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September 19, 2017, 09:58:19 PM
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Pointer Cadet 6000 rechargeable battery conversion
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Author Topic: Pointer Cadet 6000 rechargeable battery conversion  (Read 659 times)
Mission/Tow Pilot
Seasoned Member

Posts: 409

« on: September 11, 2017, 10:53:12 AM »

Has anyone converted their Pointer Cadet 6000 to rechargeable batteries, with or without an internal battery charger?

If so care to share?

Thanks :)
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kirbahashi
Member

Posts: 55

« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 12:39:51 PM »

I started thinking the same thing when I was reading some of the pages at cap-es.net about 4-5 years ago.  Look at Modification #4 here- http://cap-es.net/ES%20Electric%20Technology/Practice%20Beacon%20Modifications.htm 

I was thinking a rechargeable battery that could be plugged in externally.  I started doing the work for a plug in device that would have ran from a rechargeable battery pack (think for RC cars, but it was for some Black & Decker tool).  I started, but did not finish.  I had gone to Radio Shack (yeah, that long ago) and got the plug and receptacle (think for a power adapter).  I started modifying the case, but stopped short of disconnecting the Pointers' power source.  Maybe I got cold feet?  And I shelved it.

About two years ago, another member (much smarter and talented than I) and I were talking.  "It would be great to have a battery pack to run these things" and "wouldn't it be great if you could put a timer on these things".   Told him what I had started, and we started to plan things out.  You know when you start getting loopy on a SAREX and you start talking about solving the worlds' problems?

We found a digital timer circuit on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/DC-5V-36V-9V-12V-24V-LED-Cycle-Timer-Delay-Off-Switch-Multifunction-Relay-Module-/253138634015?hash=item3af03d051f:g:6ZYAAOSw32lYwnXW.  We run 6 "AA" batteries in the pack, and we step down the 9V to about 7.5V.  The digital timer is very basic, and is ran from the battery to the circuits.  You can set the time for what ever you want, which makes setting a target out so much easier.  Either you get someone in a remote location to turn it on, or you are running out WAY early the morning of a SAREX.  With the timer, I can set it out the night before, 10 days prior, you name it.  I've timed it before to come on while an aircrew is running its' route, with great results.

In the 7 times I have set this up, it has not failed.  I get 2 strong operational periods out of the beacon, and I am asking for trouble when you try for a 3rd.  But they are "AA" batteries.  Swap them out every time, and you don't have the problem.  OR if you have a rechargeable battery at the 7.5-7.6V neighborhood, you'd just need to recharge.

I will have to take some pictures, and ask my cohort for a part list or schematic.  It is still a work in progress, as we either want to make the pointer case easier to access, or place the timer and power source on the outside.  Right now it all fits inside the pointer box, and we want to make it better.  Just not sure what we want as a final product?  I think my first attempt would have been successful if I had just pressed on with what I was doing.  But I am glad we did the timer modification instead!

Probably way too long for a response, and maybe not what you were looking for.  It is doable, and if you are even semi-skilled with regards to electronics, you can do it.  Best of luck!
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Thereís only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk. Which is water thatís lying about being milk.
SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 9,992
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 10:59:55 PM »

Our beacon has been modified to take an external RC car battery. Add an extra set of leads through a sealed hole in the case, and plug in a battery. Each battery has hook Velcro, and the unit has a strip of loop Velcro, to allow quick interchange. It works great.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
♠SARKID♠
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,830
Unit: GLR-WI-002

Timmerman Composite Squadron - WIWG - CAP
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 02:20:10 PM »

We swapped a radio shack battery holder into a member owned practice beacon. Works well, C batteries lasted for a good number of operational periods.
For a while we had it set up for no-tone as well.
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           Capt. Dan Turkal
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                WI-002/CC
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 9,992
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 12:39:44 AM »

That will work, too, but we like the rechargeable batteries They seem to last longer, and the one piece aspect of the battery adds to easier storage.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Tools of the trade  |  Topic: Pointer Cadet 6000 rechargeable battery conversion
 


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