View Full Version : Batteries for your kit
A long time ago, because of the cost and guilt, I pretty much stopped using ordinary alkaline batteries and moved onto rechargeables. After limited success with NiCd batteries, I came across Energizer NiMH. The best AA are the 2100mAh and they hold their charge well, even when cold.
AAs go for just under £5 for 4 in Tesco's (there are probably cheaper places to buy but they're handy!) and chargers cost about £10. Saved a lot in the long run compared to throwing dead Duracells into the bin!
Adi, do you also find that even Energiser NiMH (which are the best) batteries won't hold a charge as long as alkalines ?
I find rechargeables good for kit that I use often, but when I've carried them as spares, they sometimes let me down. I use a couple of sets of rechargeables and alternate them but my spare torch batteries for the outdoors are lithium, these have very high capacity, and with a 10 year shelf life, can be kept in case the rechargeables run out.
On a related note, although NiMH are not supposed to have the memory problem like NiCd rechargeables, AND give the full 1.5 volts per cell, they can't be recharged as often. A good set of Nicads can be recharged 1000 times, NiMH much less. This doesn't matter to most of us but to a tradesman using a cordless drill every day, tools with NiMH batteries can work out twice as expensive because the batteries wear out quicker.
No, they don't hold their charge as long as alkaline batteries ... but they don't hang around for long either when I have GPS devices and torches all going hungry!
I've gone off NiCd ... the memory issue thing is an odd problem and more to do with the way they are made rather than it being a chemical issue. What i don't like about NiCd is the low power output they have and erratic output ... sometime a charged set would last 6 hours in a GPS, other times less than an hour. With NiMH I don't find that a problem at all.
I'm not aware of NiMH having fewer charge cycles than NiCd ... I've got a few here that have probably been recharged several hundred times and they are still fine. What they don't like (unlike NiMH) is being discharged completely ... the next few charges are never as good after a full flat discharge.
I'm not battery expert ... just a user so I may be wrong! :-D
I have just bought some Uniross 2300mAh NiMh AA rechargables. On the pack it says, can be recharged upto 1000 times.
I've also just ordered a bunch of Hama 2300 mAh AAs too that claim to be able to be recharged "1000s of times" ...
I've got some Energizers that I'm not had for well over a year of charging and discharging in a wide variety of items (GPS receivers, digital cameras and so on) and they are still going.
Simple cost comparison ... 10 Duracell M3 AA can cost anything between £5.50 and £10 depending on where you buy them. 4 AA Energizer AA cost me £7.99 from Tesco and have been recharged dozens of times ... money saver! After anything between 1 and 4 recharges, I'm saving money, beyond that, they are running for nothing!
They are even cheaper now I buy them online!