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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Sportident Unit Batteries

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Jul 12, 2017 7:21 AM # 
I am about to raise an order for batteries for Orienteering Queensland.

My question is - SAFT 14250 battteries are supplied with the conventional nipple/dimple terminals, axial connectors or U-Tags - Are the U-Tag terminals long enough to solder into an SI unit, or should I stick to the axial form of battery? Availability in Australia is greater in the U-Tag form -
Jul 12, 2017 5:18 PM # 
Been there, tried that - and can not recommend U-Tags. The length is sufficient, but the flat metal strip needs to be twisted by 90 degrees to lie flat to allow being soldered to the board - and this creates a non-bendable strip which can cause stress to the board (and the person assembling the stations).

While writing this now, fail to remember why I decided not to simply solder the strips "on edge" onto the board. Possibly because then the strip was too tall to fit under the SRR (short range radio) module that all my stations are fitted with...

Hate to be a spoil-sport - but you do realise you'll need the rubber o-rings and silicone "glue" (which isn't actually proper glue, it's more like a waterproofing agent) as well?
Jul 12, 2017 6:30 PM # 
Hi @gbossley. I do sportident repairs in North-America (see I strongly recommend sticking to the proper batteries, I've done over a 1000 since I started, and whenever somebody put in wrong batteries, they had to be replaced faster than they should. If there's no official repair depot in A/NZ, why don't you take the opportunity? Germany would fix you up with the info and be the source for gaskets and "glue", I used to get batteries through them as well, but the new Lithium battery rules means I now source them locally, 100 at a time. Need extra info? email me at erict @
Jul 13, 2017 2:18 AM # 
The axial ones have been out of stock in Australia for about 6 weeks, but from memory should be coming into the country about this week.
Still showing as out of stock here:
Jul 13, 2017 8:23 PM # 
MNOC had about 30 units replaced 3 years ago by other than Sportident rep. The battery and leads installation looked good BUT the leads were under enough stress that we had 20 units fail (classic stress fracture on lead to battery joint) after 18 mos - 24 months of use. Batteries still had plenty of mAh left in them. Soldering to a Lithium battery requires very specialized equipment and knowledge to avoid thermal runaway. So we now only go with erict (Sportident Canada rep for North America)
Jul 14, 2017 1:57 AM # 
In Tasmania we have the batteries replaced by Colin Price, who is the Australian agent for Sportident.
We think this service is good value and have been very happy with it. We had a big batch done as a precaution just before the Tasmanian round of the Oceania/World Cup in 2015.
Colin also replaces the occasional beeper in a unit that becomes quiet.
During a talk in Canberra a year or so ago Siegfried Ritter from Sportident mentioned that the batteries in SI boxes are not generic but comply with the quality standard for medical equipment.
Jul 14, 2017 8:28 AM # 
Wow - I turned my back for 5 minutes!!! Thanks everyone.

1 Most of you confirm some things I have already been told / suspected. I'll be sticking with SAFT axials.

2 Undy - I spoke with Batteries Direct earlier this week. There's a further delay - apparently October now.

I appreciate all of your comments and assistance.
Jul 16, 2017 10:31 AM # 
Thanks Gordon, we may have to delay the OZ champs !
Jul 16, 2017 12:59 PM # 
Wonder if anyone knows how to use clippers.
Jul 16, 2017 10:43 PM # 
I'm not sure they rely on sailing ships for transport of lithium batteries any more nowadays...
Jul 16, 2017 11:49 PM # 
Of course they are not talking about the sailing ships. They are talking about these
And really JSh jokes like that are usually left to tRicky.
Jul 17, 2017 12:12 AM # 
Ah! Nice. I was just about to say something about Lithium batteries and air transport being problematic, but your solution is brilliant - if the cargo does start a thermal runaway, just ditch the clipper. (And BTW: I read the AP rules and find no reference to tRickys monopoly on "jokes like that"...)
Jul 17, 2017 1:14 AM # 
I'm sorry, I have plenty of time on my hands but with one in a cast and the other arm in a sling, much like the batteries I'm slow on delivery right now.
Jul 17, 2017 2:55 AM # 
Then I guess you've got a cast iron excuse!
Jul 17, 2017 4:03 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
Are these suitable

We use tekcell in Bendigo
Jul 17, 2017 7:27 AM # 
Uncle Jim that's the exact battery I've been told is a very safe option compared to the rest. Your link quotes $18.16 for bulk lots - twice the price of Batteries Direct.
Jul 17, 2017 9:56 AM # 
OK, jokes aside for a moment. If at all possible, do use the original SAFTs. It's not just the capacity that's important, the pulse current capability is also important. I experimented with Xeno 2/3 AA type, thinking 1650mAh would give me better life than SAFTs 1200. Alas, the Xeno can't pulse well, so the station was telling me low battery very soon.

And regarding clippers: I actually don't know what @gruver was hinting at, but my (obvious?) advice is, please do shorten the axial wires enough to make sure they don't touch solder pads "behind" the battery connections. This actually might not give you a short circuit immediately, but might increase the drain dramatically, so your battery will fail after a few days and you'll blame a bad battery.
Jul 18, 2017 4:38 AM # 
I've found a source in France who is happy to send them (apparently by air) - price not as cheap as a couple of the local suppliers when in stock - worked out at about $12 ea.
Jul 18, 2017 10:41 AM # 
@Eric I've sent you an email last week, have not heard back yet -- just want to make sure it did not go to spam or something.

This discussion thread is closed.