Batteries for GPS

Doug

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May 9, 2006
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I have a Garmin gpsmap 60cx and I try and use rechargeables with it. I haven engergizer 2200mAh batteries, but I don't think I get more than 3-4 hours out of them. For those of you that use a handheld gps, what batteries do you use and how long do they last?

thanks
 

Astoriadave

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Astoria, Oregon, USA
Doug said:
I have a Garmin gpsmap 60cx and I try and use rechargeables with it. I have energizer 2200mAh batteries, but I don't think I get more than 3-4 hours out of them. For those of you that use a handheld gps, what batteries do you use and how long do they last?
My 60C (not a CX) goes at least a couple 6-hour paddling days on a pair of 2500 mAh NiMH batteries, more typically three such days, IIRC.

Are you using NiMH batteries? Have you told the GPS what type of batteries you have in it? [Setup>System>Battery Type] Rechargeables put out less voltage than alkalines, so it may be saying the batteries are out of juice when they are not.

Don't have the specs for a CX here, but the manual claims a 60C will get 30 hours on a pair of alkaline AA's. What does the manual say for a 60CX? MIght be that a CX draws more current. Also might be that your usage requires the GPS to "hunt" more for satellites, which might draw down the batteries more [not my area of expertise -- so I could be way off base here!!].
 

Kermode

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Jun 8, 2007
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Info. only taken from Garmin's publicity brochure so maybe not as detailed as the manual etc...
GPS60 - 28 hrs, GPSMap60 - 28hrs, GPSMap60Cx & CSx- 18hrs.
from 2xAA batteries though it doesn't indicate type. Seems to tie in with what Dave is indicating.
 

rider

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Rayovac rechargables actually do pretty good for me. i think they're 2200mah too and they seem to last ~5-6 hours on a FULL charge in my Magellan explorist.
 

Mark_Schilling

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I have a Garmin GPSMap60 and a Map 76S, plus a Magellan SporTrak Map and a few others. On most of the Garmin's, you can disable WAAS. If you're in a steep fjord or in the bush, you might want WAAS on - but on the water you'll probably get better than 3-4m accuracy even with WAAS off, which saves battery life considerably. Might be something to try out. I usually get a couple of full (7-8 hour) paddling days between changing 2500mAH NIMH batteries on my Map60.
 

Doug

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i did some poking around on the net and found out what might be some useful info. Most of what I learned was from the groundspeak forums, which is a geocaching site. The people that frequent groundspeak use the gpsmap units a lot.

The basic understanding I have is that the energizers are crap. I wasn't the only person getting sub-6hr runs on the batteries. Their voltage curves drop very fast and their charger is sub-optimal. The conclusion that most people come to is that Powerex, Eneloop (Sanyo) and Rayovac recharcheables are far superior. The 2500mAh Powerex batteries lasted the longest. The Eneloop 2100mAh batteries last almost as long as the Powerex and they hold the charge the longest (storage). The Powerex batteries hold the charge almost as long as the Eneloop, and Powerex make good chargers. I think the Rayovac Hybrids are about the same as the Eneloop. With these batteries people were getting 17-20hrs on the 60cx. Eneloop is sold at The Source. Powerex is probably webstore, and I don't know where to get the Rayovacs. Eneloop is now making something like a 2500mAh and 2700mAh battery, and their information seems to indicate that as the mAh increase, the charge lasts longer but the storage life isn't as good.

Some links I collected are:
http://shop.mahaenergy.com/store/viewitem.asp?idproduct=405
http://www.eneloop.ca/eneloop_en_products.html
http://www.steves-digicams.com/nimh_batteries.html#chargers
http://www.epinions.com/content_309637189252

And one guy's mini review:
I use my Garmin GPSmap 60CSX all the time and am constantly on the search for the best batteries for it. I had started using Energizer rechargables, but that was a disaster. Right out of the charger they did well, but more than a few days on the shelf and they lasted less than 3 hours. On recommendations in this forum I then bought the MAHA Powerex 2700s and have been very happy with them - good shelf life and run for a very long time. Then I saw people here recommending the Sanyo eneloop 2000s so decided to give them a try. Also a good battery with very respectable run-time. Out of curiosity, I decided to test the batteries. Here are the results:

Powerex 2700 straight out of the charger - lasted 22hours, 13 Minutes
Powerex 2700 after sitting on the shelf for a month - lasted 18 hours, 15 minutes
eneloop 2000 straight out of the charger - lasted 17 hours, 53 minutes
eneloop 2000 after sitting on the shelf for a month - lasted 15 hours, 7 minutes

(this was done in Normal GPS mode, WAAS off and compass on, although the unit was vertical most of the time so the compass was probably disabled automatically.)

As you can see, the Powerex beats the eneloop, both have respectible times both off the shelf and out of the charger. As far as I can tell, the only real difference is that the eneloop is only 2000 mAh and the Powerex is 2700 mAh. If Sanyo makes a 2700 mAh eneloop, it will give powerex a run for its money.

Either way, both are good batteries and the advantage of the eneloop is that you can find them in most stores, I have only been able to get Powerex through mail order.

Brian

P.S. In addition to Energizers, I have also tried Duracell and Sony rechargables, with similar results to the energizers.
 

Dave_Barrie

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Jan 23, 2005
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As was said, make sure your unit is set for NiMH batteries. I'm using a 76CSX and can go a full weekend on a set of batteries no problem. I've got a bunch of different types, almost suprizingly the ones that seem to work the best are Radio Shack branded ones - they're a copper colour.

I haven't tried the enerloop ones yet, but their big advantage is supposed to be that they don't drain when stored. Could be an important factor if you're taking a bunch on an extended trip. But better yet, just get a solar charging setup :p
 

midtoad

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Sep 18, 2007
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Calgary
MEC has some new rechargeables by Panasonic that retain up to 80% of their charge for 6 months, unlike other NiMH ones that lose 1% daily. I use those in a Legend Cx and get days of use with them.
 

Mr Smith

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Dec 4, 2007
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BC
We bring LOTS of AA batterys, and only use GPS's that takes AA's.

Batterys are a big issue when we go out on long trips 10-15 days. We would be toast without a working GPS. Charts and compasses are nice and fun, but in todays world a map and compass just isn't realistic navigating in unfamiliar areas, esp in fog/crappy weather. At least not for us.

We use 2 different Garmin Units with Bluechart. The Etrex Legend C is made for 2 AA batterys - thats the main reason we got it. Its a great low-cost unit and Bluechart loads by CD.

Our other GPS is a Garmin Rhino 530. The Rhino comes with a L-ion rechargeable battery thats pure BS - won't last 24 hours. The Rhino's saving grace is the "optional" AA battery pack that holds 4 AA's.

we found good GPS prices at http://www.gpscity.ca/ - and next day delivery.

Here is pics of both:



 
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