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Floating Battery Charger

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Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: Matthew » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:25 pm

Very impressed with my floating battery charger from harborfreight.
"Its not a trickle charger." as it says on the box. made for storing vehicles.
And so far it working great. I keep my wagon battery in the house while it sits and have a DVD player hooked up to it. Use to need to put a 2amp charger on it every 2 weeks for a whole day or longer, even if I wasn't watching anything. But this tiny little floating charger has kept the battery at full charge even after heavy DVD use. It has auto shut off and such too so.

Might wanna get a floating charger for $8 and give it a whirl this winter over a trickle. Its on sale every other week.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=42292
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PostAuthor: rockytime » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:47 pm

Matthew wrote:Very impressed with my floating battery charger from harborfreight.
"Its not a trickle charger." as it says on the box. made for storing vehicles.
And so far it working great. I keep my wagon battery in the house while it sits and have a DVD player hooked up to it. Use to need to put a 2amp charger on it every 2 weeks for a whole day or longer, even if I wasn't watching anything. But this tiny little floating charger has kept the battery at full charge even after heavy DVD use. It has auto shut off and such too so.

Might wanna get a floating charger for $8 and give it a whirl this winter over a trickle. Its on sale every other week.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=42292
I have one of those. thought it was a joke. Joke was on me! It works great.

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PostAuthor: vroomvroom » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:34 pm

I got one of those battery tenders. But it cost a lot more. this floating one seems like a better deal. Although the battery tender is a trickle charger and you can use it for storage too.
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:15 am

Well compared, trickles are junk for storage.
But are ok for a 2-3 day charge from sitting.
[My firebird that has sat for about 3 weeks is on a 2map trickle as I type. but I would not use it for long term.]

floaters are very low juice and why they work better for storage. Trickles even with auto shut off pump to much juice for long term storage.

Since the floater, I don't lose batteries in storage.
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:18 pm

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PostAuthor: mark75 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:56 am

Wally world has a Black & Decker one ~$15 that has attachments, one hooks to poles so you don't have to keep sliding the battery in and out(not a problem with '81-"83s)just flip the cap and plug it in. #VECO80BD
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:50 pm

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: eaglebeak » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:54 pm

It's false advertising 'cause I dropped my "floating" charger in the toilet and it sank right to the bottom :up2:

Some call 'em "floating" chargers and other call 'em "smart" chargers, but they do the same thing and are, by far, the only thing to use. A "trickle" charger keeps a constant charge current (e.g. 2 amps) going all the time regardless of the battery's voltage; and even though the battery may be at full charge and full voltage, the constant "trickle charging" causes the electrolyte to begin evaporating and eventually screw the battery up during long-term storage.

The "floater" or "smart" charger will "trickle charge" the battery only up to it's rated full-charge voltage level, then shut completely off and wait until that voltage level slowly drops (over time) a volt or two before it turns on and "trickles" it back up before shutting off again.

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: eaglebeak » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:14 am

Sorry - had a little "hoof in mouth" on the last post and it won't let me edit the boo-boo.

The "floating" charger actually does a tapering charge that keeps reducing the charge rate until full-rated battery voltage is reached and charge current goes to zero. When the battery voltage drops just a little below that full-charge level, the charger puts just a tiny bit of tapering current back until going to zero again at full-rated voltage - hence "floating" charge.

The "smart" charger is the one that does the same as the "floater" and shuts off at full rated voltage; but unlike the "floater", it doesn't instantly put just a wee-bit of charge current back when the battery voltage drops even the slightest bit. Instead, (as explained earlier), it waits until the battery voltage drops by at least a volt before turning on, trickling it back up, then shutting off again. They're a little more expensive than a "floater" but a step up in performance.

In either case, a standard "trickle" charger sucks and will kill a good battery if you leave it hooked up for more than a few days.

EB
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:18 am

few folks I know who had the smart computer ones didn't like em, they were dumb if anything.
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:37 am

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PostAuthor: Vyamamama » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:08 pm

thanks for this info, I was about to go out and buy a trickle charger ... but not now!
Keep what is worth keeping and blow the rest away! :grin:

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: stereoguy » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:39 am

I fell victim and ruined a battery with a trickle charger, never again.

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PostAuthor: Vyamamama » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:57 pm

hey, if ya have a Harbor Freight in your area, these floating battery chargers are on sale @ the store for $5.87
Keep what is worth keeping and blow the rest away! :grin:

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PostAuthor: troy » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:38 pm

Yo Aussie Types..
Were can we get some of those floaters over here..
I sure am sick of buying batteries...
1981 XV750 50K Aussie klm.

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PostAuthor: Matthew » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:31 pm

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: Delmeister » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:03 am

Hard to beat the harbourfreight deal, but if you have trouble getting one you can do what I did, maybe for free. My battery stayed in the bike all winter under extremely cold conditions and is operating strong today.

I have a box full of those small wall transformers from discarded electronic equipment. Most put out an open-circuit DC voltage quite a bit higher than that stated on the unit. It should put out 13-14 volts. The one I used was rated at 9 volts but put out 13.5 volts. This will only charge if the voltage drops below that value.

You can take off the seat and get to the positive terminal of the battery (without having to take the battery out of the box) by unplugging and connecting to the readily visible connector there. You can use any part of the frame for the negative. I later took the battery out and attached a pigtail to the positive and brought it out to the sidecover for easy attachment and monitoring of the battery/system voltage.
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PostAuthor: Matthew » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:16 pm

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: ms8238 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:24 pm

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Re: Floating Battery Charger

PostAuthor: BigDunna » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:52 pm

eaglebeak wrote:Sorry - had a little "hoof in mouth" on the last post and it won't let me edit the boo-boo.

The "floating" charger actually does a tapering charge that keeps reducing the charge rate until full-rated battery voltage is reached and charge current goes to zero. When the battery voltage drops just a little below that full-charge level, the charger puts just a tiny bit of tapering current back until going to zero again at full-rated voltage - hence "floating" charge.

The "smart" charger is the one that does the same as the "floater" and shuts off at full rated voltage; but unlike the "floater", it doesn't instantly put just a wee-bit of charge current back when the battery voltage drops even the slightest bit. Instead, (as explained earlier), it waits until the battery voltage drops by at least a volt before turning on, trickling it back up, then shutting off again. They're a little more expensive than a "floater" but a step up in performance.

In either case, a standard "trickle" charger sucks and will kill a good battery if you leave it hooked up for more than a few days.

EB


What are some examples of the "smart" chargers you mentioned above? Which ones would be good to buy?
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