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What is Always On Mode?

Always On means that the output of the battery or power bank does not shut off after a set amount of time. It stays on.

When shipped, most of our batteries are in Auto-Off Mode. They are designed to shut themselves off after about 20 minutes of little or no power draw. This will usually occur if the device they are charging is full or is disconnected from the battery. To re-activate the output, the power button on the battery must be pressed. This helps conserve power in the battery.

However, there are times when you want to prevent the battery or power bank from shutting off when there is little to no power draw. With an Always On battery, you could power GPS tracking devices, perform time-lapse photography with GoPro and other cameras, or run Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and their peripherals. Essentially, if you want to power a device over several days, weeks, or months without human intervention, then the Always-On Mode is a good fit.

Note: While in Auto-Off mode, our batteries can output a minimum of 50mA without turning off after 20 minutes. Any current below this threshold will trigger the battery's Auto-Off function and shut the battery off after the 20 minute period.

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Which Voltaic batteries have Always On Mode?

The V15 and V44 are equipped with Always On Mode. The USB ports on these batteries have 5 volt output ranging from 1A to 2A. 

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What happens when the Voltaic battery drains completely?

The battery will shut off if it drains completely. Once the battery builds up a bit of a buffer of power and is partially charged (about twenty minutes of good sun), it will turn itself on again.

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How do I switch into and out of Always-On Mode?

First, check which mode your battery is in:

- Press the power button once to turn the battery on.

- Immediately after the LEDs turn on, double tap the power button.

- If after double tapping the power button the LEDs stay on for a few seconds, the battery is in Always On Mode. If the LEDs turn off immediately, the battery is in Auto-Off mode.

Second, to change which mode your battery is in:

Auto-Off: Hold the power button down for 5 seconds on the V15 and V44 until the LEDs blink 3 times and turn off immediately. 

Always-On: To override the Auto-Off mode, hold the power button for 5 seconds on the V15 and V44 until the LEDs blink 3 times and stay on for a few seconds. After this process, the batteries will no longer turn off automatically.

Note: Slightly more power is consumed in Always On Mode. If left for an extended period of time, you should connect it to a power source like one of our our 6 Volt solar panel kits.

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How do I power an Always On battery in the field?

Let's say you want to run a GoPro or Arduino for a month without intervention. You can use portable solar panels to charge up the V15 or V44 battery and the battery will power the GoPro or Arduino. To accurately size the panels and battery, you will need to spec out the power draw of your device and estimate how much power you are going to generate. Feel free to send the details of your system to our tech support form and we will give you a recommendation.

Here's a short video demonstrating always-on mode:

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