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Balmar SG200 Problem

Feb 6, 1998
11,094
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
The best way to determine this is to charge to 100% then isolate all the batteries from one another. Now wait a few days and test the voltage of each battery. If they had previously been in parallel your voltages should be within .02V of one another.. So a reading of 12.72V, 12.71V, 12.70V and 12.55V would be a bad indicator for battery number 4 (12.55V)...
 
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jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Unfortunately Balmar lost their app developer mid stream, and then scrapped all his teams work, and had to start over from scratch.
As someone who's a professional software product developer, I must say that that's very poor practice, to have gotten into a position where if your key (or only) developer gets hit by a bus, you have to "start over from scratch." Unconscionable. What about the customers? Holy cow.

I went ahead and bought and installed the Victron battery monitor based on rave reviews on here, and I won't fall into that trap again.

Here we have a case where all of the anguish is due to the battery monitor, where the batteries seem perfectly fine. The only one who knows the batteries are O.K. are the batteries. :)
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,094
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
I must say that that's very poor practice, to have gotten into a position where if your key (or only) developer gets hit by a bus, you have to "start over from scratch."
That was not the case at all... I will leave it at that..

Unconscionable. What about the customers? Holy cow.
The exact reason this was done, it was for the customers. Yes it took a bot longer but in the end it will be better than if they continued along the path they had started on.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
The exact reason this was done, it was for the customers. Yes it took a bot longer but in the end it will be better than if they continued along the path they had started on.
Well, I hope they make these existing customers whole at some point in the near future, since without the BT dongle (which I assume they have to purchase, $60?) they are stuck with a broken monitor.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Yes it took a bot longer
I think they have been promising this since October 2018. Hard to believe it's not done yet. At this rate I think there's a finite, non-zero probability they may never deliver, just abandon the project. I certainly hope not, but these things happen.

I also heard they weren't going to release the BT API. Is that still the case?
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,094
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Well, I hope they make these existing customers whole at some point in the near future, since without the BT dongle (which I assume they have to purchase, $60?) they are stuck with a broken monitor.
The SG-200 is not "broken" it has a few software glitches that will get corrected. This is why the initial lauch was done in beta so they could get some in the real world and get feed back. Heck I've been waiting 20+ years for the algorithms in traditional Ah counters to get fixed, but stopped holding my breath...;) Compared to a traditional Ah counter the SG-200 is far from "broken".

We have seen far worse "software glitches" on navigation systems costing 15X what the SG-200 does and those issues were actually dangerous and took two+ years or more for the manufacturer to solve.
 
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Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
I think they have been promising this since October 2018. Hard to believe it's not done yet. At this rate I think there's a finite, non-zero probability they may never deliver, just abandon the project. I certainly hope not, but these things happen.

I also heard they weren't going to release the BT API. Is that still the case?
Time to take a chill pill or go elsewhere.
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
My SG200 is working fine, followed the instructions, did several deep discharge/charge cycles, have 8 year old Deka Gel GRP 31’s and they are at 89% SOH. My 15 year old BATMON, from Ample power finally quit, and this new product is awesome. Way to go.
 
Feb 17, 2006
4,666
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Time to take a chill pill or go elsewhere.
Just a friendly reminder that everyone here is entitled to their opinion. We will not be suppressing opinions unless they are disrespectful toward SBO or SBO Members. So chill pills are not really needed.
 
Nov 2, 2017
9
Delphia 37 Bayfield
My SG200 is working fine, followed the instructions, did several deep discharge/charge cycles, have 8 year old Deka Gel GRP 31’s and they are at 89% SOH. My 15 year old BATMON, from Ample power finally quit, and this new product is awesome. Way to go.
Just had to chuckle, I have 3x 6 month old Deka Gel 31’s and their SOH is also 89% SOH after a number of discharge/charge cycles also. Just seems odd these banks would have the exact same SOH.
 
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jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
SOH is dependent on many factors, so it's not unusual that a 6 month old battery might have the same SOH as an older one. But I think it's quite remarkable that there's an 8 year old bank that is actually being used, i.e., cycled, that has a SOH of 89%.
 
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Apr 1, 2019
19
Freedom 38 Sunset Spy Boston, MA
Gotta say, my SG200 has been working flawlessly since I installed it in June. Looking forward to the bluetooth capabilities, but honestly, I'm fully satisfied with the unit as is. It does just what it says on the tin. I thought the one button interface would be annoying, but it's fine.
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
Just had to chuckle, I have 3x 6 month old Deka Gel 31’s and their SOH is also 89% SOH after a number of discharge/charge cycles also. Just seems odd these banks would have the exact same SOH.
I guess that means they are a little overrated initially but just don’t lose capacity. Was the SOH determined after are several DEEP discharges? I would think that the deeper you go the better estimate of the SOH you would get, maybe.

Back in the day, David Smead recommended an occasional full discharge to 10.8 volts followed immediately by a 10 % amp recharge as a way to test and refresh batteries. Donna if that still makes sense today.
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
Just a friendly reminder that everyone here is entitled to their opinion. We will not be suppressing opinions unless they are disrespectful toward SBO or SBO Members. So chill pills are not really needed.
What about Rumer Mill Scare Tactics? I guess that is ok. Sorry if I crossed an invisible line somehow. Mea Culpa.
 
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jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
There was a flare-up about this, after I expressed my opinion, and speculated about what might happen with this product. Apparently I crossed some invisible line, too. But I don't agree that my comment constituted "rumor mill scare tactics," whatever that is. We will just have to wait and see, when Balmar delivers the BT adapter, when they deliver the NMEA2000 gateway. I hope they do! But as of this moment Chris at Balmar isn't giving a date, apparently to avoid a repeat of the previous missed promised date.
 
Nov 2, 2017
9
Delphia 37 Bayfield
I guess that means they are a little overrated initially but just don’t lose capacity. Was the SOH determined after are several DEEP discharges? I would think that the deeper you go the better estimate of the SOH you would get, maybe.

Back in the day, David Smead recommended an occasional full discharge to 10.8 volts followed immediately by a 10 % amp recharge as a way to test and refresh batteries. Donna if that still makes sense today.
Yes, 89% after several discharges into the 50% SOC range. I’ve got a known issue with the SG-200 where it flips between two SOH values (89% and 100% in my case).

Thanks for posting the idea that perhaps the batteries are over stated as to their capacities - gives me a different way to think on things. Instead of always going to the negative about the SG-200 perhaps there are other factors causing a actual SOH of 89%.

If my bank says (and is) still at 89% SOH in 9 years I think that’s a pretty solid win all around. I was thinking I’d already lost ~50% of their usable life (replacing batteries at 80% SOH seems to be the norm) and perhaps things are just fine.

I still think it’s a little odd two different gel banks have the exact same SOH with completely different age, charge and use profiles.
 
Dec 4, 2018
28
Balboa 27 NA Denver
Yes, 89% after several discharges into the 50% SOC range. I’ve got a known issue with the SG-200 where it flips between two SOH values (89% and 100% in my case).

Thanks for posting the idea that perhaps the batteries are over stated as to their capacities - gives me a different way to think on things. Instead of always going to the negative about the SG-200 perhaps there are other factors causing a actual SOH of 89%.

If my bank says (and is) still at 89% SOH in 9 years I think that’s a pretty solid win all around. I was thinking I’d already lost ~50% of their usable life (replacing batteries at 80% SOH seems to be the norm) and perhaps things are just fine.

I still think it’s a little odd two different gel banks have the exact same SOH with completely different age, charge and use profiles.
Yeah that does seem a bit odd.. I guess the only way to really verify this is to bring them all the way down at the 20 hour rate to 10.8 volts and see how many AH they have produced.. I used to have a rig to do that, with an automated shut off, but I can do it manually. Must wait till after the season is over to try. I used to do that annually with my 4D Sonnensheim (sp) gels, but haven’t with these Deka’s. Don’t care as much anymore.
 
May 6, 2010
412
1984 Oday 39 79 Milwaukee
Yeah that does seem a bit odd..
Mine flips between 90% and 100% SOH.

Apparently there are a few software versions in the field which might account for some seeming to work fine and others not so much.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
3,934
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
It occurs to me that SOH is something that you needn't check continuously; once a season seems adequate. Consider not just the data, but what you would do with the data. SOH would enter into a decision to replace the batteries; maybe to equalize them, but equalization on a regular basis will prolong life, as a remedy it won't have a significant effect.

There are other ways of determining SOH. I have an Argus battery tester that reports "remaining life" which is, I think, analogous to SOH; it reports the percentage of capacity remaining in the battery. It's really only meaningful with a baseline measurement, so you keep a log from when you installed the batteries, etc. Then you can make a decision about replacing them or pressing on.

SOC charge, of course, is an entirely different thing. I have wondered whether it was meaningful to record "Volts at Amps" data points while in use, and after collecting up a large number of data points, try to correlate these to SOC. A 'big data" approach to determining SOC. Once you have this, maybe you could just look up SOC from the current and voltage operating point. Note that it would automatically take into account Peukert's Law, and other factors. Just a thought.