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RE: Battery Odyssey PC 680 "Powerpak"


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Greetings to everyone!!

Well , i have asked the same questions before , but as the temperature dropped significantly the last couple of days (currently 1 Celsius , last night -2) the problem i faced with my batter , returned.

Almost 1 year ago i installed a Odyssey PC 680 "Powerpak" battery in my '97 1100. During Summer/Autumn/Winter (last year worked just fine with no problems although the temperature weren't so low last year).

When it is too cold , as last night , i use my CTEK XS 3600 battery charger and the battery plug (on the left side of the panel) to keep the battery in premium condition.

However,this morning , the bike although it started , the ABS lights came on blinking (the usual thing) . After a 30' of commute to work , i stopped and re-started the bike but the ABS lights still blinked....

Any ideas of what i should do next?

(i must note that the bike will be going to the shop for its 95000Km service so a few good suggestions on what check out first might come handy)

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Sorry guys but i think i've discovered the solution to my problem.If anyone cares to confirm it.

Dry Gel Batteries do keep voltage especially Odyssey for a long period of time BUT battery chargers do not fully charge them.

They simply conserve their current voltage.Do properly charge your battery , you should either remove it or use extension cables and charge it as the following instructions (page 6) indicate... http://www.odysseybatteries.com/files/US-ODY-OM-006_0208.pdf

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That's really interestting. Most of us have the little Battery Tender style chargers at our command. Not some 40 amp energy inducer. I do have a couple DC power supplies that I can vary from 0 to 100 volts at the needed amperage. Kinda like shoving 10 pounds electrons in a 5 pound battery. You know it's charging when the transfomer plates start to sing.

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I have never had a problem with connecting a 3 amp charger to the side DC outlet. You may want to make sure that the DC outlet you are using is live with the ignition key in the off position. Some outlets are switched or have been modified.


There should be no reason to remove the battery and make a direct connection.


BTW and FWIW, the PC680 is an AGM battery, not a GEL.

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Just to add to Bill's comments I would also check that the battery terminals and the connections to the socket youre using are clean & tight ........ can make a large difference to the power delivered to the battery during charging, and therefore the charge state of the battery itself.

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My Odyssey instructions make the same point: 2amp is OK for maintaining full charge, but they require up to 10amps for charging if depleted - more like a car battery than a motorcycle battery.


I have a digital automotive battery charger that serves all my needs. I can monitor volts and set max. amp outputs while charging. It even has a 75amp starting boost mode. I don't bother with the 2amp maintenance chargers.

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Dear Bill thank a zillion times for your info and tips on the AGM type.I have checked the side DC outlet with the ignition key in the off position and it is working just fine.I have plugged in the charger which is said to deliver from 2-105Amps and tomorrow morning i will check out the results.

By the way , i came across the following info on the AGM type batteries.Are they accurate?

AGM batteries are just like flooded lead acid batteries, except the electrolyte is being held in the glass mats, as opposed to freely flooding the plates. Very thin glass fibers are woven into a mat to increase surface area enough to hold sufficient electrolyte on the cells for their lifetime. The fibers that comprise the fine glass fibers glass mat do not absorb nor are affected by the acidic electrolyte they reside in. These mats are wrung out 2-5% after being soaked in acids, prior to manufacture completion and sealing. The AGM battery can now accumulate more acid than is available, and never spill a drop.


The plates in an AGM battery may be any shape. Some are flat, others are bent or wound. AGM batteries, both deep cycle and starting, are built in a rectangular case to BCI battery code specifications. Optima Battery builds a patented cylindrical AGM series of batteries that are fashioned to fit the same BCI battery size specifications as any other battery.


[edit] Advantages

All AGM batteries boast some significant performance enhancement over traditional flooded lead acid cells:


1.AGM construction allows purer lead in the plates as each plate no longer needs to support its own weight based on the sandwich construction with AGM matting. Traditional cells must support their own weight in the bath of acid.

2.AGM Batteries are un-spillable, keeping lead and acid out of the environment.

3.AGM Batteries have high specific power or Power Density, holding more roughly 1.5x the AH capacity as flooded batteries based on purer lead.

4.AGM Batteries have very low internal resistance allowing them to be charged and discharged quite rapidly without creating heat based on construction and pure lead.

5.AGM Batteries are maintenance free, never requiring a watering over the life of the battery.

6.AGM Batteries will not corrode their surroundings as the acid is encapsulated in the matting.

7.AGM Batteries will not freeze and crack, operating well below 0°F or C.

8.AGM Batteries can be UL, DOT, CE, Coast Guard, and Mil-Spec approved to isolate HAZ-MAT.

9.AGM Batteries are exceptionally vibration resistant based on the sandwich construction.

[edit] Disadvantages

Cost. AGM automobile batteries for example, are typically about twice the price of flooded-cell batteries in a given BCI size group.

AGM Batteries boast up to a 10 year lifespan, but must be sized to discharged less deeply than the traditional flooded batteries.

AGM Battery depth of discharge for optimal performance 50% Flooded Battery depth of discharge for optimal performance 80%


AGM Batteries do not tolerate overcharging. Overcharging burns electrolyte, which is unable to be replaced, leading to premature failure.

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As far as I know, all the info you posted is accurate. I have been dealing with AGM batteries in the marine environment for a long time and have had very positive performance results. I have found that they are much more forgiving to discharge and varied charging conditions than GEL batteries. Most boat applications have heavy duty charging systems and use smart chargers connected to shore power whilst the boat is docked so the batteries are kept well topped up.


It sounds like you may have experienced a deep discharge and your battery just didn't have a chance to recover. You may also want to check your alternator output. I think you said at one time that your commute was fairly short. I have been wanting to install a small digital volt meter on my bike so that I can see if I am getting a charge. You could do a temporary connection with a multi meter and see if you are getting a voltage increase to 14 volts or so when the engine is running and revving.


An interesting thing happened last week. A boat owner reported that a water hose sprang a leak and sprayed salt water over the alternator. Later he smelled a chemical odor and discovered his AGM batteries emitting a gray vapor from the vent caps. When we inspected the boat, we load tested the batteries and they were fine. It appeared that the internal regulator in the alternator failed and put out a high voltage to the battery banks thereby severely overcharging the batteries. I was very surprised at how well the AGMs tolerated this condition. However, I don't know what the long term effects may be.


Hope you get your problem resolved. :thumbsup:

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Well , my comment to all the pre-mentioned comments is why on earth go to buy a world class famous battery and pay for it if you have to charge it (consider the fact that the RT generator supplies 700W which should give more than 58A) and not buy either a simple acid/lead battery or even a Gel BMW ?

I mean you buy the top selling battery just to avoid having battery problems and still you have !!!@$#@$!@%

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I don't understand your comments. In an 'ideal' environment, where everything is perfect (bike is ridden daily x 365/yr, alternator is in factory new condition, alternator belt not slipping, all battery terminals and connections clean and tight, no vampire drain/loads on battery due to non-switched accessories and electrical modifications, no temperatures extremes) you don't need to charge your battery.


But if one or more of the above conditions exist, then keeping your battery on a maintenance charger MAY help cover up the underlying problem. The difference with the Odyssey battery is that if it is discharged, you cannot charge it with a 2amp maintenance charger. You need a real battery charger. And you probably need to find out why your battery is not holding a charge.


Your question is kind-of like asking, 'what's the point of having world class health insurance, if I still bleed when I cut myself'.

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Well i e-mailed the company and on Tuesday i will be heading off to my good old mechanic to check the alternator and to install extension cables to the battery poles so that i will be able to plug it in my car battery charger...

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Don't forget, that lots of people report ABS-II startup faults with newer AGM batteries. I had ABS faults when starting cold when I first got my bike, even thought the bike cranked and started fine. After reading this forum I decided to do the ABS relay delay modification and then continued to use the same battery for another 30 months with no erroneous ABS faults.

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Well here are my news update, i got my RT a couple of days ago , from the shop (65.000Km).Have changed oil/gas filter/air filter,oil filter/clutch oil/brake oil/adjusted valves/TPS/spark plugs...and checked the Odyssey battery.My mechanic checked the battery and fully charged it.He also checked thoroughly(that's what he said) the electrical system for any possible leak and he found nothing.

The first two days i experienced no problems with my battery , meaning that the ignition worked fine and the ABS lights were OK.

This morning i tried to start the bike and reacted as nothing have changed.The bike did start but with the ABS lights not blinking as they should.The temperature was around 3 degrees Centigrade.

Any ideas?

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Regarding batteries i also came across this one ¨http://www.largiader.com/articles/whichbat.html and the following EXTREMELY useful info on AGM/GEL batteries

"There are two main flavors of lead-acid batteries: flooded and sealed.


Flooded (which has free liquid electrolyte, like the OEM batteries) can be standard or low-maintenance.


* Standard: plates, separators, acid. Just like the Mareg batteries, they slowly electrolyze water which has to be replenished.

* LM: usually made from a lead-calcium alloy (instead of lead-antimony) they electrolyze far less water and rarely need maintenance. Some designs have sealed vents so that you can't add water at all (these are basically maintenance-free).


Sealed (should not be opened, ever) are also in two flavors, AGM (absorptive glass mat) and gel.


* AGM: typical sealed batteries like Yuasa's YTX series, and (I think) Westco, Panasonic, Black Panther, etc. The electrolyte is only enough to soak the plates and separators (which are like thick paper) with none left to slosh around. The battery operates under slight pressure on recharge and all sorts of fun chemical things happen to reduce the amount of electrolyzed water. Ideally, none is lost but in real life there is some loss, especially at the beginning.

* Gel: occasionally (but rarely) use AGM separators. The electrolyte is a gel (like hair gel) and is thus immobilized in the battery so it can't spill. The same wacky sealed chemistry applies.


How sealed batteries work


Sealed batteries don't have loose, liquid electrolyte (acid) in them; instead, it's absorbed in a thick fiberglass mat and is thus immobilized. This mat looks like fluffy cardboard when it's not in a battery.


The good: there is nothing to spill when the battery tips over, and very little to spill if it cracks.


The bad: with the immobilized acid, the only ion movement is by diffusion. So you can get stratification which leaves part of the plate in a weak acid solution and part in a strong solution. Ideally, all areas would have the same concentration so the entire plate can work for you. Also, cold performance is theoretically worse because of the slow replenishment of ions at the plate surface (they get 'used up' and need to be replaced). IIRC I could start the K75 down to about 5°F with the flooded battery but the sealed one was only good to about 10 or 15.


Due to the chemistry involved, sealed batteries usually have an open-circuit voltage of 13.1 to 13.2 volts, which is probably why they are so famous for eliminating ABS faults (by keeping the voltage higher during cranking). Flooded batteries are usually designed to have a voltage of about 12.6 to 12.8. You can get a flooded battery to maintain a higher voltage but it's not really good for it and performance suffers. With higher voltages, the charging force (difference between the resting voltage and the applied voltage) is smaller and you can get into situations where the battery might not get fully charged. This is kind of complicated but the uncharged portion becomes permanently unusable over time.

- big snip of outdated material -


So in summary, sealed batteries are great for what they do - or don't do. The don't leak, which is handy for a bike that might be upside down on short notice. They don't need watering (really, the BMW batteries hardly do either) and they'll keep your ABS faults at bay for a while, especially if you keep the bike on a tender. But the Westco specifically doesn't last very well, and Panasonic has openly stated that they're not recommended for vehicle use.


Sealed batteries are a good idea on the Oilheads, due to the location. The battery is difficult to access and check the electrolyte level on, and on the left side (where the vent tube is on a flooded battery) the main wiring harness runs just under the battery tray. I see a LOT of damage to the wiring harness here, from leaks in the vent hose or vent hoses which have been disconnected. I've even seen cracks in the fuel pipe there from acid leakage, which is a fairly expensive repair."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have an Odyssey AGM battery and went out to charge it yesterday, as we've had some cold weather this week. I plugged into the dash of my 1100RT as usual while using a "real" battery charger, and when I plugged it in I realized I had it set on 12 amps instead of 2 amps. I quickly unplugged the charger and set it on 2 amps, however, when I plugged back up, my F and R turn signal lights are on (not blinking). Do you think I may have done some damage running 12 amps into the acc. socket ? The bike started afterwards but it has me a bit concerned....

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I have an Odyssey AGM battery and went out to charge it yesterday, as we've had some cold weather this week. I plugged into the dash of my 1100RT as usual while using a "real" battery charger, and when I plugged it in I realized I had it set on 12 amps instead of 2 amps. I quickly unplugged the charger and set it on 2 amps, however, when I plugged back up, my F and R turn signal lights are on (not blinking). Do you think I may have done some damage running 12 amps into the acc. socket ? The bike started afterwards but it has me a bit concerned....


You cannot 'run' 12 amps into the bike, only 'allow' 12 amps - current is drawn by the load, not pushed by the charger. The accessory sockets are fused at 10Amps, the battery is unlikely to draw more than 4-5 amps, even fully discharged.

I cannot explain the turn signals, but they are driven by an electronic module, not a relay. This is often swapped out for after-market boxes, such as a Signal-Minder, some of these have a 'running-light' feature.



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The PC680 user's manual specifies that you MUST charge these batteries at rates higher that 2amps. A couple of quotes from the manual:


"Low power 2.0 amp chargers for storage will keep a fully charged battery fully charged but cannot recharge if the ODYSSEY battery becomes discharged."


"Charging time for 100% discharged battery (11.5 volts):


PC680 2.5 hours @ 10 amps

PC680 1.25 hours @ 20 amps"




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Well, I got a chance to investigate today. The turn signal fuse was blown, so I replaced it and took the bike for a ride. When I use either brake, my tach goes to zero and the red battery light comes on (lights up). Also, the neutral light isn't working and only one red ABS light flashes at startup. I'm trying to track down a wiring diagram to start some troubleshooting...

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Well, I got a chance to investigate today. The turn signal fuse was blown, so I replaced it and took the bike for a ride. When I use either brake, my tach goes to zero and the red battery light comes on (lights up). Also, the neutral light isn't working and only one red ABS light flashes at startup. I'm trying to track down a wiring diagram to start some troubleshooting...

Great way to start the new year!

With all those lights out see if they share a common ground. I have now idea why your charger would effect your ground but it's a place to start at least. Good Luck

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Thanks for the replies...I'm in the middle of renovating a house but I'll try to get some time later this week to work on the bike..I'll let ya'll know what I find (I'm being optimistic!)... I'm open for suggestions if anyone has any ideas..Happy New Year everyone!!

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Melted wire that is grounding out when you hit the brakes would be my guess. Not sure which one, but it may be visible once you strip off the tupperware and pull off the dash

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I doubt that its melted. More likely a corroded ground. The RTs have known problems with corroded ground wires on the headlight circuit.

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