Friday, November 21, 2008

Battery testing and a good inexpensive charger

I have been testing a good number of batteries lately that have been coming out of UPS units where I work. I had 2 dozen sitting in my area last week. I am down now to half of that, but I have quite a few at home still that I need to check out (and a large pile that needs to be taken to the recyclers too).

In order to do this, I needed to be able to charge the batteries up in order to run them down with my tester (a CBA II). I found a really nice charger for a really good price - a Tempest BC-1250. I ordered 2 of them and so far, I really like them. They are well built (metal cases, sturdy cords) and the voltages they use are just right for the SLA batteries I use. If you have batteries sitting around going dead, don't wait - this charger is worth the $32.50 - you need to charge them up periodically so they don't sulfate and kill themselves. If you charge them up separately first, one of these chargers should be able to maintain several small/medium batteries connected in parallel.

Since I go through at least 2 charge/discharge cycles on most batteries, it has been nice to have a couple of extra chargers (I can drain them a lot faster than I can charge them). They have been perfect for the relatively small batteries I've been working with (mostly 7 & 12 Ah, but a few 18's also). For larger ones, I still have my other bigger charger.

For something that can maintain (or very slowly charge) a battery at the proper voltage, get one (or several) of these Float Chargers from Harbor Freight.


  1. And since batteries are getting sooo expensive now, it's better to maintain them properly!