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Old 08-01-2008, 21:43   #31
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I replaced my four 4-D wet cells with FullRiver AGMs. Could not be more pleased. Two attributes of AGMs stand out. First, the self discharge rate is extremely low. After weeks alone my house bank looses less than 6% of charge (measured with XBM). By comparison wet cells have a very high self discharge rate. Second, the AGMs ability to absorb virtually all the amps I generate is outstanding. I have a 200 amp alternator and recharge times are incredibly short. The wet cells have high internal resistance and high amp charging had negligible effect on reducung the lenghty charging time.

My AGMs have been in service two years. I am very pleased.
2 years? heheh won't be long now

seer
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Old 08-01-2008, 22:22   #32
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4 years ago I install 10 of the freedom series by lifeline, all are 4ds and 4 of them are under the nav station, under a major amount of electronics.. Installed the AGMs as they dont gas as most and didnt want the electronics to be harmed by the gas.
I was told that I should get better than 10 years from the batteries "IF" I worked them, and work them I do.. They are off the grid, and have never been charged with a 110 charger.. They are charged with solar and a 4-winds through controlers and they work.. I've seen as high as 14.1 and as low as 12.5 but mostly range around 12.8 to 13.2..
I've never run them below 12.2(50%) and they keep pluggin along..I dont see any difference in the way they work now and the way they did 4 years ago.......
They were pricy, but I stuck them in there and forgot about them...And thats a good battery to me.
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Old 08-01-2008, 22:45   #33
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2 years? heheh won't be long now

seer
That's a surprising statement. It certainly doesn't add anything worthwhile to the debate. Being new to the forum maybe I don't understand the etiquette that prevails. BIMHO that's a pretty sophomoric reply.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:28   #34
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That's a surprising statement. It certainly doesn't add anything worthwhile to the debate. Being new to the forum maybe I don't understand the etiquette that prevails. BIMHO that's a pretty sophomoric reply.
Geez, you guys are awfully *touchy* for being sailors...

I've known 3 boats so far that have gone with the chinese AGMS, and had problems (as someone else posted above) with longevity. I was personally recently advised by a battery wholesaler who handles pretty much the gammut that he was not recommending them on a *bang for buck* basis as they were NOT living up to the longevity claims made for them and were substantially more expensive than the more common wet leads.

A great many of the folks I've sailed with use banks of 6 volt Golf Cart batteries. We used to find someone who belonged to the local country club, get an intro to the fellow running the cart service, and then piggy backed on one of his orders for our battery needs. Cost savings were remarkable and made agms, at least so far, a no-brainer on *bang for buck* basis.

Of course your mileage, and pocketbook, may vary. One other thing, when one of the AGM's goes bad, while you're *out and about* you'll find the replacement costs pretty heady stuff. If cost is no object then salutations.
They do have some definite advantages, but bang for buck is not yet one of them.

seer

sophomoric eh? lol

er and Lifelines are not Fullrivers, at least not last I heard.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:54   #35
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"I've known 3 boats so far that have gone with the chinese AGMS, and had problems"
And you don't see anything suspicious about that, like CHINESE? The folks who cheated and use leaded paint on toys, antifreeze in toothpaste, and plastic resins in gluten for pet foods?
Despite Rick's great experience with FullRiver, one has to concede that China may be the world's most professional and widely condoned supplier of counterfeits, forgeries, and shoddy goods. Encouraged with a wink and a nod by provisional and the national governments.
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Old 09-01-2008, 13:45   #36
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Despite Rick's great experience with FullRiver, one has to concede that China may be the world's most professional and widely condoned supplier of counterfeits, forgeries, and shoddy goods. Encouraged with a wink and a nod by provisional and the national governments.
I've been eying FullRiver AGMs, and have done a bit of research. They've been shipping product for years to Europe, and have a great reputation there. Their factories are ISO 9000/9001 certified (which, I'll admit, don't guarantee good products - only consistent ones). Rick's comments have only served to back up what I've read elsewhere.

Despite all the problems China's had in the press the last few months - don't discount them. For a country with a population of over 1 billion, a bunch of new savvy investors (I believe the % of Chinese who own stock is higher than here in the US), and being the "world's manufacturer", they have an economic incentive to weed out non-performers. Heck, most of their counterfeits are actually the real thing: Gucci contracts for 100,000 purses, contract manufacturer produces 125,000 and sells the extra 25k, keeping all the profit...

Landshark - where'd you buy your FullRivers? I'm in the Boston area, and they apparently have only one distributor on the East Coast.
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Old 09-01-2008, 14:23   #37
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I don't discount them. After all, there is Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is trash") which leaves 10% of the huge Chinese market as being potentially quality products. I just wouldn't be willing to invest in any expensive items from China, until and unless I knew for sure that it was a safe investment with a solid warranty backed by a US partner.
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Old 09-01-2008, 19:18   #38
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Alan...sorry for delay in reply as I was away yesterday. Definitely not looking to pick a fight either...so don't read too much into my CAPS...they are for emphasis...not yelling!
Your point about AGM's needing to be compared to similarly priced flooded is valid. What I was saying is that many STANDARD flooded cell users don't see how to justify the price differential with AGM's. My points were:
1. It is hard to do in a NON full time cruising situation except for maintenance free and long term stability in storage as HS points out.
2. That they DO provide an economic benefit in full time cruising situations. And as von-wentzels paper points out...they are at least as economical as premium flooded cells while offering other benefits.

What I was reacting to was your blanket statement that: "because it is a known fact that AGM does not last as long." I have never seen any statement from any reputable source to that effect. Ricks data, since posted is very interesting and seems to refute that as well.
So...I don't disagree with anyone's decision to go another route...but the data from several reputable sources suggests that for particular heavy duty cycling needs with a well regulated charging regimen, AGM's can be a hell of a good decision.
(As a point of reference...my own bank is 4x8D's (1100 AH's) with Balmar 110A alternator and ARS4 regulator and Heart 130Amp 3stage charger/inverter)

HS...you are right...my "most sailors" was rather imprecise and I take your point about the advantages during layup. "Most sailors" down my way don't "lay up"...eat your heart out!! Seriously...I was referring to those with boats on moorings or at a dock that get visited every week or two for a day or two and maybe take a summer cruise for a week or two....and to boats with very minimal electrical needs and modest charging systems.
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Old 09-01-2008, 20:00   #39
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Landshark - where'd you buy your FullRivers? I'm in the Boston area, and they apparently have only one distributor on the East Coast.[/quote]


I bought my four FullRiver 4-Ds from DC Battery in Miami, Florida. DC Battery Specialists - Wholesale Batteries I live in Alaska. DC BAttery shipped the batteries to Alaska. The total cost, includuing shipping, was cheaper than the price of four LifeLines from a local battery dealer who had them in stock. I found the purchase completely satisfactory.

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Old 09-01-2008, 21:20   #40
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What I was reacting to was your blanket statement that: "because it is a known fact that AGM does not last as long." I have never seen any statement from any reputable source to that effect. Ricks data, since posted is very interesting and seems to refute that as well.
Yep I always stand to be corrected. And in this instance it seems I was under the wrong understanding.
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Old 09-01-2008, 23:47   #41
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Well, HS, I guess the argument could be made the other way too After all, given recent events it appears that the chinese have one hell of a lot of experience with using lead....on pretty much everything heheheheh

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Beau-
I don't discount them. After all, there is Sturgeon's Law ("90% of everything is trash") which leaves 10% of the huge Chinese market as being potentially quality products. I just wouldn't be willing to invest in any expensive items from China, until and unless I knew for sure that it was a safe investment with a solid warranty backed by a US partner.
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Old 19-01-2008, 15:06   #42
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AGM's, etc., and how we decide......

It's amazing what I can learn, figure out, or run across while reading these posts....

RE: Slowmotion's comment : "....we also got rid of the boat’s built-in starboard list...." when he got rid of his AGM's....

I've been wondering where my Newport 27 got it's new-found starboard list in the last few months, and hadn't put 2+2 together to realize it was about the same time as I replaced both of my wet-cells with 2 new MK 8A24 AGM's. At the time, I managed to get them for $135 each, but they're commonly up to $165 or worse now, so I'm not sure I'd do it again.

But the main reason I got them was the lack of caustic gas, since they were going to be closed up in the cabin, underneath one of the berths, and I was installing a brand new GPS/sonar unit and VHF, that were only going to be about 6 to 7 feet away in my 27's cabin, and an inverter even closer to the batteries, so was looking to prevent the acid gas eating up circuitboards (and my lungs)......

....and of course looking to avoid spilling liquid acid in the cabin in high winds or seas.....

So I wasn't looking at how long they last vs. others, as much as I was safety.

But I was also attracted to their ability to take higher rates of charge too, so along with my retro-fitted high-output 100amp Delco alternator I had a local alternator shop do for me for about $130, I can run my little 5411 diesel for a shorter period of time and be able to charge the MK's sooner/faster than a typical liquid acid type bank would allow.

So there's no "one size fits all" equation....there's a lot of variables to figure into the decision of what to use.

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Old 19-01-2008, 15:20   #43
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Hi Stenn,

It's nice to meet another Newport guy. I've had excellent service from MKs in RVs and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them for marine use for all the reasons you have listed.
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Old 19-01-2008, 16:13   #44
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Hey Stenn, I hope you received the answer to you P.M. Ihaven't done that before and it looked kinda cryptic to me--let me know. . . .
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Old 19-01-2008, 18:40   #45
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????? Hmmmm ???

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Hey Stenn, I hope you received the answer to you P.M. Ihaven't done that before and it looked kinda cryptic to me--let me know. . . .
The answer to my "....P.M." ??

I don't understand.

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