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Author Topic: Trickle charger  (Read 2899 times)
John316
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« on: December 13, 2008, 05:24:21 PM »

Any suggestions on a trickle charger for our starting batteries. We have 8D's. We do drive our coach pretty often, but I would like a "maintainer" for them.

Ideas?

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2008, 05:33:20 PM »

John316,  www.batterystuff.com sells all brands for good prices   good luck
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 05:38:16 PM by luvrbus » Logged
John316
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 05:39:45 PM »

Luvrbus,

Thanks. I wonder if you have any specific brand that you like. Is there one that works better than others?

Thanks,

God bless,

John
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luvrbus
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 05:45:05 PM »

John316, they are all going to be about the same but I have Deltran (not the harley) if I spelled it right because I wanted one to take care of my generator battery also plus it had a 10 year warranty cost a little more but I have this thing about made in China,Battery Mminder is a good brand buy one large enough for your use a 1 amp will not keep 2 8Ds charged    
good luck
« Last Edit: December 13, 2008, 05:53:36 PM by luvrbus » Logged
JohnEd
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 06:20:54 PM »

I bought a Smart Charger and for the first time I have confidence that I am not harming my bats.  It cost $40 but you have to consider a few things.  First is that it charges at 25 amps max or 10 or 2.  You would use the 25 setting.  It will change the charge profile for wet, mat and the other one.  It will display the charging current, bat voltage and charge voltage,, state of charge and other stuff.  It turns itself off and on and maintains a trickle charge.  AND it is temperature compensated....I kid you not.

It is better than the charger on my Zantrex and that one is touted as perfect.  25 amps isn't enuf to turn heads for charging and that is really a piffle for a bank of 8D's but you want a maintenance charger.  For my car bat mine is a charger but for you it would be a Smart maintenance Charger.  You can't do better for less but you are really shopping for those features.  It also does that high voltage thing where it reconditions the bat.

For a few hundred you can get a inverter that does all that at 80 amp max and makes AC also.

HTH

John
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 09:19:34 PM »

I tried Battery Tender and Battery Minder. BM is pretty good but BT is far superior so I bought four of them. I own about 17 vehicles of all kinds and keep all the batteries charged with these four BTs plus a couple of other brands. BTs work the best.

I don't leave them connected more than a few days at a time but I suppose they work ok if left on all the time. I don't think it is necessary though.

I use them to keep two 8Ds in my big truck charged. They work fine if the 8Ds are mostly charged before use. They probably won't charge an 8D if it is low to start with. Not sure about that because I haven't tried it.

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PD4107-152
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 10:20:46 PM »

If you are driving your coach often, and your charging system is working correctly, you are already maintaining them. If you are going several weeks, or have some type of parasitic loss, then you might need to put some type of charger on them. Batteries are a high maintenance item and they can be easily damaged by under/over charging them. Too much unnecessary charging will increase corrosion around the batteries. I have 66 deep cycle batteries that I have to maintain (not in my bus) and they are a PIA. They require weekly attention to keep them clean and watered. Hopefully one day, someone will find a better way.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 11:40:02 PM »

Thanks Clifford,

That site you gave is wonderful, lots of great stuff to read and learn. Have you tried the solar device they mention? Might not be a bad idea to have it along with the standard Battery MINDer. We get lots of sun in Texas so it looks like a great way to maintain your batts.

Paul
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 11:58:08 AM »

A couple of months back I posted regarding some cheap solar battery chargers at Costco (http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=10106.0).  I think they were about $25-$30 for two.  I put one in an old motorhome I have around.  It keeps that battery up fine on that.  Of more interest is that I bought 3 100 pound AGM batteries that I am waiting to install in the bus.  I connected them in parallel and hooked up the other solar charger to see if they would keep all three up.  When I hooked it all up, the batteries read about 12.9 volts.  After several weeks, they now read 13.2.  This is obviously not an impressive increase, but does show that the little 1.8 max charger is adequate for maintenance in our desert anyway.  I see no reason that two of these chargers in series would not do the same from my two 8D's.
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 02:30:24 PM »

Lin,

I don't think chargers will work in series. The safest thing is to charge the two batteries separately.

Inexpensive battery disconnect switches are the way to avoid all these series/parallel problems. I get mine at WalMart and my local farm store, about $6-8 each and worth far more the first time the starter solelnoid gets stuck or a battery starts to smoke!!
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Lin
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 03:22:09 PM »

Gus,

I don't know if they really won't work like that.  Since they are solar chargers, the voltage they put out varies, but their range does not go up to 24 volts.  I thought that putting them in series would double their individual output so they could work on a 24 volt system.  I could take both and try it, but I think I'll call the company first and get their opinion before I destroy them. 

I do have the original battery disconnect switch which would take care of the renegade starter solenoid scenario, but nothing to quickly separate the two batteries.  Do you set them up to isolate each of the starter batteries?  Are you interrupting positive, negative, or both?
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 03:56:05 PM »

Very happy with my IOTA 75amp. I have had it for over 3 years and the batteries start as if brand new. Easy install!

Good luck!

Grant
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Grant Goold
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JohnEd
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2008, 11:19:05 PM »

Grant,

What did that IOTA 75 amp charger cost?

Thanks,

John
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 06:01:18 AM »

I think that I found my unit on the internet from some outfit called Airzona Wind and Power? It was around $175 and I will buy another when this one goes. It provides a piece of mind that is worth every cent. I also have the the big charger should I ever need one.  So far, three years and with good battery maintance my six year old batteries are holding their charge almost like brand new! 2 8ds.

Grant
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Grant Goold
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gus
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 02:34:19 PM »

Lin,

I remember reading in the instructions of one of my chargers not to hook them in series. I would think that solar would be the same but don't know that for sure and don't know why not to hook them in series - can't remember exactly what the instruction book said. Those books don't usually tell you why, just don't do it. Of course that only makes me more curious!

I have a disconnect on each battery. Since I use only four batteries, two starting and two house, that isn't much of a problem but I also have one on every vehicle I own. I started using them seriously after the time my 4104 starter solenoid stuck. (At least I though it stuck until I found that I had accidentally hit the rear starter switch which was the wrong kind of switch.) Anyway, I sure made a mad scramble for a wrench in a hurry but if I had installed those "green knob" disconnects it would have taken only a few seconds. I also had a real stuck solenoid on my old Jeep. I was very lucky the started didn't completely fry although it was really smoking.

I normally put the disconnects on neg terminals but use the pos terminal the neg is too hard to reach. I don't think it makes much difference.

This makes it very easy to charge each battery separately which I think is the best way anyway. If nothing else it gives you an idea of the condition of each battery and an early warning of a failing battery. Nested battery charging won't do this.
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John316
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2008, 06:34:17 PM »

Thanks for the info. It has given me some great leads.

God bless,

John
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Lin
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2008, 11:33:49 AM »

I contacted the solar charger company and they say that I can put two units in series to maintain a 24 volt system.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 02:21:09 PM »

Lin,

Did they happen to say if that applies to all chargers?
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Lin
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 04:32:06 PM »

No, they were only talking about their solar charger.  I think that it would work in this case because the solar charger is roughly the same as a battery-- it has its output.  An electrical battery charger is more complex and may, in some ways be adjusting its behavior in response to feedback.  The best way to be safe about a particular device is to call that companies tech support.  In most cases, they are very helpful.
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2008, 04:01:47 PM »

Lin,

Thanks. I agree that it would not be wise to series any chargers without asking the company. I think I'll stick to my separate charging for now.
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