Battery management
In this note, Bryan Ditchman (Caribbean Blue 0265), describes a device which maintains the battery condition, particularly when an MG RV8 is stored for extended periods. (Jan 00)

If like mine your RV8 insurance cover is only valid for overnight risks if the vehicle is in a lock-up garage with the alarm on the RV8 activated, then I recommend the purchase of a CSI Air Flow Automatic Battery Management Conditioner. This will set you back about £40. I have used one on each of my cars when I have travelled overseas for up to 3 months at a time with no adverse effects and the certainty that at least the RV8 battery is fully charged upon my return.

As a preface to some facts on the unit, it must be emphasised that the battery must be in good condition, terminals clean and vaselined and a good earth contact.

The battery management unit has an electronic controller which switches off automatically when the battery is full, and switches on again automatically when the battery voltage drops due to spontaneous discharge. This effectively prevents the battery from becoming overcharged and the unit can remain connected to the battery for an extended period (months) without "boiling away" the electrolyte.

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I have replaced the charging clips with a fused cigar lighter plug obtained from the motor spares chain, Les Smith, which is made by Custom Accessories Europe Ltd. This is one of the better quality units on the market and is easy to connect (solder) the wires. Make sure you get the polarity correct when soldering up the wires - RED to the centre plunger on the cigar lighter plug.

Note that upon installation, connect to the mains supply after first connecting the leads to the battery, and disconnect from the mains supply before disconnecting the leads from the battery. All units come with comprehensive and easy to follow instructions in five languages. The Battery management units can be obtained from Brown & Gammons if you are unable to locate a local supplier.

Brown & Gammons offer a mail order parts and accessories service to V8 enthusiasts in the UK and overseas.

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