Good Battery Chargers

We are going to our regionals this weekend, but we only have one battery charger. (We lost the other one). I was hoping to buy one before the competition so we could charge more batteries, but I need to get one from a store and not online because we need it in three days. I found one at walmart. Does this charger look okay or is there a better one from an automotive one that I could get. Are there any rules against certain battery chargers?

A good cheap single charger many teams use:

Also andymark has a nice 3 bank charger:

I am not sure about the charger you linked, in general you want something that is smart [auto shut off] and maxes at 6amps.

It’s hard to tell from that link. You want a charger that is capable of properly charging an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology battery, like the ones used in FRC.

Just found this link. Claims it will handle AGM batteries:

I agree that this charger is a good choice for charging our batteries. It is nearly identical in specs to the KOP charger.

We got three of these last year and they charged our batteries fine.

I agree with Mk. 62. We have two types of chargers and this one is one of them, the other being the KOP charger.

We bought two very similar ones (ours have the same specs and type of case, but in gray) last year and have had zero trouble with them. All we did was clip the stock clips off and replace them with an Anderson connector so it mates right up with the robot batteries. We normally charge at 2A overnight and around the shop, 6A during competitions. Great deal.

One thing that I will comment on here that Billfred touched on is not using the stock connectors that come on the charger. Normally these chargers come with alligator clips which are ok to use with automotive or marine batteries that have large exposed terminals for a couple of times where damage that can occur will be minimal, but not for our use. Because we continually use the chargers with our batteries for competition, we do not have exposed terminals the charger connects to, but soft contacts within the Anderson power pole connectors. If you use alligator clips or other style “clamps” or “clips” to connect your charger to the battery, you will damage your battery. Every time an alligator clip is attached to the Anderson half connectors leads, it scratches them and mars the smooth contacts finish. When you then try to use this half connector with the connector on the robot, you will not get full seating between the two contacts and will increase your resistance between your robot and battery. Increased resistance leads to high drops in power transferred to the robot, increased heat at the connector points, and failure can occur. I have seen some major damage on robots where the Anderson half connectors fused because of the heat generated from the poor connection between metal contacts.
You can easily avoid this problem though by splicing in Anderson half connectors on your chargers in place of the stock clamps that may be on there. The Anderson’s are designed to mate together firmly and always used with two half connectors. Save yourself the cost and hassle of replacing a damaged battery (or worse) later by using proper connectors now.

So who is this Mk.62 you speak of :wink: