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Big Dave2

Recharging a seemingly dead beyond repair vex battery

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Just a piece of information that I thought someone here may benefit from someday.

Twice I have brought back those little vexilar type gel cell batteries from the dead. The first time it was in a friends aqua-view camera. He hadn't used it for a couple of years and when he went to try and re-charge it he couldn't get anything to happen. The battery would not accept a charge so he gave up on it and was going to buy a new one. I told him I would take it home and give it a try. Every day I would put it on the charger and every night take it off the charger. I did this for 2 or 3 days and on the next day it started charging! Eventually it took a full charge and seems to work fine.

Just this week I did the same thing with the battery on my spare vexilar. After a couple of days now it has accepted the charge and should work fine now.

Hope this helps someone. At least it tells you not to give up on the battery right away. You may be able to get another season or 2 out of it.

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Nice! So your battery kicks out over 12 volts now? I have two gel cell's at home that I can't get to output more than 10.7 volts, which is just a little too low for some applications. Perhaps I will try this and see if I can get the voltage coming out of them back up!

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Nice! So your battery kicks out over 12 volts now? I have two gel cell's at home that I can't get to output more than 10.7 volts, which is just a little too low for some applications. Perhaps I will try this and see if I can get the voltage coming out of them back up!

I never tested mine to see how many volts it is kicking out but it works to power the vex just as well as it ever did. I'm not sure if it will last as long but I don't mind re-charging more often. I also know that these batteries will not last forever but I figure I am money ahead if I can get 1 more season out of them.

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If you want to rejuvenate older gel cell batteries that aren't holding a charge or giving a good potential difference (voltage), the trick is to pulse the battery with current around 2-3amps repeatedly. The pulses will cause some of the sulfate accumulation on the terminals to get cleared away. I pulse batteries 20-30 times then hook the battery up to charge, then drain and repeat. Battery pulsers or desulfators are becoming more commonly available.

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There are several inexpensive "smart-chargers" out there that you can buy that will "recondition" batteries. I have one and have brought half a dozen deep cycle batteries back to accepting a full charge. The pulse or recondition cycle runs a low amp charge on and off for 24 hours and like someone said above it breaks up the sulfate on the lead plates allowing the battery to accept a full charge. I've reconditioned one gel battery so far and I'm about to try another tonight.

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Sounds like the smart pulsing chargers pay for themselves in short order, huh?! At $15-20 a battery, it doesn't take long...

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In the Charging Tips section on the Vexilar web site it also recommends this. It can take up to 6 days to re coop a long diminished gel cell unmaintained battery.

So what do you have to loose to try, nothing really. It's potentially shot already so as long as the charger is good let her go and see if she heals. If after a long 6 day charge it is still dead, well, your were right..it's dead.

Good tip though. There are other useful tips like that on the Vex site and well worth the read.

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I have a deep cycle that sat on the garage floor for 2 years. I picked up a charger from black and decker at FF for 45$. Jury is still out but, the reading I did said it could take a month to recondition the battery. The new chargers are nice, has option for gel wet and another batt. type. you can check the voltage at the press of a button. My other charger is old though. Autographed by Henry Ford I think.

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Is it possible to hook the little vexillar batteries in tandem like we do in the boat on a 12 volt system. Just get some wire and gator clips and hook the like colors together on more than one battery. That way for the underwater cameras we could possibly get a whole day out of them without messing with switching batteries and losing picture quality as they start to diminish?

My main question is can you charge them back up in tandem to save on time and charger expense?

Just an idea, let me know if anyone has tried it or if it would work.

Thanks....

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i've been charging my old battery for 4 days and the charge light on my charger will never go on...but it can take it out off the charger and hook it up to the vex and it will say 100%..only problem is it drains way faster then normal.

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i've been charging my old battery for 4 days and the charge light on my charger will never go on...but it can take it out off the charger and hook it up to the vex and it will say 100%..only problem is it drains way faster then normal.

I would try putting the charger on for a while and take it off for a while and repeat a bunch of times and see what happens. As was stated before, there's nothing to lose.

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definatly nothin to lose...i'll give it a shot for awhile...i already went and got a new battery so that old one is up for experimenting lol...i was just gonna use it as a spare anyway.

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Thanks, I brought my battery to life because of your advice. I will let you know how the power holds up tomorrow.

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I have installed red and black female banana jacks (panel mount) on my Vex and Aqauview. I have male red and black banana jacks on my chargers so I never have to hook up at battery terminals. I also have a spare battery and a cable with male banana's at one end and automotive connector (same as used at factory battery terminals to hook up to spare battery). I can use this to parallel batteries and run all day on camera or backup vex if needed. A word of warning, I use red and black and always watch polarity when plugging in. Plugging batteries together wrong polarity will cause dangerous arcing, sparking, and melting of wires.

Banana jacks are available from Digikey. Automotive connectors available at NAPA.

Next year I am going to put some diode polarity protection in to prevent damage if reversed.

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Thanks, I brought my battery to life because of your advice. I will let you know how the power holds up tomorrow.

Great! Glad I could be of help to someone for once in my life!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Thank you for the responses. I do know it’s a right of wayband not blockable...except...I seen one coming and did park in the area after work this week.  In a split second she/he turned around and went the other way. My truck would fill the approach but I only had the car that day.—this response is what I’m trying to avoid. knoppers-there was no bank there...there were little dots through the snow that was pulled back onto the driveway. Heck, he was up near the tree line. Wanderer-it’s a small rural area, I’ll be the ... The snow and ice is melting down to the tar today, they drove in it anyway. It’s 130 am and ya...time for jumping. Thanks for all the answers. I don’t feel alone in feeling it’s rude. That helps. 
    • I would think so, it would be no different than parking on the shoulder of the road. my commit was more related to people that put up barriers, to keep others from crossing there approach.
    •   Sounds plausible to me.  Is the thickened footing in your mind the same as pouring the perimeter of the slab thicker?  We did an 8 inch perimeter around the 4 inch slab.
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    • I think they’re more looking at the footings requirement, aren’t they?  Thus the reason for getting the poles below the frost line?   Its the township’s responsibility to figure this out and you have the right to ask them to cite the code they’re following.   I used to live in Isanti County and dealt with a building inspector from my township on the construction of my detached garage.  Things weren’t very strict to say the least.     We built everything by the current UBC code, so I’d suggest first getting a copy of the current version of that since this building will actually be your home.  Don’t take unnecessary shortcuts to save a few bucks up front.  You’ll eventually regret it.   Reading your plans for the slab, it sounds pretty good.  There are plenty of slab homes out there built the way you describe.  What you don’t want is movement.     I’m not an expert by any means but I think footings on your slab wouldn’t be a bad idea and sinking your poles that deep should be a requirement.  If you don’t do footings, at least pour your slab thicker on the perimeter to hold it better.    Your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can be more restrictive than code, but not less.  So if it’s defined in the UBC, you have to do at least that much.
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