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Batteries - What Are You Using?

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I use Energizer rechargeable 2500 mAH



Altlanta Gal did a test with lithiums (which I would link you to if the forum search function were working right now). She found that they lasted 3 times as long, for about 3 times the price. Her main problem as I recall was that the battery indicator was not very accurate with Lithiums, due to their flat output curve. The indicator stayed at full power for most of the time, and then dropped off very quickly toward the end.


From what I understand, lithiums are lighter weight and work well in cold weather.

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I use Panasonic AA NiMH from the local membership discount store. They come six at a time for $9-12 or so. The last batch I got were 2300 mAH. I use a Maha MH-C777Plus charger, which can measure the energy required to bring them to full charge, and has a dischange/conditioning cycle, if you need it. Because batteries should be drained and recharged as a set, I have a couple marked GPSA and GPSB. They get alternated in my 210. I get a charge out of electronics (ha) but none of this probably matters. Just get a couple sets and alternate as needed.

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I mostly use Energizer 2500 MaH rechargable AA; I find them to be the best rechargables I have seen! Use them in my digital camera too.


But in colder weather (under 40 degrees) I opt for the Energizer Lithium AA instead in the GPS because in those conditions they seem to last longer.

I use these as well as some radio shack NIMH AAs that I have.

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Unless you have a special need (e.g., lithiums for cold weather use), rechargeables are the way to go. Saves you money and saves bad chemicals from going into the landfill. If you get a good mAh rating (2500 is a good spot for value) and a smart charger (one that doesn't merely charge for a pre-set time, but reads the battery's condition and charges accordingly) you'll be in great shape.

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I use Ray-O-Vac IC3 rechargables. 15 minutes charge time and we're ready to go. They're probably comparable to the Energizer 15 minutes ones, but I don't know for sure. I did have a few of the IC3's lose their ability to quick-charge though, not sure why. They still charge like "normal" rechargables, over 16 hours or whatever. I contacted Ray-O-Vac and they sent me replacements immediately, with just 1 phone call. Unfortunately, the ones they sent weren't the IC3 15 minute brand, they were the regular slow charge type. So with 1 more phone call they sent me the correct replacement IC3's and told me just to keep the ones they sent by mistake. Talk about great customer service!!


I'm really happy with the Ray-O-Vac brand. (The ones Radio Shack sells are the same Ray-O-Vac batteries, except renamed and with the price jacked up)


Does anyone know if the Energizer 15 minute batteries work with a Ray-O-Vac 15 minute charger (or vice-versa)? I've been wanting to test their compatibility just for curiosity's sake, but haven't done it yet.

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I use lithiums and love them. I know they are more expensive but I tried rechargeables and hated them . I may only use my gps once in a couple of months and recharageables drain down even if you have not used your gps in that amount of time. I like the shelf lilfe of lithiums and they perform better/longer in cold weather. I am not opening and closing my battery case nearly so much either. I think they are worth the extra money to me anyway. Just my opinion and I am sticking to it.

team sidewinder

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Count me in the Maha Power (via Thomas Distributing, link above) camp as well. I got the MH-C204W charger and 12 2500mAh batteries. Two in the 60CS, three each in the Rino 130 and a seperate FRS radio, 4 backups.


AtlantaGal is also using Maha rechargeables now in her 76C that I got her as a present. Same charger, but with the 2300mAh battieries (2500 weren't avail yet at the time).


We're quite pleased with the results we've been getting. No testing data available, except for I run the Rino for a few days at a time before swapping (15-20 hours?). She has it a bit easier, just swaps 2 batteries for the 2 on the charger.

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Here's a link to the thread I mentioned that reports the results of the tests conducted by AtlantaGal and Cymbaline. There is a lot of good info there, including a link in a post by RJFerret. It has a good graphic of the long life and rapid decline of lithiums.

Score!  I found an actual test performed last August on, of all things, a GPS!


Test results here.




So, NiMH are cheapest, as 5 sets pays for the charger.


IE, 7 to infinite sets of charges via NiMH costs about $36 dollars versus $42-infinite for Lithium.


NiMH are also not toxic like Lithium (additional cost/inconvenience to deal with hazardous waste).


However, Lithium are lighter, run nearly twice as long, and function more readily in cold.


So, my conclusion, if Lithiums can be found for LESS than twice the price of Alkaline, they offer greater value.  Otherwise Alkaline are a better value.


(OTOH, I'm switching to Lithium in all the smoke detectors rather than replacing alkalines annually...)


Thanks for prompting me to research this,



Edited by Sputnik 57
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I use lithiums and love them. I know they are more expensive but I tried rechargeables and hated them . I may only use my gps once in a couple of months and recharageables drain down even if you have not used your gps in that amount of time.



The portion of your post that I've quoted here is exactly why I think the 15 minute rechargeables are great. Recharge 'em just before you need 'em. With your infrequent use, however, I would have to do some research (or----better yet----hope that some some university grad student does a study) to determine the environmental tradeoff between disposing lithium batteries vs manufacturing the recharging unit and the NiMh batteries.


The Lithiums are, indeed, great (and super light-weight), and their low temperature characteristics make them especially attractive for extreme outdoor use.

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Everready NiMH, keep them on an Accupower charger (automatically goes to trickle) from when I get back, until I go out the door. Carry a spare set of Lithium's.


If anyone is interested in trying the new Panasonic Oxyride's as spares, keep an eye on the in-store retail displays next week. There will be a promotion for them with a discount coupon. Good opportunity to try them if you are interested. I have not seen any information about either their shelf-life or low temperature performance. I'd like to know this information. My understanding is they are designed for a relatively short service cycle. Lot of unknowns yet.


Lithium has excellent shelf life and low temperature performance plus they are very lightweight. I doubt I'll change.


MagicTogether - Alaska

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I use Ray O Vac Alkies. You can get them at Lowe's Home Improvement for $10 for 30 (33 cents per cell, unless my math is off). I read something about alkalines in a magazine--I think Popular Mechanics--that said you do not get any enough extra juice out of expensive alkalines to justify the extra cost. I think the chart that Sputnik quoted bears that out.

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Through spring, summer and fall I use either Duracell or Energizer alkies. In 20C or above weather they are less problem to use than rechargeables and cheaper than lithium. In early and late winter I use rechargeables. They have proven, for me at least, to be a good tradeoff in cooler but not extreme winter weather between price and length of life. Lithiums become my choice when temperatures are consistently -10C or less. Nothing else gives enough life for 2-3 hours of caching at those temps.



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