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Thread: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

  1. #1

    Default Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Hello ladies + gents,

    I hike in remote wooded areas, and now that it's sundown by 5:30PM this time of year I'm quite reliant on my headlamp. I also plan to do some ultrarunning this Winter, and so will be in remote areas for quite some time in the dark. Recently I've upped my game and have started picking up the distance on my hikes.

    I like my Petzl NAO as does my wife, and so I bought a NAO+ with the idea of giving it to her. Well, she was quite nice and told me to take the NAO+ and that she would use my NAO. I love the light it puts out, even in reactive max autonomy mode. The problem is the friggin' battery life. The package claims a 6h30m runtime in reactive high, and 15-25h in reactive max autonomy. I hiked 3:37 in 42 degrees Farenheit and am down to 26% battery life per the MyPetzl light app (which is very buggy, BTW.) I contacted Petzl about this and they recommended tilting the light downward, presumably because the reflection will cause the built-in photoeye to dim the light accordingly. Well, I already do this. I let them know this, and they told me, "That is the only think I can think of. Your time is going to vary compared to another user using it in different conditions."

    Okay, but 15h vs. what is looking to be 5h? Really, 1/3 of the stated runtime? Maybe I'm simply expecting too much from a device powered by a single 18650? If this is so then fine, but what's up with tripling it in the marketing material? They do list the reserve mode (15lm, 2h) separate from the burn time, so it looks as if 15h is the run time given pre-reserve. As many of us know, the spare Petzl batteries for these are crazy costly ($70), and I would need two of them at this rate to get through an all-nighter ultra this time of year (6PM-7AM or so).

    As a side note, I've ordered a couple of EnePower battery replacements (3500mA) that come with the Petzl-compatible thermistor + wiring. I'll write up my findings with them in a new thread when done testing, and hopefully they can help extend the life between battery changes.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    There are quite a few variables to consider, and it may be that you would get better discussion of this topic in the Batteries subforum, but I'll start by pointing out a few of these here ....

    Lithium ion battery chemistry is markedly affected by temperature. As a ballpark guess, operation near freezing might drop your capacity (runtime) ~ 30% alone (depending on current draw, voltage minimum, and other factors)

    Also, ANSI-FL1 "runtime" is rated to 10% of (just past) initial output. If there is poor regulation, the light may seem "near empty" long before it reaches the stated runtime.

    Batteries themselves, of course, degrade with time, temperature, and cycles, and there are all number of reasons why a "battery capacity remaining app" might be inaccurate, too.

    And if they are quoting estimated runtimes based on some sort of "auto-dimming" function ... well, you can see how no two trial runs of that might even be repeatable or comparable

    Those are just a few of the most obvious factors which come to mind
    Last edited by archimedes; 12-04-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    There are quite a few variables to consider, and it may be that you would get better discussion of this topic in the Batteries subforum, but I'll start by pointing out a few of these here ....

    Lithium ion battery chemistry is markedly affected by temperature. As a ballpark guess, operation near freezing might drop your capacity (runtime) ~ 30% alone (depending on current draw, voltage minimum, and other factors)

    Also, ANSI-FL1 "runtime" is rated to 10% of (just past) initial output. If there is poor regulation, the light may seem "near empty" long before it reaches the stated runtime.

    Batteries themselves, of course, degrade with time, temperature, and cycles, and there are all number of reasons why a "battery capacity remaining app" might be inaccurate, too.

    And if they are quoting estimated runtimes based on some sort of "auto-dimming" function ... well, you can see how no two trial runs of that might even be repeatable or comparable

    Those are just a few of the most obvious factors which come to mind
    Thank you for the reply. You make a good point with the ANSI-FL1 spec, but I do find this to be ethically questionable. Of course, if the competitors are using it then the vendor almost has no choice but to fall into that trap as well. I couldn't find any reviews with real-world battery life on the NAO+ and so it was kind of a 'blind faith/hope' purchase. I'll keep an eye out for any perceived dimming tomorrow when I hike again, and will update with runtime to reserve once I get there.

    I've also purchased an Acebeam H30 that should arrive some time today. From what I've read, mid mode (380lm) will indeed last >= 7.5 h at room temp with that 21700.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    This is some of the value provided by a forum such as CPF. There are many users here with practical real-world experience with a huge range of lighting products.

    Instead of, or in addition to, relying on marketing info and ad copy, it is possible to ask questions and discuss various alternatives suited to a particular task or need.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Szemhazai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    As for NAO runtimes - the real world "reactive low" runtimes are 5-6 hours on Petzl/Samsung 2600 mAh cells and up to 11 hours on 3400 mAh direct connection cells.

    Replacing the original cells with EnePower will give you nothing because It's the software that calculates the capacity in NAO battery pack. You will just have one more spare cell - but if you enter "safety mode" once, replacing the cell with a spare one also will give you nothing, because the lamp remembers that it is already in "safety mode" . Those cells are useful for replacing the old cells in NAO's, but that's all. They can use 2600 mAh cells and the runtimes will be the same.

    That's why I'm ripping out everything from nao's battery pack and putting there 18650 cell holder


    There is an alternative for standard cells that will use the full capacity of the battery - but for those, you will need an external charger.

    Those are Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh protected, with NAO plug.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    As for NAO runtimes - the real world "reactive low" runtimes are 5-6 hours on Petzl/Samsung 2600 mAh cells and up to 11 hours on 3400 mAh direct connection cells.

    Replacing the original cells with EnePower will give you nothing because It's the software that calculates the capacity in NAO battery pack. You will just have one more spare cell - but if you enter "safety mode" once, replacing the cell with a spare one also will give you nothing, because the lamp remembers that it is already in "safety mode" . Those cells are useful for replacing the old cells in NAO's, but that's all. They can use 2600 mAh cells and the runtimes will be the same.

    That's why I'm ripping out everything from nao's battery pack and putting there 18650 cell holder


    There is an alternative for standard cells that will use the full capacity of the battery - but for those, you will need an external charger.

    Those are Panasonic NCR18650B 3400mAh protected, with NAO plug.
    Thank you for the info! This was a fear of mine, that the battery would not charge to > 2600mA since the NAO+ pack is the 'controller'. These Enerpower cells don't have bare contacts exposed and so I wouldn't be confident about charging them myself, as I don't know the NAO plug pinout setup (will meter with my multimeter, but am not confident). I do have a Nitecore i4 charger.

    Have you 'hacked' this yourself, or are there shareable resources that you are using?
    Last edited by patricio2626; 12-05-2018 at 08:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Szemhazai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    No those are my hack's since 2012-2013... . You can find those in original NAO review, also with plug information

    NAO will charge cells to the maximum, then reset the counter, but it will simply switch on to "safety mode" when the counter will say "you have used 2600mAh"

    http://www.light-test.info/en/headla...ree-xp-g-18650
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    No those are my hack's since 2012-2013... . You can find those in original NAO review, also with plug information
    NAO will charge cells to the maximum, then reset the counter, but it will simply switch on to "safety mode" when the counter will say "you have used 2600mAh"
    http://www.light-test.info/en/headla...ree-xp-g-18650
    Oh, well darn; I guess it samples draw every X period and increments the counter, then stores the safety mode in some bit once triggered. "Too smart for its own good." I think this is a cool light in a few aspects but I'm really bummed out this. I would like to just return this light and keep the spare battery pack I bought and use it in my NAO (it will fit, but not the other way around), but I feel as though I'm kind of already invested with these EnerPower batteries as well. I find it silly that I would have to spend $300 ($150 light + $50*3 for batteries) to have a chance of making it through the entire night with decent light output.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Szemhazai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    You should read my article earlier . If you want to, I can take care of your NAO - a few months ago I did it for some guy from Sweden, shipping costs a lot, but battery replacement kit costs is about 20$ - then you can use any 18650 for 4$ a piece...
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Szemhazai View Post
    You should read my article earlier . If you want to, I can take care of your NAO - a few months ago I did it for some guy from Sweden, shipping costs a lot, but battery replacement kit costs is about 20$ - then you can use any 18650 for 4$ a piece...
    I would be interested. I'll PM you now.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    +1 this

    Fantastic idea

    (Just PM'd also)

    Quote Originally Posted by patricio2626 View Post
    I would be interested. I'll PM you now.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Petzl NAO+ battery life - am I being unreasonable?

    Quote Originally Posted by harlansmart View Post
    +1 this

    Fantastic idea

    (Just PM'd also)
    Me too!

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