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Feeder Battery Malaise
#529656 01/13/21 03:48 PM
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Every couple years have to replace my crappy TH feeder batteries. Now I need to replace my Vexilar battery and have read great reviews on Lithium 12V 10AH batteries from ice fishermen - lightweight and last supposedly over 10 years. Anyone have experience using these in their feeders or flashers? While they cost $70-$100 I'd still be ahead fiscally and with less hassle when I do the math. Appreciate the feedback in advance!


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529659 01/13/21 04:12 PM
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How are you charging the current batteries? SLA/AGM batteries in 7-12ah are dirt cheap. That said, the new lithiums (marcum brute, amped outdoors, dakota, etc.) are very light. Keep in mind they require a lithium specific charger and have a different discharge curve compared to sla/agm. Some have a 12v start, with a bulk of their discharge curve being in the 11v range. You would likely want the 13v start. There are some great tests/comparison videos on youtube


Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP
Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529663 01/13/21 07:19 PM
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I’ll be using these in TH feeders - they charge using solar panel. Would lithium battery charge in a TH feeder fo you think?


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529669 01/13/21 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by teehjaeh57
I’ll be using these in TH feeders - they charge using solar panel. Would lithium battery charge in a TH feeder fo you think?

I got a large lithium battery for my trolling motor a couple of years ago and it required a special charger. Be smart to check with TH before trying.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206,7




Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529678 01/14/21 12:33 PM
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All of the lithium batteries commonly used for ice fishing state that reduced performance and life expectancy can be expected when not charged with a lithium specific charger. I have no clue what is different about these chargers but it seems that there may be something.

Most of the batteries have a built in battery management system that will cut output power when the battery reaches a set voltage. The bms will also cut charger input when the battery has reached a set voltage


Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP
Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529685 01/14/21 02:14 PM
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TJ, a customer in Texas had the same problem with the TH batteries. I talked to Chris and he said to leave the batteries plugged in during the winter and leave the TH feeder outside so the solar charger will keep them topped up during the winter, don't unplug the batteries. Just turn the feed timer to "OFF" for all the feed times.

Batteries are lasting more than 5 years now.


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Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529693 01/14/21 06:45 PM
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Good intel, Scott. I wonder if lithium would work with TH - guess I owe Chris a call.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529698 01/14/21 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by teehjaeh57
Good intel, Scott. I wonder if lithium would work with TH - guess I owe Chris a call.

The concern of mine would be "will the solar charger charge the lithium battery?"

What do you do with your batteries now during the winter?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529699 01/15/21 01:05 AM
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Charge and store them indoors. I guess I could try keeping them in the feeders all Winter to be charged via solar - but still need to find out if lithium would work.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529700 01/15/21 08:02 AM
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Lead acid batteries will slowly discharge when they are not in use. Multi-bank maintainers are inexpensive. A 10-channel unit can be found on amazon for $250. 4-channel units for less $$$

Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529702 01/15/21 08:34 AM
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TJ the other thing you could do is use a 9ah sla/agm battery vs the 7ah that TH sells - they are the same case dimensions. Do you leave the batteries in the feeder throughout the warm season? I would be pulling them out and putting them on a good 3 amp auto charger like a noco genius even when the solar charger keeps them fully charged. AGM batteries need a good "hard" charge every now and then if they are constantly being drained and trickled back to full.

I would wager that a lithium would work fine with a the solar charger to maintain but you would likely need the follow the same process of removing the battery every few days for an indoor full charge. It sounds like the TH solar chaarger has a top end cutoff to prevent over charging. If you use an amped outdoors 12ah (same size as your current TH 7ah) it will have a fully charged voltage near 13.2 just like a sla/agm. You could call amped for verification - they might say it will work in the feeder but not with the solar charger just to cover any liabilities.


Mat Peirce
1.25 acre southeast Iowa pond
LMB, BG, YP, WE, HSB, RES, BCP
Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529707 01/15/21 12:52 PM
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Good feedback guys - appears I may extend the battery life by keeping them solar charged in feeder year round, but I wonder how the timers will respond to extreme Winter temps. I am still using my original timers [over 10 years old] and am thinking that may be in part because I pull them for Winter and prevent exposure to cold temps. I don't have any evidence to support this - I haven't performed a comparison, just my gut sensing that frigid temps may shorten the life of my timers. I certainly don't want to trade a couple years of extra life on $16 batteries for replacing far more expensive replacement timers.

I did find this recently regarding charging Lithium:

You can use a lead-acid charger to charge lithium batteries as long as you can set the maximum voltage of the charger and as long as the charger does not have an automatic equalization mode enabled.

Most modern chargers will let you turn that feature off, and assuming it is turned off, the charger should be safe to use.

If you opt to use a lead-acid charger with the equalization mode disabled to charge a lithium-ion battery, then you must disconnect the battery as soon as it is fully charged, to avoid damage to the battery.

The ideal option, however, is to use the correct charger type for the battery. There are multi-mode chargers that can be used to charge any kind of battery and that have features to protect the battery and prolong its life.

Last edited by teehjaeh57; 01/15/21 02:18 PM.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529708 01/15/21 02:55 PM
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I can't imagine keeping TH batteries functional for five years. Mine seem to die about every 18 to 24 months. I do feed year round, though obviously a lot less in winter.


8ac, full 3/16. CNBG, RES, FHM 10/15; TP 5/16; FLMB 6/16. 100 12" NLMB & 1k GSH 10/17,L, 150# TP & 70 HSB 5/18. 1k PK 11/18. 100# TP 4/19, 200# RBT 12/19, 10k TFS 3/20, 100#TP 5/20, 25 HSB & 250 F1 9/20,L,180# RBT 12/20, 206,7




Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529721 01/15/21 10:23 PM
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TJ, I leave my timer and battery out in the TH feeder year round, no issues. We hit -21°F ambient 2 years ago.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
Re: Feeder Battery Malaise
teehjaeh57 #529823 01/20/21 12:57 AM
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Thank you guys for all the feedback. Called TH and no one had any experience using lithium batteries so they weren’t able to direct me on the issue.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]



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