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Unread 05-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
Not Yet Wild
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Default is a 1979 batt charger automatic

I have a 1979 36 volt club car with a lester charger. No where on it does it say it will shut off automatically. I don't want to over charge my batteries.Or does it matter? I've read the stickies but the lester charger actually says to set it for less time if you only need a partial charge. Does the same advice of just charge it no matter what apply to the older carts??? Thanks Greg
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Unread 05-03-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: is a 1979 batt charger automatic

Greg,
I have a couple of those older chargers with the manual 12-hour timer. The label on my Lester says to set it for 7 hours for "lightly discharged" batteries, and a full 12 hours for "heavily discharged" batteries. What I do is sorta estimate the amount of discharge and set the timer accordingly. Although the charge rate does taper off as the batteries reach full charge, it will still charge enough to boil off some water if the pack is pretty well fully-charged. Here's what I do:

If the cart has been run only a little bit around the yard, I'll set the timer for a couple or 3 hours. If the cart hasn't been run at all, but it's been 3 or 4 weeks since it was charged, I'll give it 2 or 3 hours. If I ran the snot out of it over the course of a full day, I'll set the timer for 12 hours.

The label on the charger also says, "To estimate state of charge, turn on timer in the morning and watch the meter. If it falls into the green (less than 5 amps) within 15 minutes, you can consider the batteries fully charged".

Although this methodology seems a bit hokey, it works well enough. My battery pack was bought in 2005 from Sam's Club and is still functioning well, so....

Having an SOC meter like that of Scotty B's would be a very good idea. Lacking that, you should have some sort of DVM (digital volt meter) and learn how to use it and what the readings mean. For instance, it would be a good idea to measure each battery's voltage now and then. If you find that they're uneven by more than a few tenths of a volt, you might want to give the timer a bit longer setting to get the charge topped off. If you have one or 2 that are much lower than the others, you might want to apply a regular 6-volt charger to them for a few hours.

BTW: You said that the charger doesn't shut off automatically. That's not quite true; it will not shut off based on SOC, but it will shut off when the timer runs out. If you have a newer charger, it might have a circuit board that replaces the timer. I'm not sure if it senses SOC in any way, or just times out.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: is a 1979 batt charger automatic

thanks that is the advice I was looking for. I've kinda been easing up instead 12 hrs every time and I just installed a voltmeter so I'll keep better track....thanks again for the quick and accurate advice
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Unread 05-03-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: is a 1979 batt charger automatic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunmyer View Post
If you have one or If you have a newer charger, it might have a circuit board that replaces the timer. I'm not sure if it senses SOC in any way, or just times out.
The newer chargers communicate with the OBC on the cart. They go based off SOC. They automatically shut off when batts are fully charged. They do, however, have a 16 hour maximum on time.
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Unread 05-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: is a 1979 batt charger automatic

jakesnake27 said:
Quote:
The newer chargers communicate with the OBC on the cart. They go based off SOC. They automatically shut off when batts are fully charged. They do, however, have a 16 hour maximum on time.
I'm aware of that, albeit with no first-hand experience. My comment was because of my familiarity with an old Cushman (Lester) charger that I have. It has no manual timer, but does have the hole in the case. There's a PC board that controls the thing: it turns the charger 'on' shortly after you plug in the DC cord, and it shuts it 'off'. I don't know if the 'off' is strictly time-based or SOC-based. The manual for the charger calls it an "electronic timer kit", so I suspect that it doesn't measure SOC and was a recent upgrade.

I have at least 4 of those older manual timer-based chargers, and a Lester was included with my first cart, an old Legend. Now, I have a newer Ez-Go charger with a PC board that appears to monitor SOC and a QuickCharge unit that is quite sophisticated and is rated at 45 amps max output. That one also is NOT a ferro-resonate outfit, so is quiet.
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