On Board Battery Charger

Anything electric, AC or DC

On Board Battery Charger

Postby Eagle » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:34 pm

Mity Mite On-Board Battery Charger
Attaches permanently to battery tray or fender well, mounting hardware included. The molded plastic sealed case is resistant to water, gasoline, oil, solvents and acids. The Mity Mite charges & maintains 12-volt batteries and is totally automatic, if the battery drops 1 volt, the charger switches on, when fully charged it switches itself off. Operates from any regular 110-volt outlet. Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 1/2

So, what do you think about this? Would this not work with a deep cycle battery? Would you need a deep cycle if you had one of these? (assuming you will be around 110v AC) Could you use your 12volt lights, etc. while it was plugged into the 110 volt AC?

Hoped to have the picture paste, but ......

Thanks for your input. Safety is the KEY , so I guess the real question is anything DANGEROUS about using one of these with a trailer and while you are using 12 volt fixtures, etc. ?

TIA,

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Postby Woody » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:21 am

I have one similiar to that. You have to remember that it is a trickle charger not a power supply. Most battery charger can not handle continious loads, unless specified for that purpose. When loading up the battery when in use, it will sense the drop in voltage and kick on. However, it will not keep up with the demand. It will try to maintain the battery and overheat and shut down. The battery is the main power supply, not the charger unit. When using battery power it is best to unplug the unit so if nothing else, it won't overheat and eventually burn it self out trying in vain to charge the battery and have to be replaced. When no demand on battery plug it back in to maintain the battery.
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Postby Eagle » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:35 am

Woody,

THANK YOU. Did not think and did not think about the charger over heating. This would NOT be a good thing.

But, you might get by with a regular auto battery if you were only going to use it for in cabin lighting perhaps. However, the deep cycle one is really the way to go. You never know and when you really need it is when it will NOT be there.

So, unplug it at night and plug it in during the day should keep it powered up.

Thanks again, Woody!!!

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Postby Woody » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:56 am

Remember that if you use any charger for a power supply, which it was not designed for, you will still have the same problem. I have not had a problem with deep cycle battrery going dead right away. I have had it last 5 - 6 days without charging it. If you think you might need more power the consider a true power supply rather than a large charger. I dont think it would be needed. If I have access to 120 vac, I maintain my battery when I am not at the campsite for the day, when I get back I unplug it (trickle charger) and use the battery to power my teardrop.
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Postby SteveH » Tue Nov 16, 2004 8:03 am

Woody,

I have to respectfully dissagree with the trickle charger overheating, assuming the charger has sufficent air space around it to cool properly.

As an example, if you have a 100 AH battery that is 75% discharged, and you plug in your trickle charger, the charger will go to full output current (most are about 1 amp) and remain there until the battery is charged (approimately 75 hours), and it is designed to sustain that load/heat.

If this will not overheat the trickle charger, it will not overheat the charger to use it in parrallel with the battery when the battey is being used. The charger will simply go to full output capacity, after battery voltage goes lower than the voltage the charger is regulated at, until the load is removed from the battery and the battery becomes fully charged again.
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Postby Arne » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:15 am

I wonder about the overheating as well. I have a battery tender that puts out 1.5 amps.... whether the bat is really low and getting charged, or I am using the bat and charging at the same time, the charger will still only put out what it is capable of..... but, it does get quite warm in either case and needs to 'breathe'....
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Postby SteveH » Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:13 am

Arne,

Maybe I should have been a little clearer in my previous post. What I was trying to say was having the charger on the battery while the battery is being used will not overheat the charger.

That statement assumes the charger is designed to charge at it's rated current constantly without overheating and assumes the charger is installed in a way that it gets sufficent air flow.

And, by the same reasoning, if the charger is not designed as such, or not installed with adequate air flow, it may overheat in normal battery charging function weather it is on a battery that is being used at the time, or not.
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Postby Woody » Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:45 am

SteveH,
I understand where you are coming from. The main problem here is the fact they are not heavy continious chargers and are not meant to charge heavily power drained batteries, they are designed to maintain/topoff a marginally drained battery. My experience with these 1.5 amp trickle type chargers and reading the manual states it will damage the unit for continious use like deep charging, power supply use, verses maintaining the battery (topping off a battery) what it was designed for,and to prevent the unit from overheating. I have two of them and they are sealed units without a cooling surface (fins).The main question here was to use it as a power supply. And unless the charger is otherwise specified in the manual that it can take the abuse as a power supply, they are not design for the demand and they will overheat .Charging is a different story, My personal expereince is that they do overheat and thermally shutdown and protect themselves when on and you put a load on the battery while being charged they get very hot. I forgot to disconnect one once and I could hear it trip and reset and until I could figure out where the noise was coming from and because I had it under the load I had placed the battery. Since it could not keep up with the demand of the lights I was testing in my trailer. I kept hearing the sound of something mechanically tripping (click) then later it would make a noise again (click) while it cooled and reset.
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Postby Woody » Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:53 am

Just to make sure I did not mis speak I pulled this from the actual manual
of one of the chargers I own
:
•.TROUBLE SHOOTING
1. No DC Output When Charger Is On.
a) Unplug the charger and make sure connections are secure.
b) Check for wall outlet for power.
c) DC circuit breaker is tripped. See "Charger Overload" below.
d) A dead battery (Specific Gravity near 1.000) shows very low output on an ammeter. After 15 to 20 minutes the indicated current rises and normal charging
occurs.
Charger Overload.
• This charger is not intended to supply low-voltage power for applications other than battery charging
• The charger is protected against overloads by a self-resetting DC circuit
breaker. An overload is indicated by a distinct "click" of the DC circuit breaker as it trips. A 3
to 5 minute cooling off period is required before the breaker will reset itself. If the
overload condition still exists, the cycle will repeat.
Listed below are the conditions that can cause the circuit breaker to trip:
• This charger is not intended to supply low-voltage power for applications other than battery charging.
• A deeply discharged battery (Specific Gravity near 1.120). If the battery is in
otherwise good condition, the circuit breaker may trip on and off several times
until the battery recovers enough to allow a normal charge rate. If the tripping
continues after 30 minutes, a larger charger should be used.
• A battery with a shorted cell. A battery in this condition may cause the breaker
to trip continuously. It will not accept a charge and should be replaced.
• Charger leads are connected in reverse causing the breaker to trip continuously.
May damage battery and charger.CAUTION: Regardless of what is causing the overload, unattended or routine
operation in this manner could result in serious damage to the charger and the
battery.
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Postby SteveH » Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:18 pm

Woody and Arne,

OK, you guys are right, they obviously will overheat and quit. Again, my statements were based on "assumes the charger is designed to charge at it's rated current constantly without overheating and assumes the charger is installed in a way that it gets sufficent air flow".

IMHO, I would not use a charger/power supply of that design in a trailer. A much better option would be a regulated power supply in parrallel with the battery, with a capacity to run all 12 volt appliances and charge the battery at the same time. The best ones are voltage regulated and current regulated not to exceed their capacity. Of course the problems with such a power supply are cost and size.
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My battery charger of choice

Postby TonyCooper » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:33 pm

I picked up this 6amp 4 stage automatic Deltran charger for my tear. I have not installed it yet, but I'm confident it will do the job. I plan to place it in parallel with my ac circuit so whenever I'm plugged into 120VAC I'm charging the battery. It will be permanently mounted near the battery.

http://www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?p=DEL-022-0157-1

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Postby Woody » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:01 pm

Just remember that it functions as a charger,not a power supply. I went to the site and noticed that the 12 vdc unit has the 1.5 amp output. It is designed to maintain the battery. So technically it should be used to charge/maintain the battery without an external load applied ( lights, fans, etc.). I designated my charger with it's own external electric hook-up so I could plug-in and maintain the battery, but not have power (120 vac) to the rest of the trailer. When I need the battery for power I unplug the charger. To have it running while using lights or other 12 vdc appliances loads up the charger, defeats and damages the charger function and makes it a supplemental power supply, which it was not intended for. They make units called converters (120 vac to 12 vdc) that most big RV's have installed that are more for that function and can handle the loads (higher amp draws) and remain uneffected by this type of use.
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Postby SteveH » Wed Nov 17, 2004 2:48 pm

Woody,

Have you ever added up the battery drain for your whole trailer? I know it would vary depending on what type lights you had on, how many, what type fan, and so on, but it would be interesting to know just how much current drain the "average" teardrop trailer is.
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Postby Woody » Wed Nov 17, 2004 3:30 pm

SteveH,
I quesstimate it at approx. 9 -11 amps. That includes all lights, 12 vdc TV, 12 vdc DVD, AM/FM CD car radio, incidental stuff wife uses and muffin fans all on at the same time. The AM/FM/CD and the TV are the real power hogs of the bunch. I put a clamp induction amp meter on the positive battery cable and got the varing above results. And I found out that if I didn't turn off the AM/FM/CD radio at the fuse panel. The battery maintainer that I use turned on and tried to charge my battery just by it sensing a drop in power the radio consumed in the "OFF" mode but the face plate was still lit (clock mode) and the memory for the stored radio stations. Which in turn caused the charger to maintain the battery at the expense of boiling off water in the battery.Trust me it was not the first thing I thought it was, It was all do to the "sensing" of the battery power drop and the charger constantly trying to replace the lost power and generating heat in the battery. So when I am telling you that this is from "my" own personal experience,
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IOTA 30 AMP POWER SUPPLY

Postby Ken A Hood » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:39 pm

I'm looking at the IOTA 30 AMP POWER SUPPLY, Specs are:
-Iota is Certified 100% Duty Cycle @ 30 CONTINUOUS AMPS
-Iota power supplies are 60% more efficient than conventional supplies
-Iotas have Constant Voltage / Pure DC Output and are regulated / filtered.
-Iota’s thermally controlled fan is smaller and MUCH MORE QUIET.
-Iota supplies are Overload, Over-temperature, Over-current and Brown-out input Protected.
-Iota supplies are DUAL VOLTAGE: 14.2 vdc for equipment operation and full battery charging; 13.4 vdc for maintaining auto, commercial, deep cycle and gel BACKUP batteries. Iota’s are protected against reverse polarity on the DC output. All supplies have external user replaceable fuses. They ALSO, have AUTOMATIC resetable internal circuit breakers for voltage spikes.
-Input voltage is 96 to 140 vac and 40–70 Hz and consumes ONLY 500 watts at full demand. Can be operating using a standard 15 amp household receptacle. Iota’s are protected against momentary line voltage spikes to 190+ vac.
-IQ-4 Microprocessor-controller ( FACTORY OPTIONAL ) turns the supply into a “Automatic multi-stage Smart Charger” allowing Bulk, Absorption and Float stage charging. This option increases the charging capacity of the supply, decreases charge times and insures proper and safe battery conditioning without overheating or overcharging and eliminates the need for constant monitoring over long periods of non-use. Another factory option is a Remote VS-2 high / low DC voltage switch.

Would this be suitable for a tear? I'm planning on 1 AC outlet in the Galley, and 1(AC) in the cabin. As for options, 2 ext. LED lights 2 galley halogen lights 2 int. halogen lights, and 2-3 12V outlets. No AC/heater............just the minimum, radio, TV/DVD(if I get 1 for xmas)

Thanks, Ken
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