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Topic # 164437 9-Feb-2015 21:34
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I bought a cheap generic smart charger to keep my car battery topped up. It has a switch for 6 and 12 volts and an LED that comes on when it is plugged in and nothing else. I understand that the charger will behave differently according to the state of the battery but I cannot get any kind of measurement off it at all, 0 volts and 0 amps when no connection but also when connected to my battery booster, charged to just over 12 volts, which I am using to test. Is this normal? How can I tell if it is actually working? I would think my multimeter ought to register something, at least a brief pulse, but I don’t know enough about this to be sure.

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  Reply # 1234157 10-Feb-2015 14:32
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There are unknowns in your initial set up.

- To trickle charge lead acid 12V battery - voltage could be set for 13.8V
- Metering current with some multimeters could be an issue - e.g. one particular model of Digitech from Jaycar although claimed - DOES NOT measure DC current (checked 5 units)
- To test the end result (i.e. if it is charging or not) you may wish to look at rising voltage on the battery after some time (that will be limited by the max output of your charger of course)

- You can use old house alarm system to build trickle charger - they are normally set up for 13.8V or you can use cheap UPS (which has one 12V battery inside) to charge your battery.

P.S. If there is a need to charge High Voltage battery (e.g. Prius) - then talk to me :) 12V is boring, 240 Volts - that is real fun!

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