Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Dec. 2001
||Posted: Sep. 28 2004,12:45 pm
As I am sure any one that use a GPS in the field will agree there is nothing worse than getting out there only to find you do not have a sufficient supply of replacement batteries. Now for some who own the more feature packed (and expensive) models of GPSr's this is not a real problem as you have the option to load up with good rechargables and recharge while enroute via your vehicles cigarette lighter. But for those who have may have opted for the less expensive Garmin eTrex line this is not an option, Not until now that is. A small company named Enoch Corporation that focuses mainly on the consumer electronics market, recently released a handly little gadget called the 'Enoch GPS Charger Kit for the Garmin eTrex' . We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of these and find some time to get out and test this new toy out and would like to pass on our findings.
So what makes this device so special for eTrex owners? Well for starters, its size. This self-contained charger is about the size of a tic-tac box. Then of course there is the convenience of not having to open up your unit to change or charge your batteries all the time. This is because the Enoch GPS Charger is designed to replace the original back on your Garmin eTrex series GPS receiver. But that's not all, the charger back is also designed to double as a belt clip. Great for those cache searches where you do not need or want to carry the GPSr in hand the whole time it will quicly snap into the included swivel-clip where it will remain securely until you press the release button for easy removal.
Installation is a snap and takes (literaly) less than a minute. Simply remove the back plate from your eTrex, install the recahrgeable 'AA' NiMH batteries (included) and then attach the weather proof gasket and charger back using the included mounting screw. That's it, you're done.
Operation is just as simple and convenient using one of the two included power adapters (AC or DC) you simply plug the unit in and let it charge your newly installed batteries. The base of the charger has a 2-color LED and when first connecting with fresh batteries it will glow red to indicate it is in 'Full Charge' mode. The documentation states that this can take any where from 3-8 hours. The initial charge on the test unit we were sent took approximately 4 hours to complete using the included batteries. Once the batteries reach full charge capacity it automatically switches to trickle mode and this is indicated by the LED flashing green. I would also like to point out that the unit uses a pulse-charge method which allows the charging unit (and batteries) to remain cool during the charge cycle. This is important as exposure to heat can shorten the life of a battery.
We made two seperate trips into the field during our testing, one lasting about 3.5 hours and the other about 2 hours. In both cases the batteries held up well and fully recharged in less than 90 minutes using the AC Adapter. While I was not able to test the DC adapter (no lighter in my vehicle) I would say it is safe to assume the rate would be about the same considering the AC adapters output is 12V @ 500mA. I would imagine that charging times will vary depending on max capacity of the installed batteries as well as the charge level of the batteries when the unit is plugged in. In any case I found the charge time to be well within expectations.
All in all I found the Enoch GPS Charger to work very well and would recommend it to anyone that has an eTrex and spends much time geocaching. There were no real cons to mention, though a battery refresh button and thumb-screw would be a great little addition. The pros are of course the convenience of not having to always open your eTrex to change batteries and the DC adapter for the car which is a big plus for those that may travel or go out for several caches in a single day. You can simply plug the unit in while on the road traveling from one cache area to the next to help maintain peak battery level. I also do not think you can beat the value considering all of the included items and I give it two big thumbs up!
The Enoch GPS Charger Kit for the Garmin eTrex includes the following:
Charger, Weather-Proof Gasket, 2 Energizer 2100 mAh 'AA' Rechargable NiMH Batteries, Locking Swivel Belt Clip, 12VDC Auto-Adapter and UL Listed 120VAC Adapter. One Year Manufactures Warranty.
For more information or to order your Enoch GPS Charger Kit for the Garmin eTrex visit Enoch Power
Edited by PC Medic on Sep. 28 2004,12:48 pm