SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

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warrenaw
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SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby warrenaw » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:56 pm

Something to look out for with the SDC2300 is what type of battery you use. Went to Victoria with the rechargeable NIMH batteries in my machine. I did NOT take the charger, since I was worried that the baggage hurlers at MEL and DPO airports could destroy the fragile thing. Wasn't worried, since my intention was to buy a set or two of Alkaline C cells. Handbook says to use either. I figured that since a set of 4000mAH NIMH batteries were good for about 6 or more hours, then a set of Alkaline batteries should be good for 9 or so hours.(capacity of them is typically 7,800mAH). Took a set of Varta batteries with me anyway. After exhausting the rechargables, I used the Varta's . Lasted about 1 1/2 hours! Was in the bush, and paid well over the odds and a long drive for a set of Energizers, which also lasted about 1 1/2 hours. Ruined a day in Victoria's Blackwood alluvial workings. Eventually had the use of a friends charger and the NiMh batteries were good for 6 hours. I assumed there must be a bad voltage regulator and was worried something may have been a bit 'cooked' in the detector.
Rang up Minelab when back in Tassie, and was assured over the phone something was wrong, and was told to send the machine to them under warranty. Did so, and it was soon returned with the comment on the service people's report that 1.5 to 2 hrs is the norm for Alkaline batteries, in spite of their greater capacity. No doubt related to the difference in voltage between the types of the batteries.

Just sincerely wish that there was a warning about this in Minelab's little handbook or on the website. Makes operating using Alkaline about $8 an hour. I've just purchased an extra set of NIMH to keep in my backpack.

Hope this might save someone else a little anguish in the field and a few dollars too!

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mfdes
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby mfdes » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:44 pm

Hey Warren,

I've used alkalines two or three times in the past and they lasted me longer than the NiMH ones. If you were out in the sticks, is there a chance that the batteries had been sitting on the shop shelf for ages? I can't see why they'd last so little.

Miguel

warrenaw
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby warrenaw » Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:34 pm

You experienced what I would have expected.
Both Alkaline sets (Varta from Bunnings,and Energizer from IGA) were expiry dated 2026, so they must have been new. Each gave the same result. Today, I have run an experiment and measured the current drain with both types. At 4.8V (NiMh) and 6.4V (Alk) the current drain is fixed at 550mA. I fiddled an extra Alk battery in series to prove the point, getting the voltage to 7.9v. Still 550mA. Regulator must be working fine.

Doesn't say much for the quality of fresh batteries from either manufacturer. Which brand were you using, Miguel?
Perhaps this experience is reflected in the comments from Minelab service dept.

Quoting from the Minelab service report. ...

Repair description : "No Repair/Customer misunderstanding."
'Detector with ALK batts, Detector will not run long on these batteries, 1.5-2 hours is the norm."

drystone
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby drystone » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:32 pm

curious discrepancy between the NiMH rechargeables and alkaline single use batteries.
From the user guide, there is nothing to suggest that there would be any difference in performance, but possibly a cautionary tale from Warren.
I will make a purchase of a second set of NiMH batteries (with broad male terminals) to act as insurance when out bush!
cheers,
Drystone

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mfdes
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby mfdes » Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:28 pm

Hi Warren,

I purchased them at a small IGA in the goldfields. I don't recall the brand, but I have a vague mental image of Duracells. Who knows.
I've now got three sets of re-chargables and it serves me well for most trips.

Miguel

Dazza
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby Dazza » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:53 am

Thanks for letting us know about these ,As I was wondering if you could use the standard batteries in the SDC ,I'm heading back to the mainland Boxing Day for my annual trip for 3 weeks again I think I'll Buy a new set of SDC rechargeables from Coilteck that way I know I'll be ok.

warrenaw
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby warrenaw » Sat Nov 19, 2016 7:39 pm

I am using Mr Kogan's pack of 4 x 'C' lithium ion batteries. They claim 4000mA, which seems about right. 6hrs use or so at least. SDC uses about 550ma.
$35 posted is a fair price, I reckon.
Some of the Chinese 'C' rechargables on Ebay claim higher capacity than even the big manufacturers have for their most expensive 'C' batteries, so I reckon its a fairly good idea to steer clear of them. If they leak in your detector, it would be a horrible event.

One thing I learnt from this debacle is that Codan, which is a highly respected two way radio manufacturer among other things, based in South Australia seem to be Minelab's service people. At least the email address of people at minelab service dept ends in codan.com.au.
Hmmmm.

drystone
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby drystone » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:47 pm

I have just purchased an 8-pack of rechargeables for the SDC.
"Floureon" brand, USA company, made in China, $38 delivered off ebay.
Have smallish male terminal so will see if they cause any "restart" issues but will let you know in a couple of weeks how they perform
Attachments
rechargeable C batteries.jpg

warrenaw
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby warrenaw » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:44 am

That's a real brand. Even exist in Argentina! Looking forward to seeing how they performed for you. Since the load is well regulated in the 2300. IE doesn't change regardless of what you do, a quick (relativelyl) test would be to just leave it running and see when it conks out.
Best of luck. If its good, there will be an extra hr to 1 1/2 hr life out of them compared to the 4000 mA batteries.

Met your neighbor at the Dr Rocks PMAT meeting. Asked him to pass on greetings from Port Sorell!

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mfdes
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Re: SDC2300 batteries. Look out!

Postby mfdes » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:26 am

If any of you have the 'restart' problem in the SDC, here's how I got around fixing it:

I picked a piece of bracken fern, snapped a piece of stem to fit the length of the battery compartment, and then whittled it with the penknife to fit the little triangle of space between the batteries. It is snug but not tight, can be easily inserted and withdrawn, and keeps the batteries perfectly still in the compartment. I haven't had it restart once since I did this a year ago.
Best of all, it's done using locally available materials :-)

Miguel

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