Solar Dual Battery Regulator under $100

Submitted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 10:40
ThreadID: 102139 Views:2688 Replies:2 FollowUps:4
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Hi all

I was not sure if I should post this because it might draw some flak about "support Australian" but some of us cannot always afford to pay the Australian prices when it is the "same" product.

I stumbled over this on the well known shopping site and thought it might be of interest to some. I thought it looked very much like the one branded by a well know Australian supplier starting with R and would suggest it is one and the same manufacture.

Apparently from the information I have they do a Boost / Equalise / Float cycle and the batteries can be set to charge at different rates (any discussion on why you woud do that is of interest to my curiosity ...)

Having said that you do get extra for your money (usually) when you buy in Australia - the equipment may have more quality control, there might me minor design variations applied during manufacture for that "brand", you get a properly translated English manual (sometimes), and you get back up support.

So for anyone looking at this particular unit it may make it an affordable option (less than half the Australian cost). This item is Charger and remote Meter combined but you can find individual items as well.

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:05

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 12:05
Might be good value Ken - the one sold locally by R seems to have been thoroughly 'worked over' .. no spelling errors on the labels or in their linked manual. 2 year warranty too. They do claim......"AUSTRALIAN DESIGNED AND ENGINEERED....This product has been specified and tested in Australia in accordance with R specifications and testing requirements by R Engineers. You can be assured that this product meets the stringent quality levels of all R products". They also state in that manual that the unit is made in China ! Call me odd, but I'm wary of buying from someone who can't even spell proper-like when designing printed labels for devices, let alone the manual - possibly slack attitudes in manufacturing too ?
AnswerID: 510791

Follow Up By: Member - J&R - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 15:59

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 15:59
I would suggest Chinese quality of manufacture in electronics would possibly be, in most cases, now amongst the best in the world.

Unfortunately, they are let down by English being a second language, and having travelled extensively, any language not spoken as a first option is going to be a hit and miss affair.

It may even be off the same production line, just the manual is a version specifically for Australia.

I guess a closer inspection will reveal all.
FollowupID: 788909

Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 16:16

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 16:16
Fair enough J, but I think the manufacturers serious about marketing quality products here simply employ a writer with accredited English skills to do their texts....after all, it only has to be done once for each language sector. It seems to me that Chinese consumable appliances fall into several groups, such as junk, good and the really good gear that western companies make over there (such as my Milwaukee power tools). But I know its probably a little more complex than that :-o).
FollowupID: 788912

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:51

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:51
From experience in the IT industry, I would suggest very little is manufactured these days in countries where production costs are high - the best you get is some stuff manufactured under license to the big players (like Intel. IBM, HP, etc) or perhaps with some specific design requirements from the purchaser who is re-badging the gear . I cannot remember the last time I saw anything made in Aus, USA, Germany, etc.

Like some cars which are made in the same factory and then "window dressed" to look different to the consumer by the big car makers. It is just to cost inefficient to tool up independently these days.

But I also agree that some stuff that looks the same can be really cheap and nasty copies or factory seconds that fail the quality control. Unfortunately you can also find that stuff coming through Australian suppliers.

It is hard to be a consumer these days and not get caught out a few times.
FollowupID: 788922

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:10

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:10
That is made by Epsolar in Shanghai. I have a couple of their controllers and they are very good. I have the MPPT controller which is resold by Projecta for nearly 3 times the price.

Epsolar - China

The only thing I would question is why would you want to charge batteries separately unless they are totally separate and not connected. Especially as it is PWM.

Get their MPPT controller, off ebay or elsewhere and you will get 20 - 30% more charge from the same panels.
AnswerID: 510809

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:37

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 17:37
I am hoping this thread may invoke some information from the more knowledgable about having the dual battery option and being able to charge them independently at different rates.

The only thing I could think of, and that was somewhat supported by a diagram I saw, was that you may run completely seperate 12V systems in different parts of the vehicle (like a large motorhome) where the batteries are not located together and you may want one to recharge faster (more critical loads) than the other.

Reading the documentation from the Aussie supplier did not seem to give any insight as to the reasons for or application of this unit.
FollowupID: 788921

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