My Odyssey battery is weak at 60 hours on the Hobbs, but it's about 2 1/2 years old. It's always been on the battery minder.

Anybody else have this problem?

If I have to replace it, I'm thinking of getting a LiFePo, but am re-spooked by all the fire publicity. Does any manufacturer guarantee their product won't burn in aircraft use? What would constitute misuse?


Views: 813

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm not aware of any guarantees, but in LiFePO4 chemistry batteries, the oxygen is bound in the phosphate, so in theory they shouldn't be capable of spontaneous combustion. I believe they will burn if exposed to a heat source, but that means you're on fire, anyway, so the battery burning is the least of your problems!  ;>)

Many confuse LiFePO4 chemistry with "LiPo" batteries like the radio-control crowd uses. Those are capable of spontaneous combustion. The similar-sounding names don't help avoid confusion!

It's been several months, but I searched the 'net and could never find a single documented incidence of a spontaneous LiFePO4 fire in any sort of vehicle - usually bad news travels fast!

That's an awfully premature life for your Odyssey - they usually last for years and years! Odyssey has an "approved list" of chargers for their batteries - might be good to double-check your charger is on it!



Thanks, John--I suspected this would get a rise out of you, and it worked!

I'm not dead (yuk, yuk) sure the battery is done for, but it seems that way. I have only run it down once, and that didn't take very long--I'm hoping that if I have to get a new one (LiFePO4--thanks for the correction and analysis. I wonder if they can or can't be shipped air-freight?) I will have more cranking amps, as I am a bit paranoid about getting stuck in the wilderness . . .

I wonder if it would make any sense to get a portable "jumper" battery to take on trips as back-up?


Oh, yeah, John--have any ideas what I might have done wrong to cause its premature demise?


Hi:  I once thought that the battery tenders would keep your battery up to snuff.  But I have found that it is not the case.  

I spoke with my major battery supplier for all my heavy equipment needs and he stated the best nurture for a battery is too:

Drain it by 1/4 and recharge it once a month at the minimum.  IE.  use it to start the engine and then recharge it.

I have batteries that were brand new, sat in the vehicle without use for six months and were toast.

We all have batteries in our vehicles that we drain and recharge in our vehicles often.  They seem to work for years.  

The worst thing for a battery is to let it sit....

Back to the bat tender thing, I previously thought that was the best thing to do, but not true.

Drain the battery twice a month and recharge it.  That will give you more life.

I have lost many batteries, in fact I have a pallet of them that died because of non use.

I have lost many because I put them on battery tenders!

My battery man sells to a lot of the heavy equipment operators in the NW and that is what he told me.

I spend a lot on batteries and that is partially due to my Ignorance.  So give it a try.


My lead-acid jumper-battery did die recently; won't take a charge, so I'm thinking of getting the Earth-X jumper for back-up. Ok to use it with the Odyssey? 



 My airplane came with a Odyssey battery and it never performed like I thought it should, I put it in a lawn mower and it did not last even 6 months, I don't know how old it was so I'm not saying they are bad batteries. I first got the Aerovolts batteries , two of them one for backup but they did not last either and were underpowered as far as I was concerned and they needed a special charger. I understand they have changed them. I finally purchased the Earthx batteries and I love them, they have awesome starting power and I have not had any trouble. The only thing I have seen is that if  you pull them down with lots and lots of cranking  they draw lots of amps from the alt. to recharge. Not to the point that it is a problem but if I draw both batteries down I only charge one at a time. Hope this helps. Call the company they are very helpful.


Odyssey type batteries are fast charge and high discharge type batteries. Commonly found in medical assist type vehicle.

Trickle or Battery Tender chargers KILL this type of battery. My Odyssey PC680 is 2006 vintage and still starts my Rotax 912 after sitting for months. Put a PC680 in a Citabria 7ECA and is starts all winter.... shaved 15 lbs off the nose as a bonus.

No issues with my LiFePO4 either after 6 months of use.  John is right they don't combust like the older lithium's.  Only problem with some brands is the need for a "balance" charger but the EarthX I use has that built in.  

I've also been using these for about 4 years on our companies UAV's, (custom built packs, but same chemistry) never had a problem and haven't heard of any issues with the other units either.  The light weight of these things (about 2lbs in my case) allowed me to mount it on the firewall of my heavy build, instead of in the rear, so it really simplified my battery wiring.  

These are a win-win and battery technology is finally starting to get some advances.

Bob! Nice to see you are still around the forums! :D


Make sure you use a battery charger with a AGM setting.  It does make a difference.

All of a sudden, we got an 80F day, and it cranked over like crazy! Just that temperature change (from 40F to 80 did it!). What I need now is a portable, lightweight engine heater that I can use in the bush. Has anyone used bubble-pac for insulation around the engine and to plug the inlets? I'm thinking of using a camp stove, a small, battery-powered fan, and some dryer exhaust hose to heat the whole engine and oil tank.

Any other ideas?

I've been using the battery-minder designed specifically for the Odyssey for close to three years now and it ain't dead yet, apparently. Bob, were you thinking of the Harbor Freight aviation department's trickle chargers or will even the expensive ones built for the specific battery also kill the batteries.


If it's gonna be a really cold night( for MS that's teens) and I plan an early flight I put a throw light in the oil inspection door and drape a blanket over the engine cowling; put a few spring clamps to hold the blanket closed around the bottom. If you got a charger on it too it might work for you; might not even need the charger. Pretty cheap to give it a try...

Mine is in an unheated, drafty hangar

I went to an Earthx and no more probs but I still use the throw light; turns over better, warmup time less.

I'm not flying yet but for my preheat in cold weather I have picked up an old school blowtorch. It needs no power, should run off of 100LL, and is pretty light. With about a 4"x4' section of stovepipe to mix cold air and direct it to the engine it should make for a nice warm up. If needed I could run two units into that pipe in a real cold situation. I would like to fly to upstate NY for some winter camping later on. There would be no power available.


New from Zenith:

Zenith Planes For Sale 

Classified listing for buying or selling your Zenith building or flying related stuff...


Weather Maps

Custom Instrument Panels
for your Zenith

Custom instrument panels are now available directly from Zenith Aircraft Company exclusively for Zenith builders and owners. Pre-cut panel, power distribution panel, Approach Fast Stack harnesses, Dynon and Garmin avionics, and more.

Custom Upholstery Kits for your Zenith Aircraft:

Zenith Vinyl Upholstery Kits

Zenith Apparel from EAA:

Zenair Floats

Flying On Your Own Wings:
A Complete Guide to Understanding Light Airplane Design, by Chris Heintz

Builder & Pilot Supplies:

How to videos from

Developed specifically for Zenith builders (by a builder) these videos on DVD are a great help in building your own kit plane by providing practical hands-on construction information. Visit for the latest DVD titles.

Aircraft Insurance:


West Coast USA:

Pro Builder Assistance

Pro Builder Assistance

Aircraft Spruce & Specialty for all your building and pilot supplies!

© 2020   Created by Zenith.Aero.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service