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(ET) Charger Alternative: 3 Soneil 1206S Chargers, together for $100

Hi all,

the talk about chargers lately and somebody's post on a Soneil 36V charger
prompted me to report on my experiences with three Soneil 12V automatic 
chargers. While they are 3 Amp the manufacturer claims they are as fast
as standard 6 Amp chargers.

I opted for 3 chargers for two reasons: (thanks to David Roden for valuable
1. I had differing battery capacities (2 90Ah 12V and two 200 Ah 6V Gel) 
2. Low Price

I bought the three chargers for about $100 (batterymart.com sells them as
"battery defender" http://www.batterymart.com/battery.mv?p=ACC-1206WB) 
and hooked each of them up to a 12V battery (2 6V batteries respectively). 

The chargers are very small and light weight and can be left in the 
(I still have my original charger in there as well, but that one 

the gel batteries). I usually hook them up after mowing the lawn and when I
check the next morning all the batteries are full (from about 50% 

and floating. 

The chargers come with two sets of wires and a quick disconnect, I 
set in each of my two tractors and simply switch the chargers via the
However most of the time I use only one tractor and leave the chargers
hooked up.

I am very pleased with the price/value of these chargers. They charge in 3
1. 3 Amp, variable voltage to about 80% charge
2. tapering current back until the battery reaches about 14.7V
3. float, maintain 13.6 V

As you can see the top charge voltage is too high for gel batteries, so I
Soneil and they send me instructions on how to reduce it. I set it to
roughly the
manufacturer recommended 14.1V of my batteries. However, if you have 
then the factory setting should be just fine. (They will still honor the
warranty after
this adjustment)

As I tap my pack for the lifts and a 12V power inverter (off of my large 
6V batts)
I typically have an unbalanced pack but this is not a problem with
individual chargers. 

Data sheet on the chargers is available at:
http://www.soneil.com/Complete%20sets/SPEC1206S.022701.pdf. They also have 
higher powered version that puts out
5 Amp (1212).