Unfortunately it's looking like many of us are going to have to close our doors again. At this point we have no idea for how long for. During this down time it's important that we keep our packs and equipment properly stored to ensure that things don't unnecessarily degrade over time.
Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries that power our packs and devices.
Day to day operation is great for these batteries, they love being cycled from fully charged to flat regularly over and over. Because our packs have great battery management systems built in, we are seeing sites get many many years service out of a set of batteries which is great. But, one thing our battery management system cannot control is 'off time' and storage. When not in use, LiPo batteries are best stored at a cell voltage of around 3.8 volts. Generally this voltage can be achieved by leaving the pack switched on for around half the day and then switching off when at the target voltage of 3.8 volts.
Displaying the current battery voltage differs depending on the type of system you have and the operating system you have.
If using a windows system, the easiest way to see the pack voltage is to briefly plug the pack in to charge and check the voltage displayed on the phaser screen.
For Helios Systems, and Begeara Systems Either of the above images indicates where the Voltage is displayed.
Nexus. Unfortunately there is no easy way to see the battery voltage on the vest. The rule of thumb here is to fully charge the pack then leave is turned on and idle for about 8 hours, by that stage the battery should be at around 3.8 volts.
If using O-Zone with the following systems - Phasor Strike, Helios 2, Laser Sports, Begeara 3, Helios Pro(O-Zone) The process is a little easier. Go to the Packs screen in the Web User Interface and hover your mouse over the battery icon, A pop-up will appear that displays the current battery voltage. (if using MOC2 tapping on the battery icon will display the pop-up)
Also during downtime is important to keep our packs clean,
This way when it's time to open again there are no weird smells or dust and dirt on the equipment.
On the day of shutdown thoroughly clean the equipment with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and your favourite antibacterial fragranced cleaning spray (Glen-20 in most cases). This includes Vests, Phasors, cables, Side Straps, Buckles, and Pack Racks. Make sure all phasors are clipped up to their vests and phasor cables are not twisted, tangled or stretched.
If the packs are to be stored on their pack racks make sure the charging system is turned off, all packs are unplugged from charge and if possible place sheet or blanket over the top to stop the packs from getting dusty. (Painter's Plastic drop sheet is great for this)
Make sure any doors to the vesting room are kept open to allow ventilation.
If the packs are to be stored away in boxes for example. Please place no more than 8 packs on top of one another. Try to place bubble wrap or equivalent between each pack. Extra care must also be taken to make sure phasor cables are not tangled or stretched. If the packs have just been cleaned make sure they are thoroughly dry before being packed away.