Charging Battery On Garden Tractor

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I have a marine trolling battery, which sadly I trusted to a Harbor Freight trickle charger. A couple months later, the battery was way low of water, and filling wtih distilled didn't bring it back to life. I credit the HF float charger (wall wart plug with a cord and couple of clips) with killing my battery. I should not have left the charger on.
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Christopher A. Young
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And, that should be better quality than my $10 HF plug into the wall float over-charger.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Trolling for marines?
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* US * wrote:

Leave it charging 24 hours or it will never charge up the way you are doing it. Funny you should mention it, I just went to start my garden tractor that I use only for snow blowing in the winter. The battery was too low to start it. Was fine all winter, it's only a year old. It's taking a long time to charge too, as if it has been down for some time. I have a taper charger so I'll know when it's full up again when it tapers down to zero. Right now it's drawing 2 amps. Started at 6 amps. If it don't taper down, time for a new one. (defective?)
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LSMFT

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Starting batteries such as garden tractor batteries. If they are deeply discharged, that may do enough damage that the battery won't work again. The overnight charge is a good idea. But, it may very well be time for a replacement battery.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Sun, 15 Aug 2010 08:01:26 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I'm lucky, it came all the way up and started the tractor. Then I put it back on charge to top it off. Tapered of to half an amp trickle.
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Yes, you are fortunate. Lets hope you get several more years of service.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:05:21 -0400, LSMFT wrote:

Sometimes I've wondered about modifying my lawn tractor to attach a snow blower - it's easy to pull the whole mower deck off, leaving a spare shaft pulley on the engine that I could tap power from. The tires won't have enough grip as they are to work in snow, but I bet I could rig up some chains...
It's one of those backyard projects that's waiting for some inspiration and a few useful parts to land in my lap :-)

I really hate small equipment batteries. I've given up on one for the tractor - I just keep a truck battery in the shed and jump it from that. It's only ever a pain in the butt if I stall it or let it run out of gas, as then I have to go get the battery (or push the darn thing back to the shed).
cheers
Jules
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On Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:31:36 GMT, Home@Home. (* US *) wrote:

A slow charge is best**. When I used my 1 amp charger on a full size car battery, for a big car, it took 24 hours to charge from dead. Since yours is 2 amp, I'd figure 12 hours, or less if the battery is smaller. Maybe a little les yet since 24 might not have been needed.
If set on 6 amps, 4 hours of course.
**Although some fancy new ones say they charge 80% fast and then slow down towards the end. I don't know about that.

Now I use a 10 amp charger and I can often get by on ten minutes or less before it will start**, and I don't disconnect it before trying. But they aren't the original diodes, so I guess that doesn't help you. I couldn't get those square, cracker-like selenium diodes anymore, so I used a bunch of 2 amp tophat diodes in parallel***.
**I've disabled my lights-on buzzer switch for complicated reasons.
***The original story of the 10 amp charger is more intersting. 35 years ago, I found it with nothing nearby on the sidewalk in Queens. Took it home and it woudln't work. Bad diodes. Looked all over NYC for selenium diodes that could carry 10 amps. Didn't know why they should be selenium, but that's what they used in the first place.
Coudn't find them, forgot out the thing for 5 years, and when I tried again to fix it, it worked fine. I don't use it often but it worked fine for 20 years. Then the diodes went bad again!! Go figure.

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Selenium diodes were 1930's, 1940's, and very early 1950's, they were used because there were no other diodes available that could take the current thru them that the selenium diodes could take. Modern-day diodes came along in the early 1950's just before the invention of the transistor at Bell Laboratories revolutionized the world as we know it today.
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Arnie, start where it says START HERE. Quit when you get tired. :-)
On Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:48:01 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

START HERE

Thanks. Very interesting. No wonder I couldn't find them. I found the charger between 1970 and 1978, and it's the kind that a gas station would have had, with a heavy duty 6/off/12 volt switch, an ammeter, long heavy leads with big alligator clips, extra-length hoizontal legs to keep it from falling over, and a rounded comfortable metal handle, so it could have been 20 years old when I found it. That would make it about 55 years old now, all original except the diodes and the wires to the alligator clips (which were cracking all over the place and all the way to the copper when I replaced them 10 or 20 years ago.)
I got my one-amp charger from my cousin Morris, who gave me his '50 Oldmobile in 1965, when I was 18 and he was at least over 80 and not going to drive anymore. At the same time he gave me the battery charger. The car had a 6-volt battery but the charger would do either 6 or 12 volts. It looked like new but I'm sure he didn't buy it the last year he had the car. It doesn't look older than 1955? because it still has a modern look, with a glossy almost metallic paint finish on five sides and a face plate that still looks modern also (not that I know what face-plates looked like in the 50's. And a plastic slide switch for 6 to 12 volts.
That charger also had selenium diode in a bridge arrangement and though it failed too, I found a simllar replacement. The original ones fit in the case of course, but the replacement which I got at a surplus store in the 70's was about the size of two cigarrette packs front to back, so it had to be mounted standing on the top of the whole thing, making it look like some sort of robot head.
What's most interesting about it was that I had the car in Chicago for one winter and it was very cold, so I ran an extension cord from the pantry of the house we lived in to the sign at parking lot in the back. I placed the charger in an empty space near the battery and ran the cord out the grill. Every time I parked, I plugged the car in and left it that way until I left again.
ONce it got caught in the radiator fan and the wires ripped out, but I repaired that.
But the 6 volts didn't seem to do a good job of charging it so I put it on 12 volts. It had a glass circuit breaker that looked like like a little Xmas tree light (with no light). A little over a half-inch long and less than a quarter inch in diameter. It would trip every 90 seconds and reset 30 seconds later. Since I went to school in walking distance, the car was home more than 90% of the time, and the circuit breaker reset every 2 minutes for the whole winter. 720 times a a day for at least 90 days, at least 7000 times. But that part still works fine.
The whole thing works fine, but I'm too impatient to use it for car batteries now.
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