Mar 11, 2011 at 9:58 am #1270383
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
I just got this item and have yet to use it in the field. It seems to be much improved from what I read about earlier models, and will save me an ounce-and-a-half over my Timberline filter.
I read much, here on BPL, about removing the batteries when not in use. When I unpacked the unit there was a plastic "disk" to block the circuit and keep the batteries from discharging. If I keep using the disk is this sufficient to keep the batteries from fading?
I have glued a piece of fiberglass rod to the battery cover thumb screw to aid in removing the cover, so it's not that big a deal to store the batteries separately if that's the best thing to do. But I'd rather not have to install and remove the batteries every time I use the device.
What's your experience?Mar 11, 2011 at 10:05 am #1707450
Yes, the little plastic bit keeps the circuit "open" and would prevent any potential drain during storage. Probably a prudent step, in case the issue hasn't been completely corrected by SteriPEN. (I've always done this with flashlights that have switches that can inadvertently switch on in a pack.)
RickMar 11, 2011 at 10:17 am #1707451
"What's your experience?"
I have the old Adventurer — the one with metal sensors. I NEVER bother removing the batteries in between uses. No noticeable leaks — even after 3-4 months of storage.
And in my 7-month RTW trip in 2009 when I used my Steripen regularly, 3 sets of CR123's were all that was needed (actually 2.5 sets since the last set still had juice left upon my return).
EDIT: I am really beginning to think that the "auto discharge" problem lies in the rechargeable batteries themselves — and not in the Steripen circuitry. My batteries were Energizer Lithium batteries — non-rechargeable — and again, I just haven't found "auto discharge" a problem at all with my Energizer batts.Mar 11, 2011 at 10:52 am #1707479
To quote Roger's Opti review:
"First of all, many of the older Adventurer units had a rather high 'off-state' current drain, of about 600 micro-amps. This meant that storing the unit with the batteries in place for a few weeks could make a bit of a dent in the battery capacity. It was not unknown for people to go to use their Adventurer during a trip only to find that the batteries were flat. It turns out (according to Hydro-Photon, the makers), that the 'off-state' current drain was never meant to be anywhere near that high: it should have been only a tenth of that."
The rub is that "many" which implies "some, but not all." For a specific unit, it's not hard to test for anybody who owns a multimeter and wants definitive data.
RickMar 11, 2011 at 10:55 am #1707482
In that case, if I were a recent buyer, I would go to the nearest Radio Shack (or equivalent) and do a quick test. I strongly suspect that Hydro Photon has fixed the "unexpected" problem — but if there is a high leak, I would sooner return/exchange the unit — then deal with reversing/swapping out batteries for as long as I own the darn thing…Mar 11, 2011 at 11:29 am #1707498
Agreed, far better to know than to fret.
RickMar 11, 2011 at 11:54 am #1707506
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Roger Caffin did some testing with the newer model and reported better battery life.
I use a simple strip of paper under the battery compartment cover to prevent discharging. I like the idea of a plastic disk– you could cut one from a recycled container or use a plastic washer.
Basically, any device using batteries should be stored for long terms should have the batteries removed. I've seen a lot equipment damaged due to battery leakage.Mar 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm #1707554
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> any device using batteries should be stored for long terms should have the batteries removed.
My thoughts exactly.
CheersMar 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm #1707558
Ditto 2 — although I was referring to cases where battery drainage seems excessive and quick — as in a week or two. Definitely not the norm — not for non-chargeable lithiums.Apr 13, 2012 at 8:59 pm #1867087
I was puzzled that my infrequently used steripen indicator light turned red when immersed in water.
I emailed SteriPen "I replaced the batteries and remedied the problem, yet the old batteries were only used for maybe 50 treatments and register "good" on a battery checker. Is something wrong with my pen?"
Reply from SterPen: "You can expect up to 50 1L treatments of purified water per set of batteries. Although the batteries may have enough electrical pressure (voltage), the capacity of the battery is depleted. The battery tester may only be testing if there is sufficient voltage without resistive a load, and is giving a false positive."
So, as I read things : (1)if your pen's light turn red when you put it in water, change batteries, (2) take the batteries out of your pen when you aren't on the trail, and (3) don't rely on a voltmeter to decide whether to reuse your batteries.
It is unfortunate that the people who make these gadgets can't include plain-English instructions with them.Apr 14, 2012 at 7:54 am #1867152
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
I love my Steripen Journey but when I asked a question I got a response that may as well have come off the box, rather than a precise, true answer to my exact question. And it came several MONTHS later!
I think the customer service folks don't have real-world experience with their products – hence the inadequate responses. Too bad, since it's a great product.
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