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Rechargeable Batteries

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have two Motorola radios and one of the battery packs seems to loose power faster than the other one.

Anybody use any other more powerful rechargeable AAs?
post #2 of 10
Do you completely drain your AA's before you recharge them? I have always read that this the answer. Put a pair of AA's in a flashlight and drain the batteries by running the flashlight overnight, then recharge them.
post #3 of 10
I use the Powerex 2000mAH AA NiMH batteries from Thomas Distributing for my Digital Camera and just about everything else that takes a AA battery. For recharging I use the Powerex MH-C401 cool charger. Every test that I've seen rates the Powerex batteries #1.
post #4 of 10
I use Maha rechargables from Thomas Distributing and never had a problem with my camera quitting during a day on the slopes. Definitely check out Thomas Distributing and have a look around, I need to do so as well to get a few more batteries for myself...
post #5 of 10
Energizer makes some 2100 mAh AA batteries. I think the key is not to overcharge the batteries. If a charger takes a very long time to charge (like 8-14 hours) then it is possible it is a trickle charger and if the designer is not careful, these can overcharge the battery if the batteries are left on to charge for too long. NiMH batteries supposedly don't have any memory effect, so completely discharging is not required. However, some chargers (like the one that comes with the Hotronic warmers) charge at a rate slightly above trickle for a certain time (~10 hours), then switch to a very low trickle charge. Since this is a timed charge, they recommend discharging the batteries so that a battery that is only 20% discharged (for example) won't get charged for the same length of time as a fully discharged battery. So basically they recommend discharging just to get the battery in a known state of discharge. Good (ie more expensive) chargers charge at the rate of "1C" (which for a 2100mAh battery would be around 2.1 amps) and then it only takes a little more than 1 hour to charge the battery. But doing this requires a charger that is a smart charger (one that makes decision to reduce charge rate based on increased rate of temperature increase in the battery, or a drop in the voltage: -dV/dt) and is capable of sourcing larger currents.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the posts.

I think I might grab some Poweex ones.

The crappy battery packs that came with the Motorola radios are crappy NiCa that are probably like 600 mAh.

It is too much of a pain to drain batteries if you have a multi day ski trip.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I ordered 8 Powerex 2200 mAh and a smart charger for like $63.

The 2 day Airborne shipping got from California to Boston overnight.

So if you need any order from these guys.
post #8 of 10
The best NiMH rechargables I've ever used come from a company called "Quest." Don't let the packaging fool you. They *look* like they're some kind of cheap knock-offs, but the performance is really stellar. Never seen them in stores, but you can find them online.

Forget the consumer-grade Energizers, etc. - they're worthless crap.
post #9 of 10
You can never say a certain battery is crap unless you perform an array of tests with varying loads and at different temperatures. Some batteries are better suited for lower drain applications while others are better for high drain applications. With alkaline batteries, duracells last longer under heavy load, but the energizers last longer under small load. (I may have the brands backwards though).
post #10 of 10
lemmy999, do you have a charger recommendation? I've seen circuit descriptions of things that momentarily pulse the 1C rate into discharge and thereby self-configure the fast charge rate and subsequent plateaus, but I've no clue as to what's on market.
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