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12V Car Batteries & Chargers - What Are You Using?

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Scruffmeister09/06/2011 21:22:33
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Hi All -
 
It's time to invest in a car battery and a decent charger (float seems like the way to go). There are so many out there and at such a range of prices, can anyone recommend some good cheap options - esp. on the charger front but also batteries in terms of price to capacity is helpful?
 
I'm hoping to know what you're using rather than asking you to search the internet for cheapest prices, I can do that bit!!
 
Cheers

Ben B09/06/2011 21:24:22
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If you're using it for charging you might be better off using a utility / deep discharge battery.
Tim Mackey09/06/2011 22:27:41
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Yup...."leisure" battery is the best for this type of use. Try to get the highest capacity you can afford ( 80Ahr or so ).
I assume you mean charger for the 12V battery as you mention float.....I use one I got from Aldi some time back - stays connected all the time and maintains the battery at the right charged level. They only get them in as "specials" from time to time. £10 or so I think.
Alan Cantwell09/06/2011 22:31:05
3039 forum posts
our lekky guys use leisure batterys,
Ben B09/06/2011 22:33:51
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Yes, the Aldi "specials" are like the excellent optimate (or it's Oxford clone) but without the desulfation mode which is rarely needed though does work wonders on dead batteries sometimes. They won't charge a battery as quickly as an 11 amp jobby but they also don't run the risk of electrolysis and gas leakage that a fast charge on a LA battery does. With the current weather meaning the opportunity to fly arises once in a blue moon this is, of course, not a problem.
 
It's not just a question of what you can afford- it's what you can carry I have to carry my batteries in a rucksack across open fields so I tend to have 2 or 3 7AH SLAs in a rucksack. No risk of spilage and I can always leave one in the car to collect later if the rucksack if full of heavy clobber.
Romeo Whisky10/06/2011 08:38:29
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Depends how much charging you intend to do at the field.
 
If most of your charging is at home, then a good mains-powered PSU is better than a leisure battery - or better yet get a charger that can run off the mains as well as 12V - there are loads of them about.
 
Then if you want just a couple of extra charges at the field each time then a portable battery pack for starting a car with a flat battery is the cheapest and also the easiest to lug around. You can get them from loads of places but they vary incredibly in price for exactly the same thing. I've seen them in Makro, B&Q, Aldi, etc - B&M Homestore have them for £25 at present. Halfords and Machine Mart also do them but for exorbitant money. They hold about 17A/h capacity and generally come with a wall plug to keep its own charge topped up. (They are great for starting your car in emergency too!).
 
If you intend to do virtually all your charging at the field then a good leisure (caravan) battery is what you need. (And a trolley to cart it to the pits!).
Geoff Smith 110/06/2011 08:53:16
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Posted by Romeo Whisky on 10/06/2011 08:38:29:
Depends how much charging you intend to do at the field.
 
If most of your charging is at home, then a good mains-powered PSU is better than a leisure battery - or better yet get a charger that can run off the mains as well as 12V - there are loads of them about.
 
Then if you want just a couple of extra charges at the field each time then a portable battery pack for starting a car with a flat battery is the cheapest and also the easiest to lug around. You can get them from loads of places but they vary incredibly in price for exactly the same thing. I've seen them in Makro, B&Q, Aldi, etc - B&M Homestore have them for £25 at present. Halfords and Machine Mart also do them but for exorbitant money. They hold about 17A/h capacity and generally come with a wall plug to keep its own charge topped up. (They are great for starting your car in emergency too!).
 
If you intend to do virtually all your charging at the field then a good leisure (caravan) battery is what you need. (And a trolley to cart it to the pits!).

Hiya Romeo Whisky, I use these as well because I have to carry a Nebuliser everywhere I go and it has to be recharged regularly. I just plug the charger in the cigarette lighter connector and away we go. A most useful bit of kit. It can also be recharged itself from the car cigarette lighter whilst on the road. Mine also pumps up tyres most efficiently as well as starts cars. Cheers

Geoff
Wonky Webbit Builder No 20
Alan B10/06/2011 09:39:30
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680 forum posts
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Hi
I have a few options available to me. I normally have enough batteries to cover my days flying in the field. If i do need to charge a handfull of batteries in the field and the car is close by - I have a power converter (Aldi about £25). It plugs into the cigarette lighter socket (sorry - accessories socket as they are now called!) it saves having to connect directly to the car battery. I just plug my mains charger into it which converts the 12 volt to 240 volt. I also have one of the portable car starter jobbies as mentioned above. I cant be doing with lugging around a leisure battery as some of my fellow club mates do - but thats just me. Just remember if you do use the car not to flatten the battery! However if you do have a portable car starter then you can always use it to jump start it if the batteries flat!
.
Al

Edited By Alan B on 10/06/2011 09:43:48

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