Rechargeable batteries

-- Last Updated: May-19-07 1:51 AM EST --

GPS, camera, lamps. I think it’s time for rechargeable batteries.

What are you using? I did a couple hours of research and here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Seems like NiMH batteries are the way to go for electronic gear like cameras and GPSs. How do diode lamps do with these? I’m wondering about the 1.2 V for NiMH versus 1.5V for alkaline. I’ve read that alkaline batteries drop off to less than 1.2 V at half life anyway, so I’m guessing a diode lamp would be reasonably bright with NiMH.

La Crosse BC-900 charger.

Comes with 4 AA and 4 AAA rechargeable NiMH batteries.
Digital readout so you know how much charge is in the batteries.
Refresh (discharge and recharge cycling) mode. Do NiMH sometimes need refreshing?
Don’t know what the adapters are in the statement, “Also includes 4 C- and 4 D-size battery adapters”

For a low cost 8 station universal charger, the Rayovac universal NiMH battery charger looks pretty good.
I’m not sure I’ll ever go with C, D, or 9-V NiMH batteries, and want the digital display, so am thinking of going with the La Crosse.


Paul S.

when I was an undergrad
I lived in a town full of engineers. Find yourself a small college town with a Hewlitt Packard, CH2M Hill, or something like that, and corner an engineer. They’re great at this sort of thing.

ps: don’t trust technical writers
all they know is English

LED flashlight runtimes

– Last Updated: May-19-07 7:08 AM EST –

Are usually longer with good NiMH batteries than with alkalines. There's a typical example in this review:

Sanyo has a new NiMH battery called the eneloop which supposedly reduces the typical NiMH self-discharge rate to near zero. The maximum capacity is less than standard NiMH batteries, but they'd probably be better for infrequent use.

I've had good luck with this Maha charger and the Powerex 2700 batteries:

There's a ton of battery information on some of the digital-camera and flashlight forums.

Maha charger, powerex batteries
Ditto on the good experience with this combo.

NiMh is great
I run most of my gizmos with them. Wouldn’t have it any other way. The reduced waste of rechargeables make them worth many times their price.

One strategy I always use is to make sure all of my paddling and outdoors electronics all use “AA” batteries. This way, if say my VHF or GPS needs more batteries and I’m out of spares, I can cannibalize any other thing, like a flashlight, etc for spares.

You only have to carry one charger on a trip that way, too.

This site is a bit outdated,
but the information is still good.

I’m pretty happy with my Rayovac AA rechargables that i use in the GPS,digital camera and now also the wireless mouse.2500mah. i have the 4-battery charger that can plug into the wall or cigarette lighter in the car, since i recharge them in batches of 2 only.

update: battery capacity w/ La Crosse
I ordered the La Crosse BC-900. It came with 4 AA 2400 mAh, and 4 AAA 800 mAh batteries made by La Crosse.

Haven’t tried the unit out yet.

Paul S.