How to store Rugged PDA Batteries

30 05 2012

So you have bunch of Rugged PDA’s but you’re not going to be using them for a while.  They’re rugged right?  You can just stick them on a shelf, lock the door and leave them for a few months right?…….Wrong!

People often forget that rugged equipment still have the same resisters, capacitors and chips at heart and electronic equipment still needs to be treated right.  If you want to put your equipment to bed for a few months then following a few simple instructions will make sure the batteries they come with are fresh, capable and ready to be used when you need the devices once again. Here’s what you do:

Charge your batteries….but not too much!

But we’re not using them I hear you cry!  Well Lithium ION batteries do not like being empty and whilst charging them fully sounds like a good idea, this also puts pressure on the battery.  Li-ION batteries actually have a very slow background discharge rate.  So charge them to about 40% and the chances are in the months ahead they’ll still have charge in them which keeps them working well.

Disconnect the battery

I know it’s nice and easy to leave the battery connected in the Rugged Handheld.  However you ideally want to leave the batteries stacked with nothing potentially draining their circuits.  Even though the PDA’s might be off, anything connected to the battery terminals can drain them and actually can risk shorting them out too.

Storage conditions

Batteries have unbelievably different characteristics depending on the climate they’re being used int. Even within their stated usage temperature limits, capacity can change radically, well over 50% in some cases.  If you store your batteries in conditions that are too hot or cold then they will get damaged, if they get wet then they will definitely get damaged, IP ratings don’t apply to batteries!!  It is also amazing what temperatures a top shelf in a cupboard can get to and actually even in the UK, the winters are getting so bad now that they are really messing up battery life if not looked after. Just make sure they are safe and sound.

Lastly some proof

How storing batteries can be damaging

How storing batteries can be damaging

This chart was copied form the Battery University and shows just how heat and charge level can permanently damage a stored battery.

In the next blog we’ll continue looking at batteries with a look at typical battery issues and what to do about them.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Rugged PDA Battery Condition

28 05 2012
Rugged PDA Batteries need looking after... We'll show you how

Rugged PDA Batteries need looking after… We’ll show you how

We’re looking at batteries this week, with some tips on how to get the best out of your Rugged PDA Batteries, what to do if they fail, how to check if they really are dead, Storing them properly and lastly how to create and effective battery strategy for your Rugged handheld deployment.

We’ll start today looking at how to get the best out of your rugged PDA batteries.

Test properly

Batteries are an empirical process to get right. Don’t rely on Loan kit, the batteries can be too, too old and the history of them is unknown and they can simply be way below their best.  Buy a battery yourself and test.  There are so many areas that can be at fault and different users will use different aspects of a device.  Also always check the software on the device.  Is it closing that GPS or 3G connection down properly?  Is the screen dimming when not in use? If not it can zap the battery in minutes!

First Charge

Li-ION batteries need a good few cycles to get them working up to 100%.  So always charge them fully before dishing them out to users. They need 3 or 4 full charges to get them going usually.

Size selection

We have a great post here about the pro’s and cons of larger batteries, but in a nutshell, you’ll get the best life and performance out of a larger battery.  Always ask your reseller what comes with the device, if you can swap the standard one in the box and if there are larger options.

Lithium ION is dead, long live Lithium Polymer

Li-POL is actually a Li-ION technology but made denser so that you can pack a bigger punch in a smaller capacity.  Made popular by the iPhone and iPad which has them monstrous struggle of powering all those juicy radios and Retina Displays they really are great and we’re seeing some rugged handhelds now use them too.

Charge Often!

It’s very rare to see Rugged PDA’s without a Li-ION battery these days and the myths that you here around battery memory are gone these days and only apply to the older Ni-CAD ones that are now banned in Europe. To Keep a Li-ION happy, charge it!  Charge it often, keep it topped up and don’t let them drain to 0% which can damage the battery or put it into a Safe mode.

Only use good decent chargers, I can’t stress this enough. £5 chargers off Ebay are false economy, we sell lovely inexpensive chargers here that are designed for Rugged PDA battery charging so you have no excuse!  Dirty chargers will not only damage batteries but they can damage the main boards too over time.

Also beware USB of any kind as this will at best only deliver a trickle charge into a PDA.  it might not be enough to get your PDA’s going in the morning if drained to 0%.

We’ll continue with the battery theme tomorrow…

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Rugged Mobile Printer Showdown – Zebra QL320+ Vs Woosim WSP-i350

23 05 2012
The Woosim WSP-i350 - Smaller, Lighter, Cheaper....Sounds like it's better?

The Woosim WSP-i350 – Smaller, Lighter, Cheaper….Sounds like it’s better?

So we’re continuing our Mobile printer theme this week by looking at probably one of the most popular choices in the durable mobile printer class, the Zebra QL320 and one of the best Zebra QL320 alternatives we sell at the moment.  At first glance the Woosim WSP-i350 seems to be the “budget” mobile printer alternative, but when you delve deeper it actually has far more up its sleeve than just price.  It’s actually far better in our humble opinion in many areas.  We’ll point out all the pro’s and cons right here for you to help you choose.

Features

WSP-i350 isn't too shabby on features!

WSP-i350 isn’t too shabby on features!

In Use

To be honest the SDK of the WSP-i350 is so easy to use that we binned writing our own in favour of just writing a few decent helper documents for customers, it’s really easy working in both image and fast print modes and direct manufacturer help is usually only a few hours away at most.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with the Windows MObile, CE or Android ones, they just work really well.  The Woosim WSP-i350′s are also our demo printers that have been sat at shows and here in our demo lounge for days and they simply don’t falter.  The BT connection works, they print and they work.  We spent far more time setting up the proprietary Zebra SDK’s.

50mm paper roll in both devices - 50mm is larger than many rivals give you, the Zebra QL320+ gives a bit more.

50mm paper roll in both devices – 50mm is larger than many rivals give you, the Zebra QL320+ gives a bit more.

Service

WoosimCare is delivered from right here in the UK, its quick, it’s inexpensive and it’s awesome. Service and repair has changed and despite being the less expensive mobile printer this is where Woosim printers really score against the Zebra QL320+.

Proper Rugged! - String, thick, metal rollers don;t break like QL320+ ones do!

Proper Rugged! – String, thick, metal rollers don’t break like QL320+ ones do!

Rugged Mobile Printers in a nutshell.

OK, so the QL320+ still does a few things better.  It will handle a larger paper roll, but this also makes the size and weight of the device much more.  It also has more RAM and flash but the RISC 32Bit CPU in the WSP-i350 in our opinion evens that out a bit.  100 V 80 mm per second print speed will not make any difference to most users.  The 3″ mobile printer market is hard fought but if you want something different, something really decent and something with great service, expertise and support behind it then  the Woosim WSP-i350 is really a very hard package to beat.

Times are changing, and whilst there are still a few areas the Zebra still wins (Paper roll size, Battery size) you only have to look at the Rugged PDA market to know that things will change.  There really are very few reasons why you’d buy a Zebra QL320.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





There’s more to life than Zebra Printers!

21 05 2012
There really is more to life than Zebra when it comes to Rugged Mobile Printers.

There really is more to life than Zebra when it comes to Rugged Mobile Printers.

Wow, first Man City win the Premiership title, then Chelsea win the Champions league.  It’s a bad time to be a liverpool fan (like us!!) but it just shows that all good things come to an end and new teams or products will eventually catch up and often surpass the leaders!  In line with our current theme looking at Mobile Printers, we’re going to take a step up from the “budget” class and look at more Rugged Mobile Printers.  Now some of these printers aren’t officially rugged, some are but the important thing to do is notice what else on the market there is.  There really is more to life than Zebra when it comes to mobile receipt printing!!

Features

Need a plain old Rugged Receipt Printer - There's more to life than Zebra now!

Need a plain old Rugged Receipt Printer – There’s more to life than Zebra now!

Service

WoosimCare is delivered from right here in the UK, its quick, it’s inexpensive and it’s awesome. Datamax we’re hoping to take on soon and Zebra uses a manufacturer lead service.  This is where Woosim printers will really score on service and price against the Zebra.

Rugged Mobile Printers in a nutshell.

You want the cheapest rugged mobile receipt printing on the market without compromising on quality then the Woosim WSP-i450 is very hard to beat.

You want a better known brand, still with great quality then go for the Datamax Apex series.  Great brand, great products and for those who aren’t ready for the east just yet these offer the best alternative.

Times are changing, and whilst there are a few areas the Zebra range still excel with (Paper roll size, Battery size) you only have to look at the Rugged PDA market to know that things will change.  There really are very few reasons why you’d buy a Zebra QL320 or Zebra RW420 now.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Mobile Receipt Printer Showdown – Woosim Vs Zebra EM220?

16 05 2012
The World is a changing - at least in the Budget Mobile Receipt Printer Market!`

“The World is a changing…” – at least in the Budget Mobile Receipt Printer Market!

Yesterday we looked at Rugged Printers from Woosim and today we’re continuing our Mobile Printer theme by comparing what Woosim offer against the industry incumbent Zebra EM220 Printer.

Now Zebra have a smaller range when it comes to the budget end with only their EM220 sitting at the bottom of the pile.  Woosim have at least 3 printers that are comparable in the WSP-R240 and their Porti Series.

Features

Now let’s be clear all these printers do the basics and they do them well.  So if you want to read all about the deep technical differences then the spec sheets are the best place for you to go but they do all the basics the same.  Here we’re going to pick out the main features which is what most people are looking at when buying at this level of mobile printer.

Woosim V Zebra EM200 - No Contest!

Woosim V Zebra EM200 – No Contest!

Service

WoosimCare is delivered from the UK, its awesome, just ask our customers!

Woosim Budget Range in a nutshell.

You want the cheapest mobile printer on the market then go fo the Porti S30 (30mm Paper roll) or S40 (40mm paper roll).

You want a budget mobile receipt printer with tonnes of features and high spec that’s almost semi-rugged then go for the Porti SM Series.

You want something semi rugged, brand new, then the WSP-R240 is a superb printer that’s just a bit more rugged by design.

You can even go for the Woosim WSP-i250 that’s IP54, fully rugged and in fact with MSR and BT options is still cheaper than the EM220.

Times are changing, you only have to look at the Rugged PDA market to know that.  There really is no reason now why you’d buy a Zebra EM220.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.








%d bloggers like this: