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Old 19-12-2014, 19:35   #1
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Tale of an amazing AGM battery

The facts under service:
  • Optima Blue Top Deep cycle D31M.
  • Installed May 2003, build date quarter/1 2003.
  • Used as an Anchor Windlass power source.
  • Windlass amp draw 70 amp low 160 amp high.
  • Charge/Maintenance Charge source = Balmar Digital Duo Charge.
  • Battery Location 4 foot round trip to the windlass, #1/0 cable.
  • Duo charge location at main bus, then 50 foot round trip #4 wire
  • Anchor weight 70 lbs.
  • Anchor chain 3/8.
  • Average chain deployment 125 feet.
  • Annual number of deployments 60.
  • Years in service 11.
  • Removed from service July 2014.
This is a tale of an amazing AGM battery. I pulled the battery in July of 2014, just before the annual 6 week cruise north. I was fearful that the battery would leave me to hand haul the anchor. Installed a new Full river Agm in its place.

Stowed the Optima in the the bat/tank room, forgot about it until last week. It's been sitting since July 2014 with no loads nor charge source.

I finally realized, oh yea the old anchor battery, need to get it off the boat. I put my multi-meter on it, voltage read 13.2 volts. Hauled it to my truck...forgot about it. 2 weeks later I removed it from the truck and decided I would give it a check. Ran a Midtronics load test, it rated at 975 cranking amps, at 52F. Wow, I decided to run a 20 hr rate load test it timed out at 16 hours.

Now I have vetted this battery, I can't throw it out, at the same time, I don't want to put it into a service that depends on the battery.

Just how good are the original Optima Blue Tops?

Lloyd
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Old 20-12-2014, 00:03   #2
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

That one was pretty darn good

And a lot of CF folk bag AGM's but I like 'em

Why do you now doubt the battery, it appears to still have slightly better than 75% of it's original capacity?
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Old 20-12-2014, 03:19   #3
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Fairly good, yes, but amazing? What is amazing about a deep cycle battery which was never (or rarely) deep cycled and was kept automatically topped up? Drawing 160A for approx 2 minutes (assuming a windlass speed of 1 ft/s) equates drawing 5.34 Ah from the battery of a nominal 75Ah capacity. This is a depth of cycle less than 10% and immediate top up. And ~660 of such cycles total. So yes, a very good longevity but hardly any impressive work performed by this battery.
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Old 20-12-2014, 05:10   #4
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Its the only battery I used in my cars and trucks. The lilitary also uses the optima brand. The optima. The blue. Red and yellow are the only batteries ive used

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 20-12-2014, 07:57   #5
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

I had a pair of Optima red tops last 10 years starting the ISB Cummins in my Ram truck. Even at 9 years, the red tops easily started the Cummins after sitting in the Squalicum parking lot for 3 months whilst I was out cruising. And they gave a jump to the truck parked next to me.

A pair of starting-oriented blue tops lasted 7 years starting the boat's Volvo 44 diesel. Those old Optima starting batts did a heck of a job, especially for their weight (38 lb for the 34 size).
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Old 20-12-2014, 08:10   #6
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

I believe there are many that look for the lowest price on batteries and then bitch when they fail..
We spent the bucks when we built the bank in our boat and went with Lifeline,
and that was 11 years ago.. they are still working great,
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Old 20-12-2014, 08:14   #7
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Both house banks are Lifeline AGM; 660 AH total. Installed 2009. We take care of them & they take care of us. Sounds like you have a spare starting battery for you generator - or sell it.
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Old 20-12-2014, 09:22   #8
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

I am currently researching the proper battery charger and regulator for AGM batteries. What I found out is that current chargers are mainly made to recharge Wet Cells (acid-lead) batteries. Even if manufacturers claim to have AGM preset programmation, their numbers when reaching Abs stage and float stage do not match what battery maker demands.

I intend to install the same AGM batteries for both the house & start banks; therefore the same recharching program for both banks.

As Lifeline and Rolls are my favorite batteries, could someone suggest me what to buy as 120VAC battery charger and 12VDC regulator?

NB. the discontinued IMC series from Charles Industry seem to me the best AGM charger so far.

Cheers

Mag
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Old 20-12-2014, 09:36   #9
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mag Dumais View Post
As Lifeline and Rolls are my favorite batteries, could someone suggest me what to buy as 120VAC battery charger
Well he seems to wind people up the wrong way and the manuals aren't the best, but as for the unit, I'm very happy with a year so far sterling pro charge ultra.
Set your own absorption and float voltages. Plus a manual equalisation sequence. Hidden away.
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:13   #10
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
...We spent the bucks when we built the bank in our boat and went with Lifeline, and that was 11 years ago.. they are still working great,
Yup. A client got 10 years out of his 8D Lifeline batteries.
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:29   #11
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

It's great to see these kind of posts.
It's also an interesting post because some people swear you have to have huge battery cable running up to a windlass battery. This unit just had # 4 running 50 ft.... and works fine.
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:38   #12
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
...some people swear you have to have huge battery cable running up to a windlass battery. This unit just had # 4 running 50 ft.... and works fine.
Not sure how you reached that conclusion. But it sounds like a criminal act to wire a windlass with 50' of 4-ga wire. It may not hurt the battery. But it will surely destroy the more expensive windlass.
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:45   #13
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Not sure how you reached that conclusion. But it sounds like a criminal act to wire a windlass with 50' of 4-ga wire. It may not hurt the battery. But it will surely destroy the more expensive windlass.
Did I miss something?

"Installed May 2003, build date quarter/1 2003.
Duo charge location at main bus, then 50 foot round trip #4 wire
Years in
service 11."
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:47   #14
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It's great to see these kind of posts.
It's also an interesting post because some people swear you have to have huge battery cable running up to a windlass battery. This unit just had # 4 running 50 ft.... and works fine.
The 4awg was his charger wire....
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:51   #15
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Re: Tale of an amazing AGM battery

  • Battery Location 4 foot round trip to the windlass, #1/0 cable.
  • Duo charge location at main bus, then 50 foot round trip #4 wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It's great to see these kind of posts.
It's also an interesting post because some people swear you have to have huge battery cable running up to a windlass battery. This unit just had # 4 running 50 ft.... and works fine.
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