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Lupine Batteries and Charger

2011-02-08 - Send Feedback
Related: lighting
Most of the Wilma battery family (softcases removed)
13.8Ah water bottle, 6.5Ah, 4.5Ah, 1.8Ah

The cables, batteries, chargers and mounting system are interchangeable among most of Lupine’s HID, halogen and LED lamps.

The cables are light weight and nicely flexible, an important comfort issue when running them from helmet to pocket.

Shown at right and below are just some of the available battery choices (the softcase batteries are shown without their cases).

The 1.8 Ah battery or 2.5 Ah batteries are perfect for the headbelt, and with an extension cord, any battery can be used.

Note: battery choices are improved regularly and might have changed since this was written.

Battery choices

Six (6) battery choices [Lupine site] are available:

  • three softcase batteries (1.8Ah, 2.5Ah, 5.0Ah, 7.5Ah)
  • 2 water bottle batteries (10.0h, 14.5Ah)
  • automobile battery with the Lupine Konvertex; includes cigarette lighter adapter and alligator clips.
6.8Ah battery and its corresponding “softcase”
1.8Ah battery in its “softcase”

Battery life and output

The remaining life battery indicator is accurate, and specified battery life is conservative; runtime in the author’s experience is almost always longer than the specified runtime.

There is a range of output modes, including:

  • full on/off;
  • high/low;
  • high/medium/low, with selectable intensities;
  • continuous dimming (though a bit tricky to adjust to a precise output);
  • SOS, Alpine emergency and Superflash modes.

The author is planning to experiment with the Superflash mode using a red filter, facing the unit to the rear.

Battery lifetime and care

According to Gretna Bikes, US distributor—

Service life is mostly related to charge cycles. The manufacturing date indicates when the unit was assembled. Li-Ion batteries keep losing some of their capacity continuously, even when they are not in use. This phenomenon is normal and cannot be prevented, only slowed down. The permanent capacity loss will be up to 10% per year when stored at full charge and approximately 3-5% when stored at 40% charge. That is how are shipped to us, and we as time permits we fully-charge them just before shipping.

A Li-Ion battery which is always treated correctly has a life span of approximately 300-400 charge cycles. After that, the remaining capacity is only 80% (e.g. a 14.5 Ah battery has a remaining capacity of 11.6 Ah). The battery will still work, nonetheless it has already lost some qualities and will continue to do so. The protective circuit will prevent the most severe damages.

Smart charger

The Lupine Charger One charger (recommended) is the best I’ve ever seen for LiIon batteries, and it can charge a variety of Lupine battery types, can refresh batteries, etc, so it offers considerably more capability.

Also, it can safely charge the Lupine LiIon batteries using 2.5 amps of current, versus 2.0 amps for the Micro Charger, leading to faster recharge times. I don’t much care for the Wiesel charger or Micro Charger, the Charger One is superb.

The Charger One displays the charging voltage, charging amperage and battery ampere-hours, very helpful in understanding how far along the charge cycle is. Shown below is the readout with a nearly drained battery; the charger is sending 2.5 amps into it.

Lupine Lighting System Charger One
nearly empty battery taking 2.5 amps @ 7.5V

The Lupine Micro Charger (standard) is more compact, but its power brick is larger, and it offers only a glowing light that changes color when the charge is complete.

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