Looking for trickle charger recommendations

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 15:51
ThreadID: 106266 Views:2008 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi all,

I'm looking for some recommendations for a trickle charger to maintain the batteries in my car which spends 6 months of each wet season garaged.
It has 2 x 12v 880CCA batteries to maintain.
Any advice is most welcome.

Thanx in advance.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:00

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:00
I know there will be those sprouting the benifits of multistage chargers.
I have 5 of different sizes but I am unconvinced about the lont term viability of them as a float charger.

These complex computerised chargers CAN get confused and stew batteries from time to time.

My choice would be an a old style regulated 13.8 volt supply( or whatever voltage you want to adjust it to) , of at least 3 amps capacity.

Something bassed on a transformer and a 3 terminal regulator.

There are thousands of burgular allarm, CCTV, phone and fire evac systems floated 24/7/365 year after year on this sort of charger and they have proven reliable for decades.

Not all that fashonable these days and ya wont find one with a trendy brand on it either.

But they are easy enough to build or can be baught from security & electronics suppliers.


AnswerID: 526592

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:47

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:47
I agree with Bantam. Something like this one from Jaycar should be good, or one of the many on ebay.


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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 18:16

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 18:16
I'm not overly keen on the current crop of switchmode plug packs and power supplies, particularly in 24/7 applications.

I have had a number of them fail both in my own applications and in clients jobs.
If they are trying to bang em out cheap..as they are..they cut corners with the capacitors and semiconductors and when run continuously they just don't last.

I have and have seen older style transformer bassed power supplies running 3 terminal regulators last 20 years and more.

Unfortunately under pressure from the greenies, the govermnent has legeslated away many transformer bassed power supplies on the grounds of reduction in power consumption.

Another case of the emporors new clothes and creation of waste in the interests of "saving the planet".

There are still a few analogue power supplies out there, but you have to look.

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 23:24

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 23:24
Just as a follow up.
I have not been able to find a low current float charger I am happy with.
So I've gathered the parts & I'm about to build a few for myself.

A nice 2 amp 15Volt torroidal transformer, a dicast box, and a simple 3 terminal regulator kit..and a few other bits.

It should give me a nice reliable 13 to 15 volt adjustable supply at a solid 1.5 amps continouous.

If you want to keep it simpler, and remove the need for mains wiring a 16 Volt AC burgular allarm plug pack and a pre assembled regulator module will get the job done nice and easy.

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Reply By: Nutta - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:47

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 16:47
I've been running 0.8 amp cteks on my boat (2 batteries with 2 chargers), my ride on, wood splitter etc, i have about 6 cteks all up, the boat has had them on for at least 2-3 years and me being lazy hardly gets used, always starts first pop if I ever do use it though, hard to beat imo, especially with the cost of batteries these days, cheers.
AnswerID: 526597

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:07

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:07
Hi ˜ $5,

All you need to overcome is the inherent self-discharge of the lead-acid battery. Generally just a few milliamps.

There are a number available from Jaycar etc.This one looks OK too, and comes with battery clips.
There are also some solar-powered trickle chargers available but I was not impressed with the one that I tried.

You can simply use just one charger with the two batteries connected in parallel, but it is perhaps better to use a separate charger for each battery.

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AnswerID: 526599

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:55

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 17:55
I maintained an AGM on a 5 stage Setec charger with a float of 13.2 volt for 6 years –- Load tests at that stage showed the battery to still have full capacity.
I have other batteries on a 3 stage Xantrex 20 amp, and a 5 stage Ctek 13.6 volt float, 0 .8 amp without problems.
AnswerID: 526602

Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 20:50

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 20:50
I use these: Battery Fighter

Look around, there are big price differences available for the same item. They work very well.

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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 23:21

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 at 23:21
Why be tied to the mains power? I have used a solar panel like this one for the last 12 years. I mounted it on a wooden frame. When i had a van without solar panels it sat on the top of the van whilst we were home and topped the house battery up. When we were travelling it went on the carport roof and maintained the battery in the navigators car. These days it is on the carport roof permanently and used when needed.

As it is only 5 W rating it does not need a regulator with it. If your batteries are in two separate vehicles then get one for each vehicle.

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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 09:50

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 09:50
I agree. A small panel like the ones used to keep an electric fence charged will more than provide enough power. I would use a basic regulator to keep voltage at 13.x.

FollowupID: 808880

Reply By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:26

Monday, Feb 17, 2014 at 20:26
Hi we have C-Tec battery chargers that look after the battterys condition, we have them on cars that are kept in the shed, fabulous .
cheers Judy and Laurie
AnswerID: 526687

Reply By: Winner W - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:47

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014 at 17:47
I have a el cheapo charger on a el cheapo timer plug on my boat. Set the charger on trickle and timer on two hours a day and my boat gets used 4-5 times a year only. Batttery in boat now 7 years old and still going strong.
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