Battery management
In this note, originally produced as RV8 Workshop Note 56, Bryan Ditchman (Bracken V8 1012), describes a device which maintains the battery condition, particularly when an MGBGTV8 or 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 travelled overseas for up to three months at a time. On my return there were no adverse effects and I had the certainty that at least the RV8 battery would be fully charged. 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 have 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

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connected to the battery for an extended period (months) without fear of "boiling away" the electrolyte. 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 unit to the mains supply after connection to the battery, and disconnect from the mains supply before disconnecting 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.

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