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Old 01-27-2020, 06:35 PM
nelstomlinson nelstomlinson is offline
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Interior Alaska
Posts: 82
Default Where can I get a stupid battery charger?

Everybody is peddling smart chargers, with digital read outs and switching power supplies and computer control and all sorts of nonsense.

All I want is a transformer and four diodes. Does anyone still sell a charger like that?
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Old 01-27-2020, 06:56 PM
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astronut astronut is offline
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May be you can check and see if harbor frieght has one or two for sale. I agree with you, I dont need or want a smart battery charger!
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:05 PM
nelstomlinson nelstomlinson is offline
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Location: Interior Alaska
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There aren't any Horrible Fright stores in Alaska. That's too bad, because they do have one little manual charger that might be OK. Shipping to Alaska is an absolute show stopper for anything that won't fit in a USPS flat rate box.

I have a little Miller Thundervolt. I wonder if I could put some big power diodes in there and make it into a charger. Wonder how low I could get the voltage under a low load? The diodes would at least make it a DC welder, anyway.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:41 PM
nelstomlinson nelstomlinson is offline
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Location: Interior Alaska
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Wow, a 200A bridge rectifier is shockingly cheap! It might be worth sticking one in that Thundervolt just to see what happens.
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:16 PM
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Walmart has one for $7.71.

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Old 01-28-2020, 02:49 AM
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Pawn shop? Yard sale? I just bought a "smart" charger from Lowe's for $60 or so. Blue Schumacher, works on gel batteries.

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Old 01-28-2020, 01:10 PM
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terry lingle terry lingle is offline
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The "dumb" chargers usually used selenium rectifiers which had a relatively linear voltage drop to current flow allowing a simple circuit to have a good charging control. plus you knew when they failed they smell like rotten eggs.

The next generation had SCR control elements and some electronics to control the charge rate. they worked ok bur if you wanted to keep the batteries in best shape the circuit had to be matched to the batteries

The newer chargers use power bifet modules and embedded micro controllers to best match the charge rate and the battery. The controller can exercise the battery and determine everything about the battery connected to it.

Kind of like a surgeon using a big axe VS a scalpel.

check out the CTEK chargers and see what features you get from them.
I used to supply a $2500 custom built charger with generator sets in standby operation (hospitals,jails, telecom Ect.) they worked but not as well as the current smart chargers do.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:31 AM
bigb bigb is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Arizona
Posts: 190

I still have my old Schauer 6 amp dumb charger, works great for maintenance/equalizing charging. I also have another fancier 10 amp dumb charger but I dropped it and it doesn't work anymore, I need to open it up and see what happened.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:09 AM
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Ironman Ironman is offline
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Location: Warburg, Alberta
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Every charger I have, from the 200 amp 12/24 to the 2/10 amp is from the landfill. All that ever happens is the circuit board has lost smoke. So it gets removed and wired up right.

I love tormenting the young by telling them I scrapped the electronics. They are horrified, because they know it can't be done. Then I tell them about my first charger that used a Tungar tube to rectify so electronics in chargers is something we guys know about Then I explain E over I=R and they are really in trouble.

Of course these also are the ones who will tell me dad said never put a battery on a cement floor, cause the concrete just sucks out the juice and wrecks the battery.
So I say, ok, yer battery is dead, right. So my charger that will destroy it can't make it worse. How about come back in the morning, and well see what the concrete floor did to it.
The next day they are mystified at the luck of an old idiot, but happy the car starts.

As a matter of fact nelstomlinson, that 200 amp commercial charger I have has had 4 - 600 amp diodes installed in it, and a thunderbolt is about the same. Make sure you have a heat sink.
I finally found a use for Briggs engines. The cylinder heads make real nice heat sinks with cooling fins for the bigger turnip rectifiers.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:33 PM
kbs2244 kbs2244 is offline
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I have salvaged heat sinks before
But I never thought of cylinder heads

I second the garage sale route
or just remove the fancy stuff in a more modern unit.
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