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USB charging / power - effects of cold on batteries

 
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RJPeaker
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Joined: May 16, 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:00 pm    Post subject: USB charging / power - effects of cold on batteries Reply with quote

Hi all,

I use my SATMAP for trail riding with a motor bike (no abuse from ramblers / mountain bikers please Rolling Eyes ) and it had it's first major test at the weekend. 250 miles from Cirencester to Torquay starting at 8pm on Fri and finishing at 1pm on Sat. I had a fresh set of Duracell batteries in it, and they lasted about 45 minutes! Tried another set and were similarly short-lived. Given that it was not below freezing at any point (around 4 deg C) has anyone else experienced such a drop in battery performance and is it normal?

Luckily, I had rigged up a 12v power socket direct to the bikes battery and had a 12v - 5v USB lead with me from another device that according to the leads sticker pushed out 400 mA. I plugged the USB lead into the A10 and it powered it up and worked fine. Has anyone any advice on the following:

I plugged the lead in but left the batteries in the unit - will this be damaging?
Has anyone tried charging rechargable batteries in the unit using this method?
The unit was very slow, and often the buttons wouldn't respond until loads of pressing, would this be due to the cold or something to do with the USB power lead?

I'm considering sending it back as I think it has been mis-described, especially given the lack of software. I didn't appreciate having to manually enter 250 miles of route using the piddling little joystick. That said the concept and screen are great, but as a package it has some serious flaws that don't justify the 450 (inc. maps and accessories).

Cheers,

Rich.
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robs1972
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Joined: Mar 19, 2007
Posts: 310
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What batteries did you leave in the A10....because a couple of reads of your post and I'm assuming Duracells!!! Shocked

Don't forget the windchill factor.

Were you wearing gloves when you got the slow button responses?

When plugged in to my PC vis a USB the only things I noticed was the inability to switch on if already plugged in...had tio turn it on before plugging it in....and a bit of screen flicker.
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RJPeaker
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Joined: May 16, 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

The batteries I used first were Duracell Plus and the second set were EverReady Energizer Ultra +.

I did have gloves on, but when I stopped and took the gloves off I didn't get any different response from the unit. It was almost as if the unit was taking it's time processing whatever it was doing and wasn't accepting input from anything. This was especially apparent when the unit was in 'track up' mode - I could hardly get a response at all and had to resort to cycling through a number of different pages. Unfortunately, because it seemed to take such a long time to respond it appeared to sometimes 'queue' up the button presses which meant it went to the 'track up' mode when all I wanted was to go from 'planning' to 'gps'.

Cheers,

Rich.
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robs1972
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Joined: Mar 19, 2007
Posts: 310
Location: Plymouth

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJPeaker wrote:
Hi,

The batteries I used first were Duracell Plus and the second set were EverReady Energizer Ultra


Mmm....so they are alkalines? I think it best you take them out.

I've not used mine in really cold weather yet so I don't know if it would affect the response time.
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FrequentFlyer
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Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 960
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me get this right...using a USB lead, you can actually power up/recharge the (rechargeable) batteries. If so, I shall try it with my HTC phone lead...or should I ?
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mikealder
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Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt very much that you can recharge batteries in the device in this way, the yet to be seen LiPo cell will be charged this way from what I have read, but you cannot charge normal NiMH cells via the external port. Look at the battery connector, there are four spare unused pins at present and I would expect at least one or two of these will be for temperature monitoring of the LiPo pack when it is under charge.

For now you have to take the batteries out to charge them, as the OP was using "Copper Tops" I am not too surprised at the short duration they offered, from some of the testing I have done they were pathetic in comparison to Energizer Lithium cells. Whilst I appreciate these Lithium cells cost more they work out considerably cheaper in use if you work out how long they last for (cost per hour):

B&Q Alkaline 2:23 per hour
Duracell Plus 2:86 per hour
Energizer Alkaline 2:11 per hour
Energizer Lithium 0:81 per hour
Jupiter Zinc 2:25 per hour

The above figures were from some testing I did a while ago with the SatMap active 10, the results show the actual value for money from a range of throw away batteries.
I would consider high power NIMH cells plus a dedicated charger is probably more viable for longer term use, but they won't charge in the device, only the LiPo cell pack when available has this capability - Mike
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Jay1967
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Joined: Mar 01, 2006
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Re: USB charging / power - effects of cold on batteries Reply with quote

RJPeaker wrote:
Hi all,

I use my SATMAP for trail riding with a motor bike (no abuse from ramblers / mountain bikers please Rolling Eyes ) and it had it's first major test at the weekend. 250 miles from Cirencester to Torquay starting at 8pm on Fri and finishing at 1pm on Sat. I had a fresh set of Duracell batteries in it, and they lasted about 45 minutes! Tried another set and were similarly short-lived. Given that it was not below freezing at any point (around 4 deg C) has anyone else experienced such a drop in battery performance and is it normal?

Luckily, I had rigged up a 12v power socket direct to the bikes battery and had a 12v - 5v USB lead with me from another device that according to the leads sticker pushed out 400 mA. I plugged the USB lead into the A10 and it powered it up and worked fine. Has anyone any advice on the following:

I plugged the lead in but left the batteries in the unit - will this be damaging?
Has anyone tried charging rechargable batteries in the unit using this method?
The unit was very slow, and often the buttons wouldn't respond until loads of pressing, would this be due to the cold or something to do with the USB power lead?

I'm considering sending it back as I think it has been mis-described, especially given the lack of software. I didn't appreciate having to manually enter 250 miles of route using the piddling little joystick. That said the concept and screen are great, but as a package it has some serious flaws that don't justify the 450 (inc. maps and accessories).

Cheers,

Rich.


RJ, did you eventually take back your SatMap? How did the company respond?
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