I just bought one of these assuming it would operate similarly to an old 1.5A Schumacher Battery Companion maintenance charger, but upon testing this new model, found it doesn't work the same.
On my other one, when connected to a battery, it will start charging, and delivers the full current until it detects the voltage reached 14.5V. At that point, it would then drop down to float mode, and output 13.25V at low current which can be held indefinitely to maintain the battery at full charge without boiling off any electrolyte.
If the voltage drops below the threshold for some reason, either from loads or the battery exhibiting self discharge, it will then kick back on to charging cycle until it again reaches 14.5V and go back into float mode. This one, however, operates differently. When it detects a battery is connected, it starts outputting charge current for some interval of time even if it sees something beyond 14.8V, which is higher than I expected. Source output voltage in charge mode is 16.5V, and drops to 14.5V a few minutes later.
What disturbed me is it didn't shut down even after reaching and holding a high voltage on a small 12AH SLA I was charging as a test, and the battery actually started seeping fluid from the case, from the internal pressure building up.
Possibly the internal microprocessor algorithm is looking for something of a dynamic response from the battery during charge, and the battery I was testing was an old one, but I didn't expect the charge to keep on going after reaching the high levels.
I tried again after letting it sit for awhile, and then I did see it terminate charge and go into the green slow fade in/out LED maintenance mode, but now the wrinkle is that it is not outputting any maintenance charge current at all, and when I put a load on the battery to drop it down in voltage, even below 11.5V, it never kicked back into charge mode, and apparently would have allowed the battery to fully discharge if left alone over the long term.
This design appears to be more for single charge use where it will charge a battery back up at a low rate, but then disconnected and manually reconnected the next time it's needed. It did not work as a maintenance charger on the one I received.
Just happened to be the Thanksgiving holiday so unfortunately I couldn't reach Schumacher for comment, but decided I'll be returning it, as I didn't like the characteristics of how high it charged up to before shutting down, and the way it never kicks back on if the monitored battery voltage drops below threshold.
Was this review helpful? (2) (0)
Thank you! You have successfully submitted feedback for this review.