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Old Oct 9, 2005, 6:30 PM   #31
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Multiple questions:

1. Considering what I have read, with the heat factors and all that, which NiMH AA rechargeable combo setup would y'all recommend???...I can definitely say that whether it charges in 15 min, or 1 hour is of no importance to me, and if the "better" unit needs two hours that's fine with me...I intend to have multiple sets of batts so that I am not bouncing just between two sets of AA batts...

2. I am aware that all these proprietary lithium rechargeable batts in these cameras have a 10-20% "drain rate", meaning that just sitting there they will slowly have their charge seep away, whereas disposable lithium batts, while expensive, have a shelf life of 10 years, i.e. drain rate virtually zero...

Having said that, what happens to fully charged NiMH rechargeable batts???...do they have a drain rate like recharge lithium or can they hold a charge for a year or more???
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 7:02 PM   #32
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Because of the fast charge heat build up the Energizer charger pumps into the rechargeable batteries I have no doubt the batteries are being damaged. I still use the charger even if the batteries are being damaged because I know the batteries are easy/cheap to replace and by the time the damaged batteries are ready to be thrown away that there will be better batteries in the future. I've used and abused my batteries in flashlights and camera flashes then used the Energizer charger to recharge with no problems to the batteries that I have detected.

NiMH batteries have a no use drain rate of approximately 10% per month but that is on a sliding curve. The NiMH batteries will drain the quickest the first few months and gradually slow down the drain in later months.
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Old Oct 10, 2005, 1:32 PM   #33
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Hello Marsha,

The Energizer 15 minute charger is fast and allows you to get by with fewer back up batteries.

If speed is not a concern, you begin looking at features:

I prefer a "smart" charger over a timed charger.

I prefer a charger that will also discharge, so you can do a discharge/charge cycle every so often.

I prefer a charger that charges each battery individually (some chargers charge in pairs).

There are many chargers that have these features. One example is the TG-2800 from www.amondotech.com .

If you are comfortable with pushing a few buttons and are interested in what the capacity of your batteries are, the La Crosse BC-900 is an excellent charger/conditioner/analyzer.

As far as batteries go, I am beginning to believe you get what you pay for. Sanyo seems to be the leader in quality, followed closely by Gold Peak. You will end up paying close to $3.00 per cell (on the internet) for higher quality batteries. The high quality batteries will perform better, have more usable capacity (by this I mean actual tested capacity vs what is written on the label), and be more consistent from cell to cell, than the cheap cells you find in the bargain stores selling for $0.50 per cell.

Your second question is a bit complicated.

Li-Ion batteries have a self discharge rate of around 1% per month. In 18 months you will have over 80% of your original capacity left. However, if you put that battery in a camera (and this goes for all types of batteries), the camera may draw some current in order to keep its settings, and to keep the date and time current. The amount of draw varies from camera to camera, but this draw will reduce the amount of storage time you have.

The self discharge rate of NiMh cells varies, but with the new cells coming out, it is working out to less than 1% per day. This means that after about 30 days, your NiMh cells will be at 80% of capacity. It takes about 70 days to drop down to 50% capacity. Remember that if the batteries are in a camera and there is a bit of a draw on them, the drop in capacity will be faster.

I did a test on 4 Energizer 2300 NiMh cells. After 1 year of room temperature storage, they were basically dead.

A good way to care for your NiMh cells is to store them charged, then every 60 days do a discharge/charge cycle on them. This is manly for cells in storage, but can also be beneficial to the cells you are using. If you are a heavy user (going through a set of batteries every few days), you will probably not benefit from this cycling.

Li-Ion cells do not benefit from cycling. They prefer to be frequently toppedup rather than running them all the way down every time. If you need to store Li-Ion cells, discharge them to about50% and put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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Old Oct 11, 2005, 4:34 AM   #34
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UK readers wanting to track down some GoldPeak gear:


...might want to try out CPC:


For example, for the GP250AAHC look for either BT03099 for the 4-pack or BT03102 for singles. At the moment (until 28 Oct) they have some offers on these cells. Simply add '04' to the end of the product code and search for that.

They have the 15-minute Energizer charger (BT03129) as well as several others. I have a GoldPeak 30-minute U-Smart charger (BT03004) and can recommend it. It has an external universal-voltage power supply with a standard figure-8 mains socket. It's easy to obtain different mains leads for different countries.
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Old May 15, 2006, 5:22 PM   #35
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I am not commenting on the Energizer 15 min charger but instead the Rayovac I-C3 15 minute charger... I use this because I got it when it first hit the store shelves.

I use the AAA cells the most, but I do not use them in a camera, I instead use them in a Mini Radio Controled car (Kyosho Mini-Z). This car can kill off the batteries in less than an hour, its a high drain application even higher than any digital camera or flash I can think of would draw from the cells.I typicaly cycle two sets of 4AAApercar, forupto 9 hours from car to charger and back again, over and over, non stop durring a racing event. So they are charged and discharged non stop... they never get hot in use, or on the charger. I have almost 400 cycles on one set that is pushing 2 years old... they still work just fine.

My only gripe with them, is the labels... they peal off after repeatedly pulling them in and out of the car and charger all night... but I found some super thin shrink wrap to put over them so the edge does not peal away.

I have had past Energizer cells, and they did not last very long at all... these rayovac cells do not apear to lose their charge as fast as other Nimh I have had either.. after 2 weeks they are still useable... not full by any means but I can still run a few practice laps... the energizers were always completely dead.
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