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bcblues

Garmin 62s Battery Life

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I recently upgraded from a 60cx to a 62s, and I have noticed a much shorter battery life with the 62s. Using DuraCell and Eveready alkaline batteries, I get only 5-6 hours of life out of a set. Backlight 50% set to off at 2 minutes. Anybody else have battery issues with the 62? I could go two days of heavy caching with the old 60, maybe more, on a single set of the same batteries.

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Not with the 62, but with an Oregon, I've noticed that they are kind of sensitive with older batteries.

 

I was getting horrible battery life out of my Oregon when I first got it (batteries were about 2 years old), yet they could power my etrex just fine. I got new batteries, wow, they seem to last forever in the Oregon, yet the etrex barely lasts longer on the new ones vs the old ones. Not sure how to explain this.

 

One other thing, use a GOOD charger, there's several threads about that, ask if you need advise, most cheap chargers (especially "fast" chargers) are absolute junk, and will cause similar results.

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With no backlight, and connected to an external antenna on the roof, my 62s, using Duracell 2650's, got 16.5 hrs with GPS on, plus a couple of hrs with the GPS off while inside dinking with the settings. About 15.5 hrs with Duracell Copper Tops, plus some more inside time. And about the same ball park time with Rayovac Hybrid's ( I wasn't paying as much attention on that test as I should have )

I did notice that when I have it set to no backlight, it is still on no BL when I start it up the next time.

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The newer units do not like alkalines. Use Ni-MH and you should get much better life.

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I have some new NiZn batteries in the charger as I type this. Will try them and see. The old 60 seemed to go forever on the standard alkaline batteries. Even while backpacking I could sometimes go 3 full days without changing. I think I would need a whole carton of batteries for the 62! Will try the NiZn bats soon and see how they work. Although I have a whole shoebox of rechargables, with the 60 series it doesn't seem to make much difference between even the hi capacity NiMh and Alkaline. I just might have to dust off the old NiMh charger again! (well - maybe not if the NiZn work OK). Here in America's Outback, it can get really (really) cold AND really really hot. Talking temp differences (seasonal) from 104 to -40 (just last year). The NiMh do NOT like the cold!

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I recently upgraded from a 60cx to a 62s, and I have noticed a much shorter battery life with the 62s. Using DuraCell and Eveready alkaline batteries, I get only 5-6 hours of life out of a set. Backlight 50% set to off at 2 minutes.

Presumably you used the backlight at 50% on the 60? I’m sort of surprised, since I’ve never felt the need to use any backlight with this display outdoors, except between dusk and dawn.

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I have some new NiZn batteries in the charger as I type this.
Be sure you always take that 2nd pair of NiZn with you. These things have a really flat discharge profile, and they give you very little warning from full bars on the gas gauge to "poof". Great for not having to screw around with compass calibration, though - one of my favorite features of this chemistry. Have been running mine non-stop since 1st week of April and so far, so good.

 

I just might have to dust off the old NiMh charger again! (well - maybe not if the NiZn work OK). Here in America's Outback, it can get really (really) cold AND really really hot. Talking temp differences (seasonal) from 104 to -40 (just last year). The NiMh do NOT like the cold!
Nothing much does, but since you're already starting at low nominal voltage with NiMH anyway, getting them cold just pretty well drives them down to where they're not going to work in very many kinds of equipment. They've still got ooomph - just can't deliver it. I'm looking forward to seeing how the NiZn behaves when the temperature finally drops again this winter.

 

Don't forget to lie to your Garmin and tell it you're using "Lithium". It'll give you as close to a realistic gas gauge as you're going to get - which won't much matter (per above).

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Well, I have been using the NiZn batteries for a while now. They do last a bit longer than the Alkies, but still not enough. :lol: I have found that I have to charge the NiZn batteries one at a time in the charger to get them to charge properly. FWIW, I have the PowerGenix charger and cells.

 

I just ordered a Maha Powerex MH-C9000 charger so I can try some Eneloops.

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The newer units do not like alkalines. Use Ni-MH and you should get much better life.

I use 2700mAh NiMH and get close to 20 hours out of a charge (screen 50%, 30s timeout + batt save). I agree that the 62S behaves much worse (as does the 'gas gauge', which shows 75% charge at time of failure) with alkalines.

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FWIW - this is a great AAA/AA battery charger - La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger and hard to beat for $30 shipped. The adjustable charge rates(individual per battery position) allow you to charge your batteries at a lower rate(say 1/10C(200 mA, 500 mA, and 700 mA)) which doesn't heat them up like those fast chargers that just shorten the life of your batteries.

 

I leave this out and just swap batteries when I get home after using my GPS.

 

Each battery has it's own display. You can see how much charge each cell has taken while charging, what the current voltage level is, etc.

Edited by somegeek

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Well, I have been using the NiZn batteries for a while now. They do last a bit longer than the Alkies, but still not enough. ;) I have found that I have to charge the NiZn batteries one at a time in the charger to get them to charge properly. FWIW, I have the PowerGenix charger and cells.
I've been getting much longer service from the NiZn than I ever have from an alkaline cell. I'm also able to charge any number from 1X to 4X without problems. What kind of experience were you having that caused you to have to charge them one at a time? I was/am under the impression that the charger was using individual circuits for each slot, not pairing them up.

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Yes, you can charge 1, 2, 3, or 4 batteries in the charger. But when I charge more than one, it never terminates, and instead I get the blinking lights. One cell at a time charges perfectly. My Maha will be here soon.

 

Somegeek: I did look at the Lacrosse BC-700, but after reading about the fire issues (with the 900/9009 series, I think), I just couldn't trust it charging unattended. Besides, I had a Maha (401 I think), that served me well for years. I would happily use it again, except I lost it in a move.

 

I got the Maha c9000 charger and 4 2700 mha Powerex batteries (not hybrids) for $50 shipped (newegg.com special). I also ordered 8 eneloop aa cells, and 4 aaa eneloops from amazon. So I should be set now.

 

The NiZn batteries will be useful once the weather turns cold here in America's Outback.

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Resurrecting this thread with some new info:

 

I have a 62s. Battery Save mode on. Backlight set to 100% (anything else is hard for me to see in daylight), with a 2 minute timeout. I was traveling and caching the other day. I had loaded a set of PowerEx 2700 NiMH batteries which I had just purchased, and run through a breakin cycle and then topped off with a slow charge on my new Maha MH-C9000 charger. They lasted 4 hours before the GPSr winked out (without warning). Replaced them with a set of new Eneloops (also just charged) and got only 3 hours. I am beginning to think I have a defective GPSr.

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My only suggestion to the OP is to make sure you have your GPS set to use NIMH which you'll find in the setup menu. If not, you will get much shorter life out of NIMH if the setting is for Alkalines. I'll assume the OP had already checked this. Defective is the only thing I can think.

 

Along these lines - Does anyone really know what EXACTLY the battery save mode turns off other than the screen? The reason I ask is that it would make sense for Garmin to disable the compass during battery save as well. Anyone know if it does this? Ahh, maybe some rundown tests are in order to find this answer.

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I'm not an expert on batteries, but just want to pass on a suggestion for some good batteries I've been messing around with.

 

A while back I bought an Energizer charger that came with a pack of four NiMH batteries at Walmart. The batteries are rated for 2300 mah. Whole shooting match was less than $20.

 

First tested them in a PN-20. It, wiith my normal use, gets about 6-7 hours from good Alkalines. The Energizer 2300 mah's go 10-12 hours in the PN.

 

In my 60csx, good alkalines will last about 20-22 hours. Tested the NiMH's in it and it made it 26 hours before I got a low battery warning.

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I believe battery save mode just blanks the screen, no impact on the compass.

while disabling the compass only has a very negligible impact on battery life.

 

maybe disabling the compass through the setup doesn't actually disable it, just makes the device not use the data coming from it? who knows?

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Is anyone privy to rundown tests on the 62 series with different functions turned off/on? dfx, you mentioned that the compass has a negligible effect on battery life which counters what I've always heard. I'm not saying that's incorrect I'm just saying it's not what I had in my mind. That's why my compass had always been disabled, I always thought it was a power sink. I don't know for sure, that's why I'm asking about rundown tests.

Edited by yogazoo

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Is anyone privy to rundown tests on the 62 series with different functions turned off/on? dfx, you mentioned that the compass has a negligible effect on battery life which counters what I've always heard. I'm not saying that's incorrect I'm just saying it's not what I had in my mind. That's why my compass had always been disabled, I always thought it was a power sink. I don't know for sure, that's why I'm asking about rundown tests.

not the same model, but i assume the compass chip is about the same, if not exactly the same: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=176064

edit: actually nevermind that, the vista doesn't have a 3-axis compass. if i can find a way to hold the batteries in place, i'll repeat the test with my oregon 450.

Edited by dfx

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Well, today, I ran another "test" of a day caching. Started out with half-flush disposable alkalines, and swapped them out when they winked out. Put in a set of Eneloop which I had just pulled off the charger this morning. I went &+ hours with the4 Eneloops and the4y still showed 100% (which I have 0% confidence in) after another 8 hours of caching (15 seconds backlight - Battery Save on). Maybe I CAN live with it..............

 

I would be nonplussed with the battery life, IF I had not used the 60Cx, with which I could hike for 2 DAYS on a single set of disposable alkalines.

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A higher functioning system is going to be harder on the batteries. You're comparing a Mustang against a Beetle.

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That is true, TotemLake. The 62 series does apparently have more "horsepower" than the 60 series. But then again, Garmin touts LONGER battery life for the 62 series.

 

Of course, to continue on the car analogy, the new Corvette gets better mileage than the old ones, and has more HP....... I guess that was what I was hoping was happening with the new 62 series - better efficiency. Apparently not.

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That is true, TotemLake. The 62 series does apparently have more "horsepower" than the 60 series. But then again, Garmin touts LONGER battery life for the 62 series.

 

Of course, to continue on the car analogy, the new Corvette gets better mileage than the old ones, and has more HP....... I guess that was what I was hoping was happening with the new 62 series - better efficiency. Apparently not.

It gets better. Looking at the DeLorme PN series, they learned from their previous designs and the 60 series is much better on the life of the battery set than the 40 was. It's like the new muscle cars of today when comparing the older series of yesteryear; lessons have been learned to make them more efficient, but you still can't beat the mileage a Beetle is capable of without the higher costs. And the older cars simply didn't have the feature sets the newer cars have. Simplicity has its advantages. The big question comes down to what frills are you willing to give up to get back to that one single design feature you want. For me, giving up on feature sets are not part of my end game.

Edited by TotemLake

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I guess I was just taking Garmin at their word. They advertise 20 hour battery life for the 62s, and 18 hours for the 60 csx. I ran a 60 series and found their rating farily accurate, and all I was hoping was that their rating for the new 62 series would be accurate too. At least with my unit it is not. I went from 20+ hours on alkaline with the 60, to less than 6 with the 62. Even with the best rechargables I am several factors short of Garmin's 20 hour spec.

 

Don't get me wrong. I love the unit. I love the paperless geocaching, and the ability to load lots more caches into memory. I just want the battery life they advertise. After all, if they advertised 5000 caches, and it really only loaded 2000, folks would be complaining.....

 

Oh well, it looks like it just might be my unit. I will call Garmin support and see what they say. Thanks for the dialog.

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I went from 20+ hours on alkaline with the 60, to less than 6 with the 62. Even with the best rechargables I am several factors short of Garmin's 20 hour spec.

i'd guess that with the 60 series, power usage is pretty much constant no matter how you use it. not so much with the newer units, including the 62. power usage there seems to highly depend on how you use it.

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Yes, you can charge 1, 2, 3, or 4 batteries in the charger. But when I charge more than one, it never terminates, and instead I get the blinking lights. One cell at a time charges perfectly. My Maha will be here soon.

 

Somegeek: I did look at the Lacrosse BC-700, but after reading about the fire issues (with the 900/9009 series, I think), I just couldn't trust it charging unattended.

They actually solved that problem finding an issue with the power supply. I have had my BC-9009 for about 3 months now with no issues. I like it better because you can see how each cell is charging with out pushing any buttons.

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I recently upgraded from a 60cx to a 62s, and I have noticed a much shorter battery life with the 62s. Using DuraCell and Eveready alkaline batteries, I get only 5-6 hours of life out of a set. Backlight 50% set to off at 2 minutes. Anybody else have battery issues with the 62? I could go two days of heavy caching with the old 60, maybe more, on a single set of the same batteries.

 

Yes my 62s eats batteries for breakfast. What is that about? Any further info would be greatly appreciated.

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I've been using a 62S for a few weeks now and have been very pleasantly surprised with it's battery life.

 

Since I'm a battery nut and stumbled across this thread I figured I'd share some of my experiences and the run-down tests I've been running.

 

I used a pair of 2600mah Ni-MH, a pair of generic low self discharge (LSD) 2200mah Ni-MH cells, and a pair of very high quality japanese Duracell 2100mah NiMH cells (they are the famous Sanyo Eneloops rebranded for Duracell and are sometimes dubbed "Duraloops" :lol: )

 

I also used a pair of the PowerGenix NiZn just for shiggles since these cells are designed for high discharge rates such as digital cameras, motor powered toys and so on and actually have a fairly SMALL capacity of about 1500mah. As a trade off, they can produce amazing amounts of current. In fact, that's how I found out my battery load tester, while rated to 30 amps, wasn't CAPABLE of handling even 25 amps lol!!!

 

However, since a GPS uses fairly little current, their benefit is minimized... They also have a shorter cycle lifespan, require a special charger and are now quite expensive. I don't see much of a reason to use this type of battery technology in any GPS. Though feel free to use them in sub-freezing tempuratures since Alkaline and NiMH cells take a HUGE performance hit under 32 degrees F. Frankly, I just use lithiums when it gets cold :)

 

Some information about my testing methods and equipment:

 

I used my LaCrosse BC-9009 (No issues with fires on this model and it's now replaced by the BC-1000) to ensure all the NiMH cells were charged correctly and how much charge capacity they each had. The cells used for testing were all "matched", this means they have VERY similar capacities (I accept no more than 200mah (2%) difference) and discharge curves (meaning they "go dead" at the same time)

 

For the NiZn batteries, I used the standard 4 cell charger provided from PowerGenix. Please note, I read earlier that people were wondering about the chargers for the NiZn batteries, there are TWO MODELS, one will ONLY charge 2 or 4 cells at a time and one can charge 1-4 cells at a time. A quick way to tell the difference between the two is the one that will charge only 2 or 4 at a time will have 2 red LED's on the front, the "one-at-a-time" model has a red and a green LED.

 

I also used only three pair of Energizer alkalines. I really don't use disposable cells, sorry!

 

Each run down test was timed from the moment I turned it on, to the moment the device shut off. I used the 62 normally, navigating both on road and off, tones on, battery saver off, WAAS on, mag. compass on. For the backlight tests, it was set to 'Always on"

 

The Results:

Covering the NiZn cells first, they had somewhat shorter run times than the 2100mah Duracell NiMH, but the difference was only about 1.5 hours give or take a few minutes

 

NiZn 1500mah - 2 runs/each

No BL: 13.9 hours

50% BL: 11.3 hours

100% BL: 7.9 hours

 

Not exactly impressive.

 

The generic and the brand name LSD NiMH cells performed so closely to each other that I'm just going to lump them together :)

 

NiMH (Low Self Discharge) 2100mah - 4 runs/each

No BL: 15.6 Hours

50% BL: 12.9 Hours

100% BL: 9.2 hours

 

Better :) Finally, my high capacity cells...

 

NiMH 2600mah - 2 runs/each

No BL: 19.1 Hours

50% BL: 15.5 Hours

100% BL: 11 hours

 

Excellent :D Last and least, the disposable one's for completeness sake.

 

Alkaline - 1 run/each

No BL: 19.8 hours

50% BL: 14.9 hours

100% BL: 9.1 Hours

 

The backlight was the biggest hit on all these run tests. If you are finding your 62 is eating batteries use the power button to turn off the backlight and leave it off as much as possible if you're in conditions where you have plenty of light. Also, turning off the shaded contours helps greatly with the screen visibility requiring you to use the backlight less.

 

Other things to keep in mind:

- A worn out rechargeable will provide only a fraction of the run time expected despite a "full charge".

- A defective rechargeable cell in a pair will also cut your run time to mear hours or even minutes depending on how bad it is.

- Rechargables don't last forever AND a poor charge makes then die even sooner!

 

A good charger is ALWAYS a worthwhile investment if you use Ni-MH's! My LaCrosse BC-9009 cost almost 50 bucks and the new BC-1000 model pushes 60 on Amazon as of this writing. It's a good sized investment IMHO, but is VERY worth it when your $5 charger is continuously destroying $15 packs of rechargables many hundreds of cycles early while giving you lousy run times. Mine has paid for itself 7 or 8 times over now... TBH, I've lost track lol!!

 

Btw, people also like the PowerEx C9000, I do not. Too hard to use.

 

bcblues, it sounds as if you have a defective 62, I suggest using your warranty...

 

Hope this helps all! Happy Caching!

 

**I know the data here shows alkalines experiencing an exponential drop off in run time, this is not an error despite only a single sample set. This is just the nature of the beast. The more current you try and draw from a disposable battery, the shorter it's life. They are most happy around 100mah draw current and will provide a capacity of nearly 3000mah, unfortunately, even with no backlight, the 62 draws more current than that :D

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Well, today, I ran another "test" of a day caching. Started out with half-flush disposable alkalines, and swapped them out when they winked out. Put in a set of Eneloop which I had just pulled off the charger this morning. I went &+ hours with the4 Eneloops and the4y still showed 100% (which I have 0% confidence in) after another 8 hours of caching (15 seconds backlight - Battery Save on). Maybe I CAN live with it..............

 

I would be nonplussed with the battery life, IF I had not used the 60Cx, with which I could hike for 2 DAYS on a single set of disposable alkalines.

 

The Sanyo Eneloops are the best I've ever used ( 2500 mah-black ) in my 450 and 62S. I use full brightness and 1 min time on both....no battery save. After 10 hours or so the 62S still shows 100%.

The 450 gives out well before the 62S.

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NiMH (Low Self Discharge) 2100mah - 4 runs/each

No BL: 15.6 Hours

50% BL: 12.9 Hours

100% BL: 9.2 hours

 

Better :) Finally, my high capacity cells...

 

NiMH 2600mah - 2 runs/each

No BL: 19.1 Hours

50% BL: 15.5 Hours

100% BL: 11 hours

 

 

Your results are almost exactly what I discovered a few months ago with over two weeks of continuous testing. Although I have the Maha Powerex that you don't seem to like. :) (Note that when comparing the Maha to your LaCrosse, the LaCrosse actually has tested as putting slightly more charge into most batteries, so the Maha has a little less agressive termination circuit)

 

I also found that the compass being turned off appeared to make no discernable difference.

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NiMH (Low Self Discharge) 2100mah - 4 runs/each

No BL: 15.6 Hours

50% BL: 12.9 Hours

100% BL: 9.2 hours

 

Better :) Finally, my high capacity cells...

 

NiMH 2600mah - 2 runs/each

No BL: 19.1 Hours

50% BL: 15.5 Hours

100% BL: 11 hours

 

 

Your results are almost exactly what I discovered a few months ago with over two weeks of continuous testing. Although I have the Maha Powerex that you don't seem to like. :) (Note that when comparing the Maha to your LaCrosse, the LaCrosse actually has tested as putting slightly more charge into most batteries, so the Maha has a little less agressive termination circuit)

 

I also found that the compass being turned off appeared to make no discernable difference.

 

Glad to see my results are in line with what others have also tested :)

 

As for the Maha, I noticed similar results and concluded its a two spire anomaly. Yes, the Maha does have a gentler termination which is pretty much bang on what it SHOULD be for happier, healthier batteries; where the LaCrosse has a rather more aggressive termination than "ideal" as you said. I also found that the difference comes from the very low current "top off" trickle charge the LaCrosse uses post-charging, where the Maha charges and then it's done. When charging at more aggressive rates, "topping off" becomes more nessecary. So, despite the harsher termination, one reason I prefer the LaCrosse is the trickle charge it provides, I just charge at a higher rate with older cells to ensure they terminate properly and then let them "rest" in the charger a few hours after and absorb a nice gentle trickle to ensure they are completly full... Dog, I sound like suck a dork lol! Does it show that battery technology is one of my hobby horses? ;)

 

So, I defiantly wouldn't say I DISLIKE the Maha charger, I had one for a few weeks before returning it and it worked very well! I'm just extremely fiddly when charging and to change the charge rates, perform a refresh cycle, etc had to be done one cell at a time requiring many, MANY button presses lol!!!

 

The LaCrosse just has a far better UI IMHO. The reality of it is, EITHER one is better than ANY cheap charger and their advanced features can make even cheapo rechargables gallop like a stallion while weeding out lame ducks AND rejuvenate older cells to get more life (and thus more savings) out of them :) That's why I always recommend both brands, different folks, different strokes lol!

 

Also agree on the compass making barely two bits of difference in life on the Garmin units; yet on others, *cough*magellen*cough*, it does. So, one of those completeness sake things :)

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