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So I had an old Schumacher battery charger. It was in a black metal case, switches, analog meter. Probably 25 years old. It always worked great. Then the automatic shut off quit working. So it would overcharge batteries if you didn't babysit it. So I bought a new Schumacher. It had some nice features like desulfating and such but at 13 months its completely dead. 1 month out of warranty!!

So I have been shopping for a good charger. I deal with a lot of flat batteries.  I would prefer 6v and 12v charging, man & auto and a booster setting. I am willing to invest in a quality charger but I expect it to last a long time!

Any suggestions??

 

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Thanks Zed

Im probably looking for a charger more like a shop would use

Jim

I looked at a bunch like these. One thing that throws me off is the 10% one star reviews. The Schumacher has similar reviews but I went ahead and now I would be a one star review too.

All these new chargers are so lightweight. My old one is a brick. Is it antiquated to expect a good charger to have some heft?

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1 hour ago, Patcon said:

All these new chargers are so lightweight. My old one is a brick. Is it antiquated to expect a good charger to have some heft?

What the old chargers did with a lot of copper and iron (in the form of a transformer), the new ones do with semiconductors. And in today's age, silicon is a lot cheaper than copper. So the bottom line is that most of the new chargers now have silicon components where the old transformers used to be.

The way of the world. Lightweight silicon and software instead of heavy copper and capacitors.

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They all say "digital chargers" now? When I worked with my Dad hauling cars back and forth to the big auctions we always had to use a jump box to hook up temporarily to get the car out and on the trailer. Then he had one of those big boys that roll around, Die Hard.

$149 at amazon.com. good reviews too.

https://www.amazon.com/DieHard-71331-Battery-Charger-Maintainer/dp/B07775RGNM/ref=asc_df_B07775RGNM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=316747946823&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4903338090546529506&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012727&hvtargid=pla-588454711373&psc=1

Here's the jump box same story as above, good.

https://www.amazon.com/STANLEY-J5C09-Jump-Starter-Compressor/dp/B002X6VXL4/ref=sr_1_5?_encoding=UTF8&c=ts&dchild=1&keywords=Jump+Starters+%26+Battery+Chargers&qid=1621347330&s=automotive&sr=1-5&ts_id=387679011

Edited by siteunseen
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Says Johnson Controls sold to Clarios LLC in 2019 when Sears went down. When I googled who makes Schumacher chargers it says Schumacher Electric.    https://www.batterychargers.com/ 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DieHard_(brand)

I can't find anything saying for sure but who knows? Warren Buffet owns everything anyway. LOL

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One of the reviews who had the diehard called Customer service. It went to Schumacher...

It's on the internet, so it must be true! 😉

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5 hours ago, Patcon said:

One of the reviews who had the diehard called Customer service. It went to Schumacher...

It's on the internet, so it must be true! 😉

Well, well well. Lookie here right on top of the Die Hard is the website for Schumacher under "patents".

 www.batterychargers.com

Screenshot_20210519-133720_Gallery.jpg

 

 

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On 5/18/2021 at 1:09 PM, Patcon said:

I have a jump box. A great tool to have around

I got one last year - DSR.  Best thing I ever did. 

Never had any love for Schumacher's cheap line products.  I've been inside them several times.  A friend did a LOT of research and bought the very best wheel-around battery charger he could find.  It wasn't Schumacher.  It cost him several hundred dollars.  It immediately presented with a problem, so inside we go.  What an absolute pizza chip.  Seriously.  Reminded me of some common and familiar low end chargers.  Back it went.

I know a jump box isn't a charger, but I have to say it's much better for getting a machine going.  I think I have 9-10 battery-started machines.  Between flat tires and dead batteries, it's hard to keep 'em ready to go.

Edited by ETI4K
Clarity
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3 hours ago, ETI4K said:

I got one last year - DSR.  Best thing I ever did. 

Never had any love for Schumacher's cheap line products.  I've been inside them several times.  A friend did a LOT of research and bought the very best wheel-around battery charger he could find.  It wasn't Schumacher.  It cost him several hundred dollars.  It immediately presented with a problem, so inside we go.  What an absolute pizza chip.  Seriously.  Reminded me of some common and familiar low end chargers.  Back it went.

I know a jump box isn't a charger, but I have to say it's much better for getting a machine going.  I think I have 9-10 battery-started machines.  Between flat tires and dead batteries, it's hard to keep 'em ready to go.

That's my concern about buying a roll around machine. I'm up for a couple of hundred bucks if it's gonna last but I don't like experimenting. Many of these machines only have a one year warranty. If it's a good machine you aught to be able to warranty it longer than that!

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On 5/18/2021 at 3:48 PM, Captain Obvious said:

So the bottom line is that most of the new chargers now have silicon components where the old transformers used to be.

I bought once a charger with start assist.. never used it to start.. just keeping batteries alife..  and yeah after 1,5 year it was dead.. i repaired it but then lateron it is dead again.. pff Junk..

Now i have an old transformer from an old security system that i can dial into the needed voltage of about 12,5-12,6 volt to keep the battery from draining.. works very well (the old stuff!!)

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I think a lot of people feel this way. Vintage Schumacher's sell on ebay for as much or more than the new ones

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This is a great topic especially if your looking for a trickle battery charger or one to replace a dead charger. 

I had the tan 5 AMP charger pictured for over 40 years and it finally died. Well my neighbor helped by hosing down the charger with water.

Anyway,  Instead of replacing the diodes I just tossed the charger and started looking for a new one, what a shock. I tried three new charges that died  before I went  looking for a SEARS unit like my old charger.  I  found the two Sears charges as pictured on eBay. The 5 AMP is my " go to" and the 6/2 AMP is a backup.

These are very heaving duty, work all the time and never overcharge the battery. I had to change the power cords and the battery clamps, but this is the only charger I will use. You can find them on eBay for no more  $ than the newer chargers that are JUNK! 

SEARS use to contract different company's to build quality products , but that time has long passed. The garbage we see today is  from CHINA!

end rant

 

Battchg-2.jpg

Battchg-1.jpg

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I'm afraid your right.

I may have to go shopping for a vintage unit.

I wonder if my old unit can be repaired?

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Here is my old workhorse, hard to beat a Schumacher, the old Motormaster 10amp I use exclusively removing rust through electrolysis.  I can leave that thing on 24hrs with no problems, that's something I don't like about new chargers, they are so "smart" you can't use them to remove rust. 

IMG_1139.JPGIMG_1140.JPGIMG_1138.JPG

 

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Your old schumacher is very similar to my old one except I had an auto switch down on the left

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6 hours ago, zclocks said:

Battchg-1.jpg

I've got one of those too. Not nearly as clean, but works fine.

Honestly though, my current go-to is my "old" Harbor Freight trickle charger. It's pretty much a constant current source limited to about 1/2 Amp up to about 12.5 Volts, and then drops the current off above that. By the time you get to 14V it'll give the battery whatever it'll take (which is usually in the milliamp range).

At one point, I burned it up. Not sure how, but I let the smoke out. So I figured (since they're disposable) that I would just buy a replacement at HF. Well unfortunately, it turns out that they changed the design... The "old" one still has a step-down transformer in the wall-wart, but the "new" one is a semi-conductor switcher like the other new junk.

Hated it.  (Men On Film).

I mean, don't get me wrong... it's all cheap Chinese junk. But the older junk is better than the newer junk. They took most of the copper out and replaced it with Silicon.

So in the end, I reverse engineered my "old" HF charger and fixed it. Anyone surprised? Here's the old one all fixed and also sporting a potentiometer mod to adjust the output voltage:
DSC00180.JPG

And here's the new one. Flyback switcher with opto-coupler feedback loop. Don't like it at all:P1140454.JPG

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Good topic. I have about 7 chargers floating around my house. They all serve a different purpose. I think the Schumacher has the majority of the market share due to price but they’re not great chargers...they’re okay. I have 2 of them and I’m put them in the mediocre pile but they’re good to dump a charge on a battery but not as good at a tender even though they’re labeled “smart chargers”. I had maintained a large battery backup that I finally dismantled after buying a whole house Generac Generator and 400 Amp transfer switch. The battery backup I had was for emergency DC power that I had inverters hooked up to incase we needed a little power to charge phones, listen to a radio or watch TV during a post hurricane event. I had 6 x 12 volt golf batteries on it. I had a dedicated 12 volt RV charger on that bank and it worked great . I used it 2x for power loss events.
For my cars I use. CTEC chargers. I have 4. They’re awesome. I leave two on my jet skis batteries off season and two on my cars. I also got them for next to nothing. When Advanced Auto merged with Car Quest they combined SKU systems and anything on the old system was sold at a discount. These retail at $70-90 and I got them for $9 each. I bought 14 and gave them to friends and family as gifts and kept 4 for myself.
I highly recommend them for the cars. I had the Z on one for 2 years and the Viper for 3 yrs.
b878b2f912dc18e9f7b89f1ea9fde023.jpg
684b47797e942a501ce9c37576ca94af.jpg



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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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