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Re: Trickle charging revisited..

Thanks for the info Jim, and also to Bob Hadden for responding.

My apologies for the incorrect use of the nomenclature, I think of  
"trickle charger" as a generic term to describe a low-amperage device  
designed solely for the purpose of maintaining a battery for an  
extended period of non-use. As opposed to the regular 10A chargers  
used mainly for autos. You are absolutely correct, it is a Float  
Charger I'm after for my gel cell, and appreciate all the brand  


On 22-Sep-05, at 12:12 PM, James H. Nazarian, Ph. D. wrote:

> 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.
> Jim
> microdoc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike" <virtualm2@xxxxxxxx>
> To: <oilheads@xxxxxxxxx>
> 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,
>> Mike