Extended battery life
14 Jul 2009
The battery life of the Field PC is dependent upon how the Field PC is being used and the number of accessory devices that are being powered by the Field PC. Even though a standard rechargeable battery pack for the Field PC can last for a full workday (8-10 hours) in most applications, battery life can range from 4 hours to 16 hours depending on your application and accessory devices.
Certain accessories and functions can drastically increase the power consumption of the Field PC, such as the following:
- Radio connectivity (Wifi 802.11, cellular, custom radio modem, etc.)
- Display backlight
- Display heater (monochrome display only)
- Serial devices and continuous serial communications
- Continuous Infrared communications (Allegro only)
- Continuous Bluetooth communications
- Software applications (not maximized for power usage)
- Keypad backlight
To increase battery life, reduce the number of accessories and functions being used simultaneously or set up the accessories and functions to be disabled or minimize power usage automatically when not in use. You can adjust timers in the control panel to automatically turn off backlights, stop communications, or even turn off the unit after a short period of inactivity. For more information on power supplied by the Field PC to accessory devices, see Power Devices through Ports or Card Slots.
If you need more battery life from the Field PC than what the current rechargeable battery pack provides for your application, and you do not want to decrease the number of accessories and functions being used simultaneously, see the recommendations below.
Note: In the Allegro Field PC, make sure you are using a battery pack that was purchased through Juniper Systems or an authorized product reseller. We cannot warrant how well a battery pack purchased through a third-party will function in the Field PC. For more information, see Where to buy Allegro Field PC batteries.
Refresh Battery or Purchase a New Battery
If the battery life of your rechargeable battery has only recently started to diminish, see Battery life less than when new.
If the Field PC battery pack does not seem to charge to full capacity initially or after it has been operated in cold temperatures, see Battery pack will not charge to full.
Extra Rechargeable Batteries
It is a good idea to carry extra rechargeable battery packs that have been previously charged to full capacity. The batteries of the Field PC are "warm-swappable," meaning that you can swap a depleted battery with another fully charged one within 5 minutes without losing your place on the Field PC.
If you are using the AA alkaline battery holder for the Allegro Field PC, you can carry extra AA alkaline batteries to swap when in when necessary (though this accessory item may limit some functionality of the Field PC).
External Battery Charger
You can purchase an external battery charger to charge an extra battery pack outside of the Field PC while the original battery is being charged in the Field PC. These external battery chargers can also be used in vehicles. Please contact Juniper Systems or a product reseller to purchase this accessory.
If you are unable to swap out the battery for a new one or would prefer to not carry extra battery packs, you can charge the Field PC between uses while remaining in the field using a vehicle (cigarette lighter) charger. The external battery charger can also be used in a vehicle to charge Field PC battery packs directly.
Third-Party or Custom Power Supply
Caution: It is possible to use some third-party or custom power supplies, such as connecting directly to a vehicle battery (12 V lead-acid), solar panel, or generator (crank, pedal, etc.) to provide additional power to the Field PC, but you do so at your own risk. Specifications for third-party supplies are listed below:
- Mesa 3: 30 W power supply with a 12 V output
- For more information, see Power Input Requirement Limits
- Mesa 2: 12-15.5 V DC at 1.67 A (20 W) or higher
- Archer 2 and Allegro 2: 12 to 24 V DC at 1.67 A (20 W) or higher
- Legacy Models: 12 V DC at 800 mA or higher
- Inside barrel (positive terminal): 2.1 mm diameter
- Outside barrel (negative terminal): 5.5 mm diameter