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Re: (ET) How NOT to check your batteries...
You're right, of course, however it bears noting that my mistake was not
checking the battery water levels properly. No charger or charge
the world would've prevented my mistake, except to maybe stop the charging
flag the event as you note. The batteries would still have been in a
state until I found them later.
Historically, I checked the level in only the middle cell of each battery,
realizing that the cells don't "pool" together. I must check each cell
individually, because each cell is sealed off from the others.
>From: etpost drmm net
>Date: Aug 6, 2007 13:25
>To: <elec-trak cosmos phy tufts edu>
>Subj: Re: (ET) How NOT to check your batteries...
>> with every battery having low water in at least 1 cell, the voltage
>> had severely dropped, and keeping my ET plugged in
>> with the automatic Landis Controller, unsupervised, the charger
>> had been constantly cycling on & off over the course of countless
>> days, boiling away my batteries.
>I've said it before - Harry Landis's device may have some applications in
>certain circumstances, but it's *not* a charge controller. Its algorithm
>intriguing and original, but it doesn't implement the charging
>any battery manufacturer.
>It also has fairly minimal "smarts." Most microprocessor based charge
>controllers have safety limits. They can say to themselves, "Uh-oh, I've
>charging for 19 hours, and not only is the battery voltage still not up
>it should be, now the voltage is actually *falling*. I guess something's
> I'd better stop the charge and turn on my 'fault' light." The Landis
>no such safeguard.
>Of course, the original GE charger is even dumber. ;-)
>> I saw "things" floating in the water. Is that the legendary
>> sulfation I've heard so much about?
>Probably not. Shed lead sulfate is relatively heavy and it doesn't
>sinks to the bottom of the cells. If the battery gets enough vibration,
>get stirred up, and give the electrolyte a grey color.
>I'm not an electrochemist, but I'd guess that your grids corroded from
>exposed to air, and you're seeing some of the corrosion flaking off.
>> When I bought my batteries, they didn't come with an instruction
>> manual, or even a tip sheet.
>You could buy a copy of the Curtis Battery Book One. I think it may be
>of print now, but some of the EV parts vendors may still have copies to
>You can also get an excellent introduction to the basics of lead
>from Witte's "The Automobile Storage Battery: Its Care and Repair,"
>published in 1922. It's now in the public domain and you can read the
>text on the web here :
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>Elec-trak cosmos phy tufts edu