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Old 01-17-2010, 01:05 AM   #29
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Sting...

I misspoke - it's of course 'Randy' at bestconverter.com (not Steve)...

I was 'generalizing' a bit when talking about charging voltages for sealed batteries - to try to make the point that you have to be careful to have charging equipment that's compatible with these batteries to make them live a long life...

For the MK batteries we generally use, the AGM's will tolerate 14.46 volts during charge, and should be 'floated' at 13.68 volts (77 degs f) - the GEL constructed batteries should be limited to 'about' 14.2 volts...

http://www.mkbattery.com/images/MK_AGM_LG_v2_r4.pdf

Also, you mentioned that the vent opening to the outside for the converter/charger was blocked by the PO - is that a good idea? Or is there some other mode of ventilation for the C/C - it needs to 'breathe' too...

Randy mentioned that the 'equalization' mode on your C/C is OK for AGM's...that's a good thing - however, I still maintain that the manual 'equalization' mode on most chargers used with flooded cell batteries will 'cook' sealed batteries and damage them...I wouldn't do it!

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Old 01-17-2010, 01:28 AM   #30
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Here's another source of great info about sealed, as well as flooded cell batteries...

http://www.mkbattery.com/images/VRLA_TechManual.pdf

some data from the above manual:

"Because the immobilized gel will not “float” or “sink” within itself
when a non-uniform concentration exists, it cannot stratify.
Therefore, no high-voltage equalizing charge is necessary. Simply
recharge at the standard 13.8 to 14.1 voltage setting. This means
longer life and consistent performance in stationary and standby
applications."

"Absorbed Electrolyte Advantages:
• Totally maintenance-free
• Air transportable
• Spillproof/leakproof
• No corrosion
• Installs upright or on side
• Lower cost than gel cell batteries
• Compatible with sensitive electronic equipment
• Very low to no gassing (unless overcharged)
• Excellent for starting and stationary applications
• Superior for shorter duration/higher rate discharges
• Superior under extreme cold conditions when fully charged
• Superior shelf life
• Superior rechargeability
(from 0% to 90% in 31⁄2 hours)
• Rugged and vibration-resistant
• Very safe at sea with no chlorine gas in bilge
(due to sulfuric acid and salt water mixing)
• Operates in wet environments…even under 30 feet of water
Absorbed Electrolyte Disadvantages:
• Shorter cycle life than gel in very deep cycle applications
• Automatic temperature-sensing,
voltage-regulated chargers must be used
• Water cannot be replaced if continually overcharged
• Charge voltage must be limited
(14.4 to 14.6 volts maximum at 68°F)
Flooded Electrolyte Advantages:
• Lowest initial cost
• Higher cranking amps
• Water can be added (if accessible)
• Excellent for starting applications
• Tolerant of improper recharge voltage
• Certain designs are good for deep cycle applications
• Replacements readily available
• Good under extreme cold conditions when fully charged
Flooded Electrolyte Disadvantages:
• Spillable
• Operates upright only
• Shorter shelf life
• Fewer shipping options
• Cannot be installed near sensitive electronic equipment
• Watering may be required (if accessible)"

Ray
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:01 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Mexray View Post
Sting...

Also, you mentioned that the vent opening to the outside for the converter/charger was blocked by the PO - is that a good idea? Or is there some other mode of ventilation for the C/C - it needs to 'breathe' too...

Regards, Ray
Ray,

The PO didn't block the vent, the shop that did the refurb on our rig blocked it off. I'll take a photo of the rear compartment, so that you guys in the know can give me some suggestions on how to improve this area. I'm thinking that I'm going to take the plate, that blocks off the vent, off. I'd like to find an original battery box with the vent tube, like I used to have, and put it back in. That rotten egg smell scared the you-know-what out of me, especially given that it happened at 2AM. It was actually my dog barking that woke me up. I'm not sure if the gas is deadly, but he was a lifesaver that night. I sure do miss that dog...
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:28 AM   #32
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Here are two pics of my setup...the C/C compartment pic was taken by the shop that did the refurb in 2005...I cleaned the wires up...I can't stand chaos and disorder, and those wires were just everywhere.

If you zoom in on the pic of the rear, you'll be able to see where the shop riveted the block-off plate over the vent, just under the license plate light.
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Old 01-17-2010, 11:45 AM   #33
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Here's a better pic of that block-off plate, as well as the battery compartment area.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:41 PM   #34
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Thanks for the great info Ray,

Per your advice, I have decided to look for a 'starter' deep cycle and was in our local farm store this weekend and noticed the 31's were about twice the cost of a group 27. Is it worth the extra cost? I think I have the room for the big one. My battery box will have to be built as there isn't one.

Thanks,
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:02 PM   #35
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AGM is the way to go. They are very reliable.
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Old 01-18-2010, 07:59 PM   #36
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AGM is the way to go. They are very reliable.
Quantify that statement, because my two Optima Blue Tops beg to differ.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:19 PM   #37
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AGM is the way to go. They are very reliable.
Very.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:33 PM   #38
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Very.

Again, my Blue Top Optimas beg to differ and, at a bit over $200 a pop, it's getting old.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #39
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Again, my Blue Top Optimas beg to differ and, at a bit over $200 a pop, it's getting old.
Ok I'll bite, differ from what? Reliable....already know that,
had 6v in the 53 Ford, replaced under warranty, failed in two years, went back to standard lead acid, six seasons now. Just my experience.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:10 PM   #40
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Bob, you are correct, nowhere do manufacture say you must use a 3 stage charger. The benifits of bulk charging are faster (complete) charging but you pay a small price perhaps for that. The other is the float. 13.8 in the summer will cook them if you prefer to leave your unit connected to shore power with the converter on. 13.2-13.4 is ideal for most climates. One thing that most agree on is that it does take 14+ volts to fully charge a deep cycle battery.
Ray, I can tell you do your home work and are well versed on batteries, kudos to you.
True equalization to me is "surgery" on a battery. You take something dying and do a procedure to let it live longer and some live a few more years and others die of natural causes many years later from other causes. You really have nothing to lose like but I would not set equlization on a schedule. Wait until they need it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:39 AM   #41
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Ok I'll bite, differ from what? Reliable....already know that,
had 6v in the 53 Ford, replaced under warranty, failed in two years, went back to standard lead acid, six seasons now. Just my experience.
Okay, now I'm confused. Do we agree that Optima AGM batteries are NOT reliable?

Forgive me, lack of sleep and a bad head cold are messing with me.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #42
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Okay, now I'm confused. Do we agree that Optima AGM batteries are NOT reliable?

Forgive me, lack of sleep and a bad head cold are messing with me.
Me too, how did this start?

When your intellect, that is confused by the conflicting opinions and the ritualistic doctrine of the Vedas, shall stay steady and firm with the Self, then you shall attain Self-realization.”

I'm now confused on a higher level.
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