standard avalanche transceiver battery test (as specified in EN
300-718) requires that the transceiver is left in transmit
mode for 200 hours at 10C (50F) and it should
then be able to receive a signal for at least one hour
at -10C (14F). The
transceiver comparison table displays
the manufacture's stated battery life. For example, when the
table lists "250/15", it means that the manufacture states that
the transceiver can receive for at least 250 hours (presumably at
50F) or receive for 15 hours (presumably at
Always use fresh, high quality, alkaline batteries and replace
them before they get low. All of the batteries should be replaced
at the same time using the same brand. Never use rechargeable batteries.
Beginning with version
3.2, the Mammut Pulse
can accept either alkaline or lithium batteries. Lithium batteries
are lighter, last longer (according to Mammut, in normal conditions
the batteries will last 50% longer than with alkaline), don't corrode,
and are more expensive. Note that you must change an internal setting
in the Pulse before changing the battery type.
The batteries should be removed if you are not going to use the
transceiver for a longer period of time (e.g., at the end of your
winter) to prevent damage due to battery leakage. You should also
remove the batteries if you ship your transceiver, because the transceiver
may be exposed to extreme temperatures and pressure changes during
shipping. Leaking batteries will void most transceiver warranties.
According to Mammut, you should return your transceiver to the
manufacture and have
the terminal contacts replaced if you see any corrosion
on the terminals.
Digital transceivers display the strength of the batteries on
the screen. Some manufactures say that there is still enough reserve
in the batteries to operate when the battery level displays 0%.
Here are a few manufacture's statements regarding their battery indicators:
- The Mammut Pulse
manual says the beacon will send for at least 20 hours and
then receive for one hour when the battery indicator says 20%.
- The Pieps DSP Sport/Pro
manual says that when the battery indicator (a bar) is empty but
not yet blinking, you can transmit for at least 20 hours and
then receive for one hour. That manual also states that when
the DSPs' battery is 1/3rd charged, it will transmit from between
20 and 120 hours. That's a ridiculously imprecise range. The
older (i.e., yellow) DSP's displayed the battery's status as
The consequences of your batteries dying before you should be