Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dead Battery? - - - PowerPulse to the Rescue!!!!???

Last nights news said Super Heroes are the rage this summer.   So in that light:  What does one do with a classically 'dead' battery?  One that will not start the car, will barely hold the lights up, and will not take a charge?   Why, you use the a Battery Super Hero - PowerPulse!   - PowerPulse - Can leap tall Cells as well as squat batteries in a single pulse.  Fights sulfating with one lead clipped off.  Continued use will bring years of life to your battery, yourself, your dog.  Your Volts will be taller, your Amps stronger, teeth whiter, breath smell better.  All for the one time payment of . . . .

OK, having a little fun here I know.  Pulse technology of batteries seems one of those 'buy now, and get one free' type of things.  There are those who swear by them, and those who do not.  Myself, I really do not know.  I can say I installed a battery pulser on our  old L-16's temporary house batteries when I purchased them.  5 years of use (more correctly abuse), and they still would carry us over a weekend - supplying 300+Ah.  When I upgraded to the industrial cells I moved that pulser over and it has been purring away sense.

The other night I had an opportunity to talk with Arild Jensen (noted contributor to the T&T mailing list) and the topic went to Pulsers.  He talked very favorably about the PulseTech brand, and mentioned many of the 'clones' do not work - but this one does what it says.   So I ordered one: with the idea of replacing the existing pulser on our house battery.

As it would happen, last week my brother-in-law had a newly dead starter battery in an old truck  (Yup, Farm truck).  Though it was under 3 years old, it has been 'flattened' 2-3 times and would no longer start the truck.  So I thought, why not hook up the PowerPulse and see what happens?  And I did:

Dead Battery, PowerPulse, and a small 12v power source (Wall-wort)

 Over the next few weeks will leave it hooked up, along with a small wall-wort 12v power supply to provide make up current.  If all goes well, plan to pop it back into the truck and see what happens.  Will do some posts and update everyone on the progress.

Now, a BIG WORD OF CAUTION:   PulseTech, the makers of PowerPulse are up front that 'recovering' batteries may or may not work.  If this does, wow.  If not - I still plan on hooking it up to our house battery when I get back to Viking Star.  So, though this will be fun - if in the end the battery is still dead there is no way I am saying this is downtalking battery pulsers...

But will be fun to see what happens.   OK, here is kind of a log of the subject:

Name:      Battery
Gender:   Group 31
Age:        2year, 6 mo.
Condition:  Poor.  Overnight on charger followed by 3hr rest shows 12.45v  Applying 5a load (running lights) drops voltage to 10.5.  Unable to start truck.  Acceptance rate per charger amp meter under 5a.

7/23/2014:  Applied 16.6v / 800mA 'wall-wart' DC transformer to subject.  Acceptance  rate of 390mA at 13.5v.  Installed PowerPulse device with wall-wart connected.  O'Scope shows 3.5v p-p pulse
7/24:  Vbat 13.6v, acceptance not measured.  O'Scope shows 5.4v p-p pulse


So, what does the PowerPulse do?  It sends out a voltage pulse every second.  Google will give up lots of info, and for fun here is an O'Scope photo showing it on 7/24:

PowerPulse at work.
 The ringing is typical of a charged inductor being set up and discharging.  And I can say something is changing.  The p-p of the pulses are up almost 2v higher after 1 day, and battery terminal volts are up 100mV.

A final thought for now.  I am under the impression that PulseTech kind of invented these devices, and word is they have the best.  Plus they are very reasonably priced.  Easy to find under $40.  So, if you are interested in one - why not get the original?  Heck, even the cheap in me would not try to recreate one for this price.

Make sure to check back to see how this story unfolds.


  1. Al, are you sure the starter motor is in good shape? Back in the 1970's the bushings in my starter were bad. Fixed that, started like a champ!

  2. Hello Lowell! Ya, it was a bad battery. We put it on a charger (standard auto one) - it would accept around 2Amps. Removed the charger and just turning on the running lights brought Vbat down to 10.5v No Guts, as they say! And if it can not support the running lamps, no way it can carry the starter..