Friday, October 20, 2017
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What Size Battery for Trolling Motor, What Type of Battery for Trolling Motor

trolling-motor

You might have your boss with important business clients out on the open lake ready for a great day. Then suddenly, your worst nightmare rears its ugly head –

Your trolling motor battery dies!

Avoid this nightmare and find out what size battery for trolling motor. Enjoy all your time out on the water without embarrassment.

All You Need to Know about Trolling Motor Batteries

Owning a boat is a dream come true for many individuals. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, success and prestige.

When the long work week is done, you can head out on the open waters and spend great times trolling for dinner. There is not much that compares with fresh fish.

Of course, when you purchase your first boat, you might not be an expert on trolling motor batteries. You might not be sure of what type of battery for trolling motor, you should choose.

Getting the right information on batteries can be difficult. But here is the solution to your problem.

To prevent a dead battery from ruining your fishing excursion, you will need the right size and type fitting your usage patterns. Regular maintenance is also key.

Trolling Motor Battery Type & Size

To fully enjoy your fishing experience, you need to have a powerful trolling motor. Each angler has his own special setup and optimization.

What type of battery for trolling motor is optimal? Here are the primary elements affecting your trolling motor battery functionality:

  1. Type
  2. Size
  3. Usage
  4. Maintenance
  5. Damage

When you optimize each of these factors, you can minimize the dangers of having a dead battery and troll as long as you want.

1. Type

Your automobile has both a battery and an alternator. These serve the two functions that are performed by the boat battery types: 1. Cranking and 2. Deep Cycle.

You might have heard of “cold cranking amps” – these are the power ratings for turning your trolling motor over when starting it.

Amp-hours are how long you can operate your watercraft at different speeds. The deep cycle battery is used for regular operation – while you are on the water.

The other variation you will find in boat batteries is based primarily on their internal structure:

  • Wet-Cell
  • Sealed
  • “Absorptive Glass Mat” (AGM)

The wet-cell (or flooded) is standard for the industry. There are six open cells; if you are experienced, then you can check, maintain and repair these cells yourself.

The novice might prefer the “maintenance free” or sealed trolling motor battery. It has fewer corrosion problems than the wet-cell.

The most advanced battery type is the AGM, which is also maintenance free. These are well-protected against vibrations and have different rates of discharge.

2. Size

Trolling motors are rated by pounds of thrust; a trolling motor of 72 to 75 pounds of thrust is comparable to 1 horsepower or 746W of electrical power. Experts recommend 5 pounds of thrust for every 200 pounds of a vessel’s gross weight.

The most popular options are 12V, 24V and 36V trolling motor batteries. A 12V motor draws 60A consuming approximately 720W. If your boat is longer than 16 feet, you might want to upgrade to a 24V motor.

3. Usage

The frequency, storage and usage of your trolling motor will also determine its life span. If you must err, it is wise to err in having too much power.

The professional fishermen might need a 36V trolling motor battery for peak performance. They might even carry 2 or 3 trolling motor batteries, along with a battery minder.

4. Maintenance

Fully recharge your battery after each fishing trip, for the best results. Batteries left uncharged or with a low charge, will be more difficult to recharge to their full capacity.

Marine trolling motor batteries operate using sulfur and lead, both of which can be hazardous to your health. The standard wet-cell battery will require you to conduct regular maintenance.

During operation, the sulfur tends to build up on the battery plates; recharging your battery returns this sulfate to the electrolyte solution. Over time, sulfur buildup (also called ” sulfation”) will decrease performance and longevity.

Wet-cell batteries can be cleaned with a “cleansing agent” to remove sulfate buildup.

You must be very careful when you check fluid levels. Make sure to work in an area with proper ventilation – wear safety glasses, protective gloves and clothing.

If you are not an expert, you might prefer the maintenance-free batteries.

5. Damage

Never drop your battery. A damaged battery could explode.

Even normal wear-and-tear from frequently bobbing on the waves could cause your battery to malfunction.

Trolling Motor Battery FAQ

Here are some helpful answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ):

What are some warning signs that your battery is on its last legs?

Each trolling motor battery is different, but if yours takes longer to start your motor, recharge or requires more frequent charging from an automatic charger, then it might be dying. You can do an equalized charge on a wet-flooded battery to strengthen weak cells.

What if I add GPS, fish finders and other items?

When you add more electronics to your water craft, you might want to add more batteries to ensure they function properly. It is advisable to have one battery especially devoted to your trolling motor, so you are not left stranded.

Why can’t I use a car battery for my boat?

The marine battery can handle the bouncing waves and allow you to troll for longer periods of time than an automobile battery.

Have Fun Trolling

Now you know what size battery for trolling motor, so have a great time on the water. You can rest and relax with family and friends.

What are amp hours on a deep cycle battery, what is a dual purpose/deep cycle battery?

vector illustration of two men are of different opinion with empty speech bubbles
vector illustration of two men are of different opinion with empty speech bubbles

When you are considering the best deep cycle batteries for your boat or RV, there are a couple of questions that you should know the answer to. The first is: What are amp hours on a deep cycle battery?

You don’t want to get a battery you can’t use to its potential. Another question we will answer is: What is a dual purpose/deep cycle battery?

Knowing the answer to these questions will help shed some light on the basics of deep cycle and dual purpose/deep cycle batteries.

What are amp hours on a deep cycle battery?

Amp hours refer to how many amps a battery will put out over a specified amount of hours. This information can be especially useful if you want to get a battery that will put out a specific number of amps to run a trolling motor or other auxiliary equipment like on an RV.

This rating is specifically used on deep cycle batteries. While other factors exist in choosing a deep cycle battery, this one helps you evaluate a battery’s performance for your needs.

How are amp hours calculated?

Amp hours are calculated by multiplying the amp output of a battery by an amount of time. While this may seem simple, it is important to know that the amp output could be measured over five hours, 20 hours etc.

The most common span of time for amp hour ratings is 20 hours. When looking at amp hours, the listing should specify the span of hours used in the rating.

The actual amp hours rating will likely be listed in the following format:

  • Amp Hours {AH}: 100 AH at 20 Hour Rate
  • Amp Hours {AH}: 90 AH at 20 Hour Rate
  • Amp Hours {AH}: 75 AH at 20 Hour Rate

Remember that the AH number is the amps multiplied by the 20 hour rate.

If the listing doesn’t specify, make sure to investigate further. We have provided some more confusing listings below.

  • 92 ah MCA 900 CCA 580
  • 105 ah MCA 1000 CCA 800

The last two listings provided were actually taken from a dual purpose/ deep cycle battery. The AH is listed but the time span is not in these specifications.

This leads us to the next question:

What is a dual purpose/deep cycle battery?

Dual purpose batteries have the capabilities of performing two important battery functions. A dual purpose/deep cycle battery operates at a low amp level to run electrical components, but also has the cranking amps to start an engine.

A dual purpose/deep cycle battery does have an AH rating which should help you determine if it will suit your needs as a deep cycle battery. It also has ratings for a starting motor in the form of cold cranking amps (CCA) or marine cranking amps (MCA).

Why can’t I just use a regular battery for a deep cycle?

Most of the equipment that would require a deep cycle battery, especially older equipment, could get burned up by a regular battery. Some suggested reading material that could shed more light on the subject can be found in this article about boat battery basics.

Amp hours and their significance when looking at deep cycle batteries cannot be overlooked. Make sure the amp output of a deep cycle battery will suit your needs when picking one out.

While deep cycle batteries come in many different AH ratings, there are also other factors that will go into getting the right one.

Dual purpose/deep cycle batteries also offer some advantages when using two batteries is just not an option. The AH rating also applies to dual purpose/deep cycle batteries so be sure to check to see it suits your needs.

7 Important Questions about Battery you should ask now

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transportation, winter, people and vehicle concept - closeup of man under bonnet with starter cables
transportation, winter, people and vehicle concept – closeup of man under bonnet with starter cables

If your boat, automobile or recreational vehicle needs a battery there are a few special considerations that newer batteries have been built to address. One question we often get asked is: What is a dual purpose/starting battery?

We answer this question below as we suggest you look at dual purpose/starting batteries and their uses for your application. We also answer another question that may arise when shopping: What is CCA on a starting battery?

If you are shopping for a battery, you need to decide if you want to look at cold cranking amps. Our answer below should help you decide if you want to spring for the extra benefits that are offered. To make the most out of your hard earned dollars you will want to consider important features like these.

What is a dual purpose/starting battery?

Dual purpose batteries do the work of two batteries. The traditional starter battery on a car or boat with a standard fuel engine needs to provide short, powerful amperages to turn an engine until it fires.

On a car, after the engine fires the motor turns an alternator which continues to charge the electrical system of the vehicle as well as recharging the battery for next start.

Boats with gas or diesel engines also require high amperages to start the engine, but typically don’t have adequate charging capabilities. This is where a dual purpose battery comes in handy.

One of the drawbacks of starting batteries is that they don’t handle long periods of use at low amps without charging. Deep cycle batteries can handle longer use at low amps, but don’t offer the higher cranking amps for starting a motor.

The solution to the need for two separate batteries or suffering with a misused battery can sometimes comes in the form of a dual purpose battery.

Why might I want a dual purpose battery?

The dual purpose battery offers the cranking amps to start a boat or car, but also has deep cycle capabilities. This means that the battery can operate for extended amounts of time offering a low amp electricity supply without the need for an on-board charging system.

Dual purpose batteries also appeal to car and truck owners that have a lot of electrical accessories or advanced electronic systems that they want to use after they turn the car off.

The dual purpose battery offers a better solution to the two battery problem in certain cases on boats. There are specific uses for dual purpose batteries:

  • Smaller boats with lower battery requirements
  • Boats that require two of the same batteries
  • Boats with electrical systems designed for just one battery

Common uses in automobiles include vehicles that are equipped with winches, cranes or other accessories that use electricity.

How do I know if a dual purpose battery is right for my application?

If you are interested in the features of both starting and deep cycle batteries, dual purpose batteries can consolidate both into one.

The benefits may be worth the extra cost if you have no on-board charging system. You may also find they offer security knowing the battery has deep cycle advantages.

These batteries have some limitations. As dual purpose batteries they are usually not as capable as dedicated starting or deep cycle batteries can be.

It is important to check specifications to make sure you are getting enough cranking amps and cold cranking amps as well as enough battery run time to suit your needs.

The dual purpose battery may cost slightly more than just a standard battery, but you may also reap more rewards. Choose wisely when considering dual purpose batteries.

What is CCA on a starting battery?

CCA stands for cold cranking amperage. If you live in an area where temperatures drop considerably in the winter you may consider pursuing a higher CCA rating when choosing a battery.

What is the rating actually indicating?

Cold cranking amp ratings refer to how many amps a fully charged battery can deliver at zero degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds. The testing for this rating also requires a 12 volt battery to maintain 7.2 volts for the duration of the 30 second test.

Do I need a battery with high CCA’s?

Batteries lose power and generally do not perform as well at low temperatures. This rating often provides better information for people who are buying batteries and are concerned about dependability in colder weather.

How many CCA’s do I need?

It is important to remember that required cranking amps for starting a motor vary depending on the vehicle. There are moderate differences and you should classify which application you want to service.

The cranking amps differ between applications like:

  • Cars
  • Light Trucks
  • Boats
  • All Terain Vehicles

Be sure to check the requirements of your specific vehicle to determine how many CCA’s you should have.

Conclusion:

As you may have figured out by now, these two topics go hand in hand.

Firstly, if you determine that you want to try a dual purpose battery, we want you to understand what they actually are. They offer advantages of both starting batteries and deep cycle batteries in one.

We know choosing a good battery can be a tough decision. If you are interested in dual purpose batteries, looking at CCA’s may help you find the one that will work well for your application.

Buying the right battery is crucial in making sure you maximize longevity. Don’t sacrifice function over availability or price.

How to clean golf cart battery with 4 helpful tips

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Clean Golf Cart Battery

Know anybody who’s got a spare $1,800? With a little prep work and some simple maintenance, you can save yourself some serious cash. One brand-new 6 Volt Battery for an electric golf cart runs about $300. To power an electric golf cart, you’ll need six of these batteries. It doesn’t take long to learn how to increase the life of the batteries you’ve got.

How To Prepare To Clean Golf Cart Batteries

WEAR HEAVY RUBBER GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION.
Batteries work because they contain acid, and if the battery explodes, you’ll get a face full and be covered in it. If you can’t find your safety goggles or face shield, buy another set. Never put your eyes at risk.

Keep running water nearby. Overheated or over-charged batteries can blow, and if the top blows off the battery, you may be spattered in acid.

Wear clothes that you can get (or already have) grease stains, tears or hole damage. (Note: This may not seem like a safety concern now, but if you ruin good clothes, it can make for a lot of trouble later.)

How To Clean Golf Cart Batteries

Special chemicals are not needed for this cleanup job. You just need to raid the spice cupboard.

1) Once you’re protected, mix half a gallon of water with one quarter cup of baking soda and spray the wiring, the racks and the tops and sides of the batteries. Be generous with the spray.

2) If weather conditions cause the spray to evaporate rapidly, work the spray across the top of the battery with an old paint brush to loosen the dirt, then rinse it away.

3) If the spray doesn’t evaporate right away, let the mixture stand on the batteries for at least five minutes, then rinse with a low pressure spray of clean water. Never use high pressure on electrical components.

4) If needed, you can work the baking soda mixture around the top of the battery with a soft scrub brush to reduce gunk and build-up caused by corrosion and dirt.

The battery tops should be clean. If you see any green corrosion, spray again with the baking soda solution. Let it sit for five more minutes, then use a sturdy bristle brush to scrub away any remaining corrosion, dipping the brush in the baking soda solution.

Alternate Option For A Single Cart

If you’re only cleaning one cart and don’t need to mix up that much baking soda, another suggestion for the best way to clean golf cart battery is just to sprinkle making soda over the top of the batteries and rinse it away with water. (Note: If you forget the baking soda outside and it rains overnight do not try to sneak it back in the house the next day. Just go buy some. This is almost as much trouble as ruining new clothes.)

How To Maintain Golf Cart Batteries

Once the batteries are cleaned, check the water level and fill as required with distilled water. This will reduce the risk of corrosion and early battery failure.

Charge golf cart batteries at least daily, and between rounds when possible. Undercharging batteries leads to sulfation, which will destroy the plates and ruin the battery if allowed.

Conclusion

Golf cart batteries will leak acid as they lose their charge, so they need to be cleaned and re-watered with distilled water as well as charged often to reduce the risk of battery destruction by sulfation. Any time you’re working with batteries, you’re working with acid and electricity. ALWAYS WEAR EYE AND SKIN PROTECTION, AND ALWAYS HAVE ACCESS TO RUNNING WATER.

Calculating Amps Per Hour

Calculating trolling motor battery
Calculating trolling motor battery

You might be wondering just how long your motor will last. This is a common concern, but unless you know what to look for, you might not be able to find out if the battery you have is built to last. When it comes to accurately figuring out whether your battery will last or not, you’ll have to first figure out the battery’s amperage hour rating, and also your trolling motor’s amperage draw number. So if you can figure out just how long your trolling motor will last and figure out these two values that we’ve spoken about, you’ll be able to get the right trolling motor battery for the job and get that much closer to getting your boat ready to go out on the water. So in this post we’re going to go into things like amperage hour rating and motor amperage draw in order to get a better understanding for how these things work. First let’s start by understanding what we mean when we say amperage hour rating.

Amperage Hour Rating

The way that amperage hours work is basically that they show you just how long the battery can supply the trolling motor with power. In order to break it down into more simple terms, a battery that has a 100 amperage hour rating can actually give your trolling motor 25 amps of power for a total of four hours. If instead you wanted to use this particular battery for ten hours, you could use it at 10 amps before it’ll lose a charge, useful for those longer trips you might want to go on. In either case, what you want to do to calculate the amps per hour is basically to take the amps that you’re looking at using and then multiply that number directly with the amount of hours that the battery will be running for. And so, now that we’ve gotten a handle on what goes into forming the amperage hour rating, let’s take a look at what makes up the motor amperage draw.

Motor Amperage Draw

When it comes to figuring out the estimated run time of your trolling motor, along with the amperage hour rating you’re going to need to figure out what your motor amperage draw is. What the motor amperage draw rating is is basically the amount of amperage (also known as current) that a motor is going to pull in at whatever speed the motor might be operating at. While your particular motor’s amperage draw number might not be exactly easy to find, you can always figure it out by consulting with the motor’s original manufacturer, or you can count on resources like trollingmotors.net. Basically, you’ll need to take the amperage hour rating of your battery and then divide what you get by the amperage draw. Now that we’ve gotten a good handle on what goes into the amperage hour rating and motor amperage draw, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can maximize the way that your motor runs.

Be sure to consider weather conditions.

Weather as well as water conditions can severely impact the way that your motor and its battery are going to run once you take your boat out on the water. For example, a motor that usually takes 20 amps to run might suddenly require 30 amps to move that boat if you’re facing some seriously choppy conditions. So if you’re the type who likes to challenge Mother Nature, be sure to take this into account before going into the water. But aside from weather considerations, you’re going to want to keep the following tips in mind when it comes to extending your motor’s battery life.

Extending Battery Life

One of the ways you can make sure that your battery lasts as long as possible is to use a variable speed motor. This will allow you to be much more energy efficient, especially if you’re planning on running at a slower speed. There’s also more room to customize, as you can dial in to the exact speed that you want instead of having to select from a pre-determined speed that might not suit your needs. Along with this, buying a large motor will help to extend your boat’s battery life, and another thing to think about is not fully depleting your battery, as doing so is going to greatly reduce your battery’s overall lifespan.

Go ahead and get out on the water!

So as you can see, by figuring out your amperage hour rating and motor amperage draw, you’ll be able to maximize your battery’s overall lifespan and stay out on the water for longer. So now you can get back out onto the water instead of worrying about your boat’s motor.

Techniques to Charging a Battery

Introduction

Jumper cables isolated on white background
Jumper cables isolated on white background

I am not a fisherman by nature, so I had no idea what was happening when the boat we were on refused to start. It was only when my friend’s expression showed real frustration that I began to understand there was an issue.

I had never even heard of ‘trolling an engine’ – the only trolling I know of comes from story-books or Twitter. After we got off the lake where we had temporarily been stranded, I started to look into things and made an interesting discovery.

The issue with that particular boat was battery related; it had been improperly charged and left far too long without usage, two common issues that can wreak havoc on an otherwise pleasant boating experience. In actuality, the battery issues my friend’s boat suffered from are not uncommon – they are common issues among cars, as well.

How can someone take proper car of a motors battery? Here are a few pointers.

Choosing the right trolling battery

What are some of the common elements someone should look for in a trolling battery? Your deep-cycle (trolling) battery should offer these basic features:

  • Should be 12-watts
  • Should offer low current for long durations
  • Should be compact and under 50 pounds

There are quite a few websites that offer ‘best batteries for trolling’ reviews: TrollingMotors.net, SaltyDogsGuide, FishingTipsDepot and the ever popular batterychart.com.

These sites can help you prepare to find a battery, but how should you charge it once purchased? There are a few simple steps that can help safely and effectively keep your trolling motor’s battery in great shape.

Charging your trolling motor’s battery

Once upon a time, boat batteries were re-charged by literally pouring battery acid into a battery container. These days, that sort of effort is no longer necessary thanks to some serious advancements in electrical discharge technologies.

The biggest reason a comprehensive listing of batteries precedes the manner in which to best recharge them is simple: there are numerous different types of batteries, and they all require slightly different battery charging techniques. There is even variation in the type of charger you can use, be it a portable recharging system or a hard-wired recharging system.

Each of these battery systems will require their own charging methods, but the biggest distinction is between flooded cell (old-school), sealed ‘Gel’ batteries and AGM, or sealed / gel battery systems of modern construction, built in a slightly different way than Gel batteries.

  • Gel batteries: These batteries use regular acid, but a thickening agent prevents any of the acid from leaking. They will work even if there is a crack in the battery case. They cannot be refilled, so monitoring the charge is essential.
  • AGM: Spill-proof batteries are easily charged, but avoid letting them get too low on juice; once dead, they are difficult to revive. AGM batteries can be quickly ruined if they are over-charged, so monitor their charging cycles carefully!
  • Flooded Cell: These old-school, ‘deep-cycle’ batteries are fed with actual battery acid to keep charged. Place a “negative plate” on the battery to create electrical reactions in the ions of the acid. Do not get the acid on you; it will burn!

Though there is some variance between the separate battery manufacturers, the basic principles of battery charging is to either hook a battery up to an electric charger or re-fill the acid inside.

How to quickly charge your deep cycle battery

The oldest battery technology features the deep-cycle batteries, described above. The quickest way to charge these batteries is to literally fill them.

There is an added danger, however. Whereas Gel and AGM batteries have a ‘risk’ of being ruined – rendered inoperable or with a substantial decrease from optimal performance – a deep-cycle battery can cause actual harm.

The acid can be dangerous, obviously, but so can mixing the acid and seawater. Seawater, if it gets into the battery acid, can create chlorine gas, which is not something you want to be ingesting while out on the high seas.

Do not charge your deep-cycle batteries too quickly, in other words, or you might make a mistake that could have dire health consequences. Otherwise, focus on having substitute materials and repopulate the acid stocks to quickly recharge your deep-cycle batteries.

As far as technical charging, deep-cycle batteries are charged by connecting a “negative plate” to the battery. This plate sends electrical signals through the acid, which charges the ions in the acid; this is what charges the battery.

A 10amp charger would take about 11 hours to charge a deep-cycle battery, on average. A smart-charger, or a charger with enhanced technology features, would probably charge at variable amps to improve the charging time dramatically.

Using newer technologies is the fastest way to recharge a battery. Many newer chargers are designed to dynamically regulate charge to efficiently recharge the batteries, but also to decrease the charge as the battery gets closer to full charge, and for a very good reason…

How to charge your boiling hot batteries

If your deep-cycle battery is really hot, or even boiling, you need to disconnect the charging system immediately. Remove the negative plate as soon as you can and keep a moderate distance away from the battery for a while.

With a boiling deep-cycle battery, there are only two viable options.

First, you can test the battery yourself by connecting it to a voltage meter and seeing if the 12V (for example) battery is producing 12V of electricity. For those a little less inclined to DIY with a battery test, you can also take it to a qualified battery shop, or mechanic with experience dealing with batteries.

Unfortunately, if the acid has gotten hot enough to boil, the chemical composition of the acid is unlikely to retain its optimal performance levels. The boiling will create a chemical reaction that reduces the battery charge substantially.

As such, any deep-cycle battery that has boiled would be effectively limited, if not ruined, for future uses. A replacement is likely necessary.

Conclusion

Boating batteries are not necessarily complicated, but using them properly to get the best out of them can be a difficult task. Using the right tools with the right knowledge is important.

This review was just that: a review. This information is bare-bones to give you an idea of what you are working with, and what you should look for, but it is by no means a comprehensive step-by-step guideline on what you need to do to keep your batteries in the best shape possible.

If you are unwilling to learn the secrets of amp levels, voltage meters and similarly complicated engineering concepts, however, perhaps getting a smart charger and keeping an eye on a charging battery will be enough to keep the electric on in your boat?

Jump Start Your Car or Bass Boat Using a Hand-Crank Battery Charger

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You’ve spent the day patiently waiting for “the big one” to bite. You’re hot, sunburned, hungry, and just a little short-tempered. “That’s it!” you declare as you begin putting things away. “I’m headin’ back to shore.”

After another 30 minutes stowing your bait, rods, and other gear, you look proudly at your 300 HP Evinrude® E-TEC® G2™. Seated in the captain’s chair, you turn the key, anticipating the sound and feel of that powerful outboard motor. Instead, all you hear is water splashing at the side of your boat, and “Click. Click. Click.”

“No!” you shout.
Stranded in the middle of the lake with no other boaters in sight and a dead battery. What are your options?• You could wait several hours while you call a friend with a boat and battery charger to get you going,
• You could row to shore (assuming one person is strong enough to row a large bass boat carrying a 558 lb. motor against a stiff wind),
• You could sleep on the lake tonight and hope to see another boater who can help you in the morning, or
• You could kick yourself for not purchasing that hand-crank battery charger you read about some time ago.What is a Hand-Crank Battery Charger?

 

hand-crank

A hand-crank battery charger (more properly called a hand-crank battery generator) is just what it says – a battery charger that does not require an external fuel source (gas, wind, or solar power). A human being (probably you) turns an old-fashioned hand crank which produces power that can be used when the power grid is down due to weather or when you are not physically near it (i.e., when you are in your bass boat in the middle of the lake).

There are many products on the market labeled portable jump boxes which are intended to jump-start car and boat batteries. These portable jump boxes may not have a hand crank. Be sure to read the specifications before you buy. Most of these are charged by a battery which will go bad after sitting and not being used.

A hand-crank generator does not rely on any form of power from the power grid – no gasoline or any type of fossil fuel. It relies entirely on human power.

One of the benefits of purchasing a hand-crank generator is they deliver power for more purposes than just jump-starting a boat. For instance, they may include:

• Jumper cables,
• An alternator,
• 120-Volt power inverters,
• Water pumps,
• USB chargers to recharge your cell phones and other electronics,
• A solar panel to provide additional power, or
• A bicycle attachment allowing users to pedal instead of cranking the hand crank.

It takes approximately 20 minutes of hand cranking to recharge a dead battery. If you have hooked your generator up to a bicycle, it will take approximately 10 minutes of pedaling. You also do not have to do the cranking or pedaling in one sitting. The battery will take a charge cumulatively, meaning it will not lose the power you have produced if you need to take a break from cranking.

What Size Hand-Crank Battery Charger Do You Need?

You can easily jump-start a car or bass boat with a 400 Watt Hand-Crank Battery Charger. Don’t try to jump-start vehicles with small hand-crank generators intended for cell phones and iPods. They will not sustain household appliances and vehicles.

How Many Amp Hours Do You Need to Jump Start a Boat or Car?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It is a combination of the size of the engine and how far the battery you need to jump is discharged (is it fully discharged or only 80%).

You should plan on using between 200 and 400 amps.

Conclusion

• A hand-crank battery generator is a wise investment for all boaters. If your battery dies while fishing, you are only dependent on your own ability to crank enough power to jump-start your boat.
• The secondary advantage of recharging a low cell phone so you can call home or contact someone for help cannot be minimized.
• Having the ability to plug in a radio or ham radio that can provide alerts that bad weather is on the way and you should get back to shore is critical.
• The peace of mind you receive knowing your generator will work regardless of your circumstances is priceless.

hand-crank-emc

Dual-Purpose, Starting, and Deep Cycle Battery Testing and Recovery

crank-battery

Introduction

There are a few types of car and boat batteries that every craft owner should know about, and information on how to recover them is particularly important. If you ever find yourself in the situation where your car or boat engine simply will not crank at all, knowing the difference between the battery types and the proper procedures for testing and recharging them is very helpful.

A dead battery is often to blame for non-cranking engine issues. And since a dead battery is pretty much guaranteed to happen to every car and boat owner at some point, the following information will prove useful in diagnosing and replacing it.

How Do Dual-Purpose Batteries Work?

Dual-purpose batteries are perfect for purposes that demand both starting and deep cycle operations. They provide strong crank amperage to simplify startup, and low amp draw operation for dependable auxiliary energy. This makes them a nicely balanced compromise between the distinct requirements for starting operation and deep cycle/low amp draw operation.

How Do Starting Batteries Work?

Starting batteries for boats and vehicles are very similar. These batteries can provide a lot of electricity for a brief time period, but ideally need to be re-energized as soon as possible after being operated, and they cannot handle deep discharges. These are suitable for single-battery use on small boats, runabouts, mini-watercrafts, and other vessels with light power loads in which the engine stays running.

boat-battery

How Does a Deep Cycle Battery Work?

Deep cycle batteries are built to provide a gradual, controlled, lesser-amp energy discharge – from several minutes up to several hours – for deep cycle operations, which includes using a trolling motor or heavy-duty boat accessory loads such as depth calculators, fish locators, radios, sensors, lighting, refrigerators, powering a house, and other functions.

With these batteries, the electrical energy emanates from deep inside the plates rather than from the surface like starting batteries. Consequently, deep cycle batteries are specifically designed with heavier, denser plates and fiberglass supports, specialized energy-generating active materials, and distinctive heavy-load separators.

Because of these functions, the battery is able to stand up to the possibly harmful effects associated with constant deep discharges and recharges. The thinner, unsupported plates in a starting battery is unable to cope with this kind of continual deep cycling, and will usually go dead pretty quickly.

How to Test Old Batteries

1. If you’re testing more than one, use a permanent marker to mark each battery being tested in its corner. This way you can easily keep track of which batteries have been tested and which have not, and will have no trouble putting them back in the correct order.

2. Detach the battery or batteries from any inverters and current regulators.

3. Test every battery with a digital multimeter and mark the value digits on the top of each one. For batteries that register lower than 5.25 volts, tag them as “dead” and dispose of them safely.

4. Test battery cells with a gravimeter and write down their numbers by the cap of each one. When the variation between the highest and lowest cell value is greater than .050 (or 50 points), these batteries should also be labeled as “dead” and disposed of.

5. Reattach the working batteries in reverse order using the numbers you labeled in each battery’s corner during the first step.

6. Check to be sure all battery contacts are firm and that all battery cells are properly hydrated.

7. Reattach the batteries to all inverters and current regulators.

Battery Recovery Plan

1.  After testing and reconnecting your batteries, crank up the power generator and let it go through a recharging cycle until all batteries are fully charged.

2. Let an equalization cycle run for about three hours.

3. Detach the batteries from any inverters and charge regulators and let them sit out overnight.

4. Retest every battery with the digital multimeter and mark their digits on the top surface of every battery.

5. Retest every battery cell with the hydrometer and mark their digits close to the cap of every cell.

6. Reattach the inverters, leaving the current regulators detached.

7. Perform a load test on the batteries and record the results.

8. Recharge the batteries and record the final load test results.

9. Compare the load test results to determine how successful the battery recovery plan was and the current energy efficiency of the batteries.

10. Recheck every battery with the digital multimeter and once more write the numbers on each battery top. If any battery registers lower than 6.1 volts following the load test, tag them as “dead” and get rid of them.

How to calculate solar battery bank

Ecologycal energy cartoon poster with solar power panels on a field retro style vector illustration
Ecologycal energy cartoon poster with solar power panels on a field retro style vector illustration
If you use solar panels to generate electricity, then you might be wondering which solar battery bank you should buy so that you can get the best results. If you make the wrong choice, then it will decrease the lifetime value of your battery bank. Most people make the mistake of buying a solar battery bank that stores the exact amount of energy they need, but this is a mistake. Completely draining the battery reduces its life expectancy significantly. Therefore, you must buy a battery that holds double the amount of energy you need, but you must first calculate your current power consumption.

Monitor Power Usage

The first step in determining how much power you need is to decide which appliances you intend to run on solar energy. Next, you must discover how much electricity each of these devices consumes. You can determine the amount of energy that is used with an electric monitor that plugs into an outlet. You should run the monitor on each device for at least two days and calculate the average power consumption. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk of obtaining a calculation that does not accurately represent your actual power usage. It’s vital you factor possible changes in appliance usage into your calculation so that you don’t experience unexpected problems.

Consider Local Tempature

The average air temperature where you plan to use your solar panels determines the dependability of your solar battery bank. Cold temperatures make it difficult for batteries to store power for extended periods of time, so if you live in a cold climate, then your battery will experience a decreased life span. It’s important to remember the effect weather has on your solar power system when you determine which solar battery bank is right for your needs. However, it’s often possible to keep your battery inside a heated building, and if this is the case, then temperature does not have to be a factor in your decision.

Final Thoughts

Having a solar power system is an excellent way to save money on electric usage, and it’s a great backup system you can use in the event of a widespread power outage. However, picking the wrong solar battery bank will reduce your efficiency and reliability. It’s essential to monitor your current energy consumption and also factor possible future changes. Once you determine how much energy you need to store, find a power bank with double the capacity; this is important because draining your power bank is harmful and results in a reduced life expectancy. Choosing the right solar battery bank and implementing energy saving strategies will give you the best results.

History of Odyssey Battery

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Odyssey History
The history of the Odyssey battery is interesting. In 1888, William W. Gibbs, of the Electric storage Battery Company, purchased a patent for an advanced storage battery from a French inventor. Over the years, during which improvements were made to the battery, the company changed hands several times.

In 2002, it was acquired by the EnerSys Corporation that is headquartered in Pennsylvania. They are known throughout the world for their production of the powerful Odyssey battery.The Odyssey is a valve-regulated lead-acid battery with a thin lead plate. A large number of these places, which are made of 99.99% pure lead, are fitted into the battery producing more plate surface.

This plate surface allows the battery to produce twice as much power as regular batteries, lengthens its life and allows it to withstand heavy usage and rough conditions. This is especially important in construction and other work that involves the movement of heavy equipment while requiring a constant source of power.

The EnerSys Coporation produces the Odyssey Racing Battery, Odyssey Heavy-Duty Battery and the Odyssey Start Battery each of which are built to handle specific situations. From heavy construction to the weekend fisherman, a battery is specifically designed to offer the best in reliability and power.

With this design, the company offers a Odyssey Extreme Series, Performance Series and a Marine Series Battery. All have an excellent warranty and a 2-year full replacement guarantee, which is not prorated.

Outstanding characteristics of Odyssey batteries are:

Odyssey Battery

Odyssey Battery……………………….Conventional Battery

  • 3-10 years service life………….1-5 years service life
  • 8-12 years life……………………5 years life
  • Dry Cell/no leakage……………..Most have acid floods
  • Need charge-2 years…………….Need charges-6-12 weeks
  • Maintenance free…………………Needs maintenance
  • 2-years storage…………………..No power after 2 years

This battery is used in automotive, marine, commercial and power sport venues. However, fishermen, both pleasure and commercial, have found this an excellent choice for a battery.

The Odyssey battery eliminates the worry of a motor going dead in the middle of a good fishing trip, has an extremely long life, outstanding starting ability and supplies double to triple power of that provided by a conventional battery.

When out fishing, you often run into the problem of extreme heat or cold, which usually will affect your battery’s performance. The Odyssey battery is not only designed to withstand extreme weather but also withstands high vibration, constant pounding and high revving.

In addition, it has welded intercell connections that control extreme vibration and it is especially designed to prevent acid spillage. These features are important when fishing in rough water.

It is possible to get a battery for your particular type of vehicle. For example: If you have a 1991 Yamaho boat, Model WR500 WaveRunner, Motor Model PC625 with a 499cc engine, you would want a PC625 battery. This makes it easy to find the exact model for your special situation.

Obtaining more information on Odyssey batteries is only a phone call away. Whether you are a company or an individual, this is the type of battery that will perform with high efficiency regardless of the type of motor involved.