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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe somebody else has already discussed this....

I checked the details of the "Battery Tender" that looks like the converter/chargers used for printers, cell phones, etc. I found that the electrical specs from the "Battery Tender" were identical to several of the extra chargers I had stuffed in a drawer. So for around $7 in quick connectors I made a couple of my own battery tenders. Anybody else try this? All you electric guru's out there.... is there anything I should watch for? The ones I made rate the output at 13.5 volts at .75 amp. Another one is 12.8 volts at 1 amp; and a third one is 12 volts at 1 amp.

Pastor Ron
 

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I may be wrong about this, but what you made is a battery charger rather than battery tender. The charger will always be delivering current to the battery, while the tender shuts off & on as needed, preventing overcharging.
 

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Hey Ron,

Shroom is right, you have a battery charger...not a tender. The tenders have monitoring circuitry in them to turn them off when the battery reaches a set voltage high level and then back on when they reach a low level.

For the chargers you have...I would try the 13.5V charger for an hour a day. You can get one of those christmas light timers (you know, the ones that can be turned on for a set time over 24 hours). I wouldn't run it more than that though. You could run it longer than that, but there really isn't a need to. And, you run the risk of "cooking" the battery if you leave it on charge too long.

As for the other two chargers, I wouldn't use them if I had the 13V one. The typical battery have 12.5-13V on it when fully charged. While the other two wouldn't be completely useless, wouldn't necessarily give you a full charge on the battery. Enough of a charge, but not a "full" charge.

Just a little note about your bike's charging system. When you are running at speed (45mph or higher) and your battery is below normal charge, your charging system is putting out 13.5-14.4V.

Hope this helps.
 

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I agree with putting one on a timer as the best method, but you could use either the 12v or the 12.8v without the timer and not cook the battery. See, what happens when we cook a battery is we are actually charging it above what it's capacity in its self is.

RV's have this problem when people leave them plugged in all winter long, but only on some campers. Here is the reason: If your charger/converter is putting out ~13.2V and your battery only wants 12.8v max, then the extra .4v will be dissipated in heat and eventually the battery will go try... But if your charger/converter is putting out 12.5v, and the battery can go to 12.8v, then over time the battery voltage will drop to the 12.5v that the converter is putting out but not go below this. I have replaced many batteries in campers come spring time, and every one when I check the converter output it is above 13v. My camper, I leave plugged in year round when not in use, but the output on it's converter is 12.5-12.7 pretty much all the time and I have not had a battery cook as of yet.

The simple of it is, that if both supply and battery are at the same voltage, there won't be any current flow until the battery drops below the supply. I would not leave the 13.5v plugged in all the time, and verify the lower voltage ones too. Many times that is the voltage they will have with a load and may be slightly higher with no load.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Battery charging

:D Thanks guys! This is so cool have such a wealth of information and willing help! You guys have have helped me and enlightened me in so many ways! Really appreciate it! :wink:

I thought about putting a limiter in-line but my thinking was that if the max volts are the same or less then the charger cannot exceed that limit and it is within the battery range. My thinking was that it is on the same order as a small battery charger that you use for AA, or AAA, or 9 volt battery's, you can leave them in the charger (some types) until you need them... or like my cordless drill, I have a spare battery that is in the charger til I need it... the charger works within the voltage limitation of the battery. And being that it is such a low amp out put (1 amp or less) then the "cook" potential is nil... given that the overall voltage output of the charger does not exceed the max voltage of the battery!

OK... I am a complete amatuer at this stuff.... that's why i need you guys!
Thanks!

Ron


Ron
 

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Re: Battery charging

Pastor Ron A said:
I thought about putting a limiter in-line but my thinking was that if the max volts are the same or less then the charger cannot exceed that limit and it is within the battery range. My thinking was that it is on the same order as a small battery charger that you use for AA, or AAA, or 9 volt battery's, you can leave them in the charger (some types) until you need them... or like my cordless drill, I have a spare battery that is in the charger til I need it... the charger works within the voltage limitation of the battery. And being that it is such a low amp out put (1 amp or less) then the "cook" potential is nil... given that the overall voltage output of the charger does not exceed the max voltage of the battery!
Your small battery charger and drill chargers have the monitoring circuity to shut off when it reached optimum charge. That is why it displays a different color light when it is done charging.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Battery charging

Oh! :oops: Now I have to go tell my wife that I "don't" know everything... darn, I hate when I have to do that! :roll:

Ron
 

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Re: Battery charging

Pastor Ron A said:
Oh! :oops: Now I have to go tell my wife that I "don't" know everything... darn, I hate when I have to do that! :roll:

Ron
No...Don't do that !!!

Just go tell her all that you have learned and she will be extremely impressed that old dogs can learn new tricks. :twisted: :twisted: :lol: :lol: :twisted: :twisted: :shock: :shock:
 

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Re: Battery charging

Spirit_1100 said:
Pastor Ron A said:
I thought about putting a limiter in-line but my thinking was that if the max volts are the same or less then the charger cannot exceed that limit and it is within the battery range. My thinking was that it is on the same order as a small battery charger that you use for AA, or AAA, or 9 volt battery's, you can leave them in the charger (some types) until you need them... or like my cordless drill, I have a spare battery that is in the charger til I need it... the charger works within the voltage limitation of the battery. And being that it is such a low amp out put (1 amp or less) then the "cook" potential is nil... given that the overall voltage output of the charger does not exceed the max voltage of the battery!
Your small battery charger and drill chargers have the monitoring circuity to shut off when it reached optimum charge. That is why it displays a different color light when it is done charging.
Actually this is true only on the better chargers, those cheapies still never turn off...

You don't want a constant charger to maintain your battery at it's "Peak", but just a little below it. The peak of a battery is a very small line, go just above it and you create heat that you don't want.

Also, your charging system on the bike will put out up to 14.5v if needed, but it is not going to be charging 24 hrs a day either. It is designed to take the drain from starting, and be able to replentish it quickly. If you was to supply 14.5v to your battery by riding non-stop for days on end, it would cook your battery just the same, but since nobody does that, it never happens.

Whichever method you choose, you won't loose. The price of the maintainers at $25-$40 is very reasonable for what they can do... Me, I have enough of these little chargers around, and I have done enough with them that I will probably use one, but I wouldn't feel bad to have a maintainer in my shop supplies either..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Battery Charger

Lot's of great help and suggestions, thanks everybody!
One of the reasons that I am doing this is that I have three bikes in my garage to put on chargers (my son's, my son-in-law, and mine), I didn't want to buy three chargers, particularly if I already had something equivilent and sufficient on hand. I know, I could buy one Battery Tender and just rotate it around from bike to bike week after week but if I can dedicate a charger to each bike, put them on a timer so that they cycle then I can let them sit until ready to ride. Another reason is quite simply, I like to make things! :D



Ron
 

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parallel-gang batteries

Well... you could get yourself 6 alligator clips that are big enough to clamp onto your battery posts, and some 12-gauge insulated wire, and connect all your positives together and connect all your negatives together and run 'em off one battery tender - I have two cycles and have been keeping both batteries in my shed on a tender. Just don't connect the positives to the negatives...!

wawawayne
'95 Shadow ACE 1100, '79 Yamaha XS1100 (or "XS-a lemon", as the shop guys say)
 

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Or get leads with SAE connectors for each battery and a Y-cable and extensions for the tender -- a setup that I have. But since the 2 bikes are parked too far apart right now :oops: , I just move the tender from one to the other each Sunday morning.
 

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Re: parallel-gang batteries

wawawayne said:
connect all your positives together and connect all your negatives together and run 'em off one battery tender - I have two cycles and have been keeping both batteries in my shed on a tender.
Charging batteries in parallel works well as long as the batteries are in good condition. If one battery is in better condition, it may take all the charge and the weaker battery will remain less than completely charged. The automatic charger sees the higher voltage of the good battery and shuts off. It is best if batteries being charged in parallel are the same size and age.

Even on trucks and tractors that have identical batteries purchased as a pair, it is a good idea to charge individually if they have been discharged more than normal. Unequal charging in parallel is more likely to happen with older batteries.
 

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Placing two batteries in parallel is easy to do, but not so good on the batteries as gotopage69 said.

let's look a little deeper into this:

Two batteries in parallel in a truck situation where they will be used for their service life is the best situation. They charge and discharge at the same rate because they are identical and replaced at the same time. They are the same brand, same size, and have the same charging characteristics as well as discharging characteristics.

Two batteries in parallel that are of different manufacturers have slightly different charging characteristics. If removed from different cycles they have seen different useage patterns as well. This isn't a great scenario, but it can work. Best if both batteries have been placed on a charger seperately so they are both charged to the same voltage first. Then placed in parallel for a maintence charge.

Two batteries of unequal charge paralleled together is going to flow current from the one that has the most charge into the one that has the least charge. Depending on the size of the wire and the amount of voltage differential, the current that flows could be from a very small amount to a very large amount. You can destroy a good battery if placed in parallel with a battery that has a shorted cell.

Of course, the best case scenario is to purchase seperate maintenence chargers for each battery. This will insure the best possible charge for each battery. Black and Decker sells a 2/1 amp float charger manufactured by Vector that works pretty well. $20 at Wally World.

Building a battery charger may seem simple on the surface, and a simple charger can also work, but for float charging you really want something that is automated (turns on and off as per battery requirements). It is best if it pulses (high frequency) the battery instead of using a DC source that is filtered. The battery will take the charge better and it may decrease sulfation of the cells. Pretty much, it's more cost effective to get the proper charger than it is to build a charger.

Good luck with your charging and ride safe!
 
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