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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 2:40 pm   #1
Julesomega
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Default SORNed for lockdown

I stopped using my car weeks ago so after a while I thought I ought to start it up to keep the battery charged and the oil circulated. I intended to repeat the exercise every week or two but time flies when you're enjoying yourself and by the next time the battery was flat. Obviously I have a small collection of chargers, mostly with metal rectifiers, any of which will charge at around 1-2A, but rather than wait hours for sufficient charge I spent a couple of days making a beefier unit. Now, starting from flat takes 5min

Have now SORNed myself, the website just takes you round in circles but the automated phoneline does it straightaway
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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 6:06 pm   #2
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

Just go careful with 'brute force' battery-chargers on any car built this century: 'calcium' and maintenance-free car-batteries don't handle deep-discharge/uncontrolled recharging very well.

A decent car-battery these days costs at least 100, spending 30 for an intelligent charger makes sense to me.

CTek is my go-to brand for these.
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Old 22nd Apr 2020, 6:51 pm   #3
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

My wife thinks I should be SORNed or it least it sounded like that

Cheers

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Old 20th May 2020, 9:26 pm   #4
Julesomega
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

Wondering how it can be flat again so soon after the last charge, so I came back here to find it was almost 4 weeks ago. A couple of observations while charging:

The ancient dashboard charge meter is completely undamped and wiggles vigorously for a couple of seconds after any current transition, so after switching on I expect it to wiggle, but I find it continues to wiggle for the next ten minutes. It looks to me that the current is varying randomly, would I be right to assume this is caused by bubbling in the electrolyte? It eventually settles down.

After half an hour, when I got close my forehead could feel radiant heat from the charger. The rectifier bridge was gently warm on its heatsink, but it was the transformer that was glowing hot. Transformers are normally bolted firmly to a stout chassis, but the expedient construction here gave no heatsinking. Caught me out, so I've now added some sheet aluminium and painted everything matt black. Now it can wiggle away 'cool'
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Old 20th May 2020, 9:50 pm   #5
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

Quote:
I ought to start it up to keep the battery charged and the oil circulated.
The oil will be fine, the worst thing you can do for an engine is start it. Back on topic, keep the battery charged, lead acid batteries like being full, and when it is time to restart the engine it will be ready for the task.

Get a proper "maintenance" charger, very popular with motorcyclists as quite a lot don't use their two wheelers over the winter months. Even the weeniest charger will keep a huge battery in tip top condition.
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Old 20th May 2020, 9:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

The wife's car has done just 8 miles in the last 2 months and 4 of those was to get it's MOT.

She has been driving my car since it's in front of hers on the drive using the battery only. Been tempted to SORN her car but because I am still on call to go to site or office been reluctant to do that.

As her car is only 30 a year the saving just would not be worth it. But she has been running the engine for 20 minutes every 2 weeks to keep the battery topped up. Tomorrow she will have to drive her own car so let's hope it will start.

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Old 20th May 2020, 10:27 pm   #7
Nymrod121
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Default Re: SORNed for lockdown

Our trusty diesel Yaris is parked on our drive for the duration being as Her Ladyship is working from home.
I've rigged up a 13.5V charger that's connected to a weatherproofed external mains point via a 24-hour 'segmented' timeswitch. The segments are set for 'half an hour on' four times a day and this keeps the battery (and hence alarm system) in working order.


The charger is a heavy-duty 13.5V/27V switchable output unit that I built (as part of the "Restoration Project That Dare Not Speak Its Name" ) back in 1992 and was designed to float (or boost-charge if needed) a twin set of 12V commercial vehicle lead-acid batteries.


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