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So, you want to recharge Alkaline batts?

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It's the big secret of the Battery industry. Yes, Alkaline batteries can be recharged numerous times. I've been doing it for years. There are 2 ways to do this. The proper way is using vented batteries with a pulsed charging system. This method works well but requires a larger outlay of special batteries and a special charger. The other way is the way I do it, and requires only your old dead coppertops and a Wallyworld nicad charger (about the same price as an 8pack of aa's). The cheep way does require a bit more attention. The nicad charger pumps out the juice a bit faster, so you can't leave the batteries on charge for more than 5 or 6 hours. If you leave them in they will eventually bloat and leak, ruining your charger. I use coppertops exclusively because I know they are vented. There may be other vented batts but I've never torn them apart to look. I limit my charge/discharge to 4 cycles, just to ensure they never bloat and always have full capacity. Do not use cheap offbrand batteries as they are likely not vented and will bloat. Stop tossing those perfectly good alkalines, help protect the environment and save a ton on batteries.

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If they leak, they leak on the charger because you forgot to remove them before you went to bed. In over 10 years of doing this I have never had one actually leak, a few bloated after a 24 hour charge once. Nimh and other high end batteries do work very well, but they are expensive and I don't have a drawer full of them.

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Originally posted by BrianSnat:

As cheap as batteries are on sale, or at BJ's, Costco, etc.... I don't see the point.


Insert Environmental Manifesto here.

Actually we're not tree hugging whackos, we're just cheap. I haven't bought a set of AA alkaline batteries in 2 years!


"Adrift in a world he never made!"


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Originally posted by BadAndy:

They have the same life of new batts.

That's not been my experience. I used to use them in my PDA. On first charge, they lasted about 75% as long as new, second charge, maybe 50%, and downhill fast after that.


With 2200mAh NiMHs readily available, I don't any point to recharging alkalines for GPS use.



"Don't mess with a geocacher. We know all the best places to hide a body."

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I wouldn't trust them, just like I dont trust rechargables. I used to use them all the time in my hand held scanners and they never die slowly like an alkaline. One moment the scanner would be scanning away the next it would be off.


I don't want that kind of performance while I am in the middle of the woods. My hobby cost me roughly 15 cents an hour. I usually buy the 8 pack of Energizers and get roughly 20 hours use out of 4 AAs. The 8pks sell for around $5.00+tax at the Big-K.



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I have also been recharging batteries for years. They do not last as long as new once they go dead and can never be brought back more then ~50%. I have a Buddy-L (the original) and a Ray-0-Vac and a pure energy alkaline recharger. They all recommend recharging often. Top them up so to speak. They even call it refreshing not recharging. This makes a battery last a very long time! You can get a cheap pulsed recharger by buying a pack of rechargeable alkaline batteries that come with the small charger but they only do AA and AAA. My buddy-L does the best job. I got the Ray-O-Vac because it also does 9 volt batteries.


The trick is to recharge often, before they go dead! This is stated in the manuals for the chargers and tested by myself.




Took tupperware container - Left nothing.

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At one time, I would to try and rejuvenate alkaline batteries, at least up until NiMh rechargeables came about. Now I don't bother. I find the NiMh batteries to be more predictable, and have a much wider usable temperature range.


From what I've seen, I'm not sure if alkalines actually take a charge, or if it is just the heat that rejuvenates them somewhat. Unlike rechargeables, where you don't want them to get hot, alkalines seem to recover best if you heat them up a little. (Just not too much). In a pinch, I've found that if you can't recharge them, you can get about as good of results by heating them at low heat in an oven or other similar device.


[This message was edited by Searching_ut on September 14, 2003 at 11:40 PM.]

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Why bother?

I can see doing that when NiCads were around. They weren't worth a darn, but with NIMH costs running about $10 per four the make more sense.

They get about 80% of the power of new premium alkaline batteries. They won't blow up if you over charge them, they charge in readily available chargers, they don't get memory and they are supposed to be good for 500 cycles.

I have some that I've recharged 40-50 times in a one-hour charger which is probably hard on them, but they work just fine.

I use these things in lots of devices. All of my small flashlites, by kids' Gameboys, my PDA extender, my tent lights, my motorola radios. I haven't bought a 24 pack of AAs from Costco in nearly a year.



Max Entropy

More than just a name, a lifestyle.

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I buy the Rayovac Rechargable NiMH batteries and use them for lots of stuff. I have some set aside specifically for the gps, though. Those have masking tape around them with numbers so I can keep track of them and use them in sets (one set is 1, the other is 2, etc).


I always swap them out before leaving and keep them "topped off." So far no problems.




"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.

When a man found it, he hid it again." Mt. 13:44

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Thanks for the info, guys.


FWIW, I have a Map 330 and it eats batteries alive. Although I haven't strictly controlled it, my experience seems to suggest that the Duracell Ultras work better than the regular Energizers, but I haven't compared them to the "premium" Energizers.


And this is interesting about recharging alkalines. As a kid, I bought a recharger that claimed to work on alkalines as well (perhaps the same product mentioned above by CYBret but I remember no endorsement - it was just an obscure catelog). They DID take a charge, but I never really ran it through any tests to see how well they performed.

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