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Call this a Charger?

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#1 glgrumpy OFFLINE  


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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:06 PM

Fell for the little $5 battery keepers on HB sale. Bought two to put on a couple GT's that I never take batts out of. I went out yesterday in nicer weather and started some of my rigs. Two were down some. While messing with them, opened the packages and got out the chargers. Darn things didn't even spark when you hooked up or tapped the leads together. There is a light on them that comes on, and it does go out for the test tap. SO, hooked them up. Went out later that day to see if any diff. Nothing diff! Whaaa?  These things must have very little amps and I think pretty worthless. Nice clamps and coiled wires, tiny box and the charger for plug end. LOOKS like a tool, but just junk I think. Am I expecting too much for $5?  :wallbanging:

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#2 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:20 PM

Wouldn't have been made in China would they?
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#3 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  



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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:33 PM

I bought 2 from rural king for like 8 dollars each. They work awesome. Might be the same ones. Little black box, coiled positive and negative wires with a thin cable to a large plug
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#4 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:40 PM

I have one of those harbor freight solar battery trickle charger for my mustang. for as cheap as it was it works great
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#5 Chopperhed OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:43 PM

Most battery maintainers are only able to output milliamps at best.
Another thing is mine won't start to charge unless it senses some voltage, a lot of the modern "smart" automatic chargers do that. Hence they won't work on a stone dead battery. I f I have one that is stone dead I have to either jump it from a good battery for a few minutes, or use my old manual charger to get some juice in it.

My 50 dollar unit that I bought for keeping my bike and atv batteries alive only puts out 3/4 of an amp. and it has to sense voltage or it won't work

Probably not enough to make a spark.

It does keep them alive over winter though. most GT/ATV/Motorcycle batteries are only good for a year or two at best. My little maintainer has kept my bike battery going for almost 5 years.
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#6 Doxey OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 03:56 PM

I have about 8 of those.  These are only battery maintainers, not chargers like the big ones. The batteries have to be at full charge or close to it, and then when you go out a week or more later, the battery will be up and ready.

#7 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 04:01 PM

I have a couple of the HF $5 units and both worked great.  Used them on the camper batteries as the radio draws current all the time for the memory, as does the microwave for the clock.  Never did have any battery problems when using them.  Now I use them on the Gt's when In the machine shed, especially the ones I don't use much during the winter.  I think you might be expecting more than the maintainer is capable of producing.  Good luck.  Rog

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#8 ol' stonebreaker OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 05:07 PM

  As already said the HF $5 ones are "maintainers" not chargers. Read the output spec on them. The power supply says output- 15v A/C and 600 milliamps. I'm guessing they have a diode or rectifier in the little black box w/ the LED to change it to DC. I've been using them for several yrs and haven't had one fail yet.

      I just keep our camper plugged in to A/C power and let the converter take care of the batts. I also have the HF float chargers for the pontoon boat batt and the welder batts plugged into the camper.


Edited by ol' stonebreaker, February 07, 2016 - 05:13 PM.

#9 MiCarl ONLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 05:10 PM

I've got one of those $5 HF units.  I use it occasionally, but as stated it's a maintainer.  It'll have to be on a very long time to bring the charge up noticeably.

#10 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted February 07, 2016 - 05:58 PM

I really like my HF maintainer.  Works well and the only problem I have had is the wires just before the clamps is so tiny it often breaks.  Even being careful the clamp will just fall off.  Repaired that several times - otherwise I'm very pleased.

Also use mine as a charger on the motorcycle, gtractor,  and ATV batteries that are down some from sitting. 

The slower you charge a battery the better it is for the battery so the very low output is great.

Edited by Gtractor, February 07, 2016 - 05:58 PM.

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#11 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted February 07, 2016 - 06:21 PM

I have a half dozen of the HF battery tenders. Battery must be close to up, and over a few days you might get the battery to "come back" with them. I however, don't like them because the big red led stays on if hooked to the battery. So if breaker or GFCI trips or power outage... You have a parasite drain you have to deal with...

I have been buying the Schumacher SEM-1562A-CA battery trickle charger / maintainer. Has the ability to recover the battery, float charge once full, and if power goes out, it just turns off. Additionally, it has LED lights indicating what stage of the game it is in, charging or maintaining, and the more important LED telling you if you are reverse polarity. I accidently did that with a battery charger and melted the case of the battery. Also, this little maintainer has an "abort" feature, as well as automatically selecting between 6volts and 12volts charging of 1.5 amp charge rate. A lot of features for $25 price tag in my opinion. I am starting to change out from those $5 HF maintainers to these nicer maintainers.
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#12 Username OFFLINE  



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Posted February 07, 2016 - 06:24 PM

I call this a Charger.



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#13 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted February 07, 2016 - 06:29 PM

How about this "float charger"?
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#14 Jazz OFFLINE  

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Posted February 07, 2016 - 07:07 PM

I have used Napa trickle chargers for many years. It is bolted on top of battery and operated in unison with block heater. Easy starts no matter how cold.

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#15 grnspot110 ONLINE  



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Posted February 07, 2016 - 07:26 PM

I've used the HF models for years, I cut the clamps off & solder on two-wire connectors, have even used 1/4" phone jacks.  I did have one melt down last winter, first time I ever had any problems with them!

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