There is a good article on the requirements for charging a gel cell ane
the circuit for building a charger in the '95 ARRL Handbook, pg. 11.33.
A properly charged and floated gel cell battery can be expected to last
in standby service for 10 years, but an error as small as 5% in the
float voltage severely reduces that life.
The charger in that article is built around the Unitrode UC3906 charger
chip, apretty remarcable chip that senses current, voltage and
temperature to set the float voltage.
I learned enough about gel cells from building this charger to figure
out what was causing the battery in my security system to need changing
every 2 years. Don't expect to change it for a long time now..
ARCI #8817 NORCAL #1321 CQC #178 MI #1472 NE #440 QRP-L #473
WITHOUT CW, IT'S JUST CB
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