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It was the year I started BatteryWeb, 1994, and the Odyssey sales person was just starting his “big speech” to convince me to give his Odyssey batteries a try. He had been all over the area and was having poor reception of his new fangled battery. Most of the battery folks at the time always used their trusty hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of each cell to determine the state of charge. If all the cells were equal then the old timer knew that most probably the battery didn’t have a bad cell. If there were one or more cells that had a 50 point difference in specific gravity readings then he would know that he had at least one bad cell and the battery was at the end of its service life which is a euphemism for “dead battery”.
“Well, gosh darn”, said the OTer, “this new battery doesn’t even have caps to remove to be able to use my hydrometer and there is no way, this side of eternity, that I will ever buy a battery I can’t check with my hydrometer. I been doing this the same way since I worked with Thomas Alva, who knew something about batteries, and dad gum it I ain’t changing now”. At that moment I noticed that the sales rep was truly having a bad day what with the chewing (chewed) tobacco on his shoe. He must have got too close to ‘Gramps’ or the OTer must have got mighty worked up over that sealed battery.
The sales rep, I think I will nick name him “Ody”, (pronounced odd e) was about to call it a day when I decided that I would place an order right then. Now we all know an order is music to all sales folks especially their first one. Ody became so flushed with excitement his shoes began to shine.
Why did I bother to place an order other than to give Ody a rush? Several years earlier I bought a product similar to the Odyssey from the Chloride Company called a “Torque Starter”. This was the first sealed lead acid battery introduced into the consumer automotive replacement battery market in the US. It had all the bells and whistles which included AGM gas recombination technology, dual terminals (both SEA top post & GM side posts), a carrying handle and was small enough to fit in almost any car yet powerful enough to start a large V8. In fact I should have started the day with a V8 but that is another story for another time. The Torque Starter was long gone so I wanted to try the Odyssey.
“Ody” could now call it a day and report back to his boss with success in his voice.
I’ve got a feeling I will be seeing him again and probably soon.
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