Charging a Battery Booster Pack

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I bought one of those Battery Booster packs at an auction. I did not come with the charger, which is one of those wall-wart transformers, rated at 12v (I looked it up online). Since I dont know if this booster even works, I'm not willing to spend the $32 (with shipping) to buy the charger. I only paid $5 for the booster, and if it's dead, the cable clamps are worth the $5 I paid.
Anyhow, I'd like to test it, and thought that I can use a regular auto battery charger to charge the thing. Simply connect the charger cables to the cables on the booster pack being sure the polarity is correct. This makes sense to me, but thought I'd post this and see if anyone has tried this. Any reason NOT to do it?
I have a small 12V battery charger which is switchable from 6amp to 2 amp. I sort of figure to use the 2A mode to slow charge it.
Any comments or suggestions?
Thanks
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On 1/21/2012 1:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

I think your idea will work, but you might look at the symbol where you plug the wall wart in. It will tell you what volt and what polarity wall wart it likes. Surely you have the typical collection of left overs.
We opened one up when it wouldn't charge. The gel battery inside happened to be the same as used in some of the emergency lights we have and just happened to have one. I do think the battery was pricey from what the electricians said.
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This one is a Solar ES-2500 model (shown here) http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/p-6336-solar-es2500.aspx 12V 900 peak amps, 250 CCA
The charger wall wart is rated at 12v 500ma. The cherger is supposed to plug into the cigarette lighter socket on the booster. The earlier made ones used the cig socket, where the later ones had a added plug. Mine has *NO* added plug. I do have a few of 12v wall warts around here. One is rated at 1 Amp. The others are small, like 200ma. But I'd still have to buy a cig lighter plug and cut the connector off the wall wart.
I'm guessing the battery is shot, and if it is, the whole thing goes in the trash except the cable clamps, which I can reuse. I saw another site that had a different model booster, and they advertised a replacement battery for about $10 less than the cost of the whole booster pack. (which I thought was rediculous).
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On 1/21/2012 5:36 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

How are you testing this thing anyway? The one I have has a stupid safety feature to prevent you from hooking up the cables backwards. Bottom line, mine only works if the battery to be jumped is not _completely_ dead. It needs 12 volts from the dead battery to energize a solenoid that makes the connection to the internal battery. So if mine is fully charged and I try to make it light up a headlight, or test the voltage with a meter, it will appear dead. It needs to be hooked up to a battery with at least a very slight charge.
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wrote:

It has a push button that lights up some LEDs to indicate the charge in it. One LED is low charged, two is higher and so on. I connected the battery cables on it to a 12V battery charger set at low charge (2 amps). While the charger was connected these LEDs all lit up. I charged it for over an hour. The meter on the battery charger showed no drain at all. When I disconnected the battery charger, no LEDs light up at all, not even dimly. I think I'm pretty much convinced that the internal battery is dead, unless there is some sort of diode or relay that is preventing the charge to get to that internal battery. But why would the LEDs light up then? It's supposed to be charged thru the cig lighter socket, but I dont have any plugs to put in there to charge from there.
I guess all I can do is rip it apart and try to charge the battery directly.
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Sounds like the battery inside is dead. A very common problem. They (sealed lead acid battery) only last a couple years. If it were mine, I'd not waste any more time on it.
I have a dead jumper pack which has a fluorescent light. I've got plans to take the light out, some day. And, maybe put the cables on a garden tractor battery to use as a small jumper kit.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
It has a push button that lights up some LEDs to indicate the charge in it. One LED is low charged, two is higher and so on. I connected the battery cables on it to a 12V battery charger set at low charge (2 amps). While the charger was connected these LEDs all lit up. I charged it for over an hour. The meter on the battery charger showed no drain at all. When I disconnected the battery charger, no LEDs light up at all, not even dimly. I think I'm pretty much convinced that the internal battery is dead, unless there is some sort of diode or relay that is preventing the charge to get to that internal battery. But why would the LEDs light up then? It's supposed to be charged thru the cig lighter socket, but I dont have any plugs to put in there to charge from there.
I guess all I can do is rip it apart and try to charge the battery directly.
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On 1/22/2012 3:49 AM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Yep, it sounds very dead to me. I'm surprised mine still works after 7 years. I put it on a timer to charge 1/2 hour every day. Works for when the tractor is being fussy and needs more juice.
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2012 09:38:25 -0500, Tony Miklos

On a proper float charge a good one can last 7 or more years. Gotta check the one on my alarm system again some day soon. I think it was 7 last time I checked - and still holding a charge.
Sitting off float they can be dead in 9 months.
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2012 02:49:48 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

When you open it up you will LIKELY find the case of the battery bulged, or even split - which is virtually always fatal to the battery.
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That's one way. There are other ways, also. If you ask.
I had one jumper pack, that had a hard to see knob on the side. Had to turn the knob 1/4 turn right, to send power to the jumper cables. Took me a while to find that out.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I bought one of those Battery Booster packs at an auction. I did not come with the charger, which is one of those wall-wart transformers, rated at 12v (I looked it up online). Since I dont know if this booster even works, I'm not willing to spend the $32 (with shipping) to buy the charger. I only paid $5 for the booster, and if it's dead, the cable clamps are worth the $5 I paid.
Anyhow, I'd like to test it, and thought that I can use a regular auto battery charger to charge the thing. Simply connect the charger cables to the cables on the booster pack being sure the polarity is correct. This makes sense to me, but thought I'd post this and see if anyone has tried this. Any reason NOT to do it?
I have a small 12V battery charger which is switchable from 6amp to 2 amp. I sort of figure to use the 2A mode to slow charge it.
Any comments or suggestions?
Thanks
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On Sat, 21 Jan 2012 13:03:48 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

These folk would agree with you. http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?tP576
This guy has a lot of related schematics but not yours. http://w5usj.com/batterytoolkit.html
Maybe he has an email address, and of course the webform (I hate them) is allegedly useful for conversation.
It would be nice to know how many amps the charger is. Smaller takes longer. Maybe you can look at one in a store. If t hey don't have your brand, any brand will be similar.
I never pay more than 2 dollars for a wall wart, but I go to hamfests which charge 5 or 6 dollars admission. I like to support the ham radio clubs, but usually I save more than that on what I buy.
All you need is 12 volt or a little higher DC, direct current, plug in box, and a plug that fits the jack in your booster. YOu can combine two chargers to get one half from each, or you can buy the right plug. Radio Shack has the plugs, but I think hamfests are still selling a set of 6, all different, for 2 dollars.
If that's time consuming, there are ebay and amazon, but don't forget to use the - prefix to excllude things like -cell to exclude cell phone chargers.
Also there are unviersal chargers. Radio shack has one, with 2 or maybe 3 tips (plugs) included, but extra tips cost a lot. I keep my eyes open, at hamfests mostly, but maybe surplus stores, and pay about 10 for universal. They will have a choice of voltages -- make sure it goes up to 12, some video camera chargers and others don't -- will be reversible as to plolarity, and will have one combination plug with 5 to 7 choices. These allow you to use something until you find the right charger
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=wall+wart+12+v&_sacat=See-All-Categories The first one under best match ishttp://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-1A-1000mA-Power-Supply-Adapter-Wall-Wart-2-1mm-Universal-110-240VAC-input-/280808633376?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41617fb420 is 11.50 but maybe 1 amp is not enough and maybe the plug is not right.
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re: "I never pay more than 2 dollars for a wall wart"
This is a bit off of the original topic, but I bought 2 smart phone chargers on eBay for $10 w/free shipping...the kind with the mini-USB plug on the phone end.
That makes them some pretty cheap wal warts
I left my phone plugged in for a few hours and it did indeed charge the battery. However, when I tried to use the phone while connected to the charger, it started acting all weird, opening the wrong apps and flipping through screens while I wasn't even touching it. As soon as I unplugged the charger, all the weirdness went away.
I tried the other charger and it did the same thing.
Sometimes going cheap isn't the way to go.
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Have you considered calling a priest, and having the wall warts exorcised?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
This is a bit off of the original topic, but I bought 2 smart phone chargers on eBay for $10 w/free shipping...the kind with the mini-USB plug on the phone end.
That makes them some pretty cheap wal warts
I left my phone plugged in for a few hours and it did indeed charge the battery. However, when I tried to use the phone while connected to the charger, it started acting all weird, opening the wrong apps and flipping through screens while I wasn't even touching it. As soon as I unplugged the charger, all the weirdness went away.
I tried the other charger and it did the same thing.
Sometimes going cheap isn't the way to go.
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2012 09:57:49 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Just to make clear, these usually aren't cheap originally. They are leftovers, and almost everyone at hamfests charges a dollar each.
Sometimes I take two, one with the right voltage, right AC or DC, and adequate or greater amperage, and oen with the right plug, and combine them.
I did buy a car charger for a cell phone, on Amazon maybe, and it was only about 3 or 4 dollars, and I worried about it being cheap. And t he first time I used it, a message came on the screen that said something wierd like "Inaccurate battery". But the phone was still charged enough to work.
A few months later I was charging it with the original factory indoor charger, and it gave the same message.
But again, the phone was charged. I never did have to buy another battery, and t hat message only appeared once in the car and once in the house over a couple years.
One could measure the output voltage of a charger before using it. I suppose one could look at it on an oscilloscope too. :)

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On 1/21/2012 11:03 AM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

Hook it up to your car battery with a tail lightbulb in series. When the light goes out, it's charged well enough to see if it will work.
If it's been dead for any length of time, it'll be so badly sulfated it will be useless as a booster.
The 2-amp charger won't hurt it if you start with it sorta charged. I'd try the light bulb in series first to get it up to a voltage that won't overload/smoke a cheap charger. You'd like to keep the peak charge current below an amp or so.
Harbor freight has some cheapo chargers. http://www.harborfreight.com/automatic-battery-float-charger-42292.html they put these on sale for $4.99 regularly.
Before you spend a lot of money on this, consider why you want it. If you intend using it weekly, it can come in handy. If you throw it in the back of the truck, it will be dead when you need it. And since you didn't keep it charged, it will be sulfated and not take a charge any more.
I've had several of these and I never got ANY use out of 'em. It's never charged when I need it and the battery fails rapidly if left unattended.
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<stuff snipped>

it.
That's been my experience. Not much use at all. FWIW, mine require a wall wart with more than 12VDC to charge them. In order to add juice to a drained car battery, the packs have to produce more than 12VDC and that's usually done with a series of nicads tabbed together, not a single gel cell. To charge the nicads, the charging source has to be more than 12VDC. If you charge them from a car battery charging or the car's internal charging circuit, they're getting more than 13VDC. I've taken apart two of them to reclaim the 12VDC sockets and plugs. If I thought they had any use, I would have rebuilt them
But I'm with you. They've never been useful for me and I long ago equipped both cars with waterproof DC connectors and a fused connection to the car battery. That way, trickle chargers in the basement can hook up to the battery of each car quite easily (and even disconnect if I forget to unhook them DAMHIKT). I can even read the voltage of each car's battery with a $3 HF meter I've connected to the circuit. Only once did I have trouble starting the car - when the cheap crappy B&D 2A trickle charger went crazy, flickering on and off hundreds of times a minute. Hmmm - just figured out a way to guard against that happening in the future. I have some devices I got from Allelectronics that shut off power to a device if the voltage drops below 12VDC. If I connect that to the battery circuit and a relay driving an alarm, when the power drops too low, the relay loses power and NO contacts close and power the alarm.
-- Bobby G.
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the best way to prevent car battery troubles, dont wait till the battery goes bad replace every 3 to 4 years with a premium battery
this saves getting stuck and is easier on alternators that must work extra hard to charge a failing battery
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I find that car batteries (for me) die about six months before the end of the prorated warranty. I did take one in, one time for the prorate. At 6 months from the end, they will give you a smile, hand shake, and kiss on the cheek towards the new battery. But, not a penny more.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
the best way to prevent car battery troubles, dont wait till the battery goes bad replace every 3 to 4 years with a premium battery
this saves getting stuck and is easier on alternators that must work extra hard to charge a failing battery
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On Jan 23, 10:29am, "Stormin Mormon"

my time and inconvenience make it worth replacing the battery before the warranty is up. i have found it cut alternator replacements to near zero .....
that saves far more money that the wasted battery warranty
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wrote:

Pretty darn close to Zero for me too - keep my cars 18 years and replace the battery when it dies.
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