So I just got an R-20 and I've been reading around on some of the stuff on Ample Power and USATracy's blog on conditioning batteries and the different lengths you can go to if you want to really extend their life.
Bank charging and all of that would be nice but probably not very practical for me since I'm going to be sending an extension cord out a window to an alley for my charging at home and out a door at work. Which makes me think I should then take a look at those balancers. I just have to convince myself to spend more money... And I'll deal with that later.
For the initial conditioning I have been going back and forth on how much I want to do for that. It seems logical and something I really should be doing but I'm still not sure. I don't particularly like the idea of taking the whole thing apart and having to put it back together when it's still brand new and working fine. Especially since I don't have much experience outside of computer cases for anything like that. Once it's older or if there are problems I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out. I just felt safer waiting a bit.
Which made me think... The Ample Power site was talking about doing the slow discharges and charges with a load of "5% of the Amp-hour rating of the batteries" And I had seen talk of 2 amps (which is about what it would be for these smaller batteries?) being about one of those small light bulbs. But is there any reason the discharge couldn't be less? The idea is to let it do that etching thing slowly and not cut deep channels in the plates (or so I've read the analogy) then wouldn't smaller be better? Or at least just as good?
Basically, is there any reason why just leaving everything connected, putting in the key, and turning on the lights wouldn't do the same thing? It would take that headlight, rear light, and the running lights on the dials and split it between all 5 batteries (making it much less than the 2 amps I would think) but it'd be much easier. Just quite slow... And if there isn't some other reason I'm missing I think this would work much better for me. And I think my parents would appreciate it too since it wouldn't involve a bunch of bike pieces, batteries, and bright lights scattered across their basement when I don't even live there anymore.
It might not be ideal but it still seems like it would be quite good for the level of work involved. I'd just need a bit of patience...