Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Battery Chargers: My favorite died: Suggestions?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by MrCreosote, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    Any suggestions/recommendations? or types or manufacturers to avoid? (I think Harbor Freight is "off the table.")

    I do like the smart charging features but robustness is #1.

    Thanks
    Tom

    My Black and Deck VEC1093DBD was had all the features: 4/10/20/40a charge, 110a boost + desulfate + equalize.
    [​IMG]

     
  2. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,383

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Depends on what you want to do! I use the Sears 200/40/2 amp charger. It works for me, if I have all the time in the world, 2 amp. If iv got a little time 40 amp. If I’m in a jamb or staring a diesel, 200 amp. Have one here at the house, one on the ranch. Best I my books, usually can get them for around $100. It also will “ kick back” on the 40 and 2 amp settings as the battery charges up.









    Bones
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  3. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,451

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Don't knock the HF until you try it! My Schumacher finally died, and I needed a replacement quick, so I bought the HF unit. It works just as well as my old one did, only thing I don't like about it is it has to see a bit of voltage before it will turn on, a totally dead battery won't turn it on. Cure for that is to hook jumper cables to a good battery and the dead one, hook up the charger for a few minutes, then disconnect the jumpers.

    I'm still going to find me another Schumacher. I used my for electrolysis cleaning sometimes, and I can't do that with the HF without a battery in series, if it even worked then.
     
  4. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,153

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    You probably mean a vintage Schumacher. The old school taper chargers, made way back in the day, when it was still OK to smoke in the Hospital elevators &c.

    I have a modern Schumacher, smart this and smart that, it works pretty well but the taper chargers definitely have their uses. The modern version is lightweight, but the cheap digital voltage readout sez "12" regardless of the actual voltage (to avoid bogus warranty returns no doubt) and the unit absolutely horks out and refuses to turn on below about 20° F, not exactly unheard of conditions for a battery charger.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.

  5. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,238

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    If you want a small one, Harbor Frieght has one for $30. I went through 3 and paid good money for 2 of them, bought the one from HF 3 years ago and it still works great.
     
  6. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,033

    oldolds
    Member

    I usually buy mine at house or farm auctions. Most older guys had a light duty charger in the garage, just in case. Farmers usually have heavy duty types. I have had some that do not work well, but most do. At less that $10 it is no big deal. There are 2 different types of chargers, one needs some voltage to start charging the other will charge right away. I am sure others on here can explain why.
     
    stillrunners and Truck64 like this.
  7. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    Just read a review on NOCO which are expensive and hyped, but many compare them with cTek. So cTek is the 800# gorilla. Then I found this Jay Leno on Battery Chargers and cTek is all he buys. He says Ferrari, Corvette, Mclaren use them too:

    Truck64:
    Doesn't turn on below 20*? ...I wonder if my B&D is doing the same thing. I put it in the trunk of my car working, and maybe it was 40* when I tried to use it. What are the chances it went bad while in trunk or when first plugged in?

    BamaMay: Which HF unit? The one on coupon right now for $30?
    [​IMG]
     
    6-bangertim likes this.
  8. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 385

    6-bangertim
    Member
    from California

    I've had a Schumacher for over 5 years, really LIKE the 75-amp boost feature! Analog gauge showing percentage of charge, nothin' digetal.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  9. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    I might drink the NOCO Koolaid since I do need a maintainer. However I believe Leno and cTek because the set voltage is terribly critical. The only way you know if the unit is any good is if the battery does not go back in a couple years. Of course it would be easy to check what the voltage is while maintaining. (I actually h ave a "BEST" OWON bluetooth DMM which I highly recommend.) What I like about the NOCO is that it has a manual mode for a battery with <1V showing.
     
  10. Brian Penrod
    Joined: Apr 19, 2016
    Posts: 81

    Brian Penrod
    Member

    I've got a 30 year old Risk in the garage. Got a Noco 3 bank charger in the boat, if the Noco goes bad I'll replace it with another.
     
  11. I bought and used a lot of NOCO's when I was working on the aircraft; they have some nice features and usually work, but sometimes the auto feature is more trouble than it's worth. I think about the most life we got out of them was 2 years or so and had a couple die within a couple of days of purchase. The avionics guy that worked with me thought they were the best thing ever invented but I like having a charger with a meter so I can tell what its doing. Fancy LED's don't do a lot for me...
    Just my experience and YMMV...
     
    Desoto291Hemi and Boneyard51 like this.
  12. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 401

    1ton
    Member

    Over the years I've become less impressed with the smart chargers and, most likely will not buy another. Seems that after a couple years they go dumb on you. I just want to be able to charge a battery without a fault code shutting the charger down. Also, I need it to charge 6 volts too.
     
    Boneyard51, Truck64 and warbird1 like this.
  13. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    warbird1: definitely not a stellar reviewe on NOCO robustness. (And then Jay had a pallet of CTEK's - haha)

    Is CTEK the Last Man Standing? (Leno saying CTEK gets the float voltage right is a huge claim.)


     
    Hot Rod Grampa likes this.
  14. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,451

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Yeah, that's the one I have. You can pay a lot more for a better one, but for now and then use, it has served me well. I've had mine about a year now.

    My Schumacher I bought back in the mid to late 80's looked almost just like the HF unit. Analog meter, nothing smart about it. I bought one of those so called "smart" chargers one time, it didn't last 6 months.
     
  15. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,308

    Budget36
    Member


    I've had that charger for 30 years, lol, and use it the same way:)

    But, in my stash I've an Exide charger as well, bought from Kragen Auto in the mid 80's. One of those hand carry ones. So one day I (don't recall why) shined a light up in it. Basically the Sears is the same thing packaged in a big sheetmetal box on wheels.

    BTW, why the hell they don't make a charger with a tall enough handle to roll around?

    Mercy
     
    Atwater Mike and Boneyard51 like this.
  16. G'day, I have had my Snap On charger for 30 years or so. I don't remember what model it is but it is a big honker. I was lucky back in 1997 when our town flooded that I had left the battery charger up on one of the benches. Water got 12 inches in the shop. The row of Muncie 4 speeds on the floor disliked the flood water. My dad drained, flushed, and refilled them the first day we were allowed back in. He also cut the bottom 12 inches off my inside walls and removed the insulation. Had to remove and toss all the baseboard heaters too.

    I did have a smaller Craftsman that saw only light use until it shorted out. It was sitting inside a Corvette (behind the seat battery) and caught the car on fire. Will never have another.

    I think that although the Snap On is a simple professional unit I will stick with that. And his name is Bob. Bob the battery charger.
     
  17. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,383

    Boneyard51
    Member

    I pick up chargers at garage sales, Flea markets, etc. usually buy them for $5. If they don’t work , cut the leads and make littler jumper wires! Throw the rest in the junk pile. Have about five now out of about eight!

    Plus my good Sears charger.






    Bones
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    bobss396 likes this.
  18. G-son
    Joined: Dec 19, 2012
    Posts: 667

    G-son
    Member
    from Sweden

    If it's your favourite, attempting to repair it may be a good option.

    I've got two "smart" ctek chargers, I got both for free because they were having issues, I fixed them and now they work great. One had bad connection in the 12V lead connector (the one where you can disconnect the clamps and instead hook up a cable permanently attached to a battery), the other had a blown internal fuse.
    This shows two things: Electrical problems can be quite simple to fix, and even the expensive smart chargers don't impress me all that much.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  19. I bought a HF one back in 2012, works every time I use it and it charges pretty quickly. I have a name-brand trickle charger I use if one my car is going to sit for a couple if weeks in cold weather.
     
  20. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,682

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    6-bangertim and Boneyard51 like this.
  21. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    Good to hear the ctek failures were not due to "circuitry failure" - a fuse and a mechanical failure are not indicative of a bad design - in fact, robustness is maintained.

    That is a possibility. I am slow, but I am capable of electronic repair. Working w/o a schematic and Test Points is pretty much beyond my ability, but I could probably diagnose the power supply section. But mechanical failure is perhaps 50% of all failures. I'm good at those and have some nice stereo microscopes to scrutinize circuit boards.

    But I do need a battery maintainer, probably 3 of them. (1 for sure since a modern car with computer drain.) Leaning towards CTEK - undecided about NOCO.. (then there is Battery Minder...)
     
    G-son likes this.
  22. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,609

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  23. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    Good Grief: Their lineup looks as wacky as Harbor Freight. With many dozens of models, I don't see how they can achieve good in-house "design excellence." The line is so diverse with many overlapping features and completely different stylings, I suspect they are rebadging whatever Chinese units are available and attractive to them bottom line-wise. Of course, that is not to say they don't have any good models - finding them is the problem.
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  24. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,264

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hmmm..... Mine's named 'Ray'. Ray the battery charger.
     
    Budget36 likes this.
  25. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,383

    Boneyard51
    Member

    We had one like that in the first shop , I worked in back in the late sixties! It looked like it had been through WWII then , but still worked great! It was still working when I left!










    Bones
     
    bchctybob likes this.
  26. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

  27. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 1,245

    41 GMC K-18
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have had this ancient battery charger for many years, everything works on it and its a heavy unit as well, look for them at swap meets, good luck finding one.

    Christie Electric Corp 1.JPG IMG_2744.JPG IMG_2748.JPG
     
    cactus1 likes this.
  28. The question is: how much do you want to spend? At the shop, all we have are Associated brand battery chargers. Super heavy duty and they are made and serviced right here in St. Louis. The way the crow flies about 3 miles from our shop. If one breaks, just run it over and they fix them right here. At home, I have a 25 year old roll around Craftsman. Still works great.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  29. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,156

    Tickety Boo
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Have the same charger and it looks like no longer made, why do they always have to stop making or change things that work:mad:
    The desulfate option just saved my drag car battery. Had not run the car since Nov 2018 and was going to start up in Sept to run awhile before the long winter. Charged the battery and it showed full charge until turning the key then the Volt gauge went 0 :eek: Thought it was done :oops:
    Gave it the 24 hour desulfate cycle and it has been working great, rotating it in the tractor for plowing snow so it is not standing idle a long time.
    Also like the 40 amp option + 110 boost to help get you to work on time.

    OPPS:oops: forgot I was retired :D:D:D The Restaurant on time
     
    bchctybob likes this.
  30. MrCreosote
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 256

    MrCreosote
    Member
    from USA

    UPDATE: Today I plugged my dead B&D in one more time, and I heard a "beep." And it powered up. (WTF)
    I'm not going to wonder why, but just accept it.
    Still, this thread has lead me to CTEK which I might never hard discovered otherwise.
    and, I'm still going to be on the lookout for a charger deal since now the B&D is unreliable.
     
    G-son and Tickety Boo like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.