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Discussion Starter #1
Guys, Considering buying a G shock Tough Solar but need a bit of clarity, does this mean the solar cell will top up the battery indefinately or as it seems to be listed on the spec will the battery peg out after three years or so....
Cheers JED
 

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Well, any battery can only be charged/discharged a certain number of times. The tough solars are so efficient, that once charged, you'll probably be hard pressed to see it drop below a high charge state. I'd comfortably bet that the battery will last more than 3 years. I did hear that some 300 series atomic/solar G's had a problem, prematurely killing the battery, but there is a fix for that.
 

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And might I add that once you get the solar, I think you'll love it. A solar/atomic G is the perfect combination. Never have to worry about the watch gaining/losing time, and the battery is always full!
 

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Cheers Topher, but is it worth paying the extra for a solar charging system if the battery only lasts the same as a regular G shock....? Is it redundant technology....? I dunno.....:-s
Jed
 

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or as it seems to be listed on the spec will the battery peg out after three years or so....
Cheers JED
I've never seen that spec on a solar G-Shock. I'm sure they're expected to last nearer 10 years than 3 years of normal use.

Personally I think technology is fine, as long as you steer clear of the models known to suffer from the solar 'bug'. |>
 

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Cheers Topher, but is it worth paying the extra for a solar charging system if the battery only lasts the same as a regular G shock....? Is it redundant technology....? I dunno.....:-s
Jed
I've had solars more than 3 years, with no problems so far.

But there's another advantage to solars, particularly on watches with lots of energy-consuming functions, like alarm, compass, light, barometer etc.

With a normal battery, each usage of one of these functions will drain the battery a bit, and so shorten the life of the battery.

With a solar, you'll drain the battery a bit right now, but it'll top up to a full charge again. So you don't have to ration your usage of the functions. Just play with them as much as you like. If you do drain it enough that the battery drops to less than full, just stop playing with it for a while until the battery is charged again.
 

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Cheers Topher, but is it worth paying the extra for a solar charging system if the battery only lasts the same as a regular G shock....? Is it redundant technology....? I dunno.....:-s
Jed
Well, you could use that argument, and not get a G at all, as I'm willing to guess that most of the people that purchase a G don't truly test the capabilities of the watch. I'd buy it because I like it, and then rest easy knowing that the technology will function far longer than you're expecting it to.
 

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Has there been any feedback on how long 'tough solars' work? Three years seems ridiculous to me. Surely people have owned Frogmen and the like for close to 10 years etc.

May be we should have a survey. :think:
 

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For me it's psychological more than anything really.

Beeing a true WIS I can't stand thinking that my battery has X years of life left and than assuming (read: guessing) how long was it since the battery was installed at the factory...

Not fun for me. Plus, in this day and age it feels kinda silly to purchase something that needs a battery with solars so easily available.

As for the technology, I know for a fact that some Citizen echo drive models last well over 10 years with no issues, so why a Casio woudn't?

It's just a nice comfy feeling that you'll never need the battery, regardless of how long do you own the watch. It's also nice to know that all of a sudden it does not matter how much do you use backlight and alarm and chrono... you just know that that does not affect the watch at all...

As for atomic... it's a nice bonus but not critical for me. Quartz is already more than acurate for me (15 sec per month is really all of an accuracy that I'll even need... mind you I used to wear automatic for years that was gaining 10 sec per day and was never late for any of my appointments)
 

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Has there been any feedback on how long 'tough solars' work? Three years seems ridiculous to me. Surely people have owned Frogmen and the like for close to 10 years etc.

May be we should have a survey. :think:
I have already asked (not in a poll but a question), and from those that replied, the response was not so good.

Though for solar technology, there dosen't seem to be much fault with Casio, the watch works fine. Most faults turn out to be from the CTL rechargable lithium battery made by Panasonic?????? Ok it is amazing that the battery is just like an ordinary litium battery and easy enough to replace. So even if it has the same life span, we would not mind changing the batt if it were to be as widely available as the normal litiums and not cost half the price of a new watch.

If only the tough solar functioned like Casio solar calculators, where the direct solar energy (when available) is channeled to power the watch (and automatically cut or reduce power from the battery supply) instead of constantly running and charging the rechargable lithium. as this might prolong the life of the battery.
 

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If only the tough solar functioned like Casio solar calculators, where the direct solar energy (when available) is channeled to power the watch (and automatically cut or reduce power from the battery supply) instead of constantly running and charging the rechargable lithium. as this might prolong the life of the battery.
Yeah, it's the battery's weakness alas, not the solar charging system. Which means, all they need do is design a much longer lasting rechargeable battery.

I have a 17 year old Casio solar powered calculator that still works like new.
 

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From what I've read so far Casio went in different direction: instead of replacing the battery they tried to designed the watch that needs LESS energy to run.

I remember some articles on Seiya japan saying just how much has technology changed over the years.

Plus, if my memory serves me well those CTLs were really faulty on one batch and that's it... we really don't have very many reports of battery failures on CTL. Even for that "old batch" reports of failure were really VERY very few.
 

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Solar technology is nice and all, but it's not a selling point for me. Batteries are cheap and easy to replace. It's not like your G-Shock will die one day, and you never knew it was coming. The barely glowing backlight usually drives me crazy enough to install a new battery, before the old battery actually dies.

Battery replacements also provide incentive for me to lube or replace my case back gaskets. The watch really needs to be opened for maintenance anyway. Keep that in mind if you're thinking that a solar watch is a completely maintenance free option. Sooner or later, you'll be confronted by an inevitable gasket or bezel change, and you should be prepared with the needed parts than have long since been discontinued. A long lived G-Shock is a matter of planning and preparedness

And then there are the infrequent failures. I've had 2 tough solar failures this year. Neither were by fault of the batteries themselves. Both were in models with known issues, but they have done nothing to inspire confidence in me.

The only Tough Solar G-Shocks that I really trust are the models with ML series batteries.
 

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Yeah, it's the battery's weakness alas, not the solar charging system. Which means, all they need do is design a much longer lasting rechargeable battery.

I have a 17 year old Casio solar powered calculator that still works like new.

:) Man Casio is so confident of their solar calculators that they don't even put a manual off switch in some their calculators, they are happy to auto off when there is no solar power.
 

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Well for me, the whole point about solar cells is that they should reduce battery replacement, and hence be a much better option for the environment by reducing toxic landfill. So while you still need to replace or regrease the gaskets every so often, replacing the solar battery is much more an issue of waste management, not maintenance.

Also, I believe long lasting solar cell technology already exists with the Citizen Eco-drives which have been known to last well over 10 years without any sign of failure (according to one jeweler I talked to). Where has Casio gone wrong if this isn't the case with their Tough Solars?
 

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:) Man Casio is so confident of their solar calculators that they don't even put a manual off switch in some their calculators, they are happy to auto off when there is no solar power.
True. Mine has no 'off' switch. It makes sense though...why add an extra switch which can break when you don't need to?

Great calculator...hope it lasts another 17 years. :-!
 

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Well for me, the whole point about solar cells is that they should reduce battery replacement, and hence be a much better option for the environment by reducing toxic landfill. So while you still need to replace or regrease the gaskets every so often, replacing the solar battery is much more an issue of waste management, not maintenance.

Also, I believe long lasting solar cell technology already exists with the Citizen Eco-drives which have been known to last well over 10 years without any sign of failure (according to one jeweler I talked to). Where has Casio gone wrong if this isn't the case with their Tough Solars?
Who said that they don't last that long? Very first solar powered G was Raysman if I recall correctly. And as far as I know wast majority of those still run fine. Mind you Raysman was one of the few (23xx and Frog are the only other watches that I'm aware of) that actually use ML not the infomus Panasonic CTL.

So again, we haven no reason to think that current generation of solar powered watches will not go for over 10 years with no problems.

By the way I'm not convinced that watch has to be opened regular bais for maintenance. There is plenty of reports out there of seiko auto divers running for 10+ years with NO MANINTENANCE WHATSOEVER. So I tend to think that rubber replacement is really more of a mith than anything else.
 

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Also, I believe long lasting solar cell technology already exists with the Citizen Eco-drives which have been known to last well over 10 years without any sign of failure (according to one jeweler I talked to). Where has Casio gone wrong if this isn't the case with their Tough Solars?
Most Eco-Drives are simply quartz analog watches. There's a big difference between powering one of those, and a digital watch with an EL backlight, atomic synchronization, and/or a barometer, compass or thermometer. Two nights of heavy EL backlight use can almost completely drain a CTL1616 battery. A simple analog movement can be powered for many months on a single slow draining charge. The end point being that a typical Tough Solar is taxed far more heavily than a typical Eco-Drive.

That and the fact that Citizen is possibly doing a better with it's solar technology and parts quality.
 

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By the way I'm not convinced that watch has to be opened regular bais for maintenance. There is plenty of reports out there of seiko auto divers running for 10+ years with NO MANINTENANCE WHATSOEVER. So I tend to think that rubber replacement is really more of a mith than anything else.
Well that all depends on the quality of the rubber gaskets. My dad was a chemist (retired) who used to manufacture rubber compounds and has told me that high quality rubber can last donkeys years without needing replacement or maintenance like you say, but we're talking about people's real life experience with Casio watch gaskets, which appear not to be so resilient.

As for the lifetime of the solar cells in Casios, well most of the current ones appear to be made with the 'infamous' Panasonic CTL as you put it...how long they last I guess depends on the quality of the modules charging system and the quality of each batch of batteries I expect.

I find it interesting how often the Panasonic CTL1616 cops a beating based on a particular poor batch or one or two susceptible modules, when Casio still use it as their most common system. Why would they do that if it wasn't reliable and long lasting? Are they idiots, or is the infamous Panasonic's weakness a bit of a myth? :-s
 
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