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Old 11-26-2023, 07:16 PM   #1
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Default Got a replacement for my bench charger

I had been using the Blue Sea 40 amp shore charger for my bench charger since I did the power system upgrade to the Roadatrek C180P about 8 years ago.


The 440ah of AGM batteries I used for that upgrade are now out of the van and replaced with lithium so I decided to check them out to see what condition they were in after that long hanging under the van. I was charging them individually to see how the match up after sitting when the Blue Sea died completely.


Very disappointed in Blue Sea as they offer no repair service, service centers, even spare parts or schematics. Not good for a high end charger only 8 years old, IMO.


I don't really need the all features the Blue Sea had, but amp controlled charging would be nice to have. I couldn't find any amp controlled charging for reasonable pricing to use as a bench charger.


I finally ran across one on Amazon that totally looks like a PD charger in every way, right down to the same somewhat unusual charge profile they use. They don't have a Charge Wizard type thing however.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F8MC42C...t_details&th=1


Powermax has been around for quite a while and this unit is also like the PD is that it is battery charger on top of a regulated power supply. They make the power supply available to output by flipping a switch. This makes the unit capable or charging to dead lead acid batteries that a smart charger won't allow to charge and that is a nice thing to have. It also means the van could be powered up for 12v without the batteries hooked up for testing stuff if I want to.


The biggest hook on getting it was that the power voltage output is adjustable and will run at full rated amps, which I don't think any of the PDs have. It appears that setting will also be applied to absorption charge part of the automatic profile. Fixed voltage is also good for lithium if I need to change one on the bench.


It comes with a cord plug in so all I need to do is move the big cable and jumper clamps over to the new charger.


It will be interesting to see just how the charger handles and auto charge profile as they don't show times on the profile chart like PD does.


Only $119 for the 45 amp version so I would consider it disposable when compared to the Blue Sea original cost.


There appear to be quite a few identical units with different labels around also, but didn't check if the features are the same or not. The unit is made in Taiwan, not China, which is unusual these days and probably means it has been in the market for quite a while. Fit and finish looks very good which would be expected from many Taiwan products.
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Old 12-03-2023, 06:44 PM   #2
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Good to hear your positive comments about that unit as I just ordered the 100 Amp version of that a few days ago. Should be here tomorrow. It is replacing a 55 amp Iota charger that failed after more than 20 years. It looks even more like a copy of the Iota units than the PD. My home is off-grid and it is part of the generator-based charging system for when we don't have enough solar power in NW Montana (like most of the winter). A number of reviews say that they put out less than advertised, but other than that, the reviews are quite good. We will see. The adjustable voltage was a big factor for me as I charge my 2000AH lead-acid battery bank rather aggressively to minimize generator time.
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Old 12-05-2023, 08:39 PM   #3
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My 100amp powermax charger is now hooked up and it does put out the full rated 100amps. I suspect that the reviewers who said it didn't probably didn't realize that they were in absorption mode. Unlike Booster's, mine is made in China.
Booster, the instructions that came with mine state that the charge profile is:
Bulk; 14.6v for a half-hour
Absorption; 13.6v for 12 hours
Float; 13.2v
Yes, a rather unusual profile. It also confirms that changing the voltage when set for constant voltage also changes it in 3-stage charging. What it doesn't make clear is if it changes it for only the bulk stage or if it skews it a similar amount up or down for absorption and float as well.
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Old 12-05-2023, 08:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtsailor View Post
My 100amp powermax charger is now hooked up and it does put out the full rated 100amps. I suspect that the reviewers who said it didn't probably didn't realize that they were in absorption mode. Unlike Booster's, mine is made in China.
Booster, the instructions that came with mine state that the charge profile is:
Bulk; 14.6v for a half-hour
Absorption; 13.6v for 12 hours
Float; 13.2v
Yes, a rather unusual profile. It also confirms that changing the voltage when set for constant voltage also changes it in 3-stage charging. What it doesn't make clear is if it changes it for only the bulk stage or if it skews it a similar amount up or down for absorption and float as well.

That is similar to the PD profile, but PD uses 4 hours IIRC for the bulk, which certainly be too much if batteries are full when you plug in. Most manufacturers are tilting to shorter times I think but hard to tell with all the algorithms they use. Very tough to make a decent timer with algorithms and tougher with just timers. What baffles me is that they don't use the easy part to get right, the bulk because that just goes until the charger can hold an easy to read voltage. The hard part is when to end the absorption.


Mine didn't have any statement of profile in the literature.
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Old 12-05-2023, 09:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtsailor View Post
My 100amp powermax charger is now hooked up and it does put out the full rated 100amps. I suspect that the reviewers who said it didn't probably didn't realize that they were in absorption mode. Unlike Booster's, mine is made in China.
Booster, the instructions that came with mine state that the charge profile is:
Bulk; 14.6v for a half-hour
Absorption; 13.6v for 12 hours
Float; 13.2v
Yes, a rather unusual profile. It also confirms that changing the voltage when set for constant voltage also changes it in 3-stage charging. What it doesn't make clear is if it changes it for only the bulk stage or if it skews it a similar amount up or down for absorption and float as well.
Would it help to put a timer on the charger to turn it off, then turn it back on in 30 minutes. Would that reset the charge profile so the battery gets the short bulk charge everyday.

I do this sometimes with my TrippLite as it doesn't stay in bulk for very long once it pulls the voltage up to 14.4v.
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Old 12-05-2023, 09:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by peteco View Post
Would it help to put a timer on the charger to turn it off, then turn it back on in 30 minutes. Would that reset the charge profile so the battery gets the short bulk charge everyday.

I do this sometimes with my TrippLite as it doesn't stay in bulk for very long once it pulls the voltage up to 14.4v.

I think that is an "all depends" type of thing. Some do and some don't I think. It is one part of my Magnum setup that is very irritating. Even though it is set to end absorption based on amps and that will take it out of absorption quickly if the battery is full, it still checks voltage to see if goes to bulk on the charge. This allows it to have a partially discharged battery that should have been topped off, instead of going directly to float. If the charger is in CC/CV mode it does do bulk every time, though. Go figger.


I think the PD chargers do a full charge every time, but I don't know if having the Wizard makes a difference. We also had a Tipplite and it would not go back into bulk for long.
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