becomes a personal attack.

Maîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 700788   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 09:04

Maîneÿ . . . posted:

Nil voltage loss to 2nd decimal place, is created by my electronic battery isolator

Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be FoundMaîneÿ . . .
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FollowupID: 700789   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 09:17

Bonz (Vic) posted:

Umm can I ask a stupid question, .... What is cable charging?
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FollowupID: 700791   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 09:32

Bonz (Vic) posted:

Dont be silly Mainey, we all know you arent the EXPERT! ;0) I think paulnsw ir referring to the additional impedance and such that the connections/cable and stuff presents to the electrical circuit, i.e. the minutae of electrical theory. I reckon your one battery approach is pretty close to the mark.
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FollowupID: 700808   Submitted: Saturday, Sep 11, 2010 at 13:36

Maîneÿ . . . posted:

Bonz,
hey I've plenty of experth knowledge, I've lived there on & off for a while in the summer months :-)

Back on track however, as my 2 photos (above) clearly show, there's no impedance or such from a quality electrical battery isolator, or it's connections with-in the charging circuit, the 2B&S cable will only drop O.O2v between the 2 batteries that are 4 meters apart anyway, and any standard alternator should be capable of charging @ >13.8 volts, which will ensure the accessory battery receives adequate charge.

However, and yes this is where the *but mine won't* comes into it ....
they MUST use an AGM battery;

AGM's will fully recharge faster
AGM's have lower internal resistance
AGM's can be fully charged at a lower voltage
AGM's are capable of accepting a much larger current

(these are also the reasons AGM's work more efficiently in solar power systems)

Maîneÿ . . .
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