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Hey what’s everybody’s favorite AA rechargeable?


Izen Ears
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7 hours ago, LarryF said:

My error in reading too fast. Those lithium AA batteries are even worse about charge detection. The internal LiPo battery in the AA's is running at 3.7 to 3.2 (?) Volts and an internal power supply knocks the voltage down to a regulated 1.5 Volts or thereabout until the internal battery dies. The regulator then shuts down quickly to protect the LiPo. Treat them the same as NiMh; only use the timer in the unit.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Interesting.  Thank you, Larry.

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On 10/21/2021 at 8:43 PM, osa said:

with proper charging and periodic refreshing


I thought it was interesting that with the Eneloop Pro branded charger made by Panasonics, they warn of refreshing batteries. They basically say not to do it unless the battery is damaged already. 

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39 minutes ago, Johnny Karlsson said:

A quick google search turned up this:

 

https://reactual.com/portable-electronics/nizn-batteries.html

 

According to this, they go bad after 30-50 charges, and need a specific charger.

Looks good enough for a production in cold weather if you already have a charger that can charge these.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a li’l update:

 

We got the Eneloop Pros + these weird 3rd party chargers that operate using 5 volt USB power.  The stupid Panasonic chargers are AC!  That threw me for a loop, but now we have the XTAR VC4 chargers and they’re great.

 

Because we don’t have a genny on our truck this show, I devised a DC system that uses my backup Powermax + 2x old school PSC block batts, custom cables that go from XLR4 M to cigarette lighter receptacles, and finally some car USB chargers that can handle 1A output.  With this system, as long as we get stung for a few hours per week, those chargers can run uninterrupted. We do not charge overnight, the system is powered down at wrap.

 

It’s working great!  I have to say there is a lot more freedom using rechargeables.  In the past with the Energizer lithiums, I felt the need to run them down before changing.  This led to lots of “last minute” batt changes, and on occasion that fun anxiety-based game “battery flashing during the long take”  But now, we just change em whenever we feel like it, without the environmental guilt of not fully using a lithium.

 

I’m just glad I didn’t have to pay for all this new crap!


Dan

 

15D7021C-6D8A-4489-A2E4-B53D178ADA25.jpeg

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I've been using the Ladda 2450 for several years(haven't grabbed any of the new gray ones as of yet). Have about 50 at this point. Had around 5 that stop taking a charge over the years. Had a hop trans/rec go 10 hours on a charge. For lav's it's always and swap at lunch. No issues whatsoever.  

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On 11/19/2021 at 12:29 PM, Izen Ears said:

In the past with the Energizer lithiums, I felt the need to run them down before changing.  This led to lots of “last minute” batt changes, and on occasion that fun anxiety-based game “battery flashing during the long take”  But now, we just change em whenever we feel like it, without the environmental guilt of not fully using a lithium.

 

 

yeah, the lithiums simultaneously last too long but not long enough! I try to save them if I’m doing some kind of doc where I know I’m not going to be able to change them for a long time. 

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10 minutes ago, Rick Reineke said:

 The Energizer lithium AAs are a single use non-rechargeable battery AFAIK. Explain please.

I'm just guessing but I'm assuming he's saying that non-rechargeable lithiums given both their higher price yet higher capacity, you hate to say do a two hour sit down interview with a fresh one and just throw it away given there's still a lot of use in it.  Yet at the same time, if you have say a half remaining battery, it might put you in a pickle given that you might need a full one for a different day.

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It would be sweet if someone could come up with a lithium AA that is rechargeable and has the same runtime as the throw away ones.  I know amazon has some lithium rechargeable AA's these days but I've heard that they are dubious at best.

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1 hour ago, codyman said:

It would be sweet if someone could come up with a lithium AA that is rechargeable and has the same runtime as the throw away ones.  I know amazon has some lithium rechargeable AA's these days but I've heard that they are dubious at best.

Of course I agree, and I find it strange because these Eneloops say they are 2550 MaH, and the energizer lithiums are 3000 MaH.  That doesn’t seem like that much of a difference, but those lithiums last twice as long!

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On 11/22/2021 at 4:28 PM, Izen Ears said:

Of course I agree, and I find it strange because these Eneloops say they are 2550 MaH, and the energizer lithiums are 3000 MaH.  That doesn’t seem like that much of a difference, but those lithiums last twice as long!

In today's electronics, switching power supplies at the power input of the transmitter pull a fixed Wattage. Therefore, for a higher input voltage, less current is pulled. That means a lithium battery that maintains a higher output voltage over its life, will run at a lower total current draw, making it run longer. Alkalines start at 1.5 Volts and fall relatively rapidly to end of life at 0.8 Volts. NiMh start at a low 1.2 Volts and stay there until they suddenly die. Lithiums maintain 1.5 volts down to 1.2 Volts for a longer time. The current draw on a lithium is 20% less at the beginning than for a NiMh. Since most of the transmitters are current hogs, the higher current capabilities of a lithium mean the voltage stays higher, resulting in a lower current draw and longer life. Alkalines give up voltage early and result in higher current draws. All of this would be clearer if batteries could be rated in Watts. However, this would fluctuate with the load making things even more confusing.

Interestingly, under very light loads such as 100 mA or less, alkalines have more competitve lifetimes since their current is now delivered at a higher, light load voltage. Under very heavy loads such as 4 to 5 amps, Ni-Mh are ideal since their output voltage is constant even at very high loads. For transmitters running middle of the road 5 to 8 hour discharge rates such as 500 mA, lithiums are the choice.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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On 11/23/2021 at 9:19 AM, codyman said:

It would be sweet if someone could come up with a lithium AA that is rechargeable and has the same runtime as the throw away ones.  I know amazon has some lithium rechargeable AA's these days but I've heard that they are dubious at best.

I have some KentLi PH5 Lithium rechargeables. The label says 3000mAh @ 1.5 volts. They have 3.7v cells and a stepdown that provides 1.5 volts until they die. I found that they run for about the same time as Eneloop Pros. I have a number and they last quite well - my first one died after about 175 charges. You can get a nifty 16 battery charger for them. You can also measure the voltage of the cell separately from the 1.5 volt output. They usually charge up to about 4.15 volts and shut down at about 3.2 volts. They main advantage over Eneloop Pro is the weight - they only weight 21 grams compared to Eneloop Pro 30 grams. Makes a difference if you are carry a lot.

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3 minutes ago, KRF said:

I have some KentLi PH5 Lithium rechargeables. The label says 3000mAh @ 1.5 volts. They have 3.7v cells and a stepdown that provides 1.5 volts until they die. I found that they run for about the same time as Eneloop Pros. I have a number and they last quite well - my first one died after about 175 charges. You can get a nifty 16 battery charger for them. You can also measure the voltage of the cell separately from the 1.5 volt output. They usually charge up to about 4.15 volts and shut down at about 3.2 volts. They main advantage over Eneloop Pro is the weight - they only weight 21 grams compared to Eneloop Pro 30 grams. Makes a difference if you are carry a lot.

Those are rated in mWh not mAh. Since they are 1.5 Volts that would be 2000 mAh. All that aside, if they give you the times you need, then they are fine.

Best,

Lef

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On 11/19/2021 at 6:29 PM, Izen Ears said:

Just a li’l update:

 

We got the Eneloop Pros + these weird 3rd party chargers that operate using 5 volt USB power.  The stupid Panasonic chargers are AC!  That threw me for a loop, but now we have the XTAR VC4 chargers and they’re great.

 

Because we don’t have a genny on our truck this show, I devised a DC system that uses my backup Powermax + 2x old school PSC block batts, custom cables that go from XLR4 M to cigarette lighter receptacles, and finally some car USB chargers that can handle 1A output.  With this system, as long as we get stung for a few hours per week, those chargers can run uninterrupted. We do not charge overnight, the system is powered down at wrap.

 

It’s working great!  I have to say there is a lot more freedom using rechargeables.  In the past with the Energizer lithiums, I felt the need to run them down before changing.  This led to lots of “last minute” batt changes, and on occasion that fun anxiety-based game “battery flashing during the long take”  But now, we just change em whenever we feel like it, without the environmental guilt of not fully using a lithium.

 

I’m just glad I didn’t have to pay for all this new crap!


Dan

 

15D7021C-6D8A-4489-A2E4-B53D178ADA25.jpeg

With the VC4 do you have some sort of charging "regime" to avoid 1A charging? E.g. only 4 at once/limited power supply/loading bays 2&3 first. I avoid charging my NiMh much over 500mA. I have a VC4 but rarely use it for some 18650 LiIon.

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On 10/21/2021 at 12:42 PM, RunAndGun said:

I bought the new iPower Max AA 1.5V 2600mWh Li-po’s and they seem to be good, until they aren’t.  Meaning the battery meter on my Lectro’s don’t work with them(properly) and there is zero warning of the battery dying.  The transmitter is there and the next second it’s gone/off. I can put hot batteries in and the Lectro meter will show 1/4-1/2 down in a matter of minutes sometimes, even though the battery keeps going for hours.   But one of my audio guys has said he’s never had rechargeable’s of any kind work properly with Lectro Rx battery meters.  He just sets a timer and changes them every X hours.  Also said he’s considering going back to throw-away Li’s.

 

I hope I didn’t waste hundreds of dollars on rechargeable’s….

What power setting?  50mW?

I’ve been using the iPower AA’s for a while. Firstly, the reason they give no warning is: they charge internally to 4.5 volts, and regulate the output to 1.5 volts. As result, when the internal voltage starts to drop from 4.5 volts, by the time it gets to 1.5 volts (matching it’s 1.5 volt output), it is dropping like a rock. Hence, only seconds of warning. It wouldn’t matter if Lectro had a setting for these. I’ve been using them for three years. The first batches were not good. I had a 75% failure rate after a 120 shooting days. But I will give the distributor (in Canada) credit. They replaced everything- all batteries and the charger. These ones have been great. I’ve had one failure in 24 batteries over about 220 shooting days. I like them. I can get 3 hours for sure in an SMV and 6 in an SMQV. I just can’t stand using 1.2 volt AA’s in Lectros. The low batt warnings drive me nuts. I still use non rechargeable lithiums in an SMQV if I want to go almost all day- about 10  hours. 

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On 11/25/2021 at 4:00 PM, DanieldH said:

With the VC4 do you have some sort of charging "regime" to avoid 1A charging? E.g. only 4 at once/limited power supply/loading bays 2&3 first. I avoid charging my NiMh much over 500mA. I have a VC4 but rarely use it for some 18650 LiIon.

Nope.  At call we throw in the previous day’s AAs for charging and take all the latest charged ones for the day.  I never even thought about it!  I’m just getting into this AA thing.  I didn’t know there was any way to know or avoid a certain mA output!  It says MaH on the charger, but isn’t that just the indicator of how much it’s charged each batt?  We load however many AAs need to charge.

 

What’s the concern for 1A charging?

 

On 11/24/2021 at 12:05 PM, LarryF said:

In today's electronics, switching power supplies at the power input of the transmitter pull a fixed Wattage. Therefore, for a higher input voltage, less current is pulled. That means a lithium battery that maintains a higher output voltage over its life, will run at a lower total current draw, making it run longer. Alkalines start at 1.5 Volts and fall relatively rapidly to end of life at 0.8 Volts. NiMh start at a low 1.2 Volts and stay there until they suddenly die. Lithiums maintain 1.5 volts down to 1.2 Volts for a longer time. The current draw on a lithium is 20% less at the beginning than for a NiMh. Since most of the transmitters are current hogs, the higher current capabilities of a lithium mean the voltage stays higher, resulting in a lower current draw and longer life. Alkalines give up voltage early and result in higher current draws. All of this would be clearer if batteries could be rated in Watts. However, this would fluctuate with the load making things even more confusing.

Interestingly, under very light loads such as 100 mA or less, alkalines have more competitve lifetimes since their current is now delivered at a higher, light load voltage. Under very heavy loads such as 4 to 5 amps, Ni-Mh are ideal since their output voltage is constant even at very high loads. For transmitters running middle of the road 5 to 8 hour discharge rates such as 500 mA, lithiums are the choice.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

That is such a bounty of useful information!  Thanks a lot for the great post.  It totally explains so much that I had no idea about.  Thanks so much!

 

Dan Izen

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21 hours ago, Izen Ears said:

Nope.  At call we throw in the previous day’s AAs for charging and take all the latest charged ones for the day.  I never even thought about it!  I’m just getting into this AA thing.  I didn’t know there was any way to know or avoid a certain mA output!  It says MaH on the charger, but isn’t that just the indicator of how much it’s charged each batt?  We load however many AAs need to charge.

 

What’s the concern for 1A charging?

IIRC bays 1 and 4 charge with up to 1A when only they are populated and enough input power is supplied (2A@5V ?).

Bays 2 and 3 charge with up to 500mA, and all bays populated charge with up to 500mA (again when enough input power is supplied).

But with your setup, I guess you'd only run into higher currents with only one in bay 1 or 4.

 

I prefer my batts to charge slow (and thus cool) over night as I "believe" they keep their initial capacity longer and have an overall longer lifetime.

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12 hours ago, DanieldH said:

IIRC bays 1 and 4 charge with up to 1A when only they are populated and enough input power is supplied (2A@5V ?).

Bays 2 and 3 charge with up to 500mA, and all bays populated charge with up to 500mA (again when enough input power is supplied).

But with your setup, I guess you'd only run into higher currents with only one in bay 1 or 4.

 

I prefer my batts to charge slow (and thus cool) over night as I "believe" they keep their initial capacity longer and have an overall longer lifetime.

The ISDT chargers also let you dial the current used as well as handling multiple chemistries (not at the same time).

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