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Old 02-22-2010, 10:46 PM
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Default Interesting Battery Drain problem

Interesting Battery problem. I had a Yellow top optima that was 4 years old. I heard about the Deka AGM group 31 Batteries Blems and bought 3. Two for the trailer and 1 for the Landcruiser.

I have a Sears Die Hard Platinum as my backup battery with a Hellroaring Dual Battery system. All loads are tied to the primary battery and the backup battery is used to jump the primary when needed.

I put the new Deka in and after a few days the truck wouldn’t start and I had to jump it using the backup battery. I checked all the wiring and found no issues so I swapped it with one of the the other Deka Blems I bought.

The second Deka Blem did the same thing. I contacted Hellroaring and we went through all the measurements to ensure the Hellroaring system was functioning properly. I then placed a circuit tester between the ground lug and the ground cable. The light was on faintly and when I pulled the radio fuse it went out altogether.

So I switched the Hellroaring system to off and parked it while I went on vacation for a week. The battery measured 13.3V when I left and 8.6V when I got back 7 days later

So I inserted a current meter between the Ground lug and cable and after the door closed and ign light went off, I measured 56mA. Pulling the radio fuse, I confirmed that 50mA of this is the Scion Radio. I also verified the Hellroaring system wasnt drawing anything. Researching on line showed this to be a normal draw and should not draw down a Deka battery like this. Calculating it out, 56mA consumes about 1.34 AH per day. For 7 Days, that would be 9.5AH of capacity. If that is all the capacity the battery had, it would drain it. For a group 31 battery at 100 AH, that would be less than 10% of the capacity and should not be close to being drained. Unless, the starting charge was only at the 10% level.

Thinking the alternator should have adequately charge it. I have been on several 30 minute plus drives.

In any case, I charged it overnight using a trickle charger and I will see if that makes a difference.

If it was just one battery I would say it was the battery. The fact that it happened with two of the Blems makes me pause.

Over the weekend, I will likely swap another battery in there and see what happens. I have the 5 year old lifeline I pulled out of the trailer.

Hensley said I could bring it back and they would help me. Wont have the time to make it there this week.

Anyone have any issues with the Blems they bought?
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:22 PM
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Mine isn't a blem but I can report I have had zero issues with it so far. I used it on the trailer and winched with it probably 30 times without charging it. I recently put it in the 80 and charged it with the alternator. Having lunch with Christo the other day, he mentioned the Odysseys he carries now are AGM and the rep reported that AGM batteries need to be conditioned with a charger that has an AGM setting. According to the rep, an alternator doesn't charge the battery correctly for an AGM. The solution is to recondition an AGM with the right charger. I still need to ask the rep how often this needs to be done but I do have an AGM charger and I have used it once so far. The one Christo sells is $100 I think.

This is the charger I used:
Name:  682223.jpg
Views: 243
Size:  18.3 KB

Battery Charger, 10/6/2 Amp; 12 volt; Automatic; Bench
Product Line: NAPA Battery Chargers
Part Number: NBC 85510
Price:
Price
Unit
:
:
74.99
Each
Availability:
Available Now

Warranty Warranty PDF
Attributes Battery Charger amp Rating : 10/6/2 Amp
Battery Charger Automatic or Manual : Automatic
Battery Charger Type : Bench
Battery Charger Volt Rating : 12 volt
Battery Charger Grade : DIY
Battery Charger Height : 3 7/8"
Battery Charger Length : 8 3/8"
Battery Charger Timer Type : Automatic
Battery Charger Width : 11 1/2"
Cable Gauge : 18
Cable Length : 72
Contain Circuit Breaker Protection : Yes
Contain Cooling Fan : Yes
Contain Electronic Polarity Protection : Yes
Contain Meter or LED Indicator : LED Indicator
Rated For Outdoor Use : No
Type Batteries Battery Charger Charges : Lead Acid/AGM
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:25 PM
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I have the Hellroaring setup to install in the next few weeks and a Sears Oddysey as the backup. I wonder, is my Deltran charger the right kind for AGM?
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80lolux4x4 View Post
I have the Hellroaring setup to install in the next few weeks and a Sears Oddysey as the backup. I wonder, is my Deltran charger the right kind for AGM?
The charger will have an AGM setting if it is the right kind. The picture is crappy but the second light down on the right says "AGM".
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Old 02-22-2010, 11:32 PM
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Thanks Mike, I noticed in the specs of your charger that it specifies AGM and lead acid. I'm looking forward to what you find out from the Rep on how often it should be conditioned. I will use my AGM for only one purpose: to run my dialysis machine at night while camping. So this is really good, timely info for me. I may have a brand new AGM for sale if it needs frequent conditioning.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:51 AM
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We are stocking Odessy batteries now and got an education from the people that sell them. The alternator is only a "maintainer" and there to charge a wet cell battery up after the minute draw of starting the vehicle or the maintain the draws associated with operating the vehicle.

AGM's require a certain charge profile, one that a alternator does not do. So to get the max life out of them, one need to condition and charge them after you have abused them. This is done with a charger that is set up for them. The Odessy 25 amp charger is about $180 or so. They do have smaller ones as well. We are looking into which ones we will stock.

Here is the more technical stuff
http://www.odysseyfactory.com/chargers.html
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:59 AM
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Thanks Christo! I just copied this of the Deltran/Battery-Tender site. Looks like I am okay. :whew:

Quote:
Trickle chargers are simply not capable of regulating the output voltage applied to a battery as the battery ages, or if a different battery with different characteristics is connected to the trickle charger’s output terminals. The Battery Tender Jr. is capable of charge maintenance on all lead acid battery types, including both AGM and GEL cells.

RECHARGING AGM BATTERIES: The primary difference between these 2 chargers is that the Battery Tender Plus was specifically designed to accommodate the charging requirements of the new, Absorbed Glass Matte (AGM) style batteries. To achieve that goal, it was necessary to modify the absorption charge mode in the following way. The Battery Tender switches to float mode when the charge current drops to 0.5 amps. The Battery Tender Plus switches to float mode when the charge current drops to 0.1 amps. The result is that for an extended period of time, not to exceed 8 hours, the Battery Tender Plus output voltage will be held at a constant voltage that is significantly higher than the float voltage.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:12 AM
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Good info. The charger I have has an AGM setting and I charged it the other night. I'll see if that makes a difference

Christo - did they tell you how often you should do a charge with the AGM charger?

Although, My backup battery is an Odyssey (Sears DH Platinum) and I have not had an issue with it maintaining it's charge.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:16 AM
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Interesting. That coincides with my experience with Optima Yellow-Tops. To recap, I used the pair to do some welding on the winch point on Jenny Creek where the drift always forms. Did a fair amount of driving and thought little of it after that. Then I let the truck sit for a couple months, and went to start it - both batteries dead.

I left them on my 6A, then 2A, charger for over a week, fired right up, and have had no issues since. I wonder if that is why Optimas have a bad rep with some users, but work great for others? Hmmm...

I have a couple battery monitors and I need to install them and do a writeup (have not forgotten, Chris!).
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:20 AM
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I did find this, They were the last on the pallett so I wonder how long they sat there. If it doesn't maintain charge after being charged on the AGM setting, I am going to go back there to return them.

"False" Capacity

A battery can meet the voltage tests for being at full charge, yet be much lower than it's original capacity. If plates are damaged, sulfated, or partially gone from long use, the battery may give the appearance of being fully charged, but in reality acts like a battery of much smaller size. This same thing can occur in gelled cells if they are overcharged and gaps or bubbles occur in the gel. What is left of the plates may be fully functional, but with only 20% of the plates left... Batteries usually go bad for other reasons before reaching this point, but it is something to be aware of if your batteries seem to test OK but lack capacity and go dead very quickly under load.
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