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Rechargeable Batteries - Yes or No?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the they-keep-going-and-going-and-going dept.

Hardware 896

TheFifthElephant asks: "I currently use quite a few devices that require various size batteries and I feel horrible just tossing them when they die. I saw a recharger at a retail store today and was thinking to myself how much waste it would reduce by using rechargeable ones. Which units have you used happily and/or which units have you heard of/read about satisfying someone else? Are the more expensive units better? What chemical rechargeable batteries last the longest/recharge the most?"

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Oh jebuz (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564574)

/me rolls his eyes

Yeah, lets talk about rechargable batteries. Thats hot, new, nerd tech.

Winner: most underrated comment! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564579)

Does anyone else find the rating system, with regard to the Underrated modifier?
When something is moded as underrated, that post actually receives a +1 in score,
thus defeating the whole meaning of the word "underrated." So, why not eliminate
this and simply mod the post as what it is, informative, insightful, etc? I just
do not get it. Anyone else in my canoe?

Re:Winner: most underrated comment! (1)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564621)

Its for those times when you feel a post should be modded up, but it doesn't fit in any of the given catagories.

Re:Winner: most underrated comment! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564659)


You misunderstand the purpose of the over/under moderations.

They exist merely for the purpose of anonymous modslapping from the editors.

You'll notice a comment that makes a good, well thought out point - but is contrary to slashbot groupthink - will dissappear to -1 Overrated, with no other moderations done. It's not a troll, flamebait, offtopic, or redundant - but it is something slashdot doesnt want heard, so out damn spot.

You'll notice idiotic rambling zealot comments, like "I think gentoo is awesome and RIAA is stupid!" get whacked up with Underrated mods. Same thing. Such comments add nothing, and would be left at 0 if they were not put on a pedestal by the editors.

Whenever you see overrated or underrated moderations, that's an editor shaping the conversation towards his viewpoints.

Save the environment.. (5, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564581)

Use Potatoe/Lemon batteries!

Re:Save the environment.. (5, Funny)

NETHED (258016) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564638)

Everyone, DAN QUAYLE is a slashdot reader!!

Re:Save the environment.. (-1, Troll)

Trolling4Dollars (627073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564693)

Aside from the fact that Dan Quayle is possibly the stupidest man alive (although he might have more smarts than G.W. Bush), he probably doesn't even know what the environment is. Hmmmm maybe it's that third missing section of the bible? ;P

Re:Save the environment.. (0, Troll)

mj01nir (153067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564643)

Thank you, Mr. Quayle. Please sit down now.

Re:Save the environment.. (1)

dangerweasel (576874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564690)

They have found a battery from Roman/Egyptian times that uses copper (I think), and grape juice. All you will need are pennies, and a large grape vine wherever you go.

Re:Save the environment.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564725)

What the crap did they use it for? No lights!?

Re:Save the environment.. (1)

machine of god (569301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564735)

hmm. Does that work while they're still in the ground/ on the trees? Imagine the possibilities! Run wires out to your crop and then sell them at the end of the season.

(I'm joking of course.) (I think.)

I use monster brand (5, Funny)

Soothh (473349) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564583)

I use monster brand and it does me well, I hear there are better though. Monster costs quite a bit thought but so far works great for me, and seems to recharge pretty fast

NiMH (3, Interesting)

sterno (16320) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564586)

I use NiMH batteries for my wireless mouse, and my camera. Got a simple charger over at radioshack, and it works quite well. The batteries provide equivalent if not better power than alkalines and though they cost more up front, are definitely cheaper in the long run.

Re:NiMH (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564646)

NiMH batteries are great but they have the downside of losing charge very quickly "on the shelf" so you can't keep a bunch of charged MiMH batteries ready to use.

Re:NiMH (3, Informative)

edgarde (22267) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564650)

For consumer batteries in conventional form factors (AA, AAA, C, D & whatever a 9-volt is called), you basicly have Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), and Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd). Neither last as long as disposables, but NiMH last substantially longer, and are more environmentally friendly (i.e. they don't contain lead or mercury). Downside: NiMH costs more.

RadioShack [] sells both kinds.

Lithium ion batteries ... uhm, exist but I know nothing about them. They have advantages over NiMH but don't come in the common form factors I mentioned above, and are more expensive.

Re:NiMH (2, Informative)

murphyslawyer (534449) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564754)

Lithium Ion batteries are great for a couple of reasons - first, they have relatively high energy densities compared to NiMh or NiCd batteries. For example, right now on my desk I have an AA factor LiIon battery that puts out 3.6V for 2500 mAH. Compare this to a NiCd that will have 1.2V for about 1200 mAH. The downside is that the LiIon battery costs about $8.

The second reason LiIon batteries are superior is because of their discharge characteristic. They tend to hold their voltage until almost completely discharged, then the voltage drops like a rock. This is great for portable electronics that require a relatively stable voltage supply to operate. NiCd and NiMh batteries have discharge curves closer to that of a standard Alkaline AA, in that the voltage tends to fall as the battery discharges. This means that the actual amount of time the battery is good is less, since some of the stored energy can't be used because the voltage on the battery isn't high enough for the electronics to use.

Nickel Metal Hyride (4, Informative)

Alan Cox (27532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564588)

I'm using NMH batteries for just about everything battery powered in the house nowdays. NiCad's dont last as long and are very bad for the environment. The batteries I have claim to be good for several hundred cycles, which at the current rate is going to be about 30 years ;)

Have they gotten any better? (1)

MoreBeer (91936) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564590)

When I was a kid the actual usable life was in the toilet... I can only imagine poor luck nowadays with MP3 players, digital cameras, etc...

If you don't use the right batteries in my HP Digital Camera, the life is sucked out of them in 15 minutes!

Re:Have they gotten any better? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564728)

The NiMH batteries that came with my RioVolt MP3/CD player ran it for 8 hours without a charge a couple days ago and still had a good amout of juice left.

(Disclaimer: the contrast of the display was turned way down so as to not waste power; turing it down from default settings to barely readable can double the like in my experience.)

wireless desktop (0)

staed (663422) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564591)

my wireless keyboard and mouse works perfectly with rechargable batteries.

Frivilous "story" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564598)

What? Jesus christ man use google.

Batteries (4, Informative)

theedge318 (622114) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564599)

I have an old olympus camera that came with Ni-MH AA batteries and a battery charger ... it has lasted me near 4 years.

Those batteries keep their energy for 3 months at a time easily, when I am not on vacations or otherwise using the camera.

NI-MH (0, Redundant)

terraveneficus (693307) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564603)

Ni-MH are the better of rechargable batteries they dont necessarily have the long life as Lithium-Ion batteries but they are much cheeper and dont hace the recharge memory function of Ni-Cd

Re:NI-MH (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564672)

They don't have the "memory-effect" but youhave to be sure to completely drain and completely recharge them at least once a month. Otherwise, the charge capacity will drop significantly.

Re:NI-MH (1)

terraveneficus (693307) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564759)

i guess i have a good charger or something because i never do that and the capacity has been fine

Re:NI-MH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564687)

they are much cheeper and dont hace the recharge memory function of Ni-Cd

So if you're listening to mp3's from kazaa on your portable mp3 player, RIAA won't be able to sue you using the info on what you played, saved in the batteries? ;)

You know, with rechargable batteries... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564604)

you need several hours for them to recharge once discharged. A mare is ready and willing again in 5 minutes after orgasm, and is capable to come over and over, every night, all night, and day too! Your own stamina is the only limit!
Forget the batteries, get yourself a mare.

If it helps... (1, Informative)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564606)

I've had numerous recharger packs and they've all had the same recharge times (give or take a few minutes), but for rechargable batteries I'd go with Duracell, as they're more reliable. Hope this helps :)

I like the rotational kinetic battery (2, Funny)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564607)

I find the batteries that hold the greatest charge the longest are the magnetically levitated in a vacuum flywheel electric motor.

Re:I like the rotational kinetic battery (3, Funny)

DeepDarkSky (111382) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564707)

They have great energy density, but try finding one in AA battery size. In fact, try finding one in D size!

The smallest I've seen of these are the size of large bucket - maybe about 2 gallon size.

Can't exactly put that in a wireless mouse, now, can we? Not to mention the gyroscopic effects of the battery in portable applications.

Good Batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564609)

It is a good idea to use NiMH instead of regular NiCd because they have a high memory effect and contain cadmium which is very toxic. NiMH have a small memory effect and work well in most devices. They can be recharged quite often without much trouble.

NiMH - accept no substitute. (5, Informative)

douglips (513461) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564611)

These batteries kick serious booty. In my digital camera, a single charge outlasts even the best disposable batteries by a factor of 2 or 3. In about a year I've already saved more in disposable battery cost than I spent on the charger and cells.

Definitely worth the investment. I have Panasonic brand, but only because that's what they had at Costco. I doubt that there is a big difference between brands of similarly-rated cells.

Don't sweat it (3, Insightful)

skryche (26871) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564615)

Batteries are tiny tiny compared to what gets thrown out. (Like CDs: yeah, the world landfills are filling up because of AOL.) And they stopped putting mercury in 'em so they aren't even that bad for the environment.

You want to make a difference? Drive an efficient car (if you must drive one at all) and recycle what you can.

It all builds up. (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564713)

It's funney how all these "little things" tend to build up into one huge mess.

Ray O Vac (4, Informative)

buckeyeguy (525140) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564616)

Have had good results with 1800mAh NiMH RayOVac AA-size batteries in cameras with flash. Havne't used them for much else yet. Had less satisfactory results from Radio Shack-brand NiMH ones. YMWV.

I like lithium beter than NiCad (2, Insightful)

jstoner (85407) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564618)

I don't know if they last longer, but they have less battery "memory" issues. NiCads you have to drain all the power out to fully recharge them.

YES! (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564619)

I use lots of devices that requires AA batteries. Standard AA batteries are 1.5v, rechargables are 1.2v. I've not found this to be a major issue, and I've saved a TON of cash by using rechargables.

An example of a negative would be in wireless devices like remotes and keyboard / mouse setups. Their range is weakened slightly.

But once you get a good collection of spare rechargables, you won't be finding yourself running to the store to make more costly purchases. Just grab a fresh set from the charger and slap the burned ones in for a recharge.

Satisfying someone else... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564620)

"Which units have you used happily and/or which units have you heard of/read about satisfying someone else?"

My wife has this vibrating thing, something Rabbit, she's always saying it satisfies her...

Get NiMH or better (1)

jakedata (585566) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564623)

Energizer ACCU NiMH cells probably last 60% as long as a standard alkaline battery in my palm pilot, but with 2 sets I can always be powered up.

You do need a NiMH specific charger though.

4 AAA cells and the charger paid for themselves within a year and they are still going strong.

NiCD is worthless.


Re:Get NiMH or better (1)

eswierk (34642) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564675)

NiMH batteries recharge just fine in a NiCd charger; just give them about twice as much time to recharge.

NiMH (0, Redundant)

RPI Geek (640282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564629)

NiMH all the away.

In my experience, NiCD doesn't hold a charge too long at all, while the NiMH ones hold them as long as alkalines and then some. They're expensive, yes - but I find that they don't have a "memory" like NiCD and charge faster, too.

NiMH (0, Redundant)

110100 (534677) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564631)

I have had the best luck with NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride). They have a high capacity and have very little memory effect. The can be charged and recharged often without full discharge with very little degradation in performance. I have had very good luck with Radio Shack and Panasonic equiptment.

lower impedance (2, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564633)

Although rechargables seem to have a slighly lower nominal voltage than the equivalent disposable, I am told that they have a lower impedance (resistance). The result is supposed to be a risk to some equipement. This is why some things have the label ''do not use rechargable batteries''.

However, I have always ignored the above and never had any kit die as a result of using rechargables.

Re:lower impedance (2, Informative)

alienw (585907) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564768)

The lower impedance cannot possibly cause a risk to equipment unless said equipment is extremely badly designed. The reason for the labels is usually the lower voltage. Sometimes, the equipment will shut down long before the battery is exhausted, simply due to the lower voltage.

All kinds. (3, Informative)

RatBastard (949) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564635)

I've used all kinds of rechargables, from cheap Radio Shacks and Mallorys, to expensive Sony units. They are all pretty cose to the same, save for newer lithium-ion batteries.

I keep enough batteries in the chargers to replace the batteries in every device at the same time. And it does save an amazing amount of money in the long run. Most of my rechargables last for five to seven years before they stop being able to hold a charge.

The only batteries I have not replaced with rechargables is AAA-size. At that size the rechargables don't hold enough charge to be worth it.

Definitely worth it (1)

gazuga (128955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564636)

I have a Rayovac charger, and use NiMH batteries. They last long enough for my purposes (mainly my mp3 player) and they aren't plagued by "charge memory" problems like NiCd.

I'd say it's worth the investment. Batteries are already expensive and the amount of use you get out of rechargeables for the (larger) initial investment definitely outweighs the longer lasting non-rechargeable counterparts, IMHO.

put dead batteries in sun for more life (1)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564645)

(Just in case you ran out of new ones) it works! Just leave them in sun for an hour and they get a little extra life. I don't know why.

Re:put dead batteries in sun for more life (2, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564752)


It increases the rate of the reaction, allowing the battery to supply more current. It also works if you roll them back and forth in your hands for a while. I had to learn this trick while living just south of the Yukon border. Cold weather stops the reaction, and your batteries can't provide enough current.

This trick works for both rechargeable and disposable batteries, as long as they're not completely dead.

answer: (1)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564647) memory as long as you recharge them the full 7 hours...

Well... (2, Insightful)

Lobo (10944) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564648)

I feel horrible just tossing them when they die.

Well you should be recycling your old batteries to begin with.

office max has em (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564649)

I get a four pack of nimhydride aa for 10$ a pack. At that price i could get my money back from two uses. They also hold more amphours than a regular alkaline. One downside is they lose their charge, so not good for something like a fire alarm.

Recycle (5, Informative)

marshac (580242) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564652)

You know, you can recycle your dead batteries, right? When I worked at Radio Shack a long time ago, we took in dead batteries and sent them off to be recycled. I'm not sure if this was just my store, or a company wide thing, but there are free recycling services out there.... so don't throw them away!

Dilithium Crystals (2, Funny)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564661)

I use dilithium crystals when I can which have a shelf life of 10 years at full warp. Engage!

Depends (1)

niko9 (315647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564663)

>What chemical rechargeable batteries last the longest/recharge the most?

on what you are using them for. Hi drain devices like high powered flashlights, RC cars, sweedish massagers.. are better off with Ni-Cd which can take that kind of abuse, and are cheaper. Low drain devices like PDA's and other small consumer devices are better suited with Lithium Ion. They discharge at a more stable rate, are more immune to "memory effect" and have a higher charge/discharge life.

Depends. (1)

jefft (13574) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564664)

It depends on what you're using them for. If it's for a high drain device like a digital camera, NiMH are the way to go. However, for something that hits the battery slower and for longer like a remote control, or wireless keyboard, NiMH won't really last much longer than a rechargable alkaline would. I used the Renewal rechargable alkaline in my palm iii with good results until I got a clie.

What retail store ? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564667)

I saw a recharger at a retail store today

Are you talking about a battery charger, or a device to restore batteries to their former glory? because if it's the latter, have you noticed any negative-ion air purifier for sale in the store ?

iGo Juice (3, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564669)

I have been using the iGo Juice [] to power my Powerbook and peripherals and find it to be quite the appealing solution including charging handhelds and cell phones when I travel. The iPod gets charged through the Firewire port (awesome idea), so other than that, I'm set. All of these devices appear to use Lithium Ion batteries and have decent performance, (especially the Powerbooks).

camping gear (1)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564674)

I remember camping a couple of weeks ago, and a buddy of mine brought along a radio/flashlight that had a handle on it for charging the battery inside mechanically. It was pretty great, until it broke because of too much drunken charging. We had to wait until the next day when the solar cells had enough light to kick in.

Anyways, after seeing that thing in action, I recommend you give away all portable technology you have and get a solar/mechano radio/flashlight!

My experience with rechargables (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564676)

I'm a zealot for rechargables, and have used
a charger and a lot of AAs I got about 2 years
ago (which replaced in turn a previous charger
and set of batteries). However, it is true that
they don't last as long as standard batteries.
In my car, I have a CD player that takes AAs, and
I end up swapping batteries into it about twice a
week, where when using standard batteries I can
go for about 3 weeks. This might be partly the
extreme age of the batteries though. Still, I save
a lot of money, and I'm not hurting the environment,
so I'm happy. I of course use the charger/batteries for other things too.

I've been thinking about this myself (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564677)

From what I understand, the newest off-the-shelf rechargables (NiMH) are a real win-win product. Not only do they retain a usable charge for longer than non-rechargables (something like 80% longer), but also, when they finally give up the ghost and won't hold a charge any longer, they are supposedly better for the environment than non-rechargables.

I'll try to find some sources I can forward on for verification.

where is the CowboyNeil option... (2, Funny)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564679)

Rechargeable Batteries - Yes or No?

[ ] CowboyNeil charges my battery

The Great Battery Shootout! (1)

eli173 (125690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564680)

Take a look at The Great Battery Shootout [] . It is targeted to digital cameras and AA rechargables, but I found it to be very helpful. It gives a good amount of background information. It's a long article, but well worth the read.

If you're really worried about the environment (0)

nzyank (623627) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564683)

Just get rid of all that stuff. Also unplug your computer. Read books instead.

NiMH proven than Alkalines by an 11 year old.. (1)

kslater (142595) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564684)

My son did a science project and proved that (at the time) NiMH batteries in popular sizes paid for themselves and the charger in 3 cycles. If you're still using Alkaline or NiCD batteries you're truly ignorant.

mA Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564686)

I'm slowly switching to NIMH for everything in my house. When you buy a set of batteries try to look through the packaging at the tiny print which tells you how many milliamps of current you're getting. The higher the better.

If you use a lot of batteris then you need one. (1)

arcanumas (646807) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564688)

If you have devices that eat up a lot of batterys and quickly (e.g. if you have an RC model car or stuff like that) then you NEED rechargeble batterys.
You save a lot of money in the long run

they don't last as long as the other batterys so it is not worth using them on a clock or something.

So, if you use a lot of batteries it is definately worth it. The rechargers are generaly cheap, but the batterys qre quite expensive (as i recall , it's been a while)

Cool/Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564689)

I/You sometimes/never have trouble reading/writing Slashdot articles/comments. Don't you/I?

Walmart anyone? (3, Informative)

RealBeanDip (26604) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564695)

For AA batteries, go to Walmart and pick up the NiMH rechargables at 1800mAh and a charger. I think you can get a combo pack (4 batts and charger) for something like $12, which is a heckuva a good deal. These batteries last and last and last.

The 1800mAh batteries are an absolute requirement for digital cameras. Using standard alkalines, I would get just over 30 digital pics in my Toshiba camera. Using 4 1800 NiMH, I get about 200 before needing a charge.

I also use them in my FRS radios and GPS, and they last forever.

I've also used various brands of NiMH's besides the Walmart specials and haven't seen much difference in quality.

NiMH (1)

haut (678547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564696)

Thomas Distributing []

I've heard good things about them from digital camera people.

NiCad lasts very long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564700)

I've just recharged the same NiCad batteries I've been using for the last twelve years for my walkman, and they still work without any problems!

Supposedly they can only be recharged a thousand times, but I lost count :-)

Bad for the environment? Here in Belgium, all batteries are picked up separately, the different types are sorted out and recycled.

Worst. News. Ever. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564701)

What the hell kind of 'news' is this?

Here's my advice, you lazy piece of shit: USE FREAKING GOOGLE.

If you *really* care about the 'viro-ment.... (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564705)

Does it really matter if rechargeable batteries are less efficient than disposable ones? There is nearly always an opportunity cost for "going green."

Rechargeable Batteries (1)

asavage (548758) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564706)

The Energizer Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery works quite well. They say there is almost no 'memory' effect and can be recharged 1000's of times. I have been using it for a while. The only downside is it takes around 15 hours to recharge. If you live in Canada, Pure Engergy is ok. (I am not sure if they exist in the USA). They aren't great, but the batteries are cheaper than most single use, and you can get 25-75 recharges out of them.

In a word: yes (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564708)

I picked up some NiMH (Rayovac's in case you care) batteries a couple of years ago and I've never gone back. I use them in my digital camera (where I get about 300 full res (1760x1168) pictures out of the 4AAs. I use them in my Palm VIIx (a battery hog in the best of days) where they easily last as long as the Alkalines (there's even a feature in PalmOS to switch the battery meter over to NiMH). Even when you consider the inital cost ($12 for 4 AAs), they quickly pay for themselves (I've taken ~3000 pictures on the 8 AAs I bought for the camera and recharged the palm batteries more times than I can count) with only half a dozen recharges.

One thing to be careful of is that the batteries do lose a bit of life over time, although my original sets seem to be holding up quite well. Also, rechargeable in general seem to leak charge faster than Alkalines, so they're not really a wonderful idea for long life low draw devices like remote controls.

Don't bother with NiCad. They have sucked from Day 1. I've never tried the rechargeable Alkalines. When you buy a charger, make sure you get one that supports NiMH, not all of them do.

NiMh are supposed to be good... (1)

bev_tech_rob (313485) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564709)

I have always heard that Nickel Metal Hydride are supposed to be very good, long lasting, and not suffer from the 'memory' phenomenon you get when using Nickel Cadmium (NiCad).

NiMH and Renewal (1)

gpw213 (691600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564710)

I tried the "Renewal" brand batteries first. While they are much better than NiCd's, I have had a lot of problems with the batteries going bad. Mostly leaking problems, sometimes just ceasing to hold a charge.

I switched to NiMH batteries and have had much better luck. None of the batteries have died on me yet. However, the problem that I have with these is that they will lose a charge just sitting around. How big of an annoyance this is varies by the application.

For my digitial camera, for instance, I have two sets of NiMH batteries, one in the camera and another spare set in the case. And then I also carry a set of alkaline batteries, in case all the NiMHs are flat. These get used only until I get the others recharged, and then they go back to being spares. Seems to work so far, but it really isn't ideal.

Maha or Lenmar NiMH batteries work great (1)

Radi-0-head (261712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564711)

Maha or Lenmar batteries are great for the price. Both of them are 2000mAh capacity, unlike the 1200-1600mAh crappy batteries you'll find at Radio Shack.

I've been using Lenmar batteries for years in my various digital cameras with no complaints. They always seem to have the highest-rated battery first. You can find Lenmar batteries at Fry's Electronics, and Maha batteries at various retailers, including online at

Environment (2, Informative)

spoonist (32012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564716)

Please do not just throw away dead batteries. Please recycle them [] .

I use tons of NiMH batteries in my various gadgets.

The prices aren't the best, but REI [] has all you probably need right here [] .

Battery Barn [] has some good prices.

Batteries, schmatteries... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564726)

I enslaved CowboyNeal in a hampster wheel enclosure and attached a generator!

I have used them all (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564727)

I have a Rayovac 3in1 charger that does NiCad, NiMh, and Rechargable Alkaline batteries.

The rechargeable alkaline are CRAP. They are worthless after their first recharge in things like PDAs and digital cammeras.

NiCads are also a poor substitue for regular alkalines. They are weak and suffer from memory problems.

The NiMH batteries work great. I use them in all of my devices. They cost like $4/battery though. I have been using them for about two years and none of my batteries are noticably degraded in output or length of charge. They don't have the memory problems of NiCads.

There are also Lithium Ion batteries, but they are way to expensive for me to evaluate.

STFW (1)

SLOGEN (165834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564729)

googling for "rechageable faq" yeilds lots of hist, for example: But here's some advice anyway:

* Basically, you want rechargeable batteries whenever chances are your thingy with the batteries will not get nicked, since that defeats the investment in rechageables.

* Choose batteries with the highest mAh rating, which says how much energy you can draw from the battery.

* Choose NiMH for camera's and other power-suckers.

* Buy a charger with seperate charging cicuits for each battery.

* NiCD batteries have some problems with memory, but good chargers with "decharge" can usually fix that. (actually, NiCD batteries are hard to come by these days)

ummm, c'mon bunky... (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564731) can figure this out if you try *real hard*.
yes, lead acid batteries are a terrible thing to throw in the trash. rechargeables aren't much better, but you don't chuck them each time they run out.
for rechargeables, you want lithium ion, nickel metal hydride and nicad in that order. memory, output voltage, etc etc.
just go read up on it, yeah? this isn't rocket science. and don't anyone come out of the woodwork talking about battery powered rockets, or i'll whup your ass. ok?

Battery power (1)

mharris007 (142886) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564733)

I really hate using Ni-Cad batteries, they develop a memory on them, only allowing you to charge them up a less substantial amount over time. Even chargers that try and erase the ni-cads memory (completely discharges them before charging) degrade the battery quality.

As far as other sorts of rechargables, I have had great experiences with Li-Ion batteries for my digital camera and other various things.

NiMH by far, and retrofittable to NiCad stuff (4, Informative)

swb (14022) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564734)

NiMH rechargables. You should have no problem finding 1800mAh AA cells, and these hold up quite well to frequent charge/discharge cycles. I've been using them for about 4 years and they can take quite a pounding.

What's even better is that a lot of cordless stuff with NiCads can be converted to NiMH by making your own battery packs. Internally many of the packs are just a few AA cells soldered together.

If you do this, look for places that sell flat-top and soldertab batteries. Some of the cartridge-type battery packs won't fit the normal button-top batteries, and soldering can be hard on the cells if you try to solder directly to the cell itself.

I did this with my Uniden 900 Mhz DSS phone. Before it would go ~90 minutes on a fresh (new and fully charged) NiCad pack. Now I can get over 2 hours of talk time, leave the phone out of the charger over night, and still have it be perfectly usable the next day.

I was concerned about the charging system, but not any more. A friend has done this for a long time (NiCad->NiMH conversions) and hasn't had any problems, and neither have I.

easy (1)

Cyclone66 (217347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564737)

Lithium ion batteries are the best but are expensive and products usually need to be designed to work with them. Ni-MH are the next best thing and last a seriously long time in portable electronics plus they don't take that long to recharge. Ni-cd's suck, they take forever to charge and drain very quickly.
So just get some AA Ni-MH bats and a charger and be done with it. :)
Ps. Even sales clerks can tell you this..

Energizer puts out a good model... (1)

GotSpider (682283) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564739)

I have come across a pretty good one, called simply, "Energizer Rechargeable".

It's a Nickel Metal Hydride AA, and although it doesn't run at the same voltage as other AA's (outputs a little more than 1.2 V most times, normal AA's rn output 1.5 V), I can substitute it for anything that uses AA's. Specifically I use it in my digital camera (Casio EX-3000) which is fond of eating alkaline batteries for breakfast, and I have actually found that they work better than just about everything other than duracell ultras or those energizer E3 (or whatever they call them).

These are more expensive than the high-end alkaline, but there's no doubt in my mind that they work as well, and you will get your money back by reusing them.

Note: I always keep a backup set of the AA's fully charged to change out in case the ones I have die. I have had really good sucess with these batteries though.

Satisfying batteries (4, Funny)

rigmort (584960) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564740)

"...which units have you heard of/read about satisfying someone else?"

My wife seems to be "satisfied" by energizers while I'm away...

rechargables are ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564742)

I use rechargables on a

- Canon Powershot A300. The AA size batteries are from Panasonic 1600mAh and I can take tons of pictures with one pack.
- Palmpilot M100. Sorry, do not know the brand but they are high-capacity ones, too. I can go 2-3weeks with regular usage, about the same I got from normal batteries.

Beware of cheap charger/ battery combos, e.g. the charger/ AA combo I bought from Radioshack let me take 5 pictures!!!
Also, the faster you want your charger to work, the more you have to pay for it. Said Radioshack charger takes >24hours to recharge a pack of AAAs, a more expensive one takes ~10h.

diving (1)

corbosman (136668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564743)

I use a lot of batteries for underwater gear. Lights, camera, flashes etc. Ive settled on NiMH because they seem to give the most bang for your money.

I also make sure I always use the highest mAh available, which is around 2200 now. This gives you longer use. It makes it a lot more expensive though so if you only need 1800 or 1500 mAh because you don't mind your light going out at 90 feet then go for it :)

I havent really found 1 brand to be better than another.


NiMH (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564744)

NiMH have been great for me. I have two sets (4 each) of AA cells I've been using for about 3 years, between a Nikon CoolPix digital camera (which are current hogs and kill alkaline cells just from the extreme demand), Sony multiband radio, Garmin eTrex Vista GPSr, and other various thingamabobs. Typically they take a few hours to charge, but with a little planning do the job admirably. I'd have gone through about $500 in Energizers and Duracells by now and added subsequent nasties to the local landfill otherwise.

Cells cost me $7.50 a set at Frys [] , charger about $14 at another shop. Never look back.

Have used many over the past 20+ yrs... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564745)

Started using GE lead-acid AAs in my WalkMan (the really old one that was silver/gray that took 4 AAs) on ski trips.. they'd last the entire night.

These days I'm using a few diffrent ones in my Oly C-2100 digital SLR... The Oly ones that came w/ the camera are starting to show their age, but still hold an ok charge in a pinch. I've been most happy with the latest Energizer brand AAs NiMH (still in the Oly charger). The Energizer NiMH AAs are no more expensive than the Energizer High output Lithiums at most stores, and for the old Walkman (still in service, but for biking now) and my camera, the rechargables are great.

just my $0.02 US

Lithium Ion batteries (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564748)

...anyone know if they come in AA or AAA size, w/chargers of course?

Might be useful for some "allways on" devices.

Try a urine battery. also known as PEEPEE-power (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564749)

peepee power's evil creator []

Conspiracy Theory (1)

jonhuang (598538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564751)

I've often suspected that the reason none of the major US battery companies psuh rechargables is simply to capitalize on an entrenched, profitable market to the detriment of the consumer.

Look at AA sized NiMHs--at one point virtually unknown and available only in specialty battery stores, the explosion of high-voltage devices such as digital cameras have forced people to use them. The voltage curve of a Alkaline AA won't last 5 shots on a lot of newer cameras.

This was a new, underexploited market; it should have been exploited by duracell, etc. instead, they spent a couple years creating the most useless invention ever: the high voltage alkaline. (E2, "titanium" batteries, etc.) A giant ad campaign was launched to convince people that these were the batteries you used in electronic devices, despite being non-reusable and just as expensive as the reusable cells...


Whats better? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564758)

a) Rechargeable batteries


b) KDE 3.1.3 []


c) Sex with a mare []

the answer: (1)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564760)

Best to worst:

  1. Alkaline (yes, there are rechargable alkalines)
  2. NiMH (most of the life of alkalines)
  3. NiCd (holds least charge)

You'll hear about NiCd "memory"; some will argue it's not true, as on this page []

Review of NiMH Batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564762)

You may wish to see this recently updated review on NiMH Batteries: TM []

They don't have the new 2300's yet (because it takes the author a good deal of time to do a good test).

I use NiMH and have been very happy with the number of times they recharge and how long they last.


Renewal (1)

swtaarrs (640506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564764)

Rayovac makes rechargable alkalines called Renewals. In my experience, they've worked very well for ~10-15 charges, then they die suddenly. So they do pay for themselves, but be prepared for them to die on you some day if you charge them a lot.

My limited experience (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 11 years ago | (#6564767)

When I bought a digital camera a couple years back that took AA batteries, I decided to go the rechargeable route... I purchased an Energizer battery charger, four Energizer rechargeables and four Ray-o-vac rechargeables...

The first thing I've learned is that the capacity of different brands of batteries can vary a lot -- the Energizer AA rechargeables are only 1200mAh (milliamp-hours), while the Ray-o-vacs are something like 1350mAh. A quick Google search shows rechargeable AA batteries can have capacities of 2000mAh nowadays. This can make a huge difference when you have a device that is power hungry.

The second thing I noticed is that the recharger I bought recharges only using a 15 hour (yes, hour) timer... So, if you plug in the battery charger, it will charge and charge for 15 hours -- I am absolutely sure there is something that charges faster than this. Anyway, the obvious lesson here is to find out how long the recharger takes to recharge before buying it... Learn from my mistakes, and you'll be set! :^)

Batteries (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6564769)

1) NiMH
2) NiCad
3) Lithium Ion
4) Alkaline
5) Sex with a mare


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