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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello friends,

I have been experiencing a few issues with Rechargeable AA batteries and would like to share them with you, and possibly find some solutions.

Keep in mind when I mention anything about batteries in this thread I am talking about Rechargeable ones. OK, that said....

I found for a whole lot of situations, AA batteries and the gadgets they power fit nice into the scheme of things. I can power my beard trimmer/shaver, flashlights, and all manner of other goodies too.

They even have battery adaptors so you can use an AA in place of a C or a D. They are quite versatile....

When you use the right ones. Hence this thread.

Lesson 1...Not all rechargeable batteries are alike.

Some are junk, and others great. Price is a good indicator, but not an absolute.
I started my endeavors with Energizer AAs.
I got about 16 in a box blister pack at Sam's. It also came with 4 AAAs.

These are now all dying on me and not able to be recharged anymore.
It seems each battery has only a limited amount of times they can be recharged and some rechargers hit them with too much current and burn them out in short order.

Lesson 2...not all rechargers are good.

You really need to recharge them with about 200ma or 500ma tops. It mostly depends on the milliamp rating of the battery you are recharging. Some are 2300 and others much less.

I have a programmable recharger, but unless you hit the right buttons at the right time it will almost always default to 200ma charging current.
It can get complicated.

Lesson 3...some batteries now are very nice.

Eneloop hold a charge a very long time wereas others might not. My original Energizers are almost all burned out.

QUESTION: Might anyone know of any other good batts that hold a charge longer too? Certainly the technology has been around long enough for a few more batt makers to get in on the act.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PS...I have a very good description of charging techniques a guy on Amazon put in his evaluation of a charger that is quite technical and accurate as a way to set up your charger, but nothing can help you if your batteries are junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It should be noted that rechargeable AA and AAA batteries only produce 1.25V, compared to alkalines that produce 1.5+ V....
Yup, but it is their current handling capabilities that is their major criteria for use.

Early last year my area was without power for about 10 days. I made a thread about it, but do not believe I touched on what happened with the AA batts. I think they were all OK at the time.

Now they seem to be dropping like flies.

I made this thread because I feel these AA and AAA batts are one of those "nice to have" items right now that can quickly turn into an essential item in a SHTF situation.

There is a list of items easy to procure right now as everything is cool and the goods are flowing.

I am thinking GOOD rechargeable batts are going to be on that MUST HAVE list as no one can make them in our backyard.

One of the other issues I am having with them is once fully charged they do not seem to keep that charge when stored away. I store them at room temperature in a nonconductive box designed for the 500 Smith & Wesson cartridge. It works really good.USNA

A .223 box works really good for the AAAs.

I have said what I store them in before, but thought it worth repeating for some of the new guys. I am sure they will be showing me some cool things too. That is what makes us a community.USNA
 

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Unless there have been changes made in the recent years, I don't like using rechargeables for "tactical" applications.

I've found that in a flashlight, with alkaline batteries you will notice a dimming of the light long before they die, so you have ample warning.

With rechargeables, as soon as you would notice a dimming it would quickly die.

Not a scientific test, just something I noticed over years of using flashlights in real world situations. Also, I haven't tried rechargeables in a flashlight in several years, so if this phenomenon has changed, please let me know.

In addition, also carry 1 more flashlight than you think you need, regardless of what batteries you use.
 

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Unless there have been changes made in the recent years, I don't like using rechargeables for "tactical" applications.

I've found that in a flashlight, with alkaline batteries you will notice a dimming of the light long before they die, so you have ample warning.

With rechargeables, as soon as you would notice a dimming it would quickly die.

Not a scientific test, just something I noticed over years of using flashlights in real world situations. Also, I haven't tried rechargeables in a flashlight in several years, so if this phenomenon has changed, please let me know.

In addition, also carry 1 more flashlight than you think you need, regardless of what batteries you use.
That's due to the voltage difference. Flashlight bulbs require about 2.25 to 2.4 Volts to work. Since a pair of rechargeable batteries only produce 2.8V at max charge, once they get near the minimum they quick drop below hat's required. A pair of alkalines produce 3.2V to 3.3V new, so there is more reserve.
 

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I have been kicking around a solar charger for these batteries if S truly HTF
Find "cottonpickers", on candlepowerforums marketplace. He makes some rockin chargers and has a thread dedicated to them. He will accommodate your needs and he is out of UK, but does have good CS and ships fast. You can deal in confidence.

As far as batts, I understand many things require AA's and AAA's, but I "try" to buy things based on 18650 batts like my EDC light, mid range torch, big flashlight and headlamps because the runtime and lumens pumble all else. A good 18650 costs about $7 each and have lots of charges with em. The only downfall is they don't have the consumer protections like AA's and AAA's.
 

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Eneloop batteries and the charger below for me. Charge as many or as few as you need, it even comes with a 12v adapter to charge them up in the hot rod.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005UNPM3M?keywords=MD-1600%20battery%20charger&qid=1456706882&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1[/ame]
 

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I "try" to buy things based on 18650 batts like my EDC light, mid range torch, big flashlight and headlamps because the runtime and lumens pumble all else. A good 18650 costs about $7 each and have lots of charges with em. The only downfall is they don't have the consumer protections like AA's and AAA's.
I use 18650 batteries on a daily basis. Buy good ones and they're great. I have found once fully charged they will stay fully charged for months. I have also found using them daily and charging every night it took about 6 months before I noticed any decline in quality. They don't hold a charge for as long while in use, but still very serviceable.
Do some research on 18650 batteries. Not sure what all devices you can find that run on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unless there have been changes made in the recent years, I don't like using rechargeables for "tactical" applications.

I've found that in a flashlight, with alkaline batteries you will notice a dimming of the light long before they die, so you have ample warning.

With rechargeables, as soon as you would notice a dimming it would quickly die.

Not a scientific test, just something I noticed over years of using flashlights in real world situations. Also, I haven't tried rechargeables in a flashlight in several years, so if this phenomenon has changed, please let me know.

In addition, also carry 1 more flashlight than you think you need, regardless of what batteries you use.
I don't use batteries at all in my tactical lights. There are some very high quality crank lights out there that do not use batteries at all.

Not to be mistaken for the "shake" lights that are mostly junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I tried using rechargeable in my camera; even brand new they don't last long, and when recharge they die real quick. This is 4 AAA.

A thought here, maybe try some rechargeable from Japan.
My Energizers are all from Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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I haven't used rechargeable AA batteries in a long time. If my memory is useful, it seemed you needed to fully drain them before recharging. Like this: after their performance was noticeably off, put them in a flashlight or some such, and leave them "on" for a day or two.
 

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IMHO, rechargeable batts have a life span, maybe 3.5 years. Charged or uncharged. Recharge batteries self discharge just sitting around. Old tech was a float charger. That kept a constant voltage across the battery. Problem was memory effect and that the battery would die early, 2 years. Solution was to hook a timer to the charger that would only turn the float charger on every once a week or so for an hour. Big improvement but still not perfect.

NMHi, Lith-ion, Lith-poly etc. need very specific charger rates (temp) to prevent thermal runaway where they can catch fire or explode (not so much the NMHi). These are good for regular use items where you'll swap them out for a new charged set regularly - like monthly.

For SHTF standby:
I gave up on rechargeable years back. I store Lithium single use type and replace them every five years or so.

For a Generator or a backup for a car get the wet automotive type as a Dry Ship Pack where the acid is shipped in a separate plastic bag. They will keep a loooong time. Just add the acid and put them on a charger to start their life cycle.
 

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I don't use batteries at all in my tactical lights. There are some very high quality crank lights out there that do not use batteries at all.

Not to be mistaken for the "shake" lights that are mostly junk.
I definitely don't recommend a crank-light for a tactical application light. I'm talking a light used in conjunction with a firearm, whether it's held in the support hand or actually attached to the weapon itself.
 
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