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RE: Spyrus Battery Life

From: owner-support@gesn.com [mailto:owner-support@gesn.com]On Behalf Of Steve Knecht
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 12:49 PM

The Chico units that ran out of juice could have been from LA and may have been through an election.  However, it causes fairly big issues in the precinct, as it generally happened around 5:00pm during the busiest time of the day. 
Yeah,  I brought this up as an issue in my original message on the Spyrus.  I also pretty much assumed no one would really take me seriously until someone's batteries actually went dead.
1) Given the use of Spyrus in this environment, how long should be expect batteries to last? 
I'll send Ian a special release today or tomorrow that continually burns cards so we can get a rough idea.  There are unfortunately a lot of factors, including what kind of smart card is being used.  I expect the battery life will correlate pretty well with the number of cards burned however.
2) I haven't found a philips yet that fits the battery compartment.  Can McKinney provide to us or give us
    info on where we can get small (scratch that - tiny) phillips screw drivers. 
I sent a message to Ian requesting this in January.  You can buy those little ones by the pound.  It would make for a reasonable last resort solution, but lets face it, poll workers can't be expected to dick with watch screwdrivers as part of standard operating proceedure.
Spyrus has told me that they plan to change the design to use a snap-on battery compartment cover, but wouldn't committ to a timeframe.  Lets just say we are not their biggest customer so we can't exert much (any) pressure on them.
A fairly brute-force solution might be to just supply more than one of the things to each poll.  This also helps the case where one unit grows legs.  Given the price of five AVTS units typically used in a poll, supplying two Spyrus units doesn't seem like a big expense to me.
3) When changing batteries, do we "lose" the Global software stored in the unit?  My concern is obviously:  If the battery only lasts an election or two AND new software has to be loaded onto the Spyrus when batteries are changed, we have a problem.  Awaiting info. 
No, that is one nice thing about the design.  You won't even loose the ballots stored in its memory.