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kmatcek
03-19-2005, 09:38 AM
I just bought a 12 volt 46lb motor guide trolling motor.
my battery charger is one I bought at Sam's. It has 2amp 10 amp 40 amp and 200 amp jump start settings
the amp gauge is marked in amps.
there are no lites telling when the battery is full.
How do I determine how long to charge the battery and at what setting?
I went fishing yesterday and used the motor for a few hours off and on at all speeds.
I hooked it up to the charger at 2amps but the meter did not show anything I know I used some juice but only charged it for 2 hours since I did not know how much I needed.
Is there some kinda of a meter I can buy that will tell me how much of a charge is in the battery?
Thanks
Kenny

kmatcek
03-19-2005, 02:30 PM
What no one recharges batteries now a days?
Any kind of advise will be appreciated I dont want to hurt my batterie.

Barnacle Bill
03-19-2005, 02:49 PM
Most modern chargers will shut themselves off or go into a maintenance mode once the battery is charged. You need to check your book on the charger to see if yours does that. If it does, you can hook it up, set for 2 amps and forget about it. If not, then you will have to monitor your charger and when the needle goes to 0 shut it off. You will see very little needle movement on the charger at the 2 amp setting. The first time out, you really didn't use it that much to see much of a change. There are battery gauges you can get http://www.basspro.com/servlet/catalog.TextId?hvarTextId=5193&hvarTarget=search&cmCat=SearchResults like these. I started using an on-board charger years ago so i've never used any and can't say much about them.

Some important tips to prolong battery life:
Recharge within 24 hours of use.
Don't over charge
Check water level regularly
Keep connections clean and tight

Hope some of this helps.

labill
03-19-2005, 03:19 PM
I just bought a 12 volt 46lb motor guide trolling motor.
my battery charger is one I bought at Sam's. It has 2amp 10 amp 40 amp and 200 amp jump start settings
the amp gauge is marked in amps.
there are no lites telling when the battery is full.
How do I determine how long to charge the battery and at what setting?
I went fishing yesterday and used the motor for a few hours off and on at all speeds.
I hooked it up to the charger at 2amps but the meter did not show anything I know I used some juice but only charged it for 2 hours since I did not know how much I needed.
Is there some kinda of a meter I can buy that will tell me how much of a charge is in the battery?
Thanks
Kenny


Hey, Kenny........I guess everyone is fishing but you and I. The amp gauge should give you the needed information, when the needle is at zero, the battery should be adequately charged. Remember, when you're on 2 amp charge, there will be very little deflection on the needle. It will not charge more than 2 amps, so it will peak at 2 and stay there untill the amperage feed automatically drops below 2 amps, then the needle will slowly follow the amperage to zero, then you're charged up. If I've been fishing all day, I start at 10 amps untill the needle reaches 4 or 5 amps, then I switch to 2 amp and let it trickle charge all night. You would be ill advised to charge at anything over 10 amps, you could boil the water out of your battery, and possibly do irreversable damage to it. In fact, if I'm not going fishing the following day, I just put a "float charger" on it and forget it, and I don't even take it off during cold weather. It's a small trickle charger available at Harbor Freight tool stores, made for safe battery maintenance. If you don't have a store close by, you can order one online at www.harborfreight.com for as little as $13.00 and change, including shipping. I just ordered one for a buddy and it came in yesterday. By the way, I got the info on it here at crappie.com.!!! Good luck! :D
There is a charge tester available called a "hydrometer" that you can use to test your battery's charge. It is simply a glass tube with a rubber bulb on one end that pulls the water in and measures the charge by how many of the different colored orbs that will float. It's the same tool that the battery people use to test batteries.

Kenny
03-19-2005, 03:37 PM
One more thing to keep in mind...if you don't have a good connection between your battery and the charger clips the charger will not charge and you'll get no meter movement The most common reason for a bad connection is corroded battery posts so make sure your posts and charger clips are clean each time you use them.

kmatcek
03-19-2005, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the info guys.
I wish I was at the lake today last nite on the news the weatherman said it was a rainy weekend in store. What a liar he was. I will not make plans on the weatherman again.
Thanks
Kenny

gcromer
03-19-2005, 10:21 PM
Hi Guys
I just want to echo what labill said..The float charger that he's talking about that is now on sale at the Harbor Freight stores for $8. The normal price is $16...

So many of the trickle chargers today are what I call brute force chargers. A transformer that puts out about 15 to 16 volt, a recifier to change the AC voltage to DC and maybe a meter... No Electronics..

What happens is that the battery keeps drawing current until the battery reaches whatever the DC output voltage of the charger is. And this can be as much as 15 or more volts. I've seen some up around 16 volts.. This isn't all bad if it's for a short term and the battery doesn't get to hot. All this time the battery is boiling off the water.

There isn't any regulation on the current or voltage. These type chargers will really deplete the water in the battery if left on the battey for a long peroid of time.. But are good for a quick charge, say where you used up a lot of charge fishing today and need to go back tomorrow.

The better chargers will have a voltage and current regulation circuit and will sample the condition of the battery and adjust the current accordingly, but you have to pay for this.. There's no free lunch.. You get what you pay for.

Now a little more about that little charger from Harbor Freight..

This is a charger or float charger that has an output of 13.5 volts at 650 Ma. ( That's 2/3 of an Amp.) I think with out looking it up in the books that batteries are rated full charge at about 13.8 volts..

So this charger never applies more than 13.5 volts to the battery and the current trickles down from 650 Ma. to about 5 Ma. all the while keeping 13.5 volts on the battery. Never any boiling out of the water.. I leave one on each of my batteries 24/7 when the boat is parked. I've added about a coke bottle of water, twice in 2 1/2 years to both batteries.

Now if I'm going fishing the next day, after fishing today, I do use a 6 Amp charger over night to sock it back up for the next day. but if I'm not going for several day, I just use the float charger. The batteries are always ready to go for me.

I've measured the current and voltage many, many times over the past 2 years with a digital volt/current meter to keep check to be sure that these little charger are doing their job. So far they have....

I just went out to Harbor Freight and picked up 3 more as back up and to give to some of my friends. I noticed that they changed the spec sheet for some reason and show it as a 15.5 volts output now rather than 13.5 as it use to, but when I measured one it was still 13.5 volts... One of my original unit I had to repair the wire where it came out of the little box that has the electronics in. So I got to look at the circuit in it. It's basically a voltage regulator and the transformer capacity of 650 Ma. limits the max current that the unit can put out to 650 Ma...

And again it so important to not leave a battery in a discharged state. Charge it up as soon as you get back even if you aren't going for a while.

One of these day I'm going to lay out the bigger bucks for a charger that'll monitor the battery condition and charge it at higher currents and not boil out the water.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


I think good fishing is here from what I've been reading, if I could just get to go.

Gerald K4NHN

labill
03-19-2005, 11:03 PM
Hello Gerald.......now I remember where I got the tip about the "float charger." I'm thinking it was you. Thanks for the tip about the charger, I was getting tired of returning batterys in less than a year, and I'm talking about high dollar well known brands. I had just gotten a new one when I read about the float charger, and since I started using it, I've had no trouble with batteries whatsoever. It's made me more concious about cramming too many amps into my batteries and the overheating factor. Like I told kmatcek, if I fished all day and was going again the following morning, I would use the big charger to drop it to about 4 or 5 amps ( and using a fan to cool the battery and charger if the weather was hot), then put it on the float charger till I left the next morning. Couldn't have worked out better. Thanks again!

PS...if you find that "perfect charger" let me know???

CrappiePappy
03-20-2005, 01:55 AM
http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/index.htm

It's long and involved ... but just follow the pertinent links and you'll get the skinny on battery charging & maintenance. ................cp :cool:

unknown 5
03-20-2005, 07:51 AM
If you want to test whether your battery has a full charge or not, I bought a battery tester made by Minnkota at Walmart for about $10. It will tell you how much charge your battery has left. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and you can test your battery out in your boat if you think you need to. You can test your battery and see if you have a full charge or not after charging it. To me, it was money well spent.

kmatcek
03-20-2005, 10:59 AM
If you want to test whether your battery has a full charge or not, I bought a battery tester made by Minnkota at Walmart for about $10. It will tell you how much charge your battery has left. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and you can test your battery out in your boat if you think you need to. You can test your battery and see if you have a full charge or not after charging it. To me, it was money well spent.

I gotta go to wal-mart today and get dog food I have looked at that battery checker in the past few weeks and was wondering if it was anygood.
I will get one today.
THanks
Kenny

unknown 5
03-20-2005, 01:05 PM
MinnKota makes good products as far as I am concerned and I think their battery tester is worth the money. I want to know I have a full charge before I go out.

Moose1am
03-20-2005, 01:45 PM
Get a new Optima Battery and you won't have to worry about adding water to the batteries ever again.

Everyone else has covered the battery charging stuff.

Optima type spiral bound cells are the future for lead batteries.

Hopefully there will be other companies that make these type of batteries in the future and the prices will drop. Lead is not that damn costly.

FishCrazed
03-20-2005, 08:50 PM
Amen Moose! Heck just cause they're yellow dosen't mean thos Optima's are made of GOLD!!

I've got a pair of the AC Delco Voyagers M27MF that came with the boat I bought 2 years ago. These babies have been great so for and I know they are at least 5 yrs old!

Scanoe
03-21-2005, 09:23 PM
[After reading this post I went to Harbor freight and bought one of these chargers for $8. I have it hooked up to my battery right now, sounds like a great way to go. Thanks for the tip!