Revisiting the ol' car charger....

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Hey doods!

Recently my beloved 1988 Honda Civic Wagon 4WD suffered a "rub" in a "traffic event."

DSC06119.JPG


Wanting to replace my 4WD Wagon with essentially a copy, I found a low-mileage 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4. The deal-breaker for just about every other vehicle was my staunch demand for a standard transmission. Seems Americans don't buy cars with standard transmissions any more. Maddening.

My concern with the Cooper is that, with all the computer electronical wizardry, it might not like having an 22-38 Amp draw directly off the battery. In my mind of minds I couldn't imagine that the Mini would know or care, but being a thorough sort, I decided to just test it. My plan was to start charging one battery at a time @ 6A each, eventually charging 3 batteries.

First, connect the charger leads to the battery.
DSC06367.JPG



Eventually, I had all 3 batteries charging.
DSC06356.JPG



The Amp/Volt meter I purchased is horribly inaccurate, apparently off by roughly 2.6 Amp and 3.4 volts. I will eventually have to replace this...OR just use it for reference.
DSC06359.JPG



ACTUAL voltage:
DSC06360.JPG



I can charge Phantom batteries, Inspire batteries or Mavic batteries. The 900W Digital Boost Module Step-up Converters I purchased are adjustable for both voltage and current. I can adjust the readout to express either voltage or current draw. The LED lights on the side are for "Constant Current" or "Constant Voltage." The power supplies favor maintaining current at the sacrifice of voltage. So when voltage drops, the yellow "CC" LED lights up. Once voltage recovers, the green "CV" LED lights up. It's a pretty kewl system.

Here you can see that Amperage is holding @ 6A, so the yellow "CC" LED is illuminated:
DSC06362.JPG



Conversely, when voltage recovers, the green "CV" LED illuminates (17.40v):
DSC06364.JPG



I simply run the power cable out the back window to the front of the car. If it's cold, I can keep the heater running and the rear window mostly up.
DSC06366.JPG


At the end of the experiment I was able to charge all 3 batteries with nary an issue.

Side note: The supposedly "50 Amp" clamps got very warm during the charging process, so I may have to upgrade them. Why must the Chinese always exaggerate spec's on just about everything they sell? This is why I purchased 900 watt power supplies for essentially a 100 watt job.

D
 
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dronesky

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Hey doods!

Recently my beloved 1988 Honda Civic Wagon 4WD suffered a "rub" in a "traffic event."

View attachment 121492

Wanting to replace my 4WD Wagon with essentially a copy, I found a low-mileage 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4. The deal-breaker for just about every other vehicle was my staunch demand for a standard transmission. Seems Americans don't buy cars with standard transmissions any more. Maddening.

My concern with the Cooper is that, with all the computer electronical wizardry, it might not like having an 18Amp draw directly off the battery. In my mind of minds I couldn't imagine that the Mini would know or care, but being a thorough sort, I decided to just test it. My plan was to start charging one battery at a time @ 6A each, eventually charging 3 batteries.

First, connect the charger leads to the battery.
View attachment 121493


Eventually, I had all 3 batteries charging.
View attachment 121494


The Amp/Volt meter I purchased is horribly inaccurate, apparently off by roughly 2.6 Amp and 3.4 volts. I will eventually have to replace this...OR just use it for reference.
View attachment 121495


ACTUAL voltage:
View attachment 121496


I can charge Phantom batteries, Inspire batteries or Mavic batteries. The 900W Digital Boost Module Step-up Converters I purchased are adjustable for both voltage and current. I can adjust the readout to express either voltage or current draw. The LED lights on the side are for "Constant Current" or "Constant Voltage." The power supplies favor maintaining current at the sacrifice of voltage. So when voltage drops, the yellow "CC" LED lights up. Once voltage recovers, the green "CV" LED lights up. It's a pretty kewl system.

Here you can see that Amperage is holding @ 6A, so the yellow "CC" LED is illuminated:
View attachment 121497


Conversely, when voltage recovers, the green "CV" LED illuminates (17.40v):
View attachment 121498


I simply run the power cable out the back window to the front of the car. If it's cold, I can keep the heater running and the rear window mostly up.
View attachment 121499

At the end of the experiment I was able to charge all 3 batteries with nary an issue.

Side note: The supposedly "50 Amp" clamps got very warm during the charging process, so I may have to upgrade them. Why must the Chinese always exaggerate spec's on just about everything they sell? This is why I purchased 900 watt power supplies for essentially a 100 watt job.

D
Your idea of a rub and mine are definitely different glad you're okay and wish I had your charging system
 

KachemakDiver

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1613849326875.jpeg

A traffic rub, to say the least! Me being the owner of a traffic rub repair shop, I have to say that the vehicle has sustained a “significant “ rub. The Honda did its job protecting the occupants, I assume that you are still in one piece. It’s good to hear from you!
 
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Have you ever tried an inverter? I bought one from Walmart for like 70 bucks, wired it to my battery and installed it underneath the driver seat with a power strip connected that's velcroed to my center console. No need to spend extra on travel chargers or anything else really and bonus being I can also charge my laptop on the fly as well as batteries and RCs if needed. If I know I've got a long day that'll require more than my 6 batteries then I start rotating one on the charger as soon as the 2nd battery goes in. This system has worked pretty good for me so far anyway so figured I would share.
 
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Looks like another driver wanted to see what your driver's seat looked like. Hope you didn't get scuffed up too bad personally. On the charger issue it would seem like you would need an alternator capable of supplying the vehicles needs PLUS the charger(s). Maybe the owners manual would give a hint of this information. Just a thought.
 
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Capt KO

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Agree with post #5. Inexpensive ac/dc inverter lets you use original or aftermarket multi charger with no harm to vehicle or batteries. Also takes little space.
Ouch to your previous ride. May the new one serve you as well.
 
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Have you ever tried an inverter?
No. The idea of converting DC to AC and then back to DC doesn't appeal to me. I'm eliminating the "middle man" and doing a direct DC to DC conversion, which is no more than simply increasing (stepping up) the voltage. I bypass the entire inversion process, which produces heat and wastes electricity. The rig I have produces very little heat.




I bought one from Walmart for like 70 bucks, wired it to my battery and installed it underneath the driver seat with a power strip connected that's velcroed to my center console.
Sure. But that rig can't quick charge 3 Inspire 1 or Phantom batteries. The Inspire 1 batteries require 6.84A (180watt quick charger) @ 26.1v per battery x 3 batteries. That's 540 watts / 14v (assuming your car is running) = almost 39A. Take into account the wasted energy doing the DC->AC->DC conversion (even more if your inverter isn't a pure sine wave inverter), and you have a lot of heat and an inverter that probably can't handle the load. I find that most inverters are not rated RMS, but peak performance. So that "1500 watt" inverter is probably good for 1/4th that continuous - even if it says "1500 watt continuous." If it's a Chinese import, the rating is about as close to arbitrary as one can get. That said, one CAN purchase good inverters, but they're not going to cost < $100. Those converters will be in the $500 range and probably manufactured domestically.



No need to spend extra on travel chargers or anything else really and bonus being I can also charge my laptop on the fly as well as batteries and RCs if needed.
The inverter is definitely more convenient and versatile than my setup. That said, it's a simple matter of making a DC cable for any given DC device (like your laptop, which probably operates on a 19v charging voltage) and outfitting the other end with banana plugs. This is cheap and easy to do. The caveat, of course, is that I have to set voltage and amperage to the appropriate settings in the Step-up converters. So it's definitely not an idiot-proof process. The huge advantage is that I can "quick charge" just about any device, or simply dial down the amperage for a slower charge or even a trickle charge if I wish.

Another disadvantage of the Step-up converters is that I can't step-down voltage for USB devices. But for those 5v devices I have a bevy of USB cigarette lighter chargers that work extremely well.



If I know I've got a long day that'll require more than my 6 batteries then I start rotating one on the charger as soon as the 2nd battery goes in. This system has worked pretty good for me so far anyway so figured I would share.
I figured out that I can run continuously all day on 5 batteries - even if I'm using the Inspire 1 whose 6S batteries require a more robust charging system than the Phantom's 4S batteries.

Now that I've fully tested this rig in the field, it's time to put it all in a case. I'll probably do that in the next couple weeks or so.

D
 
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Looks like another driver wanted to see what your driver's seat looked like. Hope you didn't get scuffed up too bad personally.
Hehe...I came out unscathed. The Honda did its job. The cop was like, "Did your air bag deploy?" Me; "Air bags? What air bags? We don't need no steenkin' air bags!" HA!




On the charger issue it would seem like you would need an alternator capable of supplying the vehicles needs PLUS the charger(s). Maybe the owners manual would give a hint of this information. Just a thought.
Most alternators are capable of delivering 90 amps, which is more than enough for my rig, which should never quite source 40 amps.

D
 
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Agree with post #5. Inexpensive ac/dc inverter lets you use original or aftermarket multi charger with no harm to vehicle or batteries. Also takes little space.
Ouch to your previous ride. May the new one serve you as well.
Read my reply to #5. I agree that inverters are convenient. But my rig is a little more "high performance" if you will.

D
 

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