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Rechargeable battery advice

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Let's chat about rechargeable batteries and where to get 'em (thanks for user 2mike for suggesting this pinned topic).

 

I have purchased the majority of my batteries and battery chargers from Thomas Distributing, which has good prices and a large selection. I have found occasional bulk deals for batteries for far cheaper, but for "typical" battery purchases, I highly recommend Thomas Distributing.

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From a Uk perspective I get all my batteries from 7dayshop.com.

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/default.ph...php?cPath=777_5

 

Panasonic 2000 NiMh cost £5.98 ($9.53) for a pack of 4.

Panasonic LiOn 2CRV3 (for Olympus E10/20) cost £8.99 ($14.33) for pack of 2.

 

Thats the best price I've seen in the UK. If anyone knows where to get cheaper (globally) PLEASE let me know.

 

Mark

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Can we talk about Chargers too? I like the Ansmann energy16 charger. It can do 6 C or D cells at a time, or 12 AA's

 

For doing just 4 AA's at a time, I like the MAHA charger sold by Thomas Distributing.

 

Cheers

James

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what comprises a good charger?

 

land-based travel?

 

live-aboard travel?

 

specific models?

 

specific features?

 

general advice?

 

battery capacity ratings?

 

number of recharges?

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Thank you for the info on Thomas Distribution. I was looking for the GAMMA 1 charger and found it there. :rolleyes:

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I just bought 40 GP 1800 mah Ni-MH batteries from www.cheapbatteries.com for $60. I decided to risk going against the user manual for my Sea&Sea strobe and use NI-MH batteries. It will just be so much more convenient to have just one type of battery.

 

Now, I just need to figure out what charger to get. The Ansmann 16 looks great, but $120, ouch! I also like the Maha 204, but you need to get a power adapter for any voltage other than 110 and it only charges 4 batteries at a time. I would need to carry 3 of these things around to charge a set of batteries (12 batteries, 4 - camera, 8 - strobes).

 

Does anyone have any other charger recommendations? I want something that will switch to a trickle charge, so I don't have to baby sit the batteries.

 

Chris

 

PS Does anyone else get an error when trying to use the HTML code buttons when typing a post? It could be my browser.

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Phoenix and Casino (formerly Chimaera) have bugs that prevent them from working. As far as I know, they work in Mozilla and IE, though.

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1) Cris - there is a <$30 8-cell charger at Thomas Distributing, which would afford redundancy for 16-cell tasks.

 

2) Can lithium batteries be used in underwater gear?

 

3) The 5050 retail box that arrived here (item number 225355 and bar code 0 50332 12821 6) contains 4 NiMH AAs (1700mAh), an Oly BU-300 charger (100-240V, 50-60Hz, 1.4oz, 4-cell), and a cute little remote -- which I mention because I've vague memories of posts about 5050 Boxes not containing rechargable batteries and no remote control.

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Phoenix and Casino (formerly Chimaera) have bugs that prevent them from working.  As far as I know, they work in Mozilla and IE, though.

I have IE 6.0. I have a different browser on my desktop that I can try. The buttons seem to work, but I receive an error message when I mouse over the buttons. Not a big deal and probably just me.

 

The Lenmar charger for 8 batteries only excepts a 110v input, so I would need to get an adapter for different voltages. It looks like I will need to make a decision to either spend $120 on one charger (Ansmann), or buy 2-3 other charges, with 2-3 power adapters for $60 - $80.

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would it be feasible to plug a common 1-3 adpater (1 male plug, 3 female sockets) into 1 power adapter (voltage converter), and then plug the three 110V chargers into into the three sockets? (geometry might require attention)

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would it be feasible to plug a common 1-3 adpater (1 male plug, 3 female sockets) into 1 power adapter (voltage converter), and then plug the three 110V chargers into into the three sockets?  (geometry might require attention)

That would be feasible. It would be one less item I needed to carry with me, if I had three chargers. No savings if I had two chargers (maybe a little less expensive).

 

Regarding, the Ansmann 16, where are the efficient markets? I found the charger for $67 (excl. VAT) on a German website (they don't ship to the U.S.). You would think a few places would start buying these and reselling them in the States. I would expect a price of $80 - $90 would still net someone a profit with relatively low volume. Is there any other source than nexusamerica.com? Call me cheap, but $40 saved in a charger, is $40 I can spend on "fun" camera things.

 

Chris

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I ended up going with the RipVan100 Lightning 4000N charger. It accepts 110-240v and 50-60hz, so it just needs a physical plug adapter (a $2 item) for international use. I ended up buying 3 at $17.96 each (there is currently a 25% off sale at RipVan100's website). This charger got good reviews at Steve's Digicams and imaging-resource (not as good as the maha 204F, but more convenient with the range of power supply accepted).

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I have a Maha 777Plus that I use to charge my larger batteries (C's & D's) but stopped using it with my AA's. I now use a Maha 401FS for all my AA recharging. The reason for this is the independant charging circuts. I have a friend that is knowledgable about batteries and he was telling me that it's not good to charge cells that were used from different devices together. The reason for this is if one cell has more juice left in it than another then the one might get slightly overcharged which will wear it out prematurely. Before I got the 401 charger I would label my batteries so that I would ALWAYS charge the batteries from strobe A together and stobe B batteries would stay together for charging, etc. This was a real PITA and didn't like worrying about it, hence the 401. When I was uninformed about the charging situation it sure was nice to bundle all my AA's into a battery holder and hook it up to the 777 :rolleyes:

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Has anyone been able to get the new Ansmann 2200 mAh AA NiMH batteries? I have been happy with Ansmann 1800 mAh ones, but the extra 400 mAh would definitely be nice for Olympus C-40, which uses only two AA batteries.

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Anyone have experience with the Maha rechargeable Lithium batteries in the CP5000? Thomas distributing advertises them as having 20% more run time than the manufacturer's, which would be very helpful, since from what I've read a 60 minute dive is pushing the limits of the CP's battery.

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I have a Maha 777Plus that I use to charge my larger batteries (C's & D's) but stopped using it with my AA's. I now use a Maha 401FS for all my AA recharging. The reason for this is the independant charging circuts. I have a friend that is knowledgable about batteries and he was telling me that it's not good to charge cells that were used from different devices together. The reason for this is if one cell has more juice left in it than another then the one might get slightly overcharged which will wear it out prematurely. Before I got the 401 charger I would label my batteries so that I would ALWAYS charge the batteries from strobe A together and stobe B batteries would stay together for charging, etc. This was a real PITA and didn't like worrying about it, hence the 401. When I was uninformed about the charging situation it sure was nice to bundle all my AA's into a battery holder and hook it up to the 777 :rolleyes:

I've been using the 401 for the last couple trips and bought it for the same reason. In spite of their claim of being a cool charger, I notice my batteries always get way too hot in the 401, indicating that the charger charges too fast or fails to cut off. I'm disappointed and find that I like the 204 better. The Olympus chargers have 4 independent circuits, too.

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When set to rapid charge the 401 charges at 1000mA and whe set to slow it charges at 300mA. The 204 charges cooler because it charges at a lower rate (500mA) than the rapid setting on the 401. Maha does advertise the rapid setting as being cool which is completely not true. I do not use the rapid setting unless I'm in a big hurry. The slow setting does a more complete charge anyway (according to Steve's Digicams testing).

 

The best thing Maha could do is put a knob (potentiometer) that lets you dial in how much of a charge to apply to your batteries with the fastest being 1000mA and the slowest being 300mA. OR the addition of another setting, Medium, so you could select slow(300mA), medium (600mA) or fast (1000mA).

 

I emailed Maha with this suggestion.

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I have several sets of NiMHs each 4 of 'em (C5050z use 4), each with different brand, i.e. Sanyo, Panasonic, GP, Sony and always use and recharge a brand at a time. That way I'll never use different batt power (note: your batt is as good as the weakest in the set) into my DC. (If you don't want vary brands, one could simply mark the batt in groups)

 

4 sets of NiMH (above 1800) would be enough for me accompanied by 2hrs charger which accomodates wide range voltage (100V~240V). The wide range voltage is essentials for me as my destinations mostly secluded islands around Indonesia, powered by fluctuates-voltage generators. I'm using Panasonic BQ175 cost USD25 incl. 4 Panasonic NiMH 2000. For keeping the batt at its best, plug 'em in more cheaper 16hrs charger after recharged - note that the 'keeper' must be equipped with smart-charging, anti-flooding IC's so the batt wouldn't overcharged.

 

'Cycle' the batt for 2-3 times before really depends on them as (reliable) power source, simply charge initially for 8 hrs, and then unload the power in a lantern all night long (i use it as a night lamp), repeat it until 3 times and the batts are ready.

 

Thats how i take care of my NiMH. I'm a newbie in DC and NiMH, so IMHO those practices seems 'absurd' for some of you. I really love some inputs and crits.

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For maximum life I would never charge a NiMH Battery at any more than 1C NiCd can be hammered a little bit with rapid discharge and rapid charge without the dramas like MetalHydride batteries.

 

I have a Supernova charger that I can set up custom charges for singles and multiples in packs at charge rates I like. They run off 12V DC like most cars and boats, They cost around the $200 australian dollars and are avaliable at model aeroplane type hobby shops.

 

At home I have 12V Sealed lead acid batteries (some may call them gel cells) that i keep on trickle from time to time with a wall charger. When I want portability for small trips I can get it.

 

You can find some nice HD SLA batteries out of Uninteruptable power supplies retail around $30 Aust.

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Hello all,

 

I posted this question in Digital Diver before but no one gives me an answer. I hope here is the right place to get one....I just bought a YS 90 Auto storbe but not know what rate of rechargeable battery is most suitable or it just works with any rate level.

 

And I have question about the battery, I read some of posts before that saying NiMH battery was not recommended. But I found it is allowed on this YS 90 Auto manual. Unluckily, I am not quite sure the suitable rating. As quoted " Use only manganese, alkaline,lithium, NiMH or nickel cadmium bateries rated 1000mA or less in this unit. Do not use any other type of batery." In the specification, the manual mentions 4AA Ni MH bateries (1700mA, not "mAh"). As I know it is common to use NIMH in DC and strobe, but what level of mAh is the best? Would it destory the circuit if using too high NiMH rating battery? At this moment, I put alkaline inside since I am not quite sure if 1800-2000mAh battery is suitable. I do not figure out whether mAh or mA value is the determining factor, please explain if the experts here understand. Thanks.

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mAh is Milli Amp Hours and states the storage capcity (run time) a battery will have. The spec you need to be concerned with is the voltage. AA rechargables are usually 1.2 volts. Higher or lower mAh will only affect how long a device will run and does not harm the device in any way. It's kinda like the difference between a D cell and a AA, both are 1.4 volts (alkaline) but the run time is substantially higher in the D cell. Now when it comes to an air tight sealed unit like an underwater strobe I THINK (assume) that the higher the mAh, the more off gassing it will produce but I'm not sure. In any case I'm using 2000mAh batteries in my two 90dx's with out a problem and they have the same case as the 90Auto.

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Thanks Robert,

 

Voltage is the first thing I consider before I read the Sea & Sea Menu. But do you understand what is this sentence for? "Use only manganese, alkaline, lithium, Ni-MH or nickel-cadmium bateries rated 1000mA or less in this unit." Why it emphasizes current? Do we have choice on this?

 

:D

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I think that is a typographical error. Should read mAh.

 

I also don't agree with them. You can't even BUY 1000 mAh batteries anymore. Jeeze.

 

Everyone I know uses at least 1,600 now and has not had any problems.

 

Cheers

James

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But do you understand what is this sentence for? "Use only manganese, alkaline, lithium, Ni-MH or nickel-cadmium bateries rated 1000mA or less in this unit." Why it emphasizes current?  Do we have choice on this?

I think this is a CYA because the higher rated batteries produce more gas build up and they don't want that becoming a cause of a flood. I really don't think this is an issue or Ike would be saying the same thing, and he's not.

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Robert,

 

In this case, I gotta get out to look for some >2000mAh NiMH batteries. Thanks!

 

Nawk

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