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trickle charging question

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by 348SStb, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    I have a battery tender for my 348, and I have a question about trickle charging.

    How many days in a row are TOO MANY to leave the battery tender plugged in to an active battery?

    I ask because with winter coming up, there may be periods of several weeks during which the car will not be driven.

    I've searched the archives on winterization and can't come up with anything.
     
  2. milstanselnino

    milstanselnino Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2004
    573
    MN
    Full Name:
    Jon P.
    I confess that I don't know the answer, but aren't there trickle chargers out there which have an auto shut-off? If you can't find one, is it accessible such that you could charge it for, say, a day a week? Or better yet, drive it!
     
  3. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
    USA
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    Hugh G. Rection
    The age old answer...."it depends..."

    What do you use? Is it a "Battery Tender" by Deltran? Is it microprocessor controlled? Does it automatically go into a "float" mode once the battery is charged? If it does, then you can basically leave it attached indefinitely. This generally charge at a .5 to 1.5 amp rate, then when fully charged, drop down to a very small float charge of a few milliamps, but will go back up to the 1.5 amp rate if the voltage drops too low. The only caveat is that you must periodically (twice a year) check and add distilled water to the cells (if there are caps that allow this).

    If you have an old style "trickle charger" that constantly gives a 1 amp or so charge, then you would have to unplug it after a day or so. Those can be damaging to leave on a battery, as it will begin to boil the electrolyte.
     
  4. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    It's the Deltran; got it at the Ferrari dealer. Am I safe?
     
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
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    Hugh G. Rection
    Yes. Check the electrolyte level every few months....otherwise, you are fine.
     
  6. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Just ot make sure:

    So it's okay to keep my Deltran battery tender plugged in for, say, 4-8 weeks in a row?
     
  7. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
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    Hugh G. Rection
    YES
    yes
    yeS
    Yes
    yEs
    How many ways can I say it! :)

    affirmative
    right
    ah hah
    Okay
    Ci
    Da

    Do it till the cows come home.

    You can do it with a ham
    You can do it with a lamb
    You can do it with your gram...
    Do it till it rams..........

    I'm coocoo for coco puffs!!!! Blahhhhhh..... ;)
     
  8. 348SStb

    348SStb F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Whatever you have in your pipe, you should send some my way!
     
  9. Matt Morgan, "Kermit"

    Matt Morgan, "Kermit" Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    405
    Ferndale, WA
    FWIW, Sears sells a battery tender, quite reasonable.
    A tip I have used, is to wire in a matching pair of the small 2 prong trailer leads, like is used on car to trailer wireing. They are insulated on the end, with one terminal fitting in, and the other sticking out, on both ends. Wire one side to the battery direct, being sure that the negative post is connected to the terminal end that is covered, so no grounding problems will arise, and you have an easy to get to, easily hidden set up.
    HTH
    Kermit
    PS then leave it on as long as you want! They automatically shut off completely when the voltage is up to par. the old style (ferric, or simple transformer) would just keep putting say 2 amps in no matter what, and that will fry a battery. It only took me 2 batteries in my Harley to learn that one, LOL! The bike has a tender on all winter now.
     
  10. Skindiver

    Skindiver Karting

    Apr 22, 2004
    203
    JHB SA.
    Full Name:
    Greg
    I have noticed a decrease in a battery's ability to "hold" charge, without trickle charger support,after being on a controlled ( auto on and off) trickle charger for 6 months to a year.

    Skin.
     
  11. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 3, 2002
    6,074
    Southeast USA
    Full Name:
    Mike Charness
    Even easier is to replace the clip ends with a cigarette lighter plug (Radio Shack) and then just plug your charger into your car's cigarette lighter... works GREAT and DOES trickle in to the battery. I put a "doubler" into the cigarette lighter and then also use a plug-in volt meter alongside the charger end so I can monitor the status. See below.
     
  12. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
    2,327
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    BobD
  13. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    I use the Porsche battery tender. Pricey but it works perfectly. You can see if its charging, has alight to indicate if its on. Better solution: drive the car.

    Art
     
  14. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    May 29, 2001
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    Hugh G. Rection

    Ah "grasshopper" you have much to learn from "Handa-stein"....

    Try this: http://snipurl.com/7cod only $35, and better yet, only $6 for shipping. If you spend $100, you can even get free shipping!

    Here is the best cigarette adapter...has a nice long cord left with bare leads for you to splice the Deltran plug on to. http://snipurl.com/5rl7 Not available on-line today, but your local Radio Shack should have them.
     
  15. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Take this advice from the "BT King." Without it I'd be dead by now....at least my battery would :)
     
  16. Oblio

    Oblio Karting

    May 9, 2004
    129
    Puget Sound, WA
    Full Name:
    Todd R
    I'm planning on using a "Battery Minder" that is supposed to desulphite the battery. I have not set mine up yet since I am still driving on a frequent basis. Any one have experience with these and are these better than the Battery Tender?

    http://www.vdcelectronics.com/
     
  17. stevep

    stevep F1 Veteran

    Jan 19, 2004
    8,330
    Geordie Land
    Full Name:
    steve
    i have a mobitronic
     
  18. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 29, 2001
    17,058
    USA
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    Hugh G. Rection
    While the idea of a charger/tender that can reduce the effects of battery sulfation cannot really be thought as having any negatives, I don't believe that it is a significant threat to battery life. Seems that what causes batteries to fail for most of us is deep discharge from lack of use. Since most "starting batteries" are not designed to withstand multiple deep discharges and recharges, this greatly reduces the service life.

    I have heard folks using the "battery minder" and they claim they work fine. If you are interested, I would recommend the Yuasa variant, which has a bit more output, thus will be a bit more "speedy" in bringing your battery up to snuff (charge wise), while still offering the "desufation" circuitry.

    Available here: http://snipurl.com/97l6 $50 plus $6 shipping. Only a three year warranty versus the 5 year of the Battery Minder though...but $10 cheaper, and probably cheaper shipping charges too.


    BTW, this seems to be a cheaper source for the Battery Minder:
    http://www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?c=12voltchargers

    Note also that they offer the Battery Defender Pro, 12 volt 3 amp, charger/maintainer that also offers the desulfation circuitry. It looks very tempting...only one year warranty though.
     
  19. normhuff

    normhuff Formula Junior

    Dec 14, 2003
    711
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    J. Norman Huff, Esq.
    Thanks to everyone with the cigarette lighter adapter idea. In the past I would hook the charger connectors directly to the battery. Unfortunately, I have a minor problem with a recently opened bonnet not shutting completely/correctly until after a couple drives down the road (the dashlight warning light comes on informing one of such problem). Now I won't have to put up with that hassle anymore in terms of trickle charging the battery over the winter. Muchos gracias...
     
  20. Matt Morgan, "Kermit"

    Matt Morgan, "Kermit" Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
    405
    Ferndale, WA
    Mike, ya definately outclassed me with that one. I still kinda like mine, as it is screwed down out of sight, and sometimes, I leave with what you might call velocity, LOL. So it's handy to have something that will unplug with no harm.
     
  21. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
    6,792
    Jupiter, FL
    Full Name:
    Paul Bianco
    I keep my battery tender ALL the time. Have used it like this since 1996.
     
  22. DadsFerrari

    DadsFerrari Formula 3

    May 31, 2004
    1,464
    New England
    Full Name:
    Mister M
    This idea is nice, but will this work on a vehicle that has the accessory power off when the key is not in the ignition?

    I worry that running wires in to the car is a recipe for disaster,if there is an electronic malfunction of some sort; is there a fused kill mechanism?

    Is the Deltran pricey , or 39 bucks or so?
     
  23. DadsFerrari

    DadsFerrari Formula 3

    May 31, 2004
    1,464
    New England
    Full Name:
    Mister M
    Oh, I am using Optima red and Yellow top batteries, not sure about lead factor.
     
  24. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Aug 3, 2002
    6,074
    Southeast USA
    Full Name:
    Mike Charness
    The doubler is fused, and there's another inline fuse for the trickle charger. For people who emailed me asking for sources, I got the "smart" trickle charger and the charging meter from Wal-Mart, but my local store doesn't carry the meter anymore. The charger is made by Schumacher (no relation). You can also get those at AutoZone, the Schumacher SE112S for $29.95. A picture of what it looks like is at
    www.partsamerica.com/product_images/img/SCM/SE112S.jpg
    and then of course I put a cigarette lighter end on it.

    A picture of the voltmeter I have can be seen at
    www.cetsolar.com/voltmeter.htm model 1044 for $16.99 but I'm sure it's available from other places also.

    Obviously, the cigarette lighter socket has to be "live" ("hot) when the ignition key is off for this to work.
     
  25. stevep

    stevep F1 Veteran

    Jan 19, 2004
    8,330
    Geordie Land
    Full Name:
    steve
    i have a mobitronic and it plugs into the cigarette lighter, i use it wheneever the car is parked
     

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