Couple questions about IOTA battery charger

Steven Mechanic Spokane, Washington Posted   Latest  

I purchased a plain IOTA power supply (no accessories or extras). Apparently, the unit sends out DC power as soon as it is plugged in. No switch for on/off. For those that have one of these, do you like to install a switch? Did you install the switch on the AC plug, or at the battery cable output?

Also, I noticed that I get a pretty strong spark when connecting to a battery, even though the IOTA was unplugged all weekend and was not plugged in at the time that I was connecting to the battery. I guess the switch should be on the battery cables rather than at the AC plugin side.

One last question. The little jumper wire for changing the voltage output, can it be plugged in or unplugged while the thing is in the middle of charging?

There wasn't much for directions with this thing. If anyone wants to post a picture of their setup that would be cool. Thanks.

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Tommy Owner/Technician
Holly Ridge, North Carolina
Tommy Default
 

Steven, I use a power strip with mine. Hook it up to the vehicle, then turn the power strip on. No arcing at the battery, or the ac plug. I don't know for sure, but I wouldn't try to change the voltage while it's working. Tommy

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
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That's a good idea for adding a switch.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
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Ive never used a switch,though I suppose it couldn't hurt. I connect the unit to the battery first then plug it in. Still makes a gnarly crackle. Not sure about the jumper. Ive never used it. I only use the unit for programming, and I believe the jumper is for when you are using the unit as a conventional charger. There are PDF manuals for the chargers on their…

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
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Rudy, After all this time reading your posts on "the site that shall not be named" I am going to have a hard time not imagining everything you write not coming out of Aaron Rodgers mouth lol. Same with Hollis D. I still read everything he writes and imagine it sounds the way Andy Kaufman would say it. Have a good week buddy

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
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LoL, yeah Scott has been on me forever to put a profile pic. I figured since Ill likely be here a lot,I may as well do it.

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
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JT, I understand the GB Packers for Rudy, but why do you think of Andy Kaufman with Hollis? He's from the South. Just read our conversation today about "chicken gravy" on iATN. :-)

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
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Hey Geoff, When I first got on iatn I could swear his profile picture was of Andy Kaufman as Latka on Taxi for the longest time. I tried for a while to find the exact picture he used because for some reason I thought it would be hilarious to frame a picture of him, Goober from Andy Griffith, and David Putty from Seinfeld and hang them up in the customer wait area. But then I realized the humor…

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
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LOL. Years ago, I made a small sign with a picture of George Costanza, and the caption was his rant about auto mechanics. You know, the one where he says "johnson rod".

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Hollis Technician
Boulder, Colorado
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That's the other Hollis :O) Diag​.​net Hollis is trying to behave himself as not to clog up the data base with Tom Foolery :O) Gravy-On!

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

Yeah, that's the manual I got with mine pretty much. I see they have some additional technical articles as well, so that will help. Thanks.

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Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
Andrew Default
 

We use one here at the shop and for the most part have no switch. We put positive lead first touch the negative lead on chassis any where that's a ground , then connect to battery and plug in. This keeps it from causing potential harm. We have also installed a meter to allow us to know its current charge and ambient temperature.

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
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I never thought about mounting it sideways. I guess it could mount any way a person wanted to. I do plan on buying a digital display eventually. Thanks for posting pictures of your setup.

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Todd Owner/Technician
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Hey Andrew, I noticed an ALDL under the charger. Do you have an extension to the car or is it for power and ground only. I think the extension would be an awesome addition. Now if I could remotely turn the key off and on I would have it made.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I installed my own on off switch as well as a voltage display. Simple install.

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
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Hi Justin: I saw a similar hack on the other site. (Was it you?). I think it's a good upgrade. When they fail, there's not much indication, until there is. Guido

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
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Not me. I am not the first to do it that’s for sure.

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
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Is that switch connected to the AC side of the circuit? I'm thinking about putting a switch at the DC output because there was a pretty good spark from the DC cables and I didn't even have it plugged into the wall and it was unplugged all weekend as well. Thanks for taking the time to post your setup.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
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It’s on the ac side.

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Andrew Technician
Claremont, California
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It sparks because it has a capacitor. This is why we discharge it first by touching it to ground . Then hook up

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
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Alright. Thanks. 👍

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Hollis Technician
Boulder, Colorado
Hollis Default
 

Capacitive discharges into an automotive electrical system can have nasty consequences especially if the ignition switch is in the 'ON' position . Correct me if I'm wrong :O)

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Nelson Manager
Huntington Beach, California
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Have you guys checked the AC voltage output on these chargers? What is it putting out?

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
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I have. Unfortunately I don’t have the captured anymore. Keith Perkins and I did some comparison testing with the models we had. The shumacher, iota and power max were compared. It wasn’t a fair test as all the units were not tested on the same battery. They all were within reasonable accepted range. The Shumacher was the noisiest of the 3. The battery condition and connections to the battery…

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Scott Manager
Claremont, California
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Nelson, check out this study I reported a while back with some of the maintainers we have in the shop: diag​.​net/msg/m1gkrdy8dg…

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Paul Technical Support Specialist
Lafayette, Colorado
Paul Default
 

This is from BMW  F/G Series: The set maximum voltage rating of 14.8 volts battery charging mode must not be exceeded. With the recommended chargers (e.g. Deutronic "DBL1200", "DBL1600", "MultiCharger 1500") use the battery charging mode for programming.  E Series : Chargers (such as Deutronic "DBL800", "MultiCharger 750") with microprocessor-controlled monitoring and adjustment of the…

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Hollis Technician
Boulder, Colorado
Hollis Default
 

Thanks for the clarification. I played it safe and installed a switch on the ac side of mine. Nice cart.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

I dont know if IOTA is an OE approved unit,but it has been impeccable for programming purposes for technicians across the country for at least the last 15 years. Hard to argue with success....

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