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#2490373 - 01/11/12 04:00 PM Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Quick review on a Cen-Tech battery analyzer. Part 66892. It pains me to buy HF, but this one really is the best of the handheld units that I saw. Solar and oother companies make them, but they are either similarly priced with less info, or a LOT more $ with possibly a bit more info but not necessarily...

What I really wanted was battery resistance. Calling companies like Solar, they essentially said that CCA was all that techs understood, so that is what they provided. I may not just use this with starter batteries, so that value is useful to me.

The unit was on sale for $69.99, but used an HF coupon.

The unit's box:




On an old group 49 battery I keep on float for backup:



Here you can see what you get out, voltage (test doesnt need to be dont on a fully charged battery), impedance, total capacity and CCA versus the OE amount (which is programmed in before the start of the test). This is on the group 49 AGM battery in my 91 BMW, this car seemingly not fully charging my battery even after long drives (this car was just driven 150 miles last night and showed 12.5V today):





Overall: the unit feels good, solid, like a piece of modern electronics. Clamps work good, they are wired with a supplimental lead wire to each half of the clamp, likely to serveas a referense measurement or something. The clamps dont open quite as wide as I'd like, but as you can see in the far lead (the black + wire) on the BMW, which is 4/0, it can cover that. I do wish the leads were longer, as it would be nice to be able to access another solid ground to determine differences in the grounding and its potential issues on the electrical system.

I called HF and they confirmed that the unit is good for use on AGM batteries, not just flooded batteries as is stated on the unit. I was concerned with this, but HF stated that it had been tested to properly operate.

My primary complaint, being technically-minded, is that they dont use the algorithm built in to provide an Ah capacity, but rather the bar shown across the top (0-100%) is percentage capacity of the battery. Interesting that the claimed capacity is so high. Not sure if it is correct. My batteries should be fully desulfidated and well maintained besides the low voltage on the one in the BMW.

Like the machine, recommend it.

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#2490396 - 01/11/12 04:19 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8096
Loc: NorthEast
Is it calculating the CCA based upon the impedance or really measuring it? After the test, battery needs to be charged again to recover from it? Essentially, I am asking if it is doing a real stress test or not. The wires seem big but are they big enough for 500A ?

- Vikas

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#2490400 - 01/11/12 04:22 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
This isnt a 500A carbon pile tester. This is a capacitance-based tester unit, which uses a 1kHz AC signal to determine impedance. AC impedance is a well-established method of determining characteristics of electrochemical systems.

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#2490402 - 01/11/12 04:24 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Texas
That looks like a really nice tool. I think I'm going to get one too. I already have an expensive OTC battery tester and darn if that HF one looks like it does the same for probably $300 less!

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#2490408 - 01/11/12 04:31 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: GMBoy]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: GMBoy
That looks like a really nice tool. I think I'm going to get one too. I already have an expensive OTC battery tester and darn if that HF one looks like it does the same for probably $300 less!


Does your OTC give battery impedance (milliohm value) or just CCA/state of health?

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#2490415 - 01/11/12 04:39 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 2811
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Does anyone have information about what the results of readings of that kind of meter means with respect to the size of the battery, and the temperature of the battery at the time the test was taken?
_________________________
Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


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#2490416 - 01/11/12 04:40 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Found this too. A few more pictures:

http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=44177

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#2490418 - 01/11/12 04:41 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JimPghPA]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: JimPghPA
Does anyone have information about what the results of readings of that kind of meter means with respect to the size of the battery, and the temperature of the battery at the time the test was taken?


Size of the battery (which is put in because it is proportional to CCA) is kind of put in because CCA is entered.

Impedance will decrease with cell size, and with temperature. These are known characteristics.

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#2490549 - 01/11/12 06:37 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: GMBoy
That looks like a really nice tool. I think I'm going to get one too. I already have an expensive OTC battery tester and darn if that HF one looks like it does the same for probably $300 less!


Does your OTC give battery impedance (milliohm value) or just CCA/state of health?


Just CCA/state of health, if there is bad cell, etc. You also enter the CCA manually. It puts 2 loads on and then reports the results. Takes about 30 seconds. It will also test your chargins system. But, honestly - that HF unit rocks! It looks better than my hi-dollar OTC...I would venture to say it is better too. The display alone is larger and has more info.

You did good.

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#2490776 - 01/11/12 10:42 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2131
Loc: California
Looks fancy compared to my old Snap-On battery tester.
Clamp it on, load test for 10 seconds (it get hot fast), then see where the analog meter rest at that point against a color coded meter scale.

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#2490835 - 01/12/12 12:02 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 694
Loc: CA
The clamps have two conductors per clamp.
It's a Kelvin-style probe. Both halves of each clamp must make good contact, not just either.
A bit of a long-winded explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-terminal_sensing

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#2490909 - 01/12/12 07:06 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Errtt]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Errtt
Looks fancy compared to my old Snap-On battery tester.
Clamp it on, load test for 10 seconds (it get hot fast), then see where the analog meter rest at that point against a color coded meter scale.


Yeah, a carbon pile tester. Nothing wrong with that, and it definitely still has its place for testing the charging system.

This is just a newer scheme to probe the chemistry without requiring a fully charged battery or moving so much current that you stress the battery and run it down hard.

You could calculate battery impedance from the carbon pile since Vt=Voc-IR, and since we know open circuit voltage, terminal voltage under load and resistance, the rest is easy.

But this is easier, and I prefer to be able to do simple in situ tests without a lot of heat and need to recharge the battery (spot checks on various cars in other words).

I also bought a carbon pile from HF, but it looks just like any other carbon pile, so if I can find a US made version, I might return that one.

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#2490910 - 01/12/12 07:08 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: spackard]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: spackard
The clamps have two conductors per clamp.
It's a Kelvin-style probe. Both halves of each clamp must make good contact, not just either.
A bit of a long-winded explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-terminal_sensing


Absolutely. That's it.

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#2490924 - 01/12/12 07:27 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
So at the end of the day is this or a carbon pile tester a better way of testing a marginal battery?
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2490928 - 01/12/12 07:38 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Donald
So at the end of the day is this or a carbon pile tester a better way of testing a marginal battery?



Originally Posted By: JHZR2
This isnt a 500A carbon pile tester. This is a capacitance-based tester unit, which uses a 1kHz AC signal to determine impedance. AC impedance is a well-established method of determining characteristics of electrochemical systems.


I havent personally tested (but will do so on various high resistance AGM batteries at some point) verified how good it is for marginal batteries. I do know that it can be used on batteries with low states of charge, which is nice (can get a good idea of what is going on, whereas putting a high resistive load on a battery with low SOC may not do much), and also that it spits out a resistance value and calculates a capacity percentage as well as retained CCA, so you can see easily if the battery is marginal or not.

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#2491100 - 01/12/12 11:03 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
I almost bought one of these the other day when I had the new years day coupon but I had to work overtime..

where did you get your coupon?
_________________________
2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT


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#2491129 - 01/12/12 11:30 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Just printed it online. Slickdeals I think.

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#2491342 - 01/12/12 02:27 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 6636
Loc: Texas
Coupons are also in lots of magazines like Popular Mechanics, Car and Driver etc.

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#2491498 - 01/12/12 04:28 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: Donald
So at the end of the day is this or a carbon pile tester a better way of testing a marginal battery?



Originally Posted By: JHZR2
This isnt a 500A carbon pile tester. This is a capacitance-based tester unit, which uses a 1kHz AC signal to determine impedance. AC impedance is a well-established method of determining characteristics of electrochemical systems.


I havent personally tested (but will do so on various high resistance AGM batteries at some point) verified how good it is for marginal batteries. I do know that it can be used on batteries with low states of charge, which is nice (can get a good idea of what is going on, whereas putting a high resistive load on a battery with low SOC may not do much), and also that it spits out a resistance value and calculates a capacity percentage as well as retained CCA, so you can see easily if the battery is marginal or not.


I am not all that interested in the charge state of a battery if it just needs charging. If I think a battery is going bad I will charge it with AC charger and then test it. I just want the best way to determine is a battery needs to be replaced.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2491665 - 01/12/12 07:12 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: Donald

I am not all that interested in the charge state of a battery if it just needs charging. If I think a battery is going bad I will charge it with AC charger and then test it. I just want the best way to determine is a battery needs to be replaced.


I agree with you and hate when a battery reads 12.25 Volts and your average Midtronics style tester says "charge it up".

I have a battery still under warranty that shorted a cell. I know because I saw 10.5 volts personally and felt it barely crank over, and had all my lights dim at idle. Well, d'oh, that cell came back to life, and midtronics "passed" the thing, while the parts store nitwit said charge it (stupid). I had to leave sheepishly.

FWIW these meters are on ebay if you can't get to a HF store.

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#2491794 - 01/12/12 09:04 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Donald


I am not all that interested in the charge state of a battery if it just needs charging. If I think a battery is going bad I will charge it with AC charger and then test it. I just want the best way to determine is a battery needs to be replaced.


This is not a matter of saying "charge it up". This is electrochemical analysis of the state of the chemistry INSIDE of the battery to determine if it has gone to a high resistance state and how much of the initial capacity (in Ah and CCA) it has retained/lost.

I dont know how to explain it to you any better than that. You do NOT have to load test a battery to determine if it is good. This sends a specific signal current across the battery to determine HEALTH. Not just charge state.

It is another type of analysis. You have to fully charge a battery for a resistive (carbon pile or other) test, but this is not a resistive test like that. It is a different, newer type of electrochemical impedance measurement. Because it is a DIFFERENT method, it doesnt need to be charged.

Power capability is contingent upon knowing the INTERNAL resistance of the battery. This type of tester does it without having to load the battery with 500A. It is a smarter means of testing the internal characteristics of the battery.

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#2491796 - 01/12/12 09:07 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
I think I'll go snag one tomorrow. 69.99 + 20% off.. with some leftover christmas money. I got my Father cool stuff.. and he gave money but in his defense he worked 3 weeks straight at 85+ hours. SO I just have to buy my own cool stuff smile



Edited by Rand (01/12/12 09:08 PM)
_________________________
2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT


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#2491798 - 01/12/12 09:07 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: eljefino]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: eljefino


I agree with you and hate when a battery reads 12.25 Volts and your average Midtronics style tester says "charge it up".


That's one of the benefits of this technique. Its measuring an AC signal across the battery, so it doesnt really care about voltage on the battery itself, since it isnt reallly loading the battery.

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#2491842 - 01/12/12 09:52 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 694
Loc: CA
For what it's worth, a few months back I bought the HF meter and used it on a red-top Optima that I was getting ready to replace anyway. This is the 2nd (and final) red-top I've owned that failed but still started the car. The voltage was low enough to cause some problems with electrical accessories and to hear the starter motor turning slowly, but high and strong enough to start.

The HF meter would not pass the battery, flashing "low voltage" if I remember correctly. The slow starter sound was unnerving so I was going to replace the battery anyway (about 2 years old). I wanted to see if it would call it bad or not, and it did. The replacement battery, a flooded-cell from Costco, it said was making the full CCA plus a little more.

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#2492083 - 01/13/12 08:07 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2131
Loc: California
Interesting thread.
I think this tester is doing the same thing we used to do at work for several batteries on large ups systems. We had a Alber (spelling) Cell-Corder where we would go along from one battery to the next only waiting for the CellCorder to beep after each battery indicating it was done testing that battery. Tested 480 batteries on one system - then plug it in the PC that had software to download and provide a report and graphs. I believe the graphs were impedance. The other indicator (CellCorder had 3 leads) was the connection down to micro-ohms.
We would just print the reports and it provided the good, marginal & fail batteries. There was no carbon pile load test.
The more I read into this HF tester the more I like it.

Because of this thread, last night I decided to load test my SUV battery which is the Interstate green top 2 years old. The snap on carbon pile tester showed at the low almost borderline on the green scale - like getting close to recommending a new battery - 2 year old Interstate? Hummmm..... I wonder.

Hope to hear/read others who may soon gets this HF battery tester - who knows... sometimes, something like this gets to me and I make sudden move to just go and get it. Weather should be nice today (probably near 60) and I might feel like taking a Harley for a ride. Now there is where the HF tester might come in handy - motorcycle battery. I don't use my carbon pile heat blaster on the small motorcycle batteries.

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#2492097 - 01/13/12 08:29 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2131
Loc: California
Just checked out the HF Analyzer online and it shows available in store at the HF near me. And getting a close up view, it does have a Micro-Ohm indicator on the display. At a quick glance, looks like one has to enter the CCA of the battery.
Having 3 vehicles and a couple motorcycles, boat, might be a good investment.

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#2492098 - 01/13/12 08:34 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4709
Loc: MI
I would like to learn more about battery testing. Over at the GarageJournal site they argue the pros and cons of conductance (sp?) testing vs. capacitance testing ad-nauseum.

Here is one article I gleaned from their site. It claims (I think) that the values obtained from these meters should be considered as relative vs. absolute. And, that the real value of them is for trending your battery condition....maybe not unlike oil analysis?

Here for discussion: http://4xspower.com/is-conductance-testing-useful/

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#2492530 - 01/13/12 04:42 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: doitmyself]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
I picked one up today.. google printable 20 percent harbor freight coupon.

79.99-10$=69.99(sale)

69.99-20%= 54.xx + 6.75%tax = <60$

Tested a few batteries. Went to my Dad's shop (I owed him 5# coffee I roasted earlier this wee).

Its amazing what kind of junk he has laying around for being a Wire EDM Machine shop.

I checked his brand new napa battery in his 2005 Ranger it got 3.43mohm 12.74v and was rated 100%(565?cca)

Then I tackled his junk pile of batteries I condemned last year but He is saving for trade ins.

duralast 450CCA 142CCA(40%), 14.33mohm...

the other one was worse.


Edited by Rand (01/13/12 04:55 PM)
_________________________
2015 Forester I-Premium 6MT


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#2492965 - 01/13/12 11:58 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
spackard Offline


Registered: 03/24/11
Posts: 694
Loc: CA
The HF unit is very light. One could keep it in the box and in the trunk. Maybe do a battery test every time you put air into the spare tire. Or, maybe seeing the box in the trunk will remind you to do a battery check and put some air in the spare tire.

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#2493245 - 01/14/12 11:27 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Rand]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Rand
I picked one up today.. google printable 20 percent harbor freight coupon.

79.99-10$=69.99(sale)

69.99-20%= 54.xx + 6.75%tax = <60$

Tested a few batteries. Went to my Dad's shop (I owed him 5# coffee I roasted earlier this wee).

Its amazing what kind of junk he has laying around for being a Wire EDM Machine shop.

I checked his brand new napa battery in his 2005 Ranger it got 3.43mohm 12.74v and was rated 100%(565?cca)

Then I tackled his junk pile of batteries I condemned last year but He is saving for trade ins.

duralast 450CCA 142CCA(40%), 14.33mohm...

the other one was worse.


The 100% corresponds to the total energy capacity (Ah). If you hit (I believe) the select button after the test is complete, youll see the entered CCA and the current CCA rating.

I wish the machine gave an Ah number versus a percentage, but it is what it is. The machine gives more info than any other little one I saw.

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#2493671 - 01/14/12 07:31 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2131
Loc: California
Earlier online I checked out some battery analyzers sold through Graingers (only because I have a Graingers within 15 minutes)- they can get up there in cost - of course those high dollar units could be in a different league.

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#2493778 - 01/14/12 09:01 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Errtt]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Errtt
Earlier online I checked out some battery analyzers sold through Graingers (only because I have a Graingers within 15 minutes)- they can get up there in cost - of course those high dollar units could be in a different league.


i think some of the bigger, more expensive ones will charge and discharge (which is why they are also bigger), plus do tests like this and print out the results.

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#2493780 - 01/14/12 09:03 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
I did see the CCA 140 something
I assumed it was 40% of the entered from the health bar... oops
_________________________
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#2495760 - 01/16/12 06:32 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Rand]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
so my 2011 subaru was slow to turn over last few days in the cold. (20f or so)
The overhead light practically goes OUT when turning over.

I tested out the new battery analyser on about 10 batteries now.. and my subaru's is the third worst result

I couldnt find an exact CCA number so I put in 470CCA

The meter said 8.xx mohm resistance 12.32V and 322CCA The "100%" bar was reading about 65%

Translate?

in comparison the 7 year old battery in my friends 2001 taurus was reading 4.55mohm 85% and 533CCA (battery is 600)


I did run the test on my battery 3 times.. every time removing and repositioning the clamps

I did a overnight charge with my smart charger the other night when I accidently left the hatch light on for 4 hours.. so the battery should be fully charged or close.


Edited by Rand (01/16/12 06:34 PM)
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#2496114 - 01/16/12 10:43 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Stu_Rock Offline


Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 996
Loc: Houston, TX & SFbay, CA
I picked up one of these battery testers while out on my new TV shopping trip. The buttons were a little finicky initially, but they seem OK after a few uses. All four of our vehicle batteries came up with about 80% on the bar, 80% of the stated CCA, and 4.5 mΩ. I have an AGM utility battery that is nearly dead, and it confirmed that. I'm a little worried that it reads either 80% or dead, but only time will tell.

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#2496306 - 01/17/12 07:40 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Stu_Rock]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Stu_Rock
I'm a little worried that it reads either 80% or dead, but only time will tell.


HUH?

Not sure you have a statistical sampling to determine the range of results yet...

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#2496432 - 01/17/12 09:39 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
Any coupons for these floating around?
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2496500 - 01/17/12 11:00 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
download from slickdeals HF thread.

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#2496666 - 01/17/12 01:26 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Stu_Rock Offline


Registered: 09/23/09
Posts: 996
Loc: Houston, TX & SFbay, CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: Stu_Rock
I'm a little worried that it reads either 80% or dead, but only time will tell.
HUH?

Not sure you have a statistical sampling to determine the range of results yet...
That's exactly why time will tell.

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#2496671 - 01/17/12 01:30 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
benjamming Offline


Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 5670
Loc: northern Alabama
Which manufacturers other than Cen-Tech are offering this type of tester?

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#2496703 - 01/17/12 01:54 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Solar and Schumacher, Midtronics, etc. offer ones like this. You can find battery testers on Amazon, which is a good place to see various ones.

The CenTech was the best option to give real information and not just a fraction of the CCA value.

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#2496964 - 01/17/12 06:15 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
Retested my battery today after a 30min drive (and 20min of sitting in garage after)



the first page was 7.94mohm This was with an input value of 470cca for battery (no one lists the stock battery CCA? and its not on battery)


Edited by Rand (01/17/12 06:15 PM)
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#2496980 - 01/17/12 06:30 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Just got one on ebay, new, shipped, cheap. Thanks OP! Will add to this thread when it comes in. banana

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#2497216 - 01/17/12 09:11 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Rand]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Rand
Retested my battery today after a 30min drive (and 20min of sitting in garage after)

the first page was 7.94mohm This was with an input value of 470cca for battery (no one lists the stock battery CCA? and its not on battery)


Check your OM. I dont know the algorithm, but I assume that if not entered right, the other values could be off.

Not sure if 20 min is enough time to properly get rid of the surface charge.

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#2500641 - 01/20/12 07:58 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Got mine. Noticed it doesn't (appear) to do temperature compensation like a fancier Midtronics.

I hate the clamps. I tend to pry outward on the outside portion of the alligator clips to force the inner parts to clamp more fiercely. These plastic clamps don't take well to that, the spring is somewhat loose. Also the wiring (insulation) is a stiff plastic that doesn't like cold weather.

The display is large, easily read, and the interface tolerable. If I can't figure out that 412 CCA is 75% of 550 the bar graph up top reinforces the idea.

On initial clamp wiggle I hoped the thing would boot itself up. Instead I have to hit the power button. The screen flickers as you hook up the alligator clips, making you think you don't have it. It's possible if you get lucky on the first connection, it will boot, I guess.

I can't shake the idea that all the R&D went into the chips inside, and the display, and the user is getting short changed on the clamps, wire, case, and front panel buttons.

Great news, it hates the battery I've been trying to return to advance, on suspicion of a dead cell. Says it only has 80 CCA. Unfortunately, it has no printer, isn't "warranty certifiable", and the store would have to use their own machine anyway per their policy, surely.

Still a useful gadget. I have a friendly junkyard with a "few" batteries on a rack by the cash register. Pick the best one scientifically, not via date or cleanliness alone.

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#2500804 - 01/20/12 09:53 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: Rand
Retested my battery today after a 30min drive (and 20min of sitting in garage after)

the first page was 7.94mohm This was with an input value of 470cca for battery (no one lists the stock battery CCA? and its not on battery)


Check your OM. I dont know the algorithm, but I assume that if not entered right, the other values could be off.

Not sure if 20 min is enough time to properly get rid of the surface charge.


maybe you could check my owners manual too... I dont think it lists it.(looked 2x so far)

It lists a 48AH battery with no CCA

subaru 2011 forester manual
should work for a manual.

I did test my battery again the next morning after sitting overnight it tested 7.xx mohm 80% and 350~~ CCA

From what I read online these batteries are mildly terrible.

the MT gets a GREAT 48AH 4xx CCA and the auto gets boosted to a 52AH battery.. cant find real CCA anywhere so far.

It just so happens My grandma's car wouldnt start today in -5F
so I checked it out.(she missed her hair appt.. lol)
the meter said 12.21mohm, 50%
the cca was 245 (rated 650)

Replaced with a new battery.. and all is well again.




Edited by Rand (01/20/12 09:56 PM)
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#2502918 - 01/23/12 06:43 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
How would this work on a small trailer brake battery where I only know the Ah.
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2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
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#2502926 - 01/23/12 06:55 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
How would this compare against other analyzers?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solar-BA5-12-Vol...#ht_1817wt_1163
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2503026 - 01/23/12 09:49 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
There was some review somewhere (maybe linked in this thread) that the solar thingamajig did not show mOhms.

My manual says the "bottom" bar graph (it's on top???) displays "capacity" but IDK if it's in amp hours or CCAs. My truck battery has very low amp hours or another major problem: goes from a no start to a perfect start after 20 minutes at 6 amp charge. Still shows 320 CCA out of 600 rated (or a similar ratio) and 55% or so on the bar graph. So I am not convinced the bar graph is anything different than another readout of CCA, based solely on my anecdotal observations and lousily written manual.

Incidentally, ebay watchers, a used one just went for $32 shipped. I had high hopes smirk it would go cheaply as it was misspelled "Centec" in the description.

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#2503736 - 01/23/12 08:39 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: eljefino]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: eljefino
There was some review somewhere (maybe linked in this thread) that the solar thingamajig did not show mOhms.

My manual says the "bottom" bar graph (it's on top???) displays "capacity" but IDK if it's in amp hours or CCAs. My truck battery has very low amp hours or another major problem: goes from a no start to a perfect start after 20 minutes at 6 amp charge. Still shows 320 CCA out of 600 rated (or a similar ratio) and 55% or so on the bar graph. So I am not convinced the bar graph is anything different than another readout of CCA, based solely on my anecdotal observations and lousily written manual.

Incidentally, ebay watchers, a used one just went for $32 shipped. I had high hopes smirk it would go cheaply as it was misspelled "Centec" in the description.


CCA is a measure of power, whereas Ah is a measure of energy.

To the poster with the forrester battery, if the OM doesnt show a CCA rating for replacement, Id either go to interstate battery and see what the ratings are for the lower-end batteries and assume that, or else call subaru and see what the ratings are on the replacement battery.

There may be a way to assume CCA from Ah by looking at other SLI batteries and seeing their ratings for max discharge current relative to their Ah capacity. I will look at some spec sheets tomorrow and see if I can give a guesstimate.

TO the poster asking about the solar, that only gives you CCA relative to the original capacity of the battery. That is a dummy data point that isnt telling of much. Id much rather know the battery impedance which will be indicative of power, and the retained reserve capacity.

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#2504786 - 01/24/12 08:45 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
If it shows capacity in amp-hours, where's the scale? It's just a bar graph. shrug

Not being argumentative, it's just that the manual is vague.

The clips on this thing are starting to really anger me. The plastic on the sides cover the metal alligator portion in such a manner that they're well nigh impossible to clip securely on GM side posts. And if I do, moving the meter tugs on the stiff wires and yanks a clip loose.

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#2504821 - 01/24/12 09:18 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
You are right. It just shows a bar graph. Why? Not sure. But CCA isnt directly dependent upon Ah, so there isnt a straight correlation.

I do wish that the clamps opened a bit more.

I can run the meter without moving it, but there are a few shortcomings, which can be overcome.

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#2505189 - 01/25/12 10:25 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
For those who are interested in rough correlations between CCA and Ah, see the following:

http://www.cdtechno.com/custserv/pdf/7955.pdf

It provides info for gel and VRLA cells. I would anticipate that flooded batteries would correlate similarly to VRLA.

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#2505410 - 01/25/12 02:35 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
well i just had time to research my battery its a 55D23L
which if you put in the correct 350CCA .. it tests fine.

which kinda brings up WTH DID SUBARU SPEC A 350CCA(48AH) BATTERY.

the lights literally go off in the car if you are cranking around 0F

also it has all the electron do-dads .. like heated seats mirrors, window(s) wiper nozzles,
fog lights, headlights, wipers, blower motor...
I can literally drain the battery to 60% WITH THE ENGINE IDLING in under 30min.. and I'm not saying I'm trying to.

oh ya radio with mini sub too.
shoot



Edited by Rand (01/25/12 02:36 PM)
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#2506145 - 01/26/12 09:10 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
The battery is only made to start the car. Sure it does other things. But your alternator should handle all the load when the engine is running. The CCA of your battery should not come into play.

Maybe your alternator is not up to snuff? Could be 1 of the 6 diodes (in the bridge) is bad. Have it checked by a place with an oscilloscope.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2506537 - 01/26/12 04:13 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
Originally Posted By: Donald
The battery is only made to start the car. Sure it does other things. But your alternator should handle all the load when the engine is running. The CCA of your battery should not come into play.

Maybe your alternator is not up to snuff? Could be 1 of the 6 diodes (in the bridge) is bad. Have it checked by a place with an oscilloscope.


how many amps does an average alt put out at 750rpm
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#2506632 - 01/26/12 05:55 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Rand]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Rand
Originally Posted By: Donald
The battery is only made to start the car. Sure it does other things. But your alternator should handle all the load when the engine is running. The CCA of your battery should not come into play.

Maybe your alternator is not up to snuff? Could be 1 of the 6 diodes (in the bridge) is bad. Have it checked by a place with an oscilloscope.


how many amps does an average alt put out at 750rpm


More than a generator. Thats why they went to alternators in the mid 1970s.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2507358 - 01/27/12 12:04 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8096
Loc: NorthEast
But he has a point; an alternator most likely will NOT be able to provide all of the (aftermarket devices) load at 750 rpm. Most specification instruct to rev the engine at 2000 before doing the alternator test.

Having said that, if you are getting flickering BAT/ALT light at idle, get the alternator changed/serviced.

- Vikas

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#2507389 - 01/27/12 12:42 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Vikas]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
Sorry for getting this post off topic.

I dont have any flickering lights.
also all the devices are factory equipment.. no aftermarket.

they put a 48AH/350CCA battery in here. I dont usually let it idle but I had to go over to my fathers and take my stepmom grocery shopping during a snowstorm.. She takes forever.. I stayed in my car. I got home and next morning the car barely started in the 0F weather. I tested battery and it came back 60% charged.. The only answer that fits this is the battery ran down while I was idling in the parking lot during the snowstorm with the accessories on (so windows didnt ice up etc)

by barely started I mean it turned over very slow.. it still started within 5s.. I wasnt cranking it for 30s or anything.

I put the battery on charge.. and it seems to stay fully charged for the most part. I just think its asinine they put such a little battery in this thing with all the factory equipment. 350CCA/48AH isnt very much.



Edited by Rand (01/27/12 12:44 PM)
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#2507599 - 01/27/12 04:23 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8096
Loc: NorthEast
Put a voltmeter and see what it shows under the similar conditions. A running engine should not draw from battery under any (well, at least under normal) conditions. The BAT/ALT light should turn on otherwise.

The small battery is not the problem. Small alternator could be though.

- Vikas

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#2508498 - 01/28/12 01:23 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Vikas]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Vikas
Put a voltmeter and see what it shows under the similar conditions. A running engine should not draw from battery under any (well, at least under normal) conditions. The BAT/ALT light should turn on otherwise.

The small battery is not the problem. Small alternator could be though.

- Vikas


+1 That is what I was trying to say. They do sell high output alternators.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2509738 - 01/29/12 07:40 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Found an interesting result on an OE MB 100Ah group 49 battery in my 240D:



OE manufacturers do often put more capacity than nameplate into batteries to account for degradation. It likely needs to be a "spec" thing, but leave it to MB to give more than is specified.

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#2510361 - 01/30/12 01:17 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 7474
Loc: Akron,Ohio
What temp was it out.. I've found it varies slightly with temp.

I had a 70F battery it tested 750 out of 650.. at 25 it was 700/650
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#2510562 - 01/30/12 05:04 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Rand]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Rand
What temp was it out.. I've found it varies slightly with temp.

I had a 70F battery it tested 750 out of 650.. at 25 it was 700/650


Impedance is temperature dependent in batteries. The higher the temperature, the lower the impedance. Colder temperatures will mean higher impedance and thus lower power capability (CCA).

I did this at about 40F.

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#2520350 - 01/31/12 05:05 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: JHZR2

OE manufacturers do often put more capacity than nameplate into batteries to account for degradation. It likely needs to be a "spec" thing, but leave it to MB to give more than is specified.


Yeah I sold a battery a couple weeks back to a fellow whose old battery was 70% of spec, new one was 750/650. Told him he had a "ringer" and he seemed pleased. Don't usually test new off the shelf batteries. (Fancier Midtronics tester used.)

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#2520434 - 01/31/12 07:59 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
doitmyself Offline


Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 4709
Loc: MI
eljefino,

This link I posted earlier in this discussion quotes Midtronics saying that these type testers are not accurate in predicting CCA of NEW batteries:

http://4xspower.com/is-conductance-testing-useful/

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#2520472 - 01/31/12 08:55 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: doitmyself]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
eljefino,

This link I posted earlier in this discussion quotes Midtronics saying that these type testers are not accurate in predicting CCA of NEW batteries:

http://4xspower.com/is-conductance-testing-useful/


From that article:

Quote:
What is said above corresponds to what is said here by the BCI:

“Ohmic measurements are not a substitute for capacity testing and cannot be used to predict absolute capacity values.” For full text, see bci_ohmicreadings.pdf

For these reasons XS Power does not use conductance testing to rate our batteries. Instead we use the BCI method of timed high rate discharge and have equipment in house to verify it.

XS Power sells the highest performance AGM batteries on the market. They are built with lead-tin technology which is the highest energy density among the AGM chemistries. When it comes to buying a real racing battery go with the same battery other winners are using right now, go with XS Power!



Well, why would I want to determine Ah (energy, capacity) from an impedance measurement. I think that power and energy are getting mixed up.

A battery may well polarize quickly and not be able to provide energy, yet have retained low resistance and still meet power requirements (CCA) to serve its purpose.

Further, I wouldnt want to deep discharge, especially an SLI battery, as cycle life is VERY limkited and side reactions degrade from the first cycle. Putting high load and pulling lots of energy is NOT a beneficial thing for the battery.

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#2521033 - 01/31/12 06:12 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: doitmyself]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: doitmyself
eljefino,

This link I posted earlier in this discussion quotes Midtronics saying that these type testers are not accurate in predicting CCA of NEW batteries:

http://4xspower.com/is-conductance-testing-useful/


Interesting. It puts on a good show!

The midtronics tester does a good job of trying to be honest and idiot proof, compensating for temp, complaining about poor cable connections, etc. Centech also has the "please wiggle cable" symbol.

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#2521120 - 01/31/12 07:21 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Errtt Offline


Registered: 11/14/10
Posts: 2131
Loc: California
Maybe I missed it - what is the max CCA input setting that the HF Battery Analyzer can take?
Wonder if it would also work on AGM ups batteries - example C&D 12-475 etc.
Saw a few others on Sears site, but not much data/reviews etc.

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#2521499 - 02/01/12 05:23 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
I looked at the newest HF flyer I got yesterday and no coupon for this. None I could find at slickdeals either. Other ideas?
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2522394 - 02/01/12 08:42 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
kgb007stb Offline


Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 438
Loc: LA
I’ve had nothing but good experience with the midtronics tester, especially being able to see “surface voltage” but the accuracy with which it measures battery power/health is spot on. Doing multiple tests on the same battery shows that measurements were always consistent with the CCA value ever so dropping as the battery ages. I think it flags batteries once they fall below the 50% state of health, and I could feel slow cold morning starts once a battery reached 30% state of health.

Just a side note, a battery took 7 years to reach 50% state of health where the meter flagged it down and another year to reach 30% state of health when I had to replace it due to slow cold morning starts.

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#2522405 - 02/01/12 08:51 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23909
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: Donald
I looked at the newest HF flyer I got yesterday and no coupon for this. None I could find at slickdeals either. Other ideas?


Bid to win?

Got mine on ebay... would have ordered from HF if they sold it online. Their loss.

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#2522707 - 02/02/12 07:12 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Errtt]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Errtt
Maybe I missed it - what is the max CCA input setting that the HF Battery Analyzer can take?
Wonder if it would also work on AGM ups batteries - example C&D 12-475 etc.
Saw a few others on Sears site, but not much data/reviews etc.


C&D max rate batteries likely have fewer CCA due to application/design. Ive run it on SLI AGM batteries no problem.

I dont recall the Ah valuation of the 12-475, but the biggest issue is going to be evaluation of impedance.

An interesting test would be to change the cca value and see how the impedance result changes, if at all. That could be compared to the value given in the max rate PDS available at the C&D website.

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#2522708 - 02/02/12 07:13 AM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Donald
I looked at the newest HF flyer I got yesterday and no coupon for this. None I could find at slickdeals either. Other ideas?


I just printed new 20% coupons good through March from slickdeals. They have an HF thread.

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#2527530 - 02/06/12 06:45 PM Re: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
I won a used one of these on EBAY and the guy lists the shipping as flat rate envelope. I cannot see how he could stuff the analyzer into a flat rate envelope and make sure its not smashed when it gets to me. I have sent 3 emails on shipping with no response.
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2527583 - 02/06/12 07:31 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Dan55 Offline


Registered: 06/07/08
Posts: 701
Loc: jersey
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#2528802 - 02/07/12 08:12 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
this one on EBAY reads at any temp down to 32F and one does not need to enter CCA?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Associated-Equip...e#ht_500wt_1180
_________________________
2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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#2543946 - 02/21/12 03:06 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Donald]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Donald
this one on EBAY reads at any temp down to 32F and one does not need to enter CCA?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Associated-Equip...e#ht_500wt_1180


So it puts a 125A load on the battery and measures voltage drop and probably relaxation time...

Great.

But if it isnt calculating a battery impedance value, Im not interested. That was the main reason why I bought the cen-tech. Impedance indicates how well the battery will crank, and what the voltage drop will be.

Vt=Voc-IR

Im less concerned with apparent capacity, so long as the power can be taken from it.

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#2543962 - 02/21/12 03:16 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: Dan55]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey


Much less info than the cen-tech.

I am not a fan of HF generally, but the cen-tech, IMO gave best value.

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#2685472 - 07/16/12 10:46 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
TooManyWheels Offline


Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 3680
Loc: Houston, Tex
I think I have discovered the limitations of a battery analyzer. I have the Cen-Tech unit discussed here and have been keeping tabs, roughly once a month, on the battery in my truck. For the last several months the 700 CCA battery has been testing at 60%, about 425 CCA, with a diagnosis of "OK".

A week ago, I went to start the truck and heard a slight hesitation in the starter response that I know is indicative of a low battery. I put the tester on an it showed the same readings as above, still OK. I continued using the truck.

Yesterday the truck would not start. Put the tester on - battery showed NG - No Good. Replaced battery and all is well.

While the tool may be accurate, from a practical point of view I don't think it has much predictive value unless you have some time correlation between the capacity percentage and the point of going bad. Going from OK to No Good in a week isn't particularly helpful. I don't blame the accuracy of the tool. There may be no measurements that could be taken on an occasional basis that might be helpful. It may be simply that batteries "go bad" overnight and there are no advance warnings possible.

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#2686203 - 07/16/12 09:31 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33617
Loc: New Jersey
IMO depends upon the nature of the failure. If the battery had a growing presence of unreactive lead in a cell, it may just show as something like a 60% capacity battery. However, as soon as enough lead drops off or creates a short in the battery, which can be near instantaneous, then it may have the ability to drop like a rock.

We had this experience once. We were driving to Chicago, were doing just fine, had stopped maybe five or six times for eating, gas, bathroom, etc., no issues. Stopped for gas in Gary, Indiana, and all of a sudden the car wouldnt start. Nothing. Super-low voltage. Even the towtruck couldnt get the car to start until he used a screwdriver to short the starter!

But it was totally out of the blue.

This was long before I ever had a battery analyzer, but IMO showing a battery at 60% is probably indication that it has something going on...

So IMO it is all about the failure mode. If it is a shorted cell (does the battery read something like 8V?) then Im not sure nay test can forewarn of it...

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#2686255 - 07/16/12 10:36 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
TooManyWheels Offline


Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 3680
Loc: Houston, Tex
Originally Posted By: JHZR2

So IMO it is all about the failure mode. If it is a shorted cell (does the battery read something like 8V?) then Im not sure nay test can forewarn of it...


Actually, I think it was down to 3-4 volts. I've already returned the battery so I can't retest.

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#2686636 - 07/17/12 11:15 AM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Win Offline


Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3322
Loc: Arkansas
I just use mine to keep track of the internal resistance.

It's a convenient tool for measuring that - assuming it's accurate.

I confess I have not tried to cross check mine for accuracy.
_________________________
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99 S-10 2.2 I4
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#2686961 - 07/17/12 05:00 PM Re: Tool Review: Cen-Tech Battery Analyzer [Re: JHZR2]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13443
Loc: Upstate NY
I think the tool was designed to be a easier tester for the "kids" that work at AZ or AAP or Walmart. Kind of idiot proof. Does not need to be fully charged is a big plus.

But a hydrometer (if it fits) or a carbon pile (variable) load tester are better in my opinion.

Ten years ago the guy who owned a rebuild shop told me he bought a new fancy tester. I assume it was similar to the HF now sold for under $100. He stopped using after a few months and went back to a load tester. He said it did not give a high percentage of readings he trusted.
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2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.0 - PP & M1
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/Cummins - Rotella T6 & M1
Amsoil ATF in both vehicles & Magnefine filter.

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