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Discussion Starter #1
I just pulled the trigger on a Pro 28 EFI to take advantage of the 5 year extended warranty. Thanks for all the past input here, it helped me make my decision.
The one draw back is the battery which I realize the pros/cons with. Has anyone tried to connect a solar powered trickle charger to it? I have a electric one for my honda generator but that battery is much bigger.
 

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Congrats, and welcome to the forum!



What kind of battery does it use? I thought I remembered reading it was a NiMH battery pack? This link seems to corroborate that:

https://parts.ariens.com/product-p/05076500.htm


If it's a 12V lead-acid battery, I would be comfortable putting a 12V lead-acid trickle charger on it. But I suspect that most of the solar-powered chargers are for lead-acid batteries, not NiMH.



If you can find a solar trickle charger that's specifically for NiMH batteries, great. But if not, I would use the plug-in charger.
 

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Thanks for the welcomes!
I’m now hoping for a ton of snow this year!

What kind of battery does it use? I thought I remembered reading it was a NiMH battery pack? This link seems to corroborate that:

https://parts.ariens.com/product-p/05076500.htm


If it's a 12V lead-acid battery, I would be comfortable putting a 12V lead-acid trickle charger on it. But I suspect that most of the solar-powered chargers are for lead-acid batteries, not NiMH.

If you can find a solar trickle charger that's specifically for NiMH batteries, great. But if not, I would use the plug-in charger.
Yes, it’s a NiMH battery, I was hoping for a solar charger as my shed does not have electricity, I guess I can also just bring the battery into the house, but really hoping to connect it and forget it till I need it.
 

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welcome to the forum ! isnt the rechargeable battery charged off the engine ?? what voltage is it....... only reason i ask is because i just ( today) replaced the 3 aa ni mh batteries in a solar charged motion activated flood light. i did check the panel output which was 6.3 v.
 

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I think it's a 7.2V NiMH. That's likely the nominal voltage. I believe those are 6-cell packs. My NiMH cells are about 1.3V when fully-charged. So I expect that pack would be about 7.8V when fully charged.



It might be possible to rig up something to take the output from a higher-voltage panel, and drop it down to, say, 7.5V, which would be 1.25V/cell. There are DC-to-DC voltage converters that can reduce (buck) down a higher voltage to an adjustable lower voltage. But I don't know how to do that properly, to manage the fact that the converter wouldn't consistently be powered, for instance. The simplest thing to do is just bring the battery in and keep it charged.



You could try just disconnecting it during summer. If there is a small parasitic constant drain on the battery, which gradually makes it go dead, then disconnecting it might be enough that you don't have to charge it during the off-season. At least if they used Low Self-Discharge (LSD) NiMH cells, like the Eneloop cells. Those can sit for a year, and only lose like 5-10% of their charge.



In that case, just disconnecting the pack might be enough so that you don't have to worry about it. I believe the blower charges the battery while running, so it's just the off-season where you need to worry about charging.



nwcove, yours perhaps has something else going on as well? 3 cells at 1.3V each would be about 3.9V when fully-charged. So maybe it's doing more than just sending the panel's 6.3V directly to the cells? Maybe there's something that manages charging them.
 

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I think it's a 7.2V NiMH. That's likely the nominal voltage. I believe those are 6-cell packs. My NiMH cells are about 1.3V when fully-charged. So I expect that pack would be about 7.8V when fully charged.



It might be possible to rig up something to take the output from a higher-voltage panel, and drop it down to, say, 7.5V, which would be 1.25V/cell. There are DC-to-DC voltage converters that can reduce (buck) down a higher voltage to an adjustable lower voltage. But I don't know how to do that properly, to manage the fact that the converter wouldn't consistently be powered, for instance. The simplest thing to do is just bring the battery in and keep it charged.



You could try just disconnecting it during summer. If there is a small parasitic constant drain on the battery, which gradually makes it go dead, then disconnecting it might be enough that you don't have to charge it during the off-season. At least if they used Low Self-Discharge (LSD) NiMH cells, like the Eneloop cells. Those can sit for a year, and only lose like 5-10% of their charge.



In that case, just disconnecting the pack might be enough so that you don't have to worry about it. I believe the blower charges the battery while running, so it's just the off-season where you need to worry about charging.



nwcove, yours perhaps has something else going on as well? 3 cells at 1.3V each would be about 3.9V when fully-charged. So maybe it's doing more than just sending the panel's 6.3V directly to the cells? Maybe there's something that manages charging them.
no doubt there is some circuitry that controls the charge from any solar powered sensor lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good discussion. I guess when I take delivery I’ll charge it up and then see how much it discharges while waiting for snow. I understand it does charge up during run time. My dealer did say that if the battery is dead it will not start so just trying to make sure I have a battery ready to go and will prob buy a back up in case.
 

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I know each battery has its own characteristics so this is probably neither "here nor there."


This thread reminded me to do a maintenance charge on my Pro EFI battery.
In May it took less than half an hour to charge, tonight, 50 minutes.


Based on this thread I'm going to leave it unplugged until the November charge and see what happens...…..


For the record, I got the blower in November 2017 and have one season's use on the battery.
 

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Start the blower every 45 days for 10 min and you will be set

also helps keep it not gummed up put just enough fresh treated gas to run 10 min
 

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Discussion Starter #12
.

sounds like a lot more work for EFI

.
Yes, I knew that going into the purchase. My 13 year old Arien 724, was a rock w/no hassle at all. For me, the benefits outway the small negatives to get EFI and Hydrostatic. Others I'm sure will disagree.

I think I'll have to start reading some solar and battery forums. I'll report back if I find a solution.
 

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If the connector was identified, you could also make/buy your own 7.2V pack, with good cells. Giving you a spare, that you could keep charged, in case of a battery "emergency".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If the connector was identified, you could also make/buy your own 7.2V pack, with good cells. Giving you a spare, that you could keep charged, in case of a battery "emergency".
The OEM's are $28.69 on Ariens, so not a deal breaker. From a prior post, someone said the battery made it way thru the season after the initial charge so it's probably not a terrible one.
 

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Yes, I knew that going into the purchase. My 13 year old Arien 724, was a rock w/no hassle at all. For me, the benefits outway the small negatives to get EFI and Hydrostatic. Others I'm sure will disagree.

I think I'll have to start reading some solar and battery forums. I'll report back if I find a solution.
I can't deny wanting to run a machine that is that high up the food chain for an extended period of time. While it's not for me, I hope it ends up working well for you! Maybe some videos in the future of this monster tossing some white stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I can't deny wanting to run a machine that is that high up the food chain for an extended period of time. While it's not for me, I hope it ends up working well for you! Maybe some videos in the future of this monster tossing some white stuff?
Thanks
It was quite a debate (with myself ) on which to get. In the end, the factors were:
  • I'm not getting younger, the back problems are getting worse
  • Snow is getting heavier (see first bullet point as to why)
  • I have a driveway, where on 50% of it I don't have open space on the sides to throw snow, so for years w/my 724, it was a multiple step process to throw it 10-20 ft, then throw it again to the back of the driveway. Hopefully can do it all in one shot now. 60ft!! at least what is advertised.
  • I didn't want to have any regrets when I got the first heavy snow at the end of the driveway, and the machine I have can't get through it. I would be saying, I should have gotten the Pro:sad2:. Now, if I can't get through it, I have no other option then getting a snow plow :devil:
  • I have about 10 years before I can even think about moving to somewhere w/less snow (I'm in NJ) so as long as this runs well, it will be $ well spent.
 

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It wont throw 60 feet without and impeller kit and the motor turn 3650 rpm or better
more like 50 feet with the perfect snow
55 to 60 feet with the impeller kit and motor adjusted for rpms
with impeller kit everything will go 45 feet or better
 
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