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Old 17-03-2009, 16:46   #16
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Unsolicited testamonial

FWIW

When I bought Insatiable II her house bank consisted of three allegedly 130 AH 12 volt "deep cycle" batteries. They were about a year old, and soon proved to not have much capacity left. I only had one of the "highly sophisticated" 5 floating ball hydrometers, and found that after lengthy charging there were only 3 balls floating. This supposedly represented about 75% of full charge. Having just spent all my dough on the boat, I was reluctant to replace the batteries, but I did cough up the fee for a "Magna-Pulse" desulphater, and promptly installed it. I monitored the specific gravity for some three months, and by the end of that time the SG after long charging times was a full "four balls floating", or allegedly 100% . I only did subjective capacity checking (being terminally lazy) but at that time the batteries would run our rapacious auto pilot all night long, which was a big improvement. I managed to keep them going more than a year before biting the bullet and installing 4xT-105's. Needless to say, I still have the Magna Pulse hooked up, and those batteries have lasted over 4 years now, and I tend to abuse them with deep discharges now and then!

The down side of the thing is that it is very RF noisy, and must be turned off to use HF radios. Not too high a price IMO.

I recognize the non-scientific nature of this observation, but I gave up scientific rigour to go cruising!!

I have NO connection with any vendor or manufactuer of any such devices.

Cheers,
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Old 17-03-2009, 16:54   #17
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It might be helpful to point out that there is no such thing as magic dust. In this context, some pulse charges are pure junk and others do have some anecdotal evidence to support the theory they work. What is important to recognize in these discussions is that batteries can suffer from a myriad of maladies; only one of which can arguably be cured by using a good pulse charger and then only when the battery suffers from the one malady for which it is intended.
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Old 17-03-2009, 17:03   #18
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"Turning on the light switch pulls electrons off the" Actually, no. That's what I was taught in school too, but by the time I got to college they changed the story and taught us that electrons don't flow, the electron acceptance holes (?) flow, all the Neils Bohr era stuff we'd been taught should have been burned instead of perpetuated for years. Orbiting electrons, clouds, quanta...

But you're right, on the practical level all we have to know is flip the switch and the magic happens.(G)

I know that pulse charging works better than DC charging, but there's a world of difference between pulse charging an UNdamaged battery, and trying to use pulse charging to magically restore the material that has precipitated out and fallen off the plates for good. Transporting vehicles with good batteries, isn't resurrecting dead ones.

What seems like a red flag to folks like me, is when the folks espousing these gizmos neatly confuse the two situations, rather than distinguish between them. The tests that all say the gizmos don't work, make it clear that they are trying to use them in the resurrection mode--not as preventive chargers.

When I was in grade school and carbon batteries were all we had, you could "rejuvenate" one by punching holes in the side and soaking it in...sal ammoniac, I think it was. Of course, you couldn't very well stick that back in your flashlight afterwards. Ever since I've given my best Scotsmen's Try to extend and rejuvenate batteries of all sorts with an open mind. But the bottom line? Yeah, buy good batteries, follow the industry procedures, and ignore all the rest because it just doesn't make them new again, no matter how well it works for a short while.

And no matter how nicely you can rejuvenate the electrolyte, if the plate material has fallen off and can't be moved back to the plates--it really doesn't how fresh the electrolyte is, there's still no plate material for it to react with! (Or at least, way less than there should be.)

"leave the pulsetech for a couple months," MONTHS? You've got to be kidding. What do you use for power during the two-three months you're playing Lazarus?

Next time I find a sulfated battery, AND a pulsetech, I'll be glad to give it a try. But from past experience and published results from others, going back at least 20 years, I'm not gonna run out to buy one. Unless you'll give me a triple-money-back escrow guarantee. (VBG)

"No such thing as magic dust"
Oh, the hell you say. I've seen it sprinkled on kids who then flew away to Neverland. Some guy even wrote a book documenting some of it!
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Old 17-03-2009, 19:11   #19
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Roy & Jim

What product is it specifically that you are recommending? I've googled pulse-tech and magna pulse but aren't really landing on anything that seems like it applies. Do you have a part number or vendor site?

c
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Old 17-03-2009, 20:19   #20
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Curtis-
Welcome to PulseTech - the leaders in battery performance technology! oddly enough doesn't show in Google.

The closest I find to magna pulse is Magna Labs which seems to say their system is best because it is timed to the magnetic resonance frequency of sulphur. (AH, magnets.(G))

A fast read without adequate caffeination indicates that PT just claims to keep batteries sulphate-free and in top condition (which any PWM charger should do) while ML might raise the dead.
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Old 17-03-2009, 20:20   #21
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Curtis,

It could very well be that your batteries have moderate sulfation, which CAN occur at the usual float voltage (13.2VDC). It is also possible that your batteries have lost capacity thru a process of stratification, in which batteries long left at idle and not equalized will have their electrolyte form itself into "layers". The amount of concentration of acid in each layer is different.

Often, batteries showing what yours apparently show can be improved by exercising, i.e., putting into heavy use. They should be discharged by 50-60% (showing a no-load voltage of 12.0-12.2), and should then be fully charged. Several times. After this, they should be equalized, using a voltage of 15.5-16.5 for several hours, during which the electrolyte will bubble vigorously.

This treatment is very likely to improve capacity. You'll notice immediately as the voltage will remain higher for a much longer time when you put them under a modest load.

I agree that the Iota PWM charger technology is superior to that usually found in marine chargers (I have two Iotas). I believe it is instrumental in reducing the amount of deterioration in batteries kept on charge 24/7, compared to those kept on a 13.2V float 24/7. However, I doubt that the Iota's alone will restore much capacity to your batteries.

And, after over 18 months of testing the little pulsers mentioned above (which are NOT chargers, by the way) -- including the PulseTech models, of which I own several -- I don't have much faith in their claims to work as desulfators and to restore lost capacity. We found that after over a year of "treatment" with these desulfators, and vigorous exercising of the flooded and gelled golf-cart batteries under test, very little change in capacity occured. However, the flooded batteries were equalized a couple of times, and exhibited a significant increase in capacity.

So...... I'd try exercising and equalization. E&E.

And, if you do replace these batteries with flooded ones, a regular exercising and equalization regime should help keep them going for a long time. The Iota PWM charging will help as well.

Bill
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Old 18-03-2009, 09:45   #22
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Each of the desulfator units now on the market has its own "signature" pulse, some square wave, others resembling a cardiac rhythm. The Pulse-Tech units are all I know (or need to). No desulfator can salvage a damaged cell. Sulfation is not damage, it's a natural consequence of discharge of a lead-acid battery. As far as the two month waiting period, perhaps fairy dust would be quicker. For me, preventive maintenance implies advance planning and actual efforts toward remediation. After the two month period of reconditioning an abused battery, the unit continues to perform maintenance desulfation. By the way, if the batteries are in parallel, i.e., one bank, you need only one desulfator. Pulse-Tech suggests its unit will service up to three batteries at once, assuming they are in parallel. Probably takes a bit longer to desulfate 3 abused 8D batteries than it does one Group 27, though. Anyone have a good source for fairy dust? I end up with those sticky gingerbread crumbs scattered in the battery compartment.
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Old 18-03-2009, 10:06   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis View Post
Roy & Jim

What product is it specifically that you are recommending? I've googled pulse-tech and magna pulse but aren't really landing on anything that seems like it applies. Do you have a part number or vendor site?

c
G'Day Curtis,

First, I am not recommending anything! I am reporting my personal experience, and openly admit that I can not imply any causal relatonship between the use of the Magna Pulse and the apparent recovery of my batteries. As mentioned above, the improvement may have come from exercising the batteries... but they had been in use by the PO, so I dunno!

At any rate, I purchased the Magna Pulse from GlasCraft Marine in Brisbane Australia in 2003. I am not on the boat at present (languishing in San Diego whilst Ann recovers from spinal surgery), and can not supply details about the manufacturer. We hope to be back aboard within 6 weeks, and if it is still of interest I can look it up then.

Cheers,
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