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my garmin has a setting for rechargables and one for alkaline... seems to make a big difference in the life.


anyone know what it does?


The battery setting doesn't do anything for the life of the batteries. The GPSr knows the average life of each type of battery and can therefore predict the remaining life. If you use a different type than you tell the GPS the batteries run out of juice at the time they normally would but the GPSr may not give you fair warning.

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For everything to do with batteries, check out the Battery University.


It's been accurate with the couple of things I checked out elsewhere, so I have a fair degree of confidence in the rest of it.


I use it whenever some well-meaning person states confidently that you need to regularly discharge your NiMHs or LithiumIon batteries to prevent the dreaded memory effect!

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My maggy runs on standard rechargables, so I keep one in the GPSr and one in the backpack. folks bitched about the LioN only option, so they came out with a 3AAA adapter. Now I carry that and some AAA's too. Enough for about 2 days of solid caching with all the bells and whistles and lights on.

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I use NiMH rechargeables. If you use your GPS and other battery powered stuff alot, NiMH rechargeable cost much less than alkaline or lithium batteries. The newer niMH, with 2000 mah capacity or more, will power a GPS about the same period of time on a charge as alkaline batteries. The only drawback to NiMH is that they lose charge in storage, i.e., if you charge them up, put them in the GPS and then don't use it for a month, about half the charge will be gone. NiMH batteries work well in high power drain devices, like digital cameras.



If you use Nimh batteries in your GPSr or any device they will lose about 1% of their charge per day of non use. So 50% of the power after 1 month is reasonable. Hope this helps.


To get technical, the discharge rate is a function of temperature, the hotter the temperature, the faster they will discharge. Near freezing, the battery may still have 90% capacity after a month. The 1% per day is about right at 70 degrees F, but the rate is about 2% per day at 100 degrees. So if you leave the GPS in your car in the summer, NiMH batteries will discharge very quickly.

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Batteries that my GPS or digital camera complain about will run my walkman or small transistor radio for quite some time. I have even loaded my flashlight with "spent" batteries from my GPS and got good service out of them.


Many times one battery in a set will die fast and cause the GPS or camera to complain. A battery tester comes in handy here. Check all batteries in the set and see if one of them is flat. If so, go thru your old ones and find one similar and replace the flat one.

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I personally use the rechargables in my camera and GPSr. The brand I use is Digital Concepts from Wal-Mart. I tend to get all day out of the 2200MAh ones that came with the charger and about a day and a half out of the 2500MAh ones. The charger is one of the one hour style ones with trickle charge when done and has the house and car adaptors. The current packaging has 4 AA's, 4 AAA's, The charger, AC power pack, DC cord. All for about $20, Extra AA cells 4pk 6.97 AAA cells 4pk $4.97.

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