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That would be what I recommend as well, whether or not the device remains.

Float chargers(not to be confused with trickle chargers) are the solution. Plug them in and forget. I have one for my Spyder, my BMW R100, my Cayman, and for my car trailer. They are all hooked up for the winter/non-use months.

Float chargers can be had for $20-30 dollars each.

@DannyP posted:

That would be what I recommend as well, whether or not the device remains.

Float chargers(not to be confused with trickle chargers) are the solution. Plug them in and forget. I have one for my Spyder, my BMW R100, my Cayman, and for my car trailer. They are all hooked up for the winter/non-use months.

Float chargers can be had for $20-30 dollars each.

Float chargers apply a continuous voltage to the battery, albeit at a level lower than the alternator, just high enough to keep the plates from sulfating. They don't work well with maintenance-free batteries, which have a finite supply of irreplaceable electrolyte. The water slowly boils off, eventually exposing the plates to oxygen, which causes the battery to fail. Float chargers do well with maintenance-accessible batteries, where lost water can be manually replenished. They also do well with sealed, recombinant VRLA batteries.

For maintenance-free batteries, I either use a maintainer-desulfator, or I simply put a timer in front of the float charger so it only runs for an hour each day, which is just enough to boost the battery to a full state of charge. If your vehicle has small parasitic loads, increase the timer's duration to 2 hours. 

Winner International is the same company that owns The Club auto theft prevention device. It's likely if you write to the m they could tell you how the device was installed. It really shouldn't be that difficult though. Chances are there is a wire from the distributer or the batter going to the "Winner" device and then to your ignition. Removal should be as simple as removing the device and seeing where the empty space is on the back of your ignition switch. If you don't want to do any of that yourself a car stereo shop would be my recommendation to have it removed. The concept on 99% of the antitheft devices is the same and they should be familiar with how to remove it. Finding a shop that has been in business for a long time might be helpful also. Someone there may have actual experience with that device.

"I just remove the center lead from my distributor. No spark-no start" ......Moving a plug wire to coil center will get them on their way.

"All of the wiring needed to do that is under the dash and easy to get to"  True, but a short piece of wire from Alt. B+  to coil +  pop the clutch will also get them on their way.

Lastly, I stole the Principal's 62 Beetle twice: parking it on the school front lawn and also on Graduation Day on the 50 yard line by pulling a taillight wire off and over to coil + and popping the clutch :~)

Float chargers apply a continuous voltage to the battery, albeit at a level lower than the alternator, just high enough to keep the plates from sulfating. They don't work well with maintenance-free batteries, which have a finite supply of irreplaceable electrolyte. The water slowly boils off, eventually exposing the plates to oxygen, which causes the battery to fail. Float chargers do well with maintenance-accessible batteries, where lost water can be manually replenished. They also do well with sealed, recombinant VRLA batteries.

For maintenance-free batteries, I either use a maintainer-desulfator, or I simply put a timer in front of the float charger so it only runs for an hour each day, which is just enough to boost the battery to a full state of charge. If your vehicle has small parasitic loads, increase the timer's duration to 2 hours.

Sorry I disagree.

Trickle chargers apply a constant albeit small charge. They work well to maintain Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh cells. I agree, TRICKLE chargers are not the best for lead acid batteries, the charge rate is too high to leave on continuously.

Float chargers charge to a certain voltage(2.25 to 2.27 volts per cell, 13.5 to 13.62 for all 6 cells) at a .5 to 1.5 amp usual rate(depending on charger), then switch to maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is a fixed voltage and a much smaller current than a TRICKLE charger. I've used one for 5 years on my maintenance-free motorcycle gel-cell(which is still lead acid). The battery starts as new every spring.

Float chargers are the way to go for most automotive/regular batteries.

You can spend more and get a maintainer/de-sulfator, but it's not necessary IMHO.

I come from a 30 year Telco background, and have been working with Rectifiers/Float chargers and lead acid batteries for a LONG time.

Last edited by DannyP

@Dane A. After a quick Google search I came up with nothing that looks like what you have installed.  I would suggest that you contact @VSpyder Greg Leach at Vintage Motor Cars of California ( www.vintagemotorcarsinc.com or phone at (714) 894-1550) and ask how to remove that system.  

These cars are rare enough and individual enough that no owners on here that we know of have had their car stolen.  Three cars were stolen from a warehouse at Vintage years ago - I don't know if they were ever recovered, but that's it IFAIK.

BTW there must be more of the kill system running beyond a small LED light because an LED wouldn't kill your battery in 2 weeks, but a running security system might.

@DannyP posted:

Sorry I disagree.

Trickle chargers apply a constant albeit small charge. They work well to maintain Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh cells. I agree, TRICKLE chargers are not the best for lead acid batteries, the charge rate is too high to leave on continuously.

Float chargers charge to a certain voltage(2.25 to 2.27 volts per cell, 13.5 to 13.62 for all 6 cells) at a .5 to 1.5 amp usual rate(depending on charger), then switch to maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is a fixed voltage and a much smaller current than a TRICKLE charger. I've used one for 5 years on my maintenance-free motorcycle gel-cell(which is still lead acid). The battery starts as new every spring.

Float chargers are the way to go for most automotive/regular batteries.

You can spend more and get a maintainer/de-sulfator, but it's not necessary IMHO.

I come from a 30 year Telco background, and have been working with Rectifiers/Float chargers and lead acid batteries for a LONG time.

We have terminological differences. What you call a float charger is what I call a maintainer. A float charger floats the battery at a constant voltage, usually as you say, 2.25-2.27 VPC. It simply floats the battery. It doesn't switch to a lower voltage maintenance mode.

Now for the neat part. I have a similar background, and have been working with telecom/broadband/data center power systems for the last 30+ years. I started my inside plant career with Lorain Products, and have worked for MCI, Qwest/CenturyLink, and Time-Warner Cable. My current employer is a major player in the DC power space. It's a small world, huh?

A float charger doesn't drop the voltage, but it DOES drop the current though, a very important factor. Float is the maintenance mode as opposed to charge mode.

We used to use Lorain rectifiers all the time in the old days. I've done a lot of cell-site cabinets, CEV(controlled environment vault: underground room full of electronics/small central office), and some Central Office work. I've built equipment from batteries to DC and AC power, all cabling, fiber, programming and circuit acceptance. I liked troubleshooting failures and bringing dead equipment back to life. You name it I worked on it from party line service on twisted pair to OC-48 optical circuits. Most of my time was in splicing, but I spent the last few years before retirement in FiOS.

Started in New York Telephone, name-changed to NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, and finally Verizon...but basically the same company, never changed jobs really.

Sorry about the thread drift guys.

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Um, getting back to the original post.

Like Gordon, I googled and found no corroborating evidence that this device ever existed. And, it seems Winner Int currently makes a bazillion variations of The Club and pretty much nothing else.

No high-tech electronic gimcrackery in their repertoire.

Ah, but they do make a few 'security' devices which are alarm decoys - flashing LED thingies designed to fool bad guys into thinking a real alarm system is on the job - at considerably reduced cost compared to a real alarm system.

I'm wondering if this isn't an earlier Winner attempt at a decoy system and is connected to nothing but a 12V power tap. (They would already have keys and lock sets in the parts bin for all those Clubs they make.)

In which case, the LED shouldn't be enough to drain a healthy battery, so maybe those furtive electrons are finding another escape path to ground, far from the mystery device.

I think I'd start with the usual procedures for checking that - the pulling of fuses and the measuring of amps. Sometimes a sharp lookout for an arc when pulling fuses - one at a time - can be revealing. And that can be more fruitful in a darkened garage.

More and more, though, I'm liking the concept of a fake alarm to protect one of our fake cars.

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With the car shut down, disconnect the negative battery cable and tap it on the negative terminal. Do you see a little spark? Or try a light tester or voltage meter and see if there is any current.

If so, try pulling the fuse that is used by your horn and test again. I have had fits with the rag joint in my steering column leaking electrons and you may have the same issue.

I solved the problem by powering the horn from a keyed circuit.

Last edited by Drumagination
@Sacto Mitch posted:

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Um, getting back to the original post.

Like Gordon, I googled and found no corroborating evidence that this device ever existed. And, it seems Winner Int currently makes a bazillion variations of The Club and pretty much nothing else.

No high-tech electronic gimcrackery in their repertoire.

Ah, but they do make a few 'security' devices which are alarm decoys - flashing LED thingies designed to fool bad guys into thinking a real alarm system is on the job - at considerably reduced cost compared to a real alarm system.

I'm wondering if this isn't an earlier Winner attempt at a decoy system and is connected to nothing but a 12V power tap. (They would already have keys and lock sets in the parts bin for all those Clubs they make.)

In which case, the LED shouldn't be enough to drain a healthy battery, so maybe those furtive electrons are finding another escape path to ground, far from the mystery device.

I think I'd start with the usual procedures for checking that - the pulling of fuses and the measuring of amps. Sometimes a sharp lookout for an arc when pulling fuses - one at a time - can be revealing. And that can be more fruitful in a darkened garage.

More and more, though, I'm liking the concept of a fake alarm to protect one of our fake cars.

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If it was fake why bother to include a "key" to carry on your keychain?

The obvious way to check it though is to try and start the car with this ignition kill system on and off. If the car doesn't start and then it does the system works as it should. It may or may not be the source of your battery drain. If the system being on drains the battery and the system being off doesn't drain the battery then it is the problem. If the battery drains when the system is on or off then maybe it's not the problem, but then again it could be. Sourcing a battery drain issue can be frustrating and it will be time consuming. It could also just be a bad battery.

Either way @Dane A. keep us informed as to what you discover along the way or figure out.

Last edited by Robert M

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@Robert M

"If it was fake why bother to include a "key" to carry on your keychain?"

Maybe that's what potential customers were wondering and might that explain why this device didn't seem to be a roaring success in the marketplace?

Whatever the truth, I think the way out of the box is to start doing the usual checks for current drains. Starting at the fuse block is a handy way to isolate the problem.

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