Battery charger info

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 11:47
ThreadID: 110178 Views:2589 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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HI
Some months ago after looking for a battery charger with features on a budget I found these .

Projecta Pro-charge 21amp multi stage charging 2,6,12 and 21 amp output , setable battery type
Cheaper than its bigger brother ""Intellicharge"
Lowest cost around $150-160

and

Matson Infinite charger 12v 0--24 amp all types batteries /selectable ,multistage
Slightly bulkier than above
Comes with cooling fan
$160-200

and

Repco made copy of the projecta

Summary
I purchased the Matson
Works well only 1 exception
This unit has no ON/OFF SWITCH
U may say no worries but what happened may happen to others even with other brands of charger
situation
Atomic 1200w inverter geny NO SWITCH for the power point
Connect up battery to charger and then pluged in the charger to the geny
BANG the circuit board goes in the geny
The charger goes thru diagnosis before connectint power
Needless to say geny fixed under warranty
I now use a surge/overload....... switched.... power board
U can also install an inline switch also from jaycar

What r other people opinions of the chargers and the situation
tomo
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Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:08

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:08
Plug the charger into the genny before putting it under load would seem to be sensible
AnswerID: 541836

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:33

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:33
Hi tomo,

I cannot see much difference between simply plugging the charger in to the running gennie or connecting it via a switch. In each case the charger is abruptly connected.

The exception is if, in plugging-in the charger, an arc was created with subsequent flashover within the socket. Even then I would expect the gennie overcurrent protection to operate, not the 'circuit board' to destruct.

As the gennie was repaired under warranty it would seem that it was considered OK to plug loads in with it running. The charger load is less than 500w even allowing for some inrush.

What was the brand of the gennie?
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 541839

Follow Up By: swampfox - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:08

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:08
HI
The gen set is the 1200watt atomic [primus ] brand . Available thru Annaconda stores and others also .450$ on special

Baiscally as soon as the battery is connected it goes into diagnosis mode ,then starts charging . Once it starts to charge u have around 2-3 seconds to adjust amps . U have to be real quick. Basically really dumb software. Not thought out.

This would not discourage me from buying it . Charges N70z battery real quick around 4 hours to float and good for any mower size battery also . Matson is a regarded brand in the mechanical industry .

Tomo/Swampfox
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FollowupID: 828047

Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:51

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:51
OP said charger was already connected to battery before it was connected to the Gennie.

I have always been taught to connect charger to power source turn on connect + on battery then - to wherever recommended.

Never asked why but seems sensible to do it that way.

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FollowupID: 828050

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 15:21

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 15:21
Tom,

It is better to connect charger to the battery before applying mains to the charger.

Many 'Smart Chargers' will not begin their charging programme until they see a voltage from the battery and some will 'lock-out' if the battery is connected after the mains.

Also, having the charger 12v leads connected to the battery first eliminates any possibility of shorting these leads together with the charger energised.

Doing it the other way is like turning on the hose before connecting the sprinkler. lol

If your charger works your way, then fine, but there is no real need to do it that way despite what you "have always been taught". Next time ask them why.
Cheers
Allan

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FollowupID: 828051

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:08

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:08
There is an issue with running switch mode power supplies from some of the cheaper genys, it has something to do with an unstable output frequency with single cylinder motors and the switch mode getting cranky..... not voltage stability.

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FollowupID: 828101

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:44

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:44
The generator in question here is a sine wave inverter type so its output voltage and frequency is derived from the electronic control of the inverter, not from the motor, whether single cylinder or otherwise.

The problems that arise with switch-mode loads is more likely from generators with poor output waveform due to design inadequacy.

Cheers
Allan

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FollowupID: 828105

Reply By: olcoolone - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:03

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:03
No mention of what brand geny, so was it the battery charger that caused the damage or the geny was faulty.

As said above a switch will do little.
AnswerID: 541843

Reply By: swampfox - Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:45

Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 at 14:45
HI
Anyways ,went down the shed and had a hard look how I was using this .
I may have spoken to soon .
From memory when I first used it it was on a long ext cord and I was not use to its diagnosis .
I turned it on via the pwr board [batt disconnect]
Unit goes thru process and stalls in diagnosis
Checked charger leads for volts none
Connected battery leads and it continues diagnosis and connects itself internally to batt then displayed volts etc
At this point u can then program amps
NB it will select the appropriate amps for u but I like to override this and go the full 24 amps . As it is a smart charge it will cycle down quickly if it does not need it .

In summary I believe I voltage spiked the genny thru miss understanding of the charger . Plugging the live load in did it no favours but I do believe a switch will be beneficial if not at least handy .

Do the majority of inverter gennys have switched points or not .
From now on i will only operate the geny with the switched surge board connected

swamp fox /tomo
AnswerID: 541847

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:11

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 18:11
Very few smaller gen sets have switched GPO's, we use Honda EU20's in our service vehicles and non of them have switched GPO's.

Does you gen set have a eco throttle switch?
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FollowupID: 828102

Follow Up By: swampfox - Thursday, Nov 20, 2014 at 03:23

Thursday, Nov 20, 2014 at 03:23
hi
yes the generator does have a eco switch . From what I can see it is an electronic regulated carby . Although I donot think it regulates that well . Eco throttle Works best under light-med loads .
Slightly noisier than a Honda all though unproven .
Typically only use this to charge battery whist camping
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FollowupID: 828112

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 00:23

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 at 00:23
I'd say its more of a problem that the genny does not have a switch on its power point.

The problem compounds if the jenny will not cope with the direct on line connection of any legal electrical item within its capacity and in good repair.

Come to think of it......I have something like half a dozen decent sized battery chargers and some small change....not one has a mains power switch.

My generator has switches on the power outlets though.

cheers

AnswerID: 541861

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