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Car battery chargers - compact vs. classic

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Taluntain, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I've recently bought a compact car battery charger (not that I really need it now, but that's besides the point), but I've also got about a 30 year-old one in the garage. You know the type -- bulky, box-like thing with an analog meter.

    Specs-wise, the compact one does everything that the old one does, plus it has a bunch of other "smart" features to boot. And most importantly, it's not as bulky so it's easier to move around. But I see that plenty of those older, boxy ones are still being sold and usually at prices just as high (or higher) than the priciest compact ones.

    So those of you who know your electronics, what's their advantage? I couldn't find anything online to indicate why anyone would still want one that isn't a compact for your standard 6/12/24V charging needs.
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'd imagine your compact one couldn't handle enough power to start a vehicle with a dead battery. That's probably the major difference: A big bulky metal charger can dissipate much more heat than a small plastic one. All the big bulky chargers I've seen also have the capability to jump-start a vehicle as well as charge. I'd be surprised if your compact one could. If all you want to do is charge/maintain a battery, then the compact one is probably better.
     
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    The ones I'm talking about can't start a vehicle AFAIK, they're all trickle chargers. This would be a typical example similar to what I own:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I would guess that Boost setting could handle more current for a longer period of time than a similar compact charger could. The rated output at 12V for that picture shows 9A which is ~100 Watts; not a lot for a bulky thing like that, but for a small plastic thing with no vents? Probably too much.
     
  5. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I only posted that pic as an example, my old charger for instance doesn't have the "boost" function, but otherwise appears similar, though it also allows for 6V in addition to 12 and 24.
     
  6. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Sure; I'm just relating that a big metal product can handle more power than a small plastic one and what that extra power could be used for.

    Of course your 30 year old one had the technology of the day which was big heavy transformers to step down the mains voltage to the battery voltages it supported and probably had simple linear voltage regulators. These days it high frequency switch-mode regulators and much smaller electronics. So your new one could be just as functional as your old one, but I doubt the big ones you could buy today would have the same functionality as the small compact ones.
     
  7. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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