PIPE Usage and Troubleshooting

Published: 2007-05-18


Last Updated: 2016-03-29


Applies To





Care and Storage


Battery Life

PIPE battery life is directly related to the volume of button scans and the storage conditions for the PIPE. The more scans you perform, the shorter the life of the battery. Keeping the PIPE clear of metal when not in use and taking it out of the Downloader when finished downloading (except Stubby PIPE) will help prolong battery life.


Typical battery life for The PIPE is about two years. Click here to see information about the expected battery life for PIPE II and Stubby PIPE. These are estimates only - your battery life may vary. How to check the battery in the PIPE.


The PIPE and PIPE II battery is not rechargeable, and the Downloader is not a charger for these models. 


Stubby PIPE has capacitors that recharge fully in 10-15 minutes while docked in a USB Downloader. When charged, the capacitors power the Stubby PIPE and significantly extend the life of the main battery.  However, capacitor recharging is not required - Stubby PIPE will work for about two years off the main battery. The main battery is not rechargeable.


When the battery is drained, the PIPE will stop working completely, work intermittently, or lose partial function (such as beep confirmation of scans). The PIPE battery is not field-replaceable. If any of the mentioned symptoms occur, follow the troubleshooting steps below.



If you have problems with the PIPE, please check the following before requesting an RMA:

  1. Make sure the Read Tip is clean, especially the surfaces that contact the button. Clean the tip with denatured alcohol.
  2. Did the problem occur during wet weather? If so, it may be due to moisture blocking the signal between the PIPE and the button.  Make sure the PIPE tip and the button are dry and try again.
  3. Does the problem occur with all buttons or just one or two?  It may be the button that is inoperative.
  4. Does the problem occur with all PIPEs or just one? If all of your PIPEs are affected, it may be a problem with the Downloader or software configuration.
  5. If the button scan time and/or date is incorrect, refer to this article before contacting us.
  6. If the PIPE is making a two-tone siren sound when you scan a button, the memory is full.  Try downloading the PIPE.
  7. If you get the message The reader could not be downloaded when you try to download the PIPE, refer to this article.