backchannel: cheap controllers == batterycide?

Responding to this post.  Taking it backchannel as the OP specifically asked us not to derail.

I just bought one of those cheapie $20 newer pwm controllers ( the kind you are seeing now with the 2 usb ports) for a 100 watt panel I installed. It sux.  When my rig is plugged into 120v power, the cheapie pwm solar controller won't go into float ever, so it raises the voltage to 14.4 and sits there all day,

My curiosity was piqued earlier when you said yours had stages;  mine doesn’t and none of the others have seen like it do.   They are often advertised as multistage pwm but are actually just on-off controllers (sometimes called shunt solar charge controllers). Raising to terminal voltage (14.4, or whatever) and staying there is how they are designed to work.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing;  Sternwake has said folks that deeply cycle each day might be better off setting Vfloat == Vabs, which is effectively what these do.  Folks that don’t want to add water all the time could reduce the setpoint to 13.8v or 14.0v or something.

So yes they suck if one is expecting more.  They work great for cheeeep if one is expecting what they really are.

The thing with solar controllers is if you go cheap on that component, you will pay in the end for another battery in the not too far future.

I disagree.

People commit battery murder every day with controllers of all price points.  Setpoint configurability (and the owner configuring sane setpoints) are, I suggest, more important than purchase price.