Good riddance to coin cells!

Coin cells are popular in current skydiving altimeters. However, they pose a hidden danger.

Coin cells can be deadly to very young children or pets if ingested. Even used up coin cells can generate enough voltage to generate sodium hydroxide from the electrolysis of water, which could burn a hole through the digestive lining and cause permanent (and sometimes fatal) damage.

Brilliant Pebbles uses rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries which eliminates the need to keep buying coin cells. Lithium-polymer batteries have their own risks (mainly fire), however the amount of lithium in Brilliant Pebbles is so small that this is not an issue, compared to say a laptop, tablet, or large smartphone (Samsung Galaxy Note 7 anyone?).

However, you may say, lithium batteries have a limited life span. And they do – they are typically good for about 500 recharge cycles before losing significant capacity. But Brilliant Pebbles’ battery lasts for at least 2 months on standby! Assuming recharging once every 2 months, it would take 83 years to reach 500 cycles!

Of course, the battery life reduces the more jumps you do. One of our busiest customers, a tandem instructor, does approximately 50-60 jumps per week, and he reported that he had to recharge Brilliant Pebbles about twice a month.

To reach 500 charging cycles at this rate would take 20.3 years!

Charging to 100% takes less than an hour so it’s a lot less inconvenient than many people make it out to be. We’ve gotten used to charging our smartphones every day (and this is why they last less than 5 years), and Brilliant Pebbles uses the same charger.

It is conceivable that somebody could be jumping this long, however hopefully by then we have supercapacitor batteries, and much better altimeters! Also, if any Brilliant Pebbles batteries runs out prematurely, we will cover it under warranty (2 years) and provide replacements.

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