FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
A lead acid battery stores chemical energy. The chemical energy is created by the chemical action between the materials which form the positive and negative plates of the battery and the electrolyte (sulfuric acid). When the battery is connected to an external load such as a vehicle starter, the acid reacts with the battery’s plates and the chemical energy is then converted into electrical energy.
Just as in a flashlight type dry cell, the lead acid battery chemicals are consumed when electrical power is extracted. When a lead acid battery is discharged, some of the sulfate from the acid adheres to the plates and is lost or consumed. This causes the sulfuric acid to gradually lose strength. But unlike the dry cell battery, the chemical changes in a lead acid battery can be reversed by charging.
Age: Although charging causes the sulfate deposited on the plates to return to the acid, the process is not perfect. A small amount of sulfate insulating residue (sulfation) remains on the plates of the battery. With each charge/discharge cycle of the battery this residue accumulates. This process eventually results in diminished electrical conductivity of the plates as well as permanently diluted sulfuric acid and eventually the battery will no longer maintain a charge.
One common cause of premature battery failure is loss of electrolyte due to under hood heat or overcharging. Other causes, though less common are deep discharges (leaving your lights on), using an undersized battery, undercharging, loose alternator belt, or excessive vibration due to loose hold-down clamp. Sometimes it is not just the sulfation, but the occurring mechanical damage that causes premature failure. Shorted cells, open inter-cell connectors, plate erosion and plate expansion are examples of mechanical damage causing premature failure.
A battery’s state of charge is the open circuit or unloaded voltage across the positive and negative terminals. Under unloaded conditions, with no surface charge, a battery displaying 12.7V or above is considered to be fully charged whereas a battery displaying 11.8V or below is considered to be fully discharged.
Until recently, the most effective way to determine the condition of a battery was to measure the voltage drop while draw-ing hundreds of amperes (almost a short) from a near fully charged battery. To achieve this load, large resistors (carbon piles) are applied across the battery’s terminals for a short period of time (approx. 15 seconds) and the resulting voltage is read. Typically, the voltage on a good battery will not drop below 9. 7 Volts at 80°F (9. 1 V at 30°F). Although widely used, this method can permanently damage a battery, cause potentially dangerous sparks and requires an adjustment to the reading to compensate for low ambient tempera-tures.
As explained above, a battery loses its capacity as its plates gradually become coated and/or damaged. The model B-200 determines the condition of the battery by electronically measuring the degree of plate loss caused by this process. Using less than 1 amp from the battery, the circuitry then computes, and displays the value of “load volts” for a load drawing 200 to 300 amps. Both the electronic B-200 test method and the older carbon pile method result in basically the same readings on a fully charged battery at 800F. However, the B-200’s readings are independent of temperature and a nearly fully charged battery is not required to properly test the battery.
The B-200 eliminates the time consuming task of recharging and re-testing discharged batteries by employing a new method that utilizes the battery’s State of Charge value. Once the State of Charge value obtained from the unloaded (open circuit) battery voltage is dialed in, the circuitry computes and displays the proper loaded voltage regardless of the battery’s state of charge.
The B-200’s “intelligent” circuitry is designed to test batteries from 150 to 1400 CCA (cold cranking amps.) without the need to input the CCA value. This simplifies battery testing since the CCA rating of many batteries does not appear on the battery label.
Always use caution when working with batteries!
STEP 1: CHECK ALTERNATOR CHARGING VOLTAGE:
- Check first for a loose, worn or broken alternator belt. If okay, proceed to #2.
- Connect the B-200’s red clip to the positive battery termi-nal and the black clip to the negative terminal.
- With engine running AND lights on, voltage reading on the display should read between 13.0 and 15.0 volts. If okay, turn engine off & proceed to STEP 2. (Leave lights on for approximately 15 seconds to remove surface charge).
STEP 2: CHECK BATTERY CONDITION:
- Adjust the State of Charge dial to the displayed value. For example, if the display shows 12.3 volts, turn the State of Charge dial to 12.3 volts (see Fig. below).
- Depress and hold the LOAD switch. If the LOAD volt-age displays 9.7V or above, the battery can be returned to service (recharge if necessary). If the LOAD voltage displays 9.6V or less, the battery needs to be replaced (no need to recharge and retest.)
CHECK BATTERY CONDITION
- Connect the red clip to the positive battery post and black clip to the negative post. Note: for group 31 or side-post bat-teries, install the terminal stud adapters included.
- Follow instructions in Step 2 #1 and # 2 above.
SELECTING PROPER BATTERY SIZE
Use the battery manufacturer’s guide for the recommended CA and Group # for a particular vehicle model. There are two other battery ratings that should be considered depending on the climate where it will be used: CCA (Cold Crank-ing Amps) and RC (Reserve Capacity) . In colder climates higher CCA ratings are more important.
CCA – Discharge load measured in amps that a fully charged battery at 0 ° F can deliver for 30 seconds while maintaining its voltage above 7.2V
RC – Number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80.F can be discharged at 25 amps until the voltage drops below 10.5 volts.
- When replacing a battery always remove the NEGA-TIVE cable first.
- Be careful not to reverse the polarity when installing a battery. This can severely damage or destroy a cars electrical system or cause the battery to explode.
- Attach the POSITIVE cable first and then the NEGA-TIVE last when installing a replacement battery.
- NEVER disconnect a battery cable from a car with the engine running.
- Before charging, do not add water if the electrolyte is covering the top of the plates. Recheck electrolyte level after charging.
- Reinstall vent caps BEFORE recharging. Recharge only in well ventilated areas, and wear protective eye ware.
- No smoking, sparks or open flames while the battery is recharging because they give off explosive gases
- Do not recharge a sealed battery with current above 25 amps.
- Turn off charger before connecting or disconnecting cables to a battery.
- DC VOLT RANGE: .1 TO 19.9V
- CCA RANGE: 150 CCA TO 1400 CCA
- ACCURACY DC VOLTS: 2% READING
- DISPLAY: LED 2½ DIGITS
- OPERATING TEMPERATURE: 32 ° F TO 120 ° F
- WEIGHT: .75 LBS
- DIMENSIONS: 6″L X 3″ W X 1″H
- JAW OPENING: 1.25″
Every effort has been made to provide our customers with reliable, superior quality products. However, in the event your instrument requires repair, the purchaser should contact Battery Sales for a return authorization number, and return the instrument UPS prepaid with proof of purchase to:
12275 NE 13 Ave
N. Miami, Florida 33161
To provide for a quick turn around on products returned for service, defective products will be either repaired or replaced at the discretion of Battery Sales.
The B-200 Battery Analyzer is warranted to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the date of purchase. This warranty applies to all repairable instruments that have not been tampered with or damaged through improper use.
Congratulations! Your new Model B-200 battery analyzer employs the latest electronic technology to determine if a battery is really bad or simply needs recharging. What makes the B-200 superior to others on the market? There are 3 basic reasons:
- No potentially damaging and dangerous heavy loading.
- No time consuming need to recharge and retest. No need to know the battery’s CCA to test its condition.
- No adjustments necessary for hot or cold temperatures.
To understand how the B-200 works, it may be helpful to know how lead acid batteries generate electricity, and what makes them go bad. If you already know this subject, then skip the sections below and go directly to Operating Instructions.