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Buying a new battery charger


Boris113
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Hi all,

My mickey mouse battery charger has finally died and I was wondering what to replace it with. At the moment I use normal Halfords batteries on a couple of cars and the 90, but soon the land rover will have 2 Numax batteries and a split charge system. I think the current 90 battery is pretty knackered as it wont charge up, but not too sure whether it is the battery or the charger that is at fault.

Having done a search, people seem to recommend CTEK units, do they charge as well as recondition?

Are there any features that I should look out for in a charger, or a particular size/output?

I've not really got a budget in mind yet, but would ideally like a decent one that will last a few years.

Thanks,

Harry

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I have a small CETEC charger. It now lives most of the time on the side of the seat box.

With it being small it can take a fair ammount of time to fully charge a 100Amp battery.

You could look at the CETEC 250 and the smart charge......Whiskey before and after you see the prices....

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I have one of the larger Cteks (we used to sell them) I used it on my Ford 8210 tractor to keep the battery topped up all winter. It is an excellent bit of kit and survived being left out in the rain and snow plugged in to a weatherproof socket hidden in my hedge. I also have a couple of the small ones keeping the batteries topped up on our Dual Drive tractor.

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I have a small CETEC charger. It now lives most of the time on the side of the seat box.

With it being small it can take a fair ammount of time to fully charge a 100Amp battery.

You could look at the CETEC 250 and the smart charge......Whiskey before and after you see the prices....

Wow- even after a couple of drams it still seems expensive :(

I have one of the larger Cteks (we used to sell them) I used it on my Ford 8210 tractor to keep the battery topped up all winter. It is an excellent bit of kit and survived being left out in the rain and snow plugged in to a weatherproof socket hidden in my hedge. I also have a couple of the small ones keeping the batteries topped up on our Dual Drive tractor.

The 8210s are great machines, I spent a few weeks driving one with duals a couple of years ago, it was great fun on tight country roads! :ph34r:

Thank you for the advice so far, but having had a look around I have had to rule out the C-Tek, the price is astronomical and I don't think I would get the use out of it to justify it properly.

Landowner's suggestion of the Lidl one is tempting, especially considering the price of it. I've had a couple of power tools from them before and really can't fault them. The 6v option is also useful for the ride on lawn mower/quad bike.

http://www.lidl.co.uk/cps/rde/xchg/lidl_uk/hs.xsl/index_38025.htm

The other option is this one from Sealey:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMC03-BRAND-NEW-SEALEY-COMPACT-AUTO-DIGITAL-BATTERY-CHARGER-6-12-24V-/250949992343?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item3a6dc8ff97

It is the same as the Lidl one, but a bit more powerful and has the option of 24v. It also features a monitoring screen so you can see what is actually happening, and is suitable for more batteries e.g. gel types whereas the lidl one doesn't say if it is. It comes with different connections so it can be used with croc clips or hard wired, and overall looks a bit more durable (IP66)

Anyone have experience with the Sealey version or any other alternatives?

Cheers,

Harry

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I got 2 cteks, one for my landy and one for my dads MG. My dad leaves his on all the time to keep the battery topped up, I put mine on for a few days before an event just to make sure its charged. I like them because you know they aren't going to damage your battery if you leave them on.

I also have one of the clarke 12/24v start and charges that I use for charging from flat or jump starting. It will hapily charge at 30 or 40 amps, I even use it to get the 11 litre 6 cyl wagon at work going if its been stood for a few weeks and the batteries have gone soft.

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Never seen a rideon mower, or any mower for that, with a 6v battery, and I work on the effing things every day. It might be small but should be 12volt. Having had all sorts of issues with cheap chargers I will never use one again, false economy.

Oh and here's the 8210 Turbo

8210.jpg

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Another vote for a C-TEK charger.

I use the C-TEK 7000 Multi XS. Not cheap i know but, cheaper than buying a new battery every year or so.

As others have said, can be kept plugged onto vehicle and trickle charged throughout the winter, used as a normal charger, used as a 12v power supply and will recondition highly discharged batteries.

BTW Simon, nice dog

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Recently I had to resurrect 28 semi traction 140 Ah batteries that had been sitting unused for two years stored in a shed and exposed to frost.

They were fully charged by a huge but stupid old charger two years ago before entering storage. One year ago each of them was "charged" by one of those cheap "Lidl style" chargers.

When I took them out of storage some measured 11,9-12,0 V, a scant few a bit more, many down around 11,0 V and 5 of them was at 7,5 V. The "Lidl style charger" simply switched off after a few minutes, refusing to charge any of them.

Enter the CTEK MXS10 charger. On the recond program it took 10-16 hours to resurrect each battery, meaning I moved the charger to a new battery each day for a long while.

A month after being reconditioned in this way, most of them measures 12,6 V with only 2-3 down around 12,0 V.

I look forward to borrowing a battery load tester to test them under a simulated workload to further test the result.

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If you want a charger you can fit to the vehicle and leave it topping up over night - the CTec chargers are unbeatable!

For a general purpose charger, I'd recommend the Halfords Fully Automatic charger (the one in the black case).

It does a 3 stage charge (Voltage limited Bulk charge, current limited absorption charge, lower current limited float charge). They are very good at bringing batteries back from the dead!

The charge controller I built for my electric Freelander is based on the Halfords charge parameters. I posted the design here as an open source hardware project if anyone is interested. It has completed over 1000 charge cycles on my 220v battery pack - which is more than most would expect out of Lead Acid batteries (300 to 500 typical life) and is a testament, really to the Halfords Charger!

Si

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Thanks for all of the advice guys, I popped into Lidl to have a look at their offering, but they had sold out :(

Based on the advice I am now seriously considering a CTEK charger (£120max), although still looking at the Halfords version

I'm edging towards biting the bullet and going for the CTEK, especially considering I could be leaving the 90 tucked away in the shed for up to 6 months without being able to check on it (new job abroad). I've had a read around on the specs but still can't work out which one would suit my needs best?

I'm looking at the MXS 7.0 (£82.50) or possibly the CTE XS7000 (£119), however I don't really understand where the other one gains £35 of useful extras.

Simon- Sorry to hear about your german shepherd. I had a look and you were right- the mower was 12v!

Any and all advice welcome!

Harry

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I have an optimate that I got for my bike, it's excellent but a bit pricey, also if using on car batteries it can take a long time to charge/resurrect, I now use that and 3 halfords chargers plugged in permanently to keep the bike and the 3 landy batteries charged, the halfords ones are excellent and very good value for money

Mike

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