Sunday, October 28, 2012

Battling Range Degradation Part 2

Ok, batteries have arrived much earlier than expected so very happy with that!  Battery pack is very small so a bit shocked. Thinking this does not seem like it would provide very much power but as shown in this youtube video  even very small Li Battery packs contain a lot of power. Coat does state "up to 6 hours" on a charge. That 6 hours is probably if on the lowest heat setting.  All I really need is about 2 hours on "high" setting

The battery charger was 6" by about 5" with the power pack itself being 3.5" tall and nearly 2" in diameter

placing power pack into adapter for the coat brought the height to 5". either way, very portable. one could easily carry an extra power pack in one of the pockets

The pack comes with a 3 year limited (very limited I am guessing) warranty for defects only. Charging time is listed as 30 to 75 minutes and an inverter with an output of 100+ watts can be used on the charging unit (but that would defeat the purpose right?)

The initial charge took 42 minutes. There is a pocket to left side towards the rear where the power pack is plugged in.  This does add weight to the coat but the coat is made of very lightweight waterproof material to begin with and did not seem to be enough weight to bother one if you decided to go on a brisk walk while wearing it.

There is a button on the chest that operates the coat. Press and hold 3 seconds to turn it on. This puts it into "rapid preheat" mode. In this mode the light on the button pulses.  Preheat mode took 4 minutes and 20 seconds on the first power up.

The coat comes on in low power mode. Pressing the button cycles it thru medium and high power modes then back to low.  To power off, press power button for 3 seconds. Simple enough! I was ready to road trip test it!

But... the weather is not cooperating. Cloud cover has been extensive. We are in a constant rain (mostly drizzle) pattern and its expected to last several more days.  Last night when I tested the coat, it was 51º which is a temperature I would not be feeling that much cold in most situations.  So, may have to wait a bit before I can really determine whether it will work for those 30º days it was intended for.

One thing that was a bit unexpected is that even on high heat setting, the heat is not hot or overwhelming as I thought it might be.  I also could not determine where the heat is coming from exactly which means the coat probably uses wires instead of heating panels.  There is definite warmth in the front of the coat on the chest and also to a lesser degree on the back.  Could not really tell if there is anything on the sides.  Not sure the coat will provide enough heat in the dead of winter.

Will have to do a "part 3" after I get a chance to do a drive in colder weather

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