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Old     (drunkmonkey)      Join Date: Jun 2003       02-11-2005, 7:11 AM Reply   
everyone seems to love the Blue Tops, and tht pretty much speaks for themselves.

But how do these compare to any other deep cycle battery you can get at West Marine or Wal-Mart?

Are the Optima's just the big name brand or are there substantial differences?
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-11-2005, 7:18 AM Reply   
big difference in construction and durability (cutting edge gel cell that can be quick charged(fast for a gel type)...

once you go with a gel cell battery, would will never go with a acid type battery again

can be found at costco for a great price
Old     (uga33)      Join Date: Jul 2003       02-11-2005, 7:25 AM Reply   
I'm not famaliar with Optima. Is there a certain Optima for deep cycle and for cranking or does it matter.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-11-2005, 7:39 AM Reply   
they all have the same internal construction. the difference is the external posts and amps..
Old     (fifitrixabelle)      Join Date: May 2004       02-11-2005, 8:00 AM Reply   
We have had problems with optima's in our cars.. Both had to be exchanged for warranty. There is another cheaper brand out there.. I have to think of the name though :-)
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-11-2005, 8:01 AM Reply   
I wouldn't use there starting battery in a deep cycle application.
Old     (seaswirlmike)      Join Date: Nov 2003       02-11-2005, 8:12 AM Reply   
we have a few yellow tops in my boat that we abuse rather hard all day saturday and sunday all summer long w/ no problems so far. each night we just put them on the charger and there good for the next day.

(Message edited by seaswirlmike on February 11, 2005)
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       02-11-2005, 8:38 AM Reply   
Optimas are physically durable, which is important in a boat, rock crawler, etc where a lot of jarring occurs. they also do not require a battery box, unlike a wet-cell, and can be mounted in any position (or flipped over, also good for rock crawlers).
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-11-2005, 8:45 AM Reply   
i have had the same experience that mike h had (you just have to make sure to use a deep cycle charger)

if one was to try that with acid based deep cycle batteries - it would be toast after 5-6 times...
Old     (wakejunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-11-2005, 9:49 AM Reply   
I haven't had good luck with Optima. I have two sitting my garage which were in my camper in parallel and always on a charger during storage. well, one cell decided it was done and pulled the other battery right down with it. I think a lot had to do with the charger/converter in the camper. So, I basically pulled out $250 worth of batteries which I could have used about 5 of equivalent Costco Marine/RV batteries.
Morale of the story, they are very finicky about how they are charged. They charge slower than a wet battery, lead acid, so if you're trying to fast charge it you tend to overheat the battery hence lessening the battery's life.
Also, since they do charge slower, do not mix and match lead acid with any gel type battery. You'll basically kill the gel battery very quickly.

Get the Grip you Deserve

(Message edited by wakejunky on February 11, 2005)
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       02-11-2005, 9:57 AM Reply   
they are definitely sensitive to how they're charged, but supposedly last much longer than traditional wet cell deep cycles when properly maintained. FWIW, i've only been using mine for about 1/2 of last season. time will tell.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-11-2005, 9:58 AM Reply   
wavejunky brought up a couple good points of what not to do...i think a couple things fried them.....

-constantly on a regualr charger(dont have to be)
-deep cycle charger...(when you do use one- this is the type)

the first generation gel cells charged very slowly (when the motor was running). the newer ones are much faster in that regard, but still slower that acid based..

sorry to hear about the experience...

(Message edited by clubmyke on February 11, 2005)
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-11-2005, 10:16 AM Reply   
Make sure you compare apples with apples. I can't tell you which AGM battery is better, but other people on this board can.

I can tell you that:

1) Optimas are AGM, not gel. Gel cells are spill-proof, but delicate mechanically and in terms of charging. AGM is a fiberglass and lead cinnabon saturated with electrolyte; this construction makes them superior mechanically to both gel and wet-cells.

2) AGM batteries can charge at up to 4C. This means that if it's a 125 amp-hour battery (rated to provide 125 amps for one hour), you can charge it at up to 500 amps without damage. In reality, it just means that if you've got a decent alternator, the battery's gonna recharge QUICKLY.

3) Self-discharge is only 1% per month compared to 10% per month for a normal wet cell battery. This means no trickle charging required and no more stress about 'charging the battery' when taking out of short-term storage.

We've got an Optima Blue in the boat, but in the Sequoia, we've still got the OEM wet cell battery. The stupid thing has leaked out the top for some reason and has corroded some paint off the battery holder. What a bunch of crap in an otherwise perfect engine bay. One of these days I'll man up and replace the leaker with an Optima, but I'd be SO MUCH MORE PISSED if the boat battery dropped a single drip of acid on my carpet or caused one iota of corrosion on the battery leads.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-11-2005, 10:23 AM Reply   

i agree with you on the optima's... great description !!! ( i spared the technical stuff and kept them in reference as "the second generation" / "newer")
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-11-2005, 10:27 AM Reply   
My guess is the trickle charging killed your pair, Chris.

As far as being sensitive to charging, try charging a wet-cell or gel battery at 4C. Actually, it just means that they're LESS sensitive to high-rate charging than the other types. If you did have one of them whitechocolate-approved 300-amp alternators, you would NOT want to be hooking up a gel or wet-cell, but an Optima AGM would be just the dizzle.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       02-11-2005, 3:51 PM Reply   
one could also say they are MORE sensitive to a maintainer / constant trickle.

edit - wait, Optima has made both gel and AGM? how does one tell which they have?

(Message edited by trace on February 11, 2005)
Old     (wakeme884)      Join Date: Jul 2004       02-11-2005, 7:16 PM Reply   
just in case more info is needed....
Old     (jwat142)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-12-2005, 4:52 AM Reply   
So, does anyone have any cheaper alternatives to the Optima's or are they about the only option out there?
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-12-2005, 7:17 AM Reply   
costco has the blue and red tops for a great price
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-12-2005, 9:14 AM Reply   
Just be advised that I've heard some others here on the board talk about another mfr. of AGM batteries that is either better or better and cheaper. Don't recall anything else. Optimas are very available, though ;-)
Old     (tahoe)      Join Date: Mar 2002       02-12-2005, 9:30 AM Reply   
Were upgrading the Audio System in our boat this spring and are going to be drawing a lot more power. Seriously considering dropping in 2 of the new Odyssey Batteries. They're suppose to be the stuff.

Anybody tried these ?
Old     (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       02-12-2005, 10:25 AM Reply   
What is the difference between the blue and yellow top Optimas? My stereo guy said he was going to be using the yellow on my system. Is it just the terminals, or something else?
Old     (peter_c)      Join Date: Sep 2001       02-12-2005, 1:42 PM Reply   
Derek, there is another brand that is not cheaper but better and that is an Odyssey, as posted above. I have one of those in my rock crawler and paid $238 to my door for a metal jacketed PC 1700MJT, yet run two optimas in my Suburban.

There is a lot of goood info posted above. One of the major killers of AGM's is charging at over 15 volts, and any overcharging. The charger/charging system needs to be very high quality, or damage will occur. Compared to a wet acid battery an AGM only holds a tablespoon of acid.

Try one of these for charging/testing and you will not have any problems. It is what I use.
Old     (big_ed_x2)      Join Date: Jul 2004       02-12-2005, 5:12 PM Reply   
What about the one's they use at mechanic shops?
Old     (toyotafreak)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-12-2005, 10:03 PM Reply   
Dang, Pete, that thing's sick! And I thought these were awesome:

Troll Fury
Troll Fury

I remember being really concerned about starting & charging when we bought the boat after watching my friends have so much hassle. First thing I bought was the Optima, shut off the battery switch after putting the boat away, and don't have an audio amplifier. It's sat for a couple months a couple times and I've never ever had it on a charger or had to worry about it cranking over. That's a real big benefit to me, and I already mentioned how the thought of free acid in the boat bugs me.

If I ever gather the ducks to put a sound system in there, I'll probably do something like the Troll Fury shown above. Add two of these babies for the system, leave the original one for the boat, and a Hellroaring isolator to manage the three. Could be a while before anything like that happens )

In the S22
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-12-2005, 10:26 PM Reply   
I've got two blue tops and there great. but supposedly, there sensitive to the charge they can take. For example, if you put a HO alternator on them, they really don't charge any faster. When I bought my boat, there were two blue tops in it, but they were dead as hell and would never charge back up. I haven't had any problems the new ones. I'm thinking of running 2 6volt golf cart batts in series and just take the whole sound system out my starting battery draw. and there cheap as hell, like 60 bucks each. run a search on hear, some cats get real specific about the amp/hours they put and say that two 6volts in series in equivalant to like 8 blue tops. sounds good to me.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-12-2005, 10:38 PM Reply   
damn...if that is true then 2 six volts is the way to go...

does anybody have info on running 2 6 volt batteries in series ?

(Message edited by clubmyke on February 12, 2005)
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-12-2005, 10:45 PM Reply   
I swear, run a search on it. whitechocate and his podna runs 'em. maybe they have more than two, but from what I remember, no... and you can charge it with a regular 12 volt charger
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-12-2005, 11:24 PM Reply   
i beleive you... just looking for specifics !!
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-13-2005, 9:43 AM Reply   
this one doesn't really get into it

this one is much better

two golf cart batteries at $120 (60 ea.)will give you 220 amp hrs and I think 2 blue tops at $280 (140 ea.) will give you 110 amp hrs.

My purpose is to take the stereo system out of the equation. run the golf cart batteries dead re charge them.
Now, my only question is could you re charge them w/ your boat's alternator if you had to.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-13-2005, 9:44 AM Reply   
Old    tabiggs            02-14-2005, 7:36 PM Reply   
I used these designed for electric fork lift applications.

Old     (lukeduke95)      Join Date: May 2002       02-15-2005, 10:17 AM Reply   
Hey All,

So I have ben looking at batteres for a while. Was goig to buy last August, and realized I wasn't going to be using my boat till next season. Previously I looked at the US Batteries that Grant brought up.

I like the style of the battery that Texas has, since I will have to modify the floor of my 2001 anyway, I might as well make it to accomodate the number of batteries that I need. Too bad for a Northstar 210 amp hour battery they cost about $325,(if you can find them, I saw $548 for the 170a/h online, but no 210's) I can get two of the US 2200 for 74ish apiece. so for $350 I get four 220a/h batteries, that will increase the a/h to 440 (they are 6 volt)

Anyone use these batteries yet?
My stereo is not huge, but I only had it die once, cause I turned the subs on high for a while, usually we rock with them low. I want something that can accomodate the additional drain of the subs.

I dont really feel like the Optimas are my best option for the money.

Am I understanding it correctly, Grant can charge his batteries at like 300a but if they were a lead acid they would need a slower charge rate? So If I just left a 100a alternator to charge them it would be maxed out, but not over charging and frying the batteries?
Old    tabiggs            02-15-2005, 1:30 PM Reply   
You should figure that your charger should CHARGE a max of 20% of the total amp hours, for example, you have a total of 500 AMp hours, 20% is approx 100 AMPS. Anything over 100 AMPS can hurt your batteries (long term),, second, anything over 100 AMPs in this case, will not make a charging difference. In other words , a 125 AMP charger will not charge the batteries any faster than a 100 amp charger.

I have had 9 Blue tops linked together and also experiemented with heavy duty lead battereis in my stereo with pulls over 5000Watts for hours at a time, TRUELY - IT ALL COMES DOWN TO AMP HOURS - Any deep cycle is conditioned to be drained over and over again. The blue tops are good but no better than a heavy duty good marine deep cycle with the same amp hours.

(Message edited by tabiggs on February 15, 2005)
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-15-2005, 1:35 PM Reply   
I found a local guy that has the 6v golf cart batts for $40 each. so I'll spend $80, not modify anything and have 220 a/h. Thats all i need.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-15-2005, 1:38 PM Reply   
oh yea, I don't have to mess with my alternator. I might get a surf rack instead...
Old     (jwat142)      Join Date: Jan 2002       02-15-2005, 1:57 PM Reply   
Can someone explain the golf car battery thing a little more? What do you do, just charge them up and then sit them in the boat and run them until they are empty and then charge them again? What kind of charger do you need for golf cart batteries?
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       02-15-2005, 2:26 PM Reply   
You can do a search on here. I think links have been posted on this thread. The way I understand is you can get a increase in amp hours by using 6volt "golf cart" batteries hooked up in series over a traditional deep cycle battery. For instance, you have a 12volt deep cycle battery that will produce 150-175 AH (50-60 @ walmart) Or find some cheaper 6 volt batteries wired in series and get close to 220 AH. I don't see how people are saying its like having 5 blue tops???? your only talking about 50+/- more AH's . On a decent size system that's about 30-45 min extra of play time with the motor off. If you've got the cash to spend on a 5000 watt system, I'm sure you can cover the power supply. For the rest of us, we'll have to start our motors every 1-3 hours.
Old     (lukeduke95)      Join Date: May 2002       02-15-2005, 9:06 PM Reply   
Adam is correct, you hook the Golf cart batteries in Series, therfore producing a 12 volt load. One blue top is good for 55a/h, whereas a GC batteries is good for 220 a/h (same thing when in series) So you are getting quadruple the capacity with only one more battery.
Now hook up two sets of GC's in parallel, and you have 440a/h to work with. Whereas it would take 8 optimas to do the same.
Old    waterdog2            02-16-2005, 8:33 PM Reply   
Sounds good, But when you change to a 12 volt load=emf the current draw also doubles, cutting amp hours in half for a 6 volt. My 2 cents
Old     (lukeduke95)      Join Date: May 2002       02-16-2005, 9:03 PM Reply   
Hey Jeff,

So are you saying that if I have two 6 volt batteries at 220 a/h each, by running them in series to produce a 12 volt source, I will not stay at 220 a/h? It will drop to 110 a/h?

Straight off a web site

In an example, two 6 Volt 350 Amp hour batteries were wired in series which yields 6 Volts + 6 Volts = 12 Volts @ 350 Amp hours.

I would assume that then you would have 350 a/h at 12 volts.
Old    waterdog2            02-16-2005, 9:14 PM Reply   
All I am saying is that A 6 volt rater at 100 amp hours, When wired at 12 volts Would be rated at 50 amp hours.
6 volts x 100 amps = 600 watts
12 volts x 100 amps = 1200 watts
Watts being A true measurement of power.
Old     (lukeduke95)      Join Date: May 2002       02-16-2005, 9:20 PM Reply   
No, the amp hours stay the same, the voltage increases.

When wired in parralel, the amp hours increas and the voltage stays the same.

The only way for what you said to work is if, your 12v system could suck the power out of a 6 volt twice as fast. But it wouldn't even power up as it isn't enough juice. Thats why they are wired in series.

I may be wrong, but here is a whole page on it.

Straight off the site.

Important: When you wire devices in series the individual voltages of each device is additive. In other words if each device in the above example had the potential of producing 12 volts, then 12 + 12 + 12 + 12 = 48 volts. If these devices were batteries then the total voltage of the battery pack would be 48 volts. If they were solar modules that produced 17 Volts each then the total voltage of the solar array would be 68 volts.

The second important rule to remember about series circuits is that the current or amperage in a series circuit stays the same. So if these devices were batteries and each battery had a rating of 12 Volts @ 220 Amp hours then the total value of this series circuit would be 48 Volts @ 220 Amp hours. If they were solar modules and each solar module had a rating of 17 volts and were rated at 5 amps each then the total circuit value would be 68 volts @ 5 amps.
Old    waterdog2            02-16-2005, 9:51 PM Reply   
I think were saying the same thing!
Old     (l7wakeboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       02-17-2005, 8:07 AM Reply   
Back to the blue top question. We need a new battery, don't have major stereo system or anything, but want a nice battery. This may be a dumb question but, is it ok to just have the one deep cycle blue top for starting, stereo, etc.? Like I said, we only have one amp going to some crappy subs and thats about it.
Old    tabiggs            02-17-2005, 8:20 AM Reply   
yes, Blue top is a nice battery, but just a suggestion, I would definately advise of getting 2 batteies just for safe cause. Even all factory boats manufactured with their premiun stereo options all come with 2 batteries and a switch, A, B or A+B for charging. DONT RELY ON 1 BATTERY! I promise, another blue top will be the best 150.00 you will spend.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-17-2005, 9:01 AM Reply   
agree big time with texas !!!!
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       02-17-2005, 9:26 AM Reply   
Ryan- no doubt. two batts and switch/isolator.

I posted some links above where the golf cart battery issue is beat to death. i read it all and understand it - I think. Someone asked about charging a 12 bank made up of two 6v series wired batts. Use a 12v charger. and wire to both batts. (Pos. to Pos on Battery A - Neg to Neg on Batt B)


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