Product Review (May 2003)
ELK Technology - ELK-BLT v.2
Battery Life Tester™

Have you ever wanted to test a battery beyond a simple voltage measurement? An accurate way of determining the capabilities of a battery is to measure the internal conductivity or Mhos. Elk Products located in Hildebran, North Carolina, has a variety of products for security and home automation, including several innovative test instruments to help installers and end-users solve problems.

The new and improved ELK-BLT v.2 Mhos Meter is a battery life tester that is compact and very simple to use. The meter is designed to work with 12 volt rechargeable batteries, typically used in fire and security alarm systems, uninterruptible power supplies and backup lighting systems. The meter includes a padded plastic case with a handle for easy portability. Once connected, the voltage appears and then the conductivity reading or Mhos is displayed.

Battery Mhos Chart
@ 72 °F Temp  Mhos Mhos  Mhos Mhos
Ah Size  BAD WEAK  GOOD BEST
.8 Ah 0 - 19 20 - 21 22 - 24 25+
1.3 Ah 0 - 24 25 - 28 29 - 31 32+
2.3 Ah 0 - 40 41 - 45 46 - 51 52+
2.6 Ah 0 - 44 45 - 50 51 - 57 58+
3.0 Ah 0 - 48 49 - 55 56 - 62 63+
3.3 Ah 0 - 49 50 - 57 58 - 64 65+
4.0 Ah 0 - 64 65 - 73 74 - 83 84+
4.5 Ah 0 - 73 74 - 83 84 - 94 95+
5.0 Ah 0 - 76 77 - 87 88 - 96 99+
7.0 Ah 0 - 139 140 - 159 160 - 179 180+
7.5 Ah 0 - 153 154 - 175 176 - 197 198+
8.0 Ah 0 - 157 158 - 179 180 - 202 203+
10.0 Ah 0 - 185 186 - 211 212 - 238 239+
12.0 Ah 0 - 192 193 - 219 220 - 247 248+
17.0 Ah 0 - 265 266 - 303 304 - 341 342+
18.0 Ah 0 - 279 280 - 319 320 - 359 360+
24.0 Ah 0 - 321 322 - 367 368 - 413 414+
25.0 Ah 0 - 328 329 - 375 376 - 422 423+
26.0 Ah 0 - 335 336 - 383 384 - 431 432+

Using the Mhos Chart, users can quickly determine the health of their 12V rechargeable batteries (Best, Good, Weak or Bad). The Battery Mhos Chart is used to compare baseline readings which are the best indicator of a battery’s health and life expectancy. Since every battery type has a specific characteristic Mho value when it is brand new and fully charged, the table is an accurate way of determining the condition of the battery being tested.

Also included with the kit are self-adhesive test data labels which can be placed on each new battery to record battery measurements as a baseline for future tests. Elk Products recommends charging the battery for 24 hours prior to running the baseline Mhos test. A new battery out of the box should be about 12.6 volts. We confirmed this with the Elk battery we used during our test.

We tested the ELK-BLT v.2 using a brand new, fully charged ELK Products 12100 12 Volt, 12 Amp Hour Sealed Lead Acid Battery. Our measurements were made at room temperature (approximately 70° F). The tester displayed 12.6V and 284 Mhos. Warmer temperatures will tend to increase the Mho readings while cooler temperatures will tend to decrease them. This needs to be taken into consideration when measurements are being made. For example, at 100 °F the Mho reading will be about 105% above normal and at 32 °F it will be about 76% of the normal reading. Taking readings is as simple as connecting the tester to the battery. The tester automatically takes a voltage measurement and then the Mho reading. The meter goes through a series of tests, including measuring the conductance to determine the battery's current capability. Nothing else is required of the user except putting the tester back into the box. It's really that simple to use.

Conclusion
The ELK-BLTv.2 is an inexpensive and very clever product that offers excellent user feedback on the condition of 12V batteries. Elk Products has designed a companion to their line of 12 volt batteries that allows installers and end-users to test the integrity of their batteries. No longer do you need to guess whether your battery is good or not.
- Rita Nakano

Review at a glance

ELK Technology - ELK-BLT v.2 Battery Life Tester

Features:

  • Compact, Low cost, and easy to use.
  • Does not discharge or damage the battery.
  • Analyzes 12 Volt Rechargeable Batteries.
  • Warns if battery voltage is too low.
  • Replaceable test leads.
  • Includes Padded Carrying Case.
  • Includes Self-Adhesive Test Data Labels.
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty.
  • Numeric LED display shows battery voltage, and Mhos reading.

    Specifications:

  • Operating Voltage: 10V - 14 Volts DC
  • Current Draw: 1.1 Amps Max., 0.0016Ah for full test
  • Battery Leads: ~12 Inches
  • Enclosure Size: 4.4" W x 3" H x 1.15" D (111.8mm x 76.3mm x 29.2mm) w/o carrying case

    ELK-BLT v2 Manual

    Source: Manufacture Supplied
    Warranty: Lifetime limited warranty


    ELK Technology - ELK-12100 12V 12Ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery

    Specifications:

  • Nominal Voltage: 12 Volts
  • Rated Capacity: 12 AH (20 hour rate)
  • Length: 5.94" (151mm)
  • Width: 3.90" (99mm)
  • Height: 3.78" (96mm)
  • Total Height: 3.94" (100mm)
  • Weight: 8.82 lbs (4.0kg)
  • Terminals: F1-Faston Tab No. 187

    Source: Manufacture Supplied
    Warranty: Two Year Warranty

    Distributor Information


  • Company Information
    ELK Products, Inc.
    P.O. Box 100
    Hildebran, N.C. 28637 USA
    Phone: 828-397-4200
    Fax:
    828-397-4415

    URL: www.elkproducts.com
    E-mail:
    techsupport@elkproducts.com

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