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Re: Trickle charging revisited..
- Subject: Re: Trickle charging revisited..
- From: "James H. Nazarian, Ph. D." <microdoc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 15:12:29 -0400
You want a Float Charger, not a trickle charger. A trickle charger will boil
a conventional motorcycle battery dry over a long Ohio winter. The BMW Gel
battery requires a float charger designed for true gel batteries. That means
the float charger should output ~14.4 vDC. Deltran, maker of the
BatteryTender, produces one model for BMW, and they produce another one to
sell under their own brand label that are designed for gel batteries. They
produce another model that looks identical, packaged in almost identical
looking packaging that is NOT suited for the true gel battery. (stupid,
stupid, stupid). If you intend to purchase a Deltran brand float charger,
check with them for the product number to buy, or play it safe and buy the
BMW model. I use a BMW branded float charger on my K1200LT's gel battery.
VDC Electronics produces their BatteryMinder costing near 50% less than a
BatteryTender. It will safely maintain any type motor vehicle battery
including gel, AGM, and conventional lead-acid or soaked batteries. This
unit also has a sulphation remover cycle and other bonus features. Call
their toll-free number for a dealer near you (800) 379-5579. I paid $50 last
year for my BatteryMinder that I use on the Panasonic/Westco/Rhino brand AGM
battery found under the skin of my '99 R1100RT.
Finally, Harbor-Freight sells a Float Charger for ~$8 that produces the
correct 14.4vDC output required to keep the gel battery charged. It will
maintain the charge of any gel, AGM, and conventional lead-acid battery. It
has a red LED that, unlike the two chargers described above, indicates
NOTHING. (That's right, the H-F float charger LED will glow red whether it
is connected to a 110 vAC wall outlet, or a 12 vDC battery that has even a
little life left in it, or both.) Ignore the H-F's red LED and check your
battery with a voltmeter periodically during the winter. If the battery
being maintained by the H-F float charger is a conventional lead-acid or
soaked battery, you'll want to check the electrolyte levels every month or
so just to be sure all is well. Gel and AGM batteries are maintenance-free,
and this $8 bargain will keep them and any conventional battery topped up. I
have been using a brace of these H-F float chargers on cars, trucks,
tractors, motorcycles, and mowers side-by-side with the BatterTender and
BatteryMinder for several years with equally good results. I prefer the
BatteryMinder best, then the BatteryTender, for their technical features,
but I sure like the price of the H-F unit.
- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike" <virtualm2@xxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:58 PM
Subject: Trickle charging revisited..
> Hello all,
> I know this topic came up a while ago, but could anyone give me a
> suggestion for a cheaper alternative to the BMW-branded tender? I need
> something for when my bike goes into storage. (I know, I know, should be
> riding year-round but I'm in the process of moving!)
> It's got the gel cell, which I've heard both DOES and DOES NOT need a
> different charger/tender than the lead-acid...?
> any input appreciated,