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Old 13-02-2015, 21:17   #151
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
The costco battery in the local NorCal costco is the basic 208ah 6v GC2, sometimes called a U1800 or perhaps U2000. The cheapest 6v battery on interstates website is $145 for the GC2-HD which has 216 ah. The GC2-HD has a bulk voltage of 14.4V and an absorption voltage of 15.3V and a equalization voltage of 15.6V which is up there. But the battery at costco isn't that one. least not on the left coast.

I expect the chemistry of the GC2-HD plate is slightly different then the basic GC2 that costco sells for $84.
The GC2-RD is a 208AH battery, which is listed on there, or if it's a U series battery, it's listed on the right. I don't see why they'd make a chart up that lists all of those batteries except for the one model sold by Costco. Either way, the lowest absorption V is 15.3 for the GC2-RD or 15.5V for the U series batteries.

14.7v is significantly lower than 15.5. I have 1 system with 4 of them, and another system with 6 of them, both are setup to charge at 15.5v and I'm getting very good results after wasting power all night - lights, stereos, TVs laptop, furnace with big blower, etc.
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Old 13-02-2015, 21:56   #152
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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The GC2-RD is a 208AH battery, which is listed on there, or if it's a U series battery, it's listed on the right. I don't see why they'd make a chart up that lists all of those batteries except for the one model sold by Costco. Either way, the lowest absorption V is 15.3 for the GC2-RD or 15.5V for the U series batteries.

14.7v is significantly lower than 15.5. I have 1 system with 4 of them, and another system with 6 of them, both are setup to charge at 15.5v and I'm getting very good results after wasting power all night - lights, stereos, TVs laptop, furnace with big blower, etc.
Interstate makes a big todo about their green top batteries. Thing is even though the costco battery has a interstate sticker, the battery is a basic Black top and sides with a little round made in mexico mark in one corner. Looks like a Black case t105 to me

Frankly I can't find a single model number for the battery other then costco's code#. Searching on line, I've found some information that the battery is made by Johnson controls in Mexico. Another said it was made by us battery.

In any case interstate lists many types of 6v GC2, some with 14.7V and some with 15.3V absorption. Until someone can show me a interstate model number on the costco batteries, I'm going to be conservative with my charge voltage.
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:02   #153
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

You are in a marina and not on the hook, right?
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:07   #154
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Interstate makes a big todo about their green top batteries. Thing is even though the costco battery has a interstate sticker, the battery is a basic Black top and sides with a little round made in mexico mark in one corner. Looks like a Black case t105 to me

Frankly I can't find a single model number for the battery other then costco's code#. Searching on line, I've found some information that the battery is made by Johnson controls in Mexico. Another said it was made by us battery.

In any case interstate lists many types of 6v GC2, some with 14.7V and some with 15.3V absorption. Until someone can show me a interstate model number on the costco batteries, I'm going to be conservative with my charge voltage.
I agree with you, I also think they are probably generic batteries made for them by Johnson Controls.

I figure these are probably the GC2-RD batteries, since the AH rating matches. Other than that, I don't have any proof. As for the charging V differences, they list some of the same batteries in the 14.7v list and the 15.3v list.

I haven't had any problems with mine, but in the remote chance that I am overcharging them and I need replacements, I'm going to point right at their little chart showing 15.3v for all of their other GC batteries and ask them to explain why that shouldn't be the correct voltage for all of their GC batteries.

Speaking of batteries, I have extra battery watering caps from BFS. Let me know if you're interested in any. No need to take the caps off and look inside, just squeeze the primer bulb and distilled water flows into any cell that's not full, they all stop when topped off.
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:24   #155
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

Yes they are Johnson controls battery's. Johnson is the OEM for interstate. Alas, Johnson controls does not list charging voltages on their main consumer website. More digging is required.

Thanks for the offer on the watering caps. Alas, I have my batteries installed in a cubby at the back of the quarter berth, with a very low ceilling. I have to pull them out for watering as there is only an inch of space above them. They are not going anywhere, even on a 360 roll.

On the plus side, they trimmed out the Rose, nicely.

FYI, Johnson makes three GC2's a 208ah at 63#, a 216ah at 64# and a 232ah at 67#. The battery at sams club also are made by johnson controls. Myself I picked the 208ah as one I'm cheap, er furgal and two they should have a bit more space at the bottom for "stuff" before they build up enough to short a plate or three. All three type have the same exterior dimensions.
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Old 13-02-2015, 22:36   #156
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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You are in a marina and not on the hook, right?
Myself, I am sometimes in a cheap marina, specially for the winter storms (mostly), but spend a whole lot of time anchored out, as I love the motion and nature. That I can earn money, while being on the hook, is for me a delight, until a ferry goes by that is. I would not be buying 4 golf cart batteries if I stayed at the dock.
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Old 14-02-2015, 00:04   #157
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Yes they are Johnson controls battery's. Johnson is the OEM for interstate. Alas, Johnson controls does not list charging voltages on their main consumer website. More digging is required.

Thanks for the offer on the watering caps. Alas, I have my batteries installed in a cubby at the back of the quarter berth, with a very low ceilling. I have to pull them out for watering as there is only an inch of space above them. They are not going anywhere, even on a 360 roll.

On the plus side, they trimmed out the Rose, nicely.

FYI, Johnson makes three GC2's a 208ah at 63#, a 216ah at 64# and a 232ah at 67#. The battery at sams club also are made by johnson controls. Myself I picked the 208ah as one I'm cheap, er furgal and two they should have a bit more space at the bottom for "stuff" before they build up enough to short a plate or three. All three type have the same exterior dimensions.

Sounds like all the more reason to use a battery watering system. Don't need to pull the batteries out, just stick the hose into a bottle of distilled water and squeeze the primer bulb a few times and the water flows in until all of the cells are full and the valves shut off. About 30-40 seconds of watching water siphon through a hose.
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Old 14-02-2015, 08:38   #158
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
The GC2-RD is a 208AH battery, which is listed on there, or if it's a U series battery, it's listed on the right. I don't see why they'd make a chart up that lists all of those batteries except for the one model sold by Costco. Either way, the lowest absorption V is 15.3 for the GC2-RD or 15.5V for the U series batteries.

14.7v is significantly lower than 15.5. I have 1 system with 4 of them, and another system with 6 of them, both are setup to charge at 15.5v and I'm getting very good results after wasting power all night - lights, stereos, TVs laptop, furnace with big blower, etc.
I would urge very strong caution on those charging voltages. It's a long story..

For many, many, many years US Battery made Interstates golf cart batteries. Interstates GC battery reputation was built upon the USB product. As recently as 2009, and perhaps a couple years beyond that, USB was still the supplier to Interstate for GC batteries.

When JCI built their new plant in Mexico they pulled the GC business from USB. Unfortunately after this business was pulled USB changed their charging guidance but apparently JCI/Interstate did not pay attention.

I have had long, long conversations with Fred W. USB's Senior VP of Engineering about this. The charge profile that original guidance was written around does not widely exist in the real world, and not at all in the marine market, but it did in their labs. After giving that guidance for a while they reverted to a much more sane charge profile.

US Batteries current charging guidance is here: US Battery Charge Recommendations

For CC>CV charging 14.7V - 15.0V for absorption (Fred W. strongly urged the 14.7V end for marine applications especially if all sources are not temp compensated) and 13.0V for float. Equalization is 15.3V -15.6V if temp compensated. If not temp compensated Fred recommends a maximum voltage of 15.0V for EQ.

Please note that "two stage with optional float" is where you want to be. The USB three stage profile has a CC>CV>CC profile not a CC>CV>CV profile like our marine charge sources use. We use CC>CV charging in the marine market... Also remember that guidance was written around a 3-4 hour period in absorption.

If you are charging higher current than .1C (10% of Ah capacity) then you will have longer absorption times and the voltage should be at the lower end. At 10% of C in charge current you will be in bulk for the majority of the charge but as you bump up to .2C or .25C you extend the time you will be in absorption because you will attain limiting voltage sooner in the SOC curve....
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:03   #159
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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ron,

I am relatively new to this forum so, i'm not sure if your post is serious or tongue in cheek. if it is tongue in cheek, I applaud your humour. if not (I don't want to start a mud slinging word battle) then enjoy your vodka. I don't drink vodka, so I can not tell the difference between Russian standard and grey goose. they have a big price difference tho. I drink beer...I will most always buy what's on special.

however, there is a big difference between getting a deal on something and quality, quantity and performance.

cheaper can be better...and cheaper can worse. sometimes cheaper can be cheaper, and sometimes it can be more expensive than spending more in the first place.

there are lots of examples of all of these things in life.

I guess from your post that all you think all batteries are exactly the same. this is not true, even if you want it to be, from an economic point of view.

Mick,
It's fortunate that I never sought a career in comedy since my audience would have been extremely esoteric and my earnings questionable. So,to the quick: there are basically two types of buyers in retail-- price and quality, and of course all the gradations of grey in the middle that move in either direction depending upon circumstances. However, a price buyer is always motivated by the best price and a quality buyer by quality. Price buyers always convince themselves that there is no difference in quality so the Mitsu is always a better deal than a Mercedes. They will give you uncountable examples to plead their case. Quality buyers always focus on construction, materials, workmanship as their primary criteria and price is always secondary . . . although among intelligent buyers they always try to get the best price for their quality item. And then, there is the unfortunate soul who believes that popularity, trend and fashion is synonymous with quality as in the case of many designer Vodkas: say, Grey Goose(which you have mentioned) which is more costly than Russian Standard but hardly a comparison for the purist. . . but certainly will impress your name dropping friends who desire to be seen in the most favorable and stylish circles when out on the town and whose tastes are driven by Madison Avenue psychologists. So, Mick . . . in respect of your internet name, I offer a free package of Unisom for your Lady and remind you in all your purchases to "Keep your Head" above all costs. Sincerely, Rognvald MacDuff
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:35   #160
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

Sailorchic, the current stock of Sams Club golf carts are made by East Penn. I've heard they are better quality than Johnson's but don't know. In any case my current crop of golf carts are Sams made by Johnson, 4 years old and still going. My previous Trojans lasted 6 years.
I think that most brands are built well enough, and that taking good care of them is as important as who made them.
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Old 14-02-2015, 09:55   #161
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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I would urge very strong caution on those charging voltages. It's a long story..

For many, many, many years US Battery made Interstates golf cart batteries. Interstates GC battery reputation was built upon the USB product. As recently as 2009, and perhaps a couple years beyond that, USB was still the supplier to Interstate for GC batteries.

When JCI built their new plant in Mexico they pulled the GC business from USB. Unfortunately after this business was pulled USB changed their charging guidance but apparently JCI/Interstate did not pay attention.

I have had long, long conversations with Fred W. USB's Senior VP of Engineering about this. The charge profile that original guidance was written around does not widely exist in the real world, and not at all in the marine market, but it did in their labs. After giving that guidance for a while they reverted to a much more sane charge profile.

US Batteries current charging guidance is here: US Battery Charge Recommendations

For CC>CV charging 14.7V - 15.0V for absorption (Fred W. strongly urged the 14.7V end for marine applications especially if all sources are not temp compensated) and 13.0V for float. Equalization is 15.3V -15.6V if temp compensated. If not temp compensated Fred recommends a maximum voltage of 15.0V for EQ.

Please note that "two stage with optional float" is where you want to be. The USB three stage profile has a CC>CV>CC profile not a CC>CV>CV profile like our marine charge sources use. We use CC>CV charging in the marine market... Also remember that guidance was written around a 3-4 hour period in absorption.

If you are charging higher current than .1C (10% of Ah capacity) then you will have longer absorption times and the voltage should be at the lower end. At 10% of C in charge current you will be in bulk for the majority of the charge but as you bump up to .2C or .25C you extend the time you will be in absorption because you will attain limiting voltage sooner in the SOC curve....
Thanks for shedding a whole lot of light on that scenario. While I don't think mfrs should wrap everyone in bubble wrap or pay anyone for spilling their own coffee in their laps, the LEAST they can do is clearly specify what charge voltage to use on the batteries they mfr. One shouldn't have to contact an engineer to get the straight scoop on their batteries, that's what web sites are for, provided they publish the correct info.

Are you positive that JCI didn't do their own homework and/or change the design such that a higher charging voltage can be used? Just because they took over production doesn't mean they didn't make upgrades or design changes.


My smaller system has a 110v charger that isn't adjustable and provides .1C@ 14.4V, the solar controller is adjustable and is set for 15.5, but I'll lower it to 15V since it only provides a max. of .05C.

The other system has a 110v charger putting out .2C @ 14.4v and solar controller with temp. compensation putting out .04C @ 15.5, but I'll lower that one to 15v as well.

I've had great performance out of the batteries so far, but since the solar controllers don't put out that much current (one is 20A the other is 25A) then the batteries don't spend too much time sitting at 15.5v. It has been nice watching the voltages stay north of 12.6v pretty much all of the time vs south of 12.6v.
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Old 14-02-2015, 10:16   #162
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Mick,
It's fortunate that I never sought a career in comedy since my audience would have been extremely esoteric and my earnings questionable. So,to the quick: there are basically two types of buyers in retail-- price and quality, and of course all the gradations of grey in the middle that move in either direction depending upon circumstances. However, a price buyer is always motivated by the best price and a quality buyer by quality. Price buyers always convince themselves that there is no difference in quality so the Mitsu is always a better deal than a Mercedes. They will give you uncountable examples to plead their case. Quality buyers always focus on construction, materials, workmanship as their primary criteria and price is always secondary . . . although among intelligent buyers they always try to get the best price for their quality item. And then, there is the unfortunate soul who believes that popularity, trend and fashion is synonymous with quality as in the case of many designer Vodkas: say, Grey Goose(which you have mentioned) which is more costly than Russian Standard but hardly a comparison for the purist. . . but certainly will impress your name dropping friends who desire to be seen in the most favorable and stylish circles when out on the town and whose tastes are driven by Madison Avenue psychologists. So, Mick . . . in respect of your internet name, I offer a free package of Unisom for your Lady and remind you in all your purchases to "Keep your Head" above all costs. Sincerely, Rognvald MacDuff
I think you're missing the 3rd type of buyer: the value buyer.

He's the one who recognizes that Mitsubishi has nowhere near the quality rep. of MB, Lexus/Toyota or Acura/Honda and will buy a used MB or Lexus, save a ton of money and still drive a quality car for years, without losing the kind of money that only a brand new Ford or BMW can lose for you. Ever see a 4 yr old Taurus on the road? Maybe a couple that were up on blocks for the last 3 yrs.

Some of them bought MB 300SLs back in the late 1950s for about $7500 and now they sell for $1.4M to $2.5M. Now THAT is value. Even the roadsters are approaching $1M and the slower relative the 190SL is now fetching up to $225K, up from it's original purchase price of $5,000.

They buy Kirkland Vodka, knowing that it's distilled in France more times than Grey Goose yet cheaper than most generic vodkas, or Kirkland Tequila, which is both smoother and cheaper than many premium tequilas.

So it goes with Costco GC batteries. While being significantly cheaper than Trojan batteries in this part of the world, my real world experience with them has been 5-6 yrs, and I replace them when others would consider them to have plenty of life in them because I use a lot of power at night.

Sure, I want the best value for the money. Sometimes it does mean the most expensive, but in a lot of cases there is a better, less costly alternative. That's the beauty of the internet. One can do their research and (hopefully) find accurate info on various brands.
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Old 14-02-2015, 10:57   #163
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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Thanks for shedding a whole lot of light on that scenario. While I don't think mfrs should wrap everyone in bubble wrap or pay anyone for spilling their own coffee in their laps, the LEAST they can do is clearly specify what charge voltage to use on the batteries they mfr. One shouldn't have to contact an engineer to get the straight scoop on their batteries, that's what web sites are for, provided they publish the correct info.
I don't think they necessarily gave bad information just that the information they gave, which was ok if done properly, was not well interpreted and not very applicable outside their lab.

How many boat owners would pick up the subtle differences between the US Battery "three stage" charging profile and US Battery "two stage" charging profile..? Accurate but rarely properly interpreted.... Most boat owners believe and assume they are using a "three stage" charger when in reality they are using CC>CV chargers which are technically two. I have not seen a CC>CV>CC charger other than for large UPS systems where only trained professionals set them up. The vast majority of chargers are CC>CV>CV or Bulk/CC > Absorption/CV > Float/CV which USB calls two stage.....

The reason our chargers don't have a voltage unregulated "finishing" stage, that is 3% CC of Ah capacity, is simply due to lawyers....
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Old 14-02-2015, 11:14   #164
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

All batteries are not equal!
There can be a big difference in batteries. The only way I know to figure out which are more robust is to weigh them. There is a small battery maker in Seattle, Dyno I think.. they have some batteries on display that are cut in half. They make their plates thicker than most (more lead) You can tell the difference comparing the cut batteries. The plates disappear over time from cycling. Their logic is : thicker plates longer life I guess...
They are plain jane batteries from the outside, but have great internals!
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Old 14-02-2015, 11:30   #165
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Re: Costco vs Trojan Batteries

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I don't think they necessarily gave bad information just that the information they gave, which was ok if done properly, was not well interpreted and not very applicable outside their lab.

How many boat owners would pick up the subtle differences between the US Battery "three stage" charging profile and US Battery "two stage" charging profile..? Accurate but rarely properly interpreted.... Most boat owners believe and assume they are using a "three stage" charger when in reality they are using CC>CV chargers which are technically two. I have not seen a CC>CV>CC charger other than for large UPS systems where only trained professionals set them up. The vast majority of chargers are CC>CV>CV or Bulk/CC > Absorption/CV > Float/CV which USB calls two stage.....

The reason our chargers don't have a voltage unregulated "finishing" stage, that is 3% CC of Ah capacity, is simply due to lawyers....
What I was referring to was the Interstate GC battery charging pdf that I linked to above. It gave 15.3v or 15.5v as the correct charging voltage for all of the GC batteries listed on their charts. It wasn't a matter of incorrect interpretation, it flat out states 7.65v for 6v GC batteries and 15.5 for 12v GC batteries.

I did a Google search for "interstate GC battery charging voltage" and it brings up 2 different documents listing 7.65v as the absorption voltage.

If those are for lab conditions only and 7.35v is the correct V for consumer grade equipment, then they should publish 14.7v ONLY, because I don't know anyone who has a lab grade charger or a huge commercial UPS system.

I used to write/edit tech manuals for ESM systems (as a subject matter expert) and I could attain receiver S/N ratio specs on a test bench in a SCIF that far exceeded what we could attain in the field with RF everywhere, especially the radio room with HF transceivers that can transmit hundreds of watts. So our published specs were given as what was attainable in the field, and (lab or depot specs.) This way there was no confusion as to what the highly trained tech. would actually see in the field vs in the lab.
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