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Old 03-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Good 12V battery chargers

The battery testing I'm doing right now with the staring batteries is leading me to the realization that I'd like to go alternatorless. At that point, I'm going to need deep cycles and a good battery charger. I was wondering what chargers you guys out there have, and what you like. I think a few of you are using the Schumacher Electric speedcharger models like this one. It looks like a good unit, but I'd like to see some alternatives. So, any suggestions?

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Best idea is to build one. Just take a regulated 15v wall wart and connect a diode or two in series to drop the voltage. (One for a faster charge, two for a long term float charge.)
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can a wall wart really provide more than a couple amps? Those things seem to get warm already, and I'd assume their intended amperage is fairly low.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In a related matter, MIT has developed a lithium ion battery that recharges in ~10 seconds, rather than perhaps hours. Applied to car use, this would allow refueling in about the same amount of time as it now takes at the gas pump.

Maybe less time, actually, as presumably it would be better to have more recharging kiosks than now exist at gas stations, so less waiting in line for the guy ahead of you to do his thing. In other words, 5 chargers in a row simultaneously recharging 5 cars, rather than 2 gas pumps pumping while 3 cars are waiting, for shorter pit stops.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Can a wall wart really provide more than a couple amps? Those things seem to get warm already, and I'd assume their intended amperage is fairly low.
Use a large one. Some can supply quite a bit of current.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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dang, I was going to suggest mine charger till I realized it IS the schumacher speed charger :P Oh well. You can get some pretty nifty battery tenders that will supply 2-5A depending on the battery's needs. Check on NAPA, I think it was like $65-70, designed to mount inside the engine bay with a short power lead, so you could hook it up to an extension cord. I have the simplier version, 2A trickle charge with a load sensing, so it doesn't overload the battery. It was only $30, but I'm not sure how effective it would be for an alternator-less daily.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A month ago in the http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...rged-7099.html thread -
A post cited two brand names I'd never heard of before.

After googling around for a while, Battery Minder and Battery Tender both made it into my list of semi-permanent bookmarks.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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my room mate has this one I really like it because it has a display to tell you the battery voltage, % of charge and is a switching power suply so it is really light and efficent,
I have a pile of my own battery chargers and use one like this for charging my electric car's auxiliary battery, I also have a charger that I can't remember the name of, but it has a pulsating mode to desulphate batteries, they are a bit harder to find but it will bring batteries that I thought were gone back to life.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I ended up going with the Schumacher SC-6500. I got it on ebay for a pretty fair $47 shipped. I really wanted the option of the high voltage pulsing for desulfation.

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