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Reviews Categories | Batteries & Chargers for amateur radios. | A & A Engineering Smart Chargers Help


Reviews Summary for A & A Engineering Smart Chargers
A & A Engineering Smart Chargers Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$79.95 for 1A version, $139,95 f
Description: Three-stage chargers that will not overcharge lead acid batteries, even when left connected.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.a-aengineering.com
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VE2WMA Rating: 5/5 Apr 17, 2008 12:12 Send this review to a friend
It keeps going and going........  Time owned: more than 12 months
The A&A Engineering Smart battery Charger is truly an Energizer Bunny.

My A&A Smart Battery Charger (SBC) has now been in continuous service for over 16 years. No on/off switch required because it virtually has and remains on all the time. There has absolutely never been a problem with my SBC, ever. For five years my SBC kept the lead acid batteries topped up in my San Juan 24 sail boat. The next five years the charger spent inside the motor compartment of my car during the extremely severe winters near the Yukon border to keep some modicum of battery efficiency so the car would start. In the off season, the SBC kept my car 14 Amp/hr SLA booster battery topped up, which it is still doing, six years later, non-stop, 24/7/365. While on standby duty, my SLA booster battery/A&A Smart Charger combination powers my K2 HFand 2 metre VHF Ham Radio rigs along with some supporting 12 volt accessories.

My SLA booster/Ham battery is always constantly and reliably charged, topped up and maintained while connected to my A&A Smart Battery Charger. AND, like the energizer bunny; “it just keeps going and going”…... How true.

I highly recommend this product.

Bill Moore, VE2WMA





 
WB2FTX Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2008 07:55 Send this review to a friend
Good deal  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the 5 amp model connected to a 75 amp-hr gel cell used to power a 25 watt two meter repeater... Works as it should, keeps the battery up to charge and had never failed me in over 5 years of service... No problem with bringing the battery back up to capacity after the AC power fails... This repeater has no separate AC power supply, just the A&A charger and the battery. Easily powers the repeater and then tops off the battery charge.. Quiet, have never even heard the fan running.. Plan to buy another one for a different installation
 
HK3PZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2008 07:06 Send this review to a friend
You do not notice it, but it is there, doing its job...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had one of the first 5 Amperes units built, for very close to 10 years, I believe. It keeps a 105 Amperes Lifeline Deep Cycle battery, which is permanently connected to my equipment, in good shape. Only once did I require a spare IC, for the original was burnt by an EMI discharge in my QTH's vecinity, and the service I received from Stas was top notch. Highly recommended.
 
VK3DAP Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2008 20:32 Send this review to a friend
Great product, good docs, fair price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased the QRP selectable output kit to charge an SLA so that I can operate my Elecraft K2 portable.

The kit contained everything that I needed (with the exceptions noted later), the docs were clear and well written, although it pays to read them through carefully several times before starting assembly as there are possible options you need to get your head around.

In operation it works well, providing a clear visual indication of where it is in the charge cycle.

I live in Australia with a 230 to 240 volt 50 Hz nominal mains supply. We use the MEN system, consequently it is advisable for downunder users to ensure that the case of this device is connected to mains earth. Consequently I substituted a locally supplied 3 core mains cable with an Austalian/NZ 3 pin plug for the two core mains cable supplied. I also had to ream out the hole for the mains cable and insert a grommet as the supplied cable anchor was not big enough for the mains cable I used. Further, I used a nylon 'p clamp' fastened to one of the ventilation holes in the bottom of the case to anchor the mains cable.

For safety sake, I would strongly urge downunder builders to do the same.

73
Kevin
VK3DAP
 
K0HPS Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2007 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Try it, you'll like it! I have both QRP & 5-Amp versions.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got one of A&A's QRP charger kits for Christmas and really liked it so when my old, surplus, Lambda "swap meet special" power supply gave up the ghost and would no longer keep a float charge on my 255 A-Hr Concorde Sun Extender battery I decided to get a real charger and bought one of A&A's 5-Amp models. I hooked it up last night and it took a few hours to go through the three stages and reach float status but it performed just as described. I made a few QSOs this morning and the charger switched to bulk mode and then back to float a few minutes after I finished, again just as described.

A&A's Stas Andrzejewski (W6UCM) was very helpful and patient in answering my technical questions, definitely going above and beyond the level of service I've come to expect from typical equipment manufacturers.

I own a number of power supplies, used in a variety of applications, but for powering a typical 50 or 100-Watt rig in the shack I don't think you can beat the combination of a deep cycle battery and one of A&A's 5-Amp chargers. Having an emergency source of power for our gear is a very real part of this hobby and I just found out that the charger even has auxiliary DC input pads on the PCB that can be used to connect a solar module. I need to find out more about that feature but it looks like the charger can perform double duty as a solar charge controller.
 
W2DAP Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2007 14:14 Send this review to a friend
A FB product well designed and with excellent documentation  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been using mine for more than 5 years on an SLA 42ah battery which I not only use as a backup but also for receive-only with my IC 746. I am so pleased with the product, I ordered an additional one which has been in service for several months; I use the original to charge other batteries elsewhere in my home. My only suggestion would be to supply the unit with larger alligator clips.
 
W4FRA Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2007 13:07 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 4 years of running 24/7, the fan in My 5 Amp charger got noisy...Called A&A to order a replacement and they are sending one FREE. If only everyone was as nice to deal with. Highly recommend their chargers, not only are they great folks to deal with, the products work like they are supposed to. -- Les, W4FRA
 
W5EZY Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2006 06:15 Send this review to a friend
Best Power Setup  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I totally agree with AB0RE. I have had the 1A model for almost a year now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. No problems, and I have plenty of emergency power for my hf and vhf radios. I only have about $130 in the charger and deep cycle battery from Walmart. I built the kit version and it went together well. I doubt I will ever go to a power supply setup again. If you try it, I think you will feel the same way.
 
AB0RE Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2006 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Very happy with 5A Version  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a deep cycle and floated it on a power supply for a while. Then I decided I wanted a real charger for the battery... a set-up in which I would not have to worry about over-charging or under-charging the deep cycle.

I've owned the 5A version for a year and a half now and have been very happy with it. It has been hooked up to the deep cycle battery in my shack and I have been using it to power my HF and VHF/UHF radios.

The outside of the charger is very attractive and does not look like a D-I-Y hack-job. The ammeter and charging stage LEDs on the front of the unit always let you know exactly what the charger is doing. (This is a quality three-stage charger.) Both the input (AC) and output (DC-to-battery) of the 5A charger are fused - the panel mount fuse holders can be found on the back of the unit. All these features give me additional peace of mind that I won't burn the house down by improperly charging a battery.

Build quality on the inside of the unit appears to be good as well. The inside of the unit basically reminds me of a 7A power supply with a brain. At first I was asking "okay, so why $150?" but after using the charger for a while I feel it's worth every penny. The charger is designed to draw next to no current from the battery if AC power is removed so if you have a power outage you don't have to worry about coming back to a dead battery.

It's also worth noting that the service I've received from Stas has been second to none. When I got the unit the fan was noisy (I could hear it over my CPU). After fiddling around with the fan (mounting it differently, etc) I finally contacted A&A Engineering about a month ago. Stas sent a replacement fan out at no cost. Now, the fan is so quiet I have to actively listen for it to be able to hear it. Stas has also answered numerous other questions about the charger for me. I wish all ham radio suppliers were this in-tune with their customers.

What are my nitpicks?
- It'd be nice to have a "back of unit" set of outputs as well, which would eliminate the need to have cables at the front of your shack's shelf.
- I'd prefer to have powerpoles as the output connector instead of binding posts. However, since hams aren't the only guys buying this charger (boaters, RVrs, etc, also are) this may be a tough idea for A&A to implement. I'm toying with the idea of putting a set of powerpoles on the back of the unit.
- It'd be nice if the major ham stores would get on board and carry this charger so we didn't have to order direct from A&A and deal with the wait time, shipping charges, etc.

Overall, I'd say but it and you won't regret it. For a little over $200 you can get this charger and a deep cycle battery. This costs just a bit more than a quality power supply, but this configuration is much more useful to have in the event of an emergency power outage.

73,
Dan / ab0re
 
W3BNY Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2006 12:01 Send this review to a friend
Great unit!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Did the same thing as the OM before me.. OOPS!

But other than that, it charges everything up and can be used as an impromptu solar controller as well if you hook up the alternate input. That and you can change the charge rate from 1A to 1/2 amp at will with the addition of one simple R.S. switch.

Good kit. Getting another one!
 
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