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Thread: Battery Life

  1. #1

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    Battery Life

    After reading some battery threads here (and I would have posted there if I could find it again ), I am exploring replacing my cub battery before it gets weak. I have the STC that moves the battery under the rear seat and uses a PowerSafe SBS J16 to start a O-320 160hp Lycon conversion.

    Does anyone know how to determine battery age? I saw a method on Aircraft Spruce using the last 5 numbers (2 digit year, 3 digit day) but that doesn't work for mine. I've owned the cub for a year and the STC was applied in 2006. I've found no other log book entries for battery replacement. I assume this would be an expected entry, right? 15 years seems like a long time for any battery to last.

    I checked the battery voltage at 12.8v with the master switch and avionics switch on not long after a 1 hour flight. I don't have a load tester.

    I'm posting a picture of the battery in case anyone knows how to decipher the age.

    Thanks for your input.

    Robert

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  2. #2
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Just opinion - but if it's doing the job isn't that enough? No snark intended - - - My battery is about 11 years old now and still doing fine.
    Gordon

    N4328M KTDO
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  3. #3
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Yep. Conditional item.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  4. #4
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    If it really is a sticking point for you, contact the manufacturer with the serial number. They will tell you the build date.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  5. #5
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reminder mine need a trickle mid-winter

    Gary
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  6. #6
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Load test it with your multi meter by checking voltage at the starter.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  7. #7
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Battery life is shortened by heat. A guy living in a warm climate won’t get the battery life that guys in cold climates get. A calendar alone isn’t an indicator of battery potential.
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  8. #8

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    I watch the volt meter during every start as I crank, but its on the bus not at the starter, it drops a couple volts around 10.5volts, if it goes below 10 its probably in the 10th inning and needs a reliever
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  9. #9
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I watch the prop. If it spins to start without bogging? All’s good.
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  10. #10

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    You can also listen, if it cranks without slowing its all good
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  11. #11
    akavidflyer's Avatar
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    if its not broke don't fix it, unless you are wanting to loose weight in your plane and wallet, then you can put a lithium battery in and really watch the prop spin.
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  12. #12

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    I may have misinterpreted the other battery threads because there seemed to be a consensus to replace the battery after it got older. It does a good job cranking the engine although on colder (40 deg) days it’s a little slower.

    I’ll check the voltage at the starter as Steve suggested. I assume that’s static (not cranking).

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by h2oavi8r View Post
    I may have misinterpreted the other battery threads because there seemed to be a consensus to replace the battery after it got older. It does a good job cranking the engine although on colder (40 deg) days it’s a little slower.

    I’ll check the voltage at the starter as Steve suggested. I assume that’s static (not cranking).
    Got to load it up for a load test
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  14. #14
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Odysseys are really good in the cold but they do better if they get warmed internally. Try cranking it a few rotations when cold without allowing it to start. Wait about 30 seconds and start normally. If it starts well? The battery’s healthy. If it suffers from the exercise? It’s probably not healthy. What I notice first with Oddyssey performance is reduction in output related to time since charged. Healthy batteries can go all winter without a charge and start normally. End of life batteries show a performance drop after a week or two.
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  15. #15
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Odyssey batteries are relatively cheap-- I think right around $200 now.
    I replaced the one that was in my airplane shortly I bought it in 2014..
    I had some electrical issues last year,
    and figured after 7 years I'd gotten my money's worth so I replaced it again.
    The issues turned out to not be the battery,
    but I didn't mind buying it too much as it's kinda nice sometimes to have a good battery in the shop--
    I've bench tested some 12v stuff, plus loaned it to a guy when his replacement was back-ordered.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  16. #16
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h2oavi8r View Post
    Iíll check the voltage at the starter as Steve suggested. I assume thatís static (not cranking).
    The first test would be to measure voltage at the battery terminal posts while cranking. This tells you how the battery itself is behaving. Measuring at the starter would include any voltage drop in the leads, terminals, and the starter contactor. That would be the next step if cranking is slow but battery voltage is good.

    Since cranking is ok I'd suggest finding something else to worry about.
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  17. #17
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Battery life is shortened by heat. A guy living in a warm climate wonít get the battery life that guys in cold climates get. A calendar alone isnít an indicator of battery potential.
    In Arizona you're doing very well if you can get 4 years life from a car battery. The Concorde RG-35A in my PA-28 has lasted as long as 7 years and a little as 4 years. The Odeseye in my FX-3 is weak after less than 2 years. Getting 10 years out of any battery would be very unusual in AZ. Even Duracell fail and leak long before expiration date.
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  18. #18
    Colorguns's Avatar
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    2017
    265th day by serial number
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  19. #19

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    And the nice thing about a bad battery on a Cub….I can always prop it. I won’t do that on a 185 with a 3 bladed prop
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by md11freighter View Post
    And the nice thing about a bad battery on a Cub….I can always prop it. I won’t do that on a 185 with a 3 bladed prop
    Not that easy with a high compression cub and a Catto prop either,, ask me how I know.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colorguns View Post
    2017
    265th day by serial number
    I see you derived that from the FIRST five numbers. Aircraft Spruce said use the LAST 5 numbers (Q&A).

    Looks like that battery is a lot newer than 2006. Replacement must not have warranted a log entry. It probably has some life left but I’ll still do some load tests suggested above.

    Thanks for this!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Not that easy with a high compression cub and a Catto prop either,, ask me how I know.
    How do you know??

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by h2oavi8r View Post
    How do you know??

    I wore myself out trying.......Then used a palm sized jumper battery. The light prop is awesome for most things, but it does not carry inertia like that 40 lb Aluminium prop it did.
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  24. #24
    180Marty's Avatar
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    The best thing you can do is get a BatteryMinder that desulfates. I got a 12 volt for my little Oddysey battery. It also works on my farm equipment. I have John Deere with two big 12 volt batteries that are at least 10 yrs old and I had my friend with a load tester put it on the other day and they still test good. A few years ago one of them was blinking yellow after a desulfate cycle so I did it again and brought it back to blinking green. I try to do that desulfate every couple of months.
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