I’m looking for a good solid all-around aircraft battery charger for my shop.
If money was no object the Concorde BC-8000 BATTERY CHARGER & CAPACITY TESTER ( http://www.concordebattery.com/accessories.php?id=69 )
would be first choice… but, @ $4500 plus shipping and taxes, it is pricey.
Me thinks that a there’s prob90 a “non aviation” equivalent at half the price !
Readers suggestions ?
Search here for CTEK. You could buy several of them.
I used to rely on various automatic chargers until I decided that if you know what you are doing, the most flexible and versatile device for the shop is a plain bench power supply. It gives you constant voltage and constant current charging to values of your choice, shows the actual values, and can be used for things other than charging. Mine is 0-30 V, 0-10 A, and can be bought for €60 or so:
I agree (a 28.0V supply with a variable current limit is great) and I use this
and I have found some real bargains here but one needs to be a bit careful if you start with a totally dead battery. One has to bring the current up slowly until the voltage is around 23V, to avoid damage.
Thanks guys. I did actually buy a [cheap] power supply a couple of years ago, but it died almost immediately after I purchased it !
Maybe a more robust unit would be best.
The one shown on my photo is certainly one of the cheapest but I’ve had it for a year and half and it has been working flawlessly. At low power levels it’s completely silent, at higher ones it periodically turns on its cooling fan.
This is what distrelec is for I don’t know what’s special about an “aircraft battery” charger, but they got tons of industrial chargers, from the simplest to the most advanced.
OK, so the choice is between a generic Power Supply or an “automatic” battery charger.
So the question is : Is there a clear advantage to using an “automatic” charger ?
The CTEK ones do reconditioning and actually improve the battery. Previous posts on this in the CTEK thread.
Otherwise, a lead acid battery doesn’t need “automatic” anything. It draws current according to its cell voltage, its internal resistance, and the voltage of the source. Once the cell voltage reaches the source voltage, the current becomes zero, or negligible. Lithium chemistry needs a more complex process…
I did a lot of “experimenting” with this when purchasing a (experimental for avionics) galvanic barrier that also was supposed to charge a backup battery. I tested on my table to see if it all worked before installing in my plane. It ended up burning. The galvanic barrier was complete toast when hooking up, even a fully charged, battery. I ended up getting in contact with Mascot, a producer of power supplies, chargers and those kind of stuff. The basics of charging a lead-acid is this:
The float charge is very important to keep the battery lasting for the prescribed time.