What is your solar setup?
I have 2 of these.SunForce Products Inc. - Battery Maintainers - 1.8 Watt Solar Battery Maintainer They put out 100-120 milliamps. I keep one of these on the BX and the other on my truck. The BX is in a storage shed without electricity, it is stuck in a window. I figure the solar panel will help offset what a computer drains on a vehicle.
I have a larger 5 watt. Shop Sunforce 5-Watt Solar Panel Battery Trickle Charger at Lowes.com I keep this one on my car.
94Bullitt, re Optima batteries
Of course Optimas are AGM batteries. My bad. Thanks for the correction.
Many low power consumer solar panels already do have a built in blocking diode (should be Schottky, for low loss), but it is worth verifying it is present when buying.
Without a blocking diode, most solar panels will present as a load to the battery when dark.
Esp. with small batteries, you probably want to stay at or below a 5 watt panel, unless you are going to use a solar voltage regulator to prevent overcharging the battery.
Modern vehicles have a ton of electronics on board, the current drain (over time) is not trivial.
I am now convinced. It appears that the Battery Tender brand has the electronics to maintain the battery without damage. This I learned from some other reviews of the product. I'm thinking I need several of the devices - ATV, lawn mower, boat, and the Farmall (although it is a six volt it will be worth finding a float charger for it too). Batteries have gotten expensive and responsible disposal is important to me. By extending the life of the batteries I have it just seems like the right way to reduce consumption and items in the recycling stream. Plus the devices will pay for themselves in reducing my blood pressure alone:)
It will make sense to examine the various brands some of you TBNers have mentioned. Harbor Freight Schumacher, Deltran and others. Seems better to have several than try to manage the rotation- I do have a real job for the time being.
I appreciate all the responses!
Hi Ted - A buddy of mine bought this Bosch charger very recently.
I don't think he has any classics around to test it on, but I noticed that it handles 6v too.
3930Dave thanks that's good to know. Those six volt batteries are not cheap!