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Old 12-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #3270
Jäger's Avatar
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: NW MT/SE BC
Oddometer: 805
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I hate the idea of disposable batteries. I don't understand why SPOTs don't come with a rechargable battery pack, like phones, cameras, walkie talkies, etc.

I didn't find Lithium rechargable AAA batteries, but did find the NiMH AAA batteries. They are said to be good at -10c degrees. They are 1.2 volts each. Will they work?

If not, does anybody have a rechargable battery solution?
Yes, the NiMH rechargeables work, I use them constantly.

The caveat to that is that they have nowhere near the useful life/time of the lithium batteries, and you have to keep that in mind. I'm sure that's the reason that SPOT recommends and says lithium only. I always have tracking turned on as a safety feature (i.e. if I'm unconscious... or dead I suppose... the large collection of location markers in one place is probably a good clue of where to go looking for me), so I have to consider that puts a further drain on the batteries.

So my rechargeable battery solution is to have lithiums ready to go in the tank bag, NiMH's in the SPOT, and another set of NiMHs charging in a small charger in the tank bag. BTW, I ride a WR250R, so I'm forced to be very minimalist and space conscious to begin with. All of this takes up about as much space as an apple would.

I regularly swap the NiMHs out throughout the day at rest stops, munchie breaks, etc. It only takes about two minutes, so it's not exactly onerous, and once again you're on fresh batteries. I'm aware that an accident can happen anywhere, anytime, particularly around here where deer, elk, and moose are not shy about leaping in front of your bike on a backroad to bodycheck you. But when I do think I'm going into an area where reception might be more difficult or whatever, the rechargeables come out and the lithiums go in.

I ride primarily in the forests and mountains of NW Montana and SE BC. I've been using this method and ground truthing it for two years now. I get reliable tracking signals, OK and custom messages, etc, so I know this approach works as long as I keep in mind the shorter useable lifespan of a rechargeable battery versus lithium.

However, I don't use my SPOT in the winter months, so I have no idea how well this would work for those who use SPOT in temperatures at or below freezing.
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