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About NEO Batteries and Power Sources

Renaissance Responders and NEO 2 will no longer be supported after future software updates.

This topic includes technical information about batteries for your NEO 2, including the following:

Your NEO receives power in one of two ways:

  • Through three AA batteries (alkaline provide the longest battery life - up to 700 hours or more)
  • Through an optional internal rechargeable battery pack you have purchased (see www.renaissance.com for details)

If you use AA batteries, all three must be the same type. When the battery power is low, you can replace the batteries as described below ("Replacing AA Batteries").

If you have a rechargeable battery pack, you recharge it with the AC adapter that came with the battery pack. For more information, see below ( Using the Optional Rechargeable Battery Pack).

When your NEO 2 is connected to your computer with a USB cable, it also receives power from the computer. However, NEO functions are limited when it is connected to a computer.

NEO 2 turns on automatically when you use a USB cable to connect it to

  • A SmartOption Mobile Lab or an AlphaHub that is on (usually in a classroom situation)
  • A running computer

NEO 2 remains on until the cable is disconnected or the AlphaHub or computer is turned off. When the cable is disconnected or power is removed from the cable, NEO 2 returns to the state it was in before connecting. For example, if it was off before connecting, it will turn off again when disconnected.

When connected to a computer or AlphaHub, NEO 2 uses the power available from the computer even if no batteries are installed. Don't connect the AC adapter when NEO 2 is connected to a computer; it's not necessary.

When you replace NEO's AA batteries, you must change all three batteries. If one discharged AA battery is used with two new batteries, the battery life is significantly reduced, even though two out of the three are new.

Follow these steps to replace the batteries:

  1. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw on the back of the NEO (A).
  2. Put your thumbs in the circles on the battery compartment cover (B) and slide the compartment cover toward the left to remove it from the NEO.
  3. Remove the old AA batteries.
  4. Insert three new AA batteries into the compartment. Make sure the + end of each battery points toward the black and red cables.
  5. Put the battery compartment cover back on and slide it back in place.
  6. Insert the small Phillips screw in the hole in the cover and use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten it to make sure the cover stays shut.

If you purchased a rechargeable battery pack, your batteries are automatically recharged whenever you connect the NEO to a computer or AlphaHub using a USB cable. You can also recharge the batteries by plugging the NEO in using the AC adapter. See below to find out how to charge or recharge the battery pack using the AC adapter.

Important: If you're going to store your NEO 2 for a month or longer, charge it before you store it, and then again after you take it out of storage to compensate for the batteries' self-discharge.

These are the specifications for the AC adapter that is included with the rechargeable battery pack:

  • Class 2 transformer
  • Input: AC 120V 60Hz 9W (US) or 230V 50Hz 11.5W (UK and Europe)
  • Output: DC 7.5V 500 MA

You should always use the AC adapter supplied with the battery pack; don't use other types.

NEO 2's rechargeable battery packs use Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) cells. NiMH cells can be charged about 500 times. Fully charged batteries can power the NEO 2 for 60-150 hours (or even much longer), depending on use. (Note, however, that fully charged batteries that are never used lose their charge in about a month due to the self-discharge effect.)

New NiMH batteries need to be "cycled" - also known as "conditioned" - three to five times before they hold a full charge. This means that, during the first three to five charge cycles, the batteries hold a successively better charge each time until they reach full capacity.

To charge the batteries, plug the AC adapter into a working electrical outlet and connect it to the power port on the left side of your NEO 2.

To condition the batteries, follow these steps:

  1. Fully charge your NEO 2 with the AC adapter.
  2. Use your NEO 2 without the AC adapter until the low battery message appears. (This may take 60-150 hours of use.)
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 three to five times.

You'll get the longest life from your batteries if you wait for the low battery warning to appear before recharging so the batteries aren't needlessly recharged. Charging with the AC adapter for about 8-16 hours fully charges the batteries; if you use an AlphaHub or USB cable to recharge the batteries, it may take as long as 24 hours. Don't charge the batteries for more than a week; doing so may damage the batteries.

The indicator light (A) turns green when the device is fully charged.

Rechargeable batteries that aren't used over time lose their charge and need to be fully charged again before being used.

If the batteries lose too much charge while in storage (which can happen if you store your NEO 2 for longer than you intended), the batteries themselves may become damaged, which in turn can damage the NEO 2.

Important: If you're going to store your NEO 2 for a month or longer, charge the batteries before you store it, and then charge them again after you take the NEO out of storage to compensate for the batteries' self-discharge.

Well-maintained rechargeable batteries last about 500 charges, or about three years. If your battery charge lasted forty hours in the past, but now it lasts only one hour, you need a new battery pack.

If your batteries have run down, and you don't have an AC adapter, you can still connect your NEO to your computer and transfer the data in your files while the computer provides power to your NEO. You can also temporarily switch to AA alkaline batteries until you can obtain a new rechargeable battery pack.

Each rechargeable battery cell is a sealed container enclosing a nickel electrode and a potassium hydroxide electrolyte.

The electrolyte is caustic. Avoid contact with skin or eyes. If exposed accidentally, flush eyes with water immediately.

Warning! Do not incinerate or mutilate the battery, as this may cause it to burst or release toxic materials. Do not short circuit, as this may cause burns. Please dispose of in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

When your AA batteries or rechargeable batteries are getting low, a warning message appears on the NEO screen.

The message appears about eight hours before your AA batteries are dead and about twenty minutes before your rechargeable batteries are dead.

Be sure to replace your AA batteries or recharge your optional battery pack before the batteries are completely discharged.

To find out how much battery charge is remaining, follow these steps to check the battery status on your NEO 2:

  1. Press ctrl--B. The display shows a picture representing the amount of battery power left and a message showing the percentage.
  2. Press any key to return to your file.

You can also check battery status in the Control Panel by following these steps:

  1. Press applets.
  2. Move the cursor down next to Control Panel and press enter.
  3. Move the cursor down next to Display battery status and press enter. The display shows a picture representing the amount of battery power left and a message showing the percentage.
  4. Press any key to leave this screen.
  • To avoid battery leakage in AA batteries, change the batteries as soon as they become weak.
  • Do not drop, puncture, disassemble, mutilate, or incinerate the batteries.
  • Do not leave batteries in hot locations.

NEO 2 contains a secondary backup battery that isn't intended to be accessed by users.

The lithium battery provides power to the memory and helps prevent data loss when the unit is turned off or when the batteries are dead or removed.

The lithium battery will last approximately five to seven years.

If you suspect a problem with the lithium battery, visit www.renaissance.com for more information or contact Technical Support for assistance.

California USE Only:

This Perchlorate warning applies only to primary CR (Manganese Dioxide) Lithium coin cells sold or distributed ONLY in California, USA:

"Perchlorate Material-special handling may apply. See www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/perchlorate."