Gel Cell FAQ ?


From: Joel Malman (malman@BBN.COM)
Date: Sat Sep 14 1996 - 01:25:00 EDT


I am now the new owner of a used 12 volt, 7 Amp-Hr Gel Cell. Right now it
seems to be fully charged and easily runs my whole qrp station, no problem.
(At 7 AHr's it would probably run a modest QRO station for a while hi, hi).

Anyway, the battery did not come with any instructions for recharging and I
don't recall seeing any Gel Cell recharging FAQ.

Question: How different is NI-CAD battery recharging from Gel Cell
          recharging? I always thought they were about the same.

Anyway, I think I remember the one-tenth rule - so I suspect a 1 amp trickle
charger for about 10-15 hours would do just fine for a 7 AHr Gel Cell, at
room temp.

Getting a 1A trickle charger is no problem... Even K-Mart has a $12-15 trickle
charger (they don't say they work with Gel Cells, but I suspect a trickle
charger is a trickle charger for a Gel Cell or a Lead Acid battery).

The only problem with the cheap K-Mart (etc) chargers would seem to be that
they have no visual (i.e. LED) way of telling if the battery is fully charged.

My guess is that this is not really a problem, given that you,

   a. pretty much use up a good part of the capacity of the battery ( >50% )
   b. You charge the battery for a reasonable amount of time (about 10-15
      hours) at normal room temp.

Has anyone tried to use these low cost chargers? Did they work OK?

Is there any advantage to getting a charger with "Full Charge" LED's? My
guess is that the LED's will only give you a warm, happy (fully charged :hi)
feeling. But other than that, LED's are useless.



  a. Looking foward to the Fox hunt this year!
  b. Going to have some QRP fun this weekend with the ARRL VHF Contest.



/joel wa1qvm (QRP-l 337)

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