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Archive for the ‘Batteries’ Category

Review of the GT Power A8 Battery Charger

Posted by aonomus on October 2, 2009

In the realm of intelligent battery chargers, there are far too many choices. Prices range from about $50USD to some in the $300 range and come with a whole variety of features. The problem is that the new emerging market is for cheap products that don’t perform, or don’t have the durability and quality expected for a complex device.

Most new intelligent battery chargers can charge, discharge, and cycle Pb, NiCd, NiMH, Li-ion, LiPo, and more recently LiFePO4. These chargers feature control over charging/discharging current. Contrast this to your ‘dumb’ chargers that are essentially trickle charge wall warts that push in around 0.5C that can overcharge NiCd/NiMH, or slow LiPo balance trickle chargers that come with RC helis sometimes.

The GT Power A8 charger sells for about $80USD + S&H, I got mine from Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Batteries, Electronics, Reviews, Robotics | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Review of the Xantrex XPower PowerPack 400 Plus / Motomaster Eliminator 600 PowerBox

Posted by aonomus on August 15, 2009

So I promised a review of this little bad boy, and here it is! Essentially the two products are the same, minus the labelling as Canadian Tire has a deal to rebrand a few Xantrex products including smaller and larger power packs.

In a nutshell, its main features are:

  1. 12V, 20Ah sealed lead acid battery
  2. 400W AC inverter (square wave)
  3. Air compressor with short hose and fittings
  4. Separate jumper cable for boosting low car batteries

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Posted in Amateur Radio, Batteries, Electronics, Reviews | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Solar Charge Controller

Posted by aonomus on August 10, 2009

So recently I put together a small 3W solar array of cheap amorphous solar panels, and I have since given the small charge controller to my parents who have 3x 15W solar panels (also amorphous). Currently I’m running a test, but from the looks of it there was a modest amount of unharnessed energy (ie: the panels are there, but they weren’t being used to their full potential without a proper charge controller for automation.

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Posted in Batteries, Solar power | Leave a Comment »

Desulfator build and Lead Acid Revisit

Posted by aonomus on July 23, 2009

So my previous post regarding reconditioning dried out sealed lead acid batteries mentioned the use of a desulfator. I based my design off of a common desulfator circuit which uses 2 inductors to push pulses of 50V into the battery at 1kHz, with the only major modification being replacing the circuit between the 555 timer and the mosfet (originally a diode for fast turnon, and a resistor for bleeding charge from gate) with a 2N3904/2N3906 pair to drive the gate (and the other modifications being part substitutions.

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Posted in Batteries, Electronics, Solar power | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Revive ‘dead’ sealed lead acid UPS batteries

Posted by aonomus on July 19, 2009

Just to begin, this guide is not a fix-all solution to dead uninterruptable power supply (UPS) batteries, I will describe what the cause of one particular, common failure mode for sealed lead acid batteries is, and the solution.

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Posted in Batteries, Electronics, Hacks, Solar power | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »