UWLD Heat Controller Review's Needed

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Bobby

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I know I don't post much though I check the board regularly. I'm not strong in the marketing department and tend to concentrate more on making and developing our products. I've had a number of people contact me lately regarding our heat controller system and have asked me to point them to reviews of our products. So I'm asking, those that have experience, please post a review about our heat controller.

Thanks in advance,

Bobby
 

a878bob

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Hey Bobby, I’m been using your heat controller for several years now, coupled with the sitech inflation valve. I use it to run my vest and gloves. I dive exclusively in cold water, it’s 35’ now. Brrrr. And I couldn’t do it without your setup. I have the 107 batt and it will run a couple of hours.

The issue we have talked about previously is the sensitivity of the piezo switch, it doesn’t take much to hit the button and turn it off during a dive. Then really have to focus to turn it back on, my gloves are thick and I have to push it just right. So I’ve made a small cover for the piezo switch out of Tupperware and bungie. It protects the switch from banging onto my gear and turning off. It pulls out of the way and returns easily because of the bungie. I turn it on when kitting up and adjust on the fly while in the water.

Overall it’s probably my most valuable gear. Thank you!
 

JohnnyC

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I’d love to be able to but every time I go to buy one I end up getting a contract OCONUS and have to put it on hold and stick to shallow recreational dives!

One day though......
 

BFRedrocks

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Hey Bobby, I’m been using your heat controller for several years now, coupled with the sitech inflation valve. I use it to run my vest and gloves. I dive exclusively in cold water, it’s 35’ now. Brrrr. And I couldn’t do it without your setup. I have the 107 batt and it will run a couple of hours.

What vest and gloves do you use? My wife is planning on the Santi setup with the 107wh batt and is very interested in the burn time.

The issue we have talked about previously is the sensitivity of the piezo switch, it doesn’t take much to hit the button and turn it off during a dive.

It was my understanding that it takes a button hold of 3 secs to turn on/off the heat controller, so is that not correct? I get how a sensitive switch could get "tapped" a couple of times if it's hitting something, but wouldn't that just change the heat setting, or could it actually turn the heat off? I do like the idea of a piezo cover for the heat controller, but I wasn't sure how necessary it was.
 

tbone1004

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@BFRedrocks hitting the piezo switch will cycle the settings but you have to hold it to turn it off. I think the covers are usually to prevent accidental turn-on as getting a piezo to active isn't just a "light tap" you do actually have to press it.

in terms of how long it lasts, that's impossible to answer.
The BZ400 pulls a max of 110w, the vest pulls 55w, and the gloves pull 36w.
Now, you can say that oh if you have the BZ400 and gloves, that is 146wh, so the 107wh battery will only be good for 45mins. That is true, but the vests get up about 110F when they're on high. That is HOT. Not enough to burn you, but more than enough to make you uncomfortable in all but the coldest water. These vests are designed to go with other layers of undergarments and work in addition to other undergarments instead of replacing them altogether, but still need to be over your base layer. You may put it on high to take an initial chill off, or depending on the battery may need to as the battery winds down *i.e. light monkey, halcyon, santi batteries that actually run at a lower battery voltage than the vests can take, but with the UWLD high is the same high at the end of the dive as it is in the beginning. With the other solutions, they start at 12.6v when fully charged and the vest panels are designed for 12.5-13v as given out by motorcycle alternators *the original application of these things*. When the batteries are at "nominal" voltage, it will be 11.1v and the heat output is drastically reduced. The pitkin controller for example will spit out 100% of battery voltage, but as that drops off, so does your heat. With the UWLD "nominal" voltage is 18v, so it is always bucking the voltage down to full heat regardless of battery charge.
 

rjack321

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What vest and gloves do you use? My wife is planning on the Santi setup with the 107wh batt and is very interested in the burn time.
For me with a 55w vest under a weezle extreme+ undergarment a 100wh battery is right around 2 hrs of heat. I rarely run at 100% but I also don't run the battery to 0.
If you have thinner undergarments and run the vest higher (because you lose more heat) you are in the 1.5 to 1.75hr range with a 100wh battery.

The full santi suit is far more watts than I desire and I don't like thinsulate based undergarments compared to weezles anyway.
 

BFRedrocks

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I guess I'll find out how long the 160wh battery lasts with my undersuit and gloves (146w total), but doing the math, it should be (based on Bobby's 110% suggestion) about 75 minutes at 80%, 100 minutes at 60%, and 150 minutes at 40%. After watching Neil Pollock's podcast on thermal control and decompression, I am hopeful to be comfortable enough to run the controller at 60% for the first half of the dive, and then ascend at 80%, which should give me about 80-85 minutes total, or enough for 2 dives in 28 deg F water. :)

I'll report back all the fun details after the trip, or at least after I try it out once the temps drop enough here to use it.
 

Bobby

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Our heat controllers have been out for 4 years and are very popular. Until this year they have also been extremely reliable. We have had a high amount of Piezo switch failures, in the controllers only. They use a different Piezo switch than our lights. After a lot of head scratching and testing I figured out that it is a design issue with the LED indicator light in the switch.
So I set out to fix the problem. Along the way I thought why not add some functionality to make it even better. Now we have our own engineered solution that I'm confident will be up to the UWLD reliability standards. It also provides battery status indication. No more guessing about where your battery is or whether you need to recharge it. One of the worst things for a Li-ION battery is to charge it when it doesn't need it, it will shorten the life of the battery. The next worst thing is to not have enough battery to get you through the decompression obligation with heat. We solve both of these issues with the change and yes, it can be retrofitted to all past UWLD heat controllers.
This is how it will work. If you want to retrofit your existing controller the cost is $128.00 USD. If your switch fails then we will retrofit under warranty. We will not warranty damaged or abused switches.
The heat controller maintains the 5 levels of heat control, constant heat for each setting regardless of battery voltage, etc.. Now there are three much brighter LED's (compared to the LED in the old switch) and battery status indication.
https://uwlightdude.com/heating-solutions/
 

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BFRedrocks

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Any updates on the Santi undersuit and battery?
Not yet...I don't have the battery yet (it's on order and expected soon) and the big trip isn't for another 3 months. I am hopeful to be able to test everything out before the trip though, so maybe in a couple of weeks.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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