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Wanderer

Battery life on depth finders?

Question

Wanderer

Just can't seem to get much out my batteries. All three that I have right now are the Zeus brand. Gray with a sealed blue top.

I have a charge indicator and charge through it usually.

While running my old FL8, I get about 1 solid day of fishing (10 hours). People say I should get way more - and could if I replace or clean and lube the bearing.

Thinking I wanted to come into the new decade of electronics, I got the ice kit for my Lowrance 522. I ran it this past weekend in the flasher mode, light on bright, and got about 5 hours on each battery.

Is this the best I can expect? I thought with no moving parts the 522 would last much longer. Very disappointed.

Perhaps its the light? Is it the GPS function? Can that be turned off to conserve the battery?

Looking for tips.

Thanks.

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Crusty old Swede

First of all what is the amp-hour rating of your batteries? If you know the current draw of your FL8 you can divide the amp-hour rating by the current draw (in amps) the result will be the running time yoy can expect from your battery when it was new. My guess is your charge indicator may be off so that it looks like you're getting a full charge when you are not. Try hooking your charger directly to your battery and see if that changes anything.

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RedDB76

I have a Zeus as well. I think they are only 7 amp hour batteries. The one that came with my Vex (FL-18) is a 9 amp hour. I can get maybe 20 hours out of my 9 amp hour on my Vexilar, never had to run the Zeus down, so I'm not sure how long the 7 amp would run (theoretically it would be 7/9 of the 9amp hour).

I ran my Eagle FishElite in Canada last year, and it went through batteries faster than I expected - I went through the Zues in a day, and I didn't have the light on bright. If you turn off your GPS, you should be able to double (or less?) your battery life. You can turn it back on when you need it.

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Wanderer

Thanks guys~

I should remember to look at the amp/hour ratings of even the small batteries I buy. I do with boat batteries after all.

Suckered into thinking a $20 batttery is a $20 battery.

I will check the draw of my electronics also. The light on bright was kind of a necessity as I was open holing it. I dimmed it a couple times and it wasn't enough.

The GPS off thing will probably help the most, as long as I can turn it off.

Good fishin!

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CJH

Definitely turn off the GPS. That is a huge juice sucker!!!

Keeping the light off as much as possible will help as well.

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eyebjim

And always carry a extra set of batteries.

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opsirc

strange thing happened on my marcum LX3. the meter claimed the battery was only at 20%. thought the meter was bad, has I used the unit twice and it worked find. Then I notice a cracked in the transformer end. took it apart and found that the two plug-in-ends were not connected. put it back together and works fine. Not sure how it got cracked.

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Wanderer

Definitely turn off the GPS. That is a huge juice sucker!!!

O.K. Clearly I am not a genius when it comes to fishing electronics. I turn them on, adjust for conditions, then fish.

But now my eyes are glazing over while flipping back and forth through the owners manual. I cannot find one spot in there where it lists power consumption rates or simply how to turn the GPS off. Am I blind?????

About the only way I can see to turn off the GPS is to NOT be on a GPS page (split or full), as I was while using the flasher mode only while ice fishing. But I bet it keeps searching anyway.

Ho Hum.

Well, I'll email Lowrance and see if I get a response. Till then, if someone has this knowledge, feel free to chime in!

BTW, Zeus batteries are 7 ah. I'll start looking for 9's

Thanks. Hope to have follow up soon.

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Ed Carlson

I run a FL-20 on a 9 amp Vexilar battery, and I also run a GPS charger as needed for my Garmin Rhino 530 HCX and even a cell phone charger as needed, and on occasion LED lights. I can easily get 2 days from a charge without concern.

That said, it is still best to recharge the battery daily after each use. Try to keep it in a warm place when not in use, avoid storing in a -0 vehicle or shack, it's tough on a battery.

If your running a 7 amp, upgrade to the 9 amp, and keep it well maintained, it should greatly lengthen your use time.

A good "Smart Charger" makes a big difference in battery life, the Vexilar new charger is a great one, it can be placed on the 12 V battery you need charged and walk away for months....no worry's of overcharging. It can be used as a maintenance charger on a ATV/snowmobile/boat/snow blower...ect or anything 12 V.

You might also consider taping 2 12 V gells cells together and jump them to double the storage capacity...just be sure you wire it to have 12 V on the out to the unit. With the 522 this may be the best option as the GPS does up the draw significantly.

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eyebjim

Wanderer,

If you are talking about the H20 you just hold the on button for 3 or 4 seconds and it turns it off.

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delcecchi

Why do you say that the GPS draws lots of current? My handheld runs all day on two AA batteries. Why would the 522 GPS use any more current to listen to satellites?

The big power draw in my opinion is the fancy backlit color display

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RedDB76

I don't recall how to shut off the GPS offhand on my Eagle, I think it was buried in some menu - it should be similar on the Lowrance.

Del - not sure why handhelds last so long - but you are right about the color. I know the color displays take a lot more juice than the B&W. I always likened my GPS to a cell phone that is searching for a signal or roaming. The GPS is constantly searching for satellites and updating, thus it eats through batteries.

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tonkapat

tpically the more accurate a gps is the more power it consumes. The 522 takes more juice and is quite a bit more accurate than an h20. Your gps could be using up to 75% of the total current draw. Should tell u in your manual how much the machine is supposed to draw. My vex goes well over 20 hours on a 7 amp hour battery that is 3 years old. Get your vex checked out and leave the 522 at home.

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walleyewild

Wanderer,

Menu>Menu>System setup> hide gps features,

My 337 draws 700mah when the gps is on, abot 350mah when off.

I can rn the 337 all night on a 9ah battery.

WW

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Wanderer

Sweet! Thanks! Done! gringrin

Page 158 of the manual. I guess hide means turn off. Would be nice if they would mention that for us Rubes. wink

Tonkapat,

I took my Vex apart and cleaned the armature with an alcohol swab and checked over the brushes. I'll probably replace them at the end of this season.

Since that involves soldering, I would rather do it while I don't need it.

Hopefully I pick up some battery life from the cleaning.

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opsirc

I ran my Marcum for two straight days without charging it, before the battery quit on me.

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Wanderer

Sweet! Thanks! Done! gringrin

Page 158 of the manual. I guess hide means turn off. Would be nice if they would mention that for us Rubes. wink

Update:

Tried the 522 yesterday inside a permy with the gps features hidden. The gps was still working. It would lose the signal, then pick it up again. After doing this for several minutes, it finally enabeled the WAAS.

I reset the setting a few times and looked at other options too. No dice.

No word from Lowrance yet either. frown

IT'S OVER!!! Lowrance left me an e-mail stating that I cannot turn the GPS off on the 522. I can hide the features as posted so far but the only ways to get it to run longer is turn the light down lower and bring more/bigger batteries.

Back to some TLC for the VEX. No new Marcum in the budget. frown

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rascalP

Wanderer,

I have a FL8 as well. Where did you find the info on cleaning the unit? I'm not usually afraid of tearing into something to fix it, but I haven't had any problems -- yet. It is a little noisy at times and am wondering if there is any maintenance I can do to keep things smooth. What's involved in what you did?

Thanks for the info.

rascal

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Wanderer

rascalP,

I did some searching on this site and not too terribly long ago someone posted a question about brush replacement. There was a link provided to the Vex website with all the instructions.

It was some of the usual very helpful stuff we can find on here.

Vex info

Let's see how that works. First time for everything.

***********************************************************

Aw right, I suck at that too. laugh

It's in the Ice Fishing Forum titled Vex brush replacement dated 2/2/09. http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1740927/1

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rascalP

wanderer,

Thanks for the info. I'll look into it.

rascal

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