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Old 26-08-2014, 17:59   #1
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best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

My friend has a boat that lives in a slip so it does get fully charged most of the time. They have two 200 amp (+-) 12 volt wet cell batteries. They reported a weak battery the other day and I took a look. One battery was weak because the ground cable was loose. I charged up and held a charge. They have a battery charger that does not have a conditioning cycle. Does anyone have a recommendation on a portable charger with conditioning capabilities? Money, as usual, is a consideration.

Thanks
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Old 26-08-2014, 19:23   #2
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

Its my understanding that this one of the best:

DC Power Supply - Switching Power Supply - VOLTEQ Power Supply HY3020EX 30V 20A Over Voltage Over Current Protection (Powered by CubeCart)
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Old 26-08-2014, 19:35   #3
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

That is a beautiful thing. They are hoping to get by for a little less $$.
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Old 26-08-2014, 20:27   #4
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

I think the best deal in a high quality, portable charger is the Iota. With the IQ4 option will do equalization. Find deals on eBay.
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Old 26-08-2014, 21:03   #5
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

The Iota series chargers with the IQ4 option are indeed one of the best multi-stage charger deals on the market. I've used two of them for a number of years, and have installed many of them on client's boats.

However, the "equalization" they claim is not true equalization...it's just a return to the absorption-level voltage....about 14.4-14.6VDC.

True equalization involves stepping up the voltage to at least 15.5VDC for several hours. The Iota's won't do that.

The Mastech unit referenced above isn't a battery charger. It's an adjustable power supply. In the right hands, it can be used to administer an equalization charge to batteries, but you've gotta know what you're doing and you've got to watch it. I've got one of those, too, and have used it for several years now.

The portable West Marine charger 30-amp model (red w/carrying handle) has an equalization cycle and works OK. Got one of those, too, and occasionally use it on client's boats. It sometimes goes on sale for less than $100.

Bill
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:42   #6
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

I have a AC Delco I-7012, any criticism?
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Old 28-08-2014, 10:38   #7
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

I have a portable smart charger called Power On Board that auto detects the correct charge rate up to 25 A, can recondition batteries, checks alternators, and it has a digital display to tell you battery voltage, if the battery has an open cell, shorted cell, beyond repair, etc. It can also be found under the Black and Decker or Vector brand names.

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it anywhere, but it was about $79. Walmart sells a Schumacher 100/30/5/3 amp (100 amp for starting only) charger that is rated better for $78. Their fully automatic version is $85, but sometimes you want to be able to override what it auto detects.
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Old 28-08-2014, 13:27   #8
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Re: best value portable 12v battery charger with condition capability

I've been using a Vector smart charger for five years. Run it off my honda 1000 every 3 days or so when my battery bank goes below 70%. Great when you're anchored off for a week or two in some remote spot in the bahamas. Beats starting the engine. Better would be adding more solar panels.

It has a 35 amp max charge but automatically cuts back as the battery charges up. Also has an equalisation mode which I used once. It has cables with clamps but my batteries are very accessible so no problem.

Here's the bad news. Black & Decker bought them out a few years ago. I don't know their current production status but I'm sure you can google them up. I've also seen them used on ebay. They were made in various sizes up to 45 amps - wish I had bought that one.
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