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Old 31-12-2016, 15:20   #16
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Re: Battery Tenders

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The Walmart comment was meant to mean if you don't spend bunches of money buying equipment to maintain an expensive bank, and or you live in a Marina and don't need a big house bank, don't pop for expensive batteries and their expensive support system.
Batteries are usually murdered, meaning they don't usually wear out, they usually die from abuse. Don't waste a whole lot of money on super duper batteries if your going to kill them, kill Walmart batteries for a whole lot less.
People that almost never plug into a Marina have to rely on their bank almost exclusively, often using Solar to charge it, and supplement with a generator.
These people are often the ones that spend lots of money, $ (thousands) to maintain a bank, and may spend thousands on that battery bank. If your not going to be one of them, then it may well be that all you need is the Walmart bank, not to spend excessive amounts of money and become anal about trying to make that expensive bank last as long as you can.
Before I bought this boat that we will cruise on, I just bought Walmart batteries every other year, and took the ones out of the boat and put them into the RV.
I never had a battery problem and never worried about them either.
I'm just a coastal/inland sea type of sailor. Most of the time, the boat will be in the marina, so I think your Walmart idea is the right one. LOL - about the only thing I get anal about these days are safety of flight items. Since I'm just a day VFR guy now, there aren't even too many of those. Thanks.
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Old 31-12-2016, 15:33   #17
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Re: Battery Tenders

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You sure you have a battery tender and not just a trickle charger?
I have one on my airplane too, and it has an absorption voltage of about 14.3, but then floats at about 13.2
Frequently Asked Questions - Products | Deltran Battery Tender
This is just a cheapie I bought at Harbor Freight. I keep the plane in my garage here at home since the wings are a snap to take off and put back on. When I first got the little tender thingy (that's how it was sold, as a tender), I watched closely and 14.3 was where it kept the voltage at all times. I turned the strobe on several times over a period of weeks to draw the battery down a bit, then watched as it rose back to 14.3. The plane has a battery isolator key switch to stop the voltage from going anywhere else.
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Old 31-12-2016, 16:11   #18
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Battery Tenders

Toss it, buy the real thing, a battery tender. It is actually pretty sophisticated, it is very, very similar to a good marine charger, temperature compensated etc, just is a very low current charger.
When you replace the battery, get a Concorde battery. It's an FAA / PMA lifeline battery, made by the same company I believe, but will last three or four time longer than a Gill, which is junk.
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Old 31-12-2016, 18:07   #19
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Re: Battery Tenders

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Toss it, buy the real thing, a battery tender. It is actually pretty sophisticated, it is very, very similar to a good marine charger, temperature compensated etc, just is a very low current charger.
When you replace the battery, get a Concorde battery. It's an FAA / PMA lifeline battery, made by the same company I believe, but will last three or four time longer than a Gill, which is junk.
If I intended to fly professionally, or even recreationally again, I'd probably do just that, 64. Thing is, I'm 76 years old and not the brash young fighter pilot anymore. As in, not even close. Don't really trust myself to endanger the world. The horror of my life has always been the thought of killing an innocent. Flamed out an F-104 one time and refused to punch out per SOP for that very reason. Dead sticked the thing in. That was fun. Anyway, my little plane is for sale and I'm gonna stick to boats now. It's an experimental, so I'll probably just put a Die Hard in it and let the next guy do the worrying.
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Old 31-12-2016, 18:19   #20
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Re: Battery Tenders

F-104 would have been a hell of a ride, I envy you.
We had a Flight test DER at the plant the other day doing some work. Older guy, I noticed he had astronaut wings. I had to ask. He was one of the ones that took a 104 to space. Rocket with wings indeed
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Old 31-12-2016, 20:49   #21
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Re: Battery Tenders

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F-104 would have been a hell of a ride, I envy you.
We had a Flight test DER at the plant the other day doing some work. Older guy, I noticed he had astronaut wings. I had to ask. He was one of the ones that took a 104 to space. Rocket with wings indeed
Yeah, the N model. I only flew an A out of Edwards. Not the fastest I ever flew, or the most maneuverable, but certainly the most pure fun. That was 1965-66. Crossed into the F-111 from there. Yeager took that N to somewhere around 115K before he lost it. Couple of times we intercepted Bears over the pole with the 104s. The bird was great in that role. Not a lot of fuel, though.
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:48   #22
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Re: Battery Tenders

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Okay, did the Google trick and see what you mean, Steve. Seems the experts are in two camps about float charging, at least to some degree. 13.6 volts seems to be accepted by most as nominal. That's from a quick read of several sites.

Google can help, of course, but FWIW you'll want to match published info to your actual hardware.

For example, battery maker 1's model may want 14.6V bulk/absorption and 13.8V float, whereas maker 2's model may want 14.8V bulk/absoprtion and 13.6V float. Then the next check is for a charger that can be set to mate up (reasonably closely) with what your actual batteries want.

Not rocket science, but you'll find it useful for battery longevity if you can match the system components as closely as possible. (Were it me, I might be looking for a charger that offers several output options, so you have some additional flexibility whenever you have to replace that current bank. Just a thought.)

Given your 6 batts on the Commander are in apparently good shape, start with whatever brand/model those are, find maker's exact charging recommendations, then shop for chargers that can put out the right voltage, rated for enough amperage to suit your situation.

That last could vary based on your normal activities. For example, more often at the dock, flooded lead-acid batteries... you could be well-served by a charger supplying mid-range amps. Different example, often anchored out, AGM batteries... you might want a charger that'll take advantage of the AGM's higher acceptance rate.

-Chris
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Old 01-01-2017, 13:51   #23
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Re: Battery Tenders

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Google can help, of course, but FWIW you'll want to match published info to your actual hardware.

For example, battery maker 1's model may want 14.6V bulk/absorption and 13.8V float, whereas maker 2's model may want 14.8V bulk/absoprtion and 13.6V float. Then the next check is for a charger that can be set to mate up (reasonably closely) with what your actual batteries want.

Not rocket science, but you'll find it useful for battery longevity if you can match the system components as closely as possible. (Were it me, I might be looking for a charger that offers several output options, so you have some additional flexibility whenever you have to replace that current bank. Just a thought.)

Given your 6 batts on the Commander are in apparently good shape, start with whatever brand/model those are, find maker's exact charging recommendations, then shop for chargers that can put out the right voltage, rated for enough amperage to suit your situation.

That last could vary based on your normal activities. For example, more often at the dock, flooded lead-acid batteries... you could be well-served by a charger supplying mid-range amps. Different example, often anchored out, AGM batteries... you might want a charger that'll take advantage of the AGM's higher acceptance rate.

-Chris
The boat came with about 4 inches of paperwork, which I haven't had time to go through yet. First thing I'll do is go through all that, just in case there are owner's manuals for the charger and/or batteries as well as the inverter. Besides running the boat over here from Florida, about all I've done has been to try to get a feel for fuel consumption, the way she rides the seas and tight maneuvering. I was pleased with my memory working well enough to spin her in her own length. Makes docking much easier and I always preferred backing into a slip. That's about all I've done so far, other than get her docking lines set up properly. That's a lot of boat for an old man by himself, but it really wasn't that difficult.

I want to thank you guys for taking time to answer my questions. It has helped a lot, and I'm sure there will be others in the future. Hope you all have a great New Year.

Ray
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:45   #24
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Re: Battery Tenders

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The boat came with about 4 inches of paperwork, which I haven't had time to go through yet. First thing I'll do is go through all that, just in case there are owner's manuals for the charger and/or batteries as well as the inverter.
Yep, could well be you don't have to do anything more than plug into shorepower and it's all fixed. Existing batteries and charger (and maybe inverter, maybe inverter/charger, whatever) could well be great combination, maybe no issues to solve.

-Chris
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:34   #25
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Re: Battery Tenders

Just got it.
Vark, Aardvark driver

I was thinking your ultralight or whatever you have was some kind of Vark
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:44   #26
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Re: Battery Tenders

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Just got it.
Vark, Aardvark driver

I was thinking your ultralight or whatever you have was some kind of Vark
Wouldn't that be something, owning a 111? Of course, if somebody gave me one, I couldn't put fuel in it. I forget the exact amount now, but it took one JP-4 trailer and at least half of a second to fill those internal tanks. Each trailer held 5,000 gallons. 7,500 gallons or there abouts. That would take us from Takhli to downtown Hanoi and back. Twin P&W TF30-100s. Far as I know, she was the first plane to slip past speed of sound without A/B. Would get up to around 850 kts before you had to kick the burners. Then she'd outdrag a '57 Chevy.
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