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GPS Food - rechargables?


Sleddog
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Yes, use rechargables. NiMh is the current state of the art. The higher the mAh the better. 1600 to 1850 mAh are common. Get a good charger, something that will charge without overheating the batteries, and then trickle charge them to full.

 

And always carry a spare set of batteries with you, even if they are plain alkaline. It is a real bummer to get to 200 feet of a cache and have your batteries croak. icon_smile.gif

 

Use the forum SEARCH feature on BATTERIES and youll find other discussions on this topic in the past.

Welcome!

 

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I used to use them religiously for all sorts of applications, but they just seemed too unreliable and expensive in the long run. Maybe it's my usage and recharge patterns...

 

Anyway, I gave up on them about a year ago. I've found that I can get really good quality (Duracell and Engergizer) disposables during periodic sales at my local grocery store. In the last few months I've been stocking up at a rate of about 25 to 32 cents per battery (sans tax) depending on the current deal. (I usually get 16-20 batteries at a time)

 

Rougly speaking, I spend about 50 cents on batteries for 8 hours (usually more)of geocaching. Rechargables hardly seem worth the effort.

 

Of course, there are the environmental concerns, and I'm sure the rechargables are getting better, but I just haven't seen them beat the disposables for price/performance.

 

Your mileage may vary.

 

George

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Keep in mind that the Nickel Cadmium batteries are has beens. A typical AA Nicad is only 1/3 or less capacity than a typical NiMH. And, the NiMH does not develop memory problems when partially discharged and recharged.

 

I do carry a spare set with me. Seldom have needed them. I was taking pictures of one hunt I was on and the flash was taking a long time to recharge. I popped in the spare NiMH's and was back to rapid fire. Really, I can think of no negative to them. Even if alkaline had a little more capacity, and I question that, you often end up with the battery dying on you when you'd rather not be messing with changing them and waiting for a relock on the birds. I make it a practice to put my NiMH's in the charger at the end of the day and I always begin the next day fresh.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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I just started using Monster batteries and love them. In my digital camera I got only about 20 shots on regular AA alkaline batteries. With Monster batteries I can shoot about 80 to 100 high quality (photo quality) pictures before recharging. Recharge in only 3 hours, come in a 4 pack with wall charger at Circuit City for $39.99

 

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I use ni-mh batteries. I also use a technique for carrying spares. I put 2 AA batteries in a film cannister (the black ones with the gray lid) and put the + up if they are charged and the - up if they are dead and need to be charged. Using alkaline batteries is like throwing money away. The only thing I use alkalines for is to put in caches for the needy cacher.

 

"I can't find the longitude for the North Pole"

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I picked up some NIMH for my digital camera. Again, the battery life seemed less than useful. It seemed I had to recharge them every time I went out, and eventually had to resort to disposables quite a bit of the time. (I carried a spare set of NIMH rechargables, too!)

 

Now I just use disposables, and have eliminated the worry about how long the rechargable batteries hold a charge, or the hassle of recharging them. Made my life a whole lot simpler.

 

I'm not sure why I'm having such bad luck with rechargables. I'm an EE, and I understand the physics, but I just seem to have really bad luck with them.

 

I almost didn't buy one of the newer Palms that have a built-in rechargable battery because of my bad luck, but that system has worked well for me. (except when I'm on the road with low power, and no power adapter with me) I'm not really sure why it working well for me in this app, but not others. (Don't even get me started on laptop batteries)

 

George

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I use 1850 MA Kodak NiMH Rechargables and love them! A good charger is a must, but well worth the price. I get 16 hours of use out of a set in my GPSMAP 196 - almost the same as with Regular / non recharge batteries. Friend of mine had some with a non-chip controlled charger and his fried though, so a good charger is key.

 

Juanbob icon_eek.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by nincehelser:

I picked up some NIMH for my digital camera. Again, the battery life seemed less than useful.


 

I think you're just having bad luck. I started off with 1200 Mah batteries and a charger from RadioShack. They seemed to get better after a few charges--kind of like I was conditioning them.

 

Now I'm using 1450 Mah and they work fine. I've been meaning to get back over to Sam's and pick up some 1850 Mah for the GPS, but now they're probably gone because of Christmas. icon_frown.gif

 

Anyway, it's been my experience NiMH work longer and harder than alkalines. With two sets, I'm never out of batteries.

 

CR

 

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I made the switch from Alkalines to NiMH quite early on, and the rechargeables have worked great. Maybe the alkalines last a little longer, but i've never had the batteries die out while out caching, and i keep enough spare rechargeables around that it shouldn't be a problem if they do...

 

And now with a digicam...

 

If I didn't have the NiMHs, I'd be going thru way too many alkalines...

 

Cache well, and see ya round the bend...

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The battery eliminator is the mobile power adaptor. While I could get by using it, it does save on battery discharge while I'm drive from cache to cache. The biggest reason I use it is that the backlight on my Garmin V will stay on continuously and at a brighter level. Thats good when it is sitting in a recessed area of my car.

 

I have thought of using a power inverter to charge batteries while driving but have not had the need to do that. I only use the inverter to keep my laptop computer going if I have the GPSR connected to it and using Mapsource to track my progress.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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Another battery newbie here. Between my palm, digital camera, and soon gps I need to start using rechargables. Do you guys find the brand name nimh batteries to last longer, and if so what brand do you mostly use? Also, does the mAh make a big difference?

 

How about a charger? I have a cheap Radio Shack charger, would an expensive one give me a better charge?

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Recently at I sprung for some Energizer NiMH batteries at 1850 mAh. Once I had opened the pack and started charging them I realized the pack said 1.2 volts. So instead of 1.5 I get 1.2. I tried them and they seem to work fine... until they die about an hour later. Does anyone have experience with these 1.2volt batteries? Should they hamper the battery life that much? Thanks

 

MacBWizard

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For those of you with bad experiences with rechargables, remember that NiMH (an possibly Alkalines) lose their charge over periods of non-use. Most recommend recharging a battery after 30 days of sitting.

 

The good thing about NiMH is that they don't have the memory problems, and they can be reused 10x more often.

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quote:
Originally posted by MacBWizard201:

Recently at I sprung for some Energizer NiMH batteries at 1850 mAh. Once I had opened the pack and started charging them I realized the pack said 1.2 volts. So instead of 1.5 I get 1.2. I tried them and they seem to work fine... until they die about an hour later. Does anyone have experience with these 1.2volt batteries? Should they hamper the battery life that much? Thanks

 

MacBWizard


 

All NiMh will be rated at 1.2v. It's pretty rare that the slightly less voltage will be a problem in electronic devices. The amperage is more significant. Some things like digital cameras will suck the life out of a 1200mAh pretty quickly, but 1800+mAh will last much longer. Personally, I found that my gps and digital camera go almost as far (90% maybe) on 1800mAh NiMh's as they did on something like duracell ultras. Just my experience. But I would say that if you go with the NiMh's (which I highly recommend) get the highest amp rating you can find.

 

GoPherStash

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NiMH batteries have more capacity and are great if you charge them right before using them. The disadvantage is that they lose their charge quickly--after several days to a week, you better recharge them again.

NiCd batteries keep their charge much longer, and I use them for some of my radios because they also have the advantage of providing more current for high power devices.

 

For hikes over a day, its several sets of alkalines, because each will last longer than any rechargeable. They are the best backup type because they keep for years. I have been getting them for 25 cents each.

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The magellangps website simply calls for two, AA batteries (no voltage mentioned) and say that a set should last for about 10 hours. It sure would be nice if they would give us minimum input voltage, current draw (w & w/o backlight) and RMS power requirements in the datasheet. Does anybody have that info?

 

Good Hunting! -- Graveseeker

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I had 1400mAh batteries and used them for a while before giving up on them. The died a LOT faster than a regular cell.

 

I recently got some 1850mAh batteries though and as someone said before - they last nearly as long as a regular cell. So I'm hooked. Not only do they last a long time, but I got a one hour charger for them which is really awesome.

 

My charger + 12 batteries came to $40. I will break even on my investment on my next charge icon_smile.gif With FRS, digital camera, and GPS all taking AA batteries, I eat them up.

 

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trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

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Here's some good info....

 

Great Battery Shootout

 

The thing I picked out most in this article is to get a charger that discharges (conditions) the batts, and to get one that knows when to trickle charge, versus just quick charging the whole time.

 

I have several brands & amperage NImHs, and its hard to tell, cause I have so many, but I think they all pretty much last quite awhile in my GPS. In the digital camera is another matter, however.

 

I almost forgot....After reading this article a couple of months ago, I bought a Maha C204 charger. Since I have about two-dozen NiMHs, (several different brands), and several Nicds, I always mix up which are charged, and which are dead.

 

So I check the voltage to three digits with my digital multimeter. They seem to charge consistently within brands.

I usually get just over 1.3v on my PowerEx 1800's, and 1.27-1.28v on most of the others. (most of which are Rayovac 1600's).

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

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I guess I'm lucky.

 

I use NiMHs in my digital camera (Olympus C3030). On a recent trip to Mexico I shot several hundred photos, about 15% with flash, and reviewed most of the shots with the LCD. I brought extra batteries with me, but I never needed them. In fact, once a got home I continued to shoot on the same batteries for another month or so.

 

Since the batteries in my camera last so long, it's a long time before my spares get put into my camera. It could be months. But they still have their charge. I put them in my GPS the other day and they showed nearly a full charge. I also used them for several days after.

 

So I guess what I'm saying is don't believe everything you hear about NiMHs not holding a charge. At least in my experience, they hold up very well.

 

For the record, they are Panasonic 1600 mAh. Got 6 at Costco, with a 5-hour charger for $19.95.

 

geospotter

 

[This message was edited by geospotter on January 03, 2003 at 07:08 PM.]

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Well if you are concerned about the life/charge of rechargeables... just buy a lot icon_wink.gif

 

Just kidding, but here's a link for 24 1800mAh Ni-MH batteries for $29.

http://www.bydusa.com/subcatmfgprod.asp?0=217&1=285&2=-1

 

Same page has 12 for $19, and 60 for $60 but that 60 is a "special deal for retailers". Though I don't know why they'd care who was buying the batteries.

 

These guys also have some really high-end computerized chargers. Like someone said, a good charger is a GOOD investment. Two things I'd look for (note that I'm a fair amateur, but I know these two things for myself are important) #1 being that it trickles once the fast charge is complete. I read that chargers that don't do this heat the battery up and that is what damages the battery. #2 for me is the capability to charge a SINGLE battery if I want icon_smile.gif Sounds silly, but having to charge 4 batteries at a time is annoying to me. If I have one dead battery - I just want to charge it.

 

I got an energizer fast charger that does the trickle and also allows me to insert single batteries.

 

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trippy1976 - Team KKF2A

Saving geocaches - one golf ball at a time.

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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One of the most important things to consider when using rechargeables is your charger. Not all chargers are created equal. I use a Charger by a company called MAHA. Their charger will completely discharge a battery before it recharges it. This will eventually extend the life or the battery charge. I am currently using a set of batteries in my GPS that I have been using for hunting for a couple of weeks. I can't say exacly how many hours of actual on time that would be, but it is at least 10 and still performing well. I am using NIMH 1600's, and have charged them at least 10 different times since starting to use them.

 

Lost? Keep going. You're making good time anyway!!

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but I carry spare alkalines.

 

This much I know so far: Mark you batteries as pairs (1-1, 2-2, *-* #-#, whatever), use them as pairs, keep them as pairs, charge them at the same time as pairs. Don't leave them in the charger too long (24 hours or less). I use NiMHs. I got another charger and more batteries for Christmas!

 

Cache you later,

Planet

 

"To err is human, to forgive....$5.00"

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quote:
Originally posted by Sleddog:

Do you veterans use rechargables? If you do, which ones seem to last the longest?


 

I must have been napping. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Thomas Distributing in a response already.

 

I use nimh batteries in our GPS units except for those rare cases when they'll be used for several days in a place where recharging is not an option (e.g. backpacking trips, where we use lithium AA's which last longer, weigh less, and cost more)

 

I buy batteries from Thomas Distributing My orders have always shipped promptly, the orders are filled correctly, their website is a trove of information, and their prices are hard (but not impossible) to beat.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY downside to using NIMH batteries is that they do self-discharge, so if you don't top them up but instead let them sit in a drawer for a month, they'll be partially discharged.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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Maha Energy Corp., the maker of the PowerEx brand batteries and chargers, unveils its latest 2000 mAh NiMH AA rechargeable batteries: MH-4AA200BH. The PowerEx MH-4AA200BH batteries includes 4 new 2000mAh NiMH AA rechargeable batteries and battery carrying case and will retail for $16.95.

 

This a press release I found on dpreview.com

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