Eneloop Batteries

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Eneloop Batteries

Postby Grandpa Caver » Mar 16, 2012 6:57 pm

I've ordered a La Crosse BC-700 and 8 Sanyo 1500 eneloops. I've received the charger but still waiting on the batteries. This is my second attempt at using rechargeables and I'm trying to do do it better this time. I have two questions.

How do I not "abuse then murder" the eneloops?

Is there some special treatment I should follow when charging a new set the first time?

I'll be using them in my very old Duo equipped with the Custom Duo Full Face insert. My caving lately has only averaged 6 to 16 hours a month (one or two trips).
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby KeyserSoze » Mar 16, 2012 8:02 pm

There is probably a recommended way to charge Eneloops, as with any rechargeable battery, but I've never followed any special rules. I alternate between two sets of Eneloops on all my caving trips and have only noticed a slight degradation over a year and half of use.

For the best answer to your question you would be better off to check the Eneloop website for instructions or to contact customer service.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby jeffkruse » Mar 19, 2012 8:30 am

Why are you using 1500mAH batteries? You are already guarantying that you will murder them because they have such a low capacity. Get the 2500 mAH cells. Don’t worry about the initial charge. Just keep them charged. I charge my 2500mAH cells at 500 – 1000 mA rate. IF, you discharge your cells all the way just make sure you charge them right away when you get home.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Grandpa Caver » Mar 19, 2012 5:29 pm

jeffkruse wrote:Why are you using 1500mAH batteries? You are already guarantying that you will murder them because they have such a low capacity. Get the 2500 mAH cells. Don’t worry about the initial charge. Just keep them charged. I charge my 2500mAH cells at 500 – 1000 mA rate. IF, you discharge your cells all the way just make sure you charge them right away when you get home.


Why? Because I know absolutely nothing about such things! Looks like I'll be ordering some 2500s then and using the 1500s in my cordless razor or something. :doh:

Thanks Jeff.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Cody JW » Mar 19, 2012 6:09 pm

jeffkruse wrote:Why are you using 1500mAH batteries? You are already guarantying that you will murder them because they have such a low capacity. Get the 2500 mAH cells. Don’t worry about the initial charge. Just keep them charged. I charge my 2500mAH cells at 500 – 1000 mA rate. IF, you discharge your cells all the way just make sure you charge them right away when you get home.
I understand the Eneloop 1500 does not mean 1500 mAH . I am led to believe it means they can go through 1500 charge cycles ( according to Sanyo).
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Grandpa Caver » Mar 19, 2012 8:16 pm

Cody JW wrote:
jeffkruse wrote:Why are you using 1500mAH batteries? You are already guarantying that you will murder them because they have such a low capacity. Get the 2500 mAh cells. Don’t worry about the initial charge. Just keep them charged. I charge my 2500mAH cells at 500 – 1000 mA rate. IF, you discharge your cells all the way just make sure you charge them right away when you get home.
I understand the Eneloop 1500 does not mean 1500 mAH . I am led to believe it means they can go through 1500 charge cycles ( according to Sanyo).


I looked up the specs and the ones I bought are 2000 mAh, the 2500 mAh are called Eneloop XX. Being a techno dummie, I now wonder if the extra 500mAh is worth upgrading batteries I haven't even tried yet?
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby jeffkruse » Mar 20, 2012 7:51 am

My bad, the 2000mAH are good but 2500mAH is better (with tradeoffs, life/cost). You got a good charger so you won’t be cooking the batteries. They will last you a long time. Just make sure you charge them every time you use them and try not to discharge them all the way. You will like them so much you will find you need more. You can get the XX’s then and only use them in your cave light.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Cody JW » Mar 20, 2012 9:54 am

I would not sweat it Brian. Your Custom Duo was designed to run off regular eneloops. Also you may be able to save shipping cost by buying" Duraloops "locally. Some Duracell rechargeable batteries are re-branded eneloops. The ones with the white around the positive contact that are made in Japan ( not china) are the same as regular eneloops. I bought a set at my local Kroger store. I have also seen Duraloops at CVS and you can find coupons for Duracell rechargeable batteries easily. I use the coupons and wait until Kroger puts them on sale and get a reasonable deal on them without paying for shipping. The batteries are easy to find locally, but the Lacrosse charger you pretty much have to order.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Grandpa Caver » Mar 20, 2012 6:04 pm

Thanks guys. I received the batteries in the mail today and will give em a tryout asap. I'm sure I'll be satisfied.

BTW: JW, I always buy such stuff from Amazon and bundle my purchases for free shipping. Thanks for the info on the duraloops tho. If I see them and can save a buck, I will. I was aware of them but didn't know they were available locally.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Smells_Familiar » Mar 20, 2012 10:06 pm

jeffkruse wrote:My bad, the 2000mAH are good but 2500mAH is better (with tradeoffs, life/cost). You got a good charger so you won’t be cooking the batteries. They will last you a long time. Just make sure you charge them every time you use them and try not to discharge them all the way. You will like them so much you will find you need more. You can get the XX’s then and only use them in your cave light.


I'd wager the majority of cavers and outdoor enthusiasts that use eneloops/duraloops use the 2000mAh versions and not the 2500 XX's. I mean yeah, if you were going on regular multiple day trips where less weight becomes really important then get the 2500 mAh versions. I'd say that if your just going on day trips mostly, I'd stick with the 2000 mAh eneloops. The 2000 mAh cells will have a longer usable life, are more durable to overcharging, and cost less. Just bring some extra cells, they don't weigh much.

As for not discharging them all the way, this only really becomes a problem if the cells are used in series and aren't matched properly to begin with. This leaves one cell being depleted first and being possibly reverse charged. To best avoid reverse charging, match your cells that are going to be used in series up with others that are very close to the same mAh capacity. So if you need to use 4 cells in a light and you have 6 that have capacities of 1900, 1920, 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005 mAh, use the last four with similar capacity together in series and use the other two for a different application. Step 2 to avoid reverse charging: Replace the batteries soon after the light starts to dim or step down in brightness if possible, just to be safe.

Also, try to make sure your eneloops are fully cycled once every 6 months and put through a "break in cycle" once a year. These last two things aren't mandatory but they will help the cells out a bit more in the long run if done properly.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby JR-Orion » Mar 23, 2012 12:39 pm

I tinkered with the AAs that came with my La Crosse charger. But outside of that, Eneloops are all I use. I have some of the older ones (good for 1000 recharges), but most all of mine are the new, improved Eneloops (good for 1500 recharges).

How can you tell the difference? The improved ones have a picture of a crown on them. At this point it's probably safe to say that the improved Eneloops are what you'll get if you order them, but you can double check by looking for the crown.

As far as I know, both the old and improved Eneloops are both rated at 2000 mAh.

As others have mentioned, there are now some even newer high power Eneloops out there (called XX) that are rated at 2500mAh. The trade off? They are only good for 500 recharges.

I would guess that you will be quite happy with the 2000mAh / 1500 recharge Eneloops you just ordered. I use them for pretty much everything- cave lights, Wii remotes, toys for the kids, remote control cars, and so on. Now that I have a decent stock built up, I shouldn't have to buy batteries for many, many years.

As for how to treat them right, the manual for my La Crosse charger says that the lowest setting (200) is the best setting. But someone here (I think it was Marduke) mentioned that they actually respond better to charging at higher power, so I've been charging mine at 500. I haven't experimented much with the test / discharge / refresh options on the charger.
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Re: Eneloop Batteries

Postby Smells_Familiar » Mar 24, 2012 2:07 pm

It's best to charge batteries at a rate that is 0.5C to 1C (C=capacity). This means 1000 mA to 2000 mA for 2000 mAh eneloops. 400 mA to 800 mA for 800 mAh eneloops (AAA eneloops). This is so the drop in voltage that signals to most chargers, like the lacross and maha c9000, that the battery is full is robust enough for the charger to detect. When charging at lower rates that 0.5C you run the risk of the charger missing the negative delta V drop and overcharging the cells.

Charging at lower rates has the advantage of being more effecient and less heat is produced as a result, but you run the risk of overcharging. Charging AA's with my bc-700 at 700 mA produces too much heat for my comfort because the batteries are so close together. That's one reason I prefer to charge AA's with my Maha c9000. I can charge my eneloops at 1000 mA and very little heat is produced with the c9000. Both are fine chargers, I just prefer the maha.

Sorry for going off topic...
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