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Oregon 550t battery indicator


AlunS
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I've just got an Oregon 550t, and am having some issues with the battery indicator.

 

I'm mainly using 2000mAh Eneloops, which I understand aren't the longest lasting batteries out there, but they were what I was using in my Vista HCx up until now, and I could get a whole days hiking (7-8 hours) out of them, and the Vista's battery indicator would hardly budge from full, maybe one bar from full at most, and that's with quite a lot of use of the backlight (my eyes aren't that great!)

 

Now, with the Oregon, it appears that even with a fully charged set of batteries, it barely stays on 4 bars for 10-15 minutes before it drops to 3. 2 bars seems to appear after a few hours and then it stays on that for ages. Also, if I'm actively using the device, flicking between pages, scrolling the map screen etc., the battery indicator jumps up and down like a yo-yo, sometimes even showing the low battery indicator, but then if I stop, it jumps back up to 2 bars again.

 

What's even weirder, is if I get home and put those batteries in my Vista HCx, it shows a full battery indicator!

 

So, is anyone else having these issues? I've tried several sets of Eneloops, and even the Garmin batteries that came with the unit, all with the same result.

 

EDIT: Also in the Oregon manual there's mention of a special battery type in the setup for Precharged NiMH cells, but that doesn't appear on mine at all, any idea why there should be anything special about the discharge curve for these kinds of batteries?

Edited by AlunS
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I am not happy with the battery life on the 550 either.

I was able to get alot more juice on the Colorado 300 than I am getting on the 550.

 

I am wondering if besides the altimeter if there is other functions that could be using power even with the unit off?

Well, that's the thing .. I'm not sure there actually is a problem with the consumption. The fact that the battery indicator fluctuates between empty and 2 bars while I'm actually using it, plus the fact that batteries that are being shown as nearly empty on the Oregon are showing as full on my Vista indicates to me that there's something up with the discharge curves the Oregon is using to display the indicator.

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Which version of software are you using? 2.70 is the latest stable and there were some fixes WRT to battery meter stability in prior versions.

Using 2.70 at the moment. I can't see any mention in the release notes about battery meter stability in the release notes anywhere for the x50 series (there are some for the x00 series though .. maybe they didn't make it through to the x50 series, but that would seem unlikely).

Edited by AlunS
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I have an Oregon 550t and I've been using for about a month now, I've noticed I lose my first bar pretty quick but then it just steadily declines. I'm using the battery and the charger that came with the unit and I've made no changes from the default battery settings. Also, running the newest update on mine.

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I have an Oregon 550t and I've been using for about a month now, I've noticed I lose my first bar pretty quick but then it just steadily declines. I'm using the battery and the charger that came with the unit and I've made no changes from the default battery settings. Also, running the newest update on mine.

 

+1

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I have an Oregon 550t and I've been using for about a month now, I've noticed I lose my first bar pretty quick but then it just steadily declines. I'm using the battery and the charger that came with the unit and I've made no changes from the default battery settings. Also, running the newest update on mine.

 

So what are you saying Corey?

Are you happy with the battery life or not?

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So far, yes I've been happy with it but I haven't put it to a really hard test. But I did have plenty of time for a full day long hike which included locating 8-10 caches so it was doing plenty of work. Obviously, I only have a month of experience with it so far but since the last unit I was using was a nuvi I'm still in love with my Oregon :-)

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I've been running some tests over the past few days, and have seen some really odd behaviour.

 

For example, today I left it in an outside location that was at about 10 degrees celsius today with the back-light permanently full on, just as a test. It went down from 4 bars to 1 in a little over 1.5 hours and then gave a low battery alarm after a further 45 mins. So, I went to the on-board diagnostics screen to see what the battery voltage was (2.37V as it happens, which to me seems quite a reasonable voltage, certainly not empty, for NiMH cells), and then powered off and on again to get out of the diagnostics screen. Not only did it then come back with 2 bars displaying (remember it had shown Low Battery only a few minutes earlier!), but has now been on for nearly 4.5 hours and is now showing 1 bar and still going strong.

 

A previous test at room temperature (22 celsius) showed a total run time of 8hr 15 mins, but took 1.5 hrs to go from 4->3 and from 3->2, but 2.5 hrs to go from 2->1 and then 1.25 hrs from 1->Low battery. Even after showing Low Battery it then carried on for another 1.5hrs before finally failing.

 

I'm now beginning to suspect the battery indicator is actually connected to an internal random number generator rather than to any battery condition measurement circuitry.

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I've just got an Oregon 550t, and am having some issues with the battery indicator.

 

I'm mainly using 2000mAh Eneloops, which I understand aren't the longest lasting batteries out there, but they were what I was using in my Vista HCx up until now, and I could get a whole days hiking (7-8 hours) out of them, and the Vista's battery indicator would hardly budge from full, maybe one bar from full at most, and that's with quite a lot of use of the backlight (my eyes aren't that great!)

 

Now, with the Oregon, it appears that even with a fully charged set of batteries, it barely stays on 4 bars for 10-15 minutes before it drops to 3. 2 bars seems to appear after a few hours and then it stays on that for ages. Also, if I'm actively using the device, flicking between pages, scrolling the map screen etc., the battery indicator jumps up and down like a yo-yo, sometimes even showing the low battery indicator, but then if I stop, it jumps back up to 2 bars again.

 

What's even weirder, is if I get home and put those batteries in my Vista HCx, it shows a full battery indicator!

 

So, is anyone else having these issues? I've tried several sets of Eneloops, and even the Garmin batteries that came with the unit, all with the same result.

 

EDIT: Also in the Oregon manual there's mention of a special battery type in the setup for Precharged NiMH cells, but that doesn't appear on mine at all, any idea why there should be anything special about the discharge curve for these kinds of batteries?

 

AlunS: its quite clearly stated in the manual you must set the Oregon to NiMH if using those types of Battery! And use the Non-Alkaline type.. also stated. Of course your bat. indicator will be wrong if you dont set this!

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