Quench Controller in use - Part 2

We have already revealed that my home brew Quench controller based upon an recycled SEA & SEA TTL Converter functioned just fine. And I used a few dives to fine tune any mechanical tray / arm issues. Back to the battery power world.

To review: my goal was to accomplish at least a whole day of diving before a required battery change.

For me a minimum length dive is 60 minutes. I want a slush fund of at least 15 minutes pre-dive slack time. I like to dive 3 or 4 times a day. So 4 x 90 minutes would be my daily power target.

Before our dive trip I had jammed in a bunch of low power logic that allowed my Quench controller to sleep 8 seconds at a time. This low power mode survived for several days on used batteries in my basement before our trip. This test revealed nothing about real world active power requirements (except if it all went blank over night then I was totally screwed).

Our T&C EX II liveaboard trips feature 5 dives per day. Over the years we have learned that 4 dives a day is enough for us. So we sleep through the second afternoon dive. This sleepy behaviour caused a little confusion on my battery tests. Plus the fact that night dives are sacrosanct. Nothing less than life threatening is allowed to curtail a night dive. My divebuddy considers camera as luxury items.

My first outing with the new controller was an afternoon dive. All went well. It performed as expected (no water floods). A fresh set of batteries allowed me to confidently do the night dive with the same set. I left the controller in "off" mode on the dive deck over night. In the morning it still had power (as expected from my single basement trial at home). At this point I started to become a bit paranoid. End of the day, could I stretch the batteries?

Sanity prevailed and I popped in a fresh set of batteries the next day. Assumed all would be well. batteries should last a full day. Nope. Sucks to be me.

Turns out that I could get a little over 3 full dives on a set of batteries. I discovered this underwater the next day when I stretched the Quench controller into it's fourth dive of the day. Bad decision. At the start of the dive the Quench controller was fully responsive. Mid dive my strobes stopped firing, The controller still showed some (partial) signs of life. Not enough to fire strobes.

The rest of the trip I swapped batteries (50 cents worth) every 3 dives. No worries. Just a pain.

The latent revelation was the realization that the original SEA & SEA TTL converter worked on 3 volt power supply. Maybe I missed something?