We recommend burn testing you Halcyon battery pack at least yearly in order to establish the actual burn time of your light. Frequent divers, or those who often rely on longer burn times, may choose to test their light more often. It‘s important for Halcyon Dealers to burn test their rental light battery packs at least quarterly as these packs are most likely to be improperly handled. In order to conduct an effective burn test, you will need the following equipment:
- Battery pack
- Discharge method: either the light head or an appropriate discharge array
- Accurate voltmeter
- Timer, preferably with an alarm (set to ten-minute intervals)
- Reservoir of water
- Paper to record time and voltage.
The following steps will allow you to accurately determine your battery’s burn time.
- Make certain that the battery has been fully charged. For the best results, burn the battery for ten minutes and then bring it back to a full charge.
- Place the light head into the water. Make sure that there is enough water to prevent overheating. A one-gallon bucket is sufficient. It is strongly recommended that you do not use a kitchen or bathroom sink as your water reservoir. It is possible for the water to drain away slowly, and could leave your light head without proper cooling.
- With the battery out of the canister, connect the light head to the battery.
- Measure and record your starting voltage.
a. For previous versions (Helios, etc.) of NiMH battery packs, insert the voltmeter probes far enough into the back of the red and black connectors to make contact with the metal clamps.
b. For Explorer NiMH battery packs, use the banana plug procedure.
- Actuate the switch and measure the voltage under load. Record this voltage.
- Record the time and voltage every ten minutes until the pack reaches ten volts. It is recommended that the timer have an alarm to alert you when an interval has ended. The alarm will prevent you from forgetting about the battery and discharging it completely. A complete discharge is practically certain to damage the battery’s cells.
- Stay near the pack to monitor the voltage decay as the ten-volt limit is approached. As the pack nears ten volts, the voltage will drop more rapidly, and more frequent voltage checks will allow you to more accurately note the actual burn time. Record the time when the battery pack reaches ten volts. This time is the amount of time that your light can provide a useful light beam.
- Record the burn time and date on the battery. Don’t forget to update this information with each subsequent test of your battery.
- Charge the battery immediately. Never discharge your battery below about ten volts, as it can damage the cells to deeply discharge the battery pack. Any time the battery is discharged, it should be charged as soon as possible. An immediate recharge is especially important when the battery is deeply discharged.