Odyssey Battery Woes

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by spagthorpe, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I left my Garmin 478 on my bike for the last few days. Not on, but just plugged in where it will charge. Somehow, this drained my PC680, bought in Sept of 2012, to the point where it wouldn't start my bike this morning. Wasn't dead, in that dash lights would come on, but rat-tat-tat-tat-tat when I tried to start.

    I tried hooking up the Sears 2A/4A auto charger I have, and it just kept saying "check battery"....would never go into charging mode.

    Any ideas? Different charger? I'm kind of shocked that the trickle charging from a GPS would kill the fabled Odyssey battery.
    #1
  2. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Did you try a bump start?
    Or a jump start.

    Sounds more like a flaky charger if it won't even start to charge.

    That is odd about the GPS taking out the battery. One of the reasons I prefer switch accessory plugs though.
    #2
  3. 100RT

    100RT Been here awhile

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    You probably have to use a manual charger. I think the Battery tenders are the same in that they wont recognize a dead battery.
    #3
  4. mookybird

    mookybird Gramps

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    In my work and play battery challenges are common, the smart chargers are great for not cooking a battery into oblivion by leaving them hooked up but I keep an old manual charger around for the very scenario your having right now.

    If I remember right I've gotten a smart charger to start charging by leaving the headlight on when I hook it up? The danger in that is cooking your ignition system on some bikes if you forget to turn it off in a few minutes.
    #4
  5. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Charge it correctly or you risk ending up with a less capable battery , assuming it even charges up with your charger.

    page 15-16

    http://www.odysseybattery.com/documents/US-ODY-TM-001_0411_000.pdf

    and also this.

    http://www.odysseybattery.com/documents/ODYSSEYapproved12VchargersOCT2012.pdf


    Now, ive been using them since 2005, they have served me well, but I try to NOT have to charge them with anything other than the vehicle they are running in.

    They need a certain voltage, from the manual posted above:

    Step 1 Charger output voltage
    Determining the charger output voltage is the most important
    step in the charger qualification process.
    If the voltage output from the charger is less than 14.2V or
    more than 15V for a 12V battery, then do not use the charger.
    For 24V battery systems, the charger output voltage should
    be between 28.4V and 30V. If the charger output voltage falls
    within these voltage limits when the battery approaches a
    fully charged state, proceed to Step 2, otherwise pick another charger.

    Step 2 Charger type - automatic or manual
    The two broad types of small, portable chargers available
    today are classified as either automatic or manual. Automatic
    chargers can be further classified as those that charge the
    battery up to a certain voltage and then shut off and those
    that charge the battery up to a certain voltage and then switch
    to a lower float (trickle) voltage.
    An example of the first type of automatic charger is one that
    charges a battery up to 14.7V, then immediately shuts off.
    An example of the second type of automatic charger would
    bring the battery up to 14.7V, then switches to a float (trickle)
    voltage of 13.6V; it will stay at that level indefinitely. The
    second type of automatic charger is preferred, because the
    first type of charger will undercharge the battery.
    A manual charger typically puts out either a single voltage or
    single current level continuously and must be switched off
    manually to prevent battery overcharge. Should you choose
    to use a manual charger with your ODYSSEY battery, do
    not exceed charge times suggested in Table 5 below. It is
    extremely important to ensure the charge voltage does not
    exceed 15V
    #5
  6. BigDoc

    BigDoc Been here awhile

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    My GPS kept drawing my battery down too. It turns out the battery in the Garmin needed to be replaced.

    I found a cheap one on ebay.
    #6
  7. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ...Odyssey needs the Odyssey brand charger to give the proper full voltage to fully recharge them.

    I own three Odyssey batteries and have one of their trickle chargers and one of their big full blown chargers.

    It's worth investing in one of their brand chargers if you run an Odyssey.

    They work great when you do.

    Good Luck.
    #7
  8. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    Friend of mine is going to meet me later tonight with one of those portable battery jumper units. The bike is parked where I can't get a car over to it. If I can get the bike started, I'll take it on a spirited ride for a while, and hopefully charge it back up enough so that it's good to go tomorrow.

    I looked at one of those Odyssey chargers a while back, but seemed like $70 that really could be better spent given that I have three or four chargers around. Just sucks to buy yet another one.
    #8
  9. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    It has to be something like that. I've had issues with the 478, as the first one I had had constant charging issues, that it would never fully charge a battery. It was replaced by Garmin, but now this.

    I used to leave my 276C on my bike year round, and never once had an issue with it draining the battery.
    #9
  10. URAL CT

    URAL CT Adventurer

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    Learned my lesson the hard way...trashed 2 Odyssey batteries using a run of the mill trickle charger. Got an Odyssey charger & everything's been peachy so far. I use it to charge & maintain my PC680s for my bikes and a PC925 that powers my CPAP. Good luck
    #10
  11. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    Here's the problem I think.


    You have a small battery and it's really discharged.

    Your smart charger is seeing a problem and it's designed to not burn out a cars electrical system, so it's in protection mode.

    Here's how to get it to charge.

    Hook another battery up in Parallel to the 680 and onto the charger.

    The charger will flip on because it sees the good battery, and it will charge the 680 as well as the other battery. When you get enough charge on the 680 you can take off the other battery and the 680 will charge.

    Many Odyssey and Optima batteries have been thrown out because the smart charger won't switch on. If you look far enough, you'll find this info on Odysseys page. I would not own any other battery. I just put a 80# Odyssey in my LandCruiser.
    #11
  12. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    ...I feel your pain. It sucks.

    I just sucked it up and bought the Odyssey charger. I already had THREE other trickle chargers and I didn't want to drop the coin either, but it was worth the investment in the long run.

    Hang in there.
    #12
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    amazing how some folks could blame the battery :eek1

    think of a battery like a storage device like a bucket of water. let's say you start out with a full bucket of water. but it develops a tiny pin hole leak ... after a few days with a tiny pin hole in bucket leaking .. surprise.. bucket of water is now empty when you want a big drink.

    AGM batteries needs to be charged 14.3 to 14.7V to achieve full capacity. but slightly reduces cycle life .. charge to 14.2v for longer life.

    problem develops when AGM battery never makes it to full charge, then internal resistance increases, then performance drops all at once.

    battery tenders that doesn't terminate charge after 14.7v is reached will overcharge your AGM and kill it. quality tenders will stop all current when XX volts are reached.... low quality tenders will charge long as it's plugged in... eventually killing your AGM.

    for LOTS more info... visit my LiFePO4 testing thread ... link in sig
    #13
  14. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I measured the voltage when I got home, 10.5V. Hooked the little porta-charger up to the bike, it wouldn't start it. Same solenoid sounds.

    I know I'll get chastised here, but I hooked a Battery Tender Jr to it....I know...but it at least recognized the battery and says it's charging. I know it's not ideal, but maybe it will get it going in the morning. I checked the output voltage on the Sears charger, and it's only 12V anyway.

    I will go ahead and order the damn Odyssey charger. A place on Amazon has it for $68 plus shipping. I doubt I'll find it locally. Also means I won't be riding the rest of the week or weekend till it gets here which also sucks. My cage gets 15mpg.
    #14
  15. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    you don't need the Odyssey charger unless you just want to ... stay away from battery tenders for a bulk recharge. they don't put out enough amps.

    use most any automotive charger about 6-10 amps ... preferably a dumb charger. most of the intelligent auto chargers are designed for auto size battery and may not work properly on a motorcycle size battery. when charging a deeply discharged battery, objective is to bring voltage back up slowly during a reform charge at .01C .. then if voltage comes back up to normal low range. switch to normal charger for bulk charge. which is the stage your battery will accept about 1C current, until battery gains in volts and starts tapering current.

    just make sure charger doesn't put out more than 14.7v after bulk charge stage is achieved. which is the first 80% or so of charge. then battery will naturally taper acceptance of current until 14.7v is reached. then if charge has a float mode, all current will stop once set voltage is reached.

    with a dumb charger simply make sure voltage doesn't exceed 14.7v for AGM .. yank charger when battery reaches that volt.

    deeply discharged PB, including AGM may never regain full capacity again. when PB discharges too far, sulfation happens quickly, taking a special charger to regain capacity.

    LOTS more info in my LiFePO4 battery testing thread... link in sig
    #15
  16. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    Went out this morning, and the red charging light was on the tender still. I pulled it, and checked the voltage. I know there is some residual charging voltage there, but I was curious. It looked like just over 12V though, so I gave it a try and it started. I hope the elevated revs up the 20-mile trip to work helped it out....I guess I'll find out at lunch. At least that will give me some time to make plans instead of finding out after I'm stuck in the parking lot after work.

    Odyssey charger is on order, don't expect it before mid next week though.

    Thanks for all the help.
    #16
  17. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    You know how to bump start, ehhh?
    #17
  18. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I have a cast on my right leg at the moment. I'm a little slow to get it rolling.
    #18
  19. Les_Garten

    Les_Garten Been here awhile

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    Yeah, that would be hard!
    #19
  20. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Park at the top of a hill. Hobbling down (to work) and up (to the bike) will be slow but at least you can start the bike?

    While you ride the bike - keep the revs up so as to keep the charge up.
    #20