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Battery Chargers..What do you use?

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  • Battery Chargers..What do you use?

    I am looking to buy a new selection of battery chargers for use with cars, pickups, trucks and tractors.

    What do you recommend?



  • #2
    Schumacher was a good name. I assume it still is...

    I pulled an old one of these out of the dump:

    It had a contact on the transform that had wiggled loose, so I fixed it and it's been working great ever since. Has enough juice to do everything I've ever wanted, plus it works great for electrolytic rust removal


    • #3
      For long-term storage, it's hard to beat a float charger. They will keep a car or motorcycle battery at 13.2 VDC all of the time. They are perfect for a wet cell or AGM type battery.

      I use the Battery Tender Jr. made by Deltron. I have three of them and the batteries are always ready to go.


      • #4
        I keep a 2 amp / 6 amp for the motorcycle batteries;

        a 6 amp / 20 amp / 125 amp for auto batteies

        regulated power supplies for the RV coach and electronics systems.

        on the vehicle chargers I replace the standard power cord with a 50 foot extension cord.


        • #5
          I use the Battery Tender Jr. made by Deltron. I have three of them and the batteries are always ready to go.



          • #6
            Anyone else?

            I would assume everyone has a vehicle with a battery in it. ;<)

            Also any other sites I could post this question to?




            • #7
              Battery Tender. Nothing any better for the money


              • #8
                I use an old antique Marquette, it's actual professional grade, not the modern use of the term.

                Can't beat it for power, and versatility only real drawback is that it is heavy, smaller than the typical 115v mini-welder, and even heavier than good one.

                Needs to have a slight charge in the battery to start it up. (can't be used to power a radio for example) It's confusing to some people because you have a couple switches and a timer to mess with, along with the 100amp boost button.
                (got that one because the owner tossed it when he didn't get a spark from tapping the leads together.)

                Also use a cheap allied 10/50 amp that's about 28 years old now, bought for an emergency that actually turned out to be a good purchase. It's used mostly to keep a charge on deep cycle batteries because it's automatic and will do a trickle charge

                Then I have a very old sear craftsman 1-6 amp for motorcycle batteries.

                If you want an all in one charger, look for automatic, something that has a solid boost, and also a low trickle capacity.



                • #9
                  A Craftsman 2,12, 70 Trickle ,regular and boost. Plus a battery tender for the Bikes. That all you need.
                  Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


                  • #10
                    Battery tenders are a great product for maintenance. I have been using this clone for many years with great results and a little cheaper, if cost is important to you.
                    Edit, Good for long term storage, not to bring up to charge.


                    • #11
                      Built my own years ago.... It consists of a variac feeding a 20amp transformer (this gives a nice 0-20vac voltage source). This output is fed either to a battery charging /regulation module removed from a Thermo King transport refrig unit (great for charging 12v battery) or to a multi voltage regulator board I built for other misc power applications that come up now and then (ie testing relays, solenoids, clutches, etc).


                      • #12
                        I have vehicles with batteries. I built my own charger. It's pretty much a standard power supply design- transformer, bridge rectifier, large filter capacitor. It has two outputs, one is the raw voltage off the cap, and I have a terminal that comes off that which is used for a fast charge. The other is regulated at 13.4 volts IIRC, and I use that for when I'm not going to be around to monitor it.

                        If I need the fast charge, I hook that terminal up. The charge rate is determined by how high the ac input voltage is at the time, how good my connections are, and what the condition of the battery is. Not very precise, but it works. I'm sure there's a duty cycle spec involved since it could well be overloading the power supply depending on conditions. A shorted cell will make the thing really work.

                        The regulated output is ok to keep a battery topped, or to feed it some charge so it's not as low as it could be otherwise. That voltage is not enough to bring it up to full charge, but will float it pretty much fully charged.

                        I know this doesn't help because I'm not going to build you one and send it to you. But I am a vehicle owner so there you go.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          If you have machines that sit for a long time out of season buy VRLA batteries for them (Valve Regulated Lead Acid). These are NOT GEL CELLS. They are spill proof, and are rated to around 300 to 500 full discharges without damage. They are commonly used for machines like electric wheel chairs. The biggest advantage is that they don't need a maintaining charger. The ones I have are rated to lose no more than 20% charge in two years if left unused. An 18 amp hour battery, which is lawn tractor size, can supply 250 cranking amps and costs around $50. A 55 amp hour battery can pump out 500 amps and is the size of a small car battery for $120.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                          • #14

                            Why do you need a "selection" of chargers? Chargers are widely available that have assorted voltage and amp outputs with different charge cycles that are relatively inexpensive.

                            I have 2 nearly identical units I bought on sale from the local Canuck Tire for less than $70. Both have 6 and 12 v settings at 2, 20 and 75 amps for conventional and deep cycle charging. The only reason I have 2 is I got stranded 100 miles away from my shop with a flat battery.

                            I use these on the family fleet which range from the electric start roto-tiller w/ +/- 30 CCA through the motorcycle, quad, car, truck, and assorted tractors, the largest battery of which is 12v - 1100 CCA. The 75 amp is almost big enough to replace boosting on all but the largest systems. An hour on 20 amps and a shot at 75 amps while cranking and my little 3 cylinder diesel starts at -20C.

                            I don't use trickle chargers as a rule. My stuff is way too widely scattered for good access to power. Besides the assorted extension cords around the place lead a rough life what with the lawn maintenance crew mowing them, the local maladroit sawing them off, dropping grinders with wire wheels on them, and general abuse...
                            Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


                            • #15

                              This is my POWER HAMMER drive, motor, spindle running in bearing blocks.. I added in the alternator to drive the edm, or tiny welder.. so..

                              it can however boost off a car in the shop. The shumacher chargers I got are puny.. this is tim the tool man tough.. AND, once I get a new alternator from Autozone, guaranteed for life.. HA..
                              Excuse me, I farted.