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Review - Mike Ray

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Testing a Battery Before Purchase
Maintenance Charging & Desulfation

June 8, 2017 

Aircraft: Bonanza K35Mike Ray, Charlotte/Concord, NC - KJQF.

l-jouet-self.pngMy Concorde battery is old. It was installed 7 years ago tomorrow. In 2015, the battery was getting very weak, exactly as you described. It was losing its charge within a few days after each flight and was good for roughly one start attempt. Rather than replace it, I took a chance and bought a BatteryMINDer® specific to the battery type and voltage. After hooking it up and plugging it in, it took a full week for the BatteryMINDer® to desulfate the battery and turn from a yellow to green status light. 2 months later, my alternator went out on a flight from DFW to Charlotte, a little over an hour into the 3 hour flight. I was able to fly on with reduced electrical load for more than 90 minutes, then lower the gear and flaps electrically and land in Mississippi at my planned fuel stop. At that point, the alternator started charging again, so I let it charge for about 15 minutes on the ground with the engine running before shutting down. I found a loose field wire, tied it tight, and started up and continued my flight to Charlotte. Shortly afterward, I OH'd the alternator, which needed new brushes and a new riveted field terminal.

l-jouet-self.pngThe battery owes me nothing at this point, and the only reason I haven't had to replace it - as far as I can figure - is because the BatteryMINDer® fixed the sulfation issue within the battery and restored its condition and its ability to hold a charge. To this day, the battery still provides a strong start and plenty of power for hot starts, gear swings at annual without ground power, etc., in cold and hot weather. While there are plenty of folks who don't put a lot of stock in these charger/desulfator products, I have seen the extra life mine has given my battery. Extending the life of a battery for several years, the product has paid for itself.

Now, having said that, the fastest and surest way to ruin a good battery is to put an automotive charger on it and boil it. If you're going to take the approach of tending your battery with a trickle charger, be sure the charger is designed for your specific type of battery.

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