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Charge controller recommendation
#1
Looking for an inexpensive charge controller. I have discovered the panels are Solarex MSX-60s. There are two of them. The info sheet is dated 8/92. The van is a 95. They look like they've been on the roof since the van was new. Voltage check at the battery showed 16.8 amps before I disconnected the ground. I had just installed the battery and was monitoring to avoid frying it. Battery is a 75ah marine.
Previous owner had two group 27 marine batteries installed last summer which now show 9.6 volts. These were installed under the rear of the van with no way to access but drop the whole battery box. And no monitoring equipment connected.

I know I could update the MagnaTek power center and I may one day. I'm just looking for an interim solution.

So which charge controller?
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#2
Must not have a solar charge controller now if voltage was up to 16.8. Quick way to fry a battery. I don't have a recommendation for a cheap controller. I use a MidNite Kid with the WhizBang Jr. addon.

Magnetek, when plugged in are known to fry batteries as they are only a single stage controller. I replaced mine with a Progressive Dynamics. They have a model that is a direct replacement for Magnetek.

Those batteries at 9.6 may be toast. Fill them with distilled water and put them on an equalization charger. You might get more life out of them.
Brian

2000 Roadtrek 200 Versatile "The Beast" (it has been tamed hopefully)  I feed it and it doesn't bite me.   Angel
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to B and C for this post:
  • ratfink56 (04-07-2019)
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#3
Any of $10-20 ones on amazon will do ok. But id spend a bit more in anticipation for future and get one of the 30A mppt with the remote screens OR the renogy rover 20A is going for $75 onamazon.

Batteries are likely shot. I use walmart valuepower starting batteries at $55 each any size. Had very good luck with those. I used to buy duracell 6v GC2 ultras but frankly i get just as much life out of cheap starting batteries for a fraction of the price.
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  • ratfink56 (04-07-2019)
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#4
Dump the Magnatek when you can. The Progressive Dynamics drop ins are great. I replaced the Magnateks in my Tioga and my Tahoe TT.

A 45 amp magnatek only charges the battery bank with 5 amps. A 32 amp unit only outputs 3 amps. And never over 14 volts.
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  • ratfink56 (04-07-2019)
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#5
I know the Magnatek charger is primitive. Have looked at the PD units and will eventually get one.

I'm pretty sure the old batteries are shot but they are no use to me anyway. Too big to fit the original space and no way was I putting them back underneath with no good way to get to them.
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#6
you get what you pay for,my $20 renogy controller is crap but it does charge the battery,if you actually want to charge properly you need to pay up for a decent programmable mppt controller
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#7
BTW, the new version of the Renogy Adventurer (LI-30A) has a lighted display (when you push a button), a USB port, and programmable voltage setpoint if used with lithium.

It also comes with a surface mount case if you don't want to flush mount it.

The temp sensor and voltage sensor are included, but I'm not using either, and what is kinda weird, the temp readout is seemingly 'stuck' at 76 degrees when the sensor is not plugged in.  It does change when the sensor IS plugged in, but the reading has an error of more than 10-20 degrees. 

They have eliminated the 'percent of battery charge remaining' readout, that is gone. 

So far, it seems to be keeping my BattleBorn battery happy.
Wondering about Wandering.
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#8
Ordered a Renogy Wanderer 30a. Thanks for the input.
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#9
Tx2St
The 76* reading is probably the default temp it uses if nothing is telling it different.
Stay Tuned
rvpopeye



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#10
True that, I mean, there IS that joke about, what is the temperature in Phoenix in the middle of summer?

Seventy two degrees everywhere you're likely to be.
Wondering about Wandering.
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