Crystal Battery Life

pacarat
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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by pacarat » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:02 am

Curious to see what the components’ specs are now (LEDS, resistors, etc.) compared to the early stuff. Are they using bits that require more power?

It’s Ohms Law everywhere, so there has to be an explanation.

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by zenako » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:34 am

The challenge is not the look of the LED's, we can pretty much all agree they are cool. Earlier uses for things like wall torches and lamps and even fires have a pretty useful service life. Can't recall any of the burning out yet. And many of those have been used for quite a few hours cumulatively. It is the really short shelf life folks are seeing with the crystals and other locations in the latest release that is troubling. Pretty much all of the ones I got lasted less than an hour, out of the box. I have not replaced any yet, but part of that is a reluctance to start draining the battery before I even want to use it. The controllers seem cool, but really get wonky once the power gets at all low and the controllers become ineffective, rendering all the cool features moot. For all those admittedly cool features to be worth it, they need to work and work reliably. As a DM, it was frustrating in my first build using them late last year for the epic crystals to basically be dead and non-responsive before the players could really see them. I had tried them out for a bit beforehand, but that was enough to drain the power levels.

Now it is possible that all of the factory-installed batteries were inexpensive ones, or perhaps getting old and had lower expected life left in them. At some point, I will replace some and see how long it lasts. Almost all of the concerns expressed thus far are based on batteries from the factory, not new replacements. If new ones last a number of hours (I would hope for at least 3) then the blame shifts from design to old batteries in the tiles.

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by arsthein » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:43 am

Rabbit Burner wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:30 am
It is innovations like these that will help keep DF ahead of the 3D print brigade, so we do not see them being dropped anytime soon.
I have to politely disagree, I think DF crew's designing and sculpting talent, plus quality, product durability, etc, would be enough to put them ahead of the rest, tbh.

Talking about where myself personally stand, LED's do nothing for me and still I'm a DF-first fan (and although I dip sometimes in other products, that doesn't look like is going to change in many years to come).

If we talk about clever designs like magnet and pole accesories (not magnets under the terrain pieces) I may feel more inclined to agree in seeing them as a minor factor that adds to the utility of the raw 3D terrain, but not LEDs (not that I don't think that some very special pieces benefit for having them, like the Moam).

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by Rabbit Burner » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:30 am

MBCE wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:53 pm
I've never been a fan of the LED pieces. Yeah, they add a lot to the game, but since most of my games are with the same people, the LEDs are rarely used. I do like using them for the large convention game that I get to run once a year. Not sure if I'll be able to show off Caverns Deep this year though due to the present pandemic though.

I would not be upset if DF decided to drop the LED feature. It would lower costs and perhaps speed up production time.
We like the LEDs though we do not use them often. But when we do it always gets many 'wow'.

It is innovations like these that will help keep DF ahead of the 3D print brigade, so we do not see them being dropped anytime soon.
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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by AnimeSensei » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:53 pm

zenako wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:25 pm
This does matter since making tiles with LEDs ramps up the cost. If those same LEDs basically become almost unusable due to such short battery life, then that whole feature becomes moot.
While I like LEDs, this is a concern for me as well. The cost/benefit is off. Every other release of LEDs I have from Dwarven Forge is still going strong, with the exception of some Catacombs pieces from about 5 years ago; I need to change some batteries FINALLY there. That's a little different than one session.
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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by Oldent » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:50 pm

Vegomatic wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:10 pm
Has anyone tested the life of new batteries?
I have not had a problem or felt the need to test.
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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by Vegomatic » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:10 pm

Has anyone tested the life of new batteries?

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by MBCE » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:53 pm

I've never been a fan of the LED pieces. Yeah, they add a lot to the game, but since most of my games are with the same people, the LEDs are rarely used. I do like using them for the large convention game that I get to run once a year. Not sure if I'll be able to show off Caverns Deep this year though due to the present pandemic though.

I would not be upset if DF decided to drop the LED feature. It would lower costs and perhaps speed up production time.

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by zenako » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:25 pm

This does matter since making tiles with LEDs ramps up the cost. If those same LEDs basically become almost unusable due to such short battery life, then that whole feature becomes moot. For whatever reason, the current draw on the LEDs used for those larger crystal tiles drains the charge of the battery at what is really an unacceptable rate. Makes for a cool short demo or light shot, but if trying to use them for actual gameplay, they die way too quickly for most practical purposes and replacing them is not all that quick or cheap if you have to do multiple ones at the same time.

Unless some new tech comes along, this should be a warning to DF that trying to go big on those LEDs is not going to be as popular as they might hope. Plugin tech, like in KS 6.66 does not face the battery dying issue but does face the how do I deal with the power wire issue unless they come up with basically a flat cable and create a connector on the bottom side of the tile that would fit in the normal backside cavities so tiles could sit flat.

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Re: Crystal Battery Life

Post by NiandoBG » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:08 pm

I have not painted mine yet so no clue how long the batteries will last.
But to be honest I like the RGB LED mot much.
IMO the encounter looks super awesome w/o LEDs.
I guess that is the reason why I don‘t care a lot about the lifetime of the batteries.
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