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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full size charger with digital smarts!
This charger is incredible, most of these full chargers are dummy models that have at most a timer, if you're lucky. This has timer functions AND a fully automatic mode just like the small Schumacher smart chargers.

The 150 amp mode is well thought out not to destroy the charger and protect the user from themselves, here's how it works: You turn it to the 150A...
Published on April 5, 2012 by kd8cgo

versus
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Average charger in a cheap and bulky package.
I thought there would be more to this charger when I ordered it - as in more functionality than a compact charger. However, this charger offers nothing more than what most of the more powerful compact chargers offer. All of the components in the cabinet of the SE-1555A could actually fit in a shoe box - the cabinet is mostly empty space.

The 150 Amp start...
Published 18 months ago by Rob S


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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Average charger in a cheap and bulky package., January 9, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
I thought there would be more to this charger when I ordered it - as in more functionality than a compact charger. However, this charger offers nothing more than what most of the more powerful compact chargers offer. All of the components in the cabinet of the SE-1555A could actually fit in a shoe box - the cabinet is mostly empty space.

The 150 Amp start assist is slightly more than what is offered in most compact chargers - but I have not been able to get the charger to deliver the assist as of yet. I am a military pilot by trade and it is common practice to use ground service equipment to power an engine start. This is done to greatly extend battery and starter motor life (for electrically started power plants) . I have used a Black and Decker compact charger with a 100 Amp boost for the past few years (on mornings I'm not in a rush), and it was useful in extending the life of my Die Hard battery. The B&D charger still works - but I figured the start assist was not designed for every day use and therefore I bought the SE-1555A to take over the starting duties - under the assumption the SE-1555A was more of a heavy duty charger capable of handling the daily abuse. However, this SE-1555A will not deliver the 150A (up to 150 Amp) starting boost unless it senses the battery is low - and therefore it provides no starting utility if the battery is fully charged.

The overall construction of this starter is rather cheap as well. The fit and finish is poor - what you might expect if it was built from scratch in a high school shop class (no offense to high school shop classes). The casing is cheap sheet metal with large seams, gaps, and the power transformer on the bottom of the unit was heavy enough to bend and distort the case during shipment. It is another example of a cheap product made under the name plate of a once reputable company. This unit was made in Mexico.

The product description states this charger has a battery and alternator tester. This is misleading as there is no separate diagnostic function to actually "test" a battery or alternator. The "test" procedures utilize nothing more than the voltage readout to determine if the battery/alternator are within a "normal" voltage range... they offer a very basic chart in the operating manual to help you 'determine' if the battery/alternator is "good". This is essentially useless beyond the most basic and simple "no kidding" the battery/alternator is well outside of a normal voltage range. Additionally, the voltage readout only reads actual voltage when the charger is not charging the battery. When the charger is actively charging - the voltage readout displays "12" volts, and not what is actually being put out by the charger (which can go up to and over 16 volts according to Schumacher tech service - I've seen as high as 15.83V using my multimeter).

A true battery and alternator diagnostic requires a load test - which goes well beyond a simple voltage test. A bad battery and/or alternator can output the correct voltage, but will not support a normal load. The only way to truly determine if either are bad is to have a diagnostic load test accomplished. I have a group 51 battery sitting on my work bench right now that puts out 12.8 volts after sitting for a week - but it will not start my easy to start Honda Civic VX (it will not hold a load). The SE-1555A was connected and apparently determined the battery only required a short charge cycle. After it showed the battery at 100%, the battery showed a voltage of 13.4V (well within the "good" range listed in the SE-1555A manual) - but the battery would barely turn over my Civic two or three times and then would quit. I then hooked up the SE-1555A again and let it charge until it showed 100% (again)... it yielded the same results. I took the battery down to Auto Zone and they load tested it, and their true diagnostic test showed it was actually a bad battery. Long story short - the battery/alternator "test" procedure is basically bunk on this charger.

Another issue with respect to the product description: The Schumacher customer service representative I spoke with stated it is not designed to charge AGM or gel batteries. This contradicts the product description on Amazon - to which I brought to the attention of the Schumacher customer representative. She then informed me that I was mistaken and that the Amazon product description did not state it would charge AGM and Gel batteries... she repeated this to me as I was reading the product description directly to her from the Amazon page.

Overall, I am disappointed in this product. The $100 would have been better spent on a quality compact charger. I will be contacting Amazon to return the charger.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full size charger with digital smarts!, April 5, 2012
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
This charger is incredible, most of these full chargers are dummy models that have at most a timer, if you're lucky. This has timer functions AND a fully automatic mode just like the small Schumacher smart chargers.

The 150 amp mode is well thought out not to destroy the charger and protect the user from themselves, here's how it works: You turn it to the 150A setting after hooking it to your vehicle as described. The charger will engage the 150A current once it detects the car turning over (voltage drop) and will continue to apply that current for 10 seconds (the display shows the count down). After the first application, the charger will do a 180 second count down to allow the unit to cool, and will then be ready for another application as needed.

All of this capability in a fairly lightweight, sub-100 dollar model? You can't ask for more than that in my opinion. This charger is awesome!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great charger for the money, "good" overall, May 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
This charger works pretty well. The digital is great to have, the unit is lightweight, and the clamps seem durable.
The 150amp engine start mode will not start a car with a completely dead battery. It will only assist and start a car with a battery "just dead enough" to not work. It can be handy in a time of need however. The digital voltmeter is accurate, and nice to have when you don't want to get your multimeter out. It also is nice to see battery level represented as a percentage. I do wish it updated more frequently and sampled often however.
The unit also can have a tendency to overcharge small batteries if you hook them up on high charge rates. Example being a 26r group, a miata battery, lawnmower battery. Since it does not refresh frequently you will overcharge a small battery on 55a mode. This can be solved by pulling the clamps and re-seating.

It's impossible to short out and reverse clamp which is handy. The unit will not "spark" and charges a second or 2 after it detects the battery.

The sheet metal is very thin, and the edges are sharp. I recommend some auto store universal door molding on the edges to keep it from accidentally gouging your car.
If you remove the sheet metal and look inside the unit is 75% empty. It is very light and probably cased in a wheel around size just to prove it is made to compete with similarly sized analog units. There is a fan which can be quite loud when charging, and it seems like a small computer muffin fan type.

Assembly is fast, and packaging is well done.
Overall I am glad I went digital, I wish I opted for a 200a engine start unit, and I think the unit seems like it will serve me well for years to come. It isn't the best on the market, but it's the best I think I could have gotten for this price point. I like it and have charged MANY batteries so far in my garage.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy if you're looking for an automatic charger., January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
It does not work in the automatic mode. I tried it the first day out of the box and absolutely just won't charge in auto. The manual mode works great. I bought it because it had the automatic mode , but oh well, at least it works in manual mode.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great charger/tester, May 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
The charger works great. Not hard to assemble.I've had this charger about a month with no problems. It charged my car battery from 60 % to 100% Then i used the jump start feature. Works great. Read the Manuel thoroughly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schumacher charger, March 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
The charger is average. 150 amp Engine start is not enough amps for bigger batteries. Looks great but functionality is average.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Charger!, January 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
Those that complained about it being a "cheap" cabinet, non-working "automatic", cheap wheels, etc., apparently got a different machine than I got. Sure the wheels are plastic, but I'm not riding it, I'm pulling it across the garage. The charger works as advertised, if you read and follow the directions. Automatic is fantastic if you have a battery that you don't have time to watch. Set it on quick charge and forget it because it turns itself to maintenance 2 amp trickle when the battery becomes fully charged! 150 amp "starter" isn't fantastic for a frozen battery but it will turn over a low battery for you to get going!. We started my daughter's fiancé's car that had been sitting in the MN winter since OCT. And we've had some nippy weather here this winter! I would recommend this little beauty to any homeowner and the preice is right, too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars D.O.A., September 23, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
Did not work on delivery,did not charge on either setting, led panel did not work, we will see how replacement unit works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schumacher SE 1555A Battery charger, November 1, 2012
By 
Dave Baudhuin "Dave Baudhuin" (Flagler Beach, Fl United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
Item arrived very fast and was packed very well. Easy to assemble. Only used once so far on a dead battery. Charged at 20 amps for less than an hour and was able to start car without using the car starting higher amperage setting. Very happy with this purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Charger, March 23, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Schumacher SE-1555A Automatic Elite Wheel 12 Volt Battery Charger with Engine Start (Automotive)
I wanted a charger that could do automotive charging as well as charging lead acid batteries. This charger also has a manual setting which I really like besides the auto charging. It works really well and does the job excellent. Nice LED readout.
This is the second charger as the first was defective due to a noisy transformer. It happens. Amazon promptly sent a replacement. I have to say both Schumacher and Amazon could not have been more helpful with the process. Great charger for $99! Schumacher has excellent tech support.
It should be noted that I looked at several standup chargers on Amazon from Schumacher and even the more expensive ones did not have the auto and manual option. Most were manual or auto only. This is a nice feature.
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