Does anyone have a car battery charger that you ACTUALLY LIKE

I am kind of disappointed with my own battery charger situation. I bought some "Smart Vector charger" from Walmart 1-2 years ago. It was
never working right and falsely claimed that I have bad batteries. Whereas they were good. I never had time to really look into it until a few days ago, when I became 100% convinced that the charger is crap and it is lying to me.
I went to Walmart to see if I could exchange it for another similar Vector, and found out that Walmart no longer carries that line, and seems to carry some other line of strange "800A starters", which look like they would fall apart even from making 200A.
Anyway. I digress.
Do you have a car battery charger that you actually like and could recommend. I would like it to function both as a smart charger/battery minder (providing periodic recharging automatically), as well as as a dumb charger that would just put out voltage when asked to.
thanks
i
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Ignoramus16400 wrote:

All I got for you is to read the fine print in the instructions very carefully, and expect to pay a whack of money for an honest rated charger booster. Look for one that has cables you could use on a decent sized welding machine. The cheapo lunchbox sized one I have claims to be able to supply 50A but the cables on it would likely go incandesent if they ever got that current through them. The fine print in mine says the 50A setting should be used no more than 7 seconds at a time.:-/
To the plus side, it's an OK cheesy battery charger, with no electronics to fry.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Trevor, good points all around. I am OK with a charger that would only put out 20A, but would do so honestly and continuously. I will just look for a military surplus charger at our Great Lakes base, unless I hear some bright ideas soon. I mean, I have some things at home, such as very good "smart trickle charger", power supplies, welder (that can supply voltage relatively precisely, with the control corcuit that I put in), etc. But it would be good to have a relatively compact battery charger.
Right now I am messing with several engines at once, crank them a lot and that requires a decent charger. Some are 12v, and some are 24v.
i
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Really GOOD chargers seem to be limited to the off-grid renewable energy market, and they cost a lot. They tend to be "smart" - dump current at a particular rate until a particular voltage is hit (bulk), hold that voltage for a time (adsorb), drop back to a lower voltage and hold that (float), and accept temperature sensors to adjust the voltages depending on what the battery temperature is. Haven't seen anything equivalent in "car battery chargers".
I have a completely stupid charger which works OK, but requires me to remember what I'm doing with it and shut it off (I suppose I could plug it into a time switch - or I could apply some of my mythical copious spare time to build a fancy circuit to achieve all that the off-grid battery chargers do, starting from its stupid output. Hasn't happened in the past decade or so....)
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Ignoramus16400 wrote:

I've got a Century 2/10/55A that's pretty smart, turns down to trickle when finished charging, I've used it to bring up a dead battery to starting condition in about 20 minutes. Polarity protected, too. The 55 A starting setting doesn't quite turn over the van's V6, though. Haven't used the 2A trickle charge setting, don't know how it works. Have seen some strange-looking chargers out there lately, the stylists have gone nuts with plastic shrouding, you can't stack the things on anything anymore. No meters, either. Got mine several years back at HF, they've got a chink look-alike now for about the same sale price I bought mine at. Your basic square tin ventilated box.
Stan
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Ive got a little Honda Civic with a 1300 engine and I keep running the battery down. Dome light usually left on overnight. All I have to get a little juice into it is a charger for RC car batteries up to 9 cells. The other night it was dead again and within 1 hour that little charger had pumped enough amps into a twelve volt car battery to get the thing started and it was flat dead. I was shocked. Well surprised....
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Big-assed Variac, 4 big-assed diodes in a full-wave rectifier, and a properly-shunted ammeter. Or mebbe an old welding/ConEd xformer. Fuck this solid state hocus-pocus bullshit.
Or, getcher ass on ebay and look for an old Snap-On (or equiv) garage charger on wheels, before they got stooopit. -- Mr. P.V.'d (formerly Droll Troll), Yonkers, NY Stop Corruption in Congress & Send the Ultimate Message: Absolutely Vote, for *Anyone BUT* a Democrat or a Republican Ending Corruption in Congress is the Single Best Way to Materially Improve Your Life entropic3.14decay at optonline2.718 dot net; remove pi and e to reply--ie, all d'numbuhs

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On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 15:17:19 -0500, "Proctologically Violated©®"

Used to have an old "silver beauty" booster/charger at the one shop I ran - would do automatic (timed) high rate, boost, or automatic(variable rate) slow charge. Did 6, 12, or 24 volt systems. Had a Marquette at another shop - did about the same, but I don't think it did variable rate. Both were pretty pricy back in the 'seventies.
I've got a "smart charger" now (here at home)that occaisionally says a battery has a bad (shorted) cell, when I'm sure it does not. Usually restarting it allows the battery to charge fully. So far only lied to me on AGM batteries.
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On Wed, 01 Nov 2006 00:53:17 -0500, clare at snyder.on.ca <clare> wrote:

Mine lies to me on my deep cycle batteries.
i
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The last one I bought is a Schumacher 2-amp/10-amp, 6V/12V, sealed/low maint/deep cycle job.
It does a banner job on all the types. I charge my little 7Ah gel cells from it. I charge my 850Ah troller battery. I charge my tractor and car batteries. I charge my lawn mowers.
The only thing it's ever done wrong is, it doesn't seem to know when a battery has a shorted cell. It will overheat a defective battery. But since I check the voltage of my batteries periodically, that's never been a significant problem.
The _best_ battery charger I own is a 36-volt golf cart charger by Textron. It uses a big fat CVT, and it has no 'brains' at all, except a motor-driven mechanical 12-hour timer. My golf cart batteries consistently last 6 years per set, and we drain them down to nuts between charges.
LLoyd
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wrote:

Very nice. Thanks.
i
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On Wed, 1 Nov 2006 13:48:13 +0000 (UTC), Ignoramus19127

And my AGMs are deep cycle. It's a Shinn Fu Power Runner I-7002
2-6 amp, 10-12 amp, and 15 amp charge rates.

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On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 19:57:17 +0000 (UTC), Ignoramus16400

I have one made by Schauer that I like. Model J512. It's called a "Tri-Power Charger". It trickle charges at 2 amps, charges at 12 amps, and starts at 50 amps. I'm a little dubious about the 50 amp claim because of the charging cables. However, it's about 6 years old and always works. When used for starting it will supposedly deliver that dubious 50 amps for about 10 seconds without frying anything. And when a battery is too low to turn over the engine that 50 amp boost will make the difference. Whenever I use it to try starting something with a battery too drained to work I let the charger charge the battery for at least 5 minutes. I would buy this model of charger again. ERS
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Ignoramus16400 wrote:

I have two chargers, a Sears 2/10/50 12V (mod 200-71222) and a Schumacher 10A 12/24V (mod SE-70MA) that both perform just fine and were sub $100. They are both the "lunch box" size though the 12/24V one is noticeably heavy for it's size. The "real" chargers are the hand truck style units and cost several hundred dollars. It's also rather difficult to find 24V chargers these days, I found mine at Bass Pro Shops since trolling motors are often 24V.
Pete C.
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Pete, thanks a lot, I will look for those. The hand truck sized ones are no doubt great, but too big for me.
i
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On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 20:48:43 +0000 (UTC), Ignoramus16400

I think mine came from an electric wheel chair, I paid $2 one Saturday morning, good for 5 amps. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Ignoramus16400 writes:

Schumacher SpeedCharge 2/10/30/60. Very intelligent, compact, versatile. Voltmeter, current, percent charge, alternator test displays. About $70. They seem to have bigger and smaller versions of the same design.
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Does it do deep cycle batteries also?
Also, does it properly handle situations when, say, I have a battery that I use for cranking, and I use the charger to keep it charged, and I crank it often so that the voltage drops from time to time etc? Or does its software become confused?
i
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Ignoramus16400 writes:

Yes, it has settings for conventional, deep cycle, and AGM/gel cell.

If you mean, can you leave it on while discharging the battery, not sure.
This same Web site has all the manuals online:
http://store.schumachermart.com/battery-chargers-automotive-speed-chargers.html
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Do you really need a pyooterized battery charger to charge a goddamm battery, deep cycle or not? AFAIK, yer just shoving electrons, in the form of reduced electrolytes, back to where they came from. Whazzup w/ the pyooters??
Now, iffin you want automatic shutoff based on charge, I can mebbe see that, but wow....
I swear to god, I saw a commercial for some electric toothbrush w/ a chip in it. And another one that talks. I thought golf was bad. Then Poker on TV. Now talking, pyooterized toothbrushes. I hope I wake up....
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