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  1. #1

    Battery tenders??

    I have read post on here but some seem to disagree on battery tenders. So..... her is my question, just got a new deka etx 16l the other day new. I decided before doing anything to have it tested as they state ready to go. It load tested fine and had a 60% charge out of the box. (Started ski up fine) but for piece of mind I would like it 💯 if I go off shore. So for a AGM battery what charger? Brand and so on ? I want to top it off and maintain it all summer and over the winter removed from the ski indoors. Any info would help also.
    Mid there is a link/post I missed feel free to put it here. Thanks


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I have been using the BatteryMinder 128CEC1 model for several years with my Deka ETX16 AGM batteries in multiple watercraft. I also had a previous BatteryMinder similar model that also worked well with the Deka ETX.

    If I am in a hurry I will let it push 8 amps (maximum) charge rate. For a gentle top up the 2 amp setting works well. The actual battery charging cycle is always well controlled and it will not overcharge a battery regardless of the selected charging rate.

    I like the electronic control during the charging process and the understandable LED indications.



    I have also used the de-sulfation feature to recover deeply discharged or otherwise abused batteries. Not back to ‘perfect’ but good enough to get some further useful life from the battery, usually relegated to a non-watercraft function after recovery.

    Tip: I connect and leave installed in each PWC a polarized pigtail charge lead. Makes it quick and easy to reconnect the charger. No chance do a battery clip falling off nor connecting anything ‘backwards’.

    Attachment 446335


  3. #3
    I have 2 of the Battery Tender 3 amp chargers that I use to keep my batteries(AGM) charged. I really like them and highly recommend them. I got mine from Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tende...%2C185&sr=8-16


  4. #4
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetskibob View Post
    I have read post on here but some seem to disagree on battery tenders.
    . . . . .
    The only thing to stay far away from are "trickle chargers" (TC), as these simply apply a constant "dumb" charge. Yet honestly, in todays time, you be hard to find any TC's sold anymore, as the "tenders/maintainers" now dominate the markets, which are - as you guessed it - are "smart" and will stop charging when the battery is fully charged. Try to refrain from speaking the term "charger" - yes, these do charge, but rather say tender or maintainer to avoid ambiguity.
    As far a brand, there are plenty of good choices out there. Short of recommending a specific name, I've never had an issue with the "Battery Tender" brand.

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    Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    I have been using the BatteryMinder 128CEC1 model for several years with my Deka ETX16 AGM batteries in multiple watercraft. I also had a previous BatteryMinder similar model that also worked well with the Deka ETX.

    If I am in a hurry I will let it push 8 amps (maximum) charge rate. For a gentle top up the 2 amp setting works well. The actual battery charging cycle is always well controlled and it will not overcharge a battery regardless of the selected charging rate.

    I like the electronic control during the charging process and the understandable LED indications.



    I have also used the de-sulfation feature to recover deeply discharged or otherwise abused batteries. Not back to ‘perfect’ but good enough to get some further useful life from the battery, usually relegated to a non-watercraft function after recovery.

    Tip: I connect and leave installed in each PWC a polarized pigtail charge lead. Makes it quick and easy to reconnect the charger. No chance do a battery clip falling off nor connecting anything ‘backwards’.

    Kinda resurrecting this thread as we had a dock party today and several of the guests were some spooky tech dudes who, after we had a 1yr old Deka ETX16 kinda choke on the water (lotta stop and starts with new kneeboarders) questioned why I didn’t have any BatteryMinder 128CEC1’s and that I’ve only been relying onDelTran Battery “Smart” Tenders ... LOL, suffice it to say, after a tutorial on Desulfation, I have seen the error of my ways and am ordering this one for around $161 before taxes (I’d like to find it for less but, figure I may get drawn into paralysis by analysis if I don’t just order now): https://www.amazon.com/BatteryMINDer...cm_wl_huc_item

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    I have been using the BatteryMinder 128CEC1 model for several years with my Deka ETX16 AGM batteries in multiple watercraft. I also had a previous BatteryMinder similar model that also worked well with the Deka ETX.

    If I am in a hurry I will let it push 8 amps (maximum) charge rate. For a gentle top up the 2 amp setting works well. The actual battery charging cycle is always well controlled and it will not overcharge a battery regardless of the selected charging rate.

    I like the electronic control during the charging process and the understandable LED indications.



    I have also used the de-sulfation feature to recover deeply discharged or otherwise abused batteries. Not back to ‘perfect’ but good enough to get some further useful life from the battery, usually relegated to a non-watercraft function after recovery.

    Tip: I connect and leave installed in each PWC a polarized pigtail charge lead. Makes it quick and easy to reconnect the charger. No chance do a battery clip falling off nor connecting anything ‘backwards’.

    Morning, K447, all!

    Question: is it necessary to DISconnect the Negative battery terminal cable PRIOR to hooking the BatteryMinder 128CEC1 (or a DelTran “Smart” BatteryTender, for that matter)?

    I have picked up several sets of pigtails and intend to install them on all our skis and boat as I winterize each and my hope is I can simply leave the negative terminal cable hooked up to the battery when I occasionally move the Battery index from one craft to another. (I don’t necessarily have “Popeye” forearms but, getting that cable end off and on the Neg term is a PIA on the Spark and damn near impossible (for me) on the SXR (VXR isn’t too bad obviously)

    Thanks in advance - I am leery of doing anything that might effect, piss off let alone fry any part of any ECU or other electronics (esp of the dang Kawasaki)!

  9. #7
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    ... is it necessary to DISconnect the Negative battery terminal cable PRIOR to hooking the BatteryMinder 128CEC1 (or a DelTran “Smart” BatteryTender, for that matter)?

    I have picked up several sets of pigtails and intend to install them on all our skis and boat as I winterize each and my hope is I can simply leave the negative terminal cable hooked up to the battery when I occasionally move the Battery index from one craft to another. ...

    ... fry any part of any ECU or other electronics (esp of the dang Kawasaki)!
    On my own watercraft I keep the battery fully connected as per normal. I use the installed pigtail charging lead as needed during the season without any concern for the PWC electronics.

    My view is there are a couple of ways that ‘charging’ a connected battery runs risk to the watercraft electronics. With ‘clip on’ battery chargers there is always some chance of connecting the polarity backwards.

    There is greatly more reverse polarity risk if using an external ‘booster’ battery and jumper cables. And electrical surge from the huge capacity outside battery being suddenly clipped on to the watercraft battery posts, even with the correct polarity. So PWC manufacturers tend to advise disconnecting the PWC negative cable first.

    With a properly installed POLARIZED pigtail lead connected to the battery, it is much harder to somehow deliver reversed polarity to the watercraft battery.

    And since the pigtail lead is relatively small gauge wire, much less than a jumper cable, (and hopefully also inline fused) even a reversed polarity connection is going to toast the pigtail lead or quickly blow the fuse, but not actually force the watercraft electronics to endure reversed polarity. Sure there could still be a (modest) electrical spike, but in my view using the pigtail polarized lead hugely minimizes the risk.

    The electronic smart chargers I use always sense battery polarity before applying any charge energy, so there is no spike and a very controlled voltage rise as the battery charges.


    Another issue is parasitic drain over time. Some PWC when just sitting with the engine off still draw a modest amount of battery power. Very small current load, but over multiple weeks it does bring the battery charge down. The Yamaha remote lock/unlock radio module does this. Either keep the battery maintainer connected and AC powered or disconnect the battery main negative cable.

    If you are sharing a battery maintainer across several watercraft, and you lapse in how often you move it along to the next one, there is a risk of the battery charge declining too far. My own approach is to buy enough small battery maintainers to allocate one per PWC.

    I will use my ‘big’ smart charger to fully charge each battery, then plug in the small maintainer/charger for the winter.



    I use Deka ETX series AGM batteries, so I make sure the maintainer is compatible for AGM battery use.

    If you are using traditional lead-acid batteries they also suffer from self-discharge. It only takes a few months to lose a lot of the charge. Either keep these batteries on continuous charge or bring them indoors and away from freezing temperatures. And they will still need to be periodically recharged during the winter.

    This winter some of my batteries will be brought inside in heated space on a maintainer and others will be in indoor unheated storage, also on a maintainer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #8
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    K447, Thank YOU and hope y’all are all well and swell!

    I am extremely fortunate in that we have not only indoor but also climate controlled storage during the entire off season.

    May have been a bit of “overkill” on my part but, I picked up a DelTran Battery Tender “Plus” for each of our skis as we obtained them and I am RELIEVED to hear I can install and leave the fused pigtail that came with those units connected and that I do not have to disconnect the engine’s negative terminal while I use those DelTran Battery Tender “Plus” units to occasionally bring the batteries back to “Full.” During winter storage each battery typically indicates it is “Full” again after just minutes and I disconnect the tenders until the next month... (my big mitts and probably a lot of old hand injuries make trying to disconnect and reconnect those tiny bolts in cramped confines a real pia!)

    During the warm-enough-to-ride months *this year* we didn’t get ANYwhere near our normal hours of ride time on any of our own skis (this season our place turned into sort of a launch n party for friends and family with new-to-them and us skis all this summer which was pretty cool) and the VXR in particular displayed low 12’s and even high 11’s after sitting covered on the floating dock ports for weeks.

    2 of the skis still have the original Yuasa batteries which I’m sure are lead acid but, we did have to replace the battery in the ‘18 VXR last year and we followed the advice here and went with a Deka AGM. (We ALWAYS use the Yamaha fob to “turn off the ECU as soon as we return to our dock and; When I told the battery specialist shop owner how UNimpressed I was the original battery had only lasted 12 months he suggested I not leave the Battery Tender Plus units hooked up “24/7 for the entire 6 months” when storing them in climate controlled conditions (the way I did 2018-19) as it simply is only necessary to hook the Tender Plus up to a battery stored inside a heated area every month or so and just until the unit indicates the battery is “Full” again. So, that’s what I did last year and it seems to have worked pretty well.

    That was when one buddy who does a lot of racing etc suggested I get that BatteryMinder 128CEC1 and my game plan this off season is to occasionally “rotate” that BatteryMinder 128CEC1 from one battery to another for 48-hours or so each, to de-sulfate each battery (jet skis, boat, tractors, heck, I’m even going to leave it hooked up a day or two to the classic muscle cars which also aren’t seeing much Road time these days

    I don’t think I’ll need to use that Battery MINDER more than once on each battery during storage but, it is nice to have it, now!

    I’m not seeing those DelTran Battery Tender “Plus” units on as many store shelves as I used to so, I also appreciate knowing the other units you attached a photo of are also sufficient

    Thanks again - I’m sure this is all very “101” to most here but, the electronics on that Kawasaki are so fussy I am a tad more leery than usual ...

    Have a great end o’ summer and hope you get some more rides in before it turns to cool; water temps here in Western NC are already low enough I ain't exactly looking forward to literally going overboard (no wetsuit) to ride the standup SXR1500 to the boat ramp where the trailer awaits! Brrrrr! Suck It Up Buttercup! :-O
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  12. #9
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I have never used the Deltran Plus model. I have not looked at the specifications nor whether it actually does what I would want a charger to do.

    A really good battery maintainer will hold a battery, fully charged, right at the optimal ‘float’ voltage. At the correct float voltage the battery is neither charging nor discharging. This counters the natural internal self-discharge, especially for the liquid lead-acid type.

    Holding a battery right at 100% charge with the correct float voltage is what battery manufacturers recommend for optimal lifespan.

    One catch is that the optimal float voltage varies with battery temperature and with battery type. The BatteryMinder has an external temp sensor for this reason, and modes for the battery type.

    Related problem is that if the float voltage is a tad too high, or the electronically controlled charger is not accurate, the charger will attempt to overcharge the battery. For short durations at mild currents battery can withstand the overcharge, with potentially some slight reduction in lifespan. However, leaving the battery connected long term with the charger pressing an overcharge voltage will definitely shorten the battery lifespan.

    This is why many people prefer to ‘recharge’ the battery periodically rather than leave the charger connected all the time. Basically they do not trust their charger to get the float voltage exactly right. The charger may be aiming for an overcharge condition and therefore is not to be trusted with long term Operation.

    Using a high quality precision charger such as the BatteryMinder 128CEC not only holds the float voltage right where it needs to be, the anti-sulfation feature reverses the internal battery degrade on and extends battery life. The anti-sulfation pulses slowly work the battery plates into a better condition.

    My view is that a battery charger is something used to rapidly refill a battery. A battery maintainer can also charge the battery but has the additional capability of being connected long term to maintain and potentially improve (desulfate) the battery health and lifespan.

    Regarding the Yamaha remote security fob, putting the ski into Locked mode does not affect the battery drain of the radio module in the watercraft. That module must be continually ’listening’ for your next remote button press. It does not know if you are going to next press the button in a few seconds or in three months time. So it remains active all the time it has battery power. And this causes the radio module to slowly consume the battery charge.

    I have not measured the drain current of the radio module so I do not have an estimate of how long it would take to draw down the PWC battery.


    One method to utilize a charger long term but not trust it 24/7 is to connect it to a wall timer. Have the timer turn on for maybe an hour once a week. So the charger powers up, tops off the battery, then AC power turns off and the whole thing just sits for a week.

    Or with the smaller 800mA type charger, have it turn on 15-30 minutes once every day using a 24 hour wall timer.

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K447 View Post
    I have never used the Deltran Plus model. I have not looked at the specifications nor whether it actually does what I would want a charger to do.
    I use to have that exact model. I consider it the older - yet more heavy-duty of their line of products. A decent unit. Without going into detailed specifications... it is basically a combo unit, a relatively low-amperage "battery charger" AND a "battery tender/maintainer" in-one.
    For charging, if connected to a moderately depleted battery, it has the a-typical multi-ramp/stage charging sequence ideally suited for all lead-acid batteries (AGMs included). Once the battery is fully charged, or if connected to a charged battery, the unit goes into a standby mode, where it simply monitors the battery voltage via the pig-tail connector. If the battery voltage ever then drops again, the unit simply cycles-on the last ramp/stage (I believe a trickle charge) to gently bring the battery back into specification on an as-needed basis. To be very clear, the trickle-charge is intermittent and only applied to correct low voltage situations - aka the only dangers trickle-charging poses is when left maintained at and above the fully charged battery voltage - which this unit will not do.
    So over the course of, let's say a 6 month period, you can expect this unit to cycle between both standby and a brief gentle charges, as a long term strategy to prevent battery depletion. Therefore, like most Battery Tender products, you simply leave the pig-tail connected at all times, and leave the battery terminals connected to the craft as well. Set it, and forget it

    That said, I know there exists more sophisticated units which can also apply a precise "float" potential while connected, as to avoid minuet constant cycling between parasitic drains while in standby and the repeated corrective small topping-off charges, as described with this unit above. However, and while I agree that being a step above, I also consider that to be such a very marginal gain for total battery life ownership, over the fact of not having a tender at all.
    For a clarity of terms: "float" (not to be confused with "constant trickle-charge") is not a charging state at all, rather an intelligent voltage potential applied that ONLY oppose self and parasitic potentials that would cause discharging currents to flow.

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