Battery charger questions

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Benjamin Maggi
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Battery charger questions

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:27 am

I have a chassis which is powered by two 12-volt batteries, wired in series, to deliever 24 volts to the motors. I hope to have it running in the next few weeks. I purchased two brand new Group 24 marine batteries for the engine.

1.) What type of battery charger should I purchase, considering I hope to plug it in and leave it (perhaps for a week or more) at the club until I visit again?

2.) Do I need to hook it up to each battery individually to charge, or can I attach it to the "ends" of the two batteries in series and leave the jumper between them?

3.) Do I need to unplug the batteries from the rest of the control circuit while charging?

4.) Do I need to charge brand new batteries before their first use?

I figured I better ask now before I run the engine and have it die on the mainline from lack of a charge!
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by hammermill » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:11 am

i would in this case suggest a automitic charger that switchs to a float charge after recharging

i would charge the two batterys in series at the same time ie 24v

charge before use

disconnecting when charging is a good idea so that a unattended failure doesn,t fry other stuff ... id_battery

the link will provide some usefull info enjoy

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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by DRS_RR » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:10 pm

I've been using built in battery chargers in my bass boat for as long as I can remember and plan on using that on my engine too.

It is a 24v system both my trolling motor and my future engine, but I currently use a bass pro shops charger (I have used others in the past all with good success, there are several other brands also, minn kota, pro marine, pro chargers.....) they are a 12v system with a set of leads to each battery, and have some sort of indicator on them, some just have a red/green LED, others actually have multiple LED's and I've seen some with a meter type indicator, and the wall plug...that's it pretty simple.

There big difference in price on them is the amount of amperage used for charging, like for home layout use a 5amp per bank will be plenty for me as I'll have plenty of time for it to charge, if I was going to be going out visiting lots of tracks or using a lot on large tracks, I'd probably lean towards one that charges faster like a 10 amp per bank.

It's nice as most have top off capabilities, I leave mine plugged in 24/7 except for when I have it in use.

I plan on doing the same thing with my engine and permenanetly mount it inside the loco and all I'll do is run an extension cord and plug it in, and just leave it plugged in all the time except for when it goes out to the track.


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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by ken572 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:02 pm


They have some great units and tutorial's and info
at this site, that covers all your questions and needs. 8) ... -chargers/

Ken. :)
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by ccvstmr » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:20 pm


Let your fingers do the walking right now. Time spent researching the battery charging issue would be well spent. If you're making a substantial investment for a "good" set of batteries, you should bite the bullet and do the same for your "smart charger".

It's been noted the marine industry has a variety of chargers available. You should also look at chargers used in the golf cart might consider this a kind of severe duty application. Once you find something you like, then check out Ebay to see if what you're looking for is available on a bid or buy-it-now basis.

With basic battery care and maintenance, you should get at least 5-6 years of service from a set of batteries. Don't know if the smart chargers will stretch that time frame. Hope this helps. Carl B.
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by DianneB » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:21 am

Be cautious of "discount store" battery chargers! I went through three different models of charger from such a store and the first two tried very hard to boil the batteries dry (15 volt charge for a 12 volt battery! :shock: ). The first one I tried was the same model a friend had been using in his boat and he couldn't figure out why he was having to replace a whole bank of batteries every year! The third one worked properly.

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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by rodw » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:16 am

Ctek battery chargers are the ducks n#ts! I have a 25 amp one and it is the best I have ever used. Don't ask what it cost though!
Brisbane, Australia

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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by Snajrog » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:57 pm

For a charger you can leave plugged in at the club go purchase a "battery tender." $25.00. We all used them on our race cars. And I use one on the boat for winter storage.
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by tomc » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:28 pm

Will a 12v charger work on a 24v setup or will he need to split them and get two 12v chargers?

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Bill Wilkins
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by Bill Wilkins » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:44 pm

I have two batteries in series in my little switcher. I use a dual 12volt 5 amp charger that goes to trickle when batteries are charged. Two separate charge circuits. I bought it at Bass Pro for around $100. These chargers are what you would use in a boat with a trolling motor. I wired leads to both batteries, positive+negative & positive+negative, I do not disconnect anything. The four leads go to power poles all ganged in a four way block. No way to get things hooked up wrong, only plugs together one way.
And, Yes, charge new batteries.
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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by realtrains » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:57 pm


What you probably have is a combined marine and deep cycle battery. I have talked to three major battery makers and have been told to never trickel charge a deep cycle battery, it reduces its life (life as in years not how long it runs).

Deep cycle battery chargers are hard to find. The one I have has a meter that reads the charge and tells you how long to charge it in hours. You set a timer and its shuts off completely.

Two batteries in series must be balanced to work together. You should make sure they are the same brand, model, size and were purchased at the same time.

You do not say it but if part of your locomotive runs on 12 volts it will load only one battery. You should swap the two batteries every so often to equal out the wear.


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Re: Battery charger questions

Post by Pennsy fan » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:07 pm

This has some interesting info on chargers. ... hBIIsu9KSN

But the right chargers are Not cheep!


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