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Smart Battery ChargersNotes From the Road

Smart Battery Chargers
By Wayne Scraba/

Safely Maintain and Charge Batteries -

Battery chargers are battery chargers. Need one for a common 12-volt battery? Buy one and hook it up. Done deal. Some of those chargers have automatic trickle functions. Others don’t. If they don’t, you’ll likely need a trickle charger. What if you have a deep cycle battery in your boat or RV? You’ll likely need a specialized charger. If you have a race car, there’s a chance you’re using 16-volt batteries. That too means you’ll need a special charger for the application.

But there’s more: If you trickle-charge batteries and you forget the charger is in place, or if you charge the battery too fast, you run the risk of toasting the battery (or worse). So what’s a body to do?
Battery Boss
Instead of babysitting batteries, give this some thought: Today, there are modern chargers available that can accomplish all of the above tasks. We tested Moroso’s smart (as in intelligent) “Power Charger.” The Power Charger not only charges ordinary everyday 12-volt batteries, but also will charge 16-volt batteries. You can also charge any type of battery, including Gel Cell, Sealed, Lead Acid, Wet/Deep Cycle and “Reactor” batteries. Smart battery chargers also serve as a battery maintainer because it can be left to charge then keep your battery at top working condition while your car, RV, boat or motorcycle is in storage.
If speed is what you’re after, you can be sure your battery is ready almost immediately. Moroso claims the Power Charger will provide near full battery recovery in approximately 14 minutes, based on an average voltage drop. Of course, complete charges take a little longer, but our firsthand tests revealed wicked-fast results.
In terms of overall size, this charger isn’t that big: It measures 12 inches wide by 7 inches front-to-back and is 7 inches tall. Because of the relatively small size, portability is simple. Solid-state LED indicators clearly show the current flow into the battery, so you know that it’s charging, or at 80 percent, or “Ready.” But what makes a smart battery charger so smart?

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