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bama_bassin

Batteries.....

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OK, so I am fairly new to boat ownership. I bought my boat a little over a year ago. When I bought it, I installed a NOCO (three bank charger....see below link for more details). The charger for the most part has been great. About a year ago (last May) my cranking battery went out on me. A friend had one that he gave me to use. Nice Exide battery (see below for more details). I have had zero problems with this battery. It has been great!! No problems whatsoever. 

About 6 months ago my deep cycle trolling motor batteries went out on me so I replaced them with Optima AGM batteries (see below link for details). These have worked well in most of my tournaments.... but yesterday my trolling motor was DONE and we still had a hour and half left in the tournament..... It was really aggravating....so I have realized that I must be doing something wrong. So here is my charging process...

After every use of the boat, I plug in my NOCO charger and usually by the next morning I have green lights on the charger....which is supposed to signify a full charge. I then unplug it and plug it back in the morning before a tournament and I always have green lights on the morning of a tournament. 

Yesterday morning I thought I noticed a weak charge early because some of the speeds didn't feel right and that was early in the morning (7AM). We fished hard all morning and ran the trolling motor pretty hard so I understand it being worn down....but it didn't seem right to start the day....and it was pretty much dead at 1:30PM

So I am not really sure what happened.... My thoughts...

1 - Could have just been a weak charge, but it has never happen before...
2 - Is it ok to have my three bank charger hooked up to 2 AGM batteries and one lead based battery?? Is this having a negative effect on my AGM batteries?? Should I charge them on separate chargers? If so, what do I do with the other bank for the 3 bank charger?
3 - Is my NOCO charger working properly? Should I just leave it plugged in all them time?? Some people have advised me to leave it plugged in all the time?

I really don't know, but I would be greatly disappointed if these Optima AGM batteries will not last me a full tournament day on the water with me running the trolling motor hard. Any advice would be appreciated. See my detail links below:

NOCO charger - 

http://www.geniuschargers.com/GEN3

Cranking Battery - 

http://www.exide.com/us/en/product-s...-starting.aspx

Trolling Motor Batteries (Optima D27M) - 

http://d26maze4pb6to3.cloudfront.net...pecs_Sheet.pdf

Thanks so much!!
Jay

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I have a dual pro charger and they recommend leaving the charger connected and on all the time.

That's what do........works for me.

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Any bad smells coming from the trolling batteries? (like rotten eggs or something?) Are they getting hot when you charge? 

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Buy a volt meter and check each battery to see what they read after that little green light comes on.  Never had any experience with AGM batteries, but my guess is that they may have picked up a low voltage memory from being left in an undercharged condition as some point.

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lead acid batteries do not develop a memory.  That memory stuff was from the early NiCad days, but has never applied to lead acid.

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Any bad smells coming from the trolling batteries? (like rotten eggs or something?) Are they getting hot when you charge?

No bad smells. They are warm when on charge.

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I leave my on board charger plugged in all the time.  All winter long and between fishing trips in season.  I haven't had any battery issues for the past several years.   I use Walmart batteries, the biggest deep cycle ones that will fit in my compartment.  I buy new ones every other spring.  This seems to work best for me.  I was unhappy with battery performance going into the third year.

 

Now, in your case, in the information that you provided, it specifically states, about a quarter of the way down the page, more or less, that those batteries are marine STARTING batteries, and aren't recommended or warrantied for deep cycle applications. ( like your trolling motor)

 

I think that is your issue.   I'm not enough of an expert to know if that is your issue or not.

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Double check for your particular charger, but most reccomend leaving plugged in til next use. Normally one most they have a fast rate when first plugged in but switch to a trickle/maintain mode when they sense battery is charged.

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I leave my on board charger plugged in all the time.  All winter long and between fishing trips in season.  I haven't had any battery issues for the past several years.   I use Walmart batteries, the biggest deep cycle ones that will fit in my compartment.  I buy new ones every other spring.  This seems to work best for me.  I was unhappy with battery performance going into the third year.

 

Now, in your case, in the information that you provided, it specifically states, about a quarter of the way down the page, more or less, that those batteries are marine STARTING batteries, and aren't recommended or warrantied for deep cycle applications. ( like your trolling motor)

 

I think that is your issue.   I'm not enough of an expert to know if that is your issue or not.

I think there is some confusion with the link I posted.  You are right the first battery spec is a cranking battery.  My batteries are the next one on the following page (D27).

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No bad smells. They are warm when on charge.

 

Well that's a plus. So, no cracks nor leaks in the battery. Check the fuses on your charger? Are the lights on the charger lighting up normally... any strange indicator lights going off?

 

 

 

The recommendation for getting a volt meter and checking the charge on each battery is a solid choice, in addition you can check the banks on your charger with the volt meter. You can check the banks on your charger first and make sure they are sneding proper current to your batteries. It's kind of a pain to find out where the breakdown in the chain is (whether its the battery or charger).

 

 

 

Honestly, if I'm you, I'd go to homedepot and get a single bank charger for like $25. Charge both Optimas full. See if you are getting a proper charge now. If the batteries are still not receiving a proper charge, you know it's the batteries. If the batteries work fine, you know it's the charger. I've tried the route of volt-metering batteries and chargers before and at times it has just been inconclusive. 

 

 

 

Other good news is the 3 bank charger you have appears to have a 3 year limited warranty and the batteries have some type of warranty I'm sure. 

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Welcome to the world of Optima, twice the money for half the battery. A lot of your problem is the batteries themselves, they are way too small. 50 Ah and 100 reserve minutes is about half what a good group 27 flooded cell deep cycle battery will give, which means you get half the run time out of the Optima's than you would have gotten out of even one of Wally Worlds big yellow batteries.

I wouldn't give you a dime for a dozen of those chargers, and I wouldn't not have wasted my money on those batteries so with my negativity to start with, I doubt you want my help, but I will say it's going to take a voltmeter and knowing how to use it to check the charger and battery to see if there is a problem with the charger, the batteries or both.

I did notice you said you have the D27M but you reference the D31. The D27 is a little better with 66 Ah and 140 Reserve but still, that's just a little better than half what a $120 flooded cell battery will give.

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Welcome to the world of Optima, twice the money for half the battery. A lot of your problem is the batteries themselves, they are way too small. 50 Ah and 100 reserve minutes is about half what a good group 27 flooded cell deep cycle battery will give, which means you get half the run time out of the Optima's than you would have gotten out of even one of Wally Worlds big yellow batteries.

I wouldn't give you a dime for a dozen of those chargers, and I wouldn't not have wasted my money on those batteries so with my negativity to start with, I doubt you want my help, but I will say it's going to take a voltmeter and knowing how to use it to check the charger and battery to see if there is a problem with the charger, the batteries or both.

I did notice you said you have the D27M but you reference the D31. The D27 is a little better with 66 Ah and 140 Reserve but still, that's just a little better than half what a $120 flooded cell battery will give.

 

 

Sounds like a made a poor purchase...... I guess the more I read about batteries I really should get the most Ah and Reserve I can get in a battery.   I hope I can return these and get another set of batteries.....  

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The best is based on who you talk to, there are several very good brands.  My personal preference are Deka batteries.  You will hear many recommendations for the Die Hard and Excide and these are very good batteries.  You will even get recommendations for the Wally World batteries, while they are inexpensive for the amount of battery you get, they don't tend to give a very long life, usually a couple of years.  However, that ain't all bad, because if you are one that don't maintain your batteries the way they should be, that's about all even the good batteries are going to give.  A lot is going to depend on what you have available and who will give you the best price.  You can't go wrong with the Deka, DieHard or Excide.  Just look at the Reserve minutes and get the one with the most for the money.  CCA/MCA mean absolutely nothing when being used as a TM battery.  Reserve minutes is your best number to pay attention to.

 

Deka's and Trojans are the only TM batteries I have ever run, and I usually swap them out every five years, even tough they are usually still going strong.  Trojans are great batteries, but I get Deka's wholesale, and they are great batteries also, so for the past 15 years, I've stuck with Deka.

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If you are running that hard, why not go ahead and get the 225s?

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Get a bigger hammer

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Or a bigger boat.

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