Battery Checking Season AND Best Battery Replacement Options
The dog days of summer and that’s your green light to grab your MarCum flasher or digital system from the garage and give it a once over and top off the battery.
The first step in your pre-season routine should be checking your batteries. Most flasher failures on the ice are caused by a bad battery, so now’s the time to inspect your MarCum’s power source.
“You could be kicking yourself later if you don’t take a minute to check everything out now,” says MarCum Pro-Staffer, Joel Nelson. “Nothing will wreck a good day of fishing faster than a bad battery, because there’s nothing you can do about it out on the ice.”
If your flasher will not turn on, or exhibits any of the following symptoms, a bad battery is the most likely culprit. A good volt meter or multimeter will tell you the status of your battery.
• Unit turns on, but there are no lights
• Unit turns on, but only works for a short time or screen flickers
• Unit will not mark bottom, with transducer clicking (When doing pre-season prep, the bottom is your tile or cement floor. When conducting this check, be sure that your transducer is a few feet or more off the ground, and hanging straight down.)
The next step in battery inspection is to ensure that your positive and negative wire leads remain attached securely to the battery and are not starting to bend or break.
“If your flasher battery sat unused over a few seasons, it’s probably lost some performance hours,” Nelson says. “So even if you charge it to what looks like full capacity, it won’t hold a charge as long as it used to, and could shut down out there on the ice.”
Once you know it’s time to replace a battery, you have two main choices to make: Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries or Lithium LiFePO4. Below is a quick breakdown of performance, features and price.
At the end of the day, MarCum embraces the fact that it’s actually cheaper to purchase Lithium technology in the long run. “You can pay now or pay more later,” says Nelson. “Why not enjoy half the weight, longer run-times, and a stress-free battery that you don’t have to replace until a decade or longer from now?”
If you’ve had your MarCum a few years or more, consider buying a replacement battery now – even if you have not yet noticed any performance issues. “It’s the cheapest insurance you can have for not ruining a great day on the ice,” says Nelson.
“Add up your fuel, bait, food, and other gear, and consider that this is only a one-time expense. I started to like running Lithium because it was roughly half the weight, but there is so many more benefits to it,” explains Nelson.
The lineup starts with a 12V10Ah LiFePO4 power source called the “Brute” at just over 2.5lbs. in weight. Move up to This battery comes standard with the Marcum M3L, M5L, LX7L, LX9L, and MX-7GPS. “ The Brute is the best flasher replacement battery available,” explains Nelson.
If you’re looking to replace a battery on another unit, or power additional accessories with big power needs, look to the LiFePO4 12V18Ah “King” or 12V30Ah “Max.” Really, there’s no power need on ice that a MarCum battery can’t serve.
The airline industry and parcel companies know that Lithium batteries can be dangerous, which is why MarCum has invested so much safety into their batteries.
MarCum currently holds the highest 3rd-party independent safety certifications a battery can achieve, and is proud to bring safe power to the forefront of the ice industry. Never worry about a charging fire, melted wires, or flying sparks again.
It’s worth noting that you can get Lithium and a whole lot more by checking out MarCum’s Lithium Shuttle. Complete with USB charging ports, rod holders, cable management system, adjustable handle and more, the Lithium battery is built-in to the shuttle, offering a feature-laden platform for any ice angler to enjoy Lithium technology.
If you want to find out more about the advantages of Lithium Power, check out this article.