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Old 04-02-2016, 08:38   #31
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

I actually tote my power supplies along to customers boats all the time because there are so many $hitty chargers out there. However, as Bill said it is NOT an on-board charger but can be used like a 12V portable charger, only with manual controls, if you so desire..

If you come into the dock or wanted to run one off a generator for an EQ that works, but these are really more a stationary or at home use unit...

The problem with marine chargers is they don't do 6V batteries by themselves and they choose when to go from absorption to float for you. They do this regardless of whether it is time to do so or not.

With healthy batteries the smarter chargers work quite well but as batteries sulfate they work less well and this is where a manually controllable power supply fits into the mix.

Power supplies are not a set it and forget it device. You control the charge voltage, and charge current, and also when to drop to a float voltage.

As a Safety feature in my shop I use simple wall timers set for the duration I want the power supply to run. If I have to leave I just set the timer. When I get back I can either push absorption longer, drop it to float or up the voltage to EQ level.

This is a fall EQ and decommission on a Trojan SCS-225.




This customers on-board inverter/charger had dropped to float and was maintaining 13.2V. Look at that amperage, nearly 8A, at 14.5V.. These expensive AGM batteries were still many hours from 100% SOC which is less than 2.2A @ 14.4V+ and the owner was ready to disconnect them and let them sit all winter because his so called smart charger told him they were full. These batteries were a bit sulfated and it took approx 7 hours to go from the 9A we started at to about 2.1A. They were then equalized.. The owners so called "smart charger" was dropping to float after just two hours at 14.4V. D'oh......


Variable power supplies are very, very handy tools but not a suitable "installed" charger...
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:13   #32
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

wow so much great information. I can't thank everyone enough!

So I will likely pick up that power supply and try and give the batteries some needed CPR... I agree, it doesn't seem that the charger I own has the nuts to really recover these batteries properly.

I feel good about the chances of recovering the batteries. If they come back to life, and work well this upcoming season, I'll try and charge them better! I wasn't sure if they were FUBAR or not. Sounds like they have a decent chance of coming back to life.

So if I read it right, I can use the power supply as a portable charger.. but treating it more like a dumb charger and babysit it. IF I use the power supply on the boat, should I remove the batteries and charge them on the dock? Just afraid of damaging the interior of the boat with an aggressive charge

If I can desulfate them, discharge them and recharge them a few times, would my WM charger be decent to maintain it, or should I still get a better smart charger? (if so, suggestions on model?)

This has been a great thread. learned a lot!
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Old 04-02-2016, 09:43   #33
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

it's a (semi-educated) guess, but I'd imagine that there are some fleets of golf carts (& other battery powered "toys") which run higher end/quality batteries than others. And if the OP can find such, then they could likely properly do a "tuneup" on the atteries in question.

Plus, I'm sure that such a shop has a cranky old, wise gent, in house, who knows morre than enouh about batteries to give these the proper TLC which they need in order to make it through another season.

That said, I too am befudelled by the seeming resistance to simply purchasing a new set of "inexpensive" Golf Cart Batteries, to replace these with, & be done with it.

I mean, i utterly HATE "planned obsolescence", & our "disposable" culture, but...


Also, "Ditto" on my having learned a good bit thanks to this thread. It's certainly worthy of being printed out, & tucking into the section on batteries & boat's electrical systems, in my copy of Nigel Calder.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:01   #34
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
So if I read it right, I can use the power supply as a portable charger.. but treating it more like a dumb charger and babysit it. IF I use the power supply on the boat, should I remove the batteries and charge them on the dock? Just afraid of damaging the interior of the boat with an aggressive charge
Any time you run an EQ you need good ventilation.

Volts is volts and amps is amps no matter the charge source (ignoring ripple etc.). The battery could care less where the voltage and amperage come from.

The difference is the time and the ability to set the power supply to do exactly what you want not what the charger thinks needs to be done.

One very nice benefit of a power supply is the ability to set the voltage and current independently, to what ever you want. When EQing batteries I bring the voltage to 15.5V then I adjust the current down so I can just barely maintain 15.5V.

This is a safety feature you will not find in most smart chargers. I do this because on well used batteries there is always a risk of creating an internal short when EQing if a chink of plate falls off and shorts. I have had this happen in my shop and with the current set to just barely maintain 15.5V you'll quickly notice a problem when the voltage is no longer at 15.5V because the 2A or so i no longer enough to maintain 15.5V into a shorted cell.... Simple & safe for EQing add a $4.00 wall timer and they become even safer..... With the lowest current needed to maintain 15.5V you will not have the ability to throw 20-150A at a shorted battery like many marine chargers could do....

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
If I can desulfate them, discharge them and recharge them a few times, would my WM charger be decent to maintain it, or should I still get a better smart charger? (if so, suggestions on model?)

This has been a great thread. learned a lot!
It could work but I don't know what model you have? Some of the WM chargers are built by the same Chinese company that makes them for Black & Decker & Stanley. You seem like you are rarely at a dock so for temp use it should be okay..
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:29   #35
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Any time you run an EQ you need good ventilation.

Volts is volts and amps is amps no matter the charge source (ignoring ripple etc.). The battery could care less where the voltage and amperage come from.

The difference is the time and the ability to set the power supply to do exactly what you want not what the charger thinks needs to be done.

One very nice benefit of a power supply is the ability to set the voltage and current independently, to what ever you want. When EQing batteries I bring the voltage to 15.5V then I adjust the current down so I can just barely maintain 15.5V.

This is a safety feature you will not find in most smart chargers. I do this because on well used batteries there is always a risk of creating an internal short when EQing if a chink of plate falls off and shorts. I have had this happen in my shop and with the current set to just barely maintain 15.5V you'll quickly notice a problem when the voltage is no longer at 15.5V because the 2A or so i no longer enough to maintain 15.5V into a shorted cell.... Simple & safe for EQing add a $4.00 wall timer and they become even safer..... With the lowest current needed to maintain 15.5V you will not have the ability to throw 20-150A at a shorted battery like many marine chargers could do....



It could work but I don't know what model you have? Some of the WM chargers are built by the same Chinese company that makes them for Black & Decker & Stanley. You seem like you are rarely at a dock so for temp use it should be okay..
Thats awesome.. thats what I thought. I like the idea of having the control. I get a bit frustrated with my charger (WM charger ) where all I can do is press the button and hope it does what I need. It doesn't appear to be doing the job well. No doubt it is a relabeled charger. For 30a portable chargers, there wasn't much to choose from.

Optimistic I can recover these batteries now. when I get and use the power supply, I will certainly use a timer to shut it off in case I forget to do so.

You think a 12v/12a load (using, say a handful of 12v lights) would be a decent controlled discharge test

No doubt I will be posting more followup questions
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:35   #36
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
it's a (semi-educated) guess, but I'd imagine that there are some fleets of golf carts (& other battery powered "toys") which run higher end/quality batteries than others. And if the OP can find such, then they could likely properly do a "tuneup" on the atteries in question.

Plus, I'm sure that such a shop has a cranky old, wise gent, in house, who knows morre than enouh about batteries to give these the proper TLC which they need in order to make it through another season.

That said, I too am befudelled by the seeming resistance to simply purchasing a new set of "inexpensive" Golf Cart Batteries, to replace these with, & be done with it.

I mean, i utterly HATE "planned obsolescence", & our "disposable" culture, but...


Also, "Ditto" on my having learned a good bit thanks to this thread. It's certainly worthy of being printed out, & tucking into the section on batteries & boat's electrical systems, in my copy of Nigel Calder.
I dont know what an inexpensive golf cart battery is. The batteries im using should supposedly last a decade or more. They are 180 pounds of lead!

The inexpensive marine batteries I have seen are just that. inexpensive. surely not marine quality. After buying cheap batteries every few years, it will cost more in the long run, and likely not have the capacity of real batteries.

i am not at a dock and have no solar. trying to keep a refrigerator running is a challenge! Never mind the other electric demands I put on the system. The fuel cell is great, but not being at a dock presents its challenges

I am sure a $99 costco or walmart MLB wont be up to the task of my demands on the system

Just looking at west marine deep cycle batteries. to get the 262 (rated) amp hours from their batteries, you need at least 4 (@$150+) to 5 of them, which is actually more expensive than me re-buying my rolls batteries, and are rated for something like 1/4 to 1/8 rated cycles. plus a 12 month warranty vs a 7 year of the rolls. Sounds penny wise, pound foolish to me.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:28   #37
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Paul,

I understand that you are still in the "learning phase" and congratulate you once again for trying to learn all about batteries as fast as possible.

But, I detect a couple of stubborn misconceptions.

1. Golf-cart batteries, normally sized as GC2, are by definition deep cycle batteries. They have thicker plates, often more widely spaced, and are intended to be cycled....drained deeply, then re-charged. These batteries are produced by several factories in the U.S. and abroad, and are often labeled with many different names other than the actual manufacturer. Some of them have more space underneath the plates, to aid in avoiding shorts from material sloughed off the plates.

2. GC2 batteries are normally 6VDC and are rated between about 220 and 240AH each. Two of them in series will give you, e.g., 225AH at 12VDC.

3. Prices of GC2 batteries vary widely, and seemingly without reason sometimes. They range from the super-expensive Rolls/Surette brand to the WalMarts and Costco economy brands. The moderate-priced "gold standard" for many years has been the Trojan T-105, rated at 225AH. In recent years, however, they've priced themselves at the top end of the moderate-priced batteries.

4. All golf-cart batteries are true deep-cycle batteries and are pretty rugged, much more so than some other types. They're more rugged than just about any 12VDC battery, which are for the most part NOT deep cycle batteries, no matter their labeling and advertising. MaineSail has commented on this numerous times.

5. All golf-cart batteries, though deep-cycle and rugged, are not created equal. Some are better than others, due to manufacturing procedures, design, quality control, lead content, etc. My current favorite is the Crown Battery Red Top model CR-235. It has thicker plates than any other golf-cart battery, is well built, and is designed for heavy industrial applications. I have six of them on my boat (actually now in my basement on charge for the winter months), and have been very pleased with them for the past two seasons. These cost about $100 each, and are US manufactured by an excellent firm in Ohio.

6. Don't be taken in by statements of years of service obtained. Statements like, "I got 5 years of service from my cheap WalMart golf-cart batteries" mean practically nothing, for reasons elucidated earlier in this thread.

7. The best bang-for-the-buck in flooded lead-acid batteries these days continues to be the venerable GC2 size golf-cart battery. Unless you're planning a long cruise, e.g., to the South Pacific and beyond, it's probably NOT worth it to pay the premium for the most expensive and most rugged golf-cart battery (like the Rolls/Surette). The more moderately priced GC2 batteries will serve you very well.

8. Most important: all LA batteries, rugged golf-carts or not, need to be fully-charged as often as possible. If you habitually fail to reach full charge, your batteries will sulfate on you. Moreover, batteries sitting at float levels of 13.2VDC for a long time will also sulfate. They need a "re-absorption" level charge periodically and regularly, i.e., the charging voltage needs to be kicked up to absorption level every few days for 30-60 minutes or so.

9. Frequent equalization is not required, provided your charging protocol is good. Maybe once or twice a year, at most.

10. For boats not at dockside, this means you have to have an onboard source of charging large enough and sustained enough to bring your batteries to truly full charge. This takes several hours of charging, no matter the size of the charging source. For most boats, this means solar power. There's no getting around this, including by use of the very expensive batteries.

FWIW,

Bill

PS...I know your Rolls batteries are not GC2 standard sized, but are a bit taller, more like the L16 size. Still, the notes above pertain.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:31   #38
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

From the hydrometer readings, the battery with the higher specific gravity is fully charged. The other is 25% discharged. I have had batteries that are sulfated at 50% discharge and have brought them back to 100% by doing a very slow charge for several months. This would be at a floating voltage with an intelligent battery charger. If you have a manually adjustable power supply and want to go faster, you can try 14.2 volts, but higher voltages than this will cause water to go to hydrogen and oxygen. These form bubbles on the battery plates and cause oxidation. You do not want that. If you have upgraded your solar panels including voltage regulation for the higher demand from the refrigerator you could put both batteries back in the boat and depend on the solar panels to slowly bring the somewhat sulfated battery back to 100% charge over a several month period
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:35   #39
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Paul,

I understand that you are still in the "learning phase" and congratulate you once again for trying to learn all about batteries as fast as possible.

But, I detect a couple of stubborn misconceptions.

1. Golf-cart batteries, normally sized as GC2, are by definition deep cycle batteries. They have thicker plates, often more widely spaced, and are intended to be cycled....drained deeply, then re-charged. These batteries are produced by several factories in the U.S. and abroad, and are often labeled with many different names other than the actual manufacturer.

2. GC2 batteries are normally 6VDC and are rated between about 220 and 240AH each. Two of them in series will give you, e.g., 225AH at 12VDC.

3. Prices of GC2 batteries vary widely, and seemingly without reason sometimes. They range from the super-expensive Rolls/Surette brand to the WalMarts and Costco economy brands. The moderate-priced "gold standard" for many years has been the Trojan T-105, rated at 225AH. In recent years, however, they've priced themselves at the top end of the moderate-priced batteries.

4. All golf-cart batteries are true deep-cycle batteries and are pretty rugged, much more so than some other types. They're more rugged than just about any 12VDC battery, which are for the most part NOT deep cycle batteries, no matter their labeling and advertising. MaineSail has commented on this numerous times.

5. All golf-cart batteries, though deep-cycle and rugged, are not created equal. Some are better than others, due to manufacturing procedures, design, quality control, lead content, etc. My current favorite is the Crown Battery Red Top model CR-235. It has thicker plates than any other golf-cart battery, is well built, and is designed for heavy industrial applications. I have six of them on my boat (actually now in my basement on charge for the winter months), and have been very pleased with them for the past two seasons. These cost about $100 each, and are US manufactured by an excellent firm in Ohio.

6. Don't be taken in by statements of years of service obtained. Statements like, "I got 5 years of service from my cheap WalMart golf-cart batteries" mean practically nothing, for reasons elucidated earlier in this thread.

7. The best bang-for-the-buck in flooded lead-acid batteries these days continues to be the venerable GC2 size golf-cart battery. Unless you're planning a long cruise, e.g., to the South Pacific and beyond, it's probably NOT worth it to pay the premium for the most expensive and most rugged golf-cart battery (like the Rolls/Surette). The more moderately priced GC2 batteries will serve you very well.

8. Most important: all LA batteries, rugged golf-carts or not, need to be fully-charged as often as possible. If you habitually fail to reach full charge, your batteries will sulfate on you. Moreover, batteries sitting at float levels of 13.2VDC for a long time will also sulfate. They need a "re-absorption" level charge periodically and regularly, i.e., the charging voltage needs to be kicked up to absorption level every few days for 30-60 minutes or so.

9. For boats not at dockside, this means you have to have an onboard source of charging large enough to bring your batteries to truly full charge. For most boats, this means solar power. There's no getting around this, including by use of the very expensive batteries.

FWIW,

Bill
All I have seen at warehouse and discount stores are group 24/27 deep cycle batteries. havent seen any GC batteries. Not opposed to them but just haven't seen any for sale like that. I thought that is what you meant. I think we were talking about 2 different types of batteries.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:40   #40
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post
All I have seen at warehouse and discount stores are group 24/27 deep cycle batteries. havent seen any GC batteries. Not opposed to them but just haven't seen any for sale like that. I thought that is what you meant. I think we were talking about 2 different types of batteries.
These ARE NOT deep cycle batteries. They're 12-volt batteries labeled as "deep-cycle", but do not share the properties of true deep-cycle batteries. See MaineSail's comments on this.

Bill
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:48   #41
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phantomracer View Post

Just looking at west marine deep cycle batteries. to get the 262 (rated) amp hours from their batteries, you need at least 4 (@$150+) to 5 of them, which is actually more expensive than me re-buying my rolls batteries, and are rated for something like 1/4 to 1/8 rated cycles. plus a 12 month warranty vs a 7 year of the rolls. Sounds penny wise, pound foolish to me.
That's ALL you should be doing with WM batteries: Just looking. As Maine Sail has reported, repeatedly, on this and other boating forums, the WM batteries are simply relabeled batteries that can be sourced for a LOT less money elsewhere. Don't buy batteries at WM. Just simply don't.

I strongly recommend you read and reread everything having to do with this subject on Maine Sail's site.

There is really no reason for folks to continue to spout this "I don't know nuttin' 'bout elektrisity" nonsense anymore. With the advent of the internet and Maine Sail's invaluable contributions to important issue of boat electrical systems, all it takes is a few days of reading. It's all there.

I started owning my own boats in 1983. Until 1998 (the old Windows 3.0 days!!!, bulletin board days, no personal websites with valuable information, no forums of any kind, etc.) I could get away with a lack of knowledge and a single battery on my 22 and 25 footers. When we bought this boat, with refrigeration, in 1998, I HAD to learn. This was before they'd even invented the echo charger, and I installed a combined I/C so had to deal with a single alternator output and a single charger output, back when everyone was going around with multiple output shorepower chargers and not anchoring out a whole lot. What could I do?

What saved me was the WM Advisors, also a reasonably good trove of information even these days, and available on the internet. I cut them out and read and reread, and learned about the Yandina combiners, bought one and have been doing fine ever since.

There's really no excuse to not learn this stuff. I find it interesting, there's so much valuable information available from TRUSTED sources, and, quite frankly, it's a safety issue.

Good luck, happy electrons to you.

I appreciated Maine Sail's contributions so much that I've assembled many of them here, most of the issues are on his website, but some are links to detailed discussions that should help you from trying to reinvent the wheel:

Electrical Systems 101 http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5977.0.html
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:49   #42
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

I think I remember earlier posts, he is on a mooring and will not install Solar.
Has this Efoy methanol fuel cell that due to programming will not fully charge the batteries, shuts off, lets the battery voltage drop then partially re-charges them?

If so, I think any LA battery won't put up with this, but I have no experience with the firefly.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:50   #43
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
These ARE NOT deep cycle batteries. They're 12-volt batteries labeled as "deep-cycle", but do not share the properties of true deep-cycle batteries. See MaineSail's comments on this.

Bill
I know.. that is what my issue what. I thought you were talking about those being gc batteries, which they are not!
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:53   #44
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
That's ALL you should be doing with WM batteries: Just looking. As Maine Sail has reported, repeatedly, on this and other boating forums, the WM batteries are simply relabeled batteries that can be sourced for a LOT less money elsewhere. Don't buy batteries at WM. Just simply don't.

I strongly recommend you read and reread everything having to do with this subject on Maine Sail's site.


There is really no reason for folks to continue to spout this "I don't know nuttin' 'bout elektrisity" nonsense anymore. With the advent of the internet and Maine Sail's invaluable contributions to important issue of boat electrical systems, all it takes is a few days of reading. It's all there.

I started owning my own boats in 1983. Until 1998 (the old Windows 3.0 days!!!, bulletin board days, no personal websites with valuable information, no forums of any kind, etc.) I could get away with a lack of knowledge and a single battery on my 22 and 25 footers. When we bought this boat, with refrigeration, in 1998, I HAD to learn. This was before they'd even invented the echo charger, and I installed a combined I/C so had to deal with a single alternator output and a single charger output, back when everyone was going around with multiple output shorepower chargers and not anchoring out a whole lot. What could I do?

What saved me was the WM Advisors, also a reasonably good trove of information even these days, and available on the internet. I cut them out and read and reread, and learned about the Yandina combiners, bought one and have been doing fine ever since.

There's really no excuse to not learn this stuff. I find it interesting, there's so much valuable information available from TRUSTED sources, and, quite frankly, it's a safety issue.

Good luck, happy electrons to you.

I appreciated Maine Sail's contributions so much that I've assembled many of them here, most of the issues are on his website, but some are links to detailed discussions that should help you from trying to reinvent the wheel:

Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
I have. many times. I virtually memorized the pages!
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Old 04-02-2016, 13:00   #45
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think I remember earlier posts, he is on a mooring and will not install Solar.
Has this Efoy methanol fuel cell that due to programming will not fully charge the batteries, shuts off, lets the battery voltage drop then partially re-charges them?

If so, I think any LA battery won't put up with this, but I have no experience with the firefly.
yup thats me (I put a link earlier to the other thread). The efoy does now have smart (well smarter) charging than they used to. I think the problem was my batteries were just about fubar...and taking a look at them and my battery killing ways.. was the main problem. Nothing. Efoy, solar, nothing was going to fix the near dead sulfated batteries!

The firefly carbon foam batteries are supposed to resist sulfating, or at least be able to recover from a psoc better than other batteries. Main Sail recommended this in the other thread. Got good ratings in Practical Sailor. Looking at firefly, they are cool! Not cheap but promising technology for stubborn people like me who murder batteries just for fun

If I can get these wet cell Rolls to work and baby them a bit better, they may be up to the task.
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