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Old 10-21-2022, 06:08 PM
BillL's Avatar
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,902
Default Odyssey PC680 - did you know?

A few of us still use the Odyssey PC680 battery.

I have had mine since 12-2017, and it gets a slow spin now and again. So, coming up on 5 years. Time to do some research . . .

When I went looking found that the red-top-black case or the red-top-red case are variants of the PC680. I am finding the red case has a higher listed price, so it has to be better - right?

I sent a note to Odyssey about this for an "RV application", and here is the answer to: "are they the same?

"Yes, the guts are the same. Actually we put the black battery <guts> into a red "metal jacket" which is a sheet metal sleeve. The metal jacket increases the operating temperature of the battery which I wouldn't think is needed in an RV application."

This metal jacket increases temperature specification from 113F to 176F.
It looks like the red case has better specs for our RV's in spite of the additional weight but wonder about field experience.

Has your experience in battery life been the same for either? Black case - ODS-AGM16L (PC680) or Red case - ODS-AGM16LMJ (PC689MJ)
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Old 10-21-2022, 06:26 PM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 1,467

I have two PC-680s in parallel on the firewall. Backup avionics are wired to number 2, which I would switch in if needed. 5+ years on these batteries in including 3 Minnesota winters. They're on an Odyssey battery charger OBC-6A 24/7 while in my hangar. They have both been utterly reliable.
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A (factory new), C/S
Dual Pmags
IFR equipped
AFS 5400/3500, G5, IFD440 navigator,
bunch of other stuff
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Old 10-21-2022, 07:41 PM
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AlexPeterson AlexPeterson is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ottertail, MN
Posts: 2,562

I've had the plastic jacket 680 for maybe 15 years now, perhaps 3 or 4 of them. It survived a 1.5 hour taxi at Oshkosh some years ago... I'm sure it was nearly roasted.

I believe the metal jacket one is larger dimensionally, so be aware of that.
Alex Peterson
RV6A N66AP 1800+ hours
KADC, Wadena, MN
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Old 10-21-2022, 08:32 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 4,186

I had a Red/Black type that I purchased in 2007 and was put to service in 2008 and worked fine till 2019. I always connected it to a trickle charger when not in use which some people say is a no no.

It seems the older one last much longer than the new ones.
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - SOLD
N258SM RV14A - IO390EXP119 - Out of Paint shop & flying
Dues paid
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Old 10-21-2022, 10:32 PM
crabandy crabandy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ks
Posts: 2,462

My undocumented theory is that heat kills batteries, and pre-2012ish odyssey batteries were better.
I killed a std plastic orange Odyseey battery once a year in Kansas temps from 2013-2017 if memory serves correctly. Iím sure the higher temp rating would last longer.
My 1st EarthX lasted about 4 years in the same airplane and same environment, but only a year on the second one so time will tell.
RV 7 650 hours and counting
22í donation done
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Old 10-22-2022, 04:27 AM
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jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 1,386

A friend of mine bought the jacketed version (red) to replace his non-jacketed battery (black). The jacketed version is wider in both dimensions due to the thickness of the metal jacket. So it wouldn't fit. He brought it to me and I removed the jacket, which was not a simple process but worked out in the end.
Jim Ivey
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Old 10-22-2022, 07:28 AM
Tooch Tooch is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Amelia, Va
Posts: 357

I also buy the one with the metal jacket and just remove it.
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Old 10-22-2022, 02:40 PM
cajunwings cajunwings is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: new iberia la
Posts: 937
Default 680

The metal jacket model does not fit in the standard vans battery box. The battery is glued into the jacket with a big dab of clear silicone on front and back sides. Local autozone usually has 680ís with the metal jacket. You can slice open a corner of the metal jacket with a cutoff wheel (there is a bit of space in the corners) but easier and quicker way is a serrated bread knife inserted between the battery and the jacket and just cut thru the silicone.

Don Broussard
RV9 Rebuild in Progress
57 Pacer
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Old 11-16-2022, 06:10 AM
swisseagle's Avatar
swisseagle swisseagle is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: 20km outside of Zurich, Switzerland
Posts: 522
Default Vans use the metal jacket as battery box

The VANS metal-Jacket is very tight on the battery. It seems, that the metal jacket itself is the battery case, which is used as the battery holder, together with two angles left and right.

So if you buy a jacket version, it does not fit.

RV-7A, TMX-IO-320, FM-150, WWA 200RV
Flying since 28. April 2016
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Old 11-22-2022, 05:22 PM
JET14 JET14 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ridgeway, SC
Posts: 49
Default Odyssey PC680

I'd look for alternatives. I have an Odyssey AGM16L PC680, new in the box that came in my Firewall Forward Kit in June of this year. The battery won't hold a charge and shows an internal short. Odyssey Corporate won't warrant it. Van's won't warrant it. Van's distributer won't warrant it.

Better be looking for options. Mine is a $185 boat anchor.

Last edited by JET14 : 11-23-2022 at 03:22 PM.
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