Safety is important to us, and we chose to use a SPOT CONNECT Satellite Messenger as a fail safe device in case things go wrong in the field and we need urgent help. The SPOT device was designed to be versatile, portable, and rugged. A part of achieving portability is to function using batteries — very specialized Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries that are expensive and difficult to find in more remote cities. Our SPOT device sits inside of our vehicle 99% of the time, and yet we were still consuming a pair of these batteries every 4 days when using the active tracking features. We were surprised and a bit disappointed that SPOT did not offer a 12V vehicle power option, since the performance of the device would be more reliable having a consistent power source. After further researching the device, we decided to develop a solution that would retain all portability and ruggedness of the SPOT device while allowing us to plug it in to the vehicles power.
The first step in the development process involved figuring out just why SPOT insists that the device be used with the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries exclusively. We wondered if it was a result of needing a specific steady voltage over the battery life cycle, or if the current demands from the SPOT device were too much for a standard lithium battery. So we opened up the device to take a look at its insides and do some testing. You start by taking the back cover off your SPOT device and removing the batteries. The first thing you notice when you start the tear down is another warning on the circuit board that reads: “AA Lithium Batteries Only.”