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.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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