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Re: Battery longevity?
- Subject: Re: Battery longevity?
- From: Ben Barkow <dr.ben@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 11:01:53 -0400
With about 6 yrs experience and much internet lurking on
Panasonic/Westco bike type battery discussions:
1. I would NEVER go back to slosh batteries - esp. when they are as
hidden-away as on an Oilhead. Also, seems crazy to ride around with an
open tub of acid.
2. Slosh batteries die slowly and the process is palpable. But the
Panasonics die suddenly, with no warning that I know about, typically
on a hot day (since there is more riding on warmer days, this may be an
artefact of observation, but I don't think so). They open (go to zero
volts) and that is that.
3. As others have posted, mostly false hocus-pocus about charging
batteries. Maybe there are "tricks" in the advanced course, but just
thinking of a battery as a juice reservoir works fine. With a
background in electrical stuff, I'd say certainly not worth thinking
about. I've had gel-cells on a /2, and various Panasonic-types on /7
and R1100S without a hiccup.
BTW, I get along just fine with a $10 wall-transformer charger for any
kind of top-up charging. These units naturally taper off and
over-charging is not much of an issue. In any case, it is a trivial
exercise to hook up an ammeter and so be able to SEE what is going on
for yourself - no less important if you casually place your trust in a
pricey Battery Tender. I'm doubtful if a wall-transformer is materially
worse than a pricey unit (and I have several voltage and current
regulated bench supplies if I wanted to use one in the garage).
From time to time, I post my battery-ground-strap-as-shunt ammeter
concept. Being able to eyeball the direction and volume of the juice
flowing to the battery is 90% of what anybody needs to know
diagnostically. Works great but be sure to disconnect when cranking.