Ping! Jim Wilkins - New HF Battery Chargers

Probably old news but I see in their latest monthly flier two new battery chargers:
https://www.harborfreight.com/4-amp-fully-automatic-microprocessor-controlled-battery-chargermaintainer-63350.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/2815-amp-automatic-microprocessor-controlled-battery-charger-63299.html
They look interesting and I would probably get one if I didn't already have a similar CTEK Charger. The Maintenance mode isn't explained for either one. You would have to play with one to find out what it does while analyzing the output. I looked at all the comments and didn't find anything there either. They claim to have a reconditioning mode for desulphating, but how it does this isn't explained...
Currently there is a $39.99 coupon for the larger version #63299. Code 29790926 thru 10-31-2017.
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Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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I'm trying to learn to quickly determine and sometimes improve the condition of old and second-hand batteries with my home made metered, adjustable chargers and the HF carbon pile load. A commercial charger that doesn't display battery voltage and charging current won't help me.
This partly explains how, using a Harbor Freight manual charger and a Variac: https://forums.goodsamclub.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/27313960/print/true.cfm "The CONTROL that a VARIAC affords a transformer charger battery charger makes the most "expensive" so called smart-charger equalization mode a Marx Brothers farce. So-called smart chargers cannot hope to accomplish what a human being can with a VARIAC, battery charger, digital voltmeter and an accurate hydrometer."
"Shore power" is a boating term that means electricity from the grid, instead of the boat's generator or battery.
-jsw
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2017 13:13:36 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

The lovely CPU they refer to is likely a comparatively expensive one (costing nearly $0.43, ah reckon.) compared to their

The first didn't show current and the second showed current OR voltage, but not both onscreen. Feh!

Karl and Harpo? So, do you agree with him? If so, why do you suppose nobody had put out a good, adaptable, smart type of charger, at any price? I don't see a whole lot of difference between cheap and expensive plug-in chargers, and not much adaptability until you get up into the better solar controller smarts, but I'm just learning the ropes, too.

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My guess is that the suitable equipment is sold as "lab power supplies" to those few of us who have learned how to use them to properly charge batteries. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_with_a_power_supply This is what a Smart Charger can't do without help from a Smart User: "Select the charge current according to battery size. For lead acid, this is between 10 and 30 percent of the rated capacity." "Once the battery is fully charged and the current has dropped to 3 percent of the rated Ah, the charge is completed."
The spec sheets and application notes for battery controller ICs explain the problems they try to address. http://www.ti.com/lsds/ti/power-management/battery-charger-ic-overview.page I was mainly concerned with the automatic management of industrial Lithium batteries.
-jsw
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2017 15:40:18 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

I finally picked up a 0-30v/5a Chi lab supply a few years ago. Love the current limiting. I haven't yet used it to charge a battery, though.

Yes, smart chargers aren't.

Yes, the BMS seems to be much better at 'smarts' for lithiums. Evidently, though, BMSes aren't all they're said to be. https://www.fullspectrumpower.com/blogs/full-spectrum-news/8310438-balance-charger-or-bms-for-lightweight-lithium-battery
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wrote:

A lab supply can bring back a power tool Nicad pack that has discharged too far for its charger to accept, or a Lithium that has self-discharged below the disconnect voltage. My stock of tabbed 18650s came from cell phone chargers that had done that in storage and appeared to be dead.
Unless the power supply is specifically rated to charge batteries I'd put a diode in series to block battery voltage from damaging the output if it's shut off while connected. http://www.mastechpowersupply.com/ "In the last three years, we have significantly improved reliabilty and fault tolerance by adding over-voltage and reverse-voltage protection to most of the updated models under the new brand of Volteq."
I bought this to show the battery voltage after the diode drop. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
It can be powered by the battery it's measuring, or from a surplus cell phone charger and used as a bench voltmeter.

They have brains but not eyes.

That's a marketing and accounting issue, the engineering is cheap and simple.
-jsw
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2017 13:13:36 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

I'm curious: What do you think of the advice and tutorial info from this site?
http://batteryuniversity.com/
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Ed Huntress

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Their explanations are clear and don't conflict with other battery manufacturers' recommendations. This is the sponsor: http://www.cadex.com/en
-jsw
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On Thu, 5 Oct 2017 15:46:44 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

Good, and thanks. I've been using them as a source for 8 or 10 years, and I just wanted to be sure I wasn't leading anyone astray.
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Ed Huntress

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