battery charger recommendations

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by fishhead, Mar 20, 2017 at 5:34 PM.

  1. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure that my battery charger is working like it's supposed to work.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an economical battery charger? I only use mine a few times each year for charging the mower battery and such.
     
  2. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I had a small Shumacher that had lasted couple decades. It finally gave up ghost last year. I bought a 6A baby blue one made in China. Label was in Chinese so couldnt tell you the brand. It worked several times. This last time the green light never came on to show battery fully charged. Battery had enough to ring the door chime, but not enough charge to even click starter solenoid. Failed. It was like $12 shipped so didnt imagine it was any great shakes. And I might just got bad one??? Thats all I know except the name brand small chargers seem way overpriced for what they are.

    Might look on Harbor Freight site and see reviews on their charger? Cant be any worse than the baby blue Chinese one.
     
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  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    Reviews on the HF chargers is about 3 stars for all of them.

    You should be able to use a volt meter to check to see if your charger is working. One side goes to positive + red clamp, the other side goes to Negative - black clamp.

    :D Al
     
  4. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I'd go with a Black and Decker smart charger for the digital voltage meter and desulphating ability. If you find one painted yellow, it's one of the original Vectors made before Black and Decker bought them. They come up occasionally on eBay. It's an example of a great product that was cheapened by a succeeding manufacturer. As long as you don't use the B&D heavily it will be fine. I've since found and bought original yellow Vector built models.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MichaelZ

    MichaelZ Well-Known Member Supporter

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  6. Nimrod

    Nimrod Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what you will use it for. A small battery, like the one in your riding lawn mower, should be charged at 1 or 2 amps. Car starting batteries should be charged at 6 or 10 amps. It's OK to charge a car starting battery at 2 amps but it takes longer. If you are going to be charging deep cycle batteries, get a charger that has a switch from "SLI" to "deep cycle". You probably don't need a charger that charges 6 volt batteries unless you have an old car or tractor that has a 6 volt system. Get a charger that automatically reduces the charge to a maintenance rate when the battery is full. If you get one that doesn't, it will boil out the electrolyte if you forget to turn it off.

    I have a Schumacher that has the features listed above. The only complaint I have is that the wires get really stiff in the cold weather which is the time it's most needed.
     
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  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I suppose I have buy another charger since baby blue died. Been looking this morning. I cant find any that arent computerized up the wazoo. Most of these wont charge a dead battery!!!! has to have like 10V for it to actually do any charging. In other words just a top off charger.

    I'd buy another one of those little Schumachers in an instant that lasted couple decades, but they are long gone. Like saying I'd buy a new 1959 pickup. They just dont make them anymore.

    And like everything, the more complex, the more chance of it going fubar. Same exact model, some might last, some might not.
     
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  8. Hitch

    Hitch Well-Known Member

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    I have a Shumacher charger too and it works fine. One thing with lead batteries is you don't want to let them go low before recharging them. It's best to keep them on a charger that does a trickle charge all the time.
     
  9. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Ok, doesnt seem to be anyway to tell longevity of any battery charger. Reviews tend to be from people that just bought the thing, so unless its dead out of box.... I finally searched for Shumacher chargers on ebay. I even found couple like one that lasted for me, but I gave like $15 back in the day and they want like $35. No way to know if its actual duplicate or one that was cheapened as they sold these for many years. Items tend to get cheapened if still sold as time goes by. They cheapen them to make up for inflation and to increase profit.

    At bottom of search results, found a new open box of discontinued Schumacher SC3 for $12 shipped. 8A model with maintenance circuit. Supposed to have been a display model never actually used though guy says he tested it. Its on its way. I figure any new Schumacher ought to be worth $12. Thats what I gave for that no name Chinese baby blue. Oh and those are still selling on ebay though I wouldnt recommend them (they came in baby blue, yellow, and saw an orange one today).

    Guy had like 6 of the Schumacher SC3 and there was another one in another auction, sold as a working store return, for $13. Walmart.com still has couple officially new retail, available on their website for $29 plus shipping.
     
  10. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about that baby blue Chinese battery charger. Remembered when I first got it, noticed it had a little fan that pretty much ran all time it was charging battery. Then it got so it was only on part time, and that last time it didnt come on at all. I had somehow just thought it only came on at certain temp, but that probably unlikely on something like a cheap battery charger, for that probably just wire it to run full time.

    Guessing it overheated without the fan. Probably if I had opened it up and replaced fan with new computer fan when I first noticed, even if it had to be powered independent of the charger circuitry, it would lasted longer. Tiny computer fans are literally dime a dozen so been worth the efffort. Everything anymore seems engineered to be as borderline fragile as possible to maximize profit and instigate quicker replacement purchase. I've seen so much stuff that was a good idea, but cheapened to point that it became pointless.
     
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  12. Bellyman

    Bellyman Well-Known Member

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    Mine is complaining, especially when it's really cold outside, but it's still running. I haven't taken it apart to look at what fan it would take for a replacement.
     
  13. phrogpharmer

    phrogpharmer Well-Known Member

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    There are usually a couple of battery chargers at our local weekly auction. Farm auctions are also a pretty good place to find them. Often they are American made. They usually go for not much. I have three that I've picked up over the years two for the vehicles and one for small batteries, they work fine.