Battery Bug = Good

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Dieselboy, May 31, 2012.

  1. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    So a simple voltmeter will do just fine?

    Reading this thread, I thought this gizmo would be the cat's ass . . . apparently not. Seems a bit big for the limited dash real estate and I would prefer something compact. Any preferences?
    #21
  2. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    I would take a battery bug over a regular voltage gauge if both were cosmetically equal and similarly priced because it is some additional information.

    The problem is you have to know a hell of a lot to interpret its false readings.

    If your looking for a simple gauge that tells you when to replace your battery, forget it, the battery bug will have you replacing good batteries and keeping bad ones until they strand you :rofl

    But if your the sort of person that can think "well it was pretty cold" or "I did have to crank longer then usual" "did have to crank twice in a row" "I haven't started it in a while" "I am at sea level know and previous readings were at 4000 feet" "I do need to change oil" "yeah I didn't pull the clutch all the way in on that start" "I did run some accessories for a bit so my battery probably isn't failing but just not fully charged" ect then it is helpful.

    Then again, if you are that sort of person you could also just listen to how quickly the bike is turning over and know the same data the battery bug feeds you, so I suppose if you were deaf and the type of person that can mentally sort all of those variables....


    It is a nice voltage gauge but one should have zero confidence it its battery state of health readout.

    A brand new DEKA will show 10% health if you let the clutch drag or if the deka has been run down slightly, or its extra cold ect.


    A Excide with one foot in the grave will show 100% if its nice and warm out and the battery is fully charged even though the buss is corroded and going to burn in half on the very next start.


    If you want to know your batteries state of charge, a good multimeter is required, or voltage gauge far more accurate then the battery bug.

    If you want to know your batteries health you need to do a real honest cold cranking amp test, not the abbreviated one motorcycle shops do.

    If you want a good indication of your charging systems performance, a battery bug or motorcycle voltage gauge works just fine.
    #22
  3. Dieselboy

    Dieselboy Journey not Destination

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    It's like using a GPS. It is not infallible. You must use your common sense to interpret what it is telling you. Otherwise you end up going in circles. So yes you will do foolish things if you follow the instrument blindly. But I don't know another product that is this portable that provides the same data.

    I'm a long distance rider and don't base out of my home garage so this package is a good compromise. The data I get is well worth the false readings.

    It is also good as an Alzheimer defense....keeps the brain active. :lol3

    I'll stick with my battery bug (and brain).
    #23
  4. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft.

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    I should have read manufacturer's information before my first post here. Apparently, Argus' technology behind the BatteryBug does take into consideration issues that Joel says it does not, and over a period of time, though a battery bench test would eliminate the potentially misleading variables he warns us of. So here is the other side of the story, with links, beginning with How Batteries Fail, the technology behind the BatteryBug:

    Argus Battery Monitoring Technologies - Argus' smart battery performance instruments are powered by two core patented technologies:

    CrankCheck
    CrankCheck measures the electrical effort the battery actually exerts to start the engine. This technique is ideal for monitoring starting batteries because it is a direct measurement of the battery while it is doing it assigned job. The BB-SBM series uses CrankCheck to track cranking health decay over time and sounds and alarm before the battery fails.

    The microprocessor in the BB-SBM series combines CrankCheck results, battery voltage information, and temperature to deliver the most advanced battery monitor for automotive starting battery applications.​

    Large Pulse Resistance (LPR)
    LPR technology is the core technology powering the BB-DCM series of capacity and lifecycle meters for deep cycle batteries. LPR measures battery internal resistance which is effectively a measurement of the battery's ability to deliver electrical power. What makes LPR unique is that it precisely measures battery internal resistance while a battery is being used.

    A powerful microprocessor in the BB-DCM series carefully tracks internal resistance as the battery is charged and discharged - and measures capacity decay over time providing the only real time state-of-charge and state-of-health meters available.​

    Unless these are a pack of lies (be sure to click on the links), it seems to this layman that the Argus BatteryBug will give me fair warning that, at the very least, further investigation of battery condition is warranted to avoid severe disappointment on the road. It's nice to have that as a bonus with the voltmeter (and it matches the OE gauges!).

    Fred
    #24
  5. Mike.C

    Mike.C Stelvio Dreamer!

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    I wonder if it will work with a LIpo4 battery like Anti Gravity... They didn't answer when I emailed them to ask.
    #25
  6. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Here is what BMW uses at all of its motorcycle dealers to test batteries.

    http://www.toolsource.com/battery-electrical-system-analyzer-with-built-printer-p-103858.html

    $795.00 and its right about half the time at best but still false positives and negatives.

    go here: http://www.midtronics.com/shop/prod...m-analyzers/midtronics-mdx-600-battery-tester

    if you want to read fancy advertisements about it, but no matter what advertising you read, the tool still doesn't work.


    This: http://www.midtronics.com/shop/prod...ics-grx-series-diagnostic-battery-chargers-27 is what BMW's car side uses and it actually works well about 90% of the time with only a few false negatives and positives.

    Price is a modest $4,589.00 You do have to remove the battery and set it on the charge tray because it weighs the battery which id one very good indication of electrolyte level in a sealed battery.


    This tool http://www.usatoolwarehouse.com/usatoolwarehouse/SOL-CST800.html is right about 99.9% of the time, but it takes someone skilled to safely use it. They cost about a grand but used correctly are the be all end all for detecting battery health.


    Heres the battery bug http://www.argusanalyzers.com/batte...tery-bug-battery-monitor-argus-analyzers.html

    It costs $43.84 and has some very fancy advertising, but yes, the advertising is a pack of lies if you assume that all the fancy jargon indicates the tool can reliably estimate battery health. Just about everyone that owns one has seen super low battery health numbers as well as high numbers later on with the same battery. Did the battery somehow repair itself?

    I personally test 6 to 15 batteries a day and have done so for going on 24 years. Currently I test usually 4 to 6 batteries a week in bikes that have battery bugs. I have found ZERO correlation between the BB's battery health % and the actual battery health. I frequently have batteries fail real load tests completely even though the display reads 80+% and have seen many batteries pass when the display reads 30% and below.

    BB has nice advertising with many impressive terms, and it absolutes IS a good voltage gauge which I personally think every bike should have, but use your own eyes rather then advertising. The battery health % is no more informative then listening to the bike turn over and substantially less reliable.
    #26
  7. Dieselboy

    Dieselboy Journey not Destination

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    Joel, I'll concede the overall health issue (especially considering mine reads 30% right now).

    But the original issue for me was all voltage related and in that regard this product worked well in allowing me to diagnose the problem.

    Whether it is inaccurate as compared to $5k testers I do not doubt, but could the "health" measurement not be of use in monitoring relative change? It seems to be a good idea regardless of variance to ask, "why is that reading different?". Even if the answer is that the Bug is wrong. No use? Some use? Good use?
    #27
  8. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    It's of some use. I would rather have a setup that had even an unreliable health gauge to none at all.

    Just pointing out that the health gauge on the battery bug is best taken with a grain of salt. Do not use it alone when deciding to replace a battery, and absolutely do not take high readings to mean your safe and your battery is good.

    I see people do both and waste money or become stranded all the time. I would have your charging system professionally tested twice yearly and before any trips dangerously far from civilization.

    As to where to find someone working for a motorcycle shop that is capable and equipped for professional battery and charging system health tests...... If you are in the midwest you can bring it to me. Beyond that, I have never actually seen a motorcycle shop that could truly do this. Most car dealers have the expertise, but lack equipment for batteries as small as motorcycles use :(
    #28
  9. GJGSRider

    GJGSRider carver

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    I want to monitor my alternator and be able to know when it starts to fail. I have lost one stator, under warranty. I drove the bike over 100 miles with no lights or gauges and if I let the rpm drop it would stall. It is an adventure. I want a warning. I bought a Heads Up LED Voltage monitor. We will see if it gives me enough warning to find a safe harbor.
    #29
  10. oduibhir

    oduibhir Russ

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    Well for a 40 dollar health indicator I guess when it drops below 10% I should heed what data the device is providing.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The Bug had been reading in the 20-30 range for a year when I started it and it dropped to 10 on the last 2 rides I had intended to clear it and ensure that pesky false low was cleared since it was coming out of my winter drive infrequently stage. <o:p></o:p>
    So I am supposed to meet Dieselboy in Torrington jump on my bike and get the dreaded CLICKCLICKCLICK sound. <o:p></o:p>
    So just replace the battery…20 phone calls later and I have enlarged the search to 400 mile radius who would have thought that a 1150GS battery would be so hard to find.. I should at this point say that my nearest BMW dealer is an 8 hour drive.<o:p></o:p>
    So I end up online because I can get one sent to me as fast as the local dealers can get me one, wow sometimes it sucks living on the end of the supply line. <o:p></o:p>
    I am not saying it is an infallible device but like any other tool it must be used as for the data it provides.<o:p></o:p>
    In the end my old battery had a bad cell apparently, as it will only hold 10.2 volts post charge for 24 hours.<o:p></o:p>
    Again I would NOT recommend ordering at any certain point on the “battery Life” but would consider not starting a long trip at below 20 percent. <o:p></o:p>
    #30