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Low-Cost Way To Keep Multiple Batteries Charged
Norm Bennett got tired of constantly having to deal with dead batteries so he designed a system that uses a single trickle charger to maintain up to ten 12-volt batteries at the same time.
  The system consists of a Stanley FatMax 8-amp battery trickle charger; two 10-ft. lengths of 12-ga. wire – one red and one black; and 10 positive and 10 negative 3-in. clamps.
  He lines the batteries up in a row with all the polarities on the same side. The largest battery is first in line and the smallest battery is last. The batteries are spaced about 1 ft. apart and sit on a 2 by 8 board. He soldered the negative clamps about 1 ft. apart on the negative wire, and the positive clamps 1 ft. apart on the positive wire. One clamp attaches to each battery.
  “The trickle charger maintains each battery’s charge all the time instead of letting it go dead, which is hard on a battery and reduces its efficiency and its life span because sulphation builds up inside,” says Bennett.
  “I came up with the idea because I had been storing a lot of batteries from various vehicles during the winter, and I needed 10 different trickle chargers just to keep them charged. Now all I need is one 8-amp charger.
  “I’ve used this idea for the last 3 years on batteries off everything from pickups to boats, 4-wheelers, Jet Skis, riding mowers, tractors, and so forth, and have never failed to keep a battery charged.”
  Bennett says the trickle charger senses each battery’s voltage and reduces the amperage as needed according to the battery’s voltage and charging capacity.
  He paid $28 for the trickle charger and about 50 cents apiece for the clamps.
  Bennett also uses the system to charge batteries on accessories that are designed to plug into a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. “For example, I use a 12-volt portable DC cooler to keep drinks cool when I travel. The day before I go on a trip I put the cooler in line with the other batteries and charge it up. The next day it’s ready to go.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Norm Bennett, 188 Drown Mill Rd., Newport, Vt. 05855 (ph 802 624-0720; bigtrukr@icloud.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5