Need the solar/power pros to weigh in

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The BMV will show you SOC current (in/out), and voltage. Know those three things (really just two things tracked over time), and you have all the vital stats.

A separate monitoring function of the solar controller has some value, but for a simply system like yours, its minimal.
 

shade

Well-known member
Would the BMV 712 that I purchased show me the relevant data that the Blue Smart IP67 would show? Or would the Blue Smart charger offer additional metrics that would be beneficial? Reason I ask is because I found a good deal on the NOCO G15000
Two different things. Once installed correctly and calibrated, the battery monitor will allow you to know the state of charge (SoC) of your battery, so you'll know if & when it needs to be charged. The battery charger is needed to put power back in the battery.

The NOCO G15000 is a 15A charger; the Victron Blue Smart IP67 is 25A. The NOCO relies on blinking lights; the Victron has a nice interface through the VictronConnect app. The NOCO appears to be a fully automated solution; the Victron has canned cycles as well as user configurable parameters.

I don't know what price you found for the NOCO, but pkys.com has the Victron for $140.
 

Photobug

Active member
Can that charger be left on indefinitely like the NOCO chargers while trailer is in the garage? I winter camp but sometimes its a month between outings. Now I might need to swap my Renogy Rover for a damn Victron MPPT so I can have the whole view of the system!! damnit!
I would not leave a battery charger on indefinitely no matter how good it is, but I also won't leave the house with any appliances running. I like technology but don't trust it. I like to monitor and observe most processes. No I don't stare at my NOCO while it charges the batteries but I do check on it throughout the day. I throw my NOCO 7200 on my battery for a day when I get back from a trip. I try to do the same once a month and always the night before I leave for a trip.

I seem to recall some fires or short circuits on occasion when reading reviews of the NOCO charger.
 

Photobug

Active member
The IP22 goes up to 30A, and allows connections to up to three batteries. One could be installed to charge both start & house batteries. Unfortunately, it's not available for 120VAC.

Since I don't need a portable option, I ordered a 20A bench-top power supply that can do anything I'll probably ever need.

$140 - Blue Smart IP67 Charger 12/25 120V

What I find humorous is I have never heard of that company selling the IP67 until a few days ago when I was looking for some terminal blocks. When I clicked on that link I found my still half filled basket waiting for a bigger item so I can get free shipping.

I do really like the features of the IP22 you mentioned. I installed a NOCO charger with those features in a boat a few years back, it was much bulker. As my NOCO works for my current needs I will wait for the IP22 to come out in a 120v model before upgrading. Since Victron is so responsive to customer requests I will ask them to build me one for the coming spring camping season.
 

shade

Well-known member
I agree with Photobug, The Noco will do the job, The thing that I don't like about the Victron is if your phone is Flat or gets lost or broken while your out in the bush then you are stuffed with no way to control the Victron Charger, With a normal Charger you get an Ammeter and buttons which have worked and served us well for centuries, with the NOCO you get buttons and LED's with Victron you get nothing.

Your system is set up for the NOCO then stick with the NOCO, Noco is a brand you like then don't veer from that, People are trying to talk you in to brands and Gadgets they like or wish they Owned, This is a Camping Trailer not the Space Shuttle and out in the Bush it needs to be Simple and fixable with Off the Shelf Items,

I first started selling Batteries 40 years ago on and off I have been Selling fitting and buy them ever since, In that 40 years I have done very well with normal Chargers and the Noco chargers seem to be able to charge any battery on the market and when it comes to smart chargers they are as good as any smart chargers on the market or better and have IP ratings also as do other brands.

It is totally stupid having important things like a charger rely on Phones because too many things can go wrong with them, As I said , Lost, Stolen, Broken and Drowned or just a plain old flat battery, And where are you going to find a replacement out in the bush ??, The Gear you fit in your Trailer needs to be as Self Reliant as possible which is another reason why I went with FLA batteries because they can be found in every town in the world and they don't depend on Smart Goods. and Any Charger will charge them,

Stick with the brand you know and the Charge controller you have got, Like I told you in the very beginning a 50w Panel would keep that fridge running for ever under most conditions, A 100w would be better but you have 200w or more in total so you should have enough to power a small cabin, Get your battery fully charged and start doing some testing
Victron sells battery chargers with an on-board interface in addition to a Bluetooth interface.

More often than not, people were advising OP not to buy new things.
 

TantoTrailers

Active member
I'm still debating between the NOCO and Victron...I will most likely be only charging using the charger at home so I will rarely be checking the stats on the app if at all like I do (or don't) now. Im leaning towards the NOCO for sake of simplicity and saving a few bucks.

What kinds of canned programming is on the Victron and how would any of that benefit my setup? This equipment will stay with this trailer even when I build the next one, this one is my little trophy.

Lights are still all lit up on the 3500 with the green pulsing. Renogy controller is showing 13.8v this morning it was somewhere around 13.2v.

Im looking forward to the Victron Monitor though!
 

Photobug

Active member
What kinds of canned programming is on the Victron and how would any of that benefit my setup? This equipment will stay with this trailer even when I build the next one, this one is my little trophy.
I have the NOCO 7200 7.2 amps of charging potential. It does not fit into my current battery box build. The Victron models up to 25 amps will fit into my box, so size-wise Victron works for me. The upcoming firmware will allow the bluetooth models to set your own user parameters. I trust the parameters the charger manufacturers are providing but others here feel that different settings would benefit Lifepo batteries.

I have a Victron MPPT charger and like the bluetooth app. I like the graph and history and the ability to see different info over flashing lights on the NOCO charger. 67Cj5 makes a good point the bluetooth interface leaves a potential weak point. But if your phone battery goes flat the 100s or 1000s of dollars you spent on batteries, chargers, solar panels as well as the hours and days spent studying up on and building your power system was a wasted effort. If I am going to be out for more than a day I will usually have two BT devices. I need to remember to download the Victron app to my pad.

After investing in two NOCO products I went back and read reviews, that made me nervous at least 10% of the users gave their NOCO 1 star rating and had serious problems with the product not resolved by NOCO. The only advantage I see to the NOCO is the 12 and 24v charging option. Since i already own a NOCO, it would act as my backup if I do buy a Victron charger.

If you are mostly charging at home and don't have a Lithium battery you should just buy a garage charger to charge at home.
 

TantoTrailers

Active member
Well....now I think the Victron route is the best route in my instance since I am a tech nerd and will have the Victron Battery Monitor to go with the charger. I will stick with the Renogy MPPT for my solar side until it proves to be an issue. I also run dual mobile devices with BT and will have both anytime the trailer is tagging along. I don’t want a garage bench charger cause I want to be able to hook up to shore IF I ever come across it and it’s convenient enough. I already have the hookup on the outside from the initial build. 25A would be nice! I also don’t like the sounds of the issues with the NOCO especially fire! Any issues like that with the IP67? I’m kind of indecisive if you guys haven’t noticed!
 

TantoTrailers

Active member
Just downloaded the Victron Connect app and checked out the Demo Mode...... 🤯 glad winter is coming so I can spend some time tweaking.
 

shade

Well-known member
But if your phone battery goes flat the 100s or 1000s of dollars you spent on batteries, chargers, solar panels as well as the hours and days spent studying up on and building your power system was a wasted effort.
How so? Configure the system and use it. No Bluetooth required.

Once a device is configured properly, the Victron app performs more of a monitoring role. For example, once a Victron AC-DC charger is connected and configured, there's no requirement to use a phone again.
 

2.ooohhh

Member
How so? Configure the system and use it. No Bluetooth required.

Once a device is configured properly, the Victron app performs more of a monitoring role. For example, once a Victron AC-DC charger is connected and configured, there's no requirement to use a phone again.
This^ is how my 75/10 has worked since day one. I set it up for my batteries charging specs, wired my panels, and about every three months I review logs and update firmware.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Photobug is Spot On, A normal charger would do the job and last about 50 years or more, I have never heard of a NOCO catching fire or any other charger for that matter,

NOCO and CTek are the best smart chargers on the market with the edge going to NOCO, Designer Chargers like Victron are mainly used in an off grid cabin situation due to their high price tag, If I stay with using normal FLA batteries I will buy a normal 38Amp charger for about 80 to 100 bucks and bolt that in there,

To me this seems to be getting flooded with over complicated Gizmos that are just not needed Unless we are talking about a 25/35 foot RV Camper Trailer, and if that is the case then Victron might be worth the outlay but even then I would still use the Noco G26000/26Amp Charger or a 30 to 40 Amp normal charger.
 

Photobug

Active member
How so? Configure the system and use it. No Bluetooth required.

Once a device is configured properly, the Victron app performs more of a monitoring role. For example, once a Victron AC-DC charger is connected and configured, there's no requirement to use a phone again.
What I was saying if you have $1000s of dollars worth of solar panels, Lifepos, and controllers and your phone dies, you are doing something wrong. Keeping your phone charged is a pretty low bar for having your **** together and preparedness. My obsession with power dependability for the last decade revolves around keeping my phone charged.
 

TantoTrailers

Active member
Photobug is Spot On, A normal charger would do the job and last about 50 years or more, I have never heard of a NOCO catching fire or any other charger for that matter,

NOCO and CTek are the best smart chargers on the market with the edge going to NOCO, Designer Chargers like Victron are mainly used in an off grid cabin situation due to their high price tag, If I stay with using normal FLA batteries I will buy a normal 38Amp charger for about 80 to 100 bucks and bolt that in there,

To me this seems to be getting flooded with over complicated Gizmos that are just not needed Unless we are talking about a 25/35 foot RV Camper Trailer, and if that is the case then Victron might be worth the outlay but even then I would still use the Noco G26000/26Amp Charger or a 30 to 40 Amp normal charger.
I totally get how this can be a bit frustrating from a spectator's perspective especially when you are offering some solid advice with good reasoning behind it but you have to understand I have OCD and I am a geek at heart (I have worked in IT for 13 years) so having a fun little app is kind of a selling point especially since I will be able to pair it (and compare it) with data from the BMV-712. I just cant stop tweaking and building and learning new gear...its a curse because I am never "finished" with this project, but all of this knowledge will transfer to my future builds. At this point the 25A Victron is $10 more than the 15A NOCO so all gizmos and apps aside, would the Victron not be a more efficient charger for minimal cost increase? Assuming the quality of the equipment is about the same level? This charger will be configured once and I will not be making changes on the fly or in the field, I won't have the need to. At most it would see some changes at home if I needed to repair or something like that, so the inability to administer the charger when phone is unavailable is not a concern.
 

shade

Well-known member
Photobug is Spot On, A normal charger would do the job and last about 50 years or more, I have never heard of a NOCO catching fire or any other charger for that matter,

NOCO and CTek are the best smart chargers on the market with the edge going to NOCO, Designer Chargers like Victron are mainly used in an off grid cabin situation due to their high price tag, If I stay with using normal FLA batteries I will buy a normal 38Amp charger for about 80 to 100 bucks and bolt that in there,

To me this seems to be getting flooded with over complicated Gizmos that are just not needed Unless we are talking about a 25/35 foot RV Camper Trailer, and if that is the case then Victron might be worth the outlay but even then I would still use the Noco G26000/26Amp Charger or a 30 to 40 Amp normal charger.
I'm not sure why you view any of this as overly complicated. If anything, the control interfaces of the dumb chargers you love make it more difficult for the end user to determine what the charger is doing. With the Victron app, you can see exactly what the charger is doing, how long it has done it, and you easily can alter its behaviour. If you haven't bothered to at least download the app and give it a try in Demo mode, you simply don't know what you're talking about.

If you don't want to buy a programmable, waterproof, 25A AC-DC charger for $140 because you don't think it's worth the money and it's too complicated for you to understand, that's fine. Please note that the NOCO G15000 mentioned earlier has fewer features, outputs less power, and has a control interface comprised of blinking lights.

Of course, others may find the Victron Blue Smart IP67 Charger easy to use. It's just a battery charger, not a turbo encabulator.

What I was saying if you have $1000s of dollars worth of solar panels, Lifepos, and controllers and your phone dies, you are doing something wrong. Keeping your phone charged is a pretty low bar for having your **** together and preparedness. My obsession with power dependability for the last decade revolves around keeping my phone charged.
Ah, ok. 👍

At the risk of being accused of being a slave to overly complicated gizmos, I have an outdated phone that will run VictronConnect, and it will live in my truck with the rest of the system.
 
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