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Old 01-17-2010, 03:41 AM   #1
LieutenantCracker
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Use car charger INSTEAD of batt to temporarily pwn lights?

Can I remove a cars battery cables from the batt, & connect the cables to a car battery charger, to power the car's lights?
Aligning headlights & doing various work inside my 1999 Grand Marquis ( Crown Vic ). I have to turn on the headlights for several minutes @ a time, which drains the battery, then I have to jump-start it. The interior lights also drain the battery when Im working inside b/c I have to leave the door open for long periods. Cant leave the car running when Im working at night b/c wife & neighbors complain.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:29 AM   #2
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Re: Use car charger INSTEAD of batt to temporarily pwn lights?

Yes, you can.But you do not have to disconnect the battery. Just hook the charger up as-is. I do this occasionally.

How powerful is your battery charger? For 2 headlights plus running lights, you will need approx. 10 to 12 amps from the charger. Most trickle chargers have 2 to 10 amps, only. So the charger will extend your work time, but you may still have a deficiency. But interior lights should be okay.

(Oh yes, don't use the "Starter/boost" setting that you find on some big chargers. This is too much for the electrical system, unless you are actually boosting a low battery for short periods.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:29 AM   #3
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Re: Use car charger INSTEAD of batt to temporarily pwn lights?

Yes, provided you have a charger that can supply the amperage needed to run the lights. A typical 10-amp charger should be enough.

But there is no need to disconnect the battery. Just hook up the charger to the battery and do your work.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: Use car charger INSTEAD of batt to temporarily pwn lights?

If you're going to do this, do what the posters above suggest and leave the battery connected. Battery chargers do not often incorporate much filtering since the battery filters the AC ripple/noise. If you disconnect the battery, that ripple/noise will be going to all the electronics in the car and depending on the charger, that could cause damage to the electronics. Some of the newer switchmode chargers are much better for filtering (because they aren't just a transformer and diodes) but there's still no reason to remove the battery.

If for some other reason you really want to disconnect the battery, then I'd suggest you get yourself a good high current 13.8V regulated power supply like what Ham radio operators and car audio shops (for demo vehicles) often use. These are easy to find on eBay (search for "Astron") and probably at Ham fests.

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