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Thread: Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning.

  1. #21
    Super Moderator Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. 670cc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honda333 View Post
    If the voltage reads 12.74 v or lower for an AGM battery sitting for 2 hrs after charging it’s is on its way out. And I would not trust a battery for a bike past 3 yrs anyway.
    Examples here on the forum and my own personal experiences tell me that hot environments (Arizona, South Texas) are brutal on batteries. While a person living in that environment might not trust a battery over 3 years old, I live further north and generally begin to lose faith in batteries when they reach 6-8 years. If they haven’t failed at 8 years, I replace them proactively. Many have gone that long. The point is, there are, as ste7ios said, many variables impacting battery life. Because of the variables, the battery thread could become a close relative to the oil thread.

    That being said, the OP does live in Florida, so his battery life could be on the shorter side of average.
    Last edited by 670cc; 21st November 2018 at 06:43.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
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    Well I replaced the battery on my X-Adv last week. I mentioned above it was showing 12.4 V after lying up for a few days. I also mentioned that the starter motor seemed laboured on start up. However the bike always started on the second compression, in short after a second or so. The lower voltage and the apparent laboured starting spooked me though. Temperatures around here currently are between 5C and 9C.

    So, I purchased a new battery. I fully charged it on the battery tender and installed it. After a day or two lying up the tracker on the bike again showed 12.4V for the NEW battery. Wtf is going on I think. This morning after the bike was lying up for a week the tracker was showing 12.3V on the new battery after a very cold night. I fired up the bike and again after an apparent laboured two compressions again it fired up after a second. While the motor is running, the tracker shows the voltage to be 14.3V. Immediately after two start ups with the bike running from cold for a couple of minutes I switched off and the tracker shows 12.7 and 12.9V respectively.

    I then rang my Tech, thinking that there might be a diode problem with the alternator. However He assured me that there isn't because there would be a drastically bigger drop in voltage after a couple of days if there was a diode issue. I mentioned the apparent labouring of the starter motor and again he dismissed this as a feature of the type of starter motor in the bike. he quoted me a friends Ducati 1250 Enduro where on startup one would think that the battery was about to die completely, but it always fires up.
    He accepts that there is a draw by the bikes own electronics and the tracker, but the draw is miniscule. He is also suggesting that the colder weather is a factor in the slightly low reading of the battery. In short he assesses that there is/was nothing wrong with either battery and that I probably jumped the gun by purchasing a new one.

    So, it looks like I now have two good batteries for my X-Adv.
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  3. #23
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    Couple of data points on my AGM batteries

    NC 700 sitting for 35 days at 28-40* F. 12.86 volts. In the bike connected
    VFR. Sitting to 20 days at 28-40* F. 12.68 volts. In bike connected
    CX500. Sitting 25 days at 55*. 12.85 volts in bike disconnected

    Old NC battery sitting on the self at 55* charged 45 days 12.92 volts. Replaced as a precaution this year. 5 years of service.
    OLD RV batteryy sitting on self at 55* charged 45 days. 12.82 volts. Replaced as a precaution two years ago at 8 years of service

    Two large wet cells sitting 30 days measured 12.75 and 12.80 volts
    Known weak large wet cell 30 days sitting measures 12.55

    Griff 12.4volts seems a little low. NC normal parastic draw is very very low........I would not expect 12.4 volts ......I would think 12.6-12.9 volts to be a more common normal value after sitting a few weeks ????? Wouldn’t be interesting to measure the parasitic draw on your NC.
    Last edited by showkey; 22nd November 2018 at 19:29.

  4. #24
    Super Moderator Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. 670cc's Avatar
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    Griff, can you obtain a separate voltmeter in known good calibration status and compare it to your tracker?
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
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    Hmmm. There is no arguing with Showkeys figures. Then either the Trackers voltage readings are incorrect or there is a parasitic draw coming from somewhere. I will drop over to my Tech next week. He has the equipment to check the draw while connected. The only other wiring connected to the battery is the GPS cable but this has a blanked off plastic plug in it and therefore it cannot draw. The only other aspect of draw is the tracker itself and they generally have a tiny draw I am given to understand.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 670cc View Post
    Griff, can you obtain a separate voltmeter in known good calibration status and compare it to your tracker?
    Going to have to do that.
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  7. #27
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    One simple check........fully charge the battery. Disconnect the battery and check the voltage a few days later.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 670cc View Post
    Griff, can you obtain a separate voltmeter in known good calibration status and compare it to your tracker?
    Got a basic battery checker today and on checking the old battery (out of the bike) a few days after charging it is showing 12.8 volts per the checker. Then after the new battery was charged all day in situ in the bike while it lies up, I left it for an hour and then checked again. The checker reads 12.8 for the new battery while the tracker reads it at 12.6. It is beginning to appear that the Tracker is reading 0.2 V lower than true. I will get the BC checked against a high end item before making a final assessment.

    What is certain though is that both batteries are losing a little under 0.1V per 24 hours while in situ in the bike resting. Under such circumstances I would need to keep a charger on the bike after a week lying up. Is such a draw excessive and could the Tracker be responsible given that while resting it sends a signal to base twice every 24 hours ?
    Last edited by Griff; 26th November 2018 at 10:44.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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    0.2V is too much. We must always test volt meters against a reliable (calibrated if possible) meter.

    Trackers are known power hungry devices because of the GPS and GSM chips. You may adjust it to save some mA but don’t expect significant gains...

  10. #30
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    To determine parasitic draw an Amp meter has to be used. Unlike a volt meter, which is connected in parallel across the battery, an amp meter has to be placed in series to measure current flow. To do this, the positive lead from the battery has to be disconnected and the meter connected between the batter terminal and the positive lead. With the ignition turned off, the parasitic draw should be in the milliamp (0.00X) range, since it's probably only powering the clock.

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