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 FAQ - Which charger should I use? How to connect?
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chopper
Moderator


Illinois
USA

1228 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2006 :  12:17:06  Show Profile  Visit chopper's Homepage  Click to see chopper's MSN Messenger address
If you are using 6 or 12volt SLA (sealed lead acid) batteries(such as from Gruber), many have found that the Schumacher Automatic battery Companion (that's the name of the charger)works very well. It will fully charge your batteries, then will switch to float mode to keep them "topped off", but will not overcharge them like the stock PW's chargers will.

Edit: The Battery Companion shown here has switched names to the Schumacher Battery Maintainer, and now the Schumacher Speed Maintainer. It's still the same charger and comes with the same accessories as the original Battery Companion.



Also another alternative I found from Schumacher was this. If you are one of those with stock batteries, this would be an excellent(yet pricey) alternative to the charger that came with your power wheels car.

If you are looking to charge multiple batteries at the same time, the best charger we've found for the price is the Schumacher model 600. It can be bought at walmart for about $25. It has automatic shutoff, and has selectable amperage rates to give you enough juice to charge multiple batteries at the same time. It will also do both 6 and 12 volt. If you do decide to use this charger to charge say 3 6 volt batteries in parallel, you should use the 4 amp setting. I would also make it a point to charge each individual battery seperatly at least once or twice a season.

Schumacher Model 600a picture.


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Edited by - gseric69 on 07/31/2009 13:21:09

gameboy
Moderator

just north of austin
tx
USA



4796 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2007 :  10:00:37  Show Profile
these are the quick connects and what comes with the companion, you get a pair of clips and a set of lead wires which you could direct connect to a battery with a screw or some type of bolt for connection, since it has the hoops for connecting or you can cut the connectors off and put on female spades like i do because i have few more batteries to put them on.




this is what the charger comes with



Insert Image:

and this is what i do to the ends to be able to use on multiple batteries. i put a female spade on each side of the wire, because most aftermarket batteries come with male spade tips. if i want to charge more than one i just make an adapter with more spades to fit more than one battery and then a male spade to fit in to the female on the quick disconnect.

i am pretty sure you can buy an adapter like this at radio shack, just ask for a quick disconnect type connector and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

i have seen some older power wheels come with this adapter, but they have long since been discontinued, i am also pretty sure that some of the overseas knock off come or came with this adapter too.

i dont recomend this quick connect for regular power wheels use, but charging would be just fine.



if you are wanting to charge more than one battery at a time you can make up a pigtail like this:



89.46 KB

i use this when i want to charge my 3 6v's so i can charge them at one time.



free is always better


Edited by - gameboy on 02/11/2008 18:22:06
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2007 :  10:41:19  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
A couple safety warnings about the specific chargers mentioned....

The Schumacher Companion tends to run a bit hot. Some have added a cooling fan. Here's a pic by TiddlerRacer:


The Schumacher 600a also has an apparent design flaw. If there is a household power failure (including unplugging the charger), when the power returns, the charger defaults to charging at 12 volts. This isn't a problem when charging a 12 volt battery, but if there is a 6 volt battery connected, it will likely overcharge the battery. To what extent is not known. You can read more about it here:
http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1687

Here's an example of why you need to use caution when charging batteries:
http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=136

Edited by - swhenrik on 11/30/2007 10:43:48
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2008 :  20:43:54  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
Connecting the stock charger to an aftermarket battery:

Whatever connections you are using to connect the battery to the vehicle, can also be used on charger. For more info on connectors:
"FAQ - Battery connectors"
http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3264

Connecting an aftermarket charger to a stock OR aftermarket battery:

See next post for an example.


Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2008 :  20:47:40  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
Charging rates:

The general recommendation has been about 30% of the capacity of the battery in hours. So, a power wheels gray battery is 9.5 AH times 0.25 = 2.375. Round down to 2 amps. A 12 AH battery, you could push 4 amps into. But slower charger rates reduce heat which extends battery life.

Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho

Edited by - gameboy on 01/24/2009 15:14:35
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swhenrik
Moderator

Pengilly
MN
USA



4067 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2008 :  20:59:35  Show Profile  Visit swhenrik's Homepage
The alligator clips on the Schumacher 600a have the wire crimped into one side of the handle. The other side of the handle has the same crimp connection, but no wire in it. I use this to crimp in a new wire like so:



On there I have a "Power Pole" connector... Duratrax version is available from Tower Hobbies, and is relatively cheap. This connector isn't enough to handle full current on a power wheels, but it is plenty for charging.

My setup then looks like this:



I clamp the alligator clips on the plastic handle of the charger to keep them from shorting together. This setup allows me to still use the clips for all the other non-power wheels uses.... automotive, fourwheeler, boat, riding mower, camper battery, etc, etc, etc.

I then made up a couple adapters for charging all the different styles of Power Wheels batteries that I have.

1. I do have an old 6 volt battery still, still with a Power Wheel recalled "H" connector. The power pole connector plugs directly into that.
2. I have an adapter with a power pole on one end, and female spades to connect to aftermarket batteries on the other end.
3. I cut the connector off a stock charger for power wheels gray "cube" batteries, and connected to another power pole.... in fact I have 2 of those charger connectors spliced together so I can charge 2 batteries at a time.



I don't have any batteries with the Power Wheels "A" connector, or any Peg Perego or other brands of products, but connectors for those can be made similar to what I have done easily enough.




Projects: Jeep, Bigfoot, Lil' Quad, Dora Quad, Dirt Grinder, Nascar, Intro, Ultimate Gaucho

Edited by - swhenrik on 09/12/2008 21:11:42
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gseric69
Moderator

Red Lion
PA
USA



6315 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2009 :  13:19:52  Show Profile  Visit gseric69's Homepage
Concerns have been brought up over the Speed Charge 600A since it uses electrical switching to switch between 6V and 12V, and it always defaults to 12V charging when first plugged in. This means that if you are charging a 6V battery with it and you loose power for any amount of time, when the power comes back on the charger will switch to 12V, and charging a 6V battery with a 12V charger is very bad.
What I have found that is if the 600A is connected to a 6V battery, and it's not switched over to 6V charging after it's plugged in, it will switch to error mode, and will not charge at all. This means that you don't have to worry as much about leaving the 600A charging your 6V batteries overnight if the power should go out while you sleep.

36V Peg Perego Apache - Project: Super Power Police Jeep, 18V Metal Frame Jeep - Project: Sarge
Dragon/Craftsman Pickup Hybrid (WIP), 18V John Deere Off Road 4x4 (Gaucho, SOLD!)
12V Lil Jeep, 18V Turbo Sun Jammer Jeep, 12V Super 6 F150 Blue Thunder,
18V Lightning McQueen & 12V Lightning McQueen w/Duratrax Motors (Sold)
18V Green & Blue Ninja Quads w/19T's, 18V Dora Quad with 21T's
12V Harley Bat Bike w/Duratrax Motors, 12V Pink Harley (Future Trike)
Future Builds: 12V Xtreme Machine, 12V PW Fire Truck, 6V Wild Thing Super 6 & Mach 5
RIP: 12V Super 6 Suzuki Quad w/Seperate Brake pedal (Decommissioned/Parted)
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