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Old 10-23-2005, 18:01   #1 (permalink)
Tom Woods
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Posts: n/a
Charging parked vehicles

Over the last few months i have bought new batteries for half of the
fleet and am now feeling paranoid about looking after them.

I'm also sick of going out to use/move a car and finding that the
battery is flat.

Rigging up some kind of charging system would be good, and also help
my batteries during the winter cold.

Has anybody got any suggestions on possible ways to do this?

I've been thinking, and have thought of the following options:

Solar panels fitted in/on cars -
No running costs, but very low powered.
Maplins sell a 1.5watt one ( http://tinyurl.com/7hecf ), which by my
calculations is only about 0.1Amps. Is there much point in this?
This also wont be working at night, when its more use (so that the
battery is powered when it is coldest and ready for me to use the car
in the morning)

Low ampage mains charger
A low ampage charger such as this one http://tinyurl.com/b3w2h that
charges at 2.7amps. Presumably it should be clever enough that it
should only charge when the battery needs it.
Could be put on a timer to only work at night to save me money.

I have also seen more expensive battery chargers designed to be left
on all the time. How do they differ from something like the above
one?.

If i go for this option then my second issue is where i should put
things?. My cars are parked a good 20m or so of cable length away from
the house.
I can either -
Site the chargers in the house and run long charging cables out to the
cars. This would be good as i wouldnt have to put any mains leccy
outside and could keep an eye on the chargers. Would this be okay or
would i have issues with running low currents and the chargers sensing
the battery state over the 20m or so that i need?.
I could also use something like a caravan towing socket to easily plug
into the cars to save unearthing batteries every time.

second option - build a little box outside next to my drive. run mains
to that and put the chargers in it. Run short charge cables from there
to each car. I'm not so keen on this as i cant see what the chargers
are doing. I do need to put in an outdoor socket anyway though so i
can use tools outside easily.

third option - put a charger in each car, and plug the car into the
mains. I can use caravan mains sockets. I'm not sure i want to leave a
charger unnatended in my car for long periods though. (I had one that
went pop and started smoking once).
This method would also be good because i can leave my car pc powered
up to use it from within the house :)

Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?
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Old 10-24-2005, 00:01   #2 (permalink)
John Greystrong
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Re: Charging parked vehicles

Tom Woods wrote:

> Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?


Disconnect the battery? It's the cheapest option but you will
lose things like radio presets.I've used one of those big red
cut-off switches you see on rally cars, saves messing around with
spanners.

John
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:01   #3 (permalink)
beamendsltd
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Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

In message <3s3bp2Fm20l8U1@individual.net>
John Greystrong <johnny_g@ntlworld.com> wrote:

> Tom Woods wrote:
>
> > Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?

>
> Disconnect the battery? It's the cheapest option but you will
> lose things like radio presets.I've used one of those big red
> cut-off switches you see on rally cars, saves messing around with
> spanners.
>
> John


<shamelss plug>
MBS1 Battery Isolator Switch - Removable Key 4.35
</shamless plug>

Would that count as a pun?

Richard
--
www.beamends-lrspares.co.uk sales@beamends-lrspares.co.uk
Running a business in a Microsoft free environment - it can be done
Powered by Risc-OS - you won't get a virus from us!!
Boycott the Yorkshire Dales - No Play, No Pay
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:01   #4 (permalink)
EMB
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Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

beamendsltd wrote:

> <shamelss plug>
> MBS1 Battery Isolator Switch - Removable Key 4.35
> </shamless plug>
>
> Would that count as a pun?


A shocking pun.


--
EMB
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Old 10-24-2005, 03:01   #5 (permalink)
Tom Woods
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

On Mon, 24 Oct 2005 07:03:14 +0100, John Greystrong
<johnny_g@ntlworld.com> wrote:

>Tom Woods wrote:
>
>> Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?

>
>Disconnect the battery? It's the cheapest option but you will
>lose things like radio presets.I've used one of those big red
>cut-off switches you see on rally cars, saves messing around with
>spanners.


I've fitted one of them on the 2A. It's actually on its second one as
the first started smoking when i was cranking the starter and then
melted.

I'm still keen on fitting some kind of charging solution as i was
under the impression that leaving batteries standing unused for
weeks/months outside was still bad for them?

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Old 10-24-2005, 03:01   #6 (permalink)
JD
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

Tom Woods wrote:

> Over the last few months i have bought new batteries for half of the
> fleet and am now feeling paranoid about looking after them.
>
> I'm also sick of going out to use/move a car and finding that the
> battery is flat.
>
> Rigging up some kind of charging system would be good, and also help
> my batteries during the winter cold.
>
> Has anybody got any suggestions on possible ways to do this?
>
> I've been thinking, and have thought of the following options:
>
> Solar panels fitted in/on cars -
> No running costs, but very low powered.
> Maplins sell a 1.5watt one ( http://tinyurl.com/7hecf ), which by my
> calculations is only about 0.1Amps. Is there much point in this?
> This also wont be working at night, when its more use (so that the
> battery is powered when it is coldest and ready for me to use the car
> in the morning)
>
> Low ampage mains charger
> A low ampage charger such as this one http://tinyurl.com/b3w2h that
> charges at 2.7amps. Presumably it should be clever enough that it
> should only charge when the battery needs it.
> Could be put on a timer to only work at night to save me money.
>
> I have also seen more expensive battery chargers designed to be left
> on all the time. How do they differ from something like the above
> one?.
>
> If i go for this option then my second issue is where i should put
> things?. My cars are parked a good 20m or so of cable length away from
> the house.
> I can either -
> Site the chargers in the house and run long charging cables out to the
> cars. This would be good as i wouldnt have to put any mains leccy
> outside and could keep an eye on the chargers. Would this be okay or
> would i have issues with running low currents and the chargers sensing
> the battery state over the 20m or so that i need?.
> I could also use something like a caravan towing socket to easily plug
> into the cars to save unearthing batteries every time.
>
> second option - build a little box outside next to my drive. run mains
> to that and put the chargers in it. Run short charge cables from there
> to each car. I'm not so keen on this as i cant see what the chargers
> are doing. I do need to put in an outdoor socket anyway though so i
> can use tools outside easily.
>
> third option - put a charger in each car, and plug the car into the
> mains. I can use caravan mains sockets. I'm not sure i want to leave a
> charger unnatended in my car for long periods though. (I had one that
> went pop and started smoking once).
> This method would also be good because i can leave my car pc powered
> up to use it from within the house :)
>
> Has anybody got any good advice or ideas?


I would suggest a somewhat larger solar charger, about 6w for example will
charge at around half an amp maximum. I have used this successfully for a
couple of years on my tractor as I got sick of replacing the battery nearly
every time I went to use it (It only gets used every few months). They are
relatively expensive - unless you get them like I did at a clearing sale
for $20.
JD
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Old 10-24-2005, 12:01   #7 (permalink)
Richard Brookman
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Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

....and EMB spake unto the tribes of Usenet, saying...


> beamendsltd wrote:
>
>> <shamelss plug>
>> MBS1 Battery Isolator Switch - Removable Key 4.35
>> </shamless plug>
>>
>> Would that count as a pun?

>
> A shocking pun.


Wire you encouraging him?

--
Rich
==============================
Disco 300 Tdi auto
S2a 88" SW
Tiggrr (V8 trialler)


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Old 10-24-2005, 12:01   #8 (permalink)
EMB
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

Richard Brookman wrote:
> ...and EMB spake unto the tribes of Usenet, saying...
>
>
>
>>beamendsltd wrote:
>>
>>
>>><shamelss plug>
>>>MBS1 Battery Isolator Switch - Removable Key 4.35
>>></shamless plug>
>>>
>>>Would that count as a pun?

>>
>>A shocking pun.

>
>
> Wire you encouraging him?
>

Good to see you made the connection.

--
EMB
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Old 10-24-2005, 13:01   #9 (permalink)
John Greystrong
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

Tom Woods wrote:

> I'm still keen on fitting some kind of charging solution as i was
> under the impression that leaving batteries standing unused for
> weeks/months outside was still bad for them?


Dunno. I know that constantly flattening them is jolly bad for their
longevity.

John

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Old 10-24-2005, 13:01   #10 (permalink)
Richard Brookman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Charging parked vehicles

....and EMB spake unto the tribes of Usenet, saying...


> Richard Brookman wrote:
>> ...and EMB spake unto the tribes of Usenet, saying...
>>
>>
>>
>>> beamendsltd wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> <shamelss plug>
>>>> MBS1 Battery Isolator Switch - Removable Key 4.35
>>>> </shamless plug>
>>>>
>>>> Would that count as a pun?
>>>
>>> A shocking pun.

>>
>>
>> Wire you encouraging him?
>>

> Good to see you made the connection.


There's a whole battery of bad jokes looming.

--
Rich
==============================
Disco 300 Tdi auto
S2a 88" SW
Tiggrr (V8 trialler)


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