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battery replacement for SOLA 1200

Discussion in 'Light and Motion' started by tursiops, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    7,103
    4,500
    113
    I have an OLD (4 years? 6 years?) 1200 that is well-used, and the battery is getting flaky. I'm pretty handy mechanically and electrically, and am willing to risk the light by changing out the battery myself. There is a good 2015 thread on this at thediveforum. My question is the battery: that thread says to use a Bosch BST200 replacement battery....but this appears to be just two 18650s soldered together and is quite expensive.

    Do I have any other battery replacement options?
     
  2. james_bond_007

    james_bond_007 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Westminster, CO
    107
    11
    18
  3. james_bond_007

    james_bond_007 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Westminster, CO
    107
    11
    18
    I read that article too. What I understand is that the author is not claiming 1:1 battery pack substitution compatibility, but rather a substitute for the BATTERIES in the pack.

    The pack consists of
    1) ( 2) 3.6VDC Li-ion Batteries in series, which give the requisite 7.2V
    2) Heat Shrink tubing to hold the pack together
    3) Cardboard insulators to insulate the PCB from the Batteries
    4) Terminal strips to connect the batteries to the PCB
    5) PCB protection circuitry

    You basically have to replace the batteries and rebuild the battery pack
     
  4. james_bond_007

    james_bond_007 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Westminster, CO
    107
    11
    18
  5. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    11,440
    7,789
    113
    I've dealt with that webshop a few times and can recommend it. Serious business, knowledgeable owner. There's been a couple of occasions where I didn't quite agree with some of the details in his recommendations, but overall positive.

    Don't know if he ships to the US, though. He's located in Denmark.
     
  6. psychomatrician

    psychomatrician Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Hartford Connecticut
    7
    0
    1
     
  7. psychomatrician

    psychomatrician Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Hartford Connecticut
    7
    0
    1
    Sola offered to replace my battery and service the unit for $150.
     
  8. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    711
    264
    63
    Not sure how this might fit, but I found my sola 1200 getting a little short in the tooth last winter. I decided to try the following: first, full power in a sink full of water. When it shut off, wait a few seconds then turn it on lower power and so on until it dies on lowest power. Then take it out of the water/sink and charge it completely. I recall doing this three times and the last 'burn test' was almost the same as new, so I charged it and have been using it since.

    I'll probably try that at least one more time before trying to replace the battery. I'm not afraid to do that as I've replaced greenforce canister batteries but I'm in no hurry.

    cool side note: the canadian show "how it's made" had a recent (2015 or 2016) segment on making the Sola 1200 lights. Very cool.
     
  9. fmerkel

    fmerkel Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Salish Sea (Seattle)
    1,488
    512
    113
    One a stand alone 18650, I'd claim that was a bad idea. For optimal life keep a lithium between 20-80% charged (don't over discharge, don't over charge), and don't charge right after use and let it sit until next outing, unless that outing is tomorrow.

    Must be some kind of electronics that you are re-calibrating to achieve the kind of result you are talking about. It appears all control is in the light. The charger/adapter seems to be nothing but a voltage source.

    They are just 18650's. Personally I'd use top of the line Panasonic or Sanyo's. You can get a pair of them for $10-15.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  10. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    711
    264
    63
    That's my thinking. The indicator (green to yellow to red to blinking red) is just some electronic circuit, as is the "it's dead, jim" light turn off function. What I did was re-calibrate the electronics, but if it restores the 'time on' that's all I want. I'm pretty sure the important part was taking the light down as much as possible before charging it.

    Eventually it won't work and new batteries will be needed, but this did extend the working time.
     

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