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Old 29 March 2010, 16:27   #1
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Battery Charger

I'm looking for a land based battery charger to top up the boat battery after a long winter.
i.e. I'll take the battery out of the boat and I'm looking for something that I can plug into the wall and connect to the 2 battery terminals.

Can someone recommend something, preferably cheap?

Cheers

Conor
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Old 29 March 2010, 16:45   #2
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There's a couple of cheapish RAC branded chargers on the go that seem reliable/sturdy - a couple of us are using them, no problems. Full charge with auto off and also trickle charge, always on.
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Old 29 March 2010, 16:52   #3
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Oh and I forgot to mention that it's a gel type battery. Does this affect what charger you can use?

Willk, any chance you could point me to somewhere showing one of the RAC chargers?

Thanks
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Old 29 March 2010, 17:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorscroft View Post
Oh and I forgot to mention that it's a gel type battery. Does this affect what charger you can use?
I'm guessing that if the alternator can charge it, then a charger can?

This is my charger/s, it's pricier that I wot I paid - shop about!
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Old 29 March 2010, 17:05   #5
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I have used halfords chargers for years gives you all the option including gel and have not had any trouble. I use then for topping up my bats in the winter and I take to the boat in the season for the odd time I need to work on them. I always carry a power pack on the boat as back up.

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Old 29 March 2010, 17:26   #6
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I just took a look at the halfords chargers and they look good.

I've noticed they come in different sizes presumably depending on the size of the battery.

Is it possible to use one of the smaller chargers on a larger battery and it will just take longer?

How does this work?

Thanks
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Old 29 March 2010, 17:46   #7
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Hi mine is the fully automatic version at thirty odd quid expensive but does the job and as I say covers all the options.
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Old 30 March 2010, 11:39   #8
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Oh and I forgot to mention that it's a gel type battery. Does this affect what charger you can use?
Is it actually a gel cell battery, or is it an AGM type?

If it is actually an AGM, no worries; they use the same charge system that a regular flooded wet cell (older car battery) uses.

Gel cells, ideally, will use some electronics between the alternator and the battery to keep the charge voltage relatively low (compared to a flooded lead acid or an AGM battery.) A home charger should be configured likewise.

From Batterystuff.com:

GEL: The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain.

That said, I'm sure there are people using standard chargers for gel batteries. Whatever works for you, but according to the manufacturer's, it's not ideal.

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