We set out to buy an inverter to satisfy our AC needs which at the time were to recharge computers and other minor electronics like phones. Keeping in mind the goal was always to minimize our AC use.
So, after looking at the inverters at the Seattle Boat Show, even though we had a Xantrex True Charge 20 and liked it, hearing bad customer service from Xantrex we decided to go with Magnum after talking to them, on a hunch. The inverter looked good and we felt more comfortable with the dealers, not because we found any particular reviews about Magnum. We went with a pure sine wave inverter for our electronics and chose the MMS series 1200W. We decided to go pure sine because we heard modified sine may affect your computer but later we realized this is probably not founded, as per Nigel Calder’s book, but that’s what we went with at the time.
After leaving the inverter in the box for about 6 months, we decided to install it. Found out the cables and other stuff needed would be about $200 more of supplies. Installation diagrams and instructions were sufficient, no surprises, and it took about 2 days to complete the installation.
Everything worked as planned but we realized we had an unusual noise coming from the charger when the batteries were close to fully charged. When contacted, Magnum took us seriously and decided to help us investigate by sending us pictures and asking for a few tests. When not satisfied with the noise, they decided to replace our inverter/charger at no cost.
I reinstalled the new one to find out it was overcharging our batteries and would not go on standby so had to be manually turned off. Again when contacted Magnum decided that was not right and decided to send us a new one.
And again, the same story. The same problems. After questioning our installation and our capabilities and requesting pictures, they realized that there was obviously a problem with their new revision of their software and sent us a new motherboard and asked if we would be willing to help them figure out the problem. We became their guinea pig for their new software. The motherboard fixed the problem and Magnum realized there was a software problem because of this. Magnum realized they had cost us a lot of time and money and we had saved them a lot of money by figuring out the problem, so they decided to upgrade our inverter to the MS2000 which is a 2000W inverter and a 100Amp charger – versus the 1200W inverter and 50Amp charger which we had purchased. We initially declined the new inverter because of the need to re-buy bigger cables and re-do the installation because this had been going on for 3 months and we wanted the installation over. Then we realized that the increase in the charger capacity would be a big deal for our cruising and so we decided to go ahead accept the new inverter and install it.
We were initially not happy with the new inverter because the inverter was drawing 5 Amps to run itself. After calling Magnum and doing another test we realized it was now, after some use, drawing 1.2 Amps as advertised and I have been happy ever since.
We also installed an MMR-C remote control head so that we could program the charger as we want. We have a temperature sensor as well and we think it improves the battery charging and it is nice to know remotely what temperature the batteries are at. It gives me a sense of security.
Magnum’s product is working as advertised in the brochure and trouble free. It works awesome with our Honda EU2000i generator. One problem with the new system is we lost the ability to charge two battery banks without using the parallel switch. The Xantrex True Charge 20 would do this. Magnum sells a piece of kit you can add on that will do the same but obviously more money than I was ready to pay for – I think it is another $200. This is a minor loss for so much gained.
We are really happy with the customer service. We don’t know if the service will be like that when we are across the Pacific ocean but we know at least while in N America they will help us as much as they can. Every time we buy a piece of kit we take into consideration customer service when deciding what to buy.