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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering getting these CTEK products & would appreciate hearing from any of you that have them installed. It would be great if you could share your experiences & whether you would recommend them, plus any pics & tips for routing the POS cable to the starter battery.

The other question that I have is anyone using them with 350W or more of solar panels?
 

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I'm considering getting these CTEK products & would appreciate hearing from any of you that have them installed. It would be great if you could share your experiences & whether you would recommend them, plus any pics & tips for routing the POS cable to the starter battery.

The other question that I have is anyone using them with 350W or more of solar panels?
I believe their instructions state max 400w solar but you should pull them up before purchasing. You really need to pick a charger based on what battery you're using. Now prepare for 10 people to tell you to just buy a relay and be done with it. :D
 

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I believe their instructions state max 400w solar but you should pull them up before purchasing. You really need to pick a charger based on what battery you're using. Now prepare for 10 people to tell you to just buy a relay and be done with it. :D

You hit the nail on the head there! cue the people that say its a waste!!!!

i have a similar unit its called a Projecta IDC25 it has true multi stage charging and allows you to add solar and its fully automatic. I personally have yet to need the solar power as it charges the battery/batteries every time you drive and does it rather quickly. Now if your going to stay in one spot for days on end than i would add solar. The only time i am in one spot for a long period of time is in a campground with shore power.

My system consists of only 1- 100 AH battery under the driver seat and the unit is mounted under there to. i do plan to add a second battery under the passenger seat at some point but so far i haven't needed the extra power but everyone's power needs are different. i started out with just a relay/ battery doctor and feel this properly charges the battery by not pumping a constant 14.1 volts to the house battery all the time while your driving.

Just my opinion but i love the system and my battery is almost always topped off.
 

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I heard from CTEK Support yesterday & their solar input range is limited to 50-300W. I do want to supplement my 350W solar with alternator charging but don't know enough to make an educated product choice & I wouldn't mind a dual charging setup but am not committed to it. I'll look into the Projecta equipment. It appears that the foreign markets lead the way with dual charging equipment. In the US there seems to be the belief that any solar setup must have a customizable solar charge controller that can be tweaked to the specific battery. Europe & Australia seem to be very comfortable to use a more generalized dual charging approach. I wish I knew why - maybe it's the US expectation to get every last cycle out of batteries & an unwillingness to accept a few less cycles to simplify?
 

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I heard from CTEK Support yesterday & their solar input range is limited to 50-300W. I do want to supplement my 350W solar with alternator charging but don't know enough to make an educated product choice & I wouldn't mind a dual charging setup but am not committed to it. I'll look into the Projecta equipment. It appears that the foreign markets lead the way with dual charging equipment. In the US there seems to be the belief that any solar setup must have a customizable solar charge controller that can be tweaked to the specific battery. Europe & Australia seem to be very comfortable to use a more generalized dual charging approach. I wish I knew why - maybe it's the US expectation to get every last cycle out of batteries & an unwillingness to accept a few less cycles to simplify?
Find my thread on battery to battery charging in the electronics forum. I just setup a Sterling Power USA BB1260 and I'm very happy with it. Like I said though you should match what charger you buy to what the charging requirements are for your battery. In my case I'm using a Lifeline 255Ah 12v. The sterling gives you the ability to chose from (9?) pre-defined algorithms or setup a custom charge profile.
 

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I do want to supplement my 350W solar with alternator charging . . . In the US there seems to be the belief that any solar setup must have a customizable solar charge controller that can be tweaked to the specific battery.
My name is RD . . . all you need is a simple switch to connect your house battery to your alternator.

On the serious side, you do seem to be mixing solar and alternator charging and we're uncertain how to respond. Maybe this is because so many solar chargers include ports for other charge sources.

We treat all of our charging sources the same (whether solar, shore power or alternator) and believe that some control over the charging/output must be available for each regardless of your location on the planet. Whether you chose a simple one-stage approach (such as RD's simple switch/solenoid) or more sophisticated multi-stage solutions - - all will work. Multiple stage chargers provide for more rapid charging. But if you have multiple charge sources, you may discover, as we did, that you have excess charging capability and don't require the more expensive multi-stage rapid charge solutions.
 

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Me? I am RD
I would suggest you listen to those who have experimented with these devices, and expensive batteries and huge solar, and B to B charging. I haven’t, as they are completely unnecessary. There- does everyone feel vindicated?

Oh, I took a nice trip to Europe with the money I saved. Doing is better than having.
 
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