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Friday, March 20, 2015

Is There An Electronic/ Electrical Engineer The House ?

  I purchased a "Battery Tender" for my motorcycle and it led to a discussion/ questions about the difference between a "Smart Charger/Tender" vs. a trickle charger use for long periods of time.

Can anyone offer the reason for or against using either one? My post is HERE.  

For the record, my Honda came from the factory with a plug in for a "battery tender"

 Neil from "GOLDENGEESENEWS" asked in the comment section:

 What I specifically want to know is this: I've been using two trickle chargers for the use that the Battery Tender is intended for, for about 15 years. Is this stupid? Is this dangerous in any way? The trickle charger only puts out about one amp, and is self regulating, so how much energy could I possibly be wasting? My experience tells me that everything I'm doing is OK, but if that were true, why did they ever even come out with the Battery tender? What benefits would you be getting with the Battery Tender over trickle charger?

  All I could find on line was info that a trickle charger can overcharge a battery or boil off the non-sealed ones.



  1. I am not an EE but I was an electronic tech in the military for over 20 years and in the civilian market for 10.

    The Battery Tender made by Deltran is not a trickle charger. A trickle charger provides a continuous low amp charge to whatever it is hooked up to - it can burn up a battery and can be dangerous to use. The Battery Tender has float charging circuitry that measures the current charge of your battery and has switching circuits to turn the charge off and on as required. It will also protect from reversing the polarity to make it pretty much idiot proof. A Float charger is the only way to go.

    I have used a Battery Tender on my 06 ElectraGlide and I have 2 years of life on the second battery. I expect to get another 5 or so years out of it. I got 7+ years out of the first battery and I hook up the BT after every ride. The only time it doesn't get it is when I am on a trip.

    My riding buddies just had the discussion about the Battery Tenders. We all pretty much use our motorcycles as daily transportation. Out of 8 of us, 3 used the Battery Tenders all of the time. Two would put them on in the wintertime only and 3 didn't use anything. The average battery life for the 3 who didn't use anything was 3 years. The two that would use during winters lasted 4 years. The three of us that used them all of the time were getting 7 years out of a battery.

    BTW: Deltran make the float chargers for NAPA Auto Parts and it is about 1/3 cheaper than the Battery Tender logo chargers. Harley also has their float chargers made by Deltran and they are about 1/3 more than the Battery Tender brand. I have one of HD brand because it came with the bike and two NAPA chargers and they are all identical models.

  2. Hello Mr. Irish,
    I use tenders on all my bikes and ATV's. I used to do the same with a trickle charger like you have. The tender is supposed to have circuitry to detect when the battery is in a fully charged state at which time it will idle the charge mode. Trickle chargers will ALWAYS be in a charge state albeit a very low AMP charge. Usually this is not a bad thing but it is possible to overcharge a battery and possibly damaging it or the motorcycle. If it were to boil over with acid some bad things could happen. In short a tender is the best and safest way to extend battery life and keep your equipment ready to go.
    Now if we could do something about the E-10 fuel that would be great.
    Greg in DE

  3. I have been using two trickle chargers to maintain two garden tractor batteries, 24/7/365 for 15 years, and I have never had any problems or replaced the batteries. I'm not saying that this is a good idea, I just haven't seen any convincing argument that it is not. As far as how much it cost to run one, this is what I found that comes closest to being correct

    :Ok, at 80 percent efficience (which it isn't, more like 95 plus percent) and assuming a 1.5 amp continous ouput,

    [1.5(amps) / .80] x 14.6 (volts) = 27.4 watts / hour = 0.0274 KW/ hour ==> 20.0 kwh per month.

    Using 100 percent efficience:

    [1.5(amps) / 1.00] x 14.6 (volts) = 21.9 watts / hour = .0219KW / hour ==> 16.0 kwh per month.

    I don't know your KWH rate, but this should give you some insight into the cost, 1 to 3 dollars a month. About the same as two bright night lights.

    And that's assuming that the trickle chargers are charging at all times, they are not, as indicated by the LED indicators on the chargers.

    With all this being said, what is the advantage of the Battery Tender over the much less expensive trickle charger?

  4. I have battery tenders on 8 of my ATV's, tractors etc. I have found if a batter is completely dead, a battery Tender will not charge the battery. I first have to use a low voltage trickle charger for about 1 hour, then switch back to the battery tender. Winter is hell on batteries in the mid-west

  5. Alright. It appears that no one knows anything more about this than I do, which is a good thing because so often, it seems like everyone knows more than I do and that makes me feel stupid. This has prompted me to write a post concerning this matter. Look for it in the coming days on the Golden Geese News - Right Side of the Road. It's gonna be awesome. Pictures and everything.


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