Odyssey Battery Charger
by Hib Halverson
I have Odyssey Batteries in most of my cars including one which the V-Net uses to evaluate products, the 2016 ATS-V Coupe we call the “Blue BMW Buster.” Click here to read an evaluation of the Odyssey Performance Series Battery we use in that car.
Odysseys are premium, absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries known for their high pulse-cranking current and their longevity. While I’ve used them since the mid-’00s, until recently, I was not aware that their manufacturer, EnerSys, also, markets “Odyssey Battery Chargers.”
Lightweight and portable, Odyssey Chargers were designed for Odyssey batteries, but, also, work very well with other “absorbent glass mat” (AGM) batteries as well as traditional “flooded” lead-acid batteries. Odyssey Chargers are not compatible with batteries which have their electrolyte in a gelatinous state, i.e. “Gel Cell” batteries.
While they are powerful enough to charge batteries quickly, Odyssey Chargers are safe to leave connected indefinitely. The product’s key benefits are: 1) a multi-step charge profile which ensures fast, complete and safe charging and 2) a continuous, computer-controlled, “smart charge” function which keeps batteries fully-charged during extended periods of non-use.
The six operating modes of an Odyssey Charger are:
- Analyzing: The charger determines if battery can be charged. If so, the “System Check OK” indicator comes on.
- Charging: The charger operates at its maximum rate until battery voltage reaches 14.7 volts. The red “Charging” light will be on.
- Conditioning: The battery is held at 14.7V for several hours to condition and finish charging the battery. The amber “Conditioning” light will be on.
- Auto Maintain: The charger monitors and maintains the battery at a full charge.
This mode is active only during a long period of battery non-operation. Once a month, an Odyssey Charger will reconditions the battery to maximize battery power, performance and longevity. In this mode, the green “Storage Recondition Mode” indicator fades on and off.The Odyssey Charger I’ve been testing for the last three months is model OBC-20A. It’s maximum current output is 20-amps, more than enough to quickly charge any battery used on a V-Series Cadillac. Odyssey, also, markets a 12- and 6-amp units.
I used the OBC-20A several times to charge up Odysseys, mainly because I left a door open, the ignition on or the wideband oxygen sensor I use for tuning plugged in. Four times, on different cars, I intentionally deep-cycled the battery to assess the charger’s performance. I’ve, also, occasionally used the Odyssey as a float charger. So far, the unit has performed in an exemplary manner in all the different types of usage to which I’ve subjected it.
This charger seems built to last. It’s surrounded by a ruggedized case made of aluminum and composite material and is topped with a carry handle. Interestingly, the Odyssey Charger’s efficient design is such that it has no cooling fans which mean it works quietly to keep your battery at full charge. The cables are 12-gauge, the clamps are robust and, when the charger is not in use, all the wires are held by a cleaver retention system.
I have found the Odyssey Battery Charger to be a product which performs well. With a list price of 200 bucks, the 20-amp Odyssey Charger is good value for a fully automatic batter charger one could use to keep the battery in any ATS-V or other V-Series car which is not a daily driver in fully-charged condition.
Click on the images below for a larger view:
Want more information? Visit the Odyssey Battery web site.