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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Assaulting n Battery

    I have a special needs car when it comes to batteries and have been doing some research into the subject of Batteries,
    Car Batteries specifically.

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    Battery Conditioning - Battery Reconditioning

    Batteries decline in performance, over time.

    For rechargeable batteries, the decline will depend upon the battery chemistry, how the battery is used, and how it is
    maintained and charged.

    For nickel-based batteries (NiMh or NiCd), the battery performance will decline mostly because of crystalline formation.
    It isn’t a memory issue (inasmuch as the battery isn’t remembering how hard it worked on previous occasions), but it is
    caused by partial discharging and, sometimes, poor charging.

    What happens is that the crystals within the chemistry of the battery tend to group and grow into larger crystals, which
    increases resistance within the cell and causes the battery to seem empty before it really is.

    The best avoidance practice is to “exercise” the battery every month or two with a good discharge and then a full charge
    or, if the cells are already delivering poor performance, to put them through a “reconditioning” programme on a suitable
    diagnostic device.

    The latter isn’t viable for cells costing a few $, but it makes a great deal of sense for power tools batteries, mobile phone
    batteries and similar.

    For lead acid based batteries, a similar problem occurs with sulphur build up and, in this case, a multi-stage charger
    will often do the job.

    Our fingerprints never fade from the lives we touch

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Battery Chargers




    Modern battery chargers use fancy technology and sensors to look after the batteries in their care.
    For small batteries, the ideal charger will have “negative delta v cut-off” and temperature sensing.
    It’ll know when the battery reaches peak charge, and it will stop bothering it, other than giving it the
    occasional nudge.

    For big batteries (lead acid), your charger should be multi-stage and, at least, should know when to go
    into float mode (minimal pulses to maintain a battery at peak power).

    Ideally the charger will also offer a desulfation stage, and might have several other interesting stages
    and flashing lights to entertain you.

    Importantly, either you or the charger should know what type of battery you are charging and react accordingly.

    Both the fast charge and the float charge voltages need to change depending upon whether the battery is
    gel (13.8v and 13.2v respectively will work nicely), AGM (14.4v and 13.8v) or flooded/wet cell (14.8v and 14.2v).

    A 13.8v charge won’t hurt a flooded cell battery, but a 14.8v charge will harm a gel battery, quickly, and
    cost you more than a new charger would have done.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    Some battery tips:


    • Don’t leave small batteries (NiMh, NiCd, Li-Ion) on charge for long after they are fully charged, and certainly not for days on end


    • A monthly or bi-monthly full discharge and charge works well for small batteries (but don’t do it every time you charge them, just occasionally) but it is bad for lead acid batteries


    • Most rechargeable batteries don't reach full capacity until they have been discharged and charged a few times (a dozen or so). Prior to that, they are probably about 90% of true maximum


    • Don’t leave a lead acid battery on charge for more than a day after it is fully charged unless your charger has “peak detection” or “float mode”


    • There is a myth that lead acid batteries discharge if they stand on concrete. It was true a few decades ago, when batteries had cases made of wood and tar, and even when their cases were porous rubber, but a modern battery doesn't mind concrete!


    • Don’t use a car battery in a boat (the plates aren't designed for marine conditions, and it won't last well - so false economy)


    • Don’t use a starting (cranking) battery for an application that will run it down more than a few % before it is recharged


    • Keep an eye on temperature during charging. Batteries that get noticeably hot should be allowed to cool off


    • Leave the caps closed ON a lead acid battery during charging. They are vented, and don't need to be open


    • If you are maintaining a battery by adding distilled water, do it after charging, not before (unless the plates are uncovered at the top, in which case JUST cover them before charging)


    • Old chargers are (usually) not as good for batteries as new chargers. If you are using a device that was manufactured in the good old days, it’ll probably cost you in battery replacement or performance


    • The electrolyte in a lead acid battery can settle (stratify) if the battery isn't moved (eg in a solar storage bank) which leaves the cells with concentrated acid at the bottom, and acidy water at the top - which reduces capacity. For static batteries, an occasional good charge will cause them to bubble and will mix the electrolyte. This equalising charge is worth doing about once per month - with a serious charger

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    Good discharge
    I am in favour of this method.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat David48atTD's Avatar
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    4/4

    Some battery tips:

    • If you are charging unprotected LiPo batteries (eg for radio control applications), make sure that they are tended (not left unattended) and that they are in a suitable charging bag or similar


    • If your phone is losing charge too quickly, check that Bluetooth and wireless are turned off when you aren’t using them. These two are the usual culprits


    • If your laptop is usually plugged in, and it is capable of running without the battery, take the battery out until you might need to unplug it. The battery does not like being constantly charged by the laptop power supply, and will be much happier if it is fully charged, then discharged almost fully before being plugged in again


    • If your car battery is registering 10 volts, it’s a good sign that 1 of the 6 2 volt cells may have failed. It almost certainly isn’t for lack of charge
    • But...if someone left the lights on and your car battery is completely flat, and if it won't charge, it may be that your charger doesn't see enough volts to start charging. Get the battery checked, because a good battery specialist will have, and sometimes even sells, rescue chargers to handle this situation


    • If you have a bank of batteries, maybe for solar storage, or for the house system on a boat for example, if one battery fails then get it out of the pack quickly, because it will "bring the others down" if it can. In the same way, don't buy one new battery and put it into a bank of old batteries (over 6 months old). If you do, the old batteries will "cannibalise" the new one, until it is reduced to the same condition as they are - batteries don't like tall poppies
    • Battery life is, to some extent, a function of design. Some batteries are designed to “put a quart in a pint pot”. Like anything that is highly-stressed, or running as fast as it can, the pace may be unsustainable
    • Car batteries are generally oblong, with a plastic case and a combination of lead and acid inside, which is where the similarity ends. They might look alike, but there is a huge difference between a quality battery and a cheap battery - and high cranking amps isn't always a sign of a good battery - in some cases it just means more acid and less (expensive) lead. Good lead acid batteries are surprisingly heavy
    • In general, buy the best and most suitable battery, not the cheapest, and you won’t be disappointed.

  6. #6
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    Just replace your battery as soon as it stops cranking the engine properly when its cold, and always carry a set of jumper leads with you for emergency starts
    The other day i was asked by someone in a out of they way place if i could give him a jump start, unfortunately i had left my set of jumper leads out of the vehicle when i had it cleaned, he did not have a set of jumper leads and is still probably still stuck on the edge of the road where i left him

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    Quote Originally Posted by David48atTD View Post
    A monthly or bi-monthly full discharge
    Does that include birthdays?

    Quote Originally Posted by petercallen View Post
    unfortunately i had left my set of jumper leads out of the vehicle when i had it cleaned
    You could have gone home and got them.

  8. #8
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    Clever headline I see what you did there.

    I find all this bipolarity revolting and charge you with Ohmiside

  9. #9
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    Drive from the bridge at the north end of Phuket to Rawai at the south end of Phuket to pick up set of jumper leads to start someones car (who is not a friend) that he has been driving all over Southern Thailand without his own set of jumper leads and a old battery, not likely in this century sport , i will leave that for someone like you to do

  10. #10
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    The Cow alternative charging method is much easier and simpler. Use it and charge it whenever you want and replace the battery when its f#cked.

  11. #11
    Newbie Tommy's Avatar
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    Actually, you could last a lead acid battery for over 20 years or more. Problem is that in a car the voltage is never allowed to go high enough to solve all the sulphate cristals into the acid. Try charging one outside the car with a charger which is not voltage-controlled (like the old chargers often are) and monitor the voltage. It will peak out at 15.x to sometimes 16.x volts and then go down to a 14 or 15 v. When that is achieved, all sulphate is vack into the h2so4 solution.
    In car system this is a problem, unless you are willing to charge the battery every other week or so to keep it in topcondition, but in a solar setup with some d.i.y. stuff you could let your batteries last much longer. Probably have to design your own charge controller...

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    This web site needs help. I go to ssearch for boxer dogs and get a page of ? I get to Tommy and get another page unrelated.
    Then If I get on the original add; there is no place to leave a reply

  13. #13
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    ^ A google search of TD is usually better than using the forum search function. You can add more keywords.

    And for Tommy's "Boxer dog puppies for sale" thread, there is a Quick Reply area at the bottom of the page - for me anyway.

    Perhaps you should start a new thread about it in the Troubleshooting and Suggestions forum, or perhaps a kindly mod could shift your post and my reply there. http://teakdoor.com/troubleshooting-and-suggestions/

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by petercallen View Post
    Just replace your battery as soon as it stops cranking the engine properly when its cold, and always carry a set of jumper leads with you for emergency starts
    Battery on one of the work truck, failing . Would not start when the battery is hot. Reluctantly starts if left for 45mins to 1 hour. It is manual so can be push started.

    No hi-tech charger solutions. Removed the battery sent one guy on a mocy. He came back with a new Panasonic maintenance free battery 2000 Baht (with credit for old casing) . It was over 5 years old.
    I am not sure it is worth all the hassle of fancy chargers and , and ,and.

    Ok I suppose if you don't drive for weeks and can't wait overnight for a charge before driving again. Or drive a fire truck
    Last edited by VocalNeal; 11-05-2018 at 10:20 AM.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
    Those who cannot change their mind, cannot change anything.

  15. #15
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    Good advice. Thanks.
    Just a few points that most of you probably know about jump starting a car with a dead battery.
    If it's really dead, wait 5 minutes with the good car running. A little extra gas given on the accelerator pedal will help charge the dead battery faster.
    When hooking up the cables, always touch the last cable (the negative, or black on the dead car) with your head turned.
    As sometimes there is an explosive gas just on top of the battery and the spark can ignite it. (I've had this happen to me twice and once is enough, believe me)

    Don't buy the cheap jumper cables. You need thick ones.
    If you have the cheaper, thin ones, you'll probably notice how hot they get. That's inefficiency beling lost to heat, instead of transerring to the bad battery.
    Of course: Never touch the red and black ends together. Big sparks, ruin your battery or voltage regulator.

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