Getting the most battery life from your TomTom - Share your tricks

Discussion in 'Technical Support' started by GemmaRLavalley, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. GemmaRLavalley

    GemmaRLavalley

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not all of us use TomTom in a car, you know. We ride bikes, we hike, our grandmother puts it on her walker on her way to the racetrack.

    There's something that needs to be done regarding the battery life, though.

    (Not in order of effectiveness, I'm sorry. Can someone here rank these for me?)
    1. "Turn off the screen between instructions", or "Always turn off screen"
    2. Lower the brightness way down.
    3. Turn off bluetooth.
    4. Lower the volume.
    5. Avoid touching the screen or accessing the menus while on batteries.
    6. Avoid recalculating routes while on battery power.

    ... yet still this is not enough. We need an external battery or somehow charge it outside the car. Here's how:

    1. Plug it to a Mac or a PC.
    2. Get a USB AC wall charger. Available for a buck or two.
    3. Get a USB battery. Available for $6-$60. They go under the names of "Rechargeable Battery Pack" or "Power Pack Charger (uses 4xAAA batteries)" or "Mobile Pocket Power" or "External Li-On Battery" for the Xbox360, the PSP and the iPod.
    4. Get a solar-powered USB charger. Available for $13-$150. (Won't help for night treks though.)
    5. Build one yourself -- version 1: http://www.hackaday.com/2005/01/20/how-to-make-a-usb-battery/ and version 2: http://www.hackaday.com/2005/01/28/how-to-usb-battery-v2/

    As long as you trust it will give no more of 1 ampere of 5V DC, it will work with TomTom.

    Anyone got a hack that will turn the screen off and turn the GPS satellite searching off when TomTom is left on standby? An Auto power off hack, perhaps? That'll save energy, too.

    Got any more tips on getting the most battery life?
     
    GemmaRLavalley, Jun 15, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. GemmaRLavalley

    charlenelee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I have another idea. Connect ten 1.2v AA or AAA batteries to a 12V car cigarette charger socket adapter. Then connect Tomtom USB car charger to this socket.
     
    charlenelee, Oct 27, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. GemmaRLavalley

    GAW

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    CA Bay Area
    TomTom Model(s):
    920
    I just took my 920 off the bike today. Used it over an hour at 100% brightness, but with "turn off after instructions" set on. Over 1 hour, still indicates less then half gone. Earlier, without the setting working, 1/2 hour produced similar results.

    The key was bing on long stretches where it did not give instructions. To stretch it further - have if off for long stretches where you do not need it active.

    I have a battery pack on the way - up to 2100 mah (almost double built-in battery) - will let you know how it works.

    I may end up wiring it in - but for occasional use - trying to get around it for now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2008
    GAW, Oct 27, 2008
    #3
  4. GemmaRLavalley

    GAW

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    CA Bay Area
    TomTom Model(s):
    920



    UPDATE -Battery pack arrived. Ordered Lenmar PPU2100B from Amazon for $24.95 (available for Radio Shack for $49.95). It is thinner and lighter than I expected (makes me wonder why something of that capacity could not be in the newer units...). Factory rated at about 1600 mah, but on a comparable battery usage to the stock battery it is 2100 mah (very close to the larger batteries in the TomTom "original" products.

    In conjunction with the fully charged 920 battery set to 100% brightness and no battery saving preferences, I got 5+ hours out of them. With battery saving preferences, it should be significantly longer.

    It is small and light enough to be mounted somewhere on the regular RAM motorcycle mount. It is also small enough to fit inside the RAM Aqua Box along with the 920 - except I will need a USB cable that has a right angle mini plug like the car adapter has to fit it in the box (to plug it into the bottom of the TomTom - normal USB mini plugs stick out to far to the point where you can bend them).
     
    GAW, Oct 30, 2008
    #4
  5. GemmaRLavalley

    KevinSmith

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    EXTERNAL BATTERY PACK for the TOMTOM ONE V3 Regional & Europe (SKU 3150)
    22 GBP Pounds
    https://www.buybits.com/product/sku_3150.aspx

    I’ve bought something which promises a very tidy solution. A battery pack that plugs directly into the tomtom and forms an integrated unit. I tried it on holiday. It promises a respectable up to 10 hours battery time. When I tried it on holiday I got nowhere near that. We were lost and disorientated and the battery packed out on us. Family hungry and no idea how to get back. Had to resort to asking directions!

    After that, I charged the pack each time at night and kept it on screen saver mode. I also unplugged it from the tomtom when not in use. I worried that the tomtom would attempt to charge even when switched off.

    When I got home I tested the battery pack. I left it on fully charged with the screen saver OFF. It stayed on for 4.5 hours. Not bad.

    The product is disconcertingly light. How does something so light managed to hold so much charge? It’s not branded. The styling and quality is barely acceptable. It has an LED that changes from red to green to indicate when it’s fully charged.

    My initial bad experience may be due to the system not having had time to condition. (Some new batteries need to charge and discharge a few time before they reach their full capacity.) Since then, I’ve not had a chance to fully test it while walking around. So, still not sure if it’s worth it.

    Oh, one other thing. You'll need some way to charge the TomTom in your hotel room. So a mains operated charger is necessary. This plugs into a mini-USB slot. From the limited experience I've had, it takes a lot longer to charge up if you are using it at the same time as charging. You may have difficulty storing up enough charge if you plan to trickle charge it while using the tomtom in your car.

    Regards
    Kevin
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
    KevinSmith, Jan 2, 2009
    #5
  6. GemmaRLavalley

    GAW

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    CA Bay Area
    TomTom Model(s):
    920
    What is the rated mah capacity of the battery pack? The Tt battery would be in the range of 1100 - 1300 mah. You would expect to see the pack only increase your time by a multiple of that based on its rateing (less some looses in charging the TomTom)_.

    I have found when using an external pack that you will get the most life if you use the TomTom battery until it is pretty much discharged, and then plug the battery pack in. If you plug it in when the TomTom battery is fully charged, it wastes power by "pushing" power through to the TomTom in excess of its needs - and it heats up more than normal also.
     
    GAW, Jan 2, 2009
    #6
  7. GemmaRLavalley

    KevinSmith

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your advice about ensuring the external battery is fully discharged.

    With regard to the specifications, this product unfortunately comes with scant documentation. There is no indication of what the MaH rating is.

    regards
    Kevin
     
    KevinSmith, Jan 4, 2009
    #7
  8. GemmaRLavalley

    GAW

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    CA Bay Area
    TomTom Model(s):
    920
    No - it was be sure the TomTom battery is discharged first....

    As for specifications - does the unit itself have a rating on it ?
     
    GAW, Jan 5, 2009
    #8
  9. GemmaRLavalley

    KevinSmith

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for putting me straight GAW. I'll keep that in mind next time I use the battery pack.

    There is no info on the charger either, It seems equivalent to unbranded Ebay quality.

    To help satisfy some of your curiosity (and mine) I've just opened it up and taken a few snaps. I've put them on this site.


    http://tomtominfo.wikispaces.com/


    Regards
    Kevin
     
    KevinSmith, Jan 5, 2009
    #9
  10. GemmaRLavalley

    GAW

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    CA Bay Area
    TomTom Model(s):
    920
    You are probably right about the "eBay" quality and the lack of info.

    I have a branded (Lenmar) battery pack, and it has capacity, voltages, etc. on the pack itself. it is rated at 2100 mah versus the 92-0 battery, which is 1300 mah.

    Again - on the open road, having the screen dim after instructions and the bluetooth off plus the external battery gives me the better part of an all day ride.
     
    GAW, Jan 5, 2009
    #10
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.