PLB battery

Posted by: CANOEDOGS

PLB battery - 03/07/20 02:58 AM

my sticker from NOAA came and when i was putting it on I see the battery should be replaced this summer.that info is hidden under
the peel back label on the plb so this was news to me.
a check on the web and its $100 new and $35 refurbished.
I have never done a battery check as I don't like to turn it on.
I always assume they err on the side of it being better than the due date??
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: PLB battery - 03/07/20 01:42 PM

The stated expiration date is technically the half life of the battery, IOW, theoretically, it could last an equal period of time after expiration. My experience is a year may not matter, but multiple years we start seeing failures. Also, you should run the self-test at least once monthly, it is rated for that, or if used infrequently, before taking it somewhere that it might be used.

I caution against using one of the do-it-yourself online battery replacements. OTOH, many folks do so with few reported issues. Just bear in mind that without a fresh gasket and pressure test, you have no idea how it will hold up under adverse conditions.

There's nothing much special about most of the PLB or EPIRB battery packs, they are just quality commercial cells assembled and shrinkwrapped. But, from the manufacturer you can be assured that the cells were sourced from a reliable vendor and exactly match all specs, not just the right size, and that it has passed stringent quality control checks.

Since we are talking about a life saving device, my recommendation is to err on the side of caution. The other alternative is to simply replace with new and get the latest generation device for admittedly more money.

Whatever floats your boat, YMMV, etc.
Posted by: roberttheiii

Re: PLB battery - 03/09/20 12:35 PM

Doug clearly has more experience w/PLBs but I echo his concerns over battery quality when dealing with a third party. I have bought cheap replacement cell phone batteries only to have them swell a few days after I install them. Your PLB is probably no place to skimp on upkeep.
Posted by: KenK

Re: PLB battery - 03/09/20 02:56 PM

A few years ago (pre-retirement) I had the good fortune of attending a symposium during which one of the country's (U.S.) leading experts on lithium batteries (from a chemistry/physics/design perspective) gave a talk. While much of it was beyond my knowledge, she gave a very clear warning to avoid lithium batteries not designed for specific chargers and products. Her examples came mostly from e-cigarettes and cell phones. The thermal events from mis-matches looked pretty bad.

Since then I've only bought batteries under the original manufacturer's label - I think (for cameras and radios, mostly ... from I never know if I'm ordering a genuine battery). The price can be much higher, but I really don't want to burn down my house.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: PLB battery - 03/09/20 06:31 PM

With lithium-ion batteries, I have always ordered name brands and have encountered no problems. Even going first cabin,the savings are considerable compared to alkaline non-rechargeables. The performance is far superior, as well.
Posted by: CANOEDOGS

Re: PLB battery - 03/09/20 08:21 PM

lots of good solid advice here.if the date is the half life of the
battery,2011 start date,then i'll be in my 80's and not out on the wilderness canoe trail!
if I do invest in another battery i'll go for the real one.