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SIAC And Battery Changes

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Junior Affairs Officer
Posts: 17
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(@juniorrep)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Hi all,
 
[repost of an email I sent today to the junior squad, but relevant to all]
 
Several juniors have asked me recently about their SIACs and whether or not they need a battery change. Many of us have the orange SIACs that were purchased by Orienteering Ireland as a huge batch during Covid, and then resold to us all - that batch all have their batteries installed on 7th Jan 2021. SportIdent say that SIAC batteries should be changed every three years, as a general rule of thumb, which puts that entire batch in scope for a change. The sticker on the OI Orange SIACs generally say "Battery change 01-2024", hence peoples questions.
 
If you have access to a club's SI gear, you can read your SIAC using the SIConfig+ software, or test by making a unit into a SIAC battery test box. I checked our own cards this morning, and a random sample of unused cards from my junior squad stash. They all came up fine:

            Read at:  06/03/2024 09:17:38
               SIID:  8217856

    Production date:  01/01/2021
   Hardware version:  1.6
   Software version:  4.3
       Battery date:  07/01/2021
    Battery voltage:  2.89 V
  Bat Low Threshold:  2.44 V
        Clear count:  6
      Character set:  1
    Feedback signal:  default

 
At an event, a SIAC test unit (by default) will emit the warning sound if your battery is under 2.72V, so by my reckoning, my SIAC still has some life left in it. Personally, I'm happy to continue to use it until it starts playing up, but I'm not planning to run in any big internationals any time soon.
 
HOWEVER: this is not me saying that you definitely don't need a battery change! Obviously, the more active you are, the more your battery is likely to need a change. I would suggest trying to check your own voltage levels using a battery check unit, and I'll ask organisers of next few events to try and have one at the download/registration tent. I'll also try to leave one in my car, if people are stuck and need to check.
 
If you feel you need to arrange a battery change, you can do one via SportIdent UK or Sportident HQ in Germany:
 
 
(there are options for other countries too, check SportIdent main site https://www.sportident.com/siacservice/)
 
This usually involves sending your SIAC to them by post, and awaiting a replacement. This can take several weeks, so we probably don't want to do this ahead of a major competition (like the JK). SportIdent UK had a stand at the JK last year for overnight battery changes, but I see no mention of a similar service this year.
 
If your SIAC battery dies mid-course - it will continue to function as a regular SI card. This is one of the reasons it's CRUCIAL to check that your SIAC has registered at EVERY control you swipe (by holding it directly to your ear to hear the beeps coming from your SIAC - this should be a reflex action). If your SIAC refuses to register during an event, start punching the controls manually, to ensure they register.
 
Finally - if you are a junior and you are ever stuck without a SIAC, and need one for an event - let me know, and I can loan you one from the Junior Squad stash. That's what they are there for.
 
Regards,
 
Dave
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(@martin)
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Thanks Dave. I think this definitely qualifies as published service broadcasting.

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Junior Affairs Officer
Posts: 17
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Topic starter
(@juniorrep)
Member
Joined: 11 years ago

Further to this - I have it on good authority (thanks Martina!) that SportIdent UK will be doing battery swaps at the JK this year - if you have preordered them via their website (so that they have sufficient replacements ordered and ready to go). When placing the online order, you just need to add the note "JK2024 Drop Off and Collect" at the checkout, so that they know you wont be posting it in. They intend to email all JK2024 attendees soon with this info anyways.

Webpage for ordering a replacement is here: https://www.sportident.co.uk/equipment/shop/item.php?id=123

Dave

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Posts: 21
(@tony)
Eminent Member
Joined: 5 years ago

Liam has been getting a message on results for the past few international events saying "SIAC Battery Status: Poor - Exchange battery soon"

I checked it with SI Config+

Production date: 01/05/2018
Hardware version: 1.6
Software version: 4.3
Battery date: 31/05/2018
Battery voltage: 2.89 V
Bat Low Threshold: 2.44 V
Clear count: 257
Character set: 1
Feedback signal: default

The voltage indicates that there is plenty left in the battery but it is nearly 6 years old.

It is not clear why he gets a "Status: Poor" at a battery voltage greater than 2.72 volts (which is the threshold used by SIAC battery testers). I suspect that some of these messages are generated based on battery age and do not reflect how few events we use them as SIACs at.

Note that no battery is consumed when punching at events which do not have SIAC enabled.

 

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