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Charger that worked better than buying new car battery.
Charger that worked better than buying new car battery.
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Old 11th October 2017, 09:43 PM   #1
danielwritesbac is offline danielwritesbac  United States
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Default Charger that worked better than often buying new car batteries.

The storebought chargers could not help it.

My take on modernizing a circa 1915 car charger went like this.
Analog lamp timer with 48 stops (30 minute increments).
15v laptop adapter smps pack.
One, 10 amp 100v diode (similar low volt high current is fine).
Taillight from Wal-Mart (for dual coil stop-n-turn incandescent bulb).

I put the charger at 3 on, 3 off, 2 on, 2 off, 1 on 1 off repeating cycle. However, if you have only 24 stops do, hour on, hour off, 2 hour on, 2 hour off repeating cycle.

I used the taillight with 2-coil light bulb as a DC series element. Both coils set parallel--this unit used as a series element. Edit: Caution, heat for this project will be in that taillight.

The diode was also used as a DC series element. The 6a or 10a, 100v or 200v will drop 0.6v~0.9v and thus the voltage is reduced to what a normal car alternator will do with the engine running. Also, the diode is necessary to protect the SMPS laptop pack during the lamp timer cycling on/off in attempts to de-sulfate the battery.

The 15vdc laptop pack with the 2 series elements described, managed to do absolutely nothing for the first two hours. After that, the bulb lit with a dim glow. Three days after that the battery measurements were like an elderly battery, willing and able. At this point, perhaps don't drive anywhere that take more than 2 hours unless buying a new battery is your goal. Two weeks later, the news is different. 12.89vdc at idle it did. Like a new battery, was the result.

I don't drive often, and the battery in the 1993 Cadillac DeVille tends to falter before I get the urge to drive. But, not today. I though it a good idea to reduce the charge cycles to 3 2 1 just twice a day with the 48 stop mechanical timer.

Apparently our great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers had really good ideas on how to charge batteries. They did more eloquent circuits than my simplified rendition. Yeah, its crude, but I really love it because I can use the car!!!!

Edit:
De-sulfate attempt doesn't really substitute for a new battery. However it does substitute for a dead battery that's been hooked up to a modern charger provisioned with LED's to serve up a dim excuse. Instead, our incandescent indicator lights to indicate charging in progress.
This isn't for old batteries.
It is for boat, RV and the rarely driven car, typically with a newer battery hooked up to a storebought trickle charger or "tender" until the new battery suffers death-by-marketing; or, the battery that is run down and full charged several times until a modern charger faults. Batteries harmed that way are usually less than 2 years old. So, my charger is for that case.
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Last edited by danielwritesbac; 7th November 2017 at 04:10 PM. Reason: application
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:10 AM   #2
jameshillj is offline jameshillj  Australia
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Quite interested but totally puzzled, and I daily drive my 30 year old Peugeot 505 (the last of the 'big' cars, about the same 30mpg [4.2 liters] with a paltry 120hp!) that functions very well

What are the cycles that are repeated in the different sequences

A diagram to show the diodes, taillight, etc

Is the 48 stop analogue timer one of those 24 hour circular things that has the 1/2 hour indent tabs to turn the relay on/off at the different set times?
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Old 12th October 2017, 02:02 AM   #3
infinia is offline infinia  United States
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It didn't happen without pictures.
The best thing for an auto battery is driving it regularly & perhaps once a month visit a relative across the state borders.
The ancient battery chargers often went past 15 volts which could 'cook off' any battery, the best idea for them is to use a mechanical timer. These dumb chargers are also great for equalizing wet LA batts. which the smart ones often fail to include that feature.
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Old 17th October 2017, 07:27 AM   #4
danielwritesbac is offline danielwritesbac  United States
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This is for the rarely driven car, boat, motorcycle, RV, with the year or two old battery that can't be charged with a storebought charger.

I was not in the mood for the yearly battery purchase.
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Old 17th October 2017, 08:01 AM   #5
danielwritesbac is offline danielwritesbac  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshillj View Post
Quite interested but totally puzzled, and I daily drive my 30 year old Peugeot 505 (the last of the 'big' cars, about the same 30mpg [4.2 liters] with a paltry 120hp!) that functions very well
My charger should be avoided for frequently utilized cars.
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Originally Posted by jameshillj View Post
What are the cycles that are repeated in the different sequences
For batteries that have become damaged due to storage and infrequent use, the various rest periods may be even more important than the charge efforts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameshillj View Post
A diagram to show the diodes, taillight, etc
They are in series. It is the most basic electronics imaginable. Generally, series elements deter excessive loading.
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Originally Posted by jameshillj View Post
Is the 48 stop analogue timer one of those 24 hour circular things that has the 1/2 hour indent tabs to turn the relay on/off at the different set times?
Yes, that's the case.
This has subsituted for the heavy, expensive and complicated thermo-responsive switching in the circa 1915 origninal. I used the lamp timer as a shortcut because I didn't think there was any hope for the battery, but did want to try.

My version is cheaper, simplistic enough to call it crude, and horrendously slower than the original.
I was in need of it though.
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Last edited by danielwritesbac; 17th October 2017 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 17th October 2017, 08:49 AM   #6
jameshillj is offline jameshillj  Australia
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Thanks for your reply Daniel,

It makes sense now and I'll try it out on some of our infrequently used batteries like the ones on the boat, for example -
I'd noticed the programming that is offered to extend the useful life of lithium batteries, etc but didn't think to apply it to the humble Lead Acid battery
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Old 21st October 2017, 04:47 AM   #7
danielwritesbac is offline danielwritesbac  United States
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Today, I was slightly disappointed. In two weeks it charged the battery beyond perfection. After that, I arbitrarily set it to one 3, 2, 1 cycle per day. After some time had passed I measured 11.86 vdc. That's not quite on. Sure the car computer aboard the 1993 Cadillac DeVille may have been computing several important and insane things; but, we do need a bit more eager start.
So, today, I doubled it and set the timer to 3, 2, 1 (those increments are half hour each) TWICE per day.
The number of idiot lights and variety is just amazing. It is really easy to find the keys. However, in direct porportion to the number of lights that go, the effiicency also goes up. That old thing is up to 31MPG average. I'm slightly alarmed because I don't think that early 90's designers had intended to make an efficient hybrid. It has been consuming more electricity than gas.
I had not expected that!
It requests gasoline twice a year; but, it really loves electricty.
It doesn't do anything else wrong; but, it is evident that I was in need of an effective battery charger.
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Last edited by danielwritesbac; 21st October 2017 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 21st October 2017, 02:47 PM   #8
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Some cobbled together rig with a light bulb and diode is more likely to start a fire than do you any good. If your battery is <12 volts after being on any charge regimen, it is faulty. Get a new battery, Take it out of the car and put it on a purpose made battery tender when not driving for long periods. It will last you longer than you thought possible.
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Old 21st October 2017, 02:50 PM   #9
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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Charger that worked better than buying new car battery.
Get an optimate. Job done.
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Old 24th October 2017, 06:28 AM   #10
danielwritesbac is offline danielwritesbac  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron E View Post
Some cobbled together rig with a light bulb and diode is more likely to start a fire than do you any good. If your battery is <12 volts after being on any charge regimen, it is faulty. Get a new battery, Take it out of the car and put it on a purpose made battery tender when not driving for long periods. It will last you longer than you thought possible.
Taillight working normally isn't likely for a fire hazard.
It is probable that I'll need a new battery someday; although, I'd like to postpone that to somewhat less frequently.
Battery locale out of the car is impractical.
Car works fine--was reporting a success.
Cheerio!
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