Benton bx2 vs National Luna battery charger.

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Polarbear2008
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Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:39 pm

I see National Luna is producing a charger that looks a lot like the Benton we all know. Outdoor warehouse is advertising them lately.

Does anyone know how the two compare? NL products are generally good so it would be interesting to know.

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Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:51 pm

The same thing just much more expensive than Benton BX2
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Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:53 am

Many options on the market today.

Family-Dog on the forum distributes the Benton chargers. I have two of the Benton BX2 chargers, and VERY happy with it !!!!!

Other viable options today :

- http://www.4x4direct.co.za/home-charger ... arger.html
This unit has a charging rate of 5A as compared to the 7A of the Benton BX2 ... much of a muchness ....

The Ctek unit only has 3,8A charge rate - http://www.4x4direct.co.za/home-charger ... 63093.html
Fine for home charging and maintenance. But a bit slow if you need a quick recharge over-night in a camp site.


National Luna has upped their game !!!!!!!!!!!! They have some GOOD equipment that came onto the market in the last year or two.
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Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:04 pm

Does anyone know how the two compare?
Here is my personal take on it.
I tested both.One of the issues I have with the Benton is once it reaches its maintenance/trickle charge stage it will stay there when you connect a load.

E.G.You get to a campsite and hook it up on 220v and the battery is fully charge, it will go in maintenance mode.Now if you connect your fridge the fridge will drain the battery and the charger will stay in maintenance mode.It does not start charging the battery.You have to switch it on and off and then it will start charging again.I recently did the test again.(Someone did not believed me :siffler: ).I charged the a battery full.And connected a spotlight.The spotlight drained the battery to 8volts while the Benton was connected.I had a watt meter between the Benton and Battery and there was no currant being pushed through to the battery.

The natinal luna does not do this.Once it is in maintenance mode and you connect a load it picks it up and starts charging.
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Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:42 pm

I dunno .. maybe just being dumb or OLD but my Benton BX2 works automatically .. it switches all by itself [with the Yskassie connected] [Yskassie being the WAECO 55]
I keep mine running 24/7 even when at home. Through the battery with the Benton keeping the battery going [115 Ah Royal]
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Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:05 pm

George, if what you're saying is true and it wasn't a faulty charger, then that is of concern to me because;

a. I just invested in a Benton BX2, and ....

b. although I wanted to see if it could recover a sulphated battery, the main reason was that I have a lot of batteries that stand idle and they need to be maintained. As stated in another thread, I have a few conventional chargers, but they have to be connected and disconnected manually - can't be left on indefinitely.

So, what I think you're saying is that if I connect a battery and leave it, it will charge up whereafter the BX will go into maintenance mode and stay there without doing anything while the battery slowly discharges? That would defeat the object of an 'intelligent' charger and is in contravention of what the BX manual says. :think: :scratch: :blink:
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Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:19 pm

okay .... George that sounds "strange" ....

I have removed the fuses to the PV side and my system now on the Benton BX2 only -
DSCN2252 (Small).JPG
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Should be FULLY charged by tomorrow .... then as the sun sets we will be using the house lights and putting a load on the system.

One of two options :

- the voltage will start dropping, OR

- George might have a dud model .....


Either way, I KNOW George knows his way around the meters and trust his results ! Just hoping he has a dud unit .... or I might have to change my opinion on the BX2, and I LOVE this unit. :thumbup:
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Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:46 pm

Thank you to everyone for the feedback. Looking forward to the outcome of the battery test. I have always been keen on a bx2 but the NL offer peaked my interest. Therefore this thread to try and decide based on knowledge and not salesman talk....

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Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:21 am

5:05 this morning the battery was on "float charge", at 13,1V

Switched on lights and radio for 30 minutes, dropping the voltage under load to 12,7V.

Switched off the loads, had a shower, and the Benton BX2 was getting the voltage back up to 13V.


Left it o charge for the day, should on float by early morning. Will repeat the load test this afternoon, and then see if my Benton BX2 "auto-charge" under load conditions, after being in float mode.
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:36 pm

My Benton BX2 laaier is permanent op my bakkie se battery gekoppel.

Ek het volts op battery gemeet en dit was 13.5v
Ek het toe my hoofligte te op bright aan geskakel. Die battery se volts het geval tot op 11.8 v en daarna weer geklim tot 12.1v waar dit die heeltyd gebly het met die hoofligte op brights aan.Toe ek my hoofligte afskakel het was die battery binne 20 minute weer terug op 13.5v

Ek het nooit my laaier in die proses aan en af geskakel


Kan ek uit bogenoemde aflei dat terwyl my Benton BX2 laaier gekoppel op die battery is, die battery nie sal afloop as daar krag getrek word op hom?
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:17 pm

Kan ek uit bogenoemde aflei .......
Hi Dawie, ek sou so sê, alhoewel 11.8V na my persoonlike mening effens laag is as 'n punt waar die laaier weer inskakel. Nie te sê dat dit 'n probleem sal wees nie, inteendeel kon dit so ontwerp gewees het dat dit beter vir die battery oor die lang termyn is. Ek kan nie voorstel dat die ontwerpers van 'n relatief ingewikkelde laaier so 'n "fout" sou begaan het nie.

Van die battery mense waarmee ek gepraat het, is baie van opinie dat dit beter is vir 'n battery om dit onder 12V af te trek voordat dit weer gelaai word - of dit nou die waarheid is of nie kan ek nie sê nie.
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:18 pm

By 16:30 today the Benton was properly into float charge mode.

ALL the lights on, radio .... left it like that for about 30 minutes, drawing down the battery to about 12,7V.

Switched off the all the load, and watched the Benton raise the volts again ....

sun set, lights used .... volts drop ....

Used Eskom lights for the first time in 27 months, 12V load OFF .... Benton raised the voltage again.


Once again I switched on the 12V loads. Dropped the volts to about 12,6V, then switched all the loads off.

Just went and checked again, back up to 13,1V.


Each time I switch on a load the Benton goes from float to a blinking green light - indicating a slow charge.

Neighbour was here, showed him the experiment. His Benton BX2 does exactly the same - he has not switched off his Benton since the last power failure.




George ek dink jou Benton is dalk n dud. :(
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:44 pm

I should check to see that mine is not a dud as well .......
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:49 pm

Mud Dog wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:44 pm
I should check to see that mine is not a dud as well .......
^^^ what he said ^^^


One thing to talk about what a charger SHOULD be doing .... another to make sure it actually DOES it ... :o: :mocking:


George might be helping some members by reminding us to check the chargers
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Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:54 pm

Well done George! :D:
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Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:48 pm

George ek dink jou Benton is dalk n dud
Could well be.

Sorry guys.I have been gone for a while.Had to get some winter Meat for the Freezer :D:

Chris just for interest sake.How much is the load you are drawing and for how long do you draw the load.
Reason is that when I did the test the BX2 does give some amps.was in the region of 0.5amp in float mode.
So if you draw the load and then switch it off it will recharge(at 0.5amps)
In my test I founded that if you have for example a 4amp load the charger does not give 4amps back,only 0.5amps in float mode and it stays there.Once you switch the BX2 off and on again it will stay on the red LED's and then give the required AMPS(4-5 amps)

So to recap.On the unit I tested.If your charger has fully charged your battery and you connect a load and do not disconnect the charger or load and your load is something like 3-5amps.It will drain the battery.

Chris-I need to come and drink a cup of coffee their by you :thumbup:
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Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:34 pm

George die ketel is aan. :)


George I made sure that the battery was FULLY charged, and the Benton into float mode. Then I switched on about 8 to 10A off load for more than 30 minutes. It kicked back into charge mode immediately.


I let it charge fully, tried again. Same thing.

Left if for another day, again into float charge. Load on, and immediately the Benton charged again.


I showed my neighbour the test. He pointed out that he often leaves on his Benton for days on end, as soon as he switches on a load the Benton's green button starts flicking as it goes out of float mode.



Test over, I switched OFF the Benton ... and forgot to put back the fuses for the PV panel and regulator .... :shh: :mocking:
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Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:43 am

Beslis Chris.Ek sal 'n draai moet maak :thumbup:

Just out of interested sake.Do you have a watt meter to see what is the amp/watts that the charger pushes out when the Green light is flashing?
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Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:42 pm

George I have a meter, but not wired into the charge line ....
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Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:48 pm

Okay ..... test ONE ..... and the results are NOT what I expected !!

Woensdag 12:00 – battery 99,9% vol (vanaf die pv paneel)
Ontkoppel die pv paneel
Sit die Benton BX2 aan
16:00 – BX2 in “float mode”. V=13,1V; Float charge teen 0,3W
1 (Medium).JPG
1 (Medium).JPG (23.38 KiB) Viewed 1766 times
Sit al my 12V toerusting AAN ….
Teen 12,8V begin die groen lig op die Benton BX2 flikker, en dit begin laai – 12,7V teen 18,5W; 1,45A; die BX2 is in die groen-lig laai fase.
2 (Medium).JPG
2 (Medium).JPG (21.38 KiB) Viewed 1766 times
Die las is MEER as die laai stroom en die battery volts daal geleidelik …..
Teen 12,3V is die Benton steeds in die groen-lig laai fase, steeds met die volgende waardes – 12,7V teen 18,5W; 1,45A
21,1V selfde storie …. Nee man, dit voel nou soos om te kyk hoe verf droog word … wanneer gaan daai BX2 oorskop na die derde-rooi-lig fase …. ?

Die volle las trek 7,6A. Die BX2 laai teen 1,5A in die groen-lig fase. Dus so 6A effektiewe las op die battery.

21:30 … 5 en ½ uur later ….33A.h later ….. battery volts op 11,9V …. En die Benton BX2 is steeds in die groen-lig laai fase van 1,45A en 18W.

So wanneer gaan die Benton “terug-skop” na n vol laai stroom ?

Ek sal dit weer toets oor n naweek, met meer tyd om die battery verder te ontlaai
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:08 am

:blink:
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:12 am

Mud Dog wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:08 am
:blink:
JIP ! :shock2: :o:


I think it comes back to HOW(why) we use a "battery charger" ....


charge/maintenance .... then the BX2 is right up there with the best

powersupply ... NO ! the BX2 is not designed for this ...



turns out I have only ever used it for charging and maintenance
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:29 am

It does in fact have a power supply function, but it's a different mode selection from charging and maintenance. Don't have the unit or literature close by, but I remember reading about it - not sure what kind of amps are associated with it but it's not very high IIRC.
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:47 am

I think it comes back to HOW(why) we use a "battery charger" ....
charge/maintenance .... then the BX2 is right up there with the best
powersupply ... NO ! the BX2 is not designed for this ...
You hit the nail on the head.The BX is a good charger for maintenance.

In my camping setup I just prefer the National Luna.When I get to the camp spot and there is 220v I just hook up the NL and forget about it.
With the BX2 I constantly have to check it and switch it on and off for full charge.
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:25 am

To Andy. In your application the BX will work :thumbup:
George, if what you're saying is true and it wasn't a faulty charger, then that is of concern to me because;

a. I just invested in a Benton BX2, and ....

b. although I wanted to see if it could recover a sulphated battery, the main reason was that I have a lot of batteries that stand idle and they need to be maintained. As stated in another thread, I have a few conventional chargers, but they have to be connected and disconnected manually - can't be left on indefinitely.

So, what I think you're saying is that if I connect a battery and leave it, it will charge up whereafter the BX will go into maintenance mode and stay there without doing anything while the battery slowly discharges? That would defeat the object of an 'intelligent' charger and is in contravention of what the BX manual says
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Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:58 pm

Mud Dog wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:29 am
It does in fact have a power supply function, but it's a different mode selection from charging and maintenance. Don't have the unit or literature close by, but I remember reading about it - not sure what kind of amps are associated with it but it's not very high IIRC.
Yes it does. and yes, you have to select this manually.


The whole idea of the "maintenance charger" is that it should function 100% automatically.


But the BX2 was not programmed to automatically alternate between maintenance and power supply ....


so for the user that wants to keep his battery topped AND run the fridge off it .... NL charger ....
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