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Batteries Or Rechargable

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I am new to GPS units and I am looking to buy my own FINALLY. 

I am not sure to go with a rechargable or one that uses batteries.  If anyone could shed some light on desiding that would be great! :lol: :lol:


Thank you! :(

Luckily, GPS units don't go through alkaline batteries as rapidly as digital cameras, so the need for rechargables is not that urgent. But in the long run, there's certainly a cost savings to be realized by having a couple sets of NiMH cells, particularly if you're going to be using your unit quite often. I'd recommend a rapid charger (one hour or less), too.



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It depends on one's expected use. I used rechargeable NiMH AA's in my Meridian Platinum very satisfactorily. I have been even happier with the rechargeable Li-Ion in my explorist because I never have to swap batteries in and out. I bought a couple of replacement batteries on ebay for about $8 each, so I feel adequately prepared for the power needs I am likely to encounter.


If you expect to run your GPSr continuously while in a wilderness situation such that you have no access to recharging facilities for something like 5 days or more, then you might find that AA's are better than Li-Ion. Also, some people prefer having the option to pop into any convenience store to buy new AA's if they discover on short notice that they need new batteries--something you can't do with proprietary Li-Ions.


There was a rather lengthy thread on this topic in this forum this summer.

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I just want to clarify the original question, since I'm not sure the replies so far are actually answering it. (Of course, it could just be me :) )


I interpret the question to be whether to buy a unit that has a built-in battery or one that will take standard batteries. I would say buy one that uses something standard like AAs, but use rechargable ones, such as those mentioned by others. You get the best of both worlds, and if you find yourself with run-down rechargables, you can pick up some regular AAs pretty much anywhere in a pinch.

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Yup . . . . that's what I say too.


I got the 15-minute Energizer charger along with four Energizer NiMH batteries at Target for about $25.00.


I love getting freshly-charged batteries in only 15 minutes. The NiMH batteries will save a lot of money . . . and they save the environment. Less waste for the landfill. :)

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I think all of the various replies are answering the original question. So far it appears the tally is running 6 to 1 in favor of using rechargeables over a built-in rechargeable cell. Now add MY vote in favor of rechargeable batteries making it 7 to 1! That's 88% in favor of rechargeables and 12% for the built-in (so far).


While you may be able to buy extra replacement cells and swap-out a built-in, you just never know exactly when you're gonna need that extra bit of juice that wasn't planned for. I've been caught offguard two or three times with my 60C since I got it nearly two years ago. Luckily I was able to buy a couple of alkalines when necessary. It just would'a ruined my day if I couldn't have kept my GPSr running on those occasions!

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Sorry I don't have a specific URL, but MAHA battery charges are highly regarded in the digital camera field. Try Digital Camera Resource Page for reviews and links.


I noticed in an older thread that someone had a headlamp that required 3 batteries, leading to charging difficulties. Many chargers require matched pairs of batteries to work at all. For a few more $$, MAHA provides a charger that will handle 4 AA or AAA batteries -individually- . It will charge 1, 2, 3, or 4 batteries, and sizes (and residual charge) can be mixed and matched at the same time.


Highly recommended! (No, I don't own stock . . . )



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i use the everyready 2500 milliamp hour nimh rechargables in my etrex legend, and my field radios. im am very happy with there performance. just remember, on the etrex,you have to go into the set up field, go into system, and change the battery type to nimh.


in my field radios (motorola T7100's), the nimh batteries can last for 27 to 34 hours straight usage in scanning and recieving. on an 8 and a half hour charge.

however, when i do a lot of transmitting, the nimh batteries tend to weaken in a shorter period of time.


i keep a set of AA duracells on standby but primarily, all i use is the nimh batteries.




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I find it 'difficult' the see the logic of buying a unit that uses a proprietery rechargable battery pack. When the batteries go dead, and you don't have:


1. - No 120V power source

2. - You don't want to stop what your doing, and wait 14 hours to recharge.


Of course you could always contact the manufacturer, order up a spare set of batteries (they're cheap $50 - $70 bucks for ONE set). Now you at least if your one set goes dead, you can pop in the second set and keep going.


Then there's the issue of what happens when eventually the built in batteries fail due to age. Then it's going to be $120-140 (they don't make the unit anymore, hence the jacked up price) for another set of batteries.


A GPS that uses standard batteries (such as AA cells) run great, have long life (8-20 hours) and when they die, you can grab another set of batteries out of your pack, and away you go.


Now the kinds of AA's you use is up to you. You can use regular alkaline batteries and throw them away. Heading over to Wallmart (the China Slave Goods that De-industrialize North America store), you can usually pick up a pack of 20 batteries for around 10-14 CDN.


Or you can use NiHM AA's, and the unit works quite happily on these as well. If you're using your unit quite a-lot, then the NiHM idea makes sense.


So I would say 'NOOOOOOO!!!!!' to getting a GPS with a proprietary rechargable battery system. It's a big drawback in my own humble opinion.



---- Robb ----

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I myself would rather have one that uses standard batteries and use rechargeables. One that is built in could be expensive to replace if need be.


Energizer also has a portable and home use charger that charges in about 2-3 hours. That would work great if you were on the go alot, just need an extra set of batteries. Use a set while the others are charging.


Wal-mart also has an offbrand that is a little cheaper that does the same thing.


I also done a search on NiMH vs. NiCad. There is a company that is saving about $250,000 a year by switching from NiCad to NiMH. :huh:


With all my wireless computer gadgets and GPSr I think I'll get me charger, saves a little $$$ in the long run. Wonder why I didn't think of this before.

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Well I would like to thank all of you for your input! I have appreciated all of your responses. I have decided to go with the batteries! It just seems to make the most sense.


No I just have to choose the right GPS unit for ME.... I do alot of hiking and think I will go with the Foretrex 101.... thoughts? :(:(


Thank you again ... :huh:

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Since you are going with rechargable batteries I highly suggest the Energizer 15-Minute recharger. I paid a little extra and got the one that also has a cigarette lighter plug. It came with 4 AA and 2 AAA batteries. It charges at home plugged into the wall or on the road plugged into the cigarette lighter and in both cases charges in 15 minutes. I'm extremely happy with mine.

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I know you have already made your decision, but I want to give my $0.02. I use alkalines exclusively. I tried to use rechargeables, but to me, it turned into a hassle (of course that was when a "quick"charger took 4 hours). I also did not like the fact that once you charged them, they seemed to bleed their charge very quickly. I would put "fresh" batteries into my GPS, and it would show only half charged. Also, they did not last as long on a charge than a set of alkys do.


Alkalines have a long shelf life, are cheap--about $0.30 per cell, and will last a long time in my 60cs.

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Different brands of rechargeable batteries give different results.


I have several different brands and discovered that the off-brands did not last very long in my GPSr. I use the off brands in my TV Remote and my optical mouse.


For the GPSr, I have been very happy with the Energizer 15-minute batteries. They last for well over 12 hours in my Vista C and I don't have to continually buy more batteries and add batteries to the landfill.

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