Handheld XRFs are a key technology keeping the modern metal industry working. From scrap yards to foundries, these handhelds give us valuable information about the chemical composition and Alloy ID of the alloys we work with.
The Handheld XRF Industry started many years ago with the handheld XRF electronics growing to include interfaces on par with modern smartphones. Today, there are many older handheld XRF units that are the work horses for: alloy identification, chemical analysis, geological, and specialty analysis applications.
Some of these older handheld XRF guns:
- Were sold with only a single battery
- Users have lost their handheld XRF batteries
- Handheld XRF batteries have died
- Handheld XRF Batteries only hold 20-30 minutes of charge
- Handheld XRF Chargers no longer work
To make matters worse, manufacturers have stopped supporting some of these older units—this includes older units that are still run well and are still extremely valuable to our businesses! You may recognize some of the names that are no longer in the handheld metal analyzer space: Innov-X Systems (now Olympus), Rigaku, or Oxford (now Hitachi), etc.
Owners of single-battery XRF guns
should purchase a second battery...
and here’s why:
Batteries wear out, break, get lost, and even hold a reduced charge as they age. If you have a single battery for your handheld XRF and it no longer works suddenly, the original manufacturing may no longer support these old batteries and chargers. This can leave your organization like a fish out of the water if you handheld XRF is core to you day-to-day business. To make matter worse, sometimes supply chain issues can lead to longer lead times when your business needs your handheld back up and running ASAP!
"Batteries wear out, break, get lost, and even hold a reduced charge as they age."
Benefits of having two or more handheld XRF batteries:
- Increased Up time – you can always keep one battery fully charged
- The Just-In-Case Spare – if a battery is broken, no longer holds a charge, etc. you’re covered
Even if your handheld XRF came with the standard two batteries, XRF batteries have a limited life time. Each battery has a designed life time where performance drops over the life of the battery. The newer Lithium Ion Batteries have been robust sometimes lasting 10+ years! Still, accidents happen and sometimes batteries and chargers can get lost or thrown away. If this happens, waiting for an old fashioned quote can take UP TO 8 WEEKS! Don’t wait! Your battery is likely in-stock on alloygeek.com right now!
As a handheld XRF battery wears out, the uptime on your handheld XRF will significantly decrease. This is normal for any battery. We have seen many handhelds with a 4-6 hour battery life that lowered to only 20-30 minutes as the battery wear out. This change can be gradual and you may not even notice it! If the battery life of your handheld XRF is under 2 hours, you should be telling yourself “It’s time for a new battery!”
"If the battery life of your handheld XRF is under 2 hours, you should be telling yourself “It’s time for a new battery!”
So now you have working batteries for your handheld XRF; but, do you have the right charger? While we are focused on our daily responsibilities at work, we often do not give a second thought to the battery chargers we use on the daily… that is until they no longer work… A broken battery charger for a specialized piece of equipment can be difficult to find a specific replacement for and can be expensive to replace. To make matters worse, trickle charging the lithium ion batteries that power our handheld XRF units can ruin the batteries. Fortunately, alloygeek.com has these replacement chargers available for immediate shipment!
"trickle charging the lithium ion batteries that power our handheld XRF units can ruin the batteries"
But wait, there’s more! Alloy Geek can also repair your old battery chargers that are custom. There are many old but still functioning Niton handheld XRF units on the market such as XLt 898HeQW models. Units such as these have often have broken batteries and/or broken battery chargers. Thermo Fisher Scientific Niton no longer supports older models such as the XLt 898HeQW even with batteries and chargers. Simply reach out to us on alloygeek.com and we can work with you to get your handheld powered up again.
While we can provide batteries, chargers, and repair of those systems, Alloy Geek does not repair any handheld XRF units. For handheld XRF units that need to be serviced, we recommend you have them serviced by the original manufacturer or replace them with a newer unit. Alloy Geek can help find a new or pre-owned handheld XRF that fits your application. Simply reach out at alloygeek.com
This article was written by the original Alloy Geek, Nate Newbury.