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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

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I wish more cameras ran on AA's. That WizardOne could be so useful. But as things are, I would only use it for 2 radios, and one of those has its own charging circuit, so I will stick with my second-rate charger.

While not available through your partners (sorry Mike) I read somewhere the the Ikea "LADDA" batteries are Eneloops with an Ikea wrapper. Eneloops are really good rechargeables, so here's a nice cheap option.

Good idea to remind everyone about the usefullness and availability of today's modern rechargeable batteries.
The battery case you recommended, though, is needlessly bulky and features non-durable hinges and latches. I therefore suggest Storacell Powerpax battery holders (or equivalent) as a more robust, durable, and compact solution. Link: https://amzn.to/2lCaxCJ

Mike,

Those Powerex Precharged batteries are pretty impressive if they hold 85% of their charge for a year. My old Energizer AAs will only go 40 days. I just use the Energizer charger that came with them. Has a flip-down thingy for charging AAA cells.

The nice features with the Powerex WizardOne (and similar) charger are the analyzer and the discharge/charge/repeat feature that allows you to fully discharge and charge the battery in case you don't always wait until it dies before charging it.

It used to be that 1200 mAh batteries were a big deal. (Most of those didn't hold a charge for even a month!) Progress!

I carry an LED (with red light) headlamp for my evening and night photography. Having both hands free with the light pointing in the same direction as I'm looking is great.

Don't forget to turn it off before you start moving your head in all directions or you WILL annoy any nearby folks.

The storage case you linked to is for AAA batteries.

The 60 buck wonder you recommend is indeed excellent. Takes a little getting used to having batteries take days to charge, depending on the settings, but all’s well that ends well. It has already weeded out a bad apple that tended to discharge overly quickly.

Thank you for this. Using rechargeables can be hard, and with the ease of amazon and harbor freight handing out truly horrible but free with purchase batteries, I've been lazy in this, but been promising to do better. As I've committed my Cub Pack to no more disposables this year, I gotta toe the line here as well. Stupid accountability and kids paying attention to what we do...:)

I have not eight, but tens of AA and AAA rechargeable NiMH batteries. I don't think I've reached 100, but they are spread out in many devices, so I don't really know.*

I've had a La Crosse Technology BC700-CBP charger for over nine years, and am pleased with it. It does some tricks other than reliably and fully charging my batteries, but I don't remember what they may be. It's significantly less expensive than the Powerex.

I've also been very happy with the second choice you offer, the Panny BQ-CC17 Advanced individual cell charger. The early Panny charger was poorer, charging only in pairs. That doesn't work well with batteries mismatched by brand or age/use or with the many devices that use one or three batteries.

I've done no testing, other than recharging and using many batteries many times. But batteries charged in the Panny, then put in the La Crosse show as fully charged on the LCD display. The Panny does no tricks, but I think it does its task of safely and fully recharging low discharge NiMH batteries very well.

My batteries are mostly Eneloops, with a significant minority of Amazons. Eneloop invented the low discharge battery, and were for some time the only, then the only first quality brand, which is one reason why I have mostly Eneloops. I'm trying to remember if I've ever had to throw one away. That I'm not sure says it all.

The Powerex batteries look to be comparable, although with a slightly poorer customer review profile. I rather suspect that several brands are essentially the same in quality.

* I see 22 here in little plastic cases of four waiting in reserve, to re-serve.

I bought 20 of these Powerex rechargable batteries (pictured) with the fanciest Powerex charger available, and within the first year these batteries started failing under only moderate use. BUYER BEWARE this brand!

So I sent them to the recycle center because they were undependable, and bought 20 Sanyo 'eneloop' rechargables (the white batteries) , and now 4 years later I still haven't had one single failure under moderdate use.

[Curious. I've never had a Powerex fail. I had an Energizer fail though. I think Eneloop is Panasonic, not Sanyo. I can find no reason not to recommend them. Here's a link:

https://amzn.to/2KnZW9g

--Mike]

Yeah, the new low self-discharge ones are quite useful. Before that I could only use rechargeables in seriously organized situations -- flash photography often, say.

I still don't use them in my radio flash triggers (which take AAAs); they just sit too much, and are nearly always brought out with little advance warning or planning. Same for flashlights -- those are, among other things, emergency equipment, and 15% discharge in a year is far too fast.

Also, the total capacity of primary AAs is vastly higher, so that emergency flashlight shines for a lot longer.

Police love the rechargeable Streamlight flashlights, I know, but they use flashlights much more than I do (the ones on night shift).

I'm a Maha / Powerex guy. I like the 8-battery charger of theirs, and the 4-battery analytical charger for hard cases. Still haven't rotated out all my pre-low-self-discharge ones, but they're getting towards end-of-life.

I, also, wish more cameras would run on standard batteries.

Mike,

The Eneloops have been Sanyo before, and lately Panasonic, and perhaps some other brand as well.

I have 2 powerex chargers and a collection of NIMH rechargeable AA and AAA batteries. I use them in headlamps, flashlight, mice, Pocket Wizards, Camranger motorized tripod head, flashes, variax active guitar, pocket recorder, etc. I tend to recharge each Sunday morning.

I like the Fenix ld-22 flashlight, similar to your choice, with a very low power setting available.

I stick to the NIMH rechargeables, which the internet says are less toxic than lithium rechargeables, but NIMH has less capacity. I have never seen NIMH destroy equipment like an alkaline.

A while back I discovered my son was using my pre-charged Eneloops once, and tossing them out. Re-education was promptly given.

Dave

Eneloops were Sanyo, until Panasonic bought Sanyo's battery business. I've got a bunch of them. I originally bought them for use in police and public safety scanners. Then gradually rotated them into other devices.

Long time user of the LaCrosse BC-500 which is no longer at Amazon, but this looks similar: https://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Technology-BC700-CBP-Battery-Charger/dp/B000RSOV50/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1530159264&sr=1-1&keywords=lacrosse+bc-500 and it's $33.39. Doesn't have all of the features of the PowerEx, but has all I would ever use.

I wonder if higher capacity batteries have as long a life span. I throw out a battery about once a month now. A variety of brands. I'll give the PowerEx batteries a try next time though.

I've been buying Amazon basics NiMH batteries recently, which I suspect are the same under the covers as the eneloops and similar. But my charger is at least 10 years old. Time to learn about that element.

Thanks for this post, Mike.

I have 8 NiMh batteries - two for my Apple keyboard and two for the Apple Magic Mouse, plus a spare set for both. As soon as I start getting the MacOS warnings about 'Low Batteries' I recharge one of the spare sets and then change them over. I'll then leave the used sets exhausted until I get the next warning messages. I use a cheap charger with them - I think it came with one set of four batteries - and that's done me fine for a number of years. Thinking about, I bought the iMac in 2013, and that came with the keyboard and magic mouse, so that's when I must have bought the rechargeables.

But recently - well, the last cycle, in fact - I found that the replaced batteries wouldn't work in the mouse, so there must be something going wrong somewhere, and I need to take a look at the batteries or the charger. This has been a timely reminder.

Good to see you’re a convert to rechargeables, even though a late one. :-) . I used to recharge ordinary batteries back before rechargeables were available/affordable. Chargers were available but I know it’s possible to devise diy solutions. You couldn’t recharge them as often as rechargeables, and it was best to recharge them before they got too low, but it was a great cash saving.

Online rumour has it that the AmazonBasics PreCharged HighCapacity AA's are rebadged Eneloop Pro batteries and have a capacity of 2500mAh

https://www.lightandmatter.org/2014/tech-photography-articles/best-rechargeable-aa-nimh-batteries-for-your-flash-dont-buy-eneloops/

Been using some as my flash batteries for about a year and have yet to have to swap them during a job (usually around 400 flash photos at about a quarter)

Definitely go with the Eneloops. Some years back a group of us at work went through most of the available brands of low self discharge batteries. Eneloops outperformed anything else out there in terms of charge retention. Note that in most cases higher capacity results in higher self discharge. No point having a high capacity battery if it only has 50% charge.

I bought 8 Eneloop AAs in 2010 when I bought my F5 and haven't looked back. I think the first set lasted nearly 2 years before they were low enough to not be able to power the high speed rewind - maybe close to 100 rolls?

They're still going strong too, and they're now in all our remotes, wireless keyboard and mouse. I even use them in my Pentax kx, and I recently got nearly 400 shots out of a freshly charged set before I changed them just in case.

I don't like the fact that the charger didn't come with any sort of manual though, but it works and works well for my needs.

David Dyer-Bennet,

Ordinary Alkaline AAs will not last as long as 1900 mah NIMH ( like regular Eneloops ) at 85% charge in a higher drain device like a flashlight, even though the alkalines have a higher mah rating under ideal conditions. See www.greenBatteries.com, among many others.
"Heavy Duty" batteries will not last as long as Alkalines.
I believe Lithium batteries ( both rechargeable and non-rechargeable ) are the only commonly available batteries that typically outlast NIMH.
Cheers, David Graham

I second the IKEA batteries and charger. Sorry that they won't help TOP, but the Black Diamond Spot 300 headlamp could.

Highly recommended, dimmable, with narrow, narrow+wide and red beams all selectable. One has replaced my 1st or 2nd generation BD LED headlights. I don't use handheld torches/flashlights any longer.

Well, you may be right about current NiMH batteries being actually better than primary in simple devices. Certainly wasn't true in my experience in the past, though, so I'm skeptical, and greenbatteries.com is very much a source with a position.

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