Wrenchin’ Wednesday: Outsmarting the smart battery charger
Smart battery chargers are marvels of convenience most of the time. They’re a one-button solution for many dead batteries, managing to use different charging routines on the fly to match the array of battery chemistries used on the market while also safely bringing a defibrillator-jolt of an initial charge down to a just a trickle as the battery comes back to life, keeping it topped off for you without any concern of overcharging. The problem, however, is that they’re designed around the 95-percent of cases where a battery has been abused for only a short amount of time, maybe resting around half its original voltage from sitting overnight with the dome light on or some other relatively minor mistake. But what if you pull your project out after a winter’s nap or start to try reviving that barn-find you just bought only to find that it’s sitting at a voltage that you can count on one hand?