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Using HomeSeer to turn on/off battery chargers?

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    Using HomeSeer to turn on/off battery chargers?

    Hey Guys,

    I did a little search but didn't see anything related.

    In my garage I have an area where I have probably about 15 battery powered tools all setup. I have the wallwarts and chargers plugged into power strips. These are plugged in and charging 24 hours a day. Some of the tools I go for months without using. I don't work out of my garage so these tools don't see daily use.

    I am wondering if anybody uses HomeSeer to turn on/off a powerstrip that has these DC type power supplies (wallwarts some call them). If I used HomeSeer to turn ON my powerstrips for say 2 hours at a time every few days, I would think that would be more than adequate to keep my tools charged while at the same time cutting down on "vampire" power consumption by these wallwarts.

    While it seems like a feasible idea, I don't want to create problems by doing this. Meaning, if "cycling" a DC power supply causes it to fail at a much higher rate, it doesn't make sense to save a few bucks in power costs over the year if I have to buy a new $30 charger! Or, I noticed on some of my tools if I take them out of the charger and put them right back in, they'll charge for a period of time before they show fully charged again... if turning the charger on/off every few days will reduce the life of the battery in my tool(s) then that is no good either.

    Anyway, just wondering if anybody is doing this and if so, what do you find to be good settings... 2 hours on every 2 days? 1 hour on each day? 8 hours on once a week? Any additional failures noted on your tools, batteries, chargers?

    Basically, just curious opinions on this and/or real life experience. Thanks!

    #2
    This sounds like a good idea and it should hurt the power supplies at all. The hard part would be determining how long prior to use to activate an appliance module or controllable wall receptacle. If you know if advance a few hours of use you could simply login to your Android device/idevice and turn on the module and not worry about them de-charging.
    -Rupp
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      #3
      I have been doing this for about a year with no problem, I use Z-Wave appliance modules and cycle them on 12 hours once a week.

      I have a second event that just turns off the chargers the other 6 days in case the delayed off command (from the on event) misses for some reason.

      I charge an electric lawnmower, weed whacker and an portable electric vacuum this way. Seems to work fine.

      Depending on how often you use your battery should dictate your charge cycle - I didn't do any research for my schedule - just picked out what I thought would be reasonable and better than keeping the batteries on the chargers all the time.

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        #4
        In reality, it depends on the type of battery.
        Ni-Cads for instance exhibit a 'memory effect. A lot of lower end rechargable tools likely have ni-cads in them. If you repeatedly use only a small percentage of the available charge on the battery, it will fail prematurely.
        On the other hand, most lead/acid or gel batteries don't like being fully discharged... same result.
        Depends too on the chargers. Higher end chargers have the good sense to lower or shut off the charge when the battery is 'full'. Other simple wall-wart types can damage certain types of batteries if left connected too long.
        Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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          #5
          Thank you for the info and suggestions! I'm going to give this a try and see how it works. I like the 12 hours once a week and will give that a try thanks!

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            #6
            Also, some charges will draw current from the battery when disconnected from the AC mains. You may want factor this in when determining the length of your on/off cycles.

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              #7
              Originally posted by dschoppe View Post
              Also, some charges will draw current from the battery when disconnected from the AC mains. You may want factor this in when determining the length of your on/off cycles.
              I don't *think* I have any like that but will test to see by checking the tool right before I start a "recharge"

              Thanks!

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