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Old 10-16-2012, 02:00 PM   #16
Twilight Error
Going nowhere slowly
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Joined: May 2002
Location: The Submarine Mines
Oddometer: 22,644
If you're going to buy a meter for shop use, spend the bucks and get a Fluke. It'll outlast you and possibly your kids. No need to go nuts and get one cal'd to NIST standards unless you're building a nuclear reactor in your garage.

For travel, I picked up an Extech DM110. Its small - about the size of a smartphone, accurate and easy to use.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:38 PM   #17
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: May 2010
Location: RO
Oddometer: 147
most likely it's normal.
I have an "intelligent" charger too, manual says once the battery is fully charged it switches to maintenance mode, which is described as light discharging, followed by recharging etc.
this doesn't mean that yours is the same but there's a high probability. as long as it doesn't overcharge or anything, it's most likely ok.
one way to check it is by connecting a multimeter in series and one in parallel and measure current/voltage. normally it should first charge with a constant current equal to rated Ah/10 (for instance if it's 10Ah it should use 1A) or less (mine uses 0.6A since there's no way of knowing the rated Ah) and then switch to constant voltage (current drops exponentially) when a certain voltage is reached. this is the proper way of charging a lead-acid battery. if it's indeed an intelligent charger, chances are it does it this way. what should never happen is to have a voltage across battery higher than ~14.7V. and this figure should be even lower if the charging current is higher than Ah/10.

later edit: looked at the Ctek website, looks like it works just as I described (at the price, it really REALLY should, mine was much cheaper):

gn77b screwed with this post 10-17-2012 at 01:06 PM
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:10 PM   #18
A proud pragmatist.
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
Oddometer: 4,546
I just plugged my intelligent charger on a L/A battery I ahum... forgot to maintain. I should check the log...4-5 months. No worries.

Charged now but alternating on the lights every few minutes. I'll leave it on for a couple days, alternating will still happen but at a much slower rate if I judge from others I have charged with it. But I forget stuff sometimes....getting old sucks, more to remember.

Starting voltage on that ahum...forgotten battery was around 10.35V. Of the top of my head in line with the hydrometer readings I took first and the load test I did with the load tester.Just takes a little time properly assessing a battery with basic tools, can't be too impatient with them most times.

The cheap 5 years old battery in the garden tractor is still "in specs" and so is the battery in the bushcar, 12 years old Diehard but I'll let them sit for a few days and check them again. Someone did a "Courtesy Check" on that Diehard 4-5 years ago and told me it was dying. I respectfully disagreed and did my own things with it,things I will not tell here for safety reasons, still starts the car and runs the winch...!That car is hard to start in the winter after sitting for a few weeks. Need lots of cranking power.
Have tools, will travel!
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:26 PM   #19
Where to?
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: N. Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 1,621
I currently use the Optimate 6 for both my bikes. Batteries are going strong at 5-6 years now.
People who get made because they're old, haven't lived.
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