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Halfords Smart Battery Charger

Interior, exterior and warning lights

Post Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:41 pm
Abzynthe User avatar

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As I don't use the car regularly, and rarely for long trips, and also as it lives in the garage, I thought I'd try one of these.

My car shows eco mode active nearly every time I go to start the car, so hopefully this will help.
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Post Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:09 pm
ranillo Newbie
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Think its time to change battery.

Post Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:00 pm
stewartwillsher User avatar

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I really should not stick my neck out when it comes to rechargeable batteries and charging them, as I have had so many failures, including so-called smart chargers. :oops:
The main problem with them, is that when they do not do the job whether due to the battery or the charger, they are so smart they keep all the knowledge inside them, and so a fault can remain a mystery.
But, others may swear by them.

Of all the methods I use, by far the most reliable and easy to diagnose, is to combine a solar panel and charge controller.
Moncrystalline panels are by far the best in my opinion but a little dear; but shopping around (e-bay) bargains can be found.
A 20w (nearly 2amp) 12v (actually about 20v when not under load) can be got for thirty quid.
Charge controllers come in all shapes and sizes.
A 10amp (about the smallest but adequate here) with leds to show what is going on can be found for under a tenner.
Wiring up is a doddle and you can put a volt meter across the panel or the output to the battery easily for actual readings.
I actually have that combo sitting on top of the dash of the 5008 at his moment, as the bus gets little use.

We have loads of solar panels for different things, which is not surprising given the sunshine we have, but monocrystalline still give a good voltage on totally overcast days, so fully functional in the UK.

Hope that helps. :beer:
Stewart

Incidentally, only our ageing Mondeo Estate has an auxiliary socket "on" all the time for easy connection for charging; all others I have to resort to croc clips as sockets only live with "ignition on". Bloody infuriating! :x
Entering tyre kicking mode; for diesel RCZ.

Post Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:51 pm
Abzynthe User avatar

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stewartwillsher wrote:
I really should not stick my neck out when it comes to rechargeable batteries and charging them, as I have had so many failures, including so-called smart chargers. :oops:
The main problem with them, is that when they do not do the job whether due to the battery or the charger, they are so smart they keep all the knowledge inside them, and so a fault can remain a mystery.
But, others may swear by them.

Of all the methods I use, by far the most reliable and easy to diagnose, is to combine a solar panel and charge controller.
Moncrystalline panels are by far the best in my opinion but a little dear; but shopping around (e-bay) bargains can be found.
A 20w (nearly 2amp) 12v (actually about 20v when not under load) can be got for thirty quid.
Charge controllers come in all shapes and sizes.
A 10amp (about the smallest but adequate here) with leds to show what is going on can be found for under a tenner.
Wiring up is a doddle and you can put a volt meter across the panel or the output to the battery easily for actual readings.
I actually have that combo sitting on top of the dash of the 5008 at his moment, as the bus gets little use.

We have loads of solar panels for different things, which is not surprising given the sunshine we have, but monocrystalline still give a good voltage on totally overcast days, so fully functional in the UK.

Hope that helps. :beer:
Stewart

Incidentally, only our ageing Mondeo Estate has an auxiliary socket "on" all the time for easy connection for charging; all others I have to resort to croc clips as sockets only live with "ignition on". Bloody infuriating! :x



Thanks for that. Very informative. I have already gone and picked up the charger I mentioned, so I'll give it a go and see how it goes.
I'm not ruling out that a new battery is required, but, when I first got it, I think I may have drained the battery a bit while playing with all of the buttons etc, and I haven't had a long enough trip to charge it back up.
This charger is supposed to be a maintenance one aswell, so when the battery is at 80%, it will lower the voltage and trickle it to full.
I did consider a solar one, but I wasn't sure it would work through clouded corrugated plastic roofing, as my car lives in the garage.


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Post Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:07 pm
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Ok, so panel on garage roof and twin cable (won't carry more than a couple of amps at 20v-ish) down into garage; charge controller on garage wall near car where battery is; similar cable with croc clips to reach battery.
I put an in-line switch (like you might use for a table lamp) in cable with croc clips so only turn on when safely connected.
Maintenance feature on the smart chargers is over rated in my opinion. :roll:
The charge controller will turn on and off charging at sensible thresholds.
Couple of quid on cable and clips and still cheaper than smarty-pants! :thumbup:
Anyway hope you get on well with the charger; let us know. :beer:
Entering tyre kicking mode; for diesel RCZ.


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