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Re: Battery vs. Tender vs. H-F Float Charger
- Subject: Re: Battery vs. Tender vs. H-F Float Charger
- From: "James H. Nazarian, Ph.D." <microdoc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2003 17:12:54 -0500
> I personally like an electronically controlled auto charger that has a 2 amp cycle.
> The battery tender is a limited purpose device (tender), and tends (pun) to be
> overpriced on a feature benefit basis. A good auto charger is versatile and can be
> used on car batteries (10 Amps) also. They cost the same as a battery tender, are at
> least as automatic, and most have a meter to boot.
I agree with 95% +/- of what you said. In fact it wasn't but a few years ago that I
would have agreed with 100% of what you said, but then one day I found that one of my
batteries had been boiled dry by an automatic battery charger on its low (2 Amp)
trickle charge setting. I forgot it was connected to the bike, and it remained there
for a couple of days or weeks over the winter. If you are going to use an automatic,
automotive battery charger as a float charger, do yourself and the battery a big favor
by putting the charger on a clock timer that lets it charge for only ~1-2 hours per
day, or 1 hour out of every 12 hours. That is more than enough to keep it topped off.
Better yet, save the automatic battery charger for real charging and use float chargers
for maintaining your battery at a peak level of charge.
After buying several Battery Tender brand float chargers at $39-69 each, I discovered
that Harbor Freight sells a float charger for ~$8 when on sale. I couldn't resist
trying one, so I bought three and connected them to one car and two bikes in storage.
They worked perfectly during the initial test, and now four years later, I have near
one dozen of the H-F Float Chargers in use on all the bikes and cars that aren't used
daily. They keep the batteries at peak charge just like the Battery Tenders that they
run side by side with, but at 1/4 the purchase price. It may be the Airhead in me
(airhead owners are famous for finding "cost effective" solutions.), but I don't mind
saving a few $$$ when there is no down side to doing it.
'99 R1100RT '99 F650 '98 R1200C '88 R100GS '78 R80/7
BMW MOA, RA, ABC