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Seeking local knowledge. Does anyone know a supplier / dealer / depot where I can purchase lead-acid deep-cycle Class 4D house batteries, in Miami FL, hopefully close to dockage? We will be cruising there shortly and I am not familiar with the area. Looking for basic type - Deka, Intercell or other.
Thanks.
 

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I think Atlantic Batteries is the Deka wholesale distributor for Miami.
ATLANTICBATTERY.COM, WHOLESALE, RETAIL, BATTERY, BATTERIES, DEKA, MARINE, BOAT, AGM, GEL, MIAMI FL, 33166, 305 883-6001

But a fast web search on "Miami Battery Wholesaler" or "Distributor" or "golf Cart Batteries" will get you all the hits, and someone at the dock may be able to tell you which one gives the best pricing--probably including delivery and removal of your old ones.

There are also a couple of distributors up in Fort Lauderdale but I'd expect the pricing to be the same. Might be worth a call to them to make sure though.
 

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Seeking local knowledge. Does anyone know a supplier / dealer / depot where I can purchase lead-acid deep-cycle Class 4D house batteries, in Miami FL, hopefully close to dockage? We will be cruising there shortly and I am not familiar with the area. Looking for basic type - Deka, Intercell or other.
Thanks.
You can easily find 4D's just about everywhere. Finding a flooded "deep cycle" 4D proves much more challenging. Deka does not make a "deep cycle" flooded 4D battery but they do make a "dual purpose" and a starting version.....

The only true deep cycle flooded 4D that I know of is made by Dyno Battery in WA state.. Course this begs the question I always have, and that is, why use 4D's at all?
 

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Only suggestion I would make would be to explore the idea of going with golf cart 6 volts instead. I switched because I'm getting too old to risk wrecking my back getting 4D's in and out of my boat one more time. :D

And, they are true deep cycle batteries.
 

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Look at interstate SRM-4D this is what we use in our house bank. They are true deep cycle, with heavy plates. (I have seen a blown up one) Cost is about $200 each, and are rated as 200AH, thou I suspect 160AH is more likely at a shorter 20 hour rate.
Sadly this is is called "marketing mumbo jumbo" or really "misleading marketing" IMHO... the SRM-4D is a "dual purpose" battery or what they call "deep cycle/cranking".. Everyone else with this battery is more straight forward and simply refers to it as a dual purpose battery.

The Interstate SRM-4D is made by Johnson Controls/JCI for Interstate. Their U series golf cart batteries (GC-2's), which are deep cycle are also made by JCI. Their larger batteries in the deep cycle line (L16's etc) are still made by US Battery.

The old U2200 6V, that was manufactured by US Battery was an excellent high quality high cycling GC2 battery. Now that it is made by JCI I really have no idea of what the quality is, at least in terms of cycles. JCI/Interstate will not publish, nor do they test for, lab rated cycle life data. The bottom line is the SRM 24, 27, 31 and 4D could have about half the cycle life of the U2200 GC-2 golf car battery (source Roy H. & Joe S. @ IB). They are simply not a true "deep cycle" battery they are a dual purpose battery.

A number of years ago I actually called interstate to try and find out the Ah rating, plate thickness and Peukerts constant of the SRM-4D for a customer who had already purchased them.. What a debacle it was.

Even their tech support had no real clue about these batteries. I got three different answers, from three different levels of tech support/engineering, when I asked about the 20 hour Ah rating, Peukert, plate thickness and lab rated cycle compared to their "U" series batteries...

I finally got in touch with Roy H. and Joe S. who were able to get me Peukerts constants but JCI does not test those batteries for a true 20 hour rate. A 20 hour rate has to be backward engineered. Roy H. and Joe S. were excellent guys to finally get in touch with but they still lacked data because JCI does not provide it.

If you have or use a battery monitor you really need to know the precise 20 hour Ah rating & Peukerts, at a bare minimum, or it will not work correctly. Interstate/JCI simply don't publish a 20 hour rate, which is what we use for deep cycle batteries. They publish Reserve Minutes, 5 Hour, 15 Hour and 25 Hour but not a 20 hour...?

If the manufacturer does not publish a 20 hour Ah rating the battery is usually not a true deep cycle battery but then again Interstate does not market this as a true deep cycle battery, they market it as a deep cycle/cranking battery. In other words, dual purpose. The cycle life will be and is reflective of this in a deep cycling application.

You can ask them for the cycle life of the 4D compared to their GC-2 "U" series battery. Unless things have changed dramatically, you will be met with dead silence, as I was. They can, and do, have cycle life data on their true deep cycle products made by USB but not the stuff made by JCI..

Early on I never did get a an accurate 20 hour rate even after speaking with multiple people over about a week. Even after talking with Roy H. I still had to physically measure the battery by doing a 20 hour load test. I guessed it was 8A, based on the 25 hour and 15 hour rates, but an 8A load at 80F only resulted in 138 Ah's out of the SRM 4D battery.

The problem with capacity testing flooded batteries is they take a long time to cycle up to capacity. GEL and AGM will deliver rated capacity in 2-10 cycles but flooded batteries can take 50+. So even with accurate capacity testing I still had no way to know what the actual 20 hour rate was until the batteries were broken in? Very frustrating...

Anyone who tests a lot of batteries, like I do, can tell pretty quickly by by simply looking at the CCA of that battery that it is not a true deep cycle flooded cell battery. A deep cycling battery would have a lower CCA value in a flooded deep cycle cell or not even be rated in cranking amps.

Interstate labels it as "deep cycle/cranking" these are hybrid batteries that attempt to do both but almost always miss the mark when put into a true deep cycling application like on a cruising boat. The bottom line is to always question the marketing mumbo jumbo...

As I mentioned above one of the only true 4D flooded deep cycle batteries I know if is the Dyno 4Dd (the small "d" designates deep cycle). This is not to be confused with the Dyno 4D which is for starting. This battery has an Ah rating of 180 Ah's and cost $268.00 and like many true deep cycle, thick plate batteries, they do not publish a CCA value.

My best guess is the SRM 4D is a 150-160 Ah battery at the 20 hour rate but it is not going to give the cycles of a true deep cycle battery.

When buying batteries we don't just pay for Ah's we also pay for cycle life.
 

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A number of years ago I actually called interstate to try and find out the Ah rating, plate thickness and Peukerts constant of the SRM-4D for a customer who had already purchased them.. What a debacle it was.

Even their tech support had no real clue about these batteries. I got three different answers, from three different levels of tech support/engineering, when I asked about the 20 hour Ah rating, Peukert, plate thickness and lab rated cycle compared to their "U" series batteries...
The person I spoke to owned a franchise. He not only sold these, but also all manner of fork lift battery, as well as other deep cycle brands. Over the year he cut every battery apart. When they redesigned the SRM-4d a few years ago he was curious, and cut a new one open.
In his words:
The new SRM-4D is a true deep cycle, with plates that are thicker, and only thinner then the ones in the forklift battery. I would be happy to give you his number and you can speak with him all day and tell him they are not as thick as (insert battery here), and it is not a deep cycle battery because of reasons.

Once I arrived in florida I saw a blown apart core for myself at sailors exchange. Yes, the plates are massively thick, I have also seen a dual purpose battery...

This one decided it would rather not work for me any longer.... This is the old style dual propose.
When buying batteries we don't just pay for Ah's we also pay for cycle life.
Your correct, also keep in mind even good batteries have a failure rate, and if you have 10 on a boat one failing early can and does happen, when my one battery fails, I am out $200, not $400-600. I can replace this battery 3 times for the same price as a lifeline of the same AH. Most I have run into with them, and the dealer himself will tell you its a 6-7 year battery with good care and hard use. The forklift he believes is a 10-12 year battery. How many years you getting from your "true deep cycle" batteries.
Frankly I believe that's all marketing too.
 

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The person I spoke to owned a franchise. He not only sold these, but also all manner of fork lift battery, as well as other deep cycle brands. Over the year he cut every battery apart. When they redesigned the SRM-4d a few years ago he was curious, and cut a new one open.
In his words:
The new SRM-4D is a true deep cycle, with plates that are thicker, and only thinner then the ones in the forklift battery. I would be happy to give you his number and you can speak with him all day and tell him they are not as thick as (insert battery here), and it is not a deep cycle battery because of reasons.

Once I arrived in florida I saw a blown apart core for myself at sailors exchange. Yes, the plates are massively thick, I have also seen a dual purpose battery...

This one decided it would rather not work for me any longer.... This is the old style dual propose.


Your correct, also keep in mind even good batteries have a failure rate, and if you have 10 on a boat one failing early can and does happen, when my one battery fails, I am out $200, not $400-600. I can replace this battery 3 times for the same price as a lifeline of the same AH. Most I have run into with them, and the dealer himself will tell you its a 6-7 year battery with good care and hard use. The forklift he believes is a 10-12 year battery. How many years you getting from your "true deep cycle" batteries.
Frankly I believe that's all marketing too.

UP,

It is your boat and your batteries and you are happy with your choice and that is what matters..



Et al.,

For others reading this thread my information comes direct from the engineers at Interstate, Roy H and Joe S. to be specific. Beyond that it comes from personal experience as a full time marine electrician who is the guy lugging batteries on and off boats and testing them.

The guys in shops can and will tell you all they want to make a sale but out in the real world is where the rubber meets the road. I have had plenty of experience with the interstate SRM series of batteries including the 4D.

The real questions you need to be asking when buying batteries:

*What is the published 20 hour rate?

*Can you provide a Peukerts constant for this battery so I can program my battery monitor?

*Deep Cycle, compared to what?

*Is it deep cycle compared to a starting battery or deep cycle compared to a golf cart or fork truck battery?

*Do you have published cycle life data for this battery compared to golf cart, fork truck or the rest of your product line?



Do you really want to buy a battery for a cycling application that has:

*No published cycle life data (even within a manufacturers own product line). How can a manufacturer claim deep cycle without ever testing it for deep cycling applications?

*No 20 hour Ah capacity rating



Ah's + expected cycle life is the best way to buy batteries... Deka is one such manufacturer who publishes cycling data across their product line.

Deka / East Penn Battery Data By Type:

-GEL Cycles to 50% = 1000 Cycles
-6V Flooded Golf Cart Batteries Cycled to 50% = 700-1000 Cycles
-12V Deep Cycle Flooded Cycled to 50% = 350 Cycles (Group 24, 27 & 31)
-AGM Cycled to 50% = 300 Cycles (Groups 24, 27, 31, 34M 4D & 8D)
-12V Dual Purpose Flooded Cycled to 50% = 200 Cycles (Groups 24, 27, 31, 4D & 8D)
12V Starting Flooded Cycled to 50% = NOT RATED


NOTE: These are not what you will see in the "real world" for cycles except for the possibility of GEL.....

That is not my data but Deka's own data across their own batteries.... As can clearly be seen;

Please don't try and compare brand to brand cycle life data because no one uses a "standard". Within a brand is good guidance though.. These are lab numbers and real world (marine use) will be less.
 

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Do you really want to buy a battery for a cycling application that has:

*No published cycle life data (even within a manufacturers own product line). How can a manufacturer claim deep cycle without ever testing it for deep cycling applications?

*No 20 hour Ah capacity rating



Ah's + expected cycle life is the best way to buy batteries...
You can ignore price if your pocketbook so allows I guess, mine does not.

If they did publish such things, they would be cutting off their nose.....
I mean lets say the 50% DOD life is 800 cycles. Then who in their right mind would ever buy the more pricey battery?

For my use, 25%DOD, solar, many AH of storage vs daily usage, and two charging engines, they will be perfect, and I am quite confident they will last far beyond 1/3 the life of a lifeline or any other battery.

I will admit they are NOT as good as a well constructed deep cycle AGM battery. However I believe them to be at least 60-70% as good and when I factor in my needs in a formula that goes,

AH x Expected life cycle / price
they show as the clear winner. Now if the lifeline for example cost $300-350, I would have to lean that way and buy them.

$200/160AH based on Reserve cap of not less then 10.5 volts 390min at 25 amps = $1.25 per AH
Cycle life?????
Even if it only last half as long, your still $200 ahead.

The other advantage (if on a big enough boat) is the ability to have more AH on the boat.
Where $1200 gets you 400AH of great batteries
Then $1200 will buy you 1000AH of good battery
If your using 200AH between recharges your 400AH bank will be at 50%DOD +/-
Where the 1000AH bank will be at 20%DOD+/- The draw rate will be lower on each battery and given Peukert's law you will actually have used less of the battery banks capacity and you may be closer to a 15%DOD, where drawing 200AH out of the smaller bank at the same rate may leave you at 60%DOD

For those who do not know:
Peukert's law basically says if you take power from the battery at a faster rate, more amps over shorter time, your battery capacity will be LESS then if you drew it more slowly.

So as I said, your money is better spend on the SRM-4D based on price, and what you can do with the left over money, in this case adding more batteries. On a small boat, that cannot hold more, you may be better off with a single high quality battery simply because it can survive deeper cycles more times then the lighter SRM-4d can. And if your wallet will allow you to ignore price, then the quality battery wins again. IMHO
 

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And to touch on your salesmanship comment, I had already bought the battery, thru an indirect third party, he was being paid $5 to hold and give the battery to me on pickup, and stated he could not even match the price of the company I bought the battery thru. their was nothing for him to sell me, and no profit to be made by giving me misleading information. I was also a long time customer, having equipped all of my diesels with interstate, and my trailers. I simply like the company because they have a local rep i can go smack if they sell me junk, and they have always stood behind the product with testing, and even when I blew up a battery in the truck with a bad alternator, they exchanged it. Thats why I like the brand. That is not why I like THIS product.
 

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You can ignore price if your pocketbook so allows I guess, mine does not.

If they did publish such things, they would be cutting off their nose.....
I mean lets say the 50% DOD life is 800 cycles. Then who in their right mind would ever buy the more pricey battery?

For my use, 25%DOD, solar, many AH of storage vs daily usage, and two charging engines, they will be perfect, and I am quite confident they will last far beyond 1/3 the life of a lifeline or any other battery.

I will admit they are NOT as good as a well constructed deep cycle AGM battery. However I believe them to be at least 60-70% as good and when I factor in my needs in a formula that goes,

AH x Expected life cycle / price
they show as the clear winner. Now if the lifeline for example cost $300-350, I would have to lean that way and buy them.

$200/160AH based on Reserve cap of not less then 10.5 volts 390min at 25 amps = $1.25 per AH
Cycle life?????
Even if it only last half as long, your still $200 ahead.

The other advantage (if on a big enough boat) is the ability to have more AH on the boat.
Where $1200 gets you 400AH of great batteries
Then $1200 will buy you 1000AH of good battery
If your using 200AH between recharges your 400AH bank will be at 50%DOD +/-
Where the 1000AH bank will be at 20%DOD+/- The draw rate will be lower on each battery and given Peukert's law you will actually have used less of the battery banks capacity and you may be closer to a 15%DOD, where drawing 200AH out of the smaller bank at the same rate may leave you at 60%DOD

For those who do not know:
Peukert's law basically says if you take power from the battery at a faster rate, more amps over shorter time, your battery capacity will be LESS then if you drew it more slowly.

So as I said, your money is better spend on the SRM-4D based on price, and what you can do with the left over money, in this case adding more batteries. On a small boat, that cannot hold more, you may be better off with a single high quality battery simply because it can survive deeper cycles more times then the lighter SRM-4d can. And if your wallet will allow you to ignore price, then the quality battery wins again. IMHO
UP,

I have never suggested you or anyone in this thread buy AGM nor compared to them. AGM's rarely if ever win in the "value" arena unless you can actually take advantage of their benefits.

I would suggest however that folks consider GC-2 6V golf cart batteries. They are plentiful, inexpensive, available world wide, take abuse and are very cost effective. Because the GC-2 market is extremely competitive even the least expensive brand is still a very robust battery..

Bang for the buck, $$ to Ah's, $$ to cycles it is hard to beat the value of the ubiquitous GC-2 battery.. The only draw back is they are slightly taller. Here in Maine GC-2's range from $0.78 per Ah to about $1.23 for a premium brand like Trojan.


I simply like the company because they have a local rep i can go smack if they sell me junk, and they have always stood behind the product with testing, and even when I blew up a battery in the truck with a bad alternator, they exchanged it. Thats why I like the brand. That is not why I like THIS product.

If a company stood behind that I'd buy batteries from them again too!!
 

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Here's how boring I am. I buy my 6 volts at Sam's for $85 each. I like them!:D
 

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Bang for the buck, $$ to Ah's, $$ to cycles it is hard to beat the value of the ubiquitous GC-2 battery.. The only draw back is they are slightly taller. Here in Maine GC-2's range from $0.78 per Ah to about $1.23 for a premium brand like Trojan.
Is that comparing 6V to 12V or 12 to 12?
 

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Is that comparing 6V to 12V or 12 to 12?

12V to 12V

*Two GC-2's 6V batteries makes six 2V cells

*Wired in series you now have a 12V battery

Sam's Club GC-2 is 215 Ah's for $84.92 X 2 = 169.04 / 215Ah =.79¢ Per Ah

Sam's Club EGC-2 is 230 Ah's for $109.72 X 2 = $219.44 / 230Ah =.95¢ Per Ah
(this identical battery is sold by West Marine for $199.00 with a WM sticker)




In about half the states the 6V golf cart batteries at Sam's Club are made by Deka/East Penn and represent a tremendous value in the $$ to cycles category.

These are the IDENTICAL product that are sold by West Marine for almost HALF the price. The ONLY difference between the WM Deka and the Sam's Deka is the price and the sticker..

The other states with non East Penn products are a JCI battery.

The labels will say: East Penn on the top of the battery... This happens to be the Deka G-31 AGM which today sells for $179.00. the identical battery at West Marine, with a WM sticker, is $309.99.
 
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