I was looking for a “real” battery charger last year after having to trash 3 of the Sears Dihard trickle chargers that stopped working within a year. Picked this up at Tractor Supply and have been pleased with it. It’s built old school and is well made.
Chuck 1950 Chevy 1/2 ton (original) 1951 Chevy 1/2 ton (future streetrod) 1941 Chevy coupe 1938 Chevy coupe streetrod
Personally, I would keep them separate. I have the “Battery Tenders” to keep my unattended battery’s from going belly up and I have a 50-10-2 amp charger for general charging and boosting. The 50 amp boost has saved me countless times. I usually charge for 10-20 minutes on 10 amps, then switch it 50 amps to crank her over. The 50 amp boost is only good for about 15-20 seconds of cranking before you hit its duty cycle.
I have a Sears brand for thirty years, still going but its a manual charger, meaning it needs to be attended or you can cook your battery, if you don’t keep an eye on it. Three years ago, I bought a HF 50-10-2 automatic charger that I bought on sale for for thirty dollars. Only time will tell if it was a good buy.
One more thing about automatic chargers. They will not charge a totally dead battery. Their circuit board needs to sense voltage from the battery in order to kick on their charging circuit. Thats why I keep my old Sears manual charger.
Just my thoughts!
1952 Chevrolet 3100 Project Journals ‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters “Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube 12v w/ Alternator
"My old charger went belly up so I'm in the market for a new one."
When my battery charger went belly up about 10 years ago I did a little online research and found that a failed diode is often the culprit and I found a video showing exactly how to replace the diode. So I got an inexpensive bag of 3 alternator diodes on Ebay and installed one of them. That fixed the battery charger for way less than the sales tax alone on a new one, and the job took only a few minutes. That old battery charger is a really nice made in USA tool that was definitely worth saving. It's still going strong too.
Battery manufacturers listen to their customers and supply them with what they demand. About 30 years ago, a lot of customers said "I.'m too lazy to pull the caps off battery cells occasionally and check the electrolyte level and add water if necessary". The battery makers responded by developing "maintenance-free" batteries with sealed cell groups. They didn't work as well, or last as long as conventional batteries, but they were OK for most purposes. As long as a battery gets "exercised" occasionally, discharged about 25% or less and recharged, it will last longer and give better service than one that sits for weeks or months at a time without doing what it was designed to do- - - -provide a quick surge of starting current, and then get recharged over several minutes, or up to a few hours of vehicle operation before the next shutdown and restart. Extremes of operation at either end of the discharge/recharge envelope shorten battery life and/or require a different charging system or a "maintainer" to substitute for normal operation.
Recharging a low or dead battery and "maintaining" one that sits idle for extended periods requires different equipment. Trying to multi-task where battery charging is concerned doesn't accomplish either job as well as it could be done with dedicated equipment for both tasks. Most battery users don't know (or care) what's actually going on inside a battery- - - -they just want the thing to work right every rime, with no preventive maintenance whatsoever! Jerry
The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk. The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!
Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!