One of our long time customers sent me an email this morning with an excerpt from a thread with his boatyard. They are plugging-in his boat from time to time to keep his batteries charged up during the winter months. There was a question about the onboard battery monitoring system:
"…I have a separate cell based "Siren" alarm that shows me the voltage. It was 13.89 yesterday and 13.95 this afternoon, which sounds right if it is charging. If I recall the nominal rate for a float charge is something like 13.0 so it is likely still in the acceptance phase.
I just queried it now [from my Siren Sprite] and it shows 12.79 , up from 11.9 before you plugged in the charger so my guess is the batteries are now happily in float charge mode. Thanks for your concern though."
"I also realize that I saved a few bucks because without the Siren I probably would have paid the yard for a couple of visits to reset the Xantrex and check the status. Each trip only takes a few minutes but at $95/hr. It adds up."
Battery is king. You have heard me rant on about this before. You will hear it again. One of the things that I often come back to is the question of functionality, and what should our future products offer. We are always trying to improve, and 2014 will bring out a lot of exciting new features (some long overdue and long awaited…). But, as we grow and learn, and improve, I constantly come back to a central theme: at the foundation of Siren Philosophy, Bilge | Battery | Security are the things that worry us the most, with position right up there too. But, battery still trumps them all. No matter what the other concerns are, unless you are among the most pure of Corinthian sailors (and there is a special place in my heart for all purist) and have no battery; without it charged and ready, a boat and her owner are at unnecessary risk. If only to have to go back to the car and pull the battery for a jump, a low battery will at the very minimum be an inconvenience, if not the root cause for a much bigger problem.
This customer uses our Sprite year round as a battery monitor to keep a close watch on his battery level. And as we do with many of you, we enjoy hearing your Siren Stories now & then about how our products are being used in your individual scenario. This email exchange just reminded me of how useful our little Pixie or Sprite are, winter, spring, summer or fall. You may want to read my recent post on Why the Battery is Still King. There is still plenty of time to have a Pixie or Sprite installed before your boat goes in for the summer. And, you may find that you need it long before then! What is the level of your batteries right now? How about the temperature of you "indoor heated storage" for which you are paying dearly. Is the temperature really about 60 or where they say it will be? If your boat is outside, or especially if it is in the water, how cold is it in the bilge? It sure is nice to know, and with one of our devices, you can.