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BlackTip Batteries

Discussion in 'Dive Propulsion Vehicles' started by T-roy, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Only the one 12Ah set? This interferes with my perception of you as an over-achiever. Now I know you’re just a slacker like me.

    I do think the 12Ah would be a better fit for me as I like ultra-long dives on twinset. I’m sure I’ll pick up a pair when I get back to Florida.

    Happy to report that my BlackTip travel model in a Nanuk 960 travel case passed through airport secondary security (routine for hard cases) without a hitch. And all my dive-related batteries (DPV, Perdix and torches) in a hard side carry-on passed through personnel security screening without a second glance, too.
    Eyegore and stuartv like this.
  2. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manassas, VA
    Overachiever? LOL More like an over-doer (usually), I think... :) I will have a second set of 12Ah batteries at some point. It just hasn't bubbled to the top of the budget yet.
    NothingClever likes this.
  3. geoff w

    geoff w Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: malibu
    There is a pretty comprehensive brand comparison at

    I have the 12 AH Dewalts and it takes a lot to get them to start showing less than full

    When the Blacktips first came out, the 12 AH batteries cost less. I think I bought them for around $165, but since then the price seems to have gone up everywhere
  4. maxtrax

    maxtrax Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle, WA
    If you want max runtime for a single dive or doing multiple dives out of a RIB (or similar) where swapping battery packs is not practical the 12's are where it's at. But just like buying a top of the line CPU or graphics card, there is a serious price premium on the max performance option.

    If you are doing multiple dives in a day and can swap batteries between dives the 9's are a great option and probably the best bang for your buck. You can generally find a 2-pack of the name brand Dewalt 9's for the same price as a single 12, and if you go the offbrand route you can buy 3 or 4 of them for the same price as a single 12. With most of the offbrand packs we have tested we have found the runtime to be around 80% of the equivalent rated capacity name brand battery, but given the price savings you still come out ahead in a "runtime per $" metric. And remember, even the cheapest offbrand set of 9's still have better performance than an original Sierra or Echo NiMH battery, and people have been doing plenty of "real" dives on those scooters for 15+ years.

    And, following along with the Sierra reference, a set of name brand Dewalt 5's or offbrand 6's will give you roughly equivalent performance to a Sierra. So if you're really pinching pennies to get into your first DPV with a Blacktip Travel, the 5 or 6Ah packs should not be overlooked. Better yet, you or a friend may already have some Dewalt tools with 5Ah packs you can snag to test out and see if you really need the bigger packs and longer run time for your dives.
  5. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    Looks like my first pair of batteries will be a set of 9Ah DeWalts. After that I can determine if it was a good choice and get a second set of 9s, or if I should get a set of 12s. Worst case, change out the tech tube for an exploration tube and buy even more. I really don't see that happening. 9s should do me fine unless this really changes my diving profiles a LOT.
    NothingClever likes this.
  6. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Good plan, brother.
  7. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Solo Diver

    I'm holding out for another week or so. The credit card already took a nasty hit this month. It's pretty bad when you walk out of a tech dive shop with a receipt for $3k+ and the only hardware you left with was an SMB. The rest is all back ordered.
  8. AustinV

    AustinV Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NoVA
    I started with the Waitley 9 Ah, now I have the DeWalt 9 Ah. I am VERY happy with the DeWalt 9s, I was able to run the Waitleys down to completely dead in a day of diving, the DeWalts I have only been able to get to 1/2 battery showing on the LED meter. I will eventually buy a second set of DeWalt 9 Ah, no plans at this time to buy the 12 Ah batteries as the 9s are plenty for the diving I am doing.
    maxtrax, NothingClever and stuartv like this.
  9. gentlegrunt

    gentlegrunt Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: austin, TX
    How was the trip? Did the battery successfully go through security check? I thought only 5Ah can be brought onto the flight.
  10. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    So far, so good. Been on five flights so far with different airport security teams and carriers and no issues.

    All my batteries (2 x 9Ah, 18650s, 26650s, etc) ride in a small carry on case I picked up from Harbor Freight. I usually steer clear of Harbor Freight’s crummy products but sometimes they nail it. This one will fit four PTBs AND the DeWalt charger with room left over for shipping documentation, a Perdix, etc. The case is a good fit for boat diving and LOBs. The one drawback is this case gets a little heavy if you have looooong walks through airports. Just make it a workout - count 100 paces, switch arms, repeat.

    4800 Weatherproof Protective Case - X-Large Black

    Do your research, print your homework, highlight key sections and be prepared to tactfully educate a security screener who might not be as familiar with the letter of the law. Some carriers allow multiple batteries, others only one set.


    The DPV is in the Nanuk 960 case which already looks totally broken in as it should considering how many gravel lots, stairsteps and heave hoes into various vehicles it’s been through in the past month. The nice thing about the 960 is it accommodates the new compass mount that Patrick Sadowski developed. Only one security screener asked what I had in the case and then quickly ushered me on.

    I think the run time and the range of the 12Ah are worth it. I’m not at all unhappy with the 9Ah but I’m looking forward to picking up some more run time. I use the 70% planning factor @kensuf shared recently. So with a 9Ah set, that’s ~65 minutes at cruising speed. With the 12Ah set, that’s ~86 minutes. The range depends too much on the conditions so not going to opine on that.

    Still have one flight left on what could be a problematic carrier but I’m confident I’ll be cruising the Red Sea again soon.
    stuartv likes this.

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