GP Triton Charger and 12V Pb Battery

Got the Triton Electrifly charger and wanted to charge up my 12V 4.5Ah
lead acid field box battery. I set a charge rate of 1.5Ah (C/3) for a
12V Pb battery type with a max of 14.5V but when I start the charge
process, it ramps down to a 0.1Ah rate. Not sure why it does this -
even on a fairly depleted (but old) field battery. I also get a
similar rate with a new 12V 7Ah sealed Pb battery.
Oh, the power supply? A Pyramid 13.8V 18 Amp constant (20 Amp surge).
Not yet tried any non Pb batteries.
Reply to
Old Garb
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How long did you let it sit?
I saw the same phenomenon on a lawn mower battery (12 V, uncertain amp rating), but after a while, the Triton was up in a reasonable range. It put a real good charge on the battery.
A friend just charged his motorcycle battery with the Triton. He set a low rate and it took a couple of days.
Sorry I can't remember the details of what I saw. Let it run for a few hours and see what happens.
Marty
Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ
About 20 hours.
This particular battery is nearing 5 years old and hasn't been maintained meticulously. It will charge up to 13.4V but won't get any higher than than. It also doesn't hold a charge very well.
I also tried to discharge it down to 10.8V then run it back up to a full charge.
My newer sealed 12V 7Ah Pb battery will charge up to it's cutoff voltage of 14.5V and end. Can't get a charge rate of above 0.2A even on this Pb battery though.
Reply to
Old Garb
| Got the Triton Electrifly charger and wanted to charge up my 12V 4.5Ah | lead acid field box battery. I set a charge rate of 1.5Ah (C/3) for a | 12V Pb battery type with a max of 14.5V but when I start the charge | process, it ramps down to a 0.1Ah rate. Not sure why it does this - | even on a fairly depleted (but old) field battery. I also get a | similar rate with a new 12V 7Ah sealed Pb battery. | | Oh, the power supply? A Pyramid 13.8V 18 Amp constant (20 Amp surge). | | Not yet tried any non Pb batteries.
I had a similar problem when I first got my Triton. Li-poly cells had the same problem. NiMH and NiCd cells worked fine.
Trying to determine what was going on, I measured the voltage at the battery I was charging, and compared to the Triton's reported voltage. The Triton reported a voltage that was almost a full volt higher -- making the charger think the battery was fully charged already.
It only reported the wrong voltage on Pb and Li-poly battery programs -- when charging NiCd and NiMH cells, it was accurate to within 0.02 volts or so. And of course, if I used the NiCd program with Pb batteries, the voltage displayed was correct. (Don't do this for long, however, as it will happily overcharge your battery and ruin it if you use the wrong program.)
I sent it back to Great Planes, and they fixed it for free, even though it was three months out of warranty before I noticed it.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
I'm interested in this series of exchanges, having just bought the Triton this week. Still haven't had time to try it out yet, but have skimmed the manual.
One question that I wonder about. It specifies the power supply should preferably be in the 10.5 - 15 volt range, with ability to deliver 13 amps while maintaining 12 volts. This seems to be asking it to strain a bit to effectively charge 12.8 volt lead acid batteries. Am I "nit picking" here?
I guess the more applicable question for my use is - will either my 12.5 volt, 3 amp regulated supply or my 15 volt, 6 amp regulated supply suffice for most needs? The 15 volt, 6 amp supply CAN be varied to a lower regulated supply voltage, so it would seem to be the most likely candidate, wouldn't it? Finally - when will I ever need the stated 13 amp supply capability, if the only lead acid batteries I will be charging are rated at 12.8 v at 6 AH?
Olin McDaniel
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Reply to
Olin K. McDaniel
| One question that I wonder about. It specifies the power supply | should preferably be in the 10.5 - 15 volt range,
By preferably it means absolutely. If you get out of this range, the charger will turn off and start beeping very loudly.
| with ability to deliver 13 amps while maintaining 12 volts. This | seems to be asking it to strain a bit to effectively charge 12.8 | volt lead acid batteries. Am I "nit picking" here?
You only need 13 amps to charge a battery with lots of cells at five amps. Charging it at a lower rate, or fewer cells, will use less power.
If you're charging less than 8 cells from 12 volts, then the actual current needed will not be much more than the rate you're charging at. So if you're charging at one amp, you'll not be using much more than one amp from the battery.
| I guess the more applicable question for my use is - will either my | 12.5 volt, 3 amp regulated supply or my 15 volt, 6 amp regulated | supply suffice for most needs?
Yes.
| The 15 volt, 6 amp supply CAN be varied to a lower regulated supply | voltage
15 volts might be too much ... better lower that.
| most likely candidate, wouldn't it? Finally - when will I ever need | the stated 13 amp supply capability, if the only lead acid batteries I | will be charging are rated at 12.8 v at 6 AH?
No. I'm not sure what the maximum safe charge rate for those would be, but I doubt it's over 2 amps. 3 amps would probably be ok for that.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
check this site out.
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Reply to
Eddie
I would guess that the Triton uses some kind of voltage multiplier to get the higher voltages needed for large, high capacity packs. In this case, you would need the high current capacity to charge these big packs at a rapid rate. Their rating for power supply is required to meet the charging capacity of the Triton.
If all you are going to do is charge lead acid batteries, you spent a LOT of money for little benefit as there are cheap wall wart types that do that job very well for under $10.00.
-- Paul McIntosh
Reply to
Paul McIntosh
Doug,
Thanks for the detailed responses - looks like none of my expected limitations are likely. Also thanks to Eddie for the lead to Red's site.
Actually, the things I was worried about were needless, but now there does seem to be a problem. The fan NEVER runs on my unit - even though the case and heat sink get distinctly hot. I talked this afternoon to the dealer from whom I bought it, he said for me to bring it back for exchange and he'll send it back to Great Planes. So, he offered to hold one for me til I can get back to his store next week.
Guess I focused on non issues, only to discover one that does matter. No big deal, since the exchange is freely offered.
Again thanks for the thoughtful answers.
Olin McDaniel
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Reply to
Olin K. McDaniel
| Actually, the things I was worried about were needless, but now there | does seem to be a problem. The fan NEVER runs on my unit - even | though the case and heat sink get distinctly hot. I talked this | afternoon to the dealer from whom I bought it, he said for me to bring | it back for exchange and he'll send it back to Great Planes. So, he | offered to hold one for me til I can get back to his store next week.
The fan seems to come on in two cases --
1) when the charger reaches a certain temperature. It doesn't even have to be charging anything -- it'll come on if it's in my car and the sun makes my car get too hot. As long as it has power, if it's hot the fan will come on.
2) When you're doing an operation that could generate lots of heat -- charging anything at less than 4 volts, changing at high amperages, or doing any sort of discharging.
Before you send yours in, hook up your biggest battery and tell it to discharge it at five (or is it three?) amps down to one volt. The fan WILL come on immediately if it's not broken. (Don't worry about draining/ruining the battery -- you're only going to be doing this test for a few seconds.)
If the fan doesn't come on then, then it's broken. If it does, it sounds like it's fine. Personally, I've found that my fan comes on when it's not really needed -- but that's ok.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
From everything I've been reading about the Triton...I'm glad I don't have one!
Reply to
jeboba
Thanks Doug. You gave me the final test needed to prove once and for all that this unit was flawed. The fan never did come on, no matter how hot the unit became.
The dealer was contacted, he quickly offered to exchange it for a new one from his inventory. This morning I obtained the replacement, and upon hooking up a single NiCd cell for use as a glow plug igniter, and starting the charge at 1.0 A. Immediately the fan came on and ran exactly as the manual stated it should.
So, clearly the book is correct, and the original unit did not perform as designed.
Thanks again,
Olin McDaniel
To reply by email, please remove "abcd" from Return address ----------------------------------------------------- "Ignorance is treatable, Stupidity is incurable. Sometimes the difference is hardly distinguishable, however."
Reply to
Olin K. McDaniel

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