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iron
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PostThu May 14, 2015 7:15 pm 
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putting aside the obvious comment of "would you risk having your PLB not work when you really needed it?", what do you think the real battery life is on a PLB?

my PLB is at 5.5 years, so just past the manual-recommended 5 year timeframe. getting a new battery is ~$220, which is the same cost as the unit itself.

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forest gnome
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PostThu May 14, 2015 10:01 pm 
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THATS A GOOD QUESTION...i just got one for solo stuff finally this year...
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri May 15, 2015 4:46 am 
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iron wrote:
my PLB is at 5.5 years, so just past the manual-recommended 5 year timeframe. getting a new battery is ~$220, which is the same cost as the unit itself.

At that cost I would ditch it and go to a Delorme Inreach. you can recharge it. It has a monthly charge but the basic fee (with taxes) is only $13/month and you can suspend or upgrade/downgrade the subscription at will. Best of all, it has two way communication.
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Jaberwock
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PostFri May 15, 2015 6:26 am 
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This isn't a PLB, but my spot 2 has run for at least 5 years on one set of lithium aaa batteries.
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iron
getting old



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getting old
PostFri May 15, 2015 7:14 am 
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HitTheTrail wrote:
At that cost I would ditch it and go to a Delorme Inreach. you can recharge it. It has a monthly charge but the basic fee (with taxes) is only $13/month and you can suspend or upgrade/downgrade the subscription at will. Best of all, it has two way communication.

we have the inreach, as well, and another PLB (2014). the inreach thing will likely only be a temporary item as we don't see the need to pay for the monthly service fees unless they were to come down to more like $5/mo

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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Cyclopath
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PostFri May 15, 2015 8:09 am 
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You can't tell.  Maybe you can pull the battery out and test it, I don't know, that's not something I would try.

I think of it like a rope:  I can't be sure, the people who made it say five years, I'll go with that.  It's the best answer I've got.
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Slide Alder Slayer
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PostSun May 17, 2015 7:52 am 
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I'm at six years now and will be getting a new one. It's all about meeting battery life and performance. That being said who knows if it could go longer but six years is the cut off for 100% specs in an emergency.
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Huron
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PostSun May 17, 2015 8:21 am 
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Replace it for peace of mind. The Inreach costs about $150 annually, but like others have said, you get two way communication with confirmation. Its very useful for sending frequent "I'm ok" messages with location or even better to send "I'm ok but running late." You can put a new set of AA batteries in ahead of each trip for confidence.
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jared_j
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PostMon May 18, 2015 7:56 am 
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I LOVE how every thread about PLBs requires discussion / opining on the relative merits of the PLBs and messaging devices.  It's almost as if people don't read the OP...

Not sure how to interpret the claim of a "typical shelf life" of 11 years cited here (this site looks like it could simply be a front for ACR anyway), but that's a data (?) point.
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vibramhead
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PostTue Jun 02, 2015 1:47 pm 
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It appears that some folks are ignoring ACR's instructions and just replacing the batteries themselves.  Looks pretty simple.
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iron
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PostTue Jun 02, 2015 1:52 pm 
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good followup! looks like you could buy these
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Streamlight-CR123-Lithium-3-Volt-Battery-12-Pack-85177/202101329?N=5yc1vZc28mZ1z0zb3q
then get 2 PLBs updated. that sure beats the $150 fee...

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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iron
getting old



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getting old
PostTue Nov 20, 2018 11:58 pm 
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vibramhead wrote:
It appears that some folks are ignoring ACR's instructions and just replacing the batteries themselves.  Looks pretty simple.

after reading through that thread (only 3 years later), i see some are connecting their battery packs together. as someone that knows nothing about this, how critical is that step? i am not set up for soldering, but might be able to find someone if needed...

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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moonspots
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 7:00 am 
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iron wrote:
vibramhead wrote:
It appears that some folks are ignoring ACR's instructions and just replacing the batteries themselves.  Looks pretty simple.

after reading through that thread (only 3 years later), i see some are connecting their battery packs together. as someone that knows nothing about this, how critical is that step? i am not set up for soldering, but might be able to find someone if needed...

Nothing much to it....if you're comfortable doing the soldering. If not then Interstate, Batteries Plus and places like that can do it for you. However they typically use a spot welding procedure, which in terms of likely to not overheat the batteries, is usually better. I've built/replaced several battery packs by soldering cells together, but then I've been soldering for over 1/2 a century now.

If you do this yourself, replace all cells, not just the one or two that are low.

That replacement charge is outrageous! The last pack I put together for grandson's R/C boat cost me about $35, and had more cells than the PLB apparently does.

Another option is to do a battery lookup by part number and see if there are online direct replacements. I've done this also for various gadgets. Be wary of batteries made in China though. For a kids toy, I wouldn't worry about it, but for something important, I'd do some research and get batteries that are manufactured by a reputable company. The research is an important step.

Good question, and interesting thread, as I've been considering getting some such gadget, just haven't settled in on which one yet.

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"Out, OUT you demons of Stupidity"! - St Dogbert, patron Saint of Technology
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