The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Battery charger comparison

comparing old battery charger with new one

I think I may have damaged the battery on our first ATV back in the early Summer when I trickled charged it all night with this ancient charger.

A little research will show that 4 amps is a lot for a small battery, and you need to disconnect it after so many hours before it starts to overcharge.

The new AutoCraft charger shuts off automatically and then shifts into a maintanance mode that will slowly send a charge but only when it needs it. No more guess work on when to shut off the old charger.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi Mark,

Yes, you are doubtless right.

Charging for a long time period with a constant current charger will boil away the fluid (water) and the battery will eventually fail, but the battery will become much less 'potent' long before that. It simply runs out of fluid.

You can refill the cells with distilled water and often fix the battery unless things have gone too far. Refilling with acid is typically not needed as it's usually just the water that is lost.

If you remove the cell caps you can simply look at  the fluid level in each cell. You can test the H2SO4 concentration and thus the charge with a hydrometer. I assume Anna knows all about them ?? :).

Note that 'gel' type batteries work the same way but are harder to measure with a hydrometer.

That said, I just buy a new battery at this point in my life.


p.s.- I continues to amaze me that someone doesn't offer a high capacity switching power supply as a battery eliminator. Just plug it in and start the engine. Electronics has gotten to the point where such a device this would be pretty easy to design and build, but so far as I know it is not for sale??

Comment by John Sun Nov 3 18:10:32 2013

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