Optimate™ 3+ Desulfating Battery Charger

October 22, 2009 by

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I haven’t been riding my bikes this summer, i was either traveling or the weather is too hot to ride…i think more than 4 month have past since i last started them up…that made the batteries really weak, but they were still able to crank the engine, so i figured if i don’t do something about it really quick they will probably die and have to change them.

So i went and bought the Optimate 3+ battery charger, the charger comes with a Ducati adapter and i bought an extra adapter for the BMW, it verify, tests, and confirms whether the battery can retain sufficient charge to crank the engine, it applies ‘first aid’ for up to 2 hours, to recover the battery so it can again accept charge…then it engages the long term maintenance mode, it “floats & tests” 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off, so the battery is always 100% ready, but never overcharged.

I hooked it to the BMW and left over night to charge, the next morning i went to check it just to find out that the cleaners decided to hose the parking and that my Optimate 3+ was completely wet…it was actually swimming in a small pool of water but still working!! i unplugged it and went to read the manual to check what could be done…to my surprise the thing turns out water broof!!

Lesson learned: always read the manual before operating anything no matter how silly you may think it is.

  • R1

    Does it charge car batteries?

  • http://theadrenalinefix.com Adrenaline

    yes, but takes a bit longer depending on the condition, and size of the battery

  • Jojo

    It is actually a trickel charger with a low amp to compensate the natural discharge of the battery when not in use.So ideally to plug it in when you decide to park any vehicle for a long time.

  • James

    Even if it is water proof , I recomend to keep it away from water as there might be a striped line or even the water getting close to the plug,,, so best No water and to avoid that I recommend to keep it on top of the bike or on a small work table

  • Khaled

    Where can I buy one. It should good for my Jetski battery off season

  • Kuwaity

    Today most chargers/maintainers (with micro processor) will maintain the battery with float voltage and delivers the leakage current on behalf of the battery so it will be charged all the time. In this way the battery will last for more than 4 years and the battery will be reliable all the time because there is no Sulfation, no cycling any more.
    But not all battery maintainers will do this properly, the you described is cycling the battery because it floats the voltage (not sure what is the voltage here) and turns off for 30min and then floats again, so the battery won’t last very long.
    In critical industrial systems, any 6-cell Pb-acid battery should be charger with no more than 14.4 DC volts and must maintain the battery at 13.2 DC volts with sufficient current to compensate for the self discharge and the leakage current. The floating voltage should be always ON to prevent cycling. Using this method, some People report that they have 7 years of service out of their sleepy batteries. In industrial systems, the battery must be replaced after 5 years just to make sure the system is 100 % reliable.
    So, it’s not a trickle charger.

    Just for your info., DELTRAN Is the official batter maintainer/charger for HD and BMW bikes.

  • Micky

    Kuwaity,
    i have a BMW, should i get the DELTRAN ro the Optimate?
    Tristar is selling Optimate and says it works well with any bike.

  • Jojo

    Micky,

    With due respect to Kuwaity,he does not have the full information about Optimate.It is a very suffisticated pc of electronics.The 30 Minutes intervals is actually a test period .
    If you want the BMW chrger then you have to know if the battery is sealed or open vented as there is one for each (due to different charging current ).

    The Optimate will be suitable for either battery and it is alot cheaper.
    The life of the battery sepends on the quality of manufacturing & material used
    The criteria for charging a battery is that the current should not be more than 10% of the battery capacity ,,,, i.e. a 70 A/h battery should be charged with no more than 7 Ams current

  • Mathai

    I used to remove the whole battery from the bike itself and leave it at my friends place on his trickle charger.

  • Kuwaity

    Yes I don’t know exactly how this charger is working, if it tests the battery every 30 min and keeping the flouting voltage constant then it won’t cycle the battery but if it leaves the battery voltage un floated then it goes through cycling. In this way I prefer Deltran maintainers. Again it is the official maintainer for BMW and HD.

    Sealed (not AGM) or vented battery doesn’t make any difference in the required charging current. usually in a battery maintainer we don’t look at how much current, a few mA’s is just enough. AGM batteries requires different charging and floating voltages, although a regular battery tender won’t hurt AGM batteries but the AGM charger should not be used for normal electrolyte or VRLA batteries UNLESS it is recommend by the manufacturer or there is a selection switch.

    The life of the battery depends on many factors, not just the quality of the manufacturing, one is the topology of the maintainer itself.

    10% is sometimes recommended but the lower the better, just to save your battery. If you are in a hurry, you can pump it until the battery shape change to a spherical!

    Mathai
    Removing or just disconnecting the battery is the way to go if you don’t have a maintainer because it will reduce the leakage current to zero, leaving the self discharge current alone inside the battery.

    The trickle chargers are not controlled, they can damage the battery if the voltage went above the bubbling voltage.

    So just to make things clear to everyone reading here:
    If you have a vehicle that you don’t use regularly, buy a “battery maintainer” or “Battery tender” and plug it directly to battery forever. Battery chargers and trickle chargers should not be used for a long periods.