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battery on concrete experiment

Subject: battery on concrete experiment
From: (Denise Thorpe)
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 96 10:33:02 PST
Will Zehring asked:

> p.s.  What ever happened to Denise's battery experiment?

Well, as you may recall, my experimental procedure was shot down by Richard 
White who pointed out that the voltage of a battery is not a good indicator 
of the charge on a battery.  Realizing the justice of this, I decided to 
restart the experiment testing the specific gravity of the battery at regular 
intervals (yeah, right) with a battery hydrometer (turkey baster thingy).  I 
charged the battery for a couple of days and then tried to make the baseline 
test with the hydrometer.  Surprise!  There wasn't enough electrolyte to cover 
the tops of the plates.  After adding distilled water and charging the battery 
for a couple of more days, I discovered that there's never going to be enough 
electrolyte in one of the cells of my MG 1100-sized 12 volt battery to make 
the lead-filled gizmo in the turkey baster float.  I was disheartened but not 

One of these days, I'll be buying a matching set of 6 volt batteries for the 
'67 B that I'm supposedly restoring.  At the rate I'm going with this 
restoration, I'll be able to leave one of these batteries sitting on concrete 
for years.  Since these are six volts, each cell will hold enough electrolyte 
to make the hydrometer work.  The previous test battery and control battery 
were only mostly identical, but these will be the same model and the same age.

Some people suggested using a load tester to test the batteries, but this 
would cause the battery to discharge slightly effecting the results of the 
experiment.  Even if I tested both the test battery and the control battery
the same number of times, I couldn't guarantee that they'd each be getting 
the same amount of load.  Besides, I don't own a battery load tester.

But why are you asking, Will?  You're the one who said that a test of this 
nature can't work in San Diego because our weather's too good.  If it will 
make anyone feel better, it's raining here in San Diego. . . but it's still 
60 degrees F.  That's above zero.

Next, the continuing saga of two speed wipers for a '67 B.  I now have all 
the parts!

Denise Thorpe

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