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Battery Related Information
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Active 10 battery life Reply with quote

robs1972 wrote:
What kind of batteries are you using where you only get 4 hours? Shocked

I'm using 2800mAh NiMh AA cells from 7dayshop.com, recharged on an Ansmann "Energy 8" intelligent charger. I am led to believe (OK, by their advertising admittedly, but also by comments on other forums) that the Ansmann charger is state-of-the-art. I'm not so sure about the batteries, but they were recommended by someone knowledgable who'd done a lot of comparative testing of batteries for bike lights and who recommended them as best all round value.

I have to admit that on the occasion that I got only about 4 hours worth, I was using 100% constant backlight and a degree of zooming in and out, but had no route active. The battery condition indicator dropped from four blocks to three after 40 minutes, then returned to four blocks for quite a while; after about 4 hours it dropped to three again and shortly thereafter, went "Battery Critical" and shut down when still showing three blocks.

I'm not at all technically knowledgeable about batteries (among lots of other things!) but I have picked up from others that NiMh rechargeables tend to run at a steady output for quite a time then fall off suddenly. Given that they put out only about 1.2/1.3v fully charged, c.f. 1.5v from a new alkaline, this may explain the sudden death aspect of my experience. Or it could be that actually I have crap batteries!

I've now purchased an Ansmann battery tester - this seems to be a sophisticated device as it returns a reading showing the state of strength in ten per cent increments, plus the actual output voltage, rather than the more usual "Good, Low, Replace" answer other battery testers show. I'm hoping this will indicate whether or not I'm putting dodgy cells into the Active 10 to start with.

I'm also now on my second Active 10 as my first one had to be replaced after something started to rattle inside, so maybe this one will perform better, battery-wise. Satmap replaced the unit without any quibble, so top marks for customer service.
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merroarc
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Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Teddington, West London

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:50 pm    Post subject: Satmap Active 10 batteries Reply with quote

Hi robs1972,
I've seen Physicist uses this website, he seems like a scientist, if you are reading this, can you help us on batteries?
Also, I know the Satmap guys sometimes read this forum, can you give us the gospel on batteries guys ?
Also, can you post us some updates on when you will launch website and any other useful stuff ?
Thanks,
merroarc
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robs1972
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Joined: Mar 19, 2007
Posts: 310
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup rechargeables will pump out 1.2V continuously until right before they die and then very quickly give next to nothing...whereas normal alkalines start off with 1.5 but the output steadily decreases through their life and are far more suited to a multiple bar display battery life indicator. Li Ion are good for that too....especially Sony camera batteries as they have a chiop in them to have very accurate 'life left' displays.

So the bar display on the Active 10 is not going to be overly useful, you're best off putting fresh batteries in and getting used to how much life you get from it using the settings of your choice. In my experience the display will show 4 bars for hours then 3 for a while then go straight to 1/battery critical or it will go 4 bars for a while then 3 for hours then go straight to 1/battery critical....some times it will alternate between 4 and 3 for hours, then 3 for a while etc.
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maultby
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Joined: Dec 04, 2007
Posts: 13
Location: verwood, dorset

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Battery life & MTB usage Reply with quote

Thanks for the answers to my queries.
Regarding batteries I;ve done a bit of surfing and found:
http://www.evercharge.co.uk/index.php
which allows alkaline batteries to be rechaged.
Might be a good solution?

With regard my questions 1 & 2 posted Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:05 pm about how the A10 is best used, are there any other users besides merroac who would like to share how they use the device when biking?

Cheers
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Landyfan
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Joined: Dec 02, 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took my Satmap for its first mountain bike ride yesterday in The Cheviots. Everything was going well when, less than 2 hours into the ride, and at just that spot in the route where navigation was becoming necessary (rather than just of interest), the batteries go flat. These were 3 brand new, straight from the packet, duracell's.

2 hours isn't enough ! Ok, so it was a cold day, but goodness, I would need to carry three spare sets on a day out and hope to have fingures warm enough to turn that awkward silver semi circle clip thing and then replace the batteries. Crying or Very sad

Pulled out my trusty hard copy OS map and carried on as usual and trying to hide my disappointment from my mates.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duracell are not a good choice with this device, the Energizer Lithium cells whilst costly to purchase but they are cheapest in terms of cost per hours you get from them. I would expect ten hours plus with a set of these installed.
Also do not leave batteries in the device when it is not in use as it will flatten them over time - Mike
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IanHibbert
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Joined: Dec 17, 2007
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would appear that reducing the screen timeout to the minimum value of 30 secs, makes a big difference to the battery life. Richard at Satmap says he may even consider a 15 sec option for a future software release.

I concur with Mike - do not leave batteries in the unit when not in use, they will be quickly flattened. Satmap are looking at the whole battery drain issue/current profiling etc. I was actually sent a couple of sets of new batteries along with the 1.03 software update on an SD card, as a follow up to various e-mails - they are extremely helpful!
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Battery life Reply with quote

I am getting seriously concerned about battery life in the real world with the Active 10. Using rechargeable 2800mAh NiMh cells, I get only a couple of hours at best, sometimes only 60 minutes, before dropping to three blocks on the condition indicator. I know from experience that it'll last only another hour or so after that before going "Battery Critical" and powering down.

Testing the batteries after the unit has shut down, I find that they still show 60% to 70% capacity. In fact, often only one cell has dropped this far, the other two still give 90% readings. I don't understand battery technology but this suggests to me that the Active 10 requires practically a full 1.3 volts or thereabouts to run at all and if the power dips below that, it just shuts down rather than run on perhaps more sluggishly.

The option of using disposables, to my mind, is way too expensive, and the optional lithium polymer rechargeable isn't yet available (ever? The website says 11th February 2008 but given the number of false dawns we had with the unit itself, I wonder....) Also, the LiPol pack is described as 2700mAh and I wonder how long that would last?
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC when the combined cell voltage drops to 3.15 volts this will trigger the alarm and subsequent shutdown, I have the exact figure at home on my PC but cannot get at it at the moment to double check this value.
NIMH and the Lithium cells tend to remain at a very steady voltage when in use, once getting to the end of their charge the voltage drops very quickly which is difficult to profile for a battery status indicator, this will also create false readings on cheap battery testers, the tester needs to place the cell under load when checking to ensure the true voltage can be read - Mike
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Physicist
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Joined: Nov 08, 2007
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Satmap should fit a simple mechanical on/off switch in series with the battery. This would be a lot easier than removing the batteries from the A10 to prevent current drain! The original battery life claims were way over the top.
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bryanwal
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Joined: Oct 15, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as stated twice now on this forum .my batteries are always left in satmap,current set have been in for 4 weeks iv'e done 3 short walks due to work commitments,in that time .meter still shows 4 bars.
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IanHibbert
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bryan - I'm afraid it would seem you are the exception!
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Brian
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Location: Lancashire, England, Great Britain

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if my solution to potential battery life issues for my Road Angel might also be of interest to you ..

http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=370107#370107
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PloddinPedro
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Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian wrote:
I wonder if my solution to potential battery life issues for my Road Angel might also be of interest to you ..
http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=370107#370107
Hmmm ..3400mAh, 120 grams - interesting. I suspect that the difficulty with anything like this for the Active 10 will be that I don't think the A10 can take power in via its USB socket. Certainly, if you connect it to a PC by the USB cable it won't fire up if it hasn't also got batteries in it.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such a battery pack might work with the LiPo cell in the active 10 but we will have to wait and see as this isn't available as yet.
As it stands you cannot use an external power pack with the active 10.

I have a couple of external battery packs made by U2O which are great for the PDA's I have, one is rated at 5400mA capacity and works for at least 3 or 4 full charges when required - Mike
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