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Old Jan 31, 2003, 06:17 PM
Peter Young is offline
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Question

DC Power Supply - auto battery charger + lead acid 12V battery?


Hi all

I'm buying a Triton (after all the good reports) and would like a DC power supply to cope with the demands of cycling packs. I have been using a 12 V auto battery, but wondered whether I could leave the DC auto battery charger attached to the battery and running while the Triton is also hooked up?

The battery charger runs off main power and has a variable ampage set up - amps come down as the battery gets close to fully charged.

What are the risks with this arrangement? Is there a chance I will fry the Triton, or blow the charger? Should the leads from the 12V charger and the Triton not be touching?

If there are any risks with this set up I will not use it, as I can't afford to lose the Triton.

Thanks for any advice.

Peter
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Old Jan 31, 2003, 07:00 PM
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In my experience, two things can happen:

1. If you are charging large packs at high rates you may trip the overheat sensor in the wet cell charger as it tries to keep up.

2. Some wet cell chargers will get very close to the 15V maximum of the Triton during a charge. I don't have a Triton (yet) but I assume it has an overvoltage sensor that will trip and shut it down if this happens.

In reality, you may never experience either of these.

Rob
Old Feb 01, 2003, 02:39 AM
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Thanks - it's hard to know whether to risk it. The instructions for the Arlec wet cell charger are very sparse - not sure what sort of protections are built in - I'd hate to smoke it.

Peter
Old Feb 01, 2003, 07:04 AM
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Actually, I don't see any risk at all. I do it all the time. The two possibilities I mentioned are not failures.

Rob

P. S. I'm not responsible if anything breaks.
Old Feb 01, 2003, 10:16 AM
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Food for thought, I don't see where this is much different than charging batteries while driving to the flying field. Input voltage should be similar. If you have a charger with adjustable input amps, I's select one close to the draw from the charger and not worry about it.
Old Feb 01, 2003, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by John_R_C
Food for thought, I don't see where this is much different than charging batteries while driving to the flying field. Input voltage should be similar. If you have a charger with adjustable input amps, I's select one close to the draw from the charger and not worry about it.
Yes, it is similar.

Rob
Old Feb 01, 2003, 01:38 PM
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it works


Using a battery and charger worked ok with my Astroflight chargers. I charged everything from 8 to 24 cells this way.

If you want a power supply to use, check out the radio shack charger that has a 50% off coupon on the internet. I just bought one for $65 and it works great

KEn
Old Feb 01, 2003, 03:09 PM
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Works for me.....I use a 3-amp small 12v charger in tandem with the same 7-amp (I wish it were 10-15) hour deep-cycle (from a UPS) that I can take to the field with me.

Pullin
Old Feb 01, 2003, 05:41 PM
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"Actually, I don't see any risk at all. I do it all the time. The two possibilities I mentioned are not failures. "

The risk I was worried about was whether the wet cell charger will trip off, or whether it will keep pumping out more and more amps until it blows. It seems to have a variable charge rate - presumably faster when charging a flatter wet cell battery. Could a Triton sucking charge out be interpreted by the wet cell charger as a very flat battery, and the ampage of that charger get higher than it was built to withstand?

I'm new to this, so bear with me if I am imagining something that can't actually occur.

I'd rather not spend $65 on a DC supply if I don't have to (that's almost the price of the Projeti I am saving up for!).

Thanks for all your advice so far.

Peter
Old Feb 01, 2003, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Young
The risk I was worried about was whether the wet cell charger will trip off, or whether it will keep pumping out more and more amps until it blows.
Peter.

You have a good understanding of the operation of your wet cell charger, but I doubt it would self-destruct. In my opinion it would be a poor (unsafe) design if it didn't have a thermal shutoff. I have tripped mine a few times...

Rob
Old Feb 02, 2003, 03:31 AM
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I did this with no problems at all for over a year, using a very old and dirty peerless(australian made!) charger.

Adam
Old Apr 21, 2003, 05:10 PM
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Hi all

I finally ordered by Triton (with $10 gift voucher from Tower), and thought I better get an answer on this question from the horses mouth (Great Planes). Here's my question and their response.

Peter

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1. Charging my 12V power supply at the same time as using it to power my Triton?

Do not attempt to charge your car battery at the same time you are using it to power the Triton. This could be dangerous. It could also damage your charger.

An average car battery contains 700A of power. You would have to cycle that 1600mAh pack over 100 times to drain the automotive battery. If you are using the battery that is in your car to power the Triton, and you are cycling several packs, we would suggest that you disconnect the Triton from time to time and start the car. The auto battery will recharge itself while the car runs.
Old Apr 23, 2003, 04:48 PM
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12v car battery = ?amps


Hi,

I just came from CanadianTire (yes, Im in Canada). I was looking for a 12v battery and a trickle charger for my Orbit MicroLader. The sales person could not provide any info of amperage for any batteries they have. Would a motorcycle battery have enough amperage or should I be better off with a small car battery-would it last longer between charges? Is the amperage for those types of cells stated by cranking amps? Since I cannot get the "cheap" RadioShack power supply here in Canada and other PS cost about $150CND ($5 US LOL) my cheapest option is the above method but how big is big enough?

Eric
Old Apr 23, 2003, 09:37 PM
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Great Gazoo - Hilarious avatar!

I use a 40 AH lead acid battery which is about the smallest car battery you can find ( for a sub compact car ). Its about 10in long x 7in wide and 9in high - thats an estimation. It's enough for a whole days flying on my 8xHecell packs and is the smallest size approved by Schulze. I disconnect the lead acid charger before I clip on my Schulze isl6-330d.

Shane
Old Apr 23, 2003, 10:41 PM
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Peter

You've gotten good advice so far. If I were you I would charge your 12 volt auto battery (or other) with the charger and when you use the battery to power the Triton, just unhook it. No worries, no problems for sure. You don't need the charger hooked to the 12 volt battery when you're charging with the Triton.


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