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Best Rechargeable Battery Type


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Thanks to both of you. I ordered some eneloop brand with the quick charger.

 

Careful with the 'quick charger' as many of them will shorten the life of your batteries. A conditioning charger is your best choice...check out LaCrosse. In many cases the charger is actually more important than the batteries (as long as you're using quality batteries).

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what would be the best mAh be? For my 550 the Garmin batteries that came with it were 1900 or 2100

 

also, about what would a pack of 4 without charger run

 

The higher the better. I'm currently using 2300 mAh but I have seen as high as 2700 mAh. I bought an Energizers 4 pack of 2300 mAh NiMH last winter for about $16 I think. For better life pair them up and still fully discharge them even though they say that "memory" isn't an issue and they will last for a few years or over 100 charges. Mine have.

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For better life pair them up and still fully discharge them even though they say that "memory" isn't an issue and they will last for a few years or over 100 charges. Mine have.

don't over-discharge them though, as that can permanently damage the cells. when the unit says it's low on battery, swap them out (assuming the device knows how to measure the charge of NiMH cells). i don't know if it's actually possible to over-discharge them by simply using them in a GPS until it shuts off, but personally i'd rather be safe than sorry.

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Thanks to both of you. I ordered some eneloop brand with the quick charger.

 

Careful with the 'quick charger' as many of them will shorten the life of your batteries. A conditioning charger is your best choice...check out LaCrosse. In many cases the charger is actually more important than the batteries (as long as you're using quality batteries).

 

+1

 

Quick charging can also cause the batteries to get hot. Plan ahead and charge your batteries over night. If you can get a charger that has an automatic trickle charge feature would be ideal as to not over charge the batteries. Also some of the lower quality rechargeables have a high discharge or leakage rate (can't remember what it's called). Meaning if not on a charger/trickle charge they will lose they're charge over time.

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For better life pair them up and still fully discharge them even though they say that "memory" isn't an issue and they will last for a few years or over 100 charges. Mine have.

don't over-discharge them though, as that can permanently damage the cells. when the unit says it's low on battery, swap them out (assuming the device knows how to measure the charge of NiMH cells). i don't know if it's actually possible to over-discharge them by simply using them in a GPS until it shuts off, but personally i'd rather be safe than sorry.

 

Good point even though I usually use them until the unit shuts down on it's own. I know with larger batteries (cordless drills, ect) they recommend not over discharging them.

 

Edit to add: I haven't notice any performance degradation discharging until unit shuts down as of yet. Not saying it's not happening but as of yet I haven't noticed any significant change over 2 years of usage of my first 2 sets. They're still going strong.

Edited by The Ravens
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Timely discussion. Apple released this today: Battery & Charger

 

Which might be useful for more than magic trackpads. $30 for 6 rechargeable AA batteries plus a smart charger seems surprisingly reasonable for an Apple branded item. But I'll let someone try them first, I'm well stocked with Eneloops.

 

See also: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20011814-54.html

Edited by lee_rimar
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i bought a set of 3000mah off the internet to find a few months later when tested they were only 1500 mah and only out lasted my duracells if used straight after being charged.

 

These days im just using my duracell 2650mah nimh batteries which will see me through the day and seem to be just as good as they were when i bought them a year ago. currently using a powerex c9000 charger with conditioner etc to charge them.

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currently using a powerex c9000 charger with conditioner etc to charge them.

 

Great chargers! I use a PowereX MH-C401FS Smart Pulse Charger, 1-4 AA/AAA. It only holds 4... I need to get an 8 slotter.

 

This is what I use.......I use the 8 slot MAHA in addition but like the C401FS better. I've been using the same PowerX NiMH batteries for years.....you can charge them hundreds of times and I get a days worth of caching per charge.

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Thanks to both of you. I ordered some eneloop brand with the quick charger.

 

Careful with the 'quick charger' as many of them will shorten the life of your batteries. A conditioning charger is your best choice...check out LaCrosse. In many cases the charger is actually more important than the batteries (as long as you're using quality batteries).

 

Okay, thanks. I'll check it out.

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Thanks to both of you. I ordered some eneloop brand with the quick charger.

 

Careful with the 'quick charger' as many of them will shorten the life of your batteries. A conditioning charger is your best choice...check out LaCrosse. In many cases the charger is actually more important than the batteries (as long as you're using quality batteries).

 

+1

 

Quick charging can also cause the batteries to get hot. Plan ahead and charge your batteries over night. If you can get a charger that has an automatic trickle charge feature would be ideal as to not over charge the batteries. Also some of the lower quality rechargeables have a high discharge or leakage rate (can't remember what it's called). Meaning if not on a charger/trickle charge they will lose they're charge over time.

 

Does the LaCrosse charge NiZN batteries?

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Thanks to both of you. I ordered some eneloop brand with the quick charger.

 

Careful with the 'quick charger' as many of them will shorten the life of your batteries. A conditioning charger is your best choice...check out LaCrosse. In many cases the charger is actually more important than the batteries (as long as you're using quality batteries).

 

+1

 

Quick charging can also cause the batteries to get hot. Plan ahead and charge your batteries over night. If you can get a charger that has an automatic trickle charge feature would be ideal as to not over charge the batteries. Also some of the lower quality rechargeables have a high discharge or leakage rate (can't remember what it's called). Meaning if not on a charger/trickle charge they will lose they're charge over time.

 

Does the LaCrosse charge NiZN batteries?

 

No. Your will need a completely different charger as they need to be charged in a different way than NIMH.

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Thanks for all of the imput. I have ordered 12 enloop NiZN batteries with the NiZN charger. In reading all of your posts and the web pages reccomended, I have come to a conclusion. Batteries along with cameras, trucks, computers and widgets are very subjective. It seems to me if you have a fresh battery in your GPS, be it, NiCad, NiMH, Alkaline or any of the other N??? batteries, if you leave home with fresh batteries in your GPS and a couply of backup spares, you should get thru the day and have plenty of time to recharge before the next day.

:) I really enjoy these discussions and thru them learn a lot. I get the benefit of all of your experiences. Thanks:)

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don't over-discharge them though, as that can permanently damage the cells. when the unit says it's low on battery, swap them out (assuming the device knows how to measure the charge of NiMH cells). i don't know if it's actually possible to over-discharge them by simply using them in a GPS until it shuts off, but personally i'd rather be safe than sorry.

 

This is safe and recommended. I even suspect (will try to assess the next times I use it) that shut off is not good enough, maybe it's better to discharge it even more to the point of "emptyness" (of course without overdischarging).

Believe me. I use a photo camera that shuts off early and I used to re-charge the batteries from there. I've ruined lots off batteries by doing this.

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I'm having a hard time finding a trickle or refresh charger for NiZN batteries. All ther seems to be is 1 hour chargers. Anyone with experience with these batteries and fast charger?

 

I've been reading that this fast charging is the best approach for NiZN ones. It's related to chemistry used, maybe it won't hurt the batteries and perhaps slow charging wouldn't be advised. Time will tell...

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I'm having a hard time finding a trickle or refresh charger for NiZN batteries. All ther seems to be is 1 hour chargers. Anyone with experience with these batteries and fast charger?

 

I've been reading that this fast charging is the best approach for NiZN ones. It's related to chemistry used, maybe it won't hurt the batteries and perhaps slow charging wouldn't be advised. Time will tell...

 

'm not sure there is anything but the "fast charge" charger for NiZN

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I'm having a hard time finding a trickle or refresh charger for NiZN batteries. All ther seems to be is 1 hour chargers. Anyone with experience with these batteries and fast charger?

 

I've been reading that this fast charging is the best approach for NiZN ones. It's related to chemistry used, maybe it won't hurt the batteries and perhaps slow charging wouldn't be advised. Time will tell...

 

'm not sure there is anything but the "fast charge" charger for NiZN

 

NiZn technology is well suited for fast recharge cycling as optimum charge rates of C or C/2 are preferred.

 

Known charging regimes include constant current of C or C/2 to cell voltage = 1.9V. Maximum charge time is 2½ hours. Trickle charging is not recommended as recombination is not provided for and excess hydrogen will eventually vent adversely affecting battery cycle life. Charge is reinitiated after cell voltage has fallen below 1.6V.

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I use NiMH. Started by being "gifted" a pair of duracel 2000mah with a trickle charger. Worked well. Bought a pair of duracel 2650 mah, they had a much higher self discharge rate and I ended up chucking them after they self discharged completely in my bag. Then I bought 4 pair of Eneloops and use them in rotation. I have 4 pair in active rotation. 2 pair in a plastic case I bought from bugeye. 1 pair in the GPSr in whatever discharge state they happen to be in, and one pair in the charger having recently been charged. each set ins numbered so they are always used together and in order. Always walk out the door with 3 pair, never needed more than one swap on a given caching day. Been a year so far with no need to replace any cells.

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Another good brand from the world's largest battery manufacturer is the low-discharge GP Recyko.

I've always thought the largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries is Sanyo - and Wikipedia backs me up.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanyo

 

Sanyo remains the world number one producer of rechargeable batteries

 

Not that it really matters in this case. Just a bit of trivia.

 

Searching the web, I found this post comparing Recyko with Eneloop. Looks like Recyko might have slightly more capacity according to this one testing. Not enough to get anyone excited over though. They're close enough that if you're brand agnostic, just get whichever is cheaper.

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First of all stay away form NiCd batteries as they suffer from a memory effect that shortens their over-all life dramatically. They are difficult to find now-a-days anyway. Everyone buys NiMH batteries now as they aren't susceptible to the same memory effects that NiCd are.

 

There are generally two types of NiMH batteries:

 

High Capacity. (Tend to be over 2400 mAh) These are preferable for high discharge items that see frequent use. Depending on how you use it, a GPSr tends to fall in that category.

 

Long Life. (Tend to be under 2100 mAh but make sure they are labelled as "low discharge" or something similar) These are preferable for items that see low or intermittent use. Think of remote controls for the TV or AV receiver.

 

Regarding chargers. A trickle or over-night charger is best to preserve the life of the batteries. Quick chargers are fine to use as a travel charger but don't use it all the time. Have a trickle charger a home to keep the batteries in good condition.

 

Also, you should try and run them down completely before you recharge them but it isn't a requirement. They do tend to last longer if you do though.

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I'm having a hard time finding a trickle or refresh charger for NiZN batteries. All ther seems to be is 1 hour chargers. Anyone with experience with these batteries and fast charger?

 

I've been reading that this fast charging is the best approach for NiZN ones. It's related to chemistry used, maybe it won't hurt the batteries and perhaps slow charging wouldn't be advised. Time will tell...

 

'm not sure there is anything but the "fast charge" charger for NiZN

 

PowerGenix now sells a slower charger, 3-5 hours. I just got one and it seems to work fine. The NiZn type of battery used to suffer from the growth of dendrites, similar to NiCd batteries. You can burn them off by using a very high charge rate, but newer battery designs prevent them from forming, so it's not such an issue any more. The hydrogen gas production is an issue if you leave a battery in the charge too long (like days), but the PowerGenix chargers have an automatic shutoff feature so it's not a problem if you forget.

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It’s amazing the range of opinions you get in discussions about rechargeable batteries

Regarding chargers. A trickle or over-night charger is best to preserve the life of the batteries. Quick chargers are fine to use as a travel charger but don't use it all the time. Have a trickle charger a home to keep the batteries in good condition.
As opposed to
As for charging cells at 0.1C, that's the suggested norm for constant-current chargers which don't use a peak-detect algorithm (read: wall warts and inexpensive consumer-grade chargers). I've owned dozens of sophisticated programmable multi-chemistry chargers during the years I've been flying R/C and I don't remember a single one which would reliably detect a NiMH or NiCd peak at less than 0.2C. I currently use a pair of Hyperion EOS 0615i DUO3 chargers which cost ~$300 each and they typically won't detect a peak at 0.1C either.

 

NiMH and NiCd cells don't necessarily "like" an 0.1C charge rate any more or less than they "like" a 0.5C rate, but 0.1C is often recommended because it's hard to overcharge cells to the point of damage at that rate. The best rule of thumb is never charge your cells faster than you have to, but charge at at least 0.2-0.3C if you're using a peak detect charger. You also never want to charge over 1.0C unless you consider your cells disposable, and don't let your cells get hot. Warm is OK, but if they get hot then you're doing irreversible damage to the cell chemistry.

and
Also, you should try and run them down completely before you recharge them but it isn't a requirement. They do tend to last longer if you do though.

As opposed to
Oh: And NEVER discharge NiMH cells below 0.9V per cell. That will also do irreversible damage to the cell chemistry. Theres really no practical reason to discharge them below 1V per cell and that's an easy number to remember.

And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone support what they say with a link to an authoritative 3rd party web site, yet no one ever seems to question the source of the information provided.
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And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone support what they say with a link to an authoritative 3rd party web site, yet no one ever seems to question the source of the information provided.

 

As for my opinion stated above, it doesn't have a source on the WWW, it's purely taken from personal and practical experiences. :laughing:

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Just to change the subject a little. Has anyone ever found a website that tells what manufacturer actually makes the different brands of batteries? I have googled it and came up empty.

Well, Sanyo makes the Eneloops :anibad: Some of the others are probably rebranded Eneloops.

 

The article I linked to above says that Kodak precharged are rebranded GP Recyko. Not sure if that is still true. You can google for rechargeable battery rebrand, but the problem with rebranding is that they could change supplier without informing anyone.

Edited by Chrysalides
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I suspect this will raise some hackles, but I tend to buy from ebay and have not really been burned yet, well maybe once with a USB hub that required power. It's cheap and quick and no driving all over for what I want.

 

Here is two scores I made yesterday.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=180512564367

This one is for charging while I am yakkin on forums :D

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt...ME:L:OU:CA:1123

 

Even if they are duds they are a lot cheaper and since you can complain to ebay or Paypal, you are protected. At probably $ 0.25 per batt they are a steal. I suspect that these same items are relabelled and sold as a more expensive battery. I have seen plenty of electronic items that I bought there for sale at big box stores (ie Wally World B)) for anywhere from 5 to 10 times the price. I bought a microphone for my iPod Touch for Canadian dollars 1.89 (that allows me to call long distance through Skype in a Wifi hotspot )

 

I used to know a guy who built computers. He could import stuff from wherever and get some stuff for just about free. If he paid ten or twenty times the price he could get tested electronics. So he knew that 10% of the untested components would fail, so he took the bet and he knew that 10% of the customers would come back for a warranty in which case he would give em a newbie. It cost him 10% in losses to to be able to sell computers for 90 to 95% less cost to him. The math is simple. Now the internet is making this obvious if people will look. I mentioned the microphone thingy to a salesguy in Best Buy the other day and he quickly looked around to see if anyone heard me.

 

As far as conditioning batteries... hmmm I suspect that is suspect because batteries basically die from use (some quicker than others) and since conditioning a battery is the same basically as using it (they heat up and heat normally kills) I would be inclined to believe that the more you condition the less life. Spend the extra dough on more batts and blow the dead ones into the recycling bin. At .25 cents a batt you can buy a lot for the same price as the conditioner.

 

I used to run RC airplanes (Nicads for the electronics) and there was a big thing then about draining the cells down to 1.1 volt to eliminate "memory". I used to religiously keep a log and cycle the batteries periodically at first with a finger burning resistor and then a fancy job that gave a digital readout of the discharge and then recharge time, voltage, etc with variable charging rates. I still have it and it doesn't work anymore. Honestly the batteries lasted about the same whether cycled or not. Also cycling the cells was a potential way of reversing and therefore destroying the cell. If someone was flying with a set of cells and pushing the envelope of the cells duration then all the cycling in the world will not help them.

 

So what I do is: I finally broke down and got a darn good pro quality voltmeter after buying many junk ones over the years that just frustrated, a Fluke volt/amp/ohm/clamp meter AC/DC and I measure the voltage before I bring the batts out to verify what I am using. Every battery has a rate of discharge sitting on the shelf. Some are 3% per day, mileage may vary.

 

If you notice a set of batts are quick to run out, mark them or put them in your spare pocket and then when you get home check with a voltmeter and see the offender. Give it one or maybe two more chances and then it's off to the recycle bin.

Also I carry one more set of batteries than I think I need. (Thanked the GC Gods for that today LOL) At .25 cents who really cares if you get 10% less life? Unless you are Lindbergh and are crossing the Atlantic (remember the fly) the weight of two AAs shouldn't be the straw that broke the.....

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Anyone looking for a great deal on 4 AA Low Self Discharge batteries may be interested in going on ebay an typing in this exact search: nimh 2050mah . For less than $7.50 what more do you want!

 

Not sure if the low self discharge with the low capacity mAh are the best overall performance . The high capacity 2600mAh NIMH are only $1.59 Just buy a few extras and charge up before you head out caching. I can usually get a couple of weeks shelf life on a charge :D

Edited by jsdad
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Not sure if the low self discharge with the low capacity mAh are the best overall performance . The high capacity 2600mAh NIMH are only $1.59 Just buy a few extras and charge up before you head out caching. I can usually get a couple of weeks shelf life on a charge :)

I use a mix of "regular" and low self discharge NiMH. I usually keep the LSD cells for backup.

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Not sure if the low self discharge with the low capacity mAh are the best overall performance . The high capacity 2600mAh NIMH are only $1.59 Just buy a few extras and charge up before you head out caching. I can usually get a couple of weeks shelf life on a charge :)

I use a mix of "regular" and low self discharge NiMH. I usually keep the LSD cells for backup.

 

Keeping LSD cells primarily for backup is a great idea!

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I have the Lacrosse Technology BC-500 Alpha Power Battery Charger and it rules. You can select slow or fast charges. Most of the fast chargers you get with the batteries you buy really heat them up. If you've got the time, slow charge your batteries as a rule - they'll last longer and perform better.

 

This works well to just put the fresh battery set you have into your GPS when you get home(if you have a set) and throw the partially discharged batteries into the charger overnight. Always has you going out with fresh batteries in your GPS and a fresh backup set in your pack.

 

somegeek

Edited by somegeek
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I use the Maha MH-C9000 charger and the Maha "Imedion" batteries. This charger offers a pretty full suite of capabilities, including variable charge rates (adjustable in 100mA increments), 4 independent slots, break-in charging, cycling, discharging, etc. It's the most versatile charger I've seen in the "consumer price" range.

 

Their latest Imedion batteries are 2400mAh. According to the C9000, I'm not getting this high of a charge yet, but it's always over 2100, which was their previous Imedion level. Also, it might be worth noting that the charge level is often higher than what the charger tells me after a charge, as evidenced by the fact that if I do a discharge, it shows that I had a higher charge.

 

I've slowly shifted from the regular NiMH to all low self discharge batteries. The charge level is not as high, but it's close enough to still work well, and I feel that I lose more due to self discharge than I do due the overall lower charge levels in LSD batteries. On this note, I found that if I didn't use my regular NiMH for a while, they would go bad relatively quickly. LSD NiMH batteries do not share this risk as much.

 

Larry

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