Backcountry Battery Connections — Ortovox, Black Diamond — Beacons, Headlamps

Post by blogger | September 28, 2005      

Headlamps for backcountry skiing./></td>
<td class=Black Diamond Ion Headlamp crosses the species barrier.

The Ortovox beacon recall got me thinking about battery connections in the different electronic devices we use for backcountry skiing. Alkaline batteries have are dense and heavy — when subjected to shock loads they move with significant force(presumably that’s at least part of the reason for the Ortovox problems).

I’ve had 2-way radios quit after a day of jiggling bent the battery contacts, and have also had the problem with many flashlights and headlamps. Our favorite smaller headlamp is the Black Diamond Ion. One iteration of the Ion headlamp had this problem as well — and was quietly fixed by Black Diamond. Props to BD for an effective and subtle redesign! Details in photo below.

Internals of Ion headlamp to left show new battery holder design, with a nice spring to absorb shock and fatigue. Headlamp to right is older design, the small metal tabs in the battery compartment would fatigue and compress, and had to be modified by gently bending them back out and placing small chunks of cardboard behind them.


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