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[aprssig] Charge controllers

Dale Blanchard wa7ixk at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 30 22:06:49 UTC 2005

Every one is making it very complicated. If your PS is set for 13.6V to 
13.8V you can float it across
a SLA/AGM battery. This is done all the time on Mt. top sites. I use a 3 
amp switching supply  across
a 20 ah  AGM battery to power my whole station. The 3 amps powers the 
radios in standby with enough
left over to charge the battery. When I am transmitting  it pulls down 
the battery a bit and recharges when I am inactive.
It works so well I retired my Motorola  switching supplies. They are 
made to float across the batteries, but are larger than
I need. If your power goes out you are already on battery power. I am 
not using isolation diodes or any other gimicks.

Jim Lux wrote:

>I'm using an EchoCharger to charge a deepcycle battery from the car
>electrical system, which is a similar application.  You want to charge the
>battery, but only when the engine is running, and you don't want to
>discharge the deep cycle back into the car's electrical system, AND, you
>want a "real" battery charger with all the steps and tiers to improve
>battery life.  They run around $100.
>There are a lot of this sort of thing for RVs, as well.
>But why use the Astron at all.  I suspect you could buy a good battery
>charger, designed for this sort of application, for less than price of a
>Astron and a charge controller together.  It's not an unusual application to
>want to float charge a big battery while also supplying the load current.
>The "real deal" usually has a separate wire to the battery and to the load,
>so that it can distinguish between the two.  If you don't worry about last
>percent of efficiency, etc., you could probably also cobble up something
>with a couple Schottky diodes to OR the output of the Astron and the
>battery, and then get an inexpensive float charger for the battery. Set the
>Astron voltage slightly higher than the battery charge voltage, and all the
>current will be drawn from the Astron, because the battery's diode will be
>reverse biased.
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