Noco Genius 5 battery charger review

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3,380
Location
Idaho
Low and slow 'trickle' charges performed on a regularly deeply cycled AGM battery, but especially a TPPL agm like Odyssey, tickle them to death.
and long slow deep discharges are very hard on ANY lead acid battery, whether flooded gel or AGM

I feed my Northstar TPPL AGM with either a 40 or a 100 amp adjustable voltage power supply, and more than once, both of them together for ~134 amps. TPPL AGMs are beasts, but they are not immune to improper recharging
Odyssey does seem to recommend trickle charging for 6-8 hours after bulk and absorption charging:

To achieve maximum life from your ODYSSEY battery after completing the charge time in Table 5, we recommend that you switch your charger to the trickle charge position and leave the battery connected to the charger for an additional 6-8 hours. The trickle charge voltage should be 13.5V to 13.8V. .......The battery should be trickle charged after high rate charging, regardless of its initial SOC
 
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2,241
Location
california
When Amps taper to 0.5 @14.7v, on my almost 13 month old 100Ah Northstar group31 TPPL AGM, with about 100 deep cycles on it, I lower voltage to 13.6v, the recommended float [email protected] 77f battery temperature..

0.3 amps still flow at this voltage at this stage on the adjustable voltage power supply. Many hours later my Ammeter reveals amps have tapered to 0.0x @ 13.6v, but it cannot read amperage below 0.05 amps.

if at this point I crank voltage back upto 14.7v, amps jump to about 1.7 then quickly taper down below 0.5, then down further to 0.0x.

So yes the Float 13.6v voltage allowed, after the recommended 0.5% of Ah capacity at absorption voltage is attained, additional charging does still occur.

When older, the amps do not taper as low at float or absorption voltages. They seem to hit a bottom and then start rising at absorption voltage and simply quit tapering at float voltages, post absorption stage.

Trickle charge means a lot of different things to different people. I consider it to be a charger limited to 2 amps output or less regardless of the voltage limitations, if any, imposed by the charger. Many larger older batteries, 2 amps will not be able to achieve 14.5v plus, no matter how long the charger is left applied and some so clled 'trickle' chargers have 2 amps available shoould the voltage delta be large enough, but will max out at 13.8v.

new and OLD batteries amperage acceptance, at different voltages differ wildly in my experience, with the older batteries requiring much longer at preferably slightly higher voltages to reach true full charge, and at lesser voltages simply cannot ever have their specific gravity max out, or amperage taper to prescribed levels which would indicate full charge.

Cycle an Odyssey/Northstar to 50% state of charge, and feed it only 2 amps for the likely 24hours+ needed to even approach full charge, assuming the 'trickle' charger is even seeking 14.7v, and it is not going to be a happy AGM, or at least not as happy as if it had been fed Odyssey's minimum 40% charge rate, in deep cycle duty. the high amperage charge rate forces electrolyte migration theour the glass matting and deeper into the dense, but thin plates, at least on TPPL agms. A true deep cycle AGM like lifeline still recommends no less than 20 amps per 100Ah of capacity in deep cycle usage, and they say more is better and that one could theoretically feed a 100Ah battery 500 amps without issue, as long as voltage is limited to 14.4v.

scroll to page 20:

But few here seem to deep cycle their batteries, intentionally anyway, and more here prove that knowing the amperage flowing at any given voltage is even less important to them compared to colorful lights.

A battery in deep cycle usage will age differently than one cycled shallowly and living slightly undercharged 100% of the time as well, and exactly how they differ in their aging would require lots of experimentation and data gathering and observances of trends and tendencies as the batteries age/accumulate cycles/deliver KWH with the inevitable result that the battery becomes useless, the variable being how soon it becomes useless.

Odyssey and Northstar are top $$ TPPL AGM batteries, and highly capable in both the CCA and in deep cycle duty, when recharged properly, but some seem to think they are a super battery that immune to chronic undercharging or that any old charger will do 'just fine'.

Dismiss the recommended 40% charge rate in deep cycle duty, at your own peril, and don't blame the battery for not living upto expectations. The claimed cycle life and life expectancies, assume LAB quality recharges, meaning a true and full charge promptly applied after the prescribed level of dischare is applied. Little correlation to a lab cycle and a cycle in the real world, whether deep cycle or starter only duty.

The high amp recharge from a well depleted state is how I return my Northstar to expected performance, after many cycles not reaching true full charge, OR reaching true full charge, but at a slower initial amperage rate, or when it is cycled deeply after a week+ of sitting at the correct float voltage.

In these three scenarios, a discharge to 50% and a high amp recharge returns expected performance whether judged by voltage maintained during engine cranking, or on lower loads applied for longer, like refrigeration and powering lights and fans and a laptop a dremel and soldering iron.

I'll deep cycle the battery , even when i don't need to, because a week at float seems to make the battery lazy, and even if treated absolutely perfectly, it will not last forever, so might as well cycle it even when it is not required, as long as it can receive the recharge parameters which make it happy, meaning high amperage from a well depleted state until it reaches 14.7v, and amps taper to 0.5 per 100Ah of capacity, and then if possible, float at 13.6 until amps taper to zero, or somewhere just above that.

Don't confuse a float voltage applied after a proper time at absorption voltage, with a float voltage applied from a well discharged state, which is what most chargers described as 'trickle' will do.

All the New TPPL AGMS I have acquired, have performed significantly better in the full charge resting voltage, and voltage retaining under load department, after a relatively quick discharge to 50% State of charge instantly followed by a high amp recharge unitl 14.7v is reached, and then 14.7v is held until amps taper to 0.5 per 100Ah of capacity. A 13.6v float voltage held for many hours after that point will also squeeze in a bit more. If one wants to achieve maximum performance of a TPPL AGM, and ignore their recharge preferences, then one is wasting their money, depending on how much bragging rights mean to the individual consumer, at least initially, before the performance level dropping off prematurely becomes noticeable.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,391
Location
New Jersey
But few here seem to deep cycle their batteries, intentionally anyway, and more here prove that knowing the amperage flowing at any given voltage is even less important to them compared to colorful lights.

Most folks on here are interested in maintaining their vehicles’ batteries, especially when they sit unused.

I don’t recall anyone saying that knowing amperage isn’t important. Whether John Q. Public understands the numbers and what they mean is a different story.
 
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JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,391
Location
New Jersey
I'll deep cycle the battery , even when i don't need to, because a week at float seems to make the battery lazy, and even if treated absolutely perfectly, it will not last forever, so might as well cycle it even when it is not required, as long as it can receive the recharge parameters which make it happy, meaning high amperage from a well depleted state until it reaches 14.7v, and amps taper to 0.5 per 100Ah of capacity, and then if possible, float at 13.6 until amps taper to zero, or somewhere just above that.
Cycling creates other structural changes that affect cycle life. There’s a reason why AGM batteries in climate controlled mission critical applications can last 10-20 years. Excessive cycling isn’t it.
 
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240
Location
Ontario, Canada
So whats a good maintenance charger for and Odyssey Performance then (hopefully that I can use on two other cars here as well, one with a Northstar AGM and the other with a small regular flooded cell)?
More I read the more confused I get about what to pick. CTEKs are so problem prone (diode and button issues), NOCOs can not shut off (seems the 4 bank units and other can cook your batt at times), cheap BatteryMinders don't last (I've had 2 that didn't make it a year), etc etc...
 
Messages
792
Location
Alberta
So whats a good maintenance charger for and Odyssey Performance then (hopefully that I can use on two other cars here as well, one with a Northstar AGM and the other with a small regular flooded cell)?
More I read the more confused I get about what to pick. CTEKs are so problem prone (diode and button issues), NOCOs can not shut off (seems the 4 bank units and other can cook your batt at times), cheap BatteryMinders don't last (I've had 2 that didn't make it a year), etc etc...
NOCOs and BatteryMinders are well rated (for the money) from what I can find online. I would suspect that the failure rate is similar across brands for these 'affordable for consumers' maintenance chargers. Products aimed at mechanics would probably be best, but at much higher prices.
The problem with all the reviews though, is that they are usually referring a new out of the box product. What happens over the following two, three or five years is hard to predict.
 
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3,380
Location
Idaho
I'm intrigued by this unit [Battery Minder 128CEC1}. If you buy it please let us know.
I recently bought the 128CEC1 from Amazon, to charge a new Northstar battery. I returned it to Amazon a few days ago (free return shipping). It has a specific algorithm for charging Odyssey and Northstar batteries, that is only partially correct. The absorption voltage is within Odyssey/Northstar charging specifications, but the float voltage is 0.3V-0.4V lower than required.

I downloaded the instruction manual before buying, and it specified the correct voltages of 14.7V and 13.6V float in the "Odyssey" setting. But the manual that came with the charger I bought specified voltages of 14.7V and 13.2V float. Strange discrepancy.

I tested the charger on a battery, and it floats at 13.2V (@77F) which is well below the 13.5-13.8V range specified by Odyssey/Northstar.

I will be calling tech support in a few days to find out what the target float voltage is in the current production run of the 128CEC1.
 
Messages
1,065
Location
Indiana (IN)
Does anyone know what the NOCO genius 5 "advanced charging mode" does?

I see this in the online User manual:
Begin Charging.
1.) Verify the voltage and chemistry of the battery.
2.) Confirm that you have connected the battery clamps or eyelet terminal connectors properly and the AC power plug is plugged into an electrical outlet.
3.) [First time use] The charger can now be left connected to the battery at all times to provide maintenance charging.
4.) Press the mode button to toggle to the appropriate charge mode (press and hold for three seconds to enter an advanced charge mode) for the voltage and chemistry of your battery.
5.) The mode LED will illuminate the selected charge mode and the Charge LEDs will illuminate (depending on the health of the battery) indicating the charging process has started.
6.) The charger can now be left connected to the battery at all times to provide maintenance charging.
 
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764
Location
UK
I dont get it, people saying 14.7v for a full charge but then places say that a fully charged battery is 12.7v.
So to get to 12.7v doesnt a chargers voltage just need to be above 12.7 to charge?
 
Messages
565
Location
Canadia
Does anyone know what the NOCO genius 5 "advanced charging mode" does?

I see this in the online User manual:
Begin Charging.
1.) Verify the voltage and chemistry of the battery.
2.) Confirm that you have connected the battery clamps or eyelet terminal connectors properly and the AC power plug is plugged into an electrical outlet.
3.) [First time use] The charger can now be left connected to the battery at all times to provide maintenance charging.
4.) Press the mode button to toggle to the appropriate charge mode (press and hold for three seconds to enter an advanced charge mode) for the voltage and chemistry of your battery.
5.) The mode LED will illuminate the selected charge mode and the Charge LEDs will illuminate (depending on the health of the battery) indicating the charging process has started.
6.) The charger can now be left connected to the battery at all times to provide maintenance charging.

It refers to the settings for specific battery chemistry (AGM/Lithium) or 6V. I boxed that portion of the front panel in red in the attached photo.

I have AGM batteries in all three of my personal vehicles, and use the AGM setting per the instructions.
 

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Messages
1,394
Location
Pacific Northwest
I dont get it, people saying 14.7v for a full charge but then places say that a fully charged battery is 12.7v.
So to get to 12.7v doesnt a chargers voltage just need to be above 12.7 to charge?
14.7 is the voltage the charger "pushes" into the battery to get the battery to fully charge. 12.7 volts is the resting voltage of the fully charged battery. It takes somewhat more voltage to charge the battery than the battery can output on it's own.
 
Messages
1,065
Location
Indiana (IN)
It refers to the settings for specific battery chemistry (AGM/Lithium) or 6V. I boxed that portion of the front panel in red in the attached photo.

I have AGM batteries in all three of my personal vehicles, and use the AGM setting per the instructions.
But what is the "Advanced mode" for each chemistry choice if you hold it down for three seconds after selection?
 
Messages
565
Location
Canadia
But what is the "Advanced mode" for each chemistry choice if you hold it down for three seconds after selection?
I believe it is for the Repair and Force modes. Repair pertains to the correction of sulphation/stratification. Force mode allows you to tell the charger to push current into a very dead battery, allowing it to charge enough to allow the automatic mode of the charger to "see" the battery and run in normal/automatic mode.
 
Messages
1,065
Location
Indiana (IN)
Thanks.
Ok, it just seems a little confusing to me the way it is written. I'm sure if I had the charger it might become obvious.
The "Force Mode" section says to press and hold for 5 seconds,
The "Repair Mode" says press and hold for 3 seconds from standby.
 
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