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2 Optima D31T Commercial Yellow Tops


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septicdeath 
Copper - Posts: 60
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 16, 2004 at 2:06 AM / IP Logged  

About three months ago, I purchased two of the new Yellow Top Commerical Deep Cycle Batteries.

The batteries are hard wired in parallel, I was previously running 2 Memphis Mojo, 2 Memphis 16-MC3004 4 channel amps, 17" monitor, 2 7" monitors, av switch box, RF headphones, 400w invertor and PS/2, Pioneer AVIC-N1, 6 disc dvd changer, and a second indash DVD/Tuner for 2nd source for kids. I wasnt really having any problems, until I scrapped the AVIC-n1 for a DC-DC powered Windows XP computer. I have a 250watt Ohio alt for the vehicle, but havent put it into the car yet. The power requirments for the Opus are listed at the end of this message.

On the carputer forums, I'm getting told that my batteries are not big enough. (yeah right) and that my voltage is dropping down below the specs that power supply needs, unlike the car audio equipment, the computer is very regulated on the power being fed to it. So I went and grabed my fluke and checked the voltage at the rear optima (remember they are wired parallel with 0/1 wire and 250amp RF circuit breakers between the +12v poles). With all my amps and accessories powered on, and the car engine running, the voltage at the rear battery is like 11.90 or so, although I seem to remember it was like 14.50volts when I first added the batteries. I never have any problems starting the truck, EVER. 11.50 or so with the engine not running.

SO what have I fried? and any reason why this would have happened since during the last 2 months, the remote turn on has been disconnected so the amps or any of the accessories have not been "turned" on although they have been connected to the batteries? This is a 98 Ford Expedition, before I put the 250amp Ohio ALt in place, I dont want to fry this new altenator if its the original altenator I screwed up, is the voltage regualtion seperate or is there a voltage regulator in the altenators? If it is a fried Altenator was it the strain of the 2 batteries that has handicapped or killed this stock  altenator? Any suggestions would be apperciated. Have I damaged my Optimas? Tomorrow I am going to throw a chanrge on them with the 10/40/200 amp charger at 40amp setting. See how the batteries take a charge and hold it, and how the whole "carputer with amps on" thing goes. The carputer powers on and stays on with the remote on disabled (and all my accessories/amps not powered on), with the engine running and off, but what good is that?

The DC-DC power supply is a Opus 150W, the technical specs are at http://www.mp3car.com/products/SFX_DC-DC_User_Guide-Rev_C.pdf and posted below for your understanding in helping me out here. Thanks

Input 12V

Input: 12V   Normal input voltage range: 7V to 18V DC 

Low battery shutdown voltage: 11 Volts ± 0.3V

Low battery de-bounce time: 10 Sec.

Input current drain: Power down/ Standby mode: 0.025 A

Ignition/ Power switch current drain: <10 mA

Ingition on/off de-bounce time: 5 Sec

Turn off delay setting: 10 Sec.(Factory default)

septicdeath 
Copper - Posts: 60
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 16, 2004 at 2:08 AM / IP Logged  

BTW, thanks to everyone in advance...

SD

thepyrofish 
Member - Posts: 36
Member spacespace
Joined: December 08, 2003
Posted: September 16, 2004 at 1:34 PM / IP Logged  
Sounds to me like the alternator is shot, take it to any parts store and have it tested, they'ss tell you for sure.
Teken 
Gold - Posts: 1,492
Gold spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2002
Location: Aruba
Posted: September 16, 2004 at 4:45 PM / IP Logged  
The majority of the alternators have the regulator housed within its casing.
I would have the unit benched first, via a AVR test, and follow up with a Avalanch diode check.
If you take your DMM and measure the battery while the vehicle is running, what is the voltage at the terminals?
If you measure the voltage at the rear of the battery what is the voltage?
If you are not using a battery isolater, both batteries will indeed faulter at the same time, because they are wired together with no protection from one another.
What are your driving habbits? Lots of short runs . . . How do you listen to your music, alot of off time listening?
All of those Q's and your lifestyle will reflect upon how your batteries will operate and translate to their service life.
Let us know . . .
Regards
EVIL Teken . . .
septicdeath 
Copper - Posts: 60
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 17, 2004 at 5:23 AM / IP Logged  

Im going to get it tested.

I charged the batterys today with a shop charger, 40 amps

Engine running at front 13.9, at rear 12.8 after CHARGING

No isolater, basically wanted the "massive" amount of reserve time.

Driving habits are short 10 mile loops m-f (college) and occasional 40-60 mile weekends, with 1 or 2 200 mile weekends to mother in laws in LA from SD.

I JUST got the carputer in the car, so music has been NONE for the last 3 months. But usually, loud, 2 Memphis Mojo 2400's running 4 Rockford Fosgate Power HX2 (the big ones) in a 10cuft ported enclosure, 2 Memphis 16-MC3004 runing 8" mid bas, 6.5 mids, 1" tweets in each of 4 doors.

It seemed today, after I charged the system manually, that with everything on (it finally all stayed on) that the vehicle was able to barley "keep" up with the draw.  With the engine running, and everything on, the rear battery DMM reading was 13.40 or so, once the engine was turned off, that number droped to 12.5-12.6 or so. Then started slowly dropping, once I let it drop to 12.0 and fired up the engine, it charged at like 12.2 with everything on, once I turned off all the stereo, it jumped back up to 14.05

Its all over the place, I've got the 250 amp Ohio, so I am going to install it Saturday, basically everything I complained about the day before was GONE once the truck batteries were fully charged via external charger, seemed once they were charged, they managed to stay charged, its only after they are drained for some time that the system seems to NOT be able to recover fast enough?

Im going to go at it again, Ill keep details posted. Thanks for your help? Any more comments? Thanks

Teken 
Gold - Posts: 1,492
Gold spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2002
Location: Aruba
Posted: September 17, 2004 at 9:25 PM / IP Logged  
I was under the impression you were already running the 250 ampere Ohio alternator, or something similar.
It is obvious that the OEM alternator was not able to keep up with the load.
One of the key things you need to remember about the Optima Yellow tops are that they can recieve / accept a charge faster than a normal SLI battery.
By their very design they have a internal reistance of 0.0028 to 0.0030 that is the lowest internal resistance of any mass produced AGM battery which is also a SLI battery, currently made.
Another thing you should know about the Yellow Top battery is that it's initial current output is not 100% out of the box. It requires a few deep cycles to force its full capacity to be accepted.
This is not written on any of its literature or on its web site. This is from 10 years personal experience with AGM batteries such as Optima's Yellow Top.
I would strongly urge you to purchase, and install a battery isolator. The pro's out weigh the con's for doing so.
When you finally install the new alternator, place the batteries on a charger. Its important to understand that you do not charge your batteries with them still connected to the vehicle.
Meaning that the ground cable MUST be removed, and that you charge the batteries as if they were sitting on the ground seperated from the vehicle.
Why ??? Because when the negative battery terminal is allowed to be connected to the battery it completes the circuit to the alternator. When this is done, the reversed current which your charger is supplying will over time, will burn up the diode packs in the alternator.
That is why many people see a gradual decline in current output from the alt, and hence why spurious noise(s) / whine starts to creep up from no where.
Even though the diodes in a alternator are of high current handling capability, they are still not able to sustain reverse biasing such as a properly designed zenor diode which is by its very design made to work in its reverse break down voltage.
Meaning they are only intended to flow current / voltage one way, and not the other.
Regards
EVIL Teken . . .
septicdeath 
Copper - Posts: 60
Copper spacespace
Joined: February 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 19, 2004 at 2:51 AM / IP Logged  

So, connecting everything to the 2nd battery and issolate the front one for starting purposes? Or are you talking about using a issolator that will allow each battery to run the system but never at the same time? I've seen users add a battery isolator to there systems so the sound system could not drain the front battery and so that the charging system charges each battery seperate. Care to offer some suggestions on method, as well as products that could help here.

Teken 
Gold - Posts: 1,492
Gold spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2002
Location: Aruba
Posted: September 19, 2004 at 8:29 PM / IP Logged  
You only require one isolator, if you wish to use two then go ahead.
You have a choice between a solid state isolator, or a diode based isolator. There are pro's and con's for both.
You can review some information on this product --->
http://www.mastervolt.com/isolators/index.asp
This is one of the few units which does not impose a voltage drop on the charging process. Typical diode isolators will drop anywhere from 0.70 volts to 1.50 volts.
If you require more information let us know. As I stated earlier, I am not stating this will cure your problem, or that it is your problem.
You need to inspect all aspects of your electrical system from the very basics of wire connections, wire size, fusing, accessory loads, etc.
Just giving you some feed-back as to what to look for, and possibly apply in your situation.
Regards
EVIL Teken . . .
Chad7n7 
Silver - Posts: 408
Silver spacespace
Joined: March 09, 2004
Location: United States
Posted: September 20, 2004 at 1:26 AM / IP Logged  

Not trying to steal limelight on this thread, but I have an interest in what you have stated Teken, not for any doubtful reasons, just questioning of my own knowledge now, lol.

Yellow Tops are a deep cycle battery, which in turn are not made to be charged by an alternator, The purpose of a deep cycle battery is to be drained and recharged, and not a constant current pull and quick recharge, which can damage the cells in a deep cycle, as where your standard car battery is designed for this situation.

This is reasoning for us dealing strictly Red Tops for vehicles and Yellow and Blue Tops for marine applications. Optima will not warrant any Yellow or Blue tops in an alternator charging system. We have had a situation where we used a yellow top in a car and they would not warrant it. 

Now, lol, with that having been said as my understanding, where am I off basis in your knowledge of the design of these batteries? I am just going by what our Optima representative has informed us, though not saying that he is 100% correct, this is why I am questioning.

Teken 
Gold - Posts: 1,492
Gold spacespace
Joined: August 04, 2002
Location: Aruba
Posted: September 20, 2004 at 9:17 AM / IP Logged  
Chad7n7 wrote:
Yellow Tops are a deep cycle battery, which in turn are not made to be charged by an alternator,
OPTIMA wrote:
Dual Purpose (Starting and Deep Cycle) Batteries for Professional Use
OPTIMA YellowTop is made to install and forget. No matter the conditions, be it dampness, heat, dirt or exposure to extremes in vibration or regular discharge, you can count on OPTIMA to deliver uninterrupted power.
OPTIMA's ability to hold a higher voltage during the discharge cycle makes it possible to utilize more of the stored power in the OPTIMA compared to ordinary batteries. The YellowTop handles many discharges as well as re-charges without losing significant capacity.
OPTIMA is also ideal for seasonal use because of its very low self-discharge rate. That means you can store your seasonal vehicles all winter without regular charging and still spring out of the starting block when winter is over.
Chad7n7 wrote:
The purpose of a deep cycle battery is to be drained and recharged, and not a constant current pull and quick recharge, which can damage the cells in a deep cycle, as where your standard car battery is designed for this situation.
Your discription applies only to true deep cycle batteries manufactured in the traditional manner.
ie. Wet cell, Yellow Top batteries are AGM, and placed into tight wound cylinders, which prevent / reduce plate shedding, which is one of 3 major factors which kill SLI batteries.
Chad7n7 wrote:
Optima will not warrant any Yellow or Blue tops in an alternator charging system. We have had a situation where we used a yellow top in a car and they would not warrant it.
The Yellow Top as it is stated above is indeed a SLI battery. The Blue Top is not a SLI battery. Your rep would have explained this to you, as well as assisted you with a warranty claim with respect to the Yellow Top.
If he declined on the Yellow Top, and the battery was maintaned as per the manufacture, there is not reason they could have denied your claim.
Not going to happen, as I have delt with them for over 20 years, unless there other factors you have not written about.
Chad7n7 wrote:
I am just going by what our Optima representative has informed us, though not saying that he is 100% correct, this is why I am questioning.
Unless your rep is a rookie, I would have to seriously tell you to consider getting another one. Otherwise he needs his head checked !!!
You need only refer him to his own web site, which will clearly state what I have done here today as being fact.
All three batteries have their place in the proper environment.
The only battery which is dual use (SLI) from Optima which can endure repeated deep cycles is the Yellow TOP
and is indeed a starting battery.
If that was not the case, every ambulance, police car, severe duty competitor would not be using them, if it was not intended to.
Regards
EVIL Teken . . .
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