Battery Charger Basics

Charger Specifications

  • Battery Charger Fuses
    Chargers with the red blade style fuse holders use an automotive ATC or similar type fuse. A replacement fuse should be rated for 30A at a minimum of 32V and should be UL listed. It is also recommended that a thin layer of automotive grease be applied to the fuse contacts. This will help prevent moisture or condensations from developing in the fuse holder and prevent corrosion which can lead to failure. Chargers with a yellow fuse holder use a 30 amp AGX 32V automotive fuse.
  • Battery Charger Wire Size/Wire Gauge
    The wire size on all MK Chargers and the MK-EC-15 Battery Charger Extension Cable is 12 AWG.
  • Charger Footprints
    The following Minn Kota chargers share the same foot print:
    • MK106PCL, MK110PCL, MK106PC and MK110PC
      9.88 in x 4 in x 3.5 in
    • MK212PCL, MK220PCL, MK212PC, MK318PC, MK220PC and MK330PC
      9.88 in x 5.88 in x 3.5 in
    • MK230PCL and MK230PC
      9.25 in x 7.63 in x 3 in
    • MK318PCL and MK330PCL
      9.88 in x 7.75 in x 3.5 in
    • MK345PCL and MK345PC
      9.25 in x 11 in x 3 in
    • MK460PCL and MK460PC
      9.5 in x 3 in x 14.5 in
  • Charger Mounting
    The Minn Kota battery charger be mounted in any position but it is highly recommended that the charger not be mounted below the waterline.

Charger Temperature During Operation

Minn Kota Chargers are designed to work within the limits defined in UL 1236 for marine battery chargers. The maximum recommended ambient temperature is 122º F. Even though the Minn Kota charger is capable of operating in a high ambient temperature environment, a minimum of six inches of unobstructed area should be allowed on all sides of the unit for proper air circulation and cooling.

Waterproof Chargers

The Minn Kota On-board (Alternator, Digital, Precision/PC and Precision/PCL) battery chargers are waterproof, however, they should not be operated while immersed. The Minn Kota Portable chargers are vented and are not waterproof. It is recommended that the On-Board chargers not be mounted below the water line. The On-Board chargers are Ignition Protected per the requirements of the US Coast Guard.

Extending the Charger Output Leads

The MK-EC Battery Charger Extension Cable (#1820089) is an optional kit that is NOT included with the charger but is used to extend the charger output leads. Click here for purchase options. Please refer to the MK-EC Extension Cable Accessory instructions to correctly extend the leads.

Battery Types that can be Charged

Minn Kota Precision, Digital, and Portable Chargers can charge 12V 6-cell lead-acid batteries, AGM batteries and certain 12V Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries. Minn Kota Precision Chargers (PC and PCL) have a selectable battery setting that optimizes the charge when specific battery types are selected. Minn Kota PCL Chargers are optimized for certain 12V Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries.
Always check with the battery manufacture before charging a battery. The type of Minn Kota charger being used enables a specific set of battery types to be charged. A list of battery types by charger are listed below.

  • Digital and Portable Chargers
    • Flooded (12V 6 Cell)
    • AGM (12V 6 Cell)
    • Certain 12V Lithium (LiFePO4)
  • Precision Chargers (PC)
    • Flooded (12V 6 Cell)
    • AGM (12V 6 Cell)
    • Gel (12V 6 Cell)
    • Certain 12V Lithium (LiFePO4)
  • Precision Chargers (PCL)
    • Flooded (12V 6 Cell)
    • AGM (12V 6 Cell)
    • Certain 12V Lithium (LiFePO4)

Extension Cord AWG for Plugging in the Charger

An extension cord should not be used unless absolutely necessary. Use of improper extension cord could result in a risk of fire and electric shock. If an extension cord must be used, make sure:

  1. That pins on plug of extension cord are the same number, size and shape as those of plug on charger.
  2. That extension cord is properly wired and in good electrical condition.
  3. That wire size is large enough for ac ampere rating of charger as specified in table.

Extension cord ratings vary by the Minn Kota Charger model. Please refer to the chart below to find the extension cord that will work best with your model charger.
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Charging with a Portable Generator

Careful selection should be used when deciding on a portable generator for electronics. There are 2 important factors that must be considered:

  • Output power:
    Generators are marketed in output wattage. This wattage must be higher than the power required by the battery charger.
  • Output type:
    Minn Kota chargers require clean output power from the generator to prevent permanent damage. The generator must replicate the power from a standard AC outlet in your home (sine wave output).

Below are the wattage requirements in order to power each charger type:

  • PRECISION CHARGERS
    • MK 106PC -100W
    • MK 110PC -165W
    • MK 212PC -200W
    • MK 220PC -330W
    • MK 318PC -300W
    • MK 330PC -500W
    • MK 440PC -660W
    • MK 230PC -500W
    • MK 345PC -700W
    • MK 460PC -900W
    • MK 106PCL -90W
    • MK 110PCL -150W
    • MK 212PCL -180W
    • MK 220PCL -300W
    • MK 318PCL -270W
    • MK 330PCL -450W
    • MK 440PCL -600W
    • MK 550PCL -750W
    • MK 230PCL -500W
    • MK 345PCL -700W
    • MK 460PCL -900W
  • DIGITAL CHARGERS
    • MK 106D -100W
    • MK 210D -200W
    • MK 220D -470W
    • MK 315D -270W
    • MK 330D -500W
    • MK 440D -620W
  • PORTABLE DIGITAL CHARGERS
    • MK 105PD -90W
    • MK 110PD -180W
  • Alternator chargers are operated on DC power and cannot be charged with a generator.

Power Loss During Charge Cycle

The Precision charger will simply restart the charging cycle with the battery type that was originally selected. Losing power or unplugging the Precision charger does not clear the battery type selection. If the charger was in Equalization Mode, the charger will revert to Flooded battery type.

Charge Time

Charge time depends on:

  • Size of the battery
  • How much energy was taken from the battery
  • Health or condition of the battery
  • Charger output current

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Service on the Chargers

There are no serviceable components inside the charger.

Charging Batteries Connected in Parallel or in Series

When charging batteries that are connected in parallel or in series, the battery jumper wire(s) can remain in place when a Minn Kota charger is being used.

Connecting Two Batteries to One Bank

  • If your batteries are connected in parallel you can charge them with one bank. However, it will take longer to charge multiple batteries. The battery chargers are equipped with built-in safety timers to prevent overcharging of a single battery. If the time to charge multiple batteries connected in parallel exceeds specific time limits, the charger will shut off. To fully charge multiple batteries connected in parallel, you may have to unplug and re-plug in the charger to reset the safety timers and finish the charging process. When connecting batteries in parallel, the batteries should be the same make, model, age and condition. Always check battery manufacturer's specifications.
  • If you are connected in series, you cannot charge them with one bank. Minn Kota chargers are designed for 12 Volt battery systems only.

Connecting One Battery to Two Banks

Connecting a second bank to one battery will charge the battery almost twice as fast because it doubles the battery charging current. The maximum safe charging current for your battery should be verified. Always check battery manufacturer's specifications for safe charging currents. For flooded lead-acid batteries, the fluid in the battery is more likely to evaporate with higher charging currents. The fluid level should be checked frequently.

Charging while One Bank is Disconnected

  • All Minn Kota battery chargers have fully independent charging banks. Unused banks can be left disconnected from batteries. It is recommended to cover unused ring terminals to prevent shorting of other electrical circuits.
    • When a Digital Minn Kota charger is used, banks will display a solid RED LED when the terminals are unused. In the case of Digital and PC chargers set to Flooded, AGM or Gel the charger will indicate a solid RED led for checking a connection when the terminals are unused.
    • When a PC or PCL Minn Kota charger is used and the battery type is set to Flooded, AGM or Gel, banks will display a solid RED LED when the terminals are unused.
    • Lithium batteries can shut themselves off after extensive use or under certain conditions. This protective condition is referred to as Standby Mode. Refer to your Lithium Battery Owner's Manual to learn more about conditions that could activate Standby Mode. Your Minn Kota PCL charger has an Auto Start system set up to automatically restart the battery a set number of times to take the Lithium Battery out of Standby Mode so that is can be charged.
    • When a PCL Minn Kota charger is used and the battery type is set to Lithium, banks will display a solid RED LED when the terminals are unused until it exceeds a number of "turn on" attempts allowed. When the PCL Charger is set to Lithium Mode and the charger exceeds the number of attempts allowed to wake the battery from Standby Mode a blinking RED LED with solid 25%, 50% and 75% YELLOW LEDs error code is displayed.

Charging over Long Periods of Time

Minn Kota Chargers are designed to not damage batteries if the charger is left plugged in for long periods of time when not in use. Minn Kota's On-board chargers operate in Float Mode where they maintain the battery voltage for 24 hours and then transition to Long Term Storage Mode. During this time the Charger no longer outputs power to the battery and only monitors the voltage. It will automatically resume charging when the battery voltage drops.

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