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Battery Charging

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Skykomish1 says:

Hi Guys, I have just brought home Skykomish's auxilliary battery to charge up as it has run flat (I know a bad thing to do but I inadvertently left the radio on on the boat) it is a 75 amp hour battery.
The battery condition indicator just shows that it needs charging and not that it is damaged, however I have had my charger on it for 24 hours now and it appears not to be making any progress.
I know that in order to charge a leisure battery you need an "intelligent charger" to get it to maximum charge and I understand that mine does this, however I have noted that the charger is rated to 65 amp hour... does this really make a difference???
As I normally have a trickle feed running into my battery to keep her topped up, this was removed due to the bad weather, this is the first time it has been run flat, I find it hard to imagine that this would cause complete battery failure. Any thoughts?
8:09AM, 17 February 2014 PDT (permalink)

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spearhead_027 says:

Left long enough, a radio can drain any battery completely. I rely on a solar panel on the coachroof to keep my 2 bigger (total 220 A hr) batteries topped up and even in this weather it seems to keep the voltage "in the green".
I think you need to get a voltage meter onto yours and find out just how low you have run it. Below 9 volts and the battery is on its way out, even if not entirely dead. How many stages does your "intelligent charger" have? Mine has 7, including one for reviving nearly-dead batteries and, come to think of it, it cost less than either of my boat batteries - so it's definitely worth investing in. The plates in your battery will have become sulphated and the longer you leave them, the more difficult it is to break up the crystals.
My charger is a Ring Automotive SmartCharge + 8 amp (RSC508): connected to a flat battery, it automatically pulse-charges it to remove the crystals before going on to the more normal charging routines. As hinted above, I haven't needed to use it on the boat system, but keep it handy for the car. No connection with the makers other than as customer.
Ian
66 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish1 says:

Yes Ian I too usually have a solar panel but removed this as I anticipated it taking to the air in the recent gales ( I had a smashed radar reflector land in my cockpit from another boat.)
66 months ago (permalink)

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Fast Lex says:

I have a C-TEC MX7, it really works well, batteries now almost 2 yrs old and still in good shape. I think you should get another charger and charge the battery, if this is not working then your battery is dead!
66 months ago (permalink)

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BERT A24 says:

Have you tried a volt meter on the battery to find out if there is life left in it. Some intelligent chargers need to sense a voltage before they will switch on and start to charge. Try a charged battery connected in parallel with the flat battery, then connect the charger. After about an hour disconnect the charged battery while still leaving the charger connected to the flat one and see what happens.
66 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Malcolm

Not hopeful, if it was totally discharged then probably dead and not recoverable. Having just said that you may be able to get it back if not totally discharged but will need a pulse charger as this disrupts the lead sulphate and helps to put it back in solution. If you have been hitting it with current and it doesn't respond then not good news. Bert is right, often these chargers only work when they see what they expect to see, hit it with some serious amps by shorting it to another big battery, may see some sparks when you connect but will be OK. If it then takes a charge may be fine but unlikely to be as good as new. I have a pulse unit that works whilst charging or discharging. It certainly helps keep batteries going, I have a leisure battery from 12 years ago that still has great capacity. I buy batteries from Macress the motor supplies place, they normally offer a 3 or 5 year warranty and as they etch the date on the battery they honour it. I ruined one by my own stupidity but they still replaced it a few years ago!
Originally posted 66 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 66 months ago.

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A264 Clytie says:

I was looking at Lex's C-TEC MX7 charger on Amazon and was drawn to the comment within a buyer's review that whilst it's expensive, it is cheaper than replacing discharged batteries that could be saved by having a good charger. As my last charger recently gave up the ghost I might well follow suit.
66 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish1 says:

Thanks for the advice guys... I agree that my charger may not be man enough, it is a shame if the battery is dead as it is only three years old... I am a little hopeful as the condition indicator on the battery doesn't show that it is damaged.
I shall get the jump leads out and hit it with my starting battery from Skykomish and see what happens.
66 months ago (permalink)

busy home [deleted] says:

When the b thing dies on you 40 mlles out, you will regret saving that money for a new one.
And it will.
66 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish1 says:

Doesn't really matter Ron as it is the auxiliary used for powering the lights and other luxury electrical systems I have a separate starting battery for the engine and a hand held back up VHF... besides I have never been 40 miles out if I did that I would bump into Belgium...lol...

As it happens it seems that the jump from the battery has done the trick as my charger is now blinking away
66 months ago (permalink)

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Skykomish1 says:

I am pleased to report that after a week of gentle nurturing thanks to the advice from you guys our battery condition indicator now shows GREEN yehhhh!
66 months ago (permalink)

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rothwell_neil says:

Malcolm

Best way to keep an eye on it is voltage, leave it off charge and see how long it remains above 12.5V.

I was at the boat this week getting ready for spring and can report that my 10Watt solar panel angled at 45 degrees has kept my battery fully charged with 13.5V with no load. Not bad considering how little sun we have had.
Originally posted 66 months ago. (permalink)
rothwell_neil edited this topic 66 months ago.

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Skykomish1 says:

Yes Neil, our solar panel normally does well at keeping her topped up it was just unfortunate that I put it away due to the bad weather and risk of loosing it in the high winds. On Aeolus I attached it to the pushpit... may be worth re considering this option in the future. ... this and ensuring that the radio is switched off before I leave the boat..lol
66 months ago (permalink)

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