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GPS Battery Life - Long Cycling Trip


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I'm leaving on a multiple thousand Km cycling trip on the 1st of July, joining my dad who is currently doing a cross-Canada journey. I'm planning on bringing my GPS along, of course, to track our route as well as find some caches in the different provinces.

What suggestions would other forum users have for battery life and which batteries to use?

I was thinking of bring 6 AA rechargeables to power my Dakota20, as well as a charger that can charge 4 batteries at a time. How well would this work? Suggestions?

I'm trying to pack light too, so I didn't think Alkaline AA's would be a very good option.

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Most of the time you don't need backlight, set this to auto off 30 secomds or.

Be sure you charger works good with the Eneloops and will indeed recharge them completely overnight.

6 batteries should be enough to cover about 48 hours, when riding very long straight stretches you can

alway set the Gps off.

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Since you're going to be using your batteries shortly after charging, I'd suggest NOT going with Eneloop-style low-discharge cells, but rather buying the highest-capacity regular NiMH cells you can find. Regular cells have higher capacity. That's IF you're willing to carry a charger.

 

I assume weight is important. You may want to leave the charger behind and simply buy new disposable AAs whenever you need them. This is what I do when I travel internationally; I like to go light light light. Carrying that to the extreme, lithium AAs last forever but have a price to match. (I stick with alkalines, which are available in every corner store on the planet.)

 

Set your unit to Battery Saver mode, of course.

 

PS: On wilderness trips, I've found 2 sets of tired old AA NiMH standard cells would last me a full week in my 60CSx in Battery Saver mode, with the unit running perhaps half the time while I'm moving around during the day.

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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Interestingly enough, I just tested out a brand new set of four Eneloop AA rated at 2400 mAh. These are black in color. I'm leaving for Yellowstone in a few days and was curious how long they might last. I topped them off in my LaCrosse charger. I put two in my Oregon 450 and the other two in my Oregon 300. I set them both on the table on the back patio with the same settings, clear view of the sky. No back light, record track log in Auto mode, compass in auto mode. Just my normal hiking settings. Oh, and the 450 was connected to a tempe sensor as well. The 450 gave the low battery warning at just over 18 hours. My 300 still has one full bar left and 18 and a half hours and counting. Don't know if this helps. I think these will be adequate for my hiking. I'm sure I won't get quite this much out of them when I'm out hiking going from clear view of the sky to tree cover, etc. Also, I'll be looking at the screen now and then (my test didn't use the battery saver mode, i.e. the screen was on the trip manager the entire time) and not just sitting. But I'm thinking I should get at least 12 or so under normal hiking conditions. We'll see.

 

And in case anyone cares, the 300 stopped at 19hrs 24 mins.

Edited by GeoDigger1222
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Thank you for all the replies!

 

Looking at the rechargeables I have right now, I have 5 2300mAh Energizers, 5 2000mAh Energizers, and 4 2500mAh Energizers(older,don't seem to work well in GPS).

I was thinking to bring 4 2300mAh ones and a pair of 2000mAh batteries, would this be a good decision? I don't really know why I only have 5 of each...

I'd rather go with rechargeables, and I do have a lightweight charger.

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Since you're going to be using your batteries shortly after charging, I'd suggest NOT going with Eneloop-style low-discharge cells, but rather buying the highest-capacity regular NiMH cells you can find. Regular cells have higher capacity. That's IF you're willing to carry a charger.

 

 

Well I've used 'high capacity NiMh' cells in the past, but my Eneloops still beat them hands down ...

 

+1 here. My Colorado was buggy on the high capacity NiMh's as well. Traded my 2600 mAh batteries for 2000 mAh Eneloops and it stopped crashing (!).

Now that I'm running an eTrex 30 I can easily take 8 batteries to last a week long canoe trip, paddling 8 hours a day. Mind you I carry a solar charger too .....

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Probably overkill for what you have planned but as I do a bit touring by bicycle I use a SON dynamo in combination with a PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable which is used to charge my GPS, phone, iPad etc when touring, often for days between power supply points.

 

IMG_30561.jpg?resize=550%2C412

 

Another option is a decent battery powerpack such as those marketed by PowerTraveller or the like. I suggest checking out Crazy Guy On A Bike or the touring forum at Bike Forums. Lots of bicycle touring experience in these places.

 

Regards

Andrew

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Since you're going to be using your batteries shortly after charging, I'd suggest NOT going with Eneloop-style low-discharge cells, but rather buying the highest-capacity regular NiMH cells you can find. Regular cells have higher capacity. That's IF you're willing to carry a charger.

 

I assume weight is important. You may want to leave the charger behind and simply buy new disposable AAs whenever you need them. This is what I do when I travel internationally; I like to go light light light. Carrying that to the extreme, lithium AAs last forever but have a price to match. (I stick with alkalines, which are available in every corner store on the planet.)

 

Set your unit to Battery Saver mode, of course.

 

PS: On wilderness trips, I've found 2 sets of tired old AA NiMH standard cells would last me a full week in my 60CSx in Battery Saver mode, with the unit running perhaps half the time while I'm moving around during the day.

 

I've decided to go with your advice and stick with regular Alkaline AA's. I can pack 10 of them in the place of a charger, and know that I do not need to constantly charge them every time we reach a destination with an outlet.

 

Leaving tomorrow morning, cycling for 19 days from Ottawa to Halifax, will be fun!

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When I did my 2,000 mile bike ride in 2005, I used Alkalines all the way. Always easy to buy, I would just buy 8 of them at Dollar General (or Walmart, etc) for around $2 and usually got 3 days use out of the 8 batteries. Using a recharger just adds stress to your tour in my opinion.

 

You don't want to use power saving modes and such, they can mess up your track. Just turn off the backlight except when you need it.

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I'll disagree. I'm starting to use Battery Saver mode all the time now on my 60CSx, even for finding caches where precision counts. Even in that mode, I'm getting low EPEs and finding the hides.

 

I wouldn't be too worried if my track log on a highway shows me in the opposite lanes from time to time. Zoomed out, you wouldn't even know the difference.

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Probably overkill for what you have planned but as I do a bit touring by bicycle I use a SON dynamo in combination with a PedalPower+ Super-i-Cable which is used to charge my GPS, phone, iPad etc when touring, often for days between power supply points.

 

IMG_30561.jpg?resize=550%2C412

 

Another option is a decent battery powerpack such as those marketed by PowerTraveller or the like. I suggest checking out Crazy Guy On A Bike or the touring forum at Bike Forums. Lots of bicycle touring experience in these places.

 

Regards

Andrew

 

If you're swinging by Bike Forums also take a look at the Randonneuring and Ultracycling areas. People are there are doing anything from a 200km ride (where a single set of AA batteries will work unless you're quite slow) to 1200+km rides with limited rest stops. When randonneuring you get a minimum average speed to maintain and you don't get extra time allowance for sleep stops. For a 1330km ride IIRC you have to maintain 13.3kph so you get 100 hours. If you want to spend any of those 100 hours sleeping you have to move faster for the hours you're awake to make up for lost time. So if you're using a GPS you have to consider battery life as well as what charging options you may have.

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