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Old     (OnlyButter)      Join Date: Oct 2011       05-20-2014, 5:18 AM Reply   
I keep my boat in storage that unfortunately has no electrical power or I'd have been using an on-board charger. I have to ghetto it and remove both of my stereo bank batteries, take them home and charge them. Any recommendations on a home charger for these two batteries? I think they're Group 27 deep cycles. It's easy for me to swap the charger every other day or so since it's right in my garage, and would like to go the cheap route.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       05-20-2014, 7:38 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnlyButter View Post
I keep my boat in storage that unfortunately has no electrical power or I'd have been using an on-board charger. I have to ghetto it and remove both of my stereo bank batteries, take them home and charge them. Any recommendations on a home charger for these two batteries? I think they're Group 27 deep cycles. It's easy for me to swap the charger every other day or so since it's right in my garage, and would like to go the cheap route.
Sure, you can go the cheap route (low amperage maintenance only charger) IF you place the batteries into storage fully charged at 12.5 to 12.7 volts (depending on age and status).
But if the batteries are placed into storage with far less than full voltage then you need an 8 to 10 amp charger. At that level you are probably looking at a dual bank charger anyway.
The place you cannot 'go cheap' is with a blunt 2/5/10 amp (for example) garage emergency charger. You need a smart charger.
You need a good & strong initial charge once the batteries are brought home. After that the self-discharge is so low on a healthy battery in isolation that a 24 hour stint on the charger once a month for each battery should be sufficient.
Old    Connor (iShredSAN)      Join Date: Apr 2012       05-20-2014, 7:49 AM Reply   
I have this same issue as well. I am considering a solar trickle charger with a controller. David, would something like this work due to the fact that I do not have access to a power outlet or is it going to be a waste of time and $? I have two deep cycles and a marine cranking.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50022...pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-7-Amp...xgy_auto_img_y
Old    William Burell (williamburell)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-20-2014, 8:25 AM Reply   
What I did was get an onboard charger and mount it on a piece of wood with a handle. Also changed the ends to alligator clips. That way it can just sit on my work bench. That way I can either just throw the batteries on the bench during winter or I can carry the charger to the driveway and just clip right on to the batteries without screwing around with unbolting.
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-20-2014, 9:44 AM Reply   
I might get flamed for this, but I've got a pair of these and they are what I use to keep my batteries topped off without over-charging them:

http://www.harborfreight.com/automat...ger-42292.html



I do have an actual smart charger that I can use that asks me the type of battery, size of battery, etc. that will deliver that strong initial charge like David was talking about.

I also wired in some digital volt meters so I can see what my batteries are at easily.
Old    FENCE SENCE (fence_sence)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-20-2014, 10:22 AM Reply   
I just picked up one of these over the winter. Works great. Not sure how long it will last but, its a decent brand so, we'll see.

http://mobile.walmart.com/ip/Schumac...arger/15140196
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-20-2014, 10:30 AM Reply   
Mine is a smart charger where you don't choose the amp rate. It's an older version of this:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher...0-Amp/19526019
Old    Jay Wedsted (jbird)      Join Date: Jun 2011       05-20-2014, 11:32 AM Reply   
I also keep my boat at a storage unit, but usually bring it home once a week, Ill hook up the same charger as Fence and it doesn'ttake too long to top the batteries off, without taking them out of the boat!
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-20-2014, 11:47 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by trayson View Post
Mine is a smart charger where you don't choose the amp rate. It's an older version of this:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Schumacher...0-Amp/19526019
I like that it has a setting to choose whether you're charging a regular battery, a deep cycle, or an AGM/Gel battery. It also has a "small or large" setting so you're not cooking smaller batteries like the one in my motorcycle.
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-20-2014, 4:03 PM Reply   
I have an even lower tech, cheaper version. I have a DC power supply from a cable box that puts out 12V 3.2 amps. I took off the round plug connector and put that into negative and positive measured with a multimeter. hook the ends of that up to my truck battery to trickle charge them. It has no voltage regulation on it, but it works just as well as any trickle charger to top off the batteries. I use it because my truck sits for a long time, especially in the winter, and is mainly only used to hull stuff in the summertime and get me to the boat ramp. I don't use it much, but it helps. I just keep it connected, pull the cord out of the hood and plug it into an extension cord. Low profile and is there all the time.
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-20-2014, 4:25 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathom View Post
I have an even lower tech, cheaper version. I have a DC power supply from a cable box that puts out 12V 3.2 amps. I took off the round plug connector and put that into negative and positive measured with a multimeter. hook the ends of that up to my truck battery to trickle charge them. It has no voltage regulation on it, but it works just as well as any trickle charger to top off the batteries. I use it because my truck sits for a long time, especially in the winter, and is mainly only used to hull stuff in the summertime and get me to the boat ramp. I don't use it much, but it helps. I just keep it connected, pull the cord out of the hood and plug it into an extension cord. Low profile and is there all the time.
Because $6 at harbor freight is too much money and you're willing to sacrifice voltage regulation?
Old    Surf Addict (Desi) (phathom)      Join Date: Jun 2013       05-20-2014, 5:57 PM Reply   
It was there...
I originally was planning on using it just for a spare battery bank, but have since used it as a trickle charger. I should get a legit one, but since I rarely use it, it hasn't been a priority. Also it took like 24 hours to charge 4x 12ah batteries that were like 25% charged. I'm not really worried about it overcharging for the few hours I use it to topboff the battery.
Old     (OnlyButter)      Join Date: Oct 2011       05-23-2014, 4:57 AM Reply   
Is this a good one for me? I'd use this weekly (go to lake on weekends, take both stereo bank batteries home, and charge them all week long. Rinse and repeat.

Also can I hook the batteries up in parallel to charge both at once?

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Diehard-80...Start/15140190
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-23-2014, 6:38 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by fence_sence View Post
I just picked up one of these over the winter. Works great. Not sure how long it will last but, its a decent brand so, we'll see.

http://mobile.walmart.com/ip/Schumac...arger/15140196
I've had that same one for a couple of years. It seems to do its job. I've snipped the power leads off and replaced with an anderson connector, with corresponding connectors wired onto the posts of my batteries so I don't even have to open the battery box to charge.



Certainly more ghetto than a prosport, but at this point, without shore power in my storage unit, seems to be working.

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