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Old 02-12-2022, 12:06 AM   #1
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Charger on existing (old) inverter died. Help me make a decision?

I've got a 2000 Monaco Diplomat. 210ah on chassis batteries (agm) and around 550ah on house (6v flooded.) I've got 1200w of solar on a Victron MPPT. Using a BIRD-II to combine banks while charging. Both battery banks are relatively new in the last 24 months.

My Trace Engineering 1500w is no longer charging and I'm trying to decide what to do. Here is what I feel like are my options:

1) Repair current inverter/charger. Likely $200-400 (wild guess.)

2) Buy used 2000w pure sine inverter locally. $500.

3) Buy new Victron inverter charger. $1300.

Here are my thoughts......

#1 gets me going again but doesn't help at all when I upgrade to lithium in 12-24 months.

#2 gets me going again but again, but larger inverter and pure sine. I'll need to upgrade the system again for lithium in 12-24 months.

#3 Expensive but if I need to buy this when I go lithium anyway..... Should do it now..... Right?

Is there an option #4 where I can use an older inverter and have it charge a lithium bank?

What would you do?
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Old 02-12-2022, 02:13 AM   #2
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I’ve used a Victron and a Magnum charger/inverter units in the past. I didn’t not like the Victron for RV use, it is more designed for static use in a house. There is a lot of customization possibilities in the Victron and a great number of accessories that would communicate with it. But the Magnum just worked the way I wanted right out of the box. I added their AGS and BMS to the Magnum and I had what I thought was a perfect set up.
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Old 02-12-2022, 04:06 AM   #3
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the multi-plus II has some thing that ware worth looking into. If your into information in rear time . The Cerbo with a touch screen pulls all the maintainer parts together and gets all that info to your fingertip . I have a victron 3000 watt multi plus II , two MPPT solar chargers (150/100amp with room for more panels currently 1250 watts) , Victron DC to DC charger (truck to 5th charger),battery monitor BMV-712 smart shunt, Cerbo GX with touch 50 screen and a 120v to 30amp DC charger as a back up and winter storage battery bank maintance . I currently have 5 -100 amp hour heated battleborn GC2 batterys, with room to get to 10 total.

The new multiplus has a built in ATS , so you run your utility cord into it and will pass 120/240 directly to the coach or if you turn on the inverter it will pass 120 volt 3000 watts total to the coach (the current versions dont do 120/240 split phase output when its inverting) .

For short term you could just get the 30 amp charger like I have and it has the flexibilty to program it for any battery profile you want (custom program via blue tooth for any charge profile) very easy and user friendly with a smart phone.
https://www.victronenergy.com/charge...t-ip22-charger

there are two versions one output or three outputs for multible banks.
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Old 02-12-2022, 11:17 AM   #4
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Iíve used a Victron and a Magnum charger/inverter units in the past. I didnít not like the Victron for RV use, it is more designed for static use in a house. There is a lot of customization possibilities in the Victron and a great number of accessories that would communicate with it. But the Magnum just worked the way I wanted right out of the box. I added their AGS and BMS to the Magnum and I had what I thought was a perfect set up.
The magnum can charge lithium?
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Old 02-12-2022, 03:40 PM   #5
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The magnum can charge lithium?
Yes, with the ME-ARC50.
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Old 02-12-2022, 03:48 PM   #6
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I also have a 3k victron MultiplusII and really like it, but there is another temporary option that will solve your current problem and be useful after your future lithium upgrade and that is to buy a stand alone charger.

With lithium 100, or 120 amps of ac to dc charging isn't ideal for boon docking, I recently bought one of to reduce my generater run time while boondocking. You could use it now as your charger, and once you upgrade it will still be useful to own.

https://www.donrowe.com/powermax-pm3.../pm3-100lk.htm
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Old 02-12-2022, 04:10 PM   #7
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Soooo While I agree with xc-mark on his analysis, I too recommend Victron at this point in time for the great monitoring as well as one of the best price points.

In the OPs case where he already has an existing transfer switch and subpanel for a few items the easiest and most cost-effective way would be to use the original Victron Multiplus either 2000 or 3000, personally, I would lean toward the 3000 but you may have to upgrade your cables from the battery to the inverter, probably not with 2000. This will be the most cost-effective and easiest installation and will also get you monitoring on your phone via either Bluetooth dongle or as mentioned above an upgrade to the Cerbo unit (Highly recommended).

This will take you from modified Sine Wave to Pure Sine Wave, include a lithium profile for future upgrades, and utilize most of the existing wiring without the need for significant re-wiring.

My .02
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Old 02-13-2022, 05:47 PM   #8
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, and utilize most of the existing wiring without the need for significant re-wiring.
My biggest challenge in conceptualizing your idea (which I totally think is the best way to go) is wiring for the control panel. Current panel is in a cabinet over the passenger seats shoulder..... It does not have 12v nor a way to run it there and the existing data cable is only an RJ11. Thoughts?
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Old 02-14-2022, 08:20 AM   #9
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My biggest challenge in conceptualizing your idea (which I totally think is the best way to go) is wiring for the control panel. Current panel is in a cabinet over the passenger seats shoulder..... It does not have 12v nor a way to run it there and the existing data cable is only an RJ11. Thoughts?
The Victron inverters can be controlled via Bluetooth with a Bluetooth dongle this is the cheapest solution and works well, you also need a mk3 to USB dongle to set up the inverter.

The other way to control the victron inverter is with a Cerbo gx device, this allows for nicer integration and display of your various Victron devices. You can access a cerbo gx with Bluetooth over your phone in addition you can add a color touch screen display which requires a cat5 or higher data cable.

I control my MultiplusII inverter with a Bluetooth dongle because I didn't want to spend the extra money or route the additional cables. Many seem to opt for the Cerbo gx. When I open up my victron connect I see my 4 victron Bluetooth devices which I can monitor or tweak, with the Cerbo gx I would get a more integrated view of the electrical system.
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Old 02-14-2022, 03:17 PM   #10
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After thinking long and hard about the options I decided that a long time ago (in the boating world) I decided that there was never a reason to do anything twice. Do it right the first time (because eventually you're going to re-do it that way anyway.) I've had ongoing inverter issues with my coach the entire time I've had it (with it turning off randomly or the internal transfer switch being sticky) so I think this is finally the time to do things the right way.

Ordered a MultiPlus 12/3000 Inverter/Charger, the Bluetooth Dongle and the USB adapter for programing/setup.

After a lot of research it seems like the best solution for a quality product that is mostly plug and play with my existing wiring and setup. I'm going to try and run it with bluetooth only control but if necessary will install a control panel in the future (will either try to run an RJ45 to my existing panel location or will install a panel above my BMS display which is below the refrigerator.)

Thanks everyone for the ideas -- I'll keep you posted on my progress!
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Old 02-15-2022, 11:25 AM   #11
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Xantrex XC2000 costs $740 plus $40 for the Bluetooth dongle. It’s worked great for us over the past year, and can charge at up to 80amps programmable for battery type. Good customer support. But with as much battery as you have, the XC3000 cost only $200 more. 100% pass thru.
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Old 02-16-2022, 11:49 AM   #12
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Xantrex XC2000 costs $740 plus $40 for the Bluetooth dongle. Itís worked great for us over the past year, and can charge at up to 80amps programmable for battery type. Good customer support. But with as much battery as you have, the XC3000 cost only $200 more. 100% pass thru.
I couldn't figure out what I would do wiring wise with the Xantrex. My current setup has AC1 for shore power and AC2 for the gen (or at least that's what I think the two inputs are for?) How would you wire this if you only have a single AC input?
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Old 02-16-2022, 05:51 PM   #13
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I couldn't figure out what I would do wiring wise with the Xantrex. My current setup has AC1 for shore power and AC2 for the gen (or at least that's what I think the two inputs are for?) How would you wire this if you only have a single AC input?
You need to understand what those 2 inputs are. Also does it have 2 AC outputs? If so then you should get a MultiplusII instead of a Multiplus.

If the 2 inputs are really shore power and the generator that would be very odd , since you need another transfer switch for the circuits that don't go through the inverter, so the inverter is normally powered from a circuit breaker after the transfer switch.
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Old 02-16-2022, 10:36 PM   #14
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The new dual 50 amp pass through inverters just go between ats and and the feed wires to CB panel. If you lucky The CB wires will easily reach where you can mount it. The old CB and wiring to old inverter you can run to new outlet if you wanted to, or abandon.
Don't forget control panel cost , probably sealtight & fittings wire from ATS to inv. and larger 12v cables. Victron offers a few variations of controllers and cool add-ons.
You can find very good vids for Magnum and Victron the tie in will be basically the same. Follow the link on the popular Victron vid you find for pictagrams.
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