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How to Build a Battery Trickle Charger

Updated February 20, 2018

Automotive batteries form the foundation of an automotive electrical system. Because of this, proper battery maintenance is a critical part of keeping an automobile running properly.

A battery must be properly charged before it can be used. One way to keep a battery charged is by using a trickle charger.

Snip the tip from the adaptor. Pull apart the wire ends until there is a six-inch separation between the wire ends. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the wire ends. and mark the negative wire by covering the stripped wire end with a piece of electrical tape.

Slip a ring terminal over the positive wire, and solder the wire to the terminal. Loosen and remove the screw at the top of the first battery clamp. Place the ring terminal over the hole, and attach the ring terminal to the battery clamp by replacing and tightening the screw.

Remove the electrical tape from the negative wire. Slip the remaining ring terminal over the negative wire, and solder the wire to the terminal. Loosen and remove the screw at the top of the remaining clamp. Place the ring terminal over the hole, and attach the ring terminal to the battery clamp by replacing and tightening the screw.

Plug the adaptor into a wall outlet. Turn on the multimeter, and set the scale to "Volts DC". Attach the red (positive) probe to the positive battery clamp. Attach the black (negative) probe to the negative battery clamp. Read the multimeter display; the voltage should be approximately 12 VDC.

Things You'll Need

  • One 12V DC adaptor
  • Two battery clamps
  • Screwdriver
  • Two ring terminals
  • Soldering iron
  • Electronic (rosin core) solder
  • Vinyl electrical tape
  • Digital multimeter
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About the Author

David Sandoval has served as a trainer and technical writer since 2000. He has written several articles online in the fields of home improvement, finance, electronics and science. Sandoval has an Associate of Applied Science in microelectronics from Northern New Mexico College.