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 NZcaver » Dec 24, 2009 3:49 pm

Marduke wrote:The general public has a very negative, and incorrect impression of conventional (ie. AA NiMH) rechargable batteries. They are used to slow chargers, high self discharge, and short runtimes (caused by high self discharge). They are not aware that poor performance is almost always caused more by crap chargers than crap cells. They buy the cheapest combo pack they can find on the shelf, then wonder why "all rechargeables suck" when they crap out on them.

:exactly: Hmmm yes, the uninformed general public ...and that old-timer who submitted letters to the NSS News last year warning us all that 'rechargeable lights have no place in caving.' :roll: According to our informal poll, that statement is one of the most unanimously disagreed-with opinions in cavechat history. :argue:

Werewolf - if you can stretch the budget, pick up the LaCrosse charger as well and compare it with the Powerex. Then decide which one you want to keep. :shrug:
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Cody JW » Dec 25, 2009 9:42 am

I still like lights with AAs.The reason is if you are out in a remote area caving and something happens you can find them anywhere.They are small and you can carry a few sets in your pack without knowing they are there.I suspect with all the federal dollars going to development of green energy we may see very advanced cells soon.The sten is nice but we are now starting to see commercial cave worthy lights that run off AAs that rival the light output of the sten, for much less $$.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 25, 2009 11:45 am

NZcaver wrote:...

Werewolf - if you can stretch the budget, pick up the LaCrosse charger as well and compare it with the Powerex. Then decide which one you want to keep. :shrug:


Reading Yucca's link above re the LaCrosse's overheating problem discouraged me from that model. For now, since I already have it, I'll just use the MH-C9000's basic default charger function which seems to have a reasonable operating time and requires no multiple fiddling with buttons, and I'll just ignore all the fancy bells and whistles on the pretty LED.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby YuccaPatrol » Dec 25, 2009 3:29 pm

werewolf,

Even if you only use the MAHA charger on the most basic default setting, you can still be confident that your batteries will be properly charged and well cared for. :bananabat:

If once in a while you toss them in the refresh/analyze cycle you'll get some additional info and battery conditioning.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby werewolf » Dec 25, 2009 11:25 pm

OK, that's what I'll do then - but i don't even want to know about that 39 hour break-in mode!
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Mark620 » Jan 9, 2010 12:12 am

ArCaver wrote:The real issue I've always had with any rechargeable is the voltage being lower than primary battery types. I know the voltage difference goes away quickly but I just feel they should design the rechargeables to put out 1.5v from the start.


The chemistries available and able to produce rechargeables just do not work out to 1.5V.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby harrym » Jan 13, 2010 6:27 am

werewolf wrote:Thanks, Marduke, but does the general public (who never even heard of smart chargers) really have such a bad impression of rechargeables? Don't most people use them in cameras and toys and computers and cell phones etc.?


Yes, the general public is well aware that rechargable batteries are unreliable.

The cave diving community is universally and adamantly opposed to the use of rechargable batteries in back-up lights, for good reason. Rechargable batteries are not that reliable yet.

Following advice of users on this board, I purchased a state-of-the art smart charger and quality rechargable NiMH batteries for some cave diving in Mexico a month ago. The results of my little experiment confirmed my belief, that rechargable batteries are still not that reliable. I switched back to disposable alkaline batteries for the remainder of my cave diving.

I did contact the distributor of the underwater photography lights that I used. They confirmed that people do use Eneloops and the voltage of the rechargable NiMH batteries is not an issue. So the only real issue was the reliability of the rechargable batteries.

I use lithium ion rechargables for my primary dry caving light. And I use rechargable NiMH for my primary cave diving light.

Rechargable batteries are fine as one source of light, but rechargable batteries are not yet reliable enough for use in back-up lights.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby potholer » Jan 13, 2010 7:30 am

harrym wrote:Yes, the general public is well aware that rechargable batteries are unreliable.

That's a bit of a blanket statement.

We shouldn't forget that the 'general public' includes the people who buy primary cells of poor quality because they're dirt cheap. They're likely to have experience of all kinds of cells failing unexpectedly, and if they use cells in situations where that can be a problem, they will have problems.

As for the dive light, I thought the burn times you got even on alkalines indicated that the light was being seriously oversensitive to voltage?
Was there anything else that makes you think that the Eneloops or charger you had was a problem?

I'd be tempted to charge some cells up, put them in the big dive light, check how long it runs on full power, then take the cells out and do a discharge test on the Maha and see what figures you get.
If all the cells have a decent capacity at a ~1A discharge, and hold a decent voltage most of the way through discharge, then the problem isn't the cells or charger, it's the dive light.
If there's a cell which isn't holding a charge, then that really isn't at all typical for Eneloops.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Marduke » Jan 14, 2010 8:52 pm

harrym wrote:
werewolf wrote:Thanks, Marduke, but does the general public (who never even heard of smart chargers) really have such a bad impression of rechargeables? Don't most people use them in cameras and toys and computers and cell phones etc.?


Yes, the general public is well aware that rechargable batteries are unreliable.


That is incorrect in two ways.
1) Rechargeable batteries are MUCH MORE reliable than primaries when used properly.

2) The general public is horribly uneducated with respect to electronics in general, and particularly with respect to rechargable batteries. They buy the cheapest piece of crap they can find at the local grocery store, then condemn the batteries for poor performance when in fact it is their lack of knowledge about the most basic aspects of the technology.

To quote a battery expert, "Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered..."
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby akroes » Jun 22, 2010 1:42 pm

I am looking at getting a good charger for my new duraloop batteries and see the LaCrosse BC900 recommended here. I also see online a LaCrosse BC9009. Other than the color of the case (blue vs black) what is the difference between the two? They look to function identically from what I can see in the ads online, but the 9009 is less expensive.

Thanks,

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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby JR-Orion » Jun 22, 2010 3:50 pm

akroes wrote:I am looking at getting a good charger for my new duraloop batteries and see the LaCrosse BC900 recommended here. I also see online a LaCrosse BC9009. Other than the color of the case (blue vs black) what is the difference between the two? They look to function identically from what I can see in the ads online, but the 9009 is less expensive.

Thanks,

Tony


I think this is what happened- some were reporting overheating issues with the old LaCrosse model, so they came out with a new model (the 9009). Just saw this on Amazon-

"The previous version of this battery charger (light blue color) had known issues with the adaptor. This new version (dark blue) comes with the new upgraded adaptor, featuring overheat detection to protect against overcharging."

I have the older light blue one and love it. So I bet the new one would be a very nice charger too.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby NZcaver » Jun 22, 2010 4:16 pm

JR-Orion wrote:I think this is what happened- some were reporting overheating issues with the old LaCrosse model, so they came out with a new model (the 9009). Just saw this on Amazon-

"The previous version of this battery charger (light blue color) had known issues with the adaptor. This new version (dark blue) comes with the new upgraded adaptor, featuring overheat detection to protect against overcharging."

I have the older light blue one and love it. So I bet the new one would be a very nice charger too.

Good info - thanks. I wonder if LaCrosse will recall the old chargers and give out free new replacements?
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby akroes » Jun 23, 2010 1:10 pm

Thanks, JR. I ordered a 9009 today. After reading the reviews and such it looks like I really can't go wrong. It will be a nice match to my new batteries so I can treat them nice from the start. I've had lots of problems with rechargeables in the past, but that was with cheap NiCads on cheap (non-'smart') quick chargers, so I guess I should expect the results I got..

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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby Marduke » Jun 23, 2010 1:20 pm

Make sure you still use the correct charge rates. You can still kill cells with a good charger if you use the wrong rates.
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Re: What's your battery system?

Postby NZcaver » Jun 23, 2010 2:19 pm

Marduke wrote:Make sure you still use the correct charge rates. You can still kill cells with a good charger if you use the wrong rates.

Care to elaborate?

Upon some earlier advice (I think from you), I set my AA NiMHs to charge at 1000mA. Most of my cells are Rayovac Hybrid 2100mAH, and there's a few other assorted cells in the 2000-2600mAH range.
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