What's your battery system?

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What battery chemistry do you use? (check all that apply)

Alkaline
22
25%
Lithium primaries(non-rechargeable)
8
9%
NiMH
17
19%
NiMH (Low self discharge)
19
22%
Li-ion (standard form factors)
7
8%
Li-ion (specialized form factor)
9
10%
I use carbide
6
7%
Other (?)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 88

Re: What's your battery system?

Postby potholer » Dec 14, 2009 11:02 am

Most decent recent smart chargers should do individual cells, as do many of even the cheap ones, to the extent that it'd be hard to give a meaningful list without risking missing out lots of chargers that should be on it, or including ones that should be excluded for other reasons.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 14, 2009 11:35 am

Is my Maha Powerex MH-C204W now deemed obsolete then?
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Marduke » Dec 14, 2009 1:36 pm

I would call it "non-optimal" instead of "obsolete".

You want "independant channels". There are a number of independant channel smart chargers, depending on features/price.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby NZcaver » Dec 14, 2009 3:37 pm

harrym wrote:The batteries lasted a long time in the strobe, but the dive light reverted to a back-up low-power mode after only two minutes. Every day I cycled the batteries through both the strobe and the dive light, and recharged all batteries every night.

In the low-power mode I had adequate light to get around the cave, but I would not depend on rechargeable batteries for my backup lights.

Thanks for posting the follow-up.

I agree with Potholer's comments. It seems like that particular light would do better with alkalines or disposable lithiums than with NiMHs. This is a feature of the light, not a lack of battery dependability per se. I'm not saying it's a 'bad' light (especially with a $300 price tag), but I'm guessing it's not designed for lower voltage inputs like some other LED flashlights/headlamps or your photo strobe.

8 x AA alkaline batteries = 12 volts (nominal), and 8 x AA NiMH = 9.6 volts. I suspect your dive light switches to back-up low power mode because the 'full' voltage for NiMH batteries is about where your light detects the 'getting low' voltage for alkalines. I realize it's no consolation, but if your dive light were able to hold 10 AA NiMHs I think you'd get much better performance out of it. Otherwise you're stuck with disposable alkalines or lithiums. But at least you have some good rechargeables for your strobe now.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 14, 2009 9:20 pm

Marduke wrote:I would call it "non-optimal" instead of "obsolete".

You want "independant channels". There are a number of independant channel smart chargers, depending on features/price.


Like what? What's the best battery charger now? I looked at the Amazon reviews for just about everything that Thomas is selling, and for each there is someone warning me away, saying it's liable to burn the house down, or inferior to the cheapo at the Walmart.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby YuccaPatrol » Dec 14, 2009 10:00 pm

I really like the MAHA C-9000 charger for its wide range of capabilities that help me to KNOW which of my batteries are still cave-worthy and which are junk.

I just did a refresh/analyze cycle on a set of 4 batteries I have been using together and found that one was no longer holding the same charge as the other rest of the set. Very worthwhile to know this before going into a cave thinking but not knowing that you batteries are performing as they should..

Also, the 5 year warranty is great. I bought one when they first came out , and earlier this year one of the slots no longer recognized that a battery was inserted in the slot. I gave Thomas Distributing a call, they had me send it back and a couple days later a brand new one arrived in the mail. No hassle, no questions, no complicated return policy.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 14, 2009 10:30 pm

Reading the reviews of the C-900 - and it seems like it's very complicated and a hassle to use.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby YuccaPatrol » Dec 14, 2009 10:55 pm

It's not really complicated at all. Most of the time I simply place batteries in the slots and let it charge on its default settings. It is only rarely that I use the additional programs, but I would be lost without the ability to test my batteries as well as charge them.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

OK, thanks, Yucca. I'm going to get it.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby harrym » Dec 15, 2009 12:06 pm

I did some additional burn-time testing of my light with alkaline batteries.

Let's review the owner's manual:

"Continuous burn times (with included alkaline batteries): 90 min. (max output) - 720 minutes (minimum output). Then switches to low power for 20-30 minutes extra reserve burn time."

Here are my test results:

Batteries - Burn time

Included alkaline batteries - burn time of 16 seconds at max output before reverting to low power

Brand-new Energizer Max alkaline batteries - Burn time of 7 minutes 11 seconds at maximum output before reverting to low power.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Marduke » Dec 15, 2009 3:42 pm

Definitely some poor programming in that light. Good cells (read NiMH) are capable of providing that max output for 2-3 hours without breaking a sweat. The light has a min V setting that is set far too high.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 23, 2009 1:48 pm

Marduke wrote:Definitely some poor programming in that light. Good cells (read NiMH) are capable of providing that max output for 2-3 hours without breaking a sweat. The light has a min V setting that is set far too high.


What light are you talking about?
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 23, 2009 1:55 pm

YuccaPatrol wrote:It's not really complicated at all. Most of the time I simply place batteries in the slots and let it charge on its default settings. It is only rarely that I use the additional programs, but I would be lost without the ability to test my batteries as well as charge them.


OK, I've got it the C-9000 now. In view of Harrym's 12/13 comments is it even worth bothering with all the advanced "break-in" etc. functions on it? Seems like overkill and they are time consuming. After all these batteries aren't made of gold. And how do you test them without having to run through the whole "refresh analyze" mode which looks like it takes something like six hours?
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby YuccaPatrol » Dec 23, 2009 4:47 pm

If you have a fully charged battery, just put it on the "discharge" cycle using the default current draw. It will still take a few hours, but it is the easiest way to check on a suspect battery. You will get slightly greater final capacity if the current draw is lower but you can speed up the process by increasing the current draw.

And yes, the break-in cycle is intolerably long and I simply do not bother with it unless I have plenty of time. The refresh cycle is really good enough.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 23, 2009 8:14 pm

What's wrong with testing my batteries in my little batter tester gizmo which takes two seconds? Or putting it in a one cell pocket light and see how bright it lights, and that takes 5 or 10 seconds?

I'm on my first C9000 tryout now - put 4 AA hybrids (Rayovac Hybrids, similar to the Enelopps) in it on "refresh-analyze" mode since they haven't been used in a while. Going on six hours now and it's still doing its thing! What do i gain from all this time spent - maybe they'll last a minute or two longer before needing recharging, and maybe they'll last a few weeks longer before they need replacing (tho many of my hybrids are a couple of years old now and show no sign of diminishing)? Believe I'll stick with the simple "charge" function, or maybe I should have stuck with the free charger that came with some of my Rayovac Hybrids when they were almost giving them away at the Walmart. I'm becoming a battery charging cynic. Has anyone made a real life comparison of how long lights actually work with batteries charged on this Powerex model with all its bells and whistles and a cheap-o charger or a 15 minute charger?
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