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battery charging/maintaining

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Help! battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Sat May 13, 2017 11:06 am

I have a Schumacher WM-1562A charger/maintainer (6-12V) that is rated for 1.5A slow-charge. The instruction manual is vague concerning conditions that a user might encounter and there is no trouble-shooting guide.

I have a few small 12V sealed lead-acid batteries that I know are stone-cold dead. When connecting the charger to any of them, the green "charged" LED illuminates. These batteries range in capacity between 4.5Ah to 17.2Ah. That's one condition..

When connecting the charger to a large 12V deep-cycle (marine) battery (also stone-cold dead..) I get a "trouble" (red LED) light in combination with an amber "charging" LED light.

I think I can understand why the latter occurs. The small charger wasn't designed to charge a large battery from a completely-dead state. What I don't understand is why I don't see the same LED sequence on the smaller dead batteries.

I have two other old Schumacher chargers (non-automatic) that should still be operational. One is a 4A and the other, a 6A. Are either of these too powerful to attempt charging the smaller batteries? If not; how can I avoid over-charging them? Is there any way to tell if the batteries are junk?

Do the meters on the 4-6A amp chargers give an indication? Will I not get a reading if the battery is internally shorted?

If the weather wasn't so crappy (damp..) I'd do some testing outside.. but I'm nervous about charging even the small batteries in the house.

Is there a formula for how many hours it should take to charge a battery based on it's capacity vs. charger-output?

I'd like to see if my two 12V sealed 17.2Ah batteries are still useable. Would trying the 6A charger be a bad idea? If I understand the process correctly.. it should take 2.86 hrs. to charge a dead 17.2Ah battery at a 6A rate.. providing the battery is still good. (17.2 divided by 6 = 2.86) Is this the correct way to calculate charge-time?

Here's any interesting vid on rejuvenating small dead 12V sealed batteries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JIzSxqWids



Last edited by roddie on Sat May 13, 2017 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a youtube vid)
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Sat May 13, 2017 11:58 am

Some further research reveals that if a battery is completely dead, an "automatic-charger" will not start-up. It apparently requires some voltage as a reference. I may need to manually charge a dead battery for a short time, before switching-over to an automatic (current-sensing) charge. Maybe my old 4A manual charger would be better for this.. than the 6A one.

The YouTube vid in my previous post gives me some hope that I can save some of my sealed batteries.. rather than having to scrap them-out at recycling facility.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  pkrankow on Sat May 13, 2017 12:32 pm

I have "faked" a voltage to my "smart" charger by using a 9v battery. This only sometimes works, 2 9V batteries putting out 18V is much better. You hook up the charger, use a set of light jumper wires to hook the added battery up temporarily, pus the start button, and then disconnect the 9V batteries. If the 12V battery has any life to it then the charger will stay working. If it is dead short in more than 2 cells the charger will kick off again.

Be careful messing with excessively aged batteries or abused batteries. I have experienced batteries exploding due to hydrogen gas that is let off while charging.

What really destroys batteries quick is sulfate building up on the plates and then not being driven back into the acid by charging right away. The charged battery does not have sulfate on the lead plates. Over time this sulfate becomes less soluble in the acid and it is an insulator. Charging a couple days on a float charger can reverse this in some cases.

Another thing is a depleted lead acid battery will have the electrolyte, which is mostly water, freeze around 0F. This will expand and break the battery up internally, and possibly rupture. A charged battery will not freeze until well below 0F.

Man I am glad I don't handle battery warranty anymore. I could never have nice pants, holes were always eaten in the seam where the battery would touch.

Phil
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  fredvon4 on Sat May 13, 2017 3:10 pm

Roddie I have some great experience in this area

Since I own no less than 20 UPS, initially sold with Sealed Gel cell 12VDC 7Ah batts that over time I changed to 12Vdc 9Ah batts (cheaper same size)

I have three chargers...1 is auto schumacher, and 1 manual 2A, 6A, 15A ---the auto is 2A 6A and 50A starting....my other is one of the ThunderTiger Lipo/Nimh/NiCd/ and every thing else chargers for model Batts

I find that most auto or computer feedback chargers need to see some Min volts to start... like my gel cell 12vdc 7Ah or 9Ah must show at least 10VDC to move to charge mode unless I hang them on the MANUAL Schumacher machine and set to 2A (trickle charge) to insert some measurable charge

Lead acid batts can take a very large span of charge Volts... typically 12 to 14.8 is normal and 16+ is for de-sulfating by deliberately boiling the acid water...so called maintenance charge and only for short periods of time

I have several deep cycle 12vdc batts like for fence gate opener on Solar charger

Every so often I roll out extension cord and trickle charger for 2 days just to top them up.... Wally world el cheapo 12Vdc deep marine batt has been on the front gate for 6 years now and only sucks on long weeks of winter overcast...but still charges back up easily and I never seem to need to add water

So on the apparently dead batts find a manual way to get some charge in.... later after a full 24hrs of 2A trickel and they do NOT hold the charge it is probably sulfating shorting the bottoms of the plates... maybe a 16~18VDC input can de-sulfite the Batt but I assure you it will boil and gas off unless you watch it

I HAVE NEVER gotten any joy from the chemical additives to revive Batts...not EVER!



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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  Ken Cook on Sat May 13, 2017 4:37 pm

If the batteries your trying to charge are to be used for a power panel, I would consider buying a new one. As mentioned the batteries are probably sulfated and will never produce properly. In addition, if 1/2A is on the front row, it's already going to taxi a common power panel as it will almost require it to be completely turned up if adjustable and will require all your battery has to offer. A rechargeable 12v can be sourced for under $15 and free shipping. I'm fortunate at our swap meet that these batteries are made available for $6. I purchase a new one every year. I just turned them back to the recycling yard locally for a grand total of $2 for 3 of them
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Sat May 13, 2017 8:19 pm

Very interesting commentary here so far. Thanks guys! I hate the thought of throwing anything away, that can be re-used.. especially rechargeable batteries. My situation is; that I don't cycle my batteries the way that I should. I'm just learning how important this really is. I have a LOT of batteries.. and many were sourced recently from where I work. They come from commercial decommissioned computer-racks as battery-backups. They're not that old.. but have been allowed to deep-discharge from being taken out-of-service.

The "sulfite-accumulation" has no-doubt taken affect.. but hopefully I can reverse that.

Years ago, I had two of the Hobbico "Torque-Master" 7Ah Lead-Calcium field-box batteries.. and they didn't seem to last long. I used to charge them with the small Hobbico 600mA charger.

Ken, you're correct in assuming that I want to get a field-box battery ready for use. Most recently; I'd been using two 6V alkaline "lantern-batteries" wired in series which has worked.. although only for occasional bench-running.

I'd really like to save/revive a couple of 17.2Ah sealed 12V batteries that I brought home recently. Physically.. they look like new.. but I suppose; internally they could be junk. If they "are" salvageable.. they'd offer a lot of capacity.. possibly enough to operate an inverter if needed. They're a bit heavy for a small field-box though.


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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  Ken Cook on Sun May 14, 2017 6:29 am

Why would you require an inverter? We have one inverter that our club uses which is to run a iron in the event of a wing twist. I see this come out generally a total of 2 times during the season. In the event it's needed, someone pops their hood in the parking lot and problem solved. Regardless of what your decision is, go to the auto store and purchase a fusible link of low amperage  placed from the battery positive lead to the panel. While I've stressed this several times to some of my club members, they know too much to buy a safety device that costs less than $5. On the ride home one evening, when the car fire took place in the back of my flying members car and burning his hand badly that this was probably a good idea. And for the record, I recently peeked in his box and it still doesn't have a fusible link.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Sun May 14, 2017 10:01 am

Ken Cook wrote:Why would you require an inverter? We have one inverter that our club uses which is to run a iron in the event of a wing twist. I see this come out generally a total of 2 times during the season. In the event it's needed, someone pops their hood in the parking lot and problem solved. Regardless of what your decision is, go to the auto store and purchase a fusible link of low amperage  placed from the battery positive lead to the panel. While I've stressed this several times to some of my club members, they know too much to buy a safety device that costs less than $5. On the ride home one evening, when the car fire took place in the back of my flying members car and burning his hand badly that this was probably a good idea. And for the record, I recently peeked in his box and it still doesn't have a fusible link.

Somehow I knew that you were gonna ask that question.. Laughing I don't require using an inverter at the field.. just pointing-out that the battery mentioned, would power one if needed.

You've got me thinking seriously about a fused connection though. The leads from my panel have spring-clips for the battery connection. I always disconnect them when not in use.. along with a jumper that connects (series) the two 6V lantern batteries that I've been using. At some point I'll opt for a more permanent/hard-wired connection.. and will heed your advice for sure.

When you mentioned "fusible-link".. my mind went back in time to where they consisted of a smaller-gage short-length of wire in a high-current circuit, such as in an automobile engine's starter. If the starter went bad and drew too many amps.. the link would fry/open, saving the harness.. and preventing an electrical-fire.

I do have a couple of fuse-holders with wire-leads that use the earlier blade-type automotive fuses. That's basically the same thing.. correct? The biggest current-draw would be short-pulses from my small homemade electric starter (a 540 can-motor..) so a fuse would need to be rated accordingly. Maybe a 10A fuse would do the trick.

Was it ever discovered where/how the short originated, which started the fire you spoke of? That's a scary thing..  Shocked You can certainly imagine what could have happened if the short occurred unnoticed after driving home and parking in an attached garage.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Wed May 24, 2017 3:32 pm

I tried giving each of my 17.2AH 12V sealed batteries a boost/charge today with the 6A Schumacher manual charger. The needle on the ammeter didn't even move from zero. Charger verified on.. check connections.. no change. The batteries were both dead beforehand.. but I thought they might take a charge. There are more where I work.. and I will swap these for some recent ones that I know are charged. A fellow workmate got a surprise welding lesson when disassembling a large battery back-up chassis. I've spoken to my superior about the lack of training in this area. It can be dangerous stuff to work with.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  Ken Cook on Wed May 24, 2017 4:36 pm

You've mentioned questionable batteries and fuel which is 20 + years old. I can tell you first hand if your looking for a positive experience at the flying field, I would personally purchase new and forego the headaches. Battery quality and fuel quality are very important to rapid starts and reliability. I made it out this past Sunday to the field. I was elated due to having a very pacifying experience with one flip starts. I brought 1 qt of fuel with me which was used as my alarm clock. Once I used it, it was time to head home. Taking all the headaches out of the equation prior to going makes it very enjoyable and I'm already envisioning this weekend.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Wed May 24, 2017 5:29 pm

Ken Cook wrote:             You've mentioned questionable batteries and fuel which is 20 + years old. I can tell you first hand if your looking for a positive experience at the flying field, I would personally purchase new and forego the headaches. Battery quality and fuel quality are  very important to rapid starts and reliability.  I made it out this past Sunday to the field. I was elated due to having a very pacifying experience with one flip starts. I brought 1 qt of fuel with me which was used as my alarm clock. Once I used it, it was time to head home. Taking all the headaches out of the equation prior to going makes it very enjoyable and I'm already envisioning this weekend.

Yes I know.. I just spent close to $200 on AMA membership and engine parts. I do need fresh fuel (next on the list..) but If I can save some $$ somewhere I will.
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:47 pm

roddie wrote:I tried giving each of my 17.2AH 12V sealed batteries a boost/charge today with the 6A Schumacher manual charger. The needle on the ammeter didn't even move from zero. Charger verified on.. check connections.. no change. The batteries were both dead beforehand.. but I thought they might take a charge. There are more where I work.. and I will swap these for some recent ones that I know are charged. A fellow workmate got a surprise welding lesson when disassembling a large battery back-up chassis. I've spoken to my superior about the lack of training in this area. It can be dangerous stuff to work with.

I made a swap this week. These batteries have a charge.




I'm glad that I did this.. because I already have enough dead batteries around here.. Rolling Eyes

Who knows what I'll use these for.. but they were free.. and would be expensive to buy. Maybe I just have some weird apocalyptic paranoia... that battery back-ups will be a life-line when the grids go down.. Shocked breaker breaker...
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  RknRusty on Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:08 pm

Here's a good site about batteries and charging:
http://michaelbluejay.com/batteries/charging-tips.html

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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  roddie on Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:30 am

RknRusty wrote:Here's a good site about batteries and charging:
http://michaelbluejay.com/batteries/charging-tips.html

Thanks Rusty. Very interesting site. I bought a smart-charger (Thunder AC6) a few years ago.. but haven't used it yet.




It will charge PB/lead batteries.. although I bought it because I was shopping for lithium batteries which require the balancing-charging of multiple-cells in a pack.

There are some good tutorial vids on the Thunder AC6 on YouTube to browse.. which can help clarify something not immediately clear in the operating manual. There's a lot to know about batteries and their charging... Shocked
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

Post  balogh on Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:16 pm

[quote="roddie.......
Who knows what I'll use these for.. but they were free.. and would be expensive to buy. ...[/quote]

I am not sure what capacities and dimensions your batteries have , but I power my field box with a similar 9500mAH Pb battery to energize my engine starter and glow igniter...its sits peacfully in one corner of the field box next to an ashaming mess of my various, mainly never-used field gear, wrapped in soft pack and gets charged twice or 3 times per flight season:
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Help! Re: battery charging/maintaining

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