Technical Information

Sea-Doo® personal watercrafts tend to transfer an electrical load to the battery while in storage. Be confident that your ODYSSEY® battery can handle it. However, if not properly maintained, you may not get the top performance from your ODYSSEY battery. Read on to ensure your ODYSSEY battery is at its best at all times.

Issue– This brand of watercraft experiences an electrical load on the battery during storage, caused by a control module monitoring the lanyard socket. If the lanyard is left installed the electrical drain is 18 ma after 10 minutes of shutting down the engine. If the lanyard is removed, the electrical drain is 7 ma. These electrical loads are continuous and can accumulate to be significant over time. At 18 milli amps, the battery will lose 1 amp/hour of capacity in 55.5 hours or 10 amp/hours (Ah) in 23 days. On a PC 625, 10 Ah is 59% of battery capacity.

Solution– For Sea-Doo watercraft always disconnect the lanyard from its socket when not riding the watercraft. Install a waterproof disconnect switch in the negative battery cable, so the battery can be disconnected after riding. Use switch P/N 32965 from Overton’s Marine Catalog or use the 12V, 6A Odyssey Battery charger suggested above.

Check your ODYSSEY battery voltage periodically for full charge, which is 12.84V. Recharge whenever below 12.65V.

Sea-Doo is a registered trademark of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.

Issue– This notice provides helpful information to the designer, manufacturer, assembler, dealer and bike owner that may have experienced a short service life with the ODYSSEY® Drycell Battery model PC 545MJ installed in Custom V-Twin motorcycles.

The increasing popularity of the custom V-twin motorcycle with its big inch engine and high power starting requirement has introduced a new operational issue. New ODYSSEY batteries and other brands initially provide good starting power, but in a short time of use have no or poor starting power and appear to have prematurely failed.

Factory analysis of warranty returned batteries indicate these batteries have not failed and do not have factory defects. Batteries with this type of performance are at low charge levels only!

Cause– The custom bike requires 2 ½ times the starting power of stock HD engines, but have the same size battery and same 32 amp charging system. The custom bike is generally a short mileage in-town rider, with insufficient driving mileage to recharge the battery. V-twin charging systems only develop enough power to run the motorcycle until engine rpm is above 2,000, when excess power is diverted to charge the battery. Full charged ODYSSEY battery voltage is 12.85 volts. ODYSSEY Batteries with less than 12.40 volts cannot reliably start big inch engines.

Solution– ODYSSEY Batteries are a military grade design and mechanically indestructible. Military design prevents shorted cells and vibration damage. They provide deep-cycle reserve and high starting power. Use a 12V, 6A (OBC-6A) or 12V, 12A (OBC-12A) or 12V, 20A (OBC-20A) charger to maintain ODYSSEY at full charge for maximum performance and life. Always connect the charger to battery first, then plug into the AC wall socket. Always unplug from the AC wall socket before disconnecting from battery. Charger will not over-charge as it switchs to storage charge after recharging. Consistent use of the Ultimizer charger will assure trouble free starting power, with 4-8 years of ODYSSEY service life.

Help– For ODYSSEY battery technical support call (877) 549-4454 or email [email protected].

The Buell model S1 Lightning 1996 – 1999 was supplied OEM with a battery under the trade name of Genesis with a Genesis part number of G12V12Ah10EP. This battery with the terminals located together on the narrow side of the battery is no longer manufactured. There is a replacement, but installation requires some minor attention.

The replacement battery is under the trade name of ODYSSEY® Drycell Batteries, model PC 545MJ. This battery is available through motorcycle dealers who distribute parts supplied from Custom Chrome, Chrome Specialties, Drag Specialties, Parts and Battery Plus Stores. The PC 545MJ is a considerable up grade over the Genesis battery.

Service Life 2-4 years 6-10 years
5 second cranking amps 430 amps 545 amps
CCA 146 amps 185 amps
Terminals M4 female M6 female
Terminals Location Narrow side Long side
Vibration Rating Commercial Military

Installation Awareness

There are two issues that must be addressed to install the PC 545MJ battery.

  1. The PC 545MJ has a slightly different top cover edge design that interferes with the lower lip of the bikes battery tray.
  2. The terminals on the PC 545MJ are on the long side.

Installation Procedure

  1. Shim material approximately ¼ inch thick must be cut to fill in the lower battery tray equal in height to the lip at the end of the lower tray.
  2. Install the negative battery cable onto the battery, torque to 50 inch-pounds
  3. Slide the battery with the negative terminal up towards the bottom of the seat and into the battery tray.
  4. Install the battery clamp bracket and tighten for a secure fit.
  5. Install the positive battery cable to the battery positive terminal, torque to 50 inch-pounds.
  6. Check that the battery is secure and tight in the battery tray.
  7. Installation is complete.

Help– For ODYSSEY battery technical support call (877) 549-4454 or email[email protected].


Capacitors are two- or three-terminal electrical devices that have the ability to quickly store and to discharge large amounts of potential energy. Commercial truck fleets have been field-testing and using capacitors to assist or provide engine-start power in the starting of diesel truck engines. This is because traditional lead acid engine start batteries have not provided the reliable engine start performance these fleets require.

The most common no-start conditions relative to batteries are low ambient temperature, unexpected failure of the batteries or a discharged battery caused by applications that do not provide enough time to recharge the battery pack. These occur often enough to consider alternative engine-start power options.

When a capacitor is installed, frequently one of the service batteries is removed, reducing the ability of the battery pack to handle hotel loads for the full sleep cycle, which can lead to greater problems down the road.

The Advantages of Capacitors

Capacitors on a commercial vehicle can be a real value to a fleet in specific applications. As fast as the capacitor can be discharged, it can be recharged, if the recharge energy is available. As the capacitor stores electrons on the surface of the carbon material in the capacitor, it can be recharged and discharged much faster than the chemical reactions inside typical lead acid batteries.

The capacitor can dramatically step up the voltage in cold weather to provide more cranking power:

Voltage2 x Capacitance of the capacitor = Power that the capacitor delivers

Any time you square a number, the value increases exponentially.

Chemical batteries, in converting chemically stored energy to electrical energy, cannot match the instantaneous and exceptionally high discharge power of a capacitor. Cold weather has very little influence on the capacitor’s ability to deliver power. In addition, the capacitor can have a cycle life of more than a million cycles. Operating range is generally specified at -40°F (-40°C) to 149°F (65°C).

The Drawbacks of Capacitors

Despite their positive attributes, capacitors do have drawbacks:

  • They are expensive.
  • In some installations, the capacitor requires some rewiring to integrate it into the truck.
  • They have very little reserve storage capacity for repetitive discharges.
  • While cold has little impact, heat can cause damage if voltages are not reduced.
  • Warranty coverage is not the length of time one would expect of the capacitor.

In the Real World

Many capacitor companies recommend replacing one battery with a capacitor to solve hard-starting problems. However, this does not take into consideration real-world conditions. When a driver is in a rest period, they reduce or eliminate idling the tractor by turning off the engine and then running all the hotel or parasitic loads off the vehicle batteries. While the capacitor most likely will start the vehicle, the service life of the remaining three lead acid batteries is greatly impacted by extremely deep discharges and low states of charge.

Now, instead of each of the four batteries supplying a quarter of the hotel/parasitic load, the three remaining batteries are supplying one-third of the load. This increased load on each battery increases the depth of discharge, resulting in shorter battery life for all batteries. The deeper the depth of discharge, the fewer cycles the battery will produce.

The assumption many have in replacing one battery with a capacitor is that by taking the cranking load off the batteries, battery life will increase. However, this is not the case. In cold weather, the typical starter will pull 1600 amps for three seconds. Equating this to amp-hours (Ah) out of the batteries:

  • 3 seconds ÷ 3600 = 0.000833 hours
  • 0.000833 x 1600 amps = 1.33 Ah

1.33 Ah represents 0.0033 percent out of a 400 Ah pack (four 100 Ah batteries). A small electric refrigerator that typically pulls 4-amp constant load overnight draws 40 Ah (10 hrs. time 4 amps). Over a weekend it would be 204 Ah (51 hrs. times 4 amps). One would wish the typical parasitic loads were only 4 amps on today’s commercial vehicles; in the real world, they are much higher.

Another operating limitation of the capacitor when connected in parallel with the truck batteries is that the capacitor and the batteries tend to operate at different voltage ranges, unless the cap has a DC/DC converter built into it.

If a sleep cycle discharged four batteries to 50 percent State of Charge (SOC), a three-battery system would be discharged to a 33 percent SOC, or a 67 percent Depth of Discharge (DOD). If the battery were rated 650 cycles at 50 percent DOD, a 67 percent DOD on the battery would only provide 500 cycles.

In the real world, the batteries can become so discharged that the fuel injectors do not have adequate voltage to operate. The capacitor will still enable the engine to turn over, but injectors not functioning will not allow it to start.

Finally, some capacitors have a DC/DC converter inside. The purpose is to raise the voltage, as it gets colder. Thus by raising the voltage, more cranking power is achieved, but the capacitor will self-discharge in 24 hours to the point where the DC/DC converter must step up the voltage. This power must come from the battery.


There are three conditions that can cause an unpredicted no-start issue: a deeply discharged battery, the effect of cold weather on the battery or an early-unexpected failure of the battery.

Making the change to three batteries with a capacitor can reduce sleep/hotel load runtime and discharging batteries to deeper depths of discharge. This has the result of reducing delivered battery cycles or sleep cycles.

A more effective way to prevent no-start situations is to replace traditional lead acid batteries with batteries featuring Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology. TPPL battery technology provides the user with dual purpose batteries offering the highest rated Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) and deep cycle rated at 400 cycles to 80 percent DOD.

Conventional flooded-wet SLI batteries offer 60-80 cycles and AGM conventional are rated 125 to 150 cycles based on 75%+ depth of discharge. Experience has demonstrated that TPPL batteries will deliver three times the service life of what a fleet operator has experienced with conventional batteries.

The ultimate starting and long service life truck power system, would utilize the benefits of TPPL batteries, stay with the original OEM quantity of batteries per truck model, and adding a capacitor. This complete system would provide an improved confidence in engine starting under all conditions.