Over the years I have invested heavily in lead acid batteries. Can those that use a trickle charger give me some directions as to which are the best.
I use Accumate Conditioners on my 12v cars and they work very well. They're not the cheapest but completely reliable in their ability to cycle on and off. For some reason I don't use one on my 1914 T, oh, yeah, it doesn't have a battery!
Does this company make 6V and 8V versions?
They do make a 6 volt version, I don't think they make an 8 volt. If the 6v works as well as the 12v does, it will certainly do the job. it's nice to come into the garage after several days (or weeks) and have the battery ready to go...
I can only speak for my self of course, but I have had absolutely trouble-free use of my Craftsman smart charger since 1988 when I bought it new. Cycles on and off just like it should and has a variety of amp and voltage settings. That thing has been worth its weight in gold to me since I have owned dozens of old cars in that time.
Your post didn't mention it but there's a difference between a trickle charger and a float charger although many people think of them as the same because they usually are both low amperage. And indeed some manufacturers even mislabel them.
A float charger charges to a specific voltage, usually about 13.3 volts for a 12 volt battery. A float charger MUST be designed for the number of cells in your battery (i.e. 6, 8, or 12 volt). Not wise to use a 12 volt float charger on a 8 or 6 volt battery.
A trickle charger is designed to charge with a specific current, usually in the vicinity of 100 ma for a 12 volt battery. If you can find a true trickle charger for a 12 volt battery it will work fine on your 8 or 6 volt battery.
Even with a true trickle charger you should check the battery voltage occasionally if you leave the charger on continuously. 12 volt batteries should not be continuously charged above 13.3 volts, 6.65 volts for 6 volt batteries and by inference 8.86 volts for an 8 volt battery.
BTW those cheap chargers from Harbor Freight are float chargers (12 volt)and actually work pretty well and I've had some in continuous use for over 5 years!
Best one is;
Take off the ground lead, keep the terminals clean, watch the water level and check the voltage every so often and charge as needed.
I built a capacitor charger that works great. It uses a capacitor and a bridge. It will charge a 6,8,12 or 24 volt battery at 1 to 1.5 amps. Cost about $15 for parts. PK
"I built a capacitor charger that works great. It uses a capacitor and a bridge. It will charge a 6,8,12 or 24 volt battery at 1 to 1.5 amps. Cost about $15 for parts. PK"
If that's the circuit I think it is, be prepared for electrocution or a nasty electric shock. It provides no isolation from the mains, merely using the capacitor for current limiting. Full mains voltage will be across the battery clips until they are connected to the battery, and even then the battery, and everything it is connected to (eg. car chassis) will float at mains potential above earth, regardless of mains polarity.
I use these on my T's, fixed wired to battery terminals, with lead to the simple two piece plug.
Leave on the T running board, and un-clip the plug and ready to go. About $21 at Wallymarts.
There is a charger that has been used for the past 15 years or so. It is called a "SMART" charger. Most chargers are wired with limited amperage but charge at full voltage potential from the get-go.
A smart charger senses battery voltage and begins to charge at the batteries actual voltage, such as 10.76 volts and not 13.6 In this manner the battery is not shocked but rather is started up at its actual voltage. As the battery is charged, the actual voltage climbs while the amperage lowers and the battery is not shocked. At full charge the charger goes to pulse mode otherwise called float.
Boats use these units and boat lead acid batteries can last from ten to 12 years. Boats have gone high-tech and have large banks of gangs of huge six volt D cells and then when the generators are off the battery banks re-form the direct current through inverters to create alternating current. A six amp smart charger sells for about $85. As usual, if the current accidentally gets shut off the battery will discharge and be ruined. It is called a battery tender and you had better well tend to it.
When we sold our boat with a bank of four group 29 lead acid batteries they were 13 years old and in good shape.