View Full Version : You may laugh at me ....

J. Dillon
01-27-2009, 03:17 PM
but I swear it works. In the image is a solar panel I used it's brother on my boat this past summer ( remembe that ). It kept my bilge pump battery charged. Rain and the elements did it in late sept. I told harbor freight about that and they sent me a new one.


NC. Now it resides as shown. My car batt. is 6years old. I left the truck unattended for over a week while out in CA. Returning the truck started right up vith vigor no ug ug ug if at all. It continues to do so.

Me thinks it is doing a good job , instead of discharging their is always a trickle charge going in during any kind of light.

Am I kidding my self ?;):D


Tar Devil
01-27-2009, 03:19 PM
I'm certainly not laughing at you, but shouldn't your truck start just fine after a week anyhoo?

01-27-2009, 03:20 PM
Do you garage your vehicle while leaving the trickle charge on for extended periods of time? There might be a concern there.

J. Dillon
01-27-2009, 03:24 PM
Phil it never did so before. Those little drains like clock and an "Anti theft" gadget kept draining the batt. I had to call AAA to jump the truck.:(

But now my wiz bang solar charger rated at 1.5 w keeps it all topped off.:D Instead of juice going out it's coming in.;)


Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
01-27-2009, 03:32 PM
I'm not laughing.
I'm taking notes.

01-27-2009, 03:35 PM
Your panel is really small compared to the amp hour rating of the battery....so....you have a situation where it's impossible to overcharge and cause problems, with just enough energy going into the battery to prevent self discharge.

capt jake
01-27-2009, 03:36 PM
I think that for $14.99 I am going to the tool palace to buy one! My truck is always sluggish because of what you said. It sits most of the time.

Bruce Hooke
01-27-2009, 03:37 PM
Phil it never did so before. Those little drains like clock and an "Anti theft" gadget kept draining the batt. I had to call AAA to jump the truck.:(

Sounds to me like you either have an electrical problem in the truck that is causing an excessive drain on the battery when the truck is off or the battery is dying. However, plugging in the solar panel is a free solution and if it is the battery that is dying then it is a nice way to extend the life of the battery. Heck, if you can nurse the battery through the winter you might even be able to put off having to replace it until next winter!

Keith Wilson
01-27-2009, 03:39 PM
Not laughing at all; it's a good idea. It's like those motorcycle "battery tender" trickle chargers that keep the battery charged and happy over the winter.

01-27-2009, 03:47 PM
No laughing from me! I have one on my boat, one on my tractor and one on my truck. All of these are 8w panels. They are never flat and last years longer because they simply don't suffer from sulfation. As to over trickle charging, over a 24 hour cycle they average about 100mA- of no concern. Top up electrolyte occasionally.

Bill R
01-27-2009, 03:59 PM
I did the same on my car- since I have a company truck, my car would go weeks w/o being driven. Once I put it in, I never had dead battery problems.

Now my stepdaughter drives the car, so it isnt so much of an issue. When I poark my truck at the airport of home for an extended period of time, I put the charger in and haven't had a problem.

Output is not enough to overgharge an automobile battery as said above, but compensates for the little drains like the clock, antitheft, etc. Well worth the money.

capt jake
01-27-2009, 05:16 PM
OK, it was $19.99 in the store (14.99 on-line). Installed in the truck now and hopefully it will make a difference nest time. The truck had a hard time turning over, but it fired. It has been the year for me to replace the battery in almost everything.......Tractor, mower, boat, maybe the truck....

01-27-2009, 05:41 PM
Do you garage your vehicle while leaving the trickle charge on for extended periods of time? There might be a concern there.Yeah, it might block the sun from actually hitting the solar panel. Ya' think?:rolleyes:


01-27-2009, 05:56 PM
My logic is impeccable, as usual.

Ron Williamson
01-27-2009, 06:30 PM
You have a Honda.
Since September when we got an Oddessy(sp) our Cr-V has been parked.Both times I've started it,it went without ANY hesitation.Not even a whole revolution.
No solar panel either.

01-27-2009, 08:15 PM
Self-DischargeThe self-discharge rate is a measure of how much batteries discharge on their own. The Self-Discharge rate is governed by the construction of the battery and the metallurgy of the lead used inside.

For instance, flooded cells typically use lead alloyed with Antimony to increase their mechanical strength. However, the Antimony also increases the self-discharge rate to 8-40% per month. This is why flooded lead-acid batteries should be in use often or left on a trickle-charger.

The lead found in Gel and AGM batteries does not require a lot of mechanical strength since it is immobilized by the gel or fiberglass. Thus, it is typically alloyed with Calcium to reduce Gassing and Self-Discharge. The self-discharge of Gel and AGM batteries is only 2-10% per month and thus these batteries need less maintenance to keep them happy.

Sulphation begins immediately when you leave a battery idle. There is an electronic device which can reverse suphation sometimes, but I'm not even going to post about that (oops I just did) for fear of ridicule.

Norman- regarding the cost effectiveness of panels- in my case I've already at least doubled the life of the batteries over my prior experience, for less than half the cost of the batteries. This might not be the case with other more regular usage profiles.

01-27-2009, 08:23 PM
One caveat: on many newer cars (like my honda Accord), the 'cigarette lighter' socket (now called an 'accessory socket') is not directly connected to the battery positive terminal; it switches on and off with the car... so plugging in that way may not work.

Same on my 84 Volvo 240, one of the guys at the pit used too try to charge his cell phone while I was off site driving the dump truck, he never could figure it out good loader operator though

01-27-2009, 08:46 PM
Well, I guess we all agree that this is no laughing matter.

01-27-2009, 08:58 PM
I'll be looking for one this weekend as well - thanks for the heads up. I leave my ute in the shed at home while working up here in Darwin but after a few flat battery episodes (and replacing one after only 2 years service) I'd been having to disconnect it each time leave.

Wayne Jeffers
01-27-2009, 09:36 PM
I challenge the technical accuracy of this. Clock and anti-theft devices draw far less curent than just the intrinsic self-discharge rate of the battery. A battery in good condition can sit idle at 0 degrees F for many weeks and still be able to start the car. My own car (a 1999 hondaAccord with a three year old battery) sat idle for six weeks while I was waiting for surgery, and recovering from it... with it's clock ticking and anti-theft LED blinking away merrily... and it started the car instantly when I was able to use my clutch foot again.

If your battery can't do this, then I submit that it sure as hell isn't the anti-theft or clock that's draining it.

My own experience suggests that Norman is correct -- the normal parasitic loads from clock, radio memory, anti-theft, etc., are pretty minimal.

I put my Honda S2000 in storage every year around Christmas. It stays there, with no battery charger, until I get it out following my springtime fishing trip, usually late April. After ~4 months, it always starts right up.

One year, I put it in storage around Thanksgiving and didn't get it out until July. After ~8 months, I admit the battery was shot and I had to buy a new one.


The Bigfella
01-27-2009, 10:23 PM
OK JD - I'm laughing.


J. Dillon
01-27-2009, 10:35 PM
OK JD - I'm laughing.

Excellent, It's good for the soul.:D


The Bigfella
01-27-2009, 10:52 PM
Excellent, It's good for the soul.:D


I must admit I was already chuckling. I'd just read what someone else had posted on another thread and I figured he must be bound so tight that his sphincter is in danger of snapping.

I've been looking for a cheap one of those panels to go on the small boat I keep on the marina. A bit of rain now and then drains it - then I end up pull starting the motor, then eventually lugging another battery down and that one home to charge up. It all gets a bit dreary...

01-29-2009, 08:16 AM
I think you're playin' it smart... I ain't laughin'....
Keepin' batteries top off (fully charged) help prevent sulfuric oxide from choking them to death...
Once the lead acid batteries left dead for a period of time, they'll lose their full capacity...

Mad Scientist
01-29-2009, 02:17 PM
My $0.02 worth...this is obviously working for 'JD', and that's what matters.
If there's something causing the battery to drain prematurely, and the battery is O.K., then trying to track down the fault tends to be time-consuming and expensive. DAMHIKT.


01-29-2009, 02:32 PM
mine worked to squeeze a bit more life out of an older , marginal battery

i think it didn't actually 'charge' the battery , it simply kept it from discharging too rapidly

all batteries slowly dissipate their charge , older batteries won't hold a charge as long as new

01-29-2009, 02:52 PM
My little Beetle came with one of those...not laughing at all.

01-29-2009, 03:03 PM
I leave my 4runner unattended for weeks (ok, months) at a time. To keep stray juice from draining the battery I have an on-off switch wired into the ground cable.