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We are having problems with Motorola MDT's drawing down the batteries in our Battalion Chief's Suburbans. What do other departments do to prevent this? We are going to install automatic switches that cut the power before it drops too low to start the vehicle. While this is an improvement, this will still cause us to have to power up the MDT and complete the sign in process if it shuts down. Time consuming and not something that can be done driving down the road. How do others handle this?

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Tom,
We have auto eject plugs on ours, they were installed just for that purpose. Haven't had any problems while running though, only when shut off. We us Panasonic Tough Books if it makes a difference.
Tom, We also utilize a Auto-Elect system combined with a second battery with a isolator switch. This means that the Tough book along with other added electronics that require power (spare portable radio's in a charger, accountability devises, TIC's etc.) when not plugged in or when the vehicle is running will not drain the main vehicle battery. This puts us into a safe place as the vehicle battery will not be depleted because of the additional electronics.

I hope this helps. If you require additional information as far what specific devices we utilize or installation procedures feel free to e-mail and I can get you additional information from our mechanic.

P.J.
pjnwd@sbcglobal.net
Tom,
We experienced the same issue and have taken the same steps previously outlined. We also encountered a couple of problems that created a more rapid drain on the system. If the vehicle is also equipped with a GPS, that can be an additional drain. We also had a bad battery on the laptop that was causing excessive charging and rapid drain on the battery. The police experience the same issues and typically you kill the vehicle battery within 5 or 6 hours if not plugged in.
We use a second battery with an isolater to run all of our extra equipment. We also are running in a 2004 Silverado which has a built in safety system which will shut down everything before the main battery gets too low to start the truck (This only works if you connect to the main power block and not directly to the battery) The only other problem is that with the extensive drain on the secondary battery when the vehicle is parked where there is no power drop it depletes the battery thus when you start the truck you have two batteries charging on the same system and one of them requires more charge than the other, this will cause premature failure of the extra battery and possibly the main battery too. I know that we go through probably 2.5 to 1 auxillary batteries vs main batteries. We did install 30 amp super auto-eject drops for everything so that any unit can plug in anywhere. (We are in Florida so we have RV a/c units on all vehicles, along with battery conditioners).

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