Stop Needless Battery Replacement

Operators, it’s no secret that M400W compact-skid loaders have an ongoing problem with battery drain.

Most of these vehicles use the yellow-top Optima batteries. Even though they’re high quality batteries, they can’t stand the constant drain by the loader’s electrical system. The constant discharge leads to sulfated plates. Over time, the Optima battery can no longer be charged and has to be replaced. The end result is way too many dead batteries in these skid loaders. And the cycle continues.

Here are four ways to stop needless battery replacement:

o Start the skid loader weekly and run it for an hour.

o Every other week, plug a charger into the vehicle’s NATO receptacle and fully charge the battery set. The ProHD, NSN 6130-01-500-3401, is an approved charger that comes with the SATS.

o For long-term storage, make sure you disconnect the skid steer loader’s batteries.

o For skid loaders stored outdoors in the motor pool, use a solar charging system, like the Solar Pulse Monitor System, NSN 6130-01-558-5371. It simply plugs into the NATO receptacle and no modifications are needed.


Locking Block Can Ruin Your Piece of the PIED

The KGV-72 programmable in-line encryption device (PIED), NSN 5810-01-564-3364 (LIN E05008), is designed to encrypt Blue Force Tracking (BFT) message traffic.  But when it’s time to turn in the PIED, here’s a message that really needs to get through:

Don’t damage the locking block!

Too many units are losing or misplacing the padlock key.  So when it’s time to turn in the PIED, they use tools to remove the lock.  Unfortunately, that almost always breaks the locking block.

A broken block can’t be repaired.  Even worse, you can be held financially liable for replacing the $2,565.58 PIED per AR 735-5, Property Accountability Procedures and Financial Liability Officer’s Guide.  A DD Form 200, Financial Liability Investigation of Property Loss (FLIPL), along with a property book officer document number must be submitted at the time of the request to the item manager before an operational PIED can be issued.

So don’t lose the key to your lock.  And if you do, check with the item manager for instructions on what to do next.


AN/PSQ-20/20A Goggles Blind? Good News!

If your AN/PSQ-20, NSN 5855-01-534-6449, or AN/PSQ-20A, NSN 5855-01-603-0489, night vision goggles aren’t working, there’s good news. You can get them fixed if they qualify.

The fix doesn’t cover ancillary items or components of end item for the goggles and is available only if the goggles fail after a thorough inspection following TM 11-5855-322-10 or TM 11-5855-335-10 or their -23&Ps. Your 94F repairman does that.

To get your goggles fixed, you’ll need a return authorization from the manufacturer. Get it by logging into the warranty repair portal:

New users will need to register by clicking on the HERE button on the left side of the web page. Returning users can log on with their email address, password and DODAAC.

Once you receive a return authorization, fill out a DD Form 1348-1A and ship the goggles to:


Warranty/Customer Repair Service

7635 Plantation Road

Attention: Marketing Department RA#____

Roanoke, VA 24019

If you have questions, call Harris at (800) 533-5502 or (540) 563-0371.

Take an App Approach

If you could keep from bruising your knuckles or breaking your back when you’re doing PMCS or equipment repairs, you’d jump at the chance. You’d probably want to know all about a tool that helps protect you while making you more proficient and efficient in doing your job.

There is such a tool, but it might fool you at first. It’s a magazine and it’s small – but it’s one heck of a tool.

Let’s think about that nut, tube, or other component that needs replacing. You’ve dug through a dog-eared tech manual, finally found the national stock number (NSN), and you’ve got it ordered. But the requisition comes back unfilled. That NSN is a terminal item and it’s out-of-stock.

What the heck? How can you fix stuff when the Army no longer supplies the part? PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, that handy little magazine, is the tool you need. The probability is that PS Magazine has already published a story about the NSN being terminal and has provided the new NSN you should be using instead.

Or maybe some other Soldiers have noticed a part that gets overlooked in PMCS, but keeps other parts from working right when it fails. That puts your vehicle at risk of fire, damage, or loss. PS lets you know what to look for.

Maybe there’s a new MWO out that you haven’t heard about yet. PS has probably written about it, telling readers where to find the MWO and who’s going to do it!

Now, PS Magazine has been retooled just for you. In addition to the monthly printed magazine that’s been available to units since 1951, PS is now available as a mobile app for both Apple and Android tablets and phones.

We’ve included static PDF issues from 2014 through February 2016, but the issues from March 2016 forward are interactive. Videos are attached to links in some articles, some articles link to photographs of equipment components, a link to our website allows access to our search engine covering all articles dating back to 2000. Additional videos are available on our Resources link for use as individual learning or team training material. The Hot Topics link allows PS to get late-breaking information to you concerning your equipment. Maybe a specific part needs to be checked immediately to avoid equipment breakdown, or there’s an urgent need for an unserviceable part so it can be repaired and put back into the supply system.

PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly is an official Army technical bulletin, but it uses color, sequential art (cartoon art) techniques, and equipment illustrations to provide you current information approved by equipment proponents.

PS is the information tool that needs to be in your toolbox and now on your tablet or phone. Use these QR codes or the following URL addresses to get the App and download the magazine:

Fig 1

PS website:

Fig 2

Android PS MAG App

Fig 3

Apple PS MAG App

The August PS Magazine has arrived!

The August PS Magazine has arrived! Look for PS 753 to be in your inbox any day now. Grab it! Read it! Take what you can use from it! Pass it on! PS is the primary preventive maintenance magazine in the Army. If you miss it, you’re missing out on important equipment knowledge.


Lose the Crate, Keep PDISE Great

All models of the power distribution illumination system, electrical (PDISE), except the M46, are shipped from the manufacturer in sealed wooden shipping crates. Inside are the PDISE, its cables, accessories and TM.

Recently, new PDISEs stored in shipping crates that were exposed to weather showed corrosion on the connectors and mounting hardware when unpacked.

A little detective work revealed that the shipping crates were manufactured using formaldehyde. Formaldehyde speeds up corrosion. It causes cadmium “bloom.” Bloom occurs when cadmium transforms into cadmium oxide, a powder-like residue that forms on cadmium-plated components.


This impacts the following PDISE models:

  • M200 A/P, NSN 6150-01-308-5672
  • M100 A/P, NSN 6150-01-308-5671
  • M60 A/P, NSN 6150-01-307-9445
  • M40 A/P, NSN 6150-01-307-9446

To help slow down the corrosion, a mitigation plan has been added to the PDISE technical data package.

But units should still promptly unpack PDISE and remove all contents from the shipping crate. Store the unpacked PDISE inside, out of the weather.

Safely dispose of shipping crates and any packing materials, including plastic bags. If cadmium oxide is found, follow WP 0021 in TM 9-6150-226-13 (Apr 12) for cleaning and disposal procedures. Also review the cadmium safety tips on Pages 45-47 in PS 723:

Questions? Contact CECOM’s John Mansfield at (410) 670-5737, or email:

AN/PRQ-7 CSEL . . .Leap Second Kills Functionality

Maybe you heard about it. At midnight (Zulu) on 1 Jul 15, the world added a “leap second” to synchronize time with the Earth’s slowing rotation.

Big deal, you say? It is if your unit has AN/PRQ-7 combat survival evader locater (CSEL) hand-held radios, NSN 5820-01-499-4473, in its inventory.

Turns out, CSELs don’t continuously track GPS signals. Instead, they get a GPS fix and then shut down to conserve power. So when the time rolled over to 1 Jul, that additional second placed a timing difference between CSEL radios and the UHF base station that continuously tracks GPS. Doesn’t seem like much, but it kept all CSELs from receiving the UHF base station’s “every 8 second CSEL mode message,” and effectively cut off UHFSATCOM communications.

While the CSELs will still be LPE (low probability of exploitation), TAC/TAG (terminal area communications/terminal area guidance), SARSAT (search and rescue satellite aided tracking), and AM voice functional, you’ll need to perform a built-in test (BIT) on the radio set adapter (RSA) and re-initialize to get UHFSATCOM capabilities back. The BIT test must be performed on the RSA prior to initializing the reference radio. If you don’t, the initialization will fail, you’ll lose over the horizon communications, and you won’t be able to enter the CSEL network.

Depending on how your CSEL is used, you’ll need to follow one of the following steps for your radio:

  1. Reference radios used after 1 Jul 15. Perform a BIT test of the radio on the RSA following the instructions in TM 11-5895-1629-13 (Para, Jun 08, or Para, Aug 13). The BIT test is only required once for each reference radio. This erases all GPS navigation data, including the previous leap second adjustment.

Next, perform a standard reference initialization on the RSA. Instructions are in TM 11-5895-1629-13 (Active: Para, Jun 08, or Para, Aug 13; Passive: Para, Jun 08, or Para, Aug 13). The RSA mission loading station is now ready for use. Any non-reference radios (target/issued) subsequently loaded on this station will operate normally.

  1. Non-reference (target/issued) radios mission-loaded before 1 Jul 15. These radios must be returned to an updated mission loading station (see step 1) and, at a minimum, receive a GPS time and data transfer following the instructions in TM 11-5895-1629-13 (Para, Jun 08, or Para 4.2.6, Aug 13). GPS keys and mission data can also be updated per TM 11-5895-1629-13 (Para, Jun 08, or Para, Aug 13). This will transfer the new leap second adjustment to the operational radio. Return the radios to field use.
  2. Non-reference (target/fielded) radios used without performing GPS time and data transfer. Perform a radio BIT on the RSA. Then perform a passive radio reference initialization and the radios are ready for field use.
  3. Non-reference (target/fielded) radios that are mission loaded and do not contain current GPS COMSEC keys (mission data only). Perform a radio BIT on the RSA. Then conduct a mission data upload following TM 11-5895-1629-13 (Para, Jun 08, or Para, Aug 13).

Place a battery in the radio and power it up. From the main menu screen, select Radio Status, then Check Link Quality. When the “Get GPS Time” screen appears, select “Get Time,” and press “Enter.” Allow the radio to get the current UTC time. The screen will proceed automatically from the Get Fix screen until complete, then revert back to the Link Quality screen. The current UTC time will be present across the top of the main menu screen. Once UTC time has been acquired, the radios are ready for field use.

  1. Fielded radios which are 2nd-level zeroized or stored without batteries attached (such as life raft-no battery). There is no need to update these radios since they do not have UHFSATCOM capability. Radios in extended mission mode (such as life raft-with battery) or standard mission mode should be handled following the instructions in the second half of Step 1. Also, make sure you select Standard or Extended under Mission Type (mission dictated) and then reload the mission data prior to use.

Once you’ve completed the procedure and have regained UHFSATCOM capabilities, make sure you report compliance through the Modification Management Information System (MMIS). MMIS requires login through LOGSA’s Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW):

The MMIS application is in the LIW App warehouse. Once in MMIS, select the Safety & Maintenance Messages Notification/Confirmation folder, click Message Confirmation to confirm receipt of this message, and then click Non-Compliant to confirm completion of the maintenance action.

Questions? Check out CECOM Maintenance Action Message 2015-08-002. You’ll find a copy in the MMIS application. Or contact Rick Brand, the CSEL FSE Support Team Lead, at:

Lieutenant Commander Gene Pennisi with Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 4 (HCS4), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, uses the new Combat Survivor Evader System (C-Cell) during a survivor extraction exercise in participation with DESERT RESCUE IX.  Desert Rescue is the premiere Search And Rescue (SAR) training exercise involving Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine personnel.  It is conducted at the ranges of Fallon Naval Air Station, Nevada.