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Reviews Categories | Batteries & Chargers for amateur radios. | Optima Yellow Top Help

Reviews Summary for Optima Yellow Top
Optima Yellow Top Reviews: 17 Average rating: 3.4/5 MSRP: $varies
Description: Heavy-Duty, Deep-Cycle Sealed Batteries
Product is in production.
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KI7AQJ Rating: 2/5 Nov 2, 2016 06:46 Send this review to a friend
Usually sits on the shelf too long. Hard to find replacements.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
For going QRM mobile, I decided to pull the spare tire from under one of the SUVs, move it to a custom rear mounted swing out rack that will also hold fuel, water, antennas, a jack, and has a spot to bolt a Honda Generator on. The truck got a Yellowtop under the hood, and a custom tray went down where the spare tyre came out. The tray hold THREE Yellowtops, and a 25 ampere 125VAC/100 ampere 12VDC (150 amp peak), nautical charger inverter, with a remote control head that was stuffed under the dash board. First off the Yellowtops cost $320 from the local autoparts store, and $275 or so on Amazon. The autoparts stores do not sell that many so these are usually slightly discharged, and already neglected when you first buy them. If you need a fast replacement, GOOD LUCK!! I went mobile top be mobile and wander the western USA, and maybe someday even venture back east. I found the Interstate AGM batteries are much easier to replace out on the road. They cost as much or more, but they have way more dealers than Optima does. Interstate's deep cycle starting battery is also at least as good as the Optima Yellow top. I found Interstate products are sold at muffler shops, in one state, Big O Tire in the next state, and both in another, so the condition of Optima yellow red or blue tops at sale, and the availability of replacements, soured the Optima experience for me. Interstate was much easier to find, and they are the best gel mat lead acid battery as far as I am concerned. The charger inveter has variable float, max & min variable voltage between cells, de-sulfides the batteries. YOU WILL NEED SOMETHING LIKE THAT TO KEEP ANY AGM BATTERY HEALTHY! I found mine in a thrift store. New, they cost $1500. The Interstate AGM deep cycle/starting batteries have been great, so far! I also just refurbished three 5-7 year old business class laptops, after paying big money for data recovery. My consumer grade laptop ran super hot, and just baked itself to death. So away goes some more money, but no more yellow top Optimas, or buying brand new consumer grade computers. CHECK OUT THE INTERSTATE DEEP CYCLE STARTING AGM BATTERIES!!! LIVE & LEARN! INTERSTATE MAKES A BETTER BATTERY, (IMHO) and you can find replacements almost anywhere there is are auto repair garages, muffler shops, tire shops, (mom & pop auto parts shops), or any place that sells stuff for boats. Yellowtops are very popular with the loud booming bass stereo crowd, so if you have your heart set on a Yellowtop, tuck that old snubnose .357 in your waistband, and a .32ACP in your sock, and head on down the auto parts store located in the gangland ghetto or barrio nearest your location, and they will probably have plenty of fresh stock on hand. If you know your gang banger etiquette, you may wish to forgo the .357 for a 9mm, or you can try going unarmed, but make sure you get out before the sun goes down. I am not trying to be politically incorrect for unny either. The ONE and ONLY Autozone, Pep Boyz or O'Rileys store in a metro are of 6,0000,000 people, that actually had three same model yellow tops in stock at the same time was out in gangland Maryvale. The guy that welded my spare tire rack (and many other things) is down there too. I have seen him show me bullet holes in his shop, his vehicles, customer's vehicles, etc. that appeared sometime during the previous night. That is why the rent is really cheap down there. The people are generally very nice, but there is still that one faction that roams about the area. They rarely ever bother me, but you never know what you may walk into on any given day. That being said, I am not using Optima batteries anymore. I can get AGM deep cycle Interstate batteries at Firestone Tire store, located in a good part of town and close to home. I replaced one Optima in Denver, and wound up down at a store in Five Points> Yay, worst part of Denver, and they are main supplier of Optima yellow tops. It's that same thumpin' car stereo crowd again. Take care, and good luck. 73s KI7AQJ
WD4MTW Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2009 10:48 Send this review to a friend
Very Dependable  Time owned: more than 12 months
We have yellow tops on our two Honda generators for the electrical start now about 6 years with no problems. We have several blue tops banked on a Statpower charger/maintainer for a UPS system and one on my station using a Powergate running off the Astron supply that also have been trouble free for about the same amount of time. These have been very dependable. Johnson Controls must have gotten their act together with the Optima series. Their earlier NC-24 style AGM batteries we bought through Sears about '97-'98 were very problematical and had to be returned.
AC0DS Rating: 5/5 May 28, 2009 04:43 Send this review to a friend
It worked for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
I installed a Yellow Top as a replacement battery in my BMW in 1998 and it was still going strong witihout any maintenance when I sold the car in 2006. So no complaints here. I also currently have a Blue Top deep cycle model that I use for portable ham work. This also has worked well for me. I charge it with a CTEK smart charger.
G8KHS Rating: 4/5 May 28, 2009 02:03 Send this review to a friend
Good but requires looking after  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have not used the yellow top but from my experience with other batteries in the Optima range they are pretty good but need charging maintenance with a high quality intelligent charger like an AccuMate
My old orange top (no longer made)is still going well after 8 years, but a red top died on me 1 year out of warranty when left flat by accident for 3 weeks. My fault I guess.
Speaking with red and yellow top users they confirm that these batteries need looking after but will reward you with long service

I hope this helps
73 John G8KHS
KQ6EA Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2009 22:14 Send this review to a friend
Never a problem  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using these for years, both in automotive and standby power applications, and have never had any trouble with them
KB9WIS Rating: 0/5 May 27, 2009 20:48 Send this review to a friend
Just Hype!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This battery was of 2 extremes. The first being the most expensive battery I have ever bought (by more than double), and the worst performance of any battery I have ever had.

After just 1 year of use, the battery doesn't hold enough charge to start a vehicle. The battery doesn't store a charge or provide enough Cold Cranking Amps to start a vehicle, after less than 1 year of use.. Very poor quality. I can't believe how many people are sold on their hype. What a rip off!
K3GM Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2009 16:24 Send this review to a friend
No problems....  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I like this battery! Reasonable weight, no corrosion whatsoever on the terminals. It likes to be charged a certain way. Do that and it will last a long time.
SWL377 Rating: 1/5 Aug 22, 2008 12:14 Send this review to a friend
BAD value.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I believed the hype an bought two for car batteries. BAD DECISION. Both failed just out of warranty. No overcharging, two different cars and both had proper charging voltages verfied by an accurate DVM. I have had better results from batteries costing half the price of OPTIMAs. Maybe it is a QC problem as many sphisticated users swear by their OPTMAs. For my money, there are better values out there.
ERIC Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2008 09:51 Send this review to a friend
Never a problem  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have one red top in my Jeep that I've had for 11 years now. One red top in my van that I've had for a year. And one yellow top in a battery box I use for my HF rig(IC-7K). The yellow top is 4 years old and has been drawn dead at least 5 times and just keeps comming back for more.

I bought the yellow top to power my ARB freezer/fridge in my Jeep. Now its used for the HF rig during field operations. I do feed the battery with two 18w solar cells during the day while operating though.

I think people need to remember though that the yellow top is a deep cycle battery not a starting battery. The red top is the starting battery.
KB3MRU Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2008 18:53 Send this review to a friend
Under the hood for 9 years!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had an Optima yellow D34/78 (the version with both top posts and GM type sider terminals)in my car since 1999. I just replaced it today with another Optima D34/78 because I noticed that run-time on my 800 watt audio system was down to <30 minutes with the engine off. This old Optima slowly failed; never left me stranded.

I'm thrilled that I got 9 years out the battery; especially considering that it is in a very hot engine bay (upgraded turbo in a sports car) AND I occasionally listen to my music when the engine is off.

I try to avoid running the battery completely flat, but must confess, I did do that accidently a few times over the years and the Optima seems to have a good tolerance for that.

The extra pair of side terminals on the D34/78 are terrific for hooking up ham radios and amps. This feature allows the native automotive connections to remain on the top terminals.

The Optima is sealed so there is absolutely no corrosion from leaking acid around the battery or on the terminals. Also allows unusual mounting positions i.e. sideways.

The Yellow top I bought today came with a thick plactic cover to protect the top terminals, in case one would drop a wrench across them or perhaps if the hood comes down on it during a collision.

I've used other deep-cycle batteries that use the same spiral-wound plates / absorbed glass mat technology as the Optima. In one of my other cars I had an Exide Orbital but it only lasted 3.5 years before it died suddenly (wouldn't take a charge.)

I forget what I paid for the first Optima in '99 but the one today was $189 - $10 credit for the old battery. I got it at a local AutoZone store. I saw some deals on the net for less ($169) but you have to consider shipping a 42 pound battery. Plus you'd be stuck with the dead one and would have to recycle it locally.

Also, if your application is not automotive, but as an indoor emergency backup battery --get the Optima "Blue" version. They are much the same as the yellow types (both deep cycle) but have threaded stud terminals and wingnuts for easy hookups.

Cons: If you ever need to use a battery charger; you must use one that has an "AGM" mode for these absorbed glass mat batteries, as the charging voltages and float parameters are different from either "wet" traditional type or gel cells.

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