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Old 04-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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Exclamation Optima Blue Top Battery Overheating

Folks,

While doing some routine maintenance I noticed the top of my battery box was warm. Opening it up I noticed one battery was very hot and had a crack across the negative screw down post. The #2 battery also shows some evidence of overheating and fluid seeping from the vent. Both batteries are 2 1/2 years old and my AS stays plugged into shore power year round.

I called Optima and they were concerned enough to request pictures and the specs on the Parallax Power system. Also called Parallax and they suggested it was probably a problem with a bad cell vice the charging system.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem with either bad batteries or the Parallax 7300 Series 55AMP converter?

http://parallaxpower.com/7300/7300pwrcntr.pdf

While looking at the Parallax website I noticed an upgrade kit for the 7300 Series converter that offers battery temperature optimized charging. Has anyone installed or have experience with this kit?

http://parallaxpower.com/TempAssure/TCRU%20Series.pdf

Your feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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If you are using the original Parralax converter, and leaving it plugged in 24/7, that's your problem. That converter puts out too high voltage to be left on full time, and will cook the batteries.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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What Steve said. That converter is not a 3 stage "smart" converter.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Steve & Rich thanks for the quick reply!

I use my FC as a mobile office so it has to be ready to go year round. Do you think the Parallax Upgrade Kit will fix the charging issue?

Or can you recommend a 3 stage smart converter?

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Snaken49 View Post
Steve & Rich thanks for the quick reply!

I use my FC as a mobile office so it has to be ready to go year round. Do you think the Parallax Upgrade Kit will fix the charging issue?

Or can you recommend a 3 stage smart converter?

Thanks!
Call Randy at Best converter.com. He is very helpful. At the time I bought he recommended Iota DLS 55. I've been very happy with it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
If you are using the original Parralax converter, and leaving it plugged in 24/7, that's your problem. That converter puts out too high voltage to be left on full time, and will cook the batteries.
I agree. It took me two sets of Blue tops in 4 years and close to $800 to figure that one out.
I junked the Paralax and went to a three stage converter charger. I also went back to lead acid batteries as the Blue tops aren't worth the more than double price.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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Wow, many choices at "Best" site.. will need a phone call for sure...
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
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cwf,

You are right about a lot of choices! I have a friend with AS who bought the 4600 series upgrade an Trimetric monitor from "Best" and he is very pleased with the performance.

I sent an email to randy this morning asking him to explain the advantages of the Parallax TCRU or ParaMode 4400 series converters over the 4600 or Ultra III upgrades they list on the "Best" site.

"Best" prices are lower than any other aftermarket converter suppliers including othe authorized Parallax dealers. Will definitely do business with Randy. Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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I can also recommend the Iota DLS-55. May I also recommend Lifeline batteries, these seem to be the best AGM's I have used. Much better specs than Optima, etc. A battery temp sensor is a great idea also. Good luck.

Dennis
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
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Randy's recommended replacement for my Parallax 7355 was this one, with the caveat that a little modification of the Parallax housing would be required. He said they were working on a kit to make it a direct swapout, but that the mods were not a big deal if I was at all handy.

WFCO-Powermax Main Board Replacement

I haven't done it yet.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
Randy's recommended replacement for my Parallax 7355 was this one, with the caveat that a little modification of the Parallax housing would be required. He said they were working on a kit to make it a direct swapout, but that the mods were not a big deal if I was at all handy.

WFCO-Powermax Main Board Replacement

I haven't done it yet.
OK, that's a badly-titled listing. I saw "WFCO" and was going to tell you to just pass on that, but reading the listing it's a unit made by Powermax to replace WFCO parts that I guess they're also recommending to replace Parallax. So far I'm completely satisfied with my Powermax converter (from BestConverter), which replaced a WFCO that had annoyingly variable DC output.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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I replaced the OEM converter with an Iota, recommended to be the best.

If battery acid has leaked into the battery compartment, you will have to neutralize the acid or it will corrode the box over time. I think baking soda will neutralize it. Then wash it down thoroughly before you replace the batteries.

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Old 04-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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OK, that's a badly-titled listing. I saw "WFCO" and was going to tell you to just pass on that, but reading the listing it's a unit made by Powermax to replace WFCO parts that I guess they're also recommending to replace Parallax. So far I'm completely satisfied with my Powermax converter (from BestConverter), which replaced a WFCO that had annoyingly variable DC output.
Exactly. It's a direct swap for the WFCO but will work with the Parallax with a little tweaking. It's the one Randy recommended.
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