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Ctek or ProMariner ProSport Battery Charger


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I've been searching and reading a lot about battery chargers / maintainers the past few days and I'm having trouble trying to determine what to go with for a battery charger / maintainer. I've read lots of posts from people who seem happy with the ProSport 20 charger along with a lot of positive comments about the Ctek chargers (a lot Dave at Earmark who seems to be very helpful) so I'm leaning towards one of those.

Currently I have a pair of under-powered batteries that came with my used '06 VLX that I got this summer so I'll probalby be replacing them both this spring or next. Right now I'm leaning towards some Deka AGM's due to cost, simplicity and recommendations. I'd probably go with a 9A34M (which is apparently almost identical to an Optima Bluetop) for a starting battery which has a 55 AH capacity and perhaps their group 31 model for running the stereo; which has a 105 AH capacity (so a total of 160). I do tend to run my stereo with the boat off for a couple of hrs at a time some weekends so I'm anticipating that I may run that battery pretty low at times. Therefore I'm hoping that an AGM battery will be a little better dealing with that and I'm hoping to get a charger that will have some desulphating abilities to prolong the life (learned a lot about all of this the past few days).

I always thought that my perko simply allowed me to choose battery 1, battery 2, both, or none (whatever is selected would start the boat, run the stereo, and charge off the alternator while running) but after reading and thinking back to when I unhooked my batteries for the winter (there's no power to hook up an on-board charger where I store it) I remember that the amps were hooked up directly to one of the batteries. I guess my stereo was therefore running just off of that one battery whenever it was in use.

The reason I mention all of that is because I suppose it relates to my battery charger question. The Ctek 7002 seems like a good choice due to it's 'pule technology' and desulphation ability. I was thinking that I could pick up one of those primarily for the deep-cycle stereo battery and get a cheaper maintainer (e.g. battery tender) for the starter battery. If need be I could swap them occasionally if I thought the starting battery was getting a bit low. This option seems like a bit more work in-boat, but it seems like it'd work well for the winter. The Ctek 7002 is about $100 and a maintainer would be around $20 - $30 or less.

Other option would be a ProSport dual bank 12 or 20. The 20 seems to cost about $175 and the 12 is closer to $125. I was thinking that I could get away with the 12 since it can supply all 12 amps to 1 battery if need be (e.g. one of them needs to be desulphated). I don't really anticipate 'bulk charging' both of them simultaneously. This would be a good setup wo have during the summer and in the winter as well I suppose as long as I don't mount it in the boat in a way which is too permanent. It'd be a bit more expensive however if I need to go with the 20 amp model (would I be stupid not to?).

Can anyone provide me any more input on these? Has anyone tried both or perhaps compared them on trying to bring back a seemingly dead battery? One of my batteries seems to be having some difficulty holding a charge, but it's an AGM that's only 2 years old (I forget the brand and specs off-hand, but I believe it has around 580 CCA). The reviews on the Ctek 7002 on Amazon are phenominal but I haven't seen many comments on it in the forum. On the other hand, there are lots of postivie comments on the ProSport 20 in the forum but not many on the 12 (and not many reviews on either on Amazon).

Thanks for any input!!!

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BMW, based on what I have read from Dave from Earmark, he and a couple other guys on here are the Yoda's of electric/stereo knowledge so he's steering you the right way IMO. I can't speak about the Ctek but I can talk about the ProSport models. I read a ton of reviews on the PS12/20 and they were 50/50 love to hate with very few in the middle. I figured better to have something and possibly save the batteries. I couldn't get anything locally other than the PS models unless I ordered one so I bought the PS12. Let me say up front that I always plug in the PS12 when I have the boat at home so the batteries are never untended even if its just overnight and I leave it plugged in all year long. I have 2 factory batteries with the full RF system with 3 amps, 8 in boats, sub and 4 Alpha cans. I do not stress my stereo when I listen to it so the batteries are hardly drained on any given day. For 2 years now I have been extremely happy with the PS12s performance. It was easy to put in the boat, had good directions with all of the connections and has the option to select your specific battery type (1 of 3). The PS20 is for a 3 battery boat IIRC, but if you only had 2 the 3rd cable got hooked to one of the other batteries. If was going to put in a big honking stereo I think I would opt for the PS20 for more amps for a faster charge and not have to upgrade later. If you go over into the boat house you can see my PS12 install with the remote plug-in (@$17.00 option) for an extension cord in the port cup holder upfront. Good luck, Bill.

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Thanks so much for the reply Bill. I've got the PS12 on order from Gander Mtn...figured I could always bring it back if I decide I need to upgrade.

Glad to hear you're happy with the 12. My stereo is comparable to yours it sounds. Thanks for pointing out that the install's in your boat house. I'll take a look at it when the boat comes out of winter storage in the spring (probably sooner I'm sure).

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I have two of the ctek 3300, (they were a gift) and they are great. Charger/maintainer, I just leave them hooked up until the next time I use the boat. I've never had an issue and I run two Optima Blue top batteries. I know they are a bit more expensive, but i have always had good luck with them. The 7002 would have probably been a little better, but the 3300 is well within the limtis on my batteries. I do not have a huge system, but 4 towers, 6 inboat, 10"sub, and 2 alpine amps pushing it all. I do push my batteries though when we are out at the river. We will seriously be at the sand bar for 4-5 hours hanging out with the music going, and never had any issues, on any boat. And that is no exageration to the amount of time that the stereo is going. not to mention the amount of time we are out riding and have the stereo going before the sandbar.

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The AGM's are really a waste of money compared to a good wet cell battery when comparing ah to ah. Unless you have some specific space considerations and need the AGM's I'd steer towards the wet cells like Interstate or other good brands. AGM batteries WILL NOT give you deeper discharging or better performance than a wet cell battery, they have other advantages but performance isn't one of them IMO.

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Thanks for the input Bobby. I've been a little unsure about whether an AGM is worth the additional cost for what's likely an extra year or two of battery life at best.

The problem with deciding on what's best is that most people (like myself) have a pretty limited experience with batteries when you really think about it. It's the type of thing that you might by a couple of every few years or so. If they last a few years you're happy and if not...well you're not.

Does anyone who's perhaps had some experience working at a marina or something have a strong opinion in whether AGM's are worth the extra cost or not?

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I have a ProSport 20 on 4 SRM29s and a starter battery.

You need to match up the charger to what AH total you have for your Batteries. The folks at Prosport had a fit when i talked them thru my setup...meaning that the Prosport 20 is designed for AHs of about 2 big batteries...not 5.

Their 60-80 Amp chargers are very pricey, and the ProSport20 does fine.

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