Chicago Electric 500A Battery Load Tester

Neil asked to let others know how this tester works, so I thought I'd post a little review here.


In terms of fit and finish, quality appears to be "good". Not super high quality, but overall it seems good in terms of first impressions. I got this for under $40 with a special coupon. I've got a lot of batteries around my farm and also the batteries in my wind turbine battery bank. Thought this might be handy and the price was right.

I tested the battery on my car that was sitting in the garage. The battery is less than 1 year old, and obviously I expected it to test good. Battery is 700cca and tester manual says to use 2X CCA rating (or 3X A/H rating) for the load. I hooked up the clamps to the battery and began turning the load knob. It took several turns to bring the load up to 350amps. After a short period of time, the tester sounded a buzzer. Take a reading off the voltmeter and then turn the knob CCW to remove the load. It's a short test, but there is a lot of heat generated. I tested twice. Everything seems to work well. Car battery tested good with 9.8V at the end of the test duration at 50F in the garage.

So, given the low price (it's now on sale at $49.99), I'd say that it's worthwhile. I haven't tested my Concorde Lifeline AGM batteries with it yet, because Lifeline recommends a different test. They recommend discharging at 25A until 10.5V is reached. I don't like the idea of fully discharging a battery to 0%. They also recommend using their CA1550 charger/analyzer which I searched for online and saw one place selling it for $4600! YIKES! Obviously, one could set up a 25A discharge load and do it without the fancy analyzer. I digress...

In any case, the Chicago Electric 500A battery load tester seems to work fine. Ammeter and voltmeter gauges are big and easy to read. The load is easy to set quickly and accurately with the knob. I think it's worth the money.

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