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  #1  
Old 12-01-07, 09:42 AM
Fritzie Fritzie is offline
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Default Dissapointed in my CTEK Charger


I eventually bought myself the much hyped about CTEK charger (MultuXS 7000) recently for R1500.

I was very excited about this cutting-edge-technology-state-of-the-art-piece of-technological-advancement-and-modern-day-marvel and after I have read the manual I immediately connect it to my Engel Battpak 56 on "normal" mode as it needed a bit of a top-up charge.

To my dissapointment the CTek ownly flashed the error indicator. The same on all the other modes.I waited for a while to see if it won't eventually proceed to the relevant charging lamps but no luck. The red acceptance light on the Engel also lit up very vague.

Thinking that maybe something is wrong with my battery I then hooked it up last night to my "Midas-special" charger (which I bought for R165 by the way). The Midas charger had no problem in charging and by this morning it was almost fully charged.

In the meanwhile I hooked up the CTEK to my 105A Delco Voyeger battery in my Imagine Trailvan wich was about 50% discharged. No problems this time as the CTEK commenced with charging and the appropriate lamps lit. After about an hour I checked up on the CTEK charger. No problems still on the charging side except for the fact that the CTEK was so HOT on the underside that I litteraly could not touch it. Yes, there was enough ventilation. I think if I checked on it a bit later it would most propably have damaged my sinthetic industrial carpet that I have placed in the Imagine. I then immediately disconnected the CTEK and let the Einhell charger take over. Neither the Einhell nor my Midas charger ever became so hot whilst charging 50% discharged batteries.

After this I checked the CTEK manual again to try and work out what the problem could be on not charging the Engel. I saw that it only charge lead-acid type of batteries. Checking on the Engel Australia website I confirm that the Engel is also a lead-acid deepcycle battery. So that can't be the problem. The reccommended Amp range is also well within spec as the Engel is a 56Amp battery. So no problem there either.

I will now try and get hold of the CTEK distributors in SA to ask for an explanation. In the meanwhile I will also try and hook up a CTEK to another Engel Battpak to see if it also reflect the similar error message.

If it is just a dud CTEK charger which can be replaced or a problem with my Engel (which is unlikely), no problem. If not, I can categorcally say that the CTEK XS 7000 is a big dissapointment for me and I will return it and ask for my money back, despite the other fancy features it may have, as it won't serve my requirements. But I don't want to shoot down the CTEK just yet.

I will keep you updated in my efforts to get to the bottom of this.

Anybody else have a similar or other problem with their CTEK?
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  #2  
Old 12-01-07, 09:49 AM
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Sorry to hear about your problems. I'm very happy with mine. No problems so far with normal use and it ressurected two old batteries that had been standing for ages.

Check out: http://www.ctek.com/EN/home.asp
Maybe you can get some help.

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  #3  
Old 12-01-07, 10:29 AM
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I got a dilemma, my db needs to be kept out of the vehicle. Is it worthwhile buying one of these things and keep it connected to the battery?

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  #4  
Old 12-01-07, 10:46 AM
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Bryan, mine runs all the time. My two batteries for the EGi and Courier get zapped permanently, alternating between the two every now and then when I remember to swap them over. Mine is the cheaper one, XS 3600

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  #5  
Old 12-01-07, 10:47 AM
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Feedback: I took the CTEK to 4x4 Mega World and hook it up to another Engel Battpak 56. Same thing: only the error light lit up and no charging. Nothing wrong with the Engel as the 'normal' type of chargers do charge an Engel.

Now the question remains: is it all CTEK 7000 chargers OR is it my CTEK that is a dud? Wil go either today or tomorrow to Outdoor Warehouse to hook up the Engel to another CTEK.

Watch this space...
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  #6  
Old 12-01-07, 11:13 AM
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As Spike said, mine is connected all the time, also the smaller one and have only good things to say about it. By the way it's connected to my 105amp deep cycle battery, it's takes a bit longer to charge this battery but still does the job.

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  #7  
Old 12-01-07, 03:16 PM
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I also have the XS 3600 which I only use to charge my 105ah deep cell battery which is permanently in my trailer's nose cone. It does get hot but I do not have any problems with it. Agree, it does take a little longer on this size battery but I am happy.

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  #8  
Old 12-01-07, 04:05 PM
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Where can I get one in PE

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  #9  
Old 12-01-07, 04:15 PM
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Got mine at Outdoor Warehouse. Dunno if they have a branch in PE.

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  #10  
Old 12-01-07, 07:29 PM
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Fritzie,

It would seem that you have a faulty CTEK. I have two of these, the XS-7000 & XS-3600 and both chargers are permanently installed. Take it back to the Supplier and let them test it. The base of the unit has never yet been too hot to touch, and the LEDs burn brightly.

Bryan,

Try Autozone - I paid R570 for the smaller one and about double that for the XS-7000. Both are very good buys!

-F_D

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  #11  
Old 12-01-07, 10:33 PM
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Quite like mine. Also gets hot but revived the toyotas battery. Does not want to revive the 105 ah dc willard

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  #12  
Old 13-01-07, 11:25 PM
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I went to Outdoor Warehouse (OW) with the Engel to establish whether it was just my CTEK that was a dud.

Not so: neither another 7000 model nor the 3600 model was able to charge the Engel and only the error lamps lit up again. They had no problem in refunding me.

So it is official: a CTEK charger can't charge a Engel Battpack 56. They just seem not to be compatible for some reason. The guys at OW suspect that there are some device like a safety device maybe built into the Engel that prohibit it from receiving a charge from the CTEK. Maybe the unique way the CTEK is charging is not acceptable to the Engel.

One of the staff at OW said that she had a similar problem with her CTEK and she left it on the "Supply" mode for an hour and the problem vanished. I will phone the distributors of CTEK in SA and maybe they will have an explanation.

What a pity: Paying R1500 for a charger one would expect it should at least do what a R165 Midas charges can do, but on the other hand the CTEK got some other great features.

Anyway, thanks for all your inputs.

PS. Eric, it was the red charge acceptance light on the Engel that did not light up brightly not the lamps on the CTEK.
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  #13  
Old 14-01-07, 05:26 PM
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I also have a Ctek XS7000 which I use to charge a 75 amp PLUS a 105 amp (both Deltec), connected to one another while still in the vehicle and with the fridge running on the batteries while charging. It takes about 12-18 hours but works like a charm. It does get hot but so far so good.

I have once found the charger not to be able to get the charge up and found although connected that the connection was not clean. I think that with the trickle charge it has to have a very good connection. Might be something similar in your case.

CATs

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  #14  
Old 14-01-07, 08:14 PM
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Brian
Bought a fancy charger for my shop at essential power services, contact Graeme, call me I will give you his details.

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  #15  
Old 15-01-07, 01:27 PM
Fritzie Fritzie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cats View Post
I have once found the charger not to be able to get the charge up and found although connected that the connection was not clean. I think that with the trickle charge it has to have a very good connection. Might be something similar in your case.

CATs
CAT's, I think you are maybe on to something as the Engel needs a male Hella plug for charging. The way I hook the CTEK (as well as other chargers) up to the Engel, is by making use of another set of crocodile clips connected to a male Hella plug. These crocodile clamps is connected to the CTEK's crocodile clamps and the positive isolated from the negative should make a good connection, but who knows...maybe the male hella plug where it fits into the Engel is maybe not a solid enough connection? But still the cheap charger is charging by connecting it in the same way...

I have phoned Shane Maree at Observer Technologies, the distributors of CTEK in SA, and he said it is the first time he has heard of this problem but he will look into it and get back to me. He also told me that it is normal that the CTEK can get a bit hot.
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  #16  
Old 06-02-07, 01:50 PM
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A little warning for the guys like myself who leave the Ctek on permanently. Check the water level regularly!

I've been charging my batteries permanently, alternating between the two, and decided to have a peep at the levels and they were both empty. Completely.

I last checked them in about December or so.

I topped them up. One is dead but the other one is still taking a charge. I'll see later if it's also stuffed or
not.

Edit: There's probably a logical explanation for this but I'll leave that for the clever okes.

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  #17  
Old 06-02-07, 06:52 PM
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Spike, which C-Tek do you have? The 7000 has various output voltages, and you should only use the 13.8v one for a float charge. If you use the 14.4v voltage, you could possibly lose battery water.

I haven't read the manual yet, but it is my understanding that you should be able to leave the Ctek permanently connected to an unattended battery, that is the whole idea behind it.

-F_D

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  #18  
Old 13-01-08, 10:36 PM
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Ctek is a advanced computerised charger not a power supply it supply a signal rather than a voltage. Ctek uses power electronics and high frequencies that is why it is so small if compared to other chargers. The transformer in it is very small thanks to the high freqencies. It analize the battery and decide in what mode it will charge it. So it depends what it "sees" what it will do. A battery is a storage device. If you hook up your fridge there is a coil on the otherside which it does not under stand. When you use your frige while the charger is on the supply is comming from the charger because of the nature of batteries (storage devices).A normal charger wont last either(damage the transformer by overheating), if you dont have the right size. ea the current the battery draw and the current the fridge draw combined. dont be fooled a 12a charger is actually a 6a charger read carefully in the documents supplied. I will recommend a automatic charger it will prevent damage to the battery by prevent over charging. Hawkins is a local one. Moral of the story Ctek want to see a battery not a motor. There is a difference between a Ctek a cheap charger and a power supply and a switchmode powersupply beware.
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  #19  
Old 14-01-08, 02:36 PM
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So what are you sayig Bertus, dont run your fridge while "charging" the battery?

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  #20  
Old 15-01-08, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
So what are you sayig Bertus, dont run your fridge while "charging" the battery?
yes and no ! if your batt is flat and the fridge is running the fridge will draw its running current and the batt will draw as much as the charger will deliver. Thus a big charger. But circumstance will dictate what you will do. Certainly you will use your fridge in the bush with no electricity (genny ?) If on power charge and run not from the same dc source I would recommend. When charging with batt connected the batt will see the whole curent because its in between and you will cook it.Some persons will differ.

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  #21  
Old 16-01-08, 04:27 PM
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I use my MXS7000 set on the "Normal" mode permanently hooked to a 105ah battery without problems or water loss. The Mxs7000 (I am not sure about the other models) has a setting "Supply" which, when set to this, acts as a 13.8 volt constant supply without having to have a battery connected to it. So you can run your fridge (or any other 12 volt appliance) from it without a battery connected.
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  #22  
Old 16-01-08, 10:36 PM
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One of the better "smart" chargers I have come across is OptiMate - I have used one for years on my motorcycle batteries and got one for my Engel batt pack. Costs less than R400. It has been working for months without a hitch. Most impressively, it recovered a deeply discharged 105Ah deep cycle battery that my cheapie charger couldnt - took 8 days but it did it. Slightly off topic but useful info...

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Old 16-01-08, 10:50 PM
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It has just occurred to me that the Engel batt pack has a diode in series with the charging input (the Hella plug) to prevent using this as a load output, and this is most likely confusing the CTEK. In my previous post I mentioned that I am successfully using an OptiMate smart charger on an Engel batt pack but I forgot that I modded the batt pack to make a direct connection to the batteries! For the CTEK to work properly you will most likely have to do the same.

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  #24  
Old 23-01-08, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diffie View Post
It has just occurred to me that the Engel batt pack has a diode in series with the charging input (the Hella plug) to prevent using this as a load output, and this is most likely confusing the CTEK.
That makes sense because the C-Tek needs to 'draw' information from the battery to allow it to decide what program to run, and whether desulphation is required or not. If it cannot get a reading from the battery it will say replace battery, and not charge it at all. The cheapie chargers don't care and will just force feed the battery.

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Old 26-01-08, 07:16 AM
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Offroad - you hit the nail on the head. The other thing that Fritzie can do is plug the C-Tek into the Engel's load output and charge it that way - no diode to interfere in that path.

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Old 12-02-08, 08:20 AM
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Thanks Diffie and other for feedback!

At least I know now where the problem lies. My Engel Battpack is however still running strong after a number of years without the Ctek on the Midas charger!

You won't believe it, but I am coincidently going to buy the small (800) Ctek charger today. I am temporarily a deserter to the 4x4 comminity and have entered the biking community: I recently bougt myself a 2008 model BMW GS1200 Adventure bike (reason for buying the Ctek) for touring, cummuting and even for bussiness purposes.

And that's the reason for me neglecting this forum, but as Arnold said: I'LL BE BACK!!
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  #27  
Old 26-09-09, 12:46 PM
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Default Ctek Chargers

Fritzie, Meridean is the importers of CTEK chargers into Sub-Sahara Africa. Sorry to hear about the CTEK charging problem regarding the Engel battery pack. As Bertus explained CTEK is a electropnic device, called switch mode charger not a linear charger "battery cooker" Linear chargers has no intelligence and merely converts 220 to 12/24 volts, Switch mode on the other hand has a programmed micro chip to annilize the battery and then select various charging programs to suit the batter condition best. CTEK measures the resistance in the battery, thus determining the condition, then proceed with desulfitation, and different charging cycles to get the battery to 100% charge, then over to float and pulse mode. The problem with the Engel battery pack might be the same as what we had with charging of late model BMW motorcycles, they have built in protection to prevent the use of poor quility chargers, that might damage the electronics. CTEK got qualified and now an overriding source code is built into the charger and CTEK is branded by BMW. We are in contact with ENGEL in Australia to determine the problem, will soon have the answer, and solve your problem.
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  #28  
Old 11-03-10, 11:28 AM
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Sulphation is most usually the cause of battery deterioration, especially where batteries lie idle for extended periods. The Ctek charger goes some way to removing this sulphation. In bad cases, a purpose-designed desulphation device may provide the answer in both the short term and the long term.

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  #29  
Old 15-03-10, 03:01 PM
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Default Charge aux battery while running fridge?

Noticed couple of comments on whether it's ok to attach a CTEK charger to the aux battery whilst fridge is running?

I have exactly the same question - on a trip soon and we may have power at the odd place or two, so I'd like to give at least my 105ah aux battery a boost at these points.
  • Should I disconnect it from the alternator / power splitter?
  • Should I disconnect fridge (in which case I may not bother)
  • Can I just leave everything connected and charge car main and aux battery all at once - and if so, do as the manual says and just hook one cable up to main battery and one to the chassis?
Comments here on CTEK needing to "see" a real battery sort of go with my concerns that the above may not be a good plan.

Apols if these are dumb questions - total newbie at this stuff!

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Old 15-03-10, 03:36 PM
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You could certainly leave the C-Tek connected to a battery while the fridge is running.

Regarding the other questions, I would not charge a battery with a C-Tek while the battery is also being charged by the Alternator, i.e. while standing at a place that has 220v AC available with the engine running. You should be able to leave a C-Tek connected to a battery however, even when driving, as long as the C-Tek is also not providing a charge at the same time.


-F_D

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Old 15-03-10, 03:54 PM
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Thanks Family Dog

Wasn't thinking of charging with CTEK whilst engine is running - just whether I could attach whilst camped and leave fridge running, and also whether to attach to main battery and leave both charging or just to the aux battery.

Sounds like it should be feasible so I guess I give it a go and try!

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  #32  
Old 07-10-10, 06:27 PM
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Default Similar Problems with my Ctek

Hi there,
I recently purchased a XT 140 with the deep cycle battery, a monitor and of course the famous Ctek 7000. After two days of trying everything, reading the manual back to front, I ended up taking it back to Loftus Caravans. They replaced it no problems - so far it has worked a treat. I hope it is just a one off for you as it was for me.

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Old 08-10-10, 07:34 AM
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Some time back that I posted. I did end up buying a Ctek, and it's worked very well for me so far. Have charged battery both disconnected and with fridge attached and running and no problems.
- Rob

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Old 08-10-10, 10:11 AM
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Spike,

I agree with FD - you (or your kids?) have been playing with buttons?
When the correct type of battery has been 'chosen' they should not boil-off water, at least not the way you describe.

Brian, LOL, "Where can I get one?" in a thread started with a complaining member
But I agree, this is the first of complaints I hear, and I've got 3 - working perfectly perpetually.
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  #35  
Old 08-10-10, 10:37 AM
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This is an old thread that has been resurrected.
In the meantime my Ctek charger died.
I emailed the agents to ask if they are repairable and if they do the repairs but to date I have not received a reply to my email
They are so bladdy expensive you'd think it would be viable to repair them.

It was working fine one day and the next day it decided not to switch on.

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  #36  
Old 08-10-10, 10:45 AM
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If it's out of warranty I'd be tempted to open it up - might be an internal fuse blown, or a loose wire or faulty switch. Could also be a fried component - you can sometimes spot these by a little burn patch on the PCB. Not always possible to remove and replace, but can be worth a try if last ditch option

Of course - I'm a total hacker, especially on things electric. So you may choose to ignore me!

- Rob

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  #37  
Old 08-10-10, 10:46 AM
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Spike - hahahaha.

I just noticed your nickname - nice one. I'm also a Miserable Soutie!

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  #38  
Old 08-10-10, 10:58 AM
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I have a Midas-special solar charger, looks like a numberplate. Can I link it to a NL battery pack in my hifi room in anticipation of Eishkom problems?
Have used it on my bakkie and bike when left standing, but don't know if it really helped. Maybe the batteries were just strong, like Charlies Guzzi pistons.
How do i measure its output? Explain nicely, my undergrad education is in literature and the postgrad in business.
I have a multimeter, but sofar only have used it to check DC volts

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  #39  
Old 08-10-10, 11:59 AM
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DC volts is what you want.
about 13.7V is what you need to charge.

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  #40  
Old 08-10-10, 12:01 PM
AndrewC AndrewC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike View Post
This is an old thread that has been resurrected.
In the meantime my Ctek charger died.
I emailed the agents to ask if they are repairable and if they do the repairs but to date I have not received a reply to my email
They are so bladdy expensive you'd think it would be viable to repair them.

It was working fine one day and the next day it decided not to switch on.
Spike, the C-Tek units have a 3 year warranty as standard so if it's still under warranty, I'd try to contact the agents. The agents used to be a company called Meridien based in Centurion, but I see their building is now empty. Earlier this year I had my unit into them for a frayed cable which they fixed within a couple of days.

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  #41  
Old 08-10-10, 12:03 PM
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Just checked the C-Tek website:

CTEK Africa

Address: 70, 7th Avenue Parktown North 2193, Johannesburg
Phone number: +27 (0)11 447 1370 (office) | +27 (0)82 792 7082 (mobile)
E-mail: bob.van.mieghem@ctek.co.za

Sales manager: Shane Maree
E-mail: shane.maree@ctek.co.za
Phone number: +27 (0)83 445 2192

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  #42  
Old 08-10-10, 12:17 PM
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Thanks. I forwarded my previous query to this email address.

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  #43  
Old 08-10-10, 12:38 PM
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Shees this guy is either a member here or he's just very jacked up. He replied within 7 minutes and cc'd the local CT guy to get hold of me. Fingers crossed maybe I can get it repaired

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  #44  
Old 17-12-10, 02:11 PM
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Update?

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  #45  
Old 21-12-10, 09:41 PM
MARKUSFJ62 MARKUSFJ62 is offline
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Die probleem le nie by die ctech nie, die ctech moet eers n batt sien voordat hy begin laai (switch mode) m.a.w. as jy die ctech inprop by 220v toevoer en met n multi meter meet op sy output sal jy niks kry nie as daar nie n batt. met nog lewe in gekoppel is nie, miskien is daar n diode binne in jou engel batt. pack wat verhoed dat daar geen uitset is op jou dc input kant.Die goedkoop batt. laaiers sal vir jou n uitset gee as jy dit op 220v koppel sonder dat daar n batt. gekoppel is.
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  #46  
Old 19-03-11, 05:23 AM
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I have had similar problems with the error light coming up and I noticed that its got to do with connections to battery in other words if I fiddle with the connection and reset c-teck the charging works!I then bought the terminal connectors where one just plugs in the connection not using battery clips much better connection no more problems!The one problem I had was my NEW PRADO 2011 model battery went flat could not recharge with c-tek at all just a error light?I then sent battery to a garage to charge and when it came back the c-tek now charges so I am not sure whats happening there but its working now!One question I have is if one uses a c-tek on recondition mode with sealed Deep Cell batteries will this reduce the water in the batteries?
Regards
Andre'

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  #47  
Old 12-07-11, 10:51 AM
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Spike - Update?
Can our older units be repaired?
Understand the Cape Town C-Tek rep is deKok.
o82 four59 6853

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  #48  
Old 12-07-11, 12:20 PM
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electricity is electricity,ctek does not make it better, got R299 smart charger and works every time, what a waste of money !

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  #49  
Old 30-01-12, 08:08 PM
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I have at least 3 C-Tech chargers and I have also experienced the problem of batteries going dry. E.g. Purchased two new batteries for my boat (which I leave at my holiday home). Batteries were fully charged when I connected the chargers. On my return after 10 months, the batteries were dried out and since they were sealed units, I had to replace them both (again). So next time around, I only disconnected the batteries (not connecting the chargers). On my return after a year, the one battery had just enough juice left to start its engine. The other battery (smaller one) could not start its engine, but after charging it for a few hours, all was well.
I used the bigger C-Tech charger (7200?) to maintain the battery on my Audi A8, which was standing in the garage for weeks without being driven. I never managed to go much more than 12 months without replacing the battery in the 4 years I had the car. In my experience. the batteries in these type of vehicles last for years. In the end I also started suspecting the C-Tech, although I have no scientific support for this conclusion.
A friend of mine had a similar experience with his motorcycle battery (and C-Tech charger) drying out. After a few months of not using the bike, the battery was dry and he had to replace it (By then the battery was just about one year old.)
I was initially very impressed with the the write-ups on the chargers (I did buy 3 of them!), but I've lost my faith in them.
On Saturday, I bought two new motorcycle (9Ah) batteries to be used in a go-kart (without a charging system - battery is swopped out after race). When I connected the big C-Tech charger to charge on of the batteries, the error light came on after about 30 minutes. Disconnected, reconnecterd - same story after more or less the same time. In the end, I connected the battery to an Oxford Maximiser charger (the older 360 version). It charged the battery without any issue. Part of my frustration with the C-Tech is that it is not telling you what it is doing. The Oxford on the other hand, tells you on the LCD display and with lights what it is doing.
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  #50  
Old 30-01-12, 08:50 PM
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FWIW, I use a C-Tek 3600 and C_Tek7000 as well as five Benton BX-2 Chargers on various batteries, all of which are permanently connected to the chargers. I have never had an issue with any of the chargers, other than the C-Tek7000 packing up but it was replaced under Warranty and that unit is working fine!


-F_D

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