Xtreme Marine, pulse charging


I’ve been testing this PulseTech Xtreme Marine 12v “five-stage maintenance” charger for a month or so, and am impressed. What with Annie G’s two batteries—one for the electric trolling motor, another for backup and electronics—plus some old batteries I’m trying to keep alive until someone buys Ralph, I’ve had plenty of material to work with. I really like how the Xtreme first tests a battery and then tells me with simple to understand LEDs what it’s up to as it goes through its multi step process. And while it’s impossible for me to really see the claimed desulphation process in action, the batteries certainly seemed very well charged. (Plus PulseTech has some scientific studies, using x-ray, that seem to back its claims). I was even able to use it to bring back a dead flat battery which someone around here had allowed to go completely dry; I did have to start the charge with a conventional “dumb” charger but the Xtreme (which first found it “bad”) took it from there and seemed to really perk it up. Charging a really low battery does take time, though, as the Xtreme only puts out 2.5 amps in bulk mode (5 amps claimed effective); hence the “maintenance” caveat. But you can just leave the charger attached to a battery indefinitely as it will stop charging and go into float/pulse mode when a battery is topped off. There are other pulse chargers and battery conditioners out there (a good explanation of charging, pulsing, and desulphation here), but Xtreme seems like a winner.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. Lowthian, Mike says:

    I am considering a new inverter for my 45′ trawler – a Magnum 2812 inverter/charger or an Xantrex 3000 inverter only. My local vendor is recommending the Xantrex because I already have an independent charger which works fine. He is concerned having two chargers on the system may cause trouble? Any advice?

    • Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

      Hi Mike, I think there are some pluses to using a combined inverter/charger. For instance, my Victron MultiPlus 12/2000/80 automatically switches from shore power charging to invert mode so fast that even my AC computer doesn’t notice. With the Victron I can also limit the max draw from a 30a feed to as little as 15a if the shore power is flaky, and it uses less battery power at low inverter loads than my old Xantrex did. Also, and I’m about to try this, the Multi can integrate with a whole family of Victron power control and monitoring products/services. I’m hoping for a better level of awareness about my boat’s battery banks, solar power, etc. than I’ve ever had.


      I’m not saying that Victron should be your choice, but I recommend checking out the major marine brands. Note too that Xantrex was just acquired. I have no idea what that will mean for customers, but change seems possible:


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