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Picture of John Steed
posted
I have a 40+ year old Schumacher manual car battery charger. It's served me well all these years but I see now there are automatic chargers with microprocessors that look really interesting. Some even have a jump start option.

I only use it a few times a year, so I could stick with what I've got, but I just feel like it's time for an upgrade.

Anybody have one they really like?



... stirred anti-clockwise.
 
Posts: 1811 | Location: Michigan | Registered: May 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
safe & sound
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Personally I dislike the newer chargers (at least those I have used first hand), and favor the older chargers.

We have a lot of equipment with batteries, and if the "smart" charger doesn't like something it refuses to charge. I don't need a charger to give me its opinion, I need it to apply a current to the battery.


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Posts: 14609 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Registered: September 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I keep my bike on a BatteryMinder 2012 and it keeps it topped off.
 
Posts: 2577 | Location: God Awful New York | Registered: July 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of motor59
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quote:
Originally posted by a1abdj:
Personally I dislike the newer chargers (at least those I have used first hand), and favor the older chargers.

We have a lot of equipment with batteries, and if the "smart" charger doesn't like something it refuses to charge. I don't need a charger to give me its opinion, I need it to apply a current to the battery.


+1

Newer smart chargers have their place, but I'd also hold on to old Sparky for those times when the new charger refuses to do its job. I've encountered that more than once, and its adding insult to injury when your charger thinks its smarter than you are.




suaviter in modo, fortiter in re
 
Posts: 2903 | Location: Exit 7 NJ | Registered: March 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mark1Mod0Squid
Picture of Sigolicious
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Getting the right "intelligent" charger is the key. Any of them that aren't intelligent or you can't set the parameters yourself are not what you are looking for.

I use an Iota DLS-55x with in IQ4 Module. The Iota allows me to use different modules for different types of charging. The IQ4 module does 4 stage charging of lead acid batteries. There are other modules for AGM batteries, LI batteries, and even rapid charging. The charger is about $160 and $24ea for modules.

IMHO, all batteries need a full charge cycle, not just a float/trickle. Bulk-->Absorb-->Float.

When I spent $6k on batteries for a solar system, I figured I'd want them to last as long as possible. Outside of my solar system (separate charging system) I have thirteen 12v batteries in vehicles and other applications that I use my Iota to maintain. The oldest are 2 plain old 12v DeKa marine batteries that came in an RV. They are at least 7yrs old and still discharge/charge as they should. Also the OEM batteries in my F350 bought new December of '15 are in great shape.

If you have flooded lead acid batteries, learn to do battery maintenance, get a proper hydrometer for checking specific gravity, get a charger that meets your needs, and keep distilled water on hand.

Good Luck.


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Posts: 1925 | Location: AZ | Registered: May 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of konata88
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I have battery tender and ctek. Both seem to work well; the latter seems a little more sophisticated and feature rich but I don’t know.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9338 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I Am The Walrus
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I have a CTEK which I bought around 8 years ago. Haven't used it in many years, though. Used to keep my C5 Z06 plugged in because something kept draining the battery if the car wasn't driven for a couple of weeks. Never bothered figuring out what drained the battery, ended up traded it in.


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Posts: 11371 | Location: All over | Registered: March 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I have a CTEK which I bought around 8 years ago. Haven't used it in many years, though. Used to keep my C5 Z06 plugged in because something kept draining the battery if the car wasn't driven for a couple of weeks. Never bothered figuring out what drained the battery, ended up traded it in.


All my cars die after about 2-3 weeks of non-use. Clocks, alarm system, seem to drain the battery fast unlike the more analog cars from the pre-90's. I think this is pretty common in new cars at the dealership too. More than once had to wait for them to jump a car before test driving.




"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - B.Franklin
"Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it." L.Tolstoy
 
Posts: 9338 | Location: In the gilded cage | Registered: December 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use Battery Tender type maintainers on all of my mostly idle equipment (tractor, riding mower, car parked for a while, etc). For a real charger, (for a depleted battery, e.g.) you cannot beat Associated Equipment's line of Made in the USA heavy duty chargers. They make both a standard charger, like the old ones, and a "smart charger" (their Intellimatic series). The Intellimatic charger is a 3-4 stage charger, ending in float mode that you can leave connected indefinitely (like a maintainer).
 
Associated is a buy once/cry once solution. I have their 20amp Intellimatic model 9425 that I use for bringing back a depleted battery. It is nice to be able to hook it up and walk away, knowing it won't overcharge the battery. I most often use it on a large (80 lb.) Odyssey AGM that I use for yard spraying, which gets depleted a good bit in a spraying session (pre-emergent and glyphosate, twice a year). Don't be put off too much by the prices most places charge. Shop around and you can get significant savings, though they are still expensive.



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Posts: 9869 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If using on idle equipment...boats, ATV, motorcycle, lawn tractor, etc.....then a Battery Tender is the best thing. It is smart tender that can keep battery conditioned as well as charged properly. There is no comparison to these and the old chargers of years past.
If you have an occasional dead battery on equipment that is being used semi regularly due leaving lights or accessories on accidently (dome lights, work lights, etc) then one of the battery jump packs is better if all you need is a charge to get running and then it will charge itself as you let it run. The Audew Upgraded 2000A and the TopVision 2200A models with their highest power are outstanding. I recently had a tractor stolen (3.0L diesel) and when recovered had been hotwired and battery dead from leaving lights on. The jump pack started it faster than its new battery....that is something for a diesel engine that uses compression to ignite fuel and not spark plugs. Cant recommend enough.
 
Posts: 60 | Registered: July 16, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of smlsig
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This subject comes up every few months here and if you search you’ll find pages of input.

Having said that I have a 2 bay and 4 bay garages so you can imagine I have a bunch of stuff that requires proper battery maintenance. Many years ago an engineer and fellow car nut advised me to get the NOCO Genius smart battery chargers and I have never looked back. They charge and maintain FLA, AGM and Lithium batteries and extend the life of your batteries for only a few cents per month..

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-GE...o%2Caps%2C196&sr=8-7

There are several sizes available depending on your specific needs.


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Posts: 5076 | Location: SML & OBX | Registered: February 19, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by konata88:
quote:
I have a CTEK which I bought around 8 years ago. Haven't used it in many years, though. Used to keep my C5 Z06 plugged in because something kept draining the battery if the car wasn't driven for a couple of weeks. Never bothered figuring out what drained the battery, ended up traded it in.


All my cars die after about 2-3 weeks of non-use. Clocks, alarm system, seem to drain the battery fast unlike the more analog cars from the pre-90's. I think this is pretty common in new cars at the dealership too. More than once had to wait for them to jump a car before test driving.


I had the same issue with a vehicle. I installed a switch at the positive terminal. I opened the switch when the vehicle was parked. Saved the battery charge.
 
Posts: 591 | Registered: August 25, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IF you're looking at 'maintaining' or trickle charging, automatic is the only way to go - battery tender or others.
If you are looking to charge a dead battery up for use, I prefer a manual. I can't count the number of times an automatic has said the battery was bad, but charge on manual for a while & then the automatic will charge it. The only downside to a manual is you have to babysit it or it will overcharge a battery.

The jump start function isn't tied to automatic/manual - it's just an extra boost of current for a short period of time (because the heat generated is too much to use it for more than a few seconds at a time).

Here's a thread where I was asking something similar
Battery Charger Recommendation
I ended up with an Associated Equipment US20
Made in USA
Timer or constant on
10A/40A/200A jumpstart.
It should outlast me (I'm 39).
 
Posts: 2832 | Location: IN | Registered: January 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of armored
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by motor59:
quote:
Originally posted by a1abdj:
Personally I dislike the newer chargers (at least those I have used first hand), and favor the older chargers.

We have a lot of equipment with batteries, and if the "smart" charger doesn't like something it refuses to charge. I don't need a charger to give me its opinion, I need it to apply a current to the battery.


+1

Newer smart chargers have their place, but I'd also hold on to old Sparky for those times when the new charger refuses to do its job. I've encountered that more than once, and its adding insult to injury when your charger thinks its smarter than you are.


THIS!
 
Posts: 3731 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Been using Ctek for 10 years or so and they work great. Pick the model that best suits your needs.


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Posts: 6696 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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Yep, been discussed here many times.
CTEK is a great one.
I found them by seeing Jay Leno promoting on his car show.
I then did a bunch of research to find out that CTEK is definitely legit (including used by many high end car co's) so I bought one and never looked back.
Works flawlessly.
YMMV
 
Posts: 18938 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For a low cost battery trickle charger, go Solar power. If you have direct sunlight at your vehicle, Solar charger will keep the battery charge topped off. Most have charge output around 0.5 amp.

I've used them on cars and motorcycles for past 20 years.

Harbor Freight has them for around $15.00.


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A - Lips are moving.
 
Posts: 7714 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Equal Opportunity Mocker
Picture of slabsides45
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Funny this came up.

I bought this one just today after watching reviews, wanted one that would charge a deep cycle battery as well as a regular car battery:

https://www.harborfreight.com/...gg_q=battery+charger

So far so good, but it's too early to brag...


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Posts: 5920 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been using Battery Tenders for decades, and have no complaints. I just hook them up, and go about my business. I also still have my old Schumacher Manual battery charger, just in case. Good to be prepared.
 
Posts: 5402 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
10mm is The
Boom of Doom
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I can't claim to be an expert, but I had Minn Kota marine battery charges installed in most of my vehicles. One left to go.

Speaking of which, I need to get on that.




The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People again must learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. ~ Cicero 55 BC

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Posts: 17154 | Location: Northern Virginia | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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