180W Constant Current Electronic Load 200V/20A Battery Tester Discharge Capacity

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I bought this instrument, the title of this post being the item description title on eBay. I saw in another thread that someone had one, but I can't find that thread now.

It's really a remarkable value, in my opinion. Its dissipation capacity is sufficient for my house bank, so now I can test it in the off-season.

One thing, though, is that the manual, such as it is, leaves a lot to be desired, and I'm still not clear on all the features and settings. I thought I'd start this thread for this device, for those interested in it, and experienced with it, to help each other out.

s-l1600.jpg
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,431
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I have one (I posted the original thread comment on it) and it worked flawlessly. The instructions are for C^&p but you can kind of experiment and get them right. I am busy right now but if you want to call me i"ll send you a pm with my phone number.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I have one (I posted the original thread comment on it) and it worked flawlessly. The instructions are for C^&p but you can kind of experiment and get them right. I am busy right now but if you want to call me i"ll send you a pm with my phone number.
Thank you!
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,431
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
There is a particular series of pushes you have to use to get into the different modes. You can set the constant current draw you want to use (11.5 A for my house bank capacity at the 20 hr rate). You can set the "Shut Off" Voltage where you want the test to stop (10.5 per Mainesail's instructions). You can also set a lot of other functions but those are the main two of interest. You can also change the dispay format and info it presents. It held 11.5 A right on (not calibrated like Mainesails but much better than trying to do it manually by adjusting loads for 20 hours). At exactly 10.5 Volts it shut off. It displays status as it is going including the total hours under test, which is what you want to determine the capacity. I found it worked well and when you get past the frustration of setting the current desired for the test and the shutoff voltage its just a matter of hooking it up and starting the test. I checked the water level, topped off the charge with a portable charger, and let it rest after the charge for 26 hours. I also confirmed the voltage it was indicating with a digital voltmeter directly on the battery and it was right on during the whole test. The voltage "decayed" at a fairly slow rate from the original start voltage down to the cut off voltage of 10.5 V. I did not measure the temperature of the battery directly (which I should have) but it was in my house with the temperature in the house set at 70 degrees for the whole test and it did not feel like it heated up any during the test.
 
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jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Oops, and I thought my batteries were good.
Well, like many things, you can measure their condition even though you can't do much about it, except live with it, or replace them. But for me and many like me, it's nice to know. I'm really curious to see how my virtually unused AGMs have held up four years (three of which are of non-use, annual charges).
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
There is a particular series of pushes you have to use to get into the different modes. You can set the constant current draw you want to use (11.5 A for my house bank capacity at the 20 hr rate). You can set the "Shut Off" Voltage where you want the test to stop (10.5 per Mainesail's instructions).
On mine the discharge current is set via two potentiometers, a fine and a coarse adjustment.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,431
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
On mine the discharge current is set via two potentiometers, a fine and a coarse adjustment.
True, the adjustments are course and fine and it takes only a very small amount of movement to chagne the discharge current. The button pushing is to set parameters like shut off voltage and some other items.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,431
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
When I did my test with this 180Watt load, it tested out at 93.75% which I consider pretty good for 3 year old batteries. I had tested them before using the manual "cycle on loads to keep it close to 11.5A but it was very tiring staying up for 20 hours and even then I couldn't really keep it right at 11.5A. This little cheapo test instrument made is SO much easier.
 

jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
It's too bad you can't remotely control this, and log data, but that's asking a lot given the price.
 
May 17, 2004
3,470
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
It's too bad you can't remotely control this, and log data, but that's asking a lot given the price.
Wire in a shunt and an Arduino and it should be possible to log the data. Add a couple temperature probes to the Arduino and you can log ambient and battery temperatures too. All in that might double the price.
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,431
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
It's too bad you can't remotely control this, and log data, but that's asking a lot given the price.
When you say "log data" it does that for the test. When you run the discharge test and it stops the test when it detects the low voltage, all the date is logged and displayed. Here is the picture of the display after the completion of the test. It displays this data while the discharge is on-going and then records and saves the data when the test shuts off until you reset it. Here is the picture of the device when I was done with my test.
Discharge test 2020.jpg
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,904
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
It's really a remarkable value, in my opinion. Its dissipation capacity is sufficient for my house bank, so now I can test it in the off-season.
Oh for God's sake, now you've got me thoroughly hooked and I've got to get one. Happy :angry: ?
What's the brand name and model number of yours ?

Mind you, as you've said it doesn't do any good but tell you what you've got for what you've paid (for batteries) after a number of years. I couldn't afford Trojans last time so I'm interested to see how these three Y.O. ones are doing.

Thanks @jviss .
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,627
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Oh for God's sake, now you've got me thoroughly hooked and I've got to get one. Happy :angry: ?
What's the brand name and model number of yours ?

Mind you, as you've said it doesn't do any good but tell you what you've got for what you've paid (for batteries) after a number of years. I couldn't afford Trojans last time so I'm interested to see how these three Y.O. ones are doing.

Thanks @jviss .
Here's the one I bought, Ralph:
180W Constant Current Electronic Load 200V/20A Battery Tester Discharge Capacity
 
May 24, 2004
6,790
CC 30 South Florida
Nifty tester but testing one battery at a time can be time consuming and testing just the whole bank can yield inaccurate results. Suggest using first a simple automotive voltage and load tester to determine that all batteries in a bank will be in a comparative state of health before conducting the Capacity Test.