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Avalanche Beacon Batteries

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
 Hey,
Just wondering if anyone has done/found any tests on the best batteries for Avalanche beacons? I have to assume all batteries aren't created equal.
post #2 of 13
I've measured the length with digital calipers out of curiosity.  (Ortovox was forced to issue a reconfigured battery door for its M2 beacon because of an unconfirmed and never replicated incident of a shut down b/c of lost contact with a battery that was at the lower end of the AA spec.)

Otherwise, any standard alkaline battery has such a long life in any beacon that worrying about it is pointless.
The only important point is to use standard alkaline batteries.  Not rechargeable, not lithium, not PowerPix, etc.

A good rule of thumb for a daytrip is replace when below 50% and start off any overnight trip with fresh batteries.

And also have an extra set of 3xAAA + 2xAA in your car for any partners who show up unprepared.
post #3 of 13
Yeah, I got a letter from Ortovox asking me to replace my battery door, which I did, and suggesting using only brand-name batteries, which supposedly are minutely longer than some non-brand versions. I don't use my beacon that much, and the batteries seem to hold their charge for a long time.
post #4 of 13
I use Durocell batteries, I replace them EVERY TIME I go into the BC, and I never think twice about it. That is just not a place to pinch pennies.
post #5 of 13
I've not yet had to use my Pieps DSP for a true rescue, only in send mode or for beacon practice.  I've found that the Kirkland-branded batteries from Costco work great, as they do in just about every other application.  I typically carry spares in my pack and replace when it drops below 20-25%.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

I use Durocell batteries, I replace them EVERY TIME I go into the BC, and I never think twice about it. That is just not a place to pinch pennies.

Dam, that could be a lot of batteries?  I don't think they recommend rechargeables.
I put new ones in at the begginning of each season and always have a new set in the pack.  I just purchased 48 AA Members Mark at Sam's last night and the were $9.88, same price as 24 Duracell.  Probably made in the same factory?
post #7 of 13
A patroller lost his somehow on the back of Bachelor.  It was found months later, still beeping.
post #8 of 13
Just so you all have good batteries if you ever have to switch to 'receive' mode searching for me.
post #9 of 13
 Batteries seem to last a fairly long time in all of my beacons.  I have noticed that the beacons seem more prone to dropping a signal and being slow to reacquire when the battery is reading below 50%.  I have spoken with a few beacon Reps and they tell me this is not true, that their unit will work reliably down to zero.  I replace mine around 70%.  I own several headlamps and remotes that can use weakened batteries.  I also try to have 4 AAA backups in my pack.  I have also noticed that transceivers require much more power on receive.  Couple that with removing the unit from your warm chest to search and I've seen units start a training day at 40% and be down to 20% at the end of the day in the field and then back up to 40% or better after being turned off and warmed up for a few hours.  BTW I only use Duracell's.  I know they are not the only good battery out there, but they seem to be the standard for a "good" battery.
post #10 of 13
I have a weather station wireless remote sensor that recommends using lithium AA batteries since they'll work at a much lower temperature than alkaline cells.  Here's the notice:  "When the temperature falls below freezing point, the batteries of outdoor units may freeze, lowering their voltage supply and effective range.  Use lithium cells to insure operation below 10F (-12C)."

FWIW, I suppose that since you are wearing your beacon inside your coat it won't be too cold.
Edited by SpikeDog - 11/12/09 at 3:16pm
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

A patroller lost his somehow on the back of Bachelor.  It was found months later, still beeping.

Hahaha....You wouldn't think that you could lose a beacon!
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

  BTW I only use Duracell's.  I know they are not the only good battery out there, but they seem to be the standard for a "good" battery.

That's funny - I only use Duracells as well. Mostly superstition. That and that badass Robert Conrad commercial in the late 70s.

"I dare you to knock this off my shoulder."
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpikeDog View Post

I have a weather station wireless remote sensor that recommends using lithium AA batteries since they'll work at a much lower temperature than alkaline cells.  Here's the notice:  "When the temperature falls below freezing point, the batteries of outdoor units may freeze, lowering their voltage supply and effective range.  Use lithium cells to insure operation below 10F (-12C)."

Yes and no:  yes, lithium batteries will last longer in your beacon; but no, you should NOT use them in your beacon, because the battery strength readout will go from 100% to 0% with almost nothing in between.  (Besides, the life of a fresh set of a alkaline batteries is hundreds of hours -- I don't believe the Bachelor story about "months" but still, the only reason to bring along an extra set of batteries for your beacon is if you're going on a multi-day trip and might keep yourself occupied during downtime at basecamp with beacon practice searching, which will as another poster noted use up the batteries at a way faster rate.)
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