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Christian K

NiMH:s, 2500 mAh vs 2700 mAh? chargers, brands?

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Getting new NiMH:s for Inon Z240:s and wonder if anyone have used both 2500:s and 2700:s and could share their experience? Any noticable difference in recharge-time of the strobe? Antyhing else?

 

Also read the thread about the 'thick'-bodied batteries that won't go into the battery compartment of the INON strobe properly. Is there any particular brands to avoid or any specific to reccomend?

 

Finally. Anyone who has a nimble (for travelling) fast charger that they are happy with and would reccomend?

 

cheers

 

Christian

Edited by Christian K

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My "battery gal" told me when I was looking at replacing my 2100s that the 2700s were not as good as the 2500s. She said she'd seen more failures on the 2700s than the 2300 and 2500s. I've used the Panasonic 2300 & 2500 for travel and in the house for the last year. They've been recharged at least 150 times for various strobe and other uses. My Eveready 2500 are losing charge faster and they are newer.

I like the panasonic AA/AAA slim travel charger and I usually carry 2. You will need a plug adaptor since they use dual flat pins. They take a good beating.

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I've used the 2300 Mahas and Ansmans, 2500 Mahas and 2700 Sanyos and Mahas.

 

I don't really notice any difference in recycle time in my D2000Ws, but then my prev camera was way slower than the strobes.

 

The only batteries I've had problems with are the 2700 Mahas, and to a lesser extent the 2700 Sanyos. I treated them the very same as the others and the 2700s are volatile (i.e., sometimes they just don't fire).

 

I use the Ansman charger for 6 batteries, nice small plug that doesn't hog the power strip (Ryan at ReefPhoto suggested that one to me and he was right), and I use a La Crosse charger for 4 batteries for backup that I like less than the Ansman. If I had it to do over again I'd get two of the Ansman, they aren't very big and they are quite lite and bulletproof.

 

Just my experience,

 

Carol

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I've had problems with the Sanyos and have heard others that have also. Thomas Distributing is a good place to buy everything.

 

Jack

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I've had very good luck with Mahas - they have good charge cycles that seem to be battery friendly.

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So far I've had very good results with the Maha 2700s. I also reccomend a very good charger, I have the Maha MH-C800S which has independent circuits ( like the Ansman) and has a conditioning mode which I use every 10 charges or so.

 

Take care,

John

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I use the Ansmann Digispeed 4, which will charge 4 x 2700mAh NiMH in just over an hour. It has a cooling fan under the cells to help temp stability and seems to do a good job. They also do a 10 minute version, the Digispeed 4 Ultra, but I haven't tried it, being a little wary of charging too fast.

 

AnsmannDigispeed4_all_260d.jpg

 

Ansmann also do a really useful battery holder for us forgetful types, that have empty and full orientations printed on the side of the holder, to help you remind yourself what state sets of cells are in.

 

ambox8-200.jpg

 

If you want a tiny but effective charger for up to 4 AA cells, you could get one of these:

globe-trotter-ani.gif

Uniross Globe Trotter

 

I have one that I take everywhere. It's not as quick as the Ansmann, but for use of space it can't be beaten. It's multi-voltage too.

 

As for the cells themselves, my 2700mAh NiMHs are own branded from 7dayshop, a UK bulk web outfit. Since all of my NiMH cells, from various manufacturers have the same problem, I'm tending to believe its more of an Inon machining issue than a NiMH cell size issue. We'll see though.

 

You can test your battery compartment quite easily. Hold the strobe upright so the compartment is uppermost, as if you were pointing the beam horizontally. With both covers removed, take a cell that you know works fine and gently insert it in the "bottom left" opening. This is the one nearest the strobe body, that takes the cell with its +ve terminal (the nipple) pointing outwards, towards the cap.

 

As you slide the cell home, just before it reaches the base contact, you may feel it hit a small ledge, and hop up as it finally comes to right in the right place. If this does happen then you might have issues with thick, square-edged cells.

 

I hope that helps people.

 

Martyn

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Thank's everyone

 

I ordered a Maha MH-C801D charger that takes eight AA:s at a time and is supposed to charge them (2700:s) full in about one hour. It seems to be of a convenient size as well.

 

Also ordered a few packs (16 cells) of Maha 2700:s, allthough some have reported problems with them. Will test them thorroughly before I take them somewhere though and if they don't work properly I'll buy another brand and demand refund.

 

All came to a total of US$144, which I found reasonable.

 

cheers

 

Christian

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Hi Christian,

 

thanks for pointing out that Maha charger, it looks like a good unit for travel, having a multivoltage power supply with a figure-of-8 cable. Being able to charge a full set of 8 cells in one go is great for my pair of YS-110 strobes.

 

Looks like there is a place importing it to the UK, at a premium of course. Luckily my girlfriend is going to Boston next week.

 

Martyn

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Hi Christian,

 

thanks for pointing out that Maha charger, it looks like a good unit for travel, having a multivoltage power supply with a figure-of-8 cable. Being able to charge a full set of 8 cells in one go is great for my pair of YS-110 strobes.

 

Looks like there is a place importing it to the UK, at a premium of course. Luckily my girlfriend is going to Boston next week.

 

Martyn

 

I ordered from their web-page. 2-3 days later DHL (I think it was) knocked on the door with a package.

 

Shipment was included in the US$144 I mentioned, think shipment was something like 20 dollars.

 

/c

Edited by Christian K

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If you want a good place to buy cheap batts go to www. mx2.com

The best price in the UK.

 

Dan

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Does anyone have any suggestions re: where to purchase MAHA or similar chargers and high quality NiMH batteries in Oakland or the Bay Area? I plan to be back in the US over holidays.....

 

Frogfish

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I just got the Powerex MH-C801D charger and Powerex 2700 mAmp batteries from Thomas for my Inon Z220s. Works well above water so far.

 

To Frogfish-Why not order from Thomas and have them shipped to where you are staying in the Bay area. Let me know if I can help.

 

CCD

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Just came back from Mozambique. The MH-C801D and the Powerex 2700:s worked flawlessly with my strobes. I'm totally satisfied and can truly recommend this package.

 

/c

post-5597-1165098277_thumb.jpg

Edited by Christian K

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another charger that's about to come out, is the Maha MH-C9000 looks very good.

 

the other maha option is the MH-808M which is great if you have C or D cells that you also need to charge, I've used one with 12ah D cells, works great.

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CDascher, others..

 

Thanks for the offer of help. I've just found Thomas via google. First thing to find out is whether they will honor my credit cards. They're both perfectly good gold Master and gold Amex cards, but it's amazing how many on-line businesses blackball any card with a billing address in a country like Indonesia. I've had a lot of problems buying stuff made in Asia and getting it sent to me.

 

Frogfish

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Posted (edited)

So apologies for reviving this decade+ topic, but curious about any recent experiences with the 2700 mAh batteries.

I was just looking around, planning to replace my older Eneloops with Pro's, after acquiring recently an Inon focus light, in addition to the strobes, and have encountered Panasonic 2700 mAh being mentioned, with a code  BK-3HGAE. According to the below tests, these have even higher capacity than Eneloop Pro, and are also made in Japan. I think Maha sells them as well rebranded as their own.

https://eneloop101.com/batteries/eneloop-test-results/

https://lygte-info.dk/review/batteries2012/Panasonic AA BK-3HGAE 2700mAh (White) UK.html

These currently can be found in 20 pack for about 60 Euro, so pretty decent price, hence rather tempted. Emailed Inon as well, so will post if I ever get a reply, but would be interested in hearing from other folks who have used these :)

Edited by makar0n

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There are some discussions of batteries in the large retra strobe thread and you might want to take a look there or search for eneloop  and see what comes up.  I believe most folks are using regular or pro eneloops and some are using powerex pro, which are 2700 mah.

I think it is hard to compare performance except through specific and time consuming testing.  The type of charger you use, the type of drain on the batteries, whether they see frequent or occasional use, etc., all affect performance of different batteries.  So someone's experience or testing of batteries in flashlights will not readily transfer over to performance in flash units.

I think the test and battery models you were looking at are several years old, right around the time eneloops started being branded Panasonic, and production moved to China.  I am not sure those tests are relevant to what we have available now.  I believe the current SKU for the maha/powerex 2700 mah batts is MHRAA4PRO.  They are, I think, still made in Japan.  Eneloop production may have moved back to japan as well. 

This review might be useful, thought i don't know if it is reliable:

https://www.thebatterylab.com/post/best-rechargeable-aa-batteries-of-2021

FWIW, I recall one test from a couple years ago in whcih the powerex pro batteries, rated at 2700 mah, were tested by someone and actually had a capacity of 2550, the same as eneloop pros. 

There are some internet forums inhabited by hardcore battery geeks, like "candlepower" and" budgetlight" forums.  You could search or inquire there.

One last thought...there are reportedly a lot of counterfeit eneloop batteries being sold.  If you get eneloops, try to be sure you buy from a reputable dealer likely to be selling legit products, and use great caution if you are buying from amazon or ebay.

 

 

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I don't think minor differences in battery capacity matter much in the context of underwater photography. On land, another 10-20% of capacity means that you can do your battery swap proportionally later - but underwater, we can only swap batteries between dives, so it doesn't really matter if you surface with only 20% battery capacity remaining, or an entire 40% - you're still swapping to a freshly charged set so as to not run out completely on the next dive. With Eneloop Pro batteries, Retra Pro strobes and superchargers, I generally get three dives out of a charge before battery indicators on the strobes go red (<50%), at which point I swap to my second set and put the drained batteries in the chargers. I hardly ever reach the blinking red indicator (<25%).

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A quick google reveals this:  https://budgetlightforum.com/node/52437

basically the same test results you linked but with commentary.

It  implies these are not low self discharge (LSD) cells, which means they lose about 0.5% of capacity per day.  It also states the actual capacity gain from 2500 mAhr batteries in minimal.  Non LSD Ni-MH need to be popped in the charger if they have been sitting around for a few weeks, while LSD cells are good to go if they were charged after last use.

I really don't see anything that would encourage me to use these rather than eneloops.  I have an INON focus torch and I use some old LSD type cells called E-lock.  I used them for many years in my terrestrial flashes and they still have enough capacity to be left running in my LF-1400 INON torch (6 cell model) for 2-3 60 minute long dives at the low setting.  As Barmagalot says ultimate capacity is not that important and standard eneloops are a known quantity as long as you get genuine ones.

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Posted (edited)

As many here, I use the Eneloops, since they are considered to be most reliable. When it comes to the decision whether slightly higher capacity (2.45 Ah; black one Pros) vs. regular ones (1.9 Ah; white), my personal impression was, that after some usage time, the black ones failed more frequently compared to the white ones, when recharged (charger indicates that accu is not good any more). This is substantiated by the manufacturers specifications that the black ones are good for 500 cycles, while the white ones are good for 2100 cycles. I find the failure of accus unpleasant, especially when on a longer trip (but I always have spares with me).

As I use them, a Z330 (or YS-D2) stuffed with fresh white Eneloops is good for 3 dives (=normally the entire day). I do not really need the higher capacity of the black ones. Therefore I have changed most of my accus to regular white Eneloops...

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Thank you all for the feedback, that is exactly what I've been looking for :)

So these are definitely made in Japan (no Chinese crap). As for Maha/Powerex these are the same batteries as far as I know, Maha/Powerex just rebrands them. I think Fujitsu/FDK also sells these as their own.

I've googled all teh candleligh/budget forums..the tests I've quoted are done by the most famous guy there, HKJ, with the most recent test being from 2017:

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/test-review-of-panasonic-aa-bk-3hgae-2700mah-white.429303/

 

Regarding LSD (low self discharge), that's the one thing i am unsure...there is no definitve yes, nor definitive no, though i am leaning towards the later, as there is no mention like on eneloops (i.e. "85% capacity etc after a year etc)".

As for tech, it seems that actually the 2700 model could have been more advanced in some regards, with Panasonic site quoting that more or less now eneloops are alos now using the "advanced structure" as 2700 did. The one similar thing with Eneloop Pro is that both advertise "min. capacity 2500 mAh".

But ChrisRoss hit nail on teh head - I have the LF1300-EWf torch, which states only 45 min on full with Eneloops Pro...hence my whole idea was to see how can i extend that. Not bothered about strobes, my 6-7 year old Enelopps standard last whole day with no issues :)
As for LSD, i think I could live without it, ie I would charge all batteries minimum 24h before the dive anyways, and not use battery sitting there for months. Only thing i can think off is that they will degrade much faster than Eneloop because of the discharge.
Well, i think i will do a mix - order new Eneloop for strobes but the BK-3HGAE for the focus light and see how that fares (ie.. if i get more than 45 mins :D )

Btw Inon has responded very quickly - official stance is they have never tested the BK-3HGAE 2700mAh batteries.

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7 minutes ago, makar0n said:

Thank you all for the feedback, that is exactly what I've been looking for :)

So these are definitely made in Japan (no Chinese crap). As for Maha/Powerex these are the same batteries as far as I know, Maha/Powerex just rebrands them. I think Fujitsu/FDK also sells these as their own.

I've googled all teh candleligh/budget forums..the tests I've quoted are done by the most famous guy there, HKJ, with the most recent test being from 2017:

https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/test-review-of-panasonic-aa-bk-3hgae-2700mah-white.429303/

 

Regarding LSD (low self discharge), that's the one thing i am unsure...there is no definitve yes, nor definitive no, though i am leaning towards the later, as there is no mention like on eneloops (i.e. "85% capacity etc after a year etc)".

As for tech, it seems that actually the 2700 model could have been more advanced in some regards, with Panasonic site quoting that more or less now eneloops are alos now using the "advanced structure" as 2700 did. The one similar thing with Eneloop Pro is that both advertise "min. capacity 2500 mAh".

But ChrisRoss hit nail on teh head - I have the LF1300-EWf torch, which states only 45 min on full with Eneloops Pro...hence my whole idea was to see how can i extend that. Not bothered about strobes, my 6-7 year old Enelopps standard last whole day with no issues :)
As for LSD, i think I could live without it, ie I would charge all batteries minimum 24h before the dive anyways, and not use battery sitting there for months. Only thing i can think off is that they will degrade much faster than Eneloop because of the discharge.
Well, i think i will do a mix - order new Eneloop for strobes but the BK-3HGAE for the focus light and see how that fares (ie.. if i get more than 45 mins :D )

Btw Inon has responded very quickly - official stance is they have never tested the BK-3HGAE 2700mAh batteries.

Use your focus light on low power, I'm quite sure it'll be bright enough and give you a lot longer burn time.  The figures quote 45 min with Eneloop pro and 35 min with eneloop.  You might get 4-5 minutes longer than eneloop Pro if you really got 2700 mAhr but indications are you probably only get a little over 2500 so hardly seems worth it, the real benefit is with using low power which gives 165 minutes on Standard eneloop.

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Well 4-5 minutes would already be worth it, not expecting miracles :)

Anyways, going back to DE soon (never buy anything in BE...prices here are silly), so will get both Eneloops and 2700 and do some tests in the best diving spot ever, the bathtub reef.

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10 hours ago, makar0n said:

Well 4-5 minutes would already be worth it, not expecting miracles :)

Anyways, going back to DE soon (never buy anything in BE...prices here are silly), so will get both Eneloops and 2700 and do some tests in the best diving spot ever, the bathtub reef.

Note that I said MIGHT, that is assuming you actually get 2700 mA-hr, the reports seem to indicate that you don't get much over 2500 mA-hr.

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