Folks, I am still hoping to solicit commentary on a couple more things I was wondering about....
1) My instruction sheet references "20 points" difference. Is that 0.2, 0.02 or some other difference in specific gravity?
2) Still hoping for commentary on my black-n-decker charger and what it's instruction manual says (pulses) about how it does an equalize charge. i.e. would it make sense to get a different charger that does it better or gives me more control?
Constructive disagreement is encouraged. It is how I/we learn!
Looking at the documenation for my B&D charger, I see that it will run in a "reconditioning" mode which it says will take ~24 hrs. There is no mention of a 'desulfation mode' that you speak of which is different than the reconditioning mode.
Perhaps you are thinking I have the VEC1093DBD charger from Black&Decker? Looking at the manuals for the VEC1093DBD I see it describing separate and distintct "equalization" and "recondition" functionality.
I do have an older style charger sitting in my garage somewhere that I haven't dusted off in a long time. Pretty sure it's a manual charger with just a little slide-switch to select the charge mode/setting. I'll have to get home to look at it carefully again to see what settings I have on there. I'll look at that tonight and post what I find for that charger.
From what I read here (and elsewhere) so far, the easiest thing probably for me to do is to hook up a pair of the batteries to my automatic B&D charger, put it in "reconditioning mode" and just monitor the specific gravity. As best I can tell, I won't know what the charger is doing in terms of voltage/current but I guess a newbie like me maybe should just be happy if the specific gravity gets back up to ~ 1.27'ish and plateaus there?
There is that geeky-inquisitive part of me that kinda wants to go through the process with a manual charger though. Or at least a charger where I can see more of what it's doing (like voltage/amp readouts). So... if you got some instructions for doing it the manual way (monitring voltage with a multimeter) I am interested....
Reading through as many threads on this stuff as I could at lunch today, it got me to thinking maybe I ought to buy a VEC1093DBD charger from Black & Decker. I got the impression from one of the threads however that it wasn't available in Canada.... More researching to do I guess.
Time to head home now.... will post up what I find later this evening.
So.... now that I have the batteries sitting in my garage, I've taken readings again. Probably a bit more carefully than when I was hunched-over getting them while they were in the Motorhome battery compartment.
Battery #4 is the newer battery that I mentioned was recently replaced/added (it is the one with the US Battery label on it)
Batteries 1,2,3 are the 3 that I got with the rig initially. Also note that Battery 1 in my first post isn't necessarily battery #1 in this post. I failed to label them when I took the first set of readings.
Also, my "old" battery charger is a MotoMaster 100/15/2A - 6 & 12 V Automatic & Manual Battery Charger with Engine Start. It has two slide switches.
Switch #1 lets you choose between
A) "conventional & low maintenance"
B) "Maintenance Free & Deep Cycle"
Switch #2 lets you choose between:
A) 15A 6V Manual
B) 2A 12V Automatic
C) 15A 12V Automatic
D) 100A 12V Engine Start
When I plugin the charger and set switch #2 to the "15A 6V Manual" mode and check the output voltage of the leads with my multimeter, I see the following:
If switch#1 = "Conventional & Low Maintenance" output voltage = 6.74 volts
If switch#1 = "Maintenance Free & Deep Cycle" output voltage = 6.70 volts
I'm not sure if I can/should use this manual charger or not.
This evening I did go ahead and hookup 2 of the batteries (batt #1 and Batt #1 as per this post) in series and hooked up my Black & Decker automatic charger. I pressed the button to start a normal battery charge since everything I've read says that should be done prior to an equalize/recondition attempt anyway. The surprise I got was that while it is in the normal charge cycle/mode, I *CAN* see the voltage and the amps on the LCD display. Not sure yet if you can get the same readings when it's in "recondition" mode or not. Haven't gone there yet....
* This post was
edited 04/09/12 07:49pm by flyswamper *
Ok, you have the BC40EWB not the VEC1093DBD. Like PT said, you can leave Battery 4 out of this. That SG is what you want. You might be able to get the other one's at that SG provided they aren't permanently sulfated. Hook that manual charger up to one battery on the 15A 6V Manual mode and "Maintenance Free & Deep Cycle". Monitor the voltage and and SG. Stop the charge when SG stops rising OR when you reach 8V (NO MORE THAN 8V!!!!!!). Occasionally put your hand on the side of the battery to make sure it's not too warm. And if the acid starts overflowing, stop the charge. I would wear eye protection and some long sleeves and pants (I have a full face shield).
If you're able to get all the SG's up close or equal to battery 4, let them rest overnight to cool. I would hook all of them up and equalize them together the next day but if the SG's are REALLY close that may not be necessary. The VEC1093 makes this easy but I THINK the recondition mode should do it on the BC40EWB. Check SG on all of them after that.
flyswamper, I have L16's also but made by Trojan. Looks like your batteries are either heavily stratified or sulfated. Connect them in pairs and run the desulfation mode on your B&D charge on each pair. Check the SG when it completes. If it's still not up to 1.270 or so. Run it again. If it's still not up, run the conditioning mode. That one takes 20 hrs to do so be sure to make some time for that. If you want to save some time, run down to Harbor Freight and get their manual charger. It can be found HERE. Using this requires a voltmeter to monitor voltage. Let me know if you want to go this route and I'll give you some instruction on how to get this done.
Thanks.... certainly sounds like a job for the weekend when I can be around for many hours in a row (and not have to goto my day job).
Is it safe to assume that the "15A 6V manual mode" on my older charger is likely a is a constant amperage mode as opposed to a constant voltage mode then? Because if it was constant voltage and my multimeter only registered 6.7 volts then it would never seem to "get there" if it was a constant voltage mode.
Another newbie question.... You mention that after you get the SG up on them, you would hook them up and equalize them. I'll google it right after writing this, but I guess I'm still a bit fuzzy on what you mean by equalizing there. I guess I am having a hard time understanding the difference between reconditioning and equalizing.
Forgive me for the silly questions... I like to think I'm plenty smart to learn all this stuff... I just am starting from a very basic-beginnings place...