Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Feel the Power!

For two years, my DeLorme PN-60 GPS has accompanied me on many of the hikes I have taken.  Any time one of my posts shows the track of my hike, that track was captured by my trusty PN-60.  It has been a reliable and valuable piece of gear.  My only complaint has been the battery life (and the fact that I can't clip the GPS to my pack belt.)  I bought a DeLorme rechargeable battery for it, the only one approved by the manufacturer, but the charge only lasts about 5-7 hours in the field.

Enter the CabBat Rechargeable battery!  I learned about this last week on the DeLorme forums, and it got rave reviews by people using it.  Most people were reporting 13-17 hours of charge in the field.  I decided to order one, and it came yesterday.  I cannot wait to try it out on a nice, long hike!  If it works as advertised, it is the only battery I will need for a day hike.  For a backpacking trip, I'll need to bring along some extra double AA lithium batteries if I want to have the GPS on during the entire hike, but that is OK.  13 hours is a huge improvement, and it might even last longer than that.

Because the battery is slightly fatter than other batteries, you need to shave the "ribs" in the back cover of the GPS so that the cover will be water-tight.  The photos on their web page were hard for me to interpret, so I asked the company that makes the batteries about it, and they clarified what had to be shaved away with a sharp knife.  I've included my own photo of this, and circled the points in red, green, and pink that need to be shaved down.  By the way, the company has been great to deal with on this, promptly answering any of my questions by email, and shipping the battery the day after I placed the order (which was done in the evening).  I got it on the second business day after shipping, and they even threw in a digital battery charger (my new CabBat battery gets recharged right in the GPS, by the way).

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