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Thread: Boat Battery Tech Tips

  1. #11
    LBM's Avatar
    LBM is offline Crappie.com 3K Star General * Crappie.com Supporter
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    While fishing on 12/31/12 and getting ready to leave the lake I found my battery didn't have enough oomph to start my big motor. I found out my jumper cables weren't long enough to reach from the trolling batteries up front to the cranking battery in the rear. Fortunately a friend was fishing near by and we jumped my battery from his boat. This battery wasn't that old and I keep them plugged in with the on board charger all the time in the garage. I plugged the battery back in and since the place I bought the battery wasn't open the next day it was a week (on the on board charger all this time) before I was able to take it in.

    When I took it in they checked each cell saying they are all OK but said they would hook it up to their charger overnight so I could pick it up the next day. When I went back into pick it up they said the battery was bad and fortunately it was still 21 days inside the window where they gave me a new battery. Just to praise Interstate Batteries here.

    Now for the rest of the story here I'll talk about some clues that I ignored that probably should have told me I had a problem battery much sooner. It was probably early summer that my Lowrance graph on the front of the boat would at times shut off when I would start my big motor to move to another spot. This hadn't happened before but it didn't happen every time and when the graph did shut down I wasn't having any issues at getting the big motor started. The Lowrance X97 graph on the back never did shut down.

    I'm just pointing out how I ignored this clue about something being different and if I had checked it out sooner I should have discovered I had a problem battery. It's my understanding that the graphs will shut down when they get a low voltage and I had ignored these clues and am passing it on to perhaps help someone else take notice about little clues that are telling us things we probably ought to be checking out.
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  2. #12
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    jackie53 is online now Crappie.com Legend * Crappie.com Supporter * Member Sponsor
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    Good post thanks good info!!!!
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    very educational...thanks a bunch

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    Thanks

  5. #15
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    Battery gurus...looking for your expertise. I have 3 sears PM-1 Marine (enersys AGM Odyssey batteries with odyssey 31-PC2150 specs) in my boat . I have 2 on the TM that were purchased in late 2011, and are amazing batteries. I have an older one purchased in early 2010 that runs my starting motor and everything else. My last trip out, my starting battery was not up to snuff. I wasn't sure if something had drained down the battery while sitting or what happened. I have a 3 bank minn kota 330 charger that has 10 amps per bank and 30 total and recharge the batteries after every trip. I put the batteries on charge until the batteries charged to green status on the charger. I checked all batteries with a little minn kota 4 light tester and got 4 lights...fully charged. After 12 hrs had passed, I put a multitester on all three batteries and found the 2 trolling batteries to be testing at 12.8 V, while the starting battery was at 12.36 which I think would be approximately 65-70% charge or there about.

    I called sears to check on my purchase date and unfortunately , this battery was over the 3 yr warranty date. The guy there said that these batteries needed to be charged with a 40 amp charger. I thought this was BS, so started looking at the odyssey web site and found the following in the odyssey owner manual:

    To fully charge a 31-PC2150 battery that is routinely discharged deeply, a minimum of 40 amps are required with
    charger voltage within the range of 14.1V to 14.7V. It is imperative not to exceed 15.0V as this will cause the pressure
    valves to open and out-gas hydrogen, oxygen and water from inside the battery. This will shorten the life of the
    battery and cause premature failure. Some portable chargers exceed 15.0V, especially two-wheel garage chargers, so
    charging voltages should be verified by measuring the charging voltage during the time when the charging amperage
    is reducing from full output. The deep cycle charging voltage must be within 14.1V minimum to 14.7V maximum.


    So what do you guys think about this? Apparently Odyssey makes chargers specifically for these batteries, however , my minn kota charger had been doing a great job until now. I am wondering if somehow my battery got discharged so deeply, my charger would not bring it back to full charge, and if I took it to someone with the specified charger ....would this bring it back to full charge.... or should I cut my losses and just go buy a new battery?

    Also, found a lot of good info in the tech manual on the odyssey web site, here's what they say on load testing:

    LOAD TEST PROCEDuRE
    This procedure should help determine whether the battery
    returned by the customer has reached its end of life or simply
    needs a full recharge. Depending on the time available one
    may choose to perform either the longer load test (Step 4) or
    the shorter ½CCA load test (Step 5).
    The ½CCA test is quicker but less reliable than the longer test.
    This is also the test that is performed when a battery is taken
    to an auto store for testing.
    An alternative approach to determine the health of the battery
    is to use the ODYSSEY® battery PortAlyzerTM handheld tester,
    specifically developed for these batteries. The test procedure is
    shown in the flowchart in the section that discusses the tester.
    1. Measure the open circuit voltage (OCV) of the battery.
    Proceed to Step 4 or Step 5 if the OCV is equal to or more
    than 12.80V; if not go to Step 2.
    2. Charge the battery using the ODYSSEY OMAX-50A-1B
    UltimizerTM charger until the green LED light comes on,
    indicating the completion of the charge. Stop the test if the
    red LED comes on indicating a bad battery.
    3. Unplug the charger and disconnect the battery from the
    charger. Let the battery rest of at least 10-12 hours and
    measure the OCV. If it is equal to or more than 12.80V
    proceed to the next step; otherwise reject the battery.
    4. Long Test: Discharge the battery using a resistor or other
    suitable load until the voltage drops to 10.00V and record the
    time taken to reach this voltage. Let the battery rest for an
    hour and repeat Steps 1 through 4. If the time taken by the
    battery to drop to 10.00V is longer in the second discharge
    than in the first discharge, the battery may be returned to
    service after a full recharge; if not the battery should be
    rejected as having reached end of life.
    5. ½CCA Test: Battery OCV must be at least 12.60V to proceed
    with this test. Connect the load tester cables and the voltage
    leads of a separate digital voltmeter (if the tester does not
    have a built-in digital voltmeter) to the battery terminals.
    6. Adjust the tester load current to lad the battery to half its
    rated CCA and apply the load for 15 seconds. Table 7 shows
    the ½CCA values for all ODYSSEY® battery models. Use
    Table 8 to adjust the battery end of test voltage temperature.


    thanks in advance for your help.

    HHD
    Last edited by Hoosier Hog Daddy; 11-08-2013 at 07:40 AM.
    GnawMart Tenderloin Sandwich Prostaff, Gnawbone Indiana

  6. #16
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    Depending on your outboard, it may charge at a sufficient rate to meet the requirement when you are running. What outboard do you have?

    It's unlikely that your cranking battery is routinely deeply discharged since the outboard charges it and it never has loads on it like a trolling motor, so you should have no issues keeping it topped off with the 10A charger.

    I believe your battery is bad and I don't think charging it at a higher rate will accomplish anything, but I can't tell you for sure. If you want to try a higher charge rate, you could hook all three banks from your MK charger to the cranking battery and see if it helps. You may have to run the battery down some in order to get it to draw the full current of the charger though.

    Before replacing the battery, you may want to check your outboard charging system. If the output is excessive, it could be causing venting of the battery and shortening its life. Just a guess, but with almost no effort to check and $250 at risk with a new battery it's worth doing.

  7. #17
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    Thanks CatFan. As always, you give some good advice. I have an old 1976 115 HP Johnson (4 cyl), 2 stroke. I was doing ok in the Spring, and only got out a couple times in the heat of the Summer, and just recently started fishing again. I think I may have left something on sometime this summer that maybe put a draw on the battery. I typically don't run the big motor much. I am planning to take it out later this week when the weather warms up and see if I can get it started and run awhile and check to see what that does to it.

    HHD
    GnawMart Tenderloin Sandwich Prostaff, Gnawbone Indiana

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