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Removing power pack v's AA batteries
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Mike777
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Joined: Feb 12, 2009
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:46 pm    Post subject: Removing power pack v's AA batteries Reply with quote

I love rechargeable batteries so thought I would buy the Lithium Polymer rechargeable pack.

My problem is often I am out for a few days without access to power (on my bike!) I had a problem when it came to change the batteries pack and reinstall the cradle where the AA batteries would need to sit. I am concerned that this swapping over battery pack for cradle will over time weaken the power lead plug and points because it not that easy to pinch and remove the plug. I ended up having the pull the wires to remove the power plug from the active 10.

Does that make sense hope so ?

So my questions are

How do other people manage this

If I go back to just AA rechargeable batteries which are very easy to swap over which ones are the best is it simply the higher mAh are the best, what would people recommend and what sort of time are people getting out of such batteries.

Many thanks for your time and regards

Mike
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 2003
Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

This is a difficult one. I wouldn't really want to be continually changing from the rechargable pack to the AA carrier (and back) as I agree - the plug is just not designed to do this and pulling the leads will eventually end in a disaster.

In your situation I would stick with the AA pack and go for rechargeables. I haven't tried these in my Active 10 but in my GARMIN Colorado 300 I went for 2700mAH NiMH rechargeables and these gave at least double the life of standard AA cells (I managed nearly 9 hours with two of these). It will still add up to quite a few batteries though.

You should be able to get many hours out of your power pack. I haven't done anything really long distance/time with mine yet - but a recent 10+ hour walk dropped one bar on the battery meter - so I would have thought another 4-5 hours would be possible. (Battery meters never seem to be 'linear')!

I'm sure mikealder will be along soon - he has built a couple of battery life extenders - using many rechargeables - but it all adds weight.
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Claw-Of-Doom
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike

I use a solio charger when i'm onn the fells for days on end. There great bits of kit. Kept my GPS and mobile fully charged when i was on Kilimanjaro last year Smile

http://www.solio.com/charger/

I just strap it to the top of my rucksack with a thin bungee
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 2003
Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Claw-Of-Doom wrote:
Hi Mike

I use a solio charger when i'm onn the fells for days on end. There great bits of kit. Kept my GPS and mobile fully charged when i was on Kilimanjaro last year Smile

http://www.solio.com/charger/

I just strap it to the top of my rucksack with a thin bungee


Ah!... But how do they perform in the Lakes on a wet weekend Laughing

Not a cheap solution - but better than nothing. It would be interesting to know what the charge time for an Active10 is using one of these. Even the expensive (Magnesium) charger only has a battery roughly the same capacity of the Active 10 - so you would need to trickle charge the Active10 whilst in use to get the most out of it. This may work in some situations - but having trailing wires can get in the way sometimes.
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Claw-Of-Doom
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pre charge the soilo internal battery before i go onto the hills and then i get 2 full charges of the lipol satmap battery before it runs out, bearing in mind that i can get 2 1/2 days use out of the A10 in powersave mode and the backlight turned reyt down which potentially gives me 7 days use Smile

BTW there is a solio classic available (the one i use) for 49. from the store but you can find it cheeper if you shop around on the net Smile
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the ones I have made in the past used 8 cells to produce 12V and the box was fitted with a car ciggy lighter socket, into this you plugged the car charger addaptor, another slightly better system was one I built in to an Otter box GPS pod. This worked very well until one night I plugged in the wrong charger and in the morning there were bits of exploded battery all over the kitchen!
Another one I made from large industrial capacity size D cells with a capacity of 13A/Hr, this was for a push bike lighting system but its would be rather heavy for walking with!

Rather than making a battery pack you can purchase small external packs such as This one made by U2O they used to make a 5400mA which is a great device - I have one of these and often take it out with me, the one in the link is 3600mA which enough to charge the active10 LiPol cell 1,5 times used carefully I would expect to get aroud 4 days constant use if you set out with a fully charged LiPol cell and a fully charged U2O pack, if you give GPS4Less a ring they might still have stock of the larger capacity 5400mA pack, but I cannot find it on their website at the moment - Mike
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Mike777
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Joined: Feb 12, 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Most of the ones I have made in the past used 8 cells to produce 12V and the box was fitted with a car ciggy lighter socket, into this you plugged the car charger addaptor, another slightly better system was one I built in to an Otter box GPS pod. This worked very well until one night I plugged in the wrong charger and in the morning there were bits of exploded battery all over the kitchen!
Another one I made from large industrial capacity size D cells with a capacity of 13A/Hr, this was for a push bike lighting system but its would be rather heavy for walking with!

Rather than making a battery pack you can purchase small external packs such as This one made by U2O they used to make a 5400mA which is a great device - I have one of these and often take it out with me, the one in the link is 3600mA which enough to charge the active10 LiPol cell 1,5 times used carefully I would expect to get aroud 4 days constant use if you set out with a fully charged LiPol cell and a fully charged U2O pack, if you give GPS4Less a ring they might still have stock of the larger capacity 5400mA pack, but I cannot find it on their website at the moment - Mike


This sounds ideal...I did find this link of a Iup rather than an iwalk linked above from mike........is this the 5400 mA referred too ?

http://www.gpsforless.co.uk/product_details.php?id=6362

Thanks

Mike
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes thats the same device I use, you will get nearly a weeks use from an active 10 when combined with one of those and careful use of the backlight control - Mike
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Mike777
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Joined: Feb 12, 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Yes thats the same device I use, you will get nearly a weeks use from an active 10 when combined with one of those and careful use of the backlight control - Mike


Mikealder

Thanks for coming back to me.......

Hope you don't mind a few more questions

Is it simply a case of charging the device and then pluging it into the active 10 ie is the voltage ok

How long does it then take to charge the active 10

Does it has a cut off when charging

How does it connect to the active 10

Does it have the connectors for an active 10 and ipod.

Sorry for the list but this seems just what I need but wany to ensure I get it right.....

Many thanks for your time and regards

mike777
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike777 wrote:
Is it simply a case of charging the device and then pluging it into the active 10 ie is the voltage ok.
Yes, you simply plug the two devices together, if you lose the power lead a simple standard USB to mini USB lead will work just as well.

Mike777 wrote:
How long does it then take to charge the active 10.
This will allways depend upon the charge state of the active10, but typically four to five hours is needed to fully top up the active10 if the internal LiPol cell is well depleted.

Mike777 wrote:
Does it has a cut off when charging.
Not quite, once the active10 is fully charged it will continue to draw power from the cell, this doesn't cause any issue except you would be waisting the available power.

Mike777 wrote:
How does it connect to the active 10.
The supplied lead is OK although any USB to mini USB will work fine.

Mike777 wrote:
Does it have the connectors for an active 10 and ipod.
Yes, there are plenty of different power leads to fit various different units.

A couple of pictures, the active10 with the 5400mA power pack plugged in, top right is an earlier U2O 3600mA power pack which is still working well.


Slightly closer view of the connections between the power brick and active10, looking at the state of the active10 screen I guess its time to get a replacement front screen as its rather scratched!


Any other questions feel free to ask, but purchasing one of these is a far better approach than trying to make your own - Mike
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LostMike
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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Location: Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike

It appears that you have removed the waterproof seal from the USB connector. Does this cause you problems or have you found a way around it?
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its only removed when charging which isn't done while I am using the device, although you could do as long as it isn't raining - I tend to wait till the end of the day to charge up the unit and if you set out with the built in LiPl battery fully charged it will outlast a single days walking. so the U2O pack only has to top up the active10 cells for a few hours to keep it charged - Mike
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Mike777
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Any other questions feel free to ask, but purchasing one of these is a far better approach than trying to make your own - Mike


Many thanks for the comprehensive reply......

In a emergency at the end of the day could you run the active 10 direct from the device ?

Thanks for your time

Mike777
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike777 wrote:
In a emergency at the end of the day could you run the active 10 direct from the device ?

Yes as long as you have a cable with you it could be plugged into the device and is capable of both charging the device and powering it at the same time - Mike
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW I bought one of these and it has served me very well.

Not as large a battery as the i-UP but pretty versatile and robust.
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