2009 manufacture date fm80 compared to 2018 model

Discussion about the FM100, FM80, and FM60 Charge Controllers

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My RE system: Outback FXR2524A-01, FlexMax FM80, Mate3s, Power Hub 4
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2009 manufacture date fm80 compared to 2018 model

Post by mikedowdell » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:11 am

I have acquired through family a fm80 manufactured in 2009. I was considering adding it in parallel to my current fm80 manufactured 2018. I suspect there are some rather large differences in that 10 year Gap, what difference is my baby in connecting to my mate 3s system, and can any of it be mitigated with a firmware update?

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Re: 2009 manufacture date fm80 compared to 2018 model

Post by jnh » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:57 am

This shouldn't cause any problems, and there aren't likely to be any major differences. I recently added a new 2019, India-made FM-80 alongside my 2009, US-made FM-60, and they're working great together with no issues. Just make sure charging voltages, absorb time etc. are set the same across both, and adjust Vbat calibration if necessary. You may need to power-cycle your Mate3s for it to detect the new controller.

Unlike with stacked inverters, multiple charge controllers don't require any close coordination. Each can operate well enough on its own based on mainly battery-voltage sensing, and you don't necessarily even need to have all connected to the Hub and Mate (say, if you were out of Hub ports, or wanted to use a non-Outback controller alongside).

To my knowledge the Hub/Mate connection is used only for
- data logging (external shunts could partially supplant this)
- allowing adjustment of FM setpoints from the Mate, as well as its local keypad
- sharing data from a common battery-temperature sensor to all controllers
- on a grid-tie system, placing all FM's into "GT Mode" whenever the enters are "Selling" (this temporarily raises Float voltage to equal Absorb, under the assumption inverters' SellRe will be lower and act as the effective target voltage. Convenient, but not strictly necessary, and irrelevant for off-grid.

*(My older FM is actually an original MX-60 from 2007, but upgraded by Outback service in 2009 to an "MX-60-X", which is essentially an FM-60 with the older MX-60 connector arrangement. Three of its four front-panel buttons have gone bad over time, and taking the thing apart to replace or repair them is tedious, but it's otherwise still going strong, and can still be adjusted via the Mate).

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Re: 2009 manufacture date fm80 compared to 2018 model

Post by IanMcCluskey » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:38 am

Hi Mike, as JNH says, if you do NOT connect the two controllers via a HUB for coordinated operation, you should NOT experience any problems. However, if you desire coordinated operation, differences in firmware may cause issues.

Unlike the new FM100, the FM80 firmware must be updated at our service center. If you would like to update the firmware on the older device, please contact our tech support team. You will have to mail the product in and it will take time.
Ian McCluskey
Product Manager

Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
3767 Alpha Way Bellingham WA 98226 USA

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