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Old 22 November 2012, 17:44   #1
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Bravo BST 12 HP Batt - battery charger

Just received a mains battery charger for my Bravo BST 12 HP pump with integrated battery from an online Rib shop (who I will not name as they have not responded to my query yet). The Bravo pump as an integrated sealed lead acid 12v 7Ah battery.

I was expecting a 13.8v/0.8A charger (as per the spec on the Bravo pump/manual) with euro pin adaptor but received what appears to be a generic 12v / 1A PSU with UK 3 pin.

On checking to see if the PSU was giving 13.8v I found that with no load it was actually 18.2v on the pin.

Concerned, I contacted the shop and am waiting a reply from someone technical. I also contacted the manufacturers to get their opinion. Still waiting for that.

Thought I would ask for an opinion on here as I need to charge the pumps battery in time for weekend and cannot really wait for responses that I was hoping to get this afternoon.

Also, how do I know when the battery is charged and does the mains adaptor or pump itself contain circuitry to trickle charge?

If all it needs is a standard 12v PSU and not the official Bravo 13.8v unit I was expecting from the product description, I may get one on Amazon that has LED's to signify charge state and allows trickle, as long as it won't interfere with any circuitry that may be built into the pump.

I don't want to end up damaging the Bravo pump or shortening the life of the battery.
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Old 23 November 2012, 03:15   #2
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Most unregulated supplies (and some regulated supplies) don't give any meaningful reading on an open circuit, with regards to what voltage they charge at. Takes some amount of load to get the voltage range down to the normal operating voltage.

I would guess expect 13.5 to 14.4 or so voltage range for a 12V SLA. Present charge will affect the charger output when connected as well. I doubt the 200mA difference would be of any consequence.

jky
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Old 23 November 2012, 04:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanH View Post
Just received a mains battery charger for my Bravo BST 12 HP pump with integrated battery from an online Rib shop (who I will not name as they have not responded to my query yet). The Bravo pump as an integrated sealed lead acid 12v 7Ah battery.

I was expecting a 13.8v/0.8A charger (as per the spec on the Bravo pump/manual) with euro pin adaptor but received what appears to be a generic 12v / 1A PSU with UK 3 pin.

On checking to see if the PSU was giving 13.8v I found that with no load it was actually 18.2v on the pin.

Concerned, I contacted the shop and am waiting a reply from someone technical. I also contacted the manufacturers to get their opinion. Still waiting for that.

Thought I would ask for an opinion on here as I need to charge the pumps battery in time for weekend and cannot really wait for responses that I was hoping to get this afternoon.

Also, how do I know when the battery is charged and does the mains adaptor or pump itself contain circuitry to trickle charge?

If all it needs is a standard 12v PSU and not the official Bravo 13.8v unit I was expecting from the product description, I may get one on Amazon that has LED's to signify charge state and allows trickle, as long as it won't interfere with any circuitry that may be built into the pump.

I don't want to end up damaging the Bravo pump or shortening the life of the battery.
Hi Ian,

Just to clarify to others, your call put in yesterday afternoon has been answered on my return to the office this morning. The chargers Bravo supply to go with the BST pump are not a Bravo branded product and come with a European two-pin plug. We have therefore sourced a three-pin equivalent that we supply to our clients. As JKY has said, when a load is applied to the charger, the voltage output will drop and as any car alternator or outboard will put out over 14v when running, the 13.8v suggested on the pump must have some tolerance. However, I would suggest if you are in any way unsure, please return the charger for a full refund.

Thanks, Kieron.
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Old 23 November 2012, 05:20   #4
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Thanks for getting back to me the morning and the offer to return. Unfortunately your colleague yesterday told me that you would call me yesterday afternoon hence my post here as I need to get this sorted today as i need the pump for tomorrow.

Unfortunately as its last of your stock, you couldn't confirm expected output on an identical unit so I'm still not 100% sure whether the unit is outputting the expected voltage or whether this individual unit is over voltage. I'll probably connect up and see at battery terminals what the voltage is under charge conditions and make my decision whether to return from that.
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Old 23 November 2012, 06:14   #5
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When on charge its down to about 12.4v so I'm happy with that. If it was over about 14.5v, I would have been more concerned but will check again towards end of its charge cycle.

Thanks

-Ian
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Old 23 November 2012, 06:52   #6
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I am waiting for a similar pump to arrive.......and had some questions as well that perhaps RibShop can answer or someone who has the same pump.

- Is there any charging circuitry built into the pump unit or is it simply a case of feeding it 12-14.75 volts via the socket?

From research, a Fast charge of a 6 cell 12V Pb battery can be up to 2.4 - 2.45V per cell (14.4V-14.7V) with a slower charge of 2.3 - 2.35V per cell (13.8V - 14.1V)

Ideally a Pb Lead Acod battery should be charged in at least 3 stages (Constant Charge or Bulk, Absorption and Float).

Charging at low voltages 12-12.5V can cause sulfation and given that the BST battery will be regularily charged/discharged/charged ideally you want to minimise sulfation etc.

Now the batteries that come with the Bravo pumps whilst being Lead Acid (Pb) also appear to be sealed Gel batteries in which case charging voltage should not exceed 14.1V. Smart chargers have a specific Gel Battery program and are preferred to maximise the longetivity of the battery over a standard power supply.

Your boat or car's alternator has no intelligence.

I intend to get one of these having used CTEK's larger charger installed on my other boat and have been very happy with them.

CTEK XS 0.8 Car Battery Charger - the smartest battery chargers in the world!

This is an excellent 6 stage charger that is IP65 rated and I reckon could also work to trickle charge the main boat battery even though it has a low output. Should work to keep it topped up.
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Old 23 November 2012, 09:00   #7
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@Kieron

I see you have changed the title, description and image of the charger to better reflect what was supplied. I think thats a really good idea and makes it clear that it is not a Bravo charger. Just my 2p but 'Bravo Mains Charger for BST Battery Range', supplied with european adaptor etc does kind of imply that I was getting a genuine Bravo charger from Italy.

@npm108

From my understanding, the pump unit itself is quite dumb with regard to charger circuit. It sounds like what is supplied from the 'charger' is directly applied to the battery rather than any special circuit being built in. I quite like the look of the CTEK unit you link to and now wish I had spent a bit more buying one of those, especially in light of the other points you mention in your post such as sulfation at low voltage (mine started charging at 12.4v) and max voltage at 14.1v (mine is up to 13.7v after about 3 hours and still not steady). Sounds like the extra will pay for itself in new battery replacement and more importantly, knowing that its good to go and not let you down part way through inflation.
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Old 23 November 2012, 09:56   #8
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Im at 14.2v within 4 hours. I think I'm going to switch it off return the unit based on the info given that charging Gel batteries should not exceed 14.1v.

There is probably nothing wrong with the unit and I'm probably being over cautious but whilst I'm within my distance selling 7 day time period, I think I would be happier having something that is purpose designed for charging sealed lead acid batteries.
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Old 23 November 2012, 10:23   #9
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It sounds to me like it's exactly the same as the charger that the manufacturer provides. I've got the original one with a euro 2-pin plug and there's certainly nothing smart about it!

It works OK, but a more sophisticated charger would probably look after the battery better.
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Old 23 November 2012, 11:07   #10
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Hi Ian,

As already said, Bravo do not produce their own UK charger for the BST, they simply supply a generic 110v pin charger which isnít much use over here!

You drew my attention to the product on our website, where the photo was of the two pin charger so I have updated this along with simplifying the description so there can be no confusion.

We have sold dozens of this product without issue; however as with any product we are always more than happy to take returns if you are not satisfied, so please return it to Rib Shops Eastlands Boat Yard address - which I believe Stephanie has emailed to you - along with a copy of your web order number. Stephanie will process the refund as soon as we receive the item.

Kieron.
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