Go Green, Cruisers!!! - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

Yes, that was the time that I started using Sanyo Eneloop (Energy Looping). I have a feeling since then rechargeable technology has improved. Every company can make decent rechargeables. SO brand is not as important.

So if this floats your boat, get some. If not, don't buy them. BTW, the good old disposable battery now can hold charges for 10 years. I guess if you keep them in freezer, they will last forever.

I look forward for this lithium rechargeable to drop their price.

14500 Series AA Sized Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries


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post #22 of 32 Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Uhhh, haven't you ever heard of 12V cigarette lighter outlets? :-).......
Turns out, I have.

The things scare me. I've seen too many melted, so I leave the dedicated breaker to the them off. We have about 4 or 5 aboard. I've raised this before and have been told there is no reason for it, but I can't shake it.

We do use them, but only when aboard and awake. I think the 110v outlets charge faster too. Our cruising profile has us run the genset for approx 90 mins in the morning and again at night. (have to keep the ice maker full. ) Plenty of time to charge up.


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post #23 of 32 Old 04-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

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have to keep the ice maker full.
Ice maker, Godsent. Just as important as TV remote or butt warmer in the car.

I got spoiled by Perry 59 ....hahhah


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post #24 of 32 Old 04-19-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

dawg-
"Every company can make decent rechargeables. SO brand is not as important. "
Not true!
Think about this for a moment. There are many many PATENTS on battery technology and every one of those brand name companies owns patents and swears their product is exclusive because of them.
Case in point, anyone can make the 18650(?) common lithium rechargeables. And there's a lot of fuss because one of the leading brand names rates their batteries at about 2500mA, while anonymous sellers on the web claim to be selling the same name-brand battery, or other brands, up to 4000mA capacity. (Ballpark numbers, from memory.)
Sure, anyone can make a AA cell. Lots of them won't last 500 cycles. Lots of them have memory effect problems. SAFT, who own the NiCad trademark, say their patented technology doesn't have that problem. Others will tell you they are good for 500 cycles, or 1000, or 1500...and some will hold 75% after 90 days, while others are paperweights in 30. Then there's charging time and heat. Some can be quick-charged in 15 minutes pretty well, others will be destroyed by heat if they're charged in less than ten hours.

There's something to patents, even with the marketing hype from everyone.

Same thing even with primary cells. You can buy AA's from anyone. Some alkaline, some still carbon, some that last 10x as long as cheaper others. Some that now boast of how long they can last without leaking, and I'm happy to say that's partly my fault after a decade of making CopperTop (especially) and Thumper replace my batteries every time they leaked, and letting them know that I don't care who's got the more powerful chemistry, if it is going to leak all over my gadgets.
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post #25 of 32 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Turns out, I have.

The things scare me. I've seen too many melted, so I leave the dedicated breaker to the them off. We have about 4 or 5 aboard. I've raised this before and have been told there is no reason for it, but I can't shake it.
Melted ? Yikes, that would certainly put me off them, as well :-)

Fortunately, I've never had that happen. Some of the receptacles I've seen on other boats - of cheaper 'automotive quality' - gave me pause, however, particularly when located in the cockpit. I'd only suggest using ones like those from Marinco or Blue Seas, have them on a breaker of 10 or 15 A max, and avoid using them for high amp stuff like 12V coffee makers, etc... For the sort of charging of various devices we're talking about here, the draw is quite low, and would seem well within their capabilities...

Do you happen to recall what size breaker the ones you've seen fail were on? Or if the device that was plugged in was properly fused? No question, if you've seen this happen multiple times, that's pretty spooky...
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post #26 of 32 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

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......Do you happen to recall what size breaker the ones you've seen fail were on? Or if the device that was plugged in was properly fused?.......
I don't recall the fusing and it's admittedly been a while, since I've been so skittish. One was fried with a laptop, but it was years ago. The technology to convert/charge off a 12v plug may have been less mature too.

I agree that iPads and iPhones draw miniscule amperage and I do worry less. All of our DC receptacles are on one breaker, but I can't recall the amperage. I think the DC receptacles are rated at (5amps?), and I'm sure the breaker is sized lower than all could withstand carrying a full load.


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post #27 of 32 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

Minne, I'd say you are right and wrong to not trust them. If "car" adapters in general were a problem, think of all the adapters used more than 12 hours a day, pretty much every day, by long-haul drivers. And all the gadgets the rest of us have plugged into cars for so many years and miles. No mention of fires there, right?

But I've also seen all sorts of things go meltie, including brand name ATO fuses. And I keep hearing that supposedly UL-approved (sometimes counterfeit) wall warts are one of the leading causes of home fires, along with major appliances.

Bottom line if that none of that stuff can really be trusted, even if it appears to be all brand-name and certified and whatever. Sure, I trust it, but I'm happier if there's a big red switch with an OFF position, to make sure none of it can get toastie.

It isn't just lighter adapters, they're the least of it all.
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post #28 of 32 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

I only use AA batteries in my multi band radio it does sideband weather and am/FM, and my old cobra handheald gps unit. Got a couple of solar lights from wallmart for two bucks in 2012 the cases broke last winter and I salvaged the little panels they use a 1.2 v NiMH battery so work great as a battery charger I can charge two a day for free. The radio lasts for a couple weeks so I have plenty of time to recharge spares.

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Last edited by newhaul; 04-20-2014 at 10:36 PM.
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post #29 of 32 Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
The rechargeable have a slight lower voltage, but its sustain power is better. For camera flash, it recycles your flash much faster.
That's actually one of the best uses. Alkaline batteries suffer from depressed voltage under high current draw. That's what the "ultra" or "high power" alkalines are about. They don't store more energy, they're just able to deliver higher current for longer, making them better for high-current applications like camera flashes, RC vehicles, anything where the batteries could be depleted in a few hours or less.

NiCd and NiMH batteries are able to deliver higher current out of the box.

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My hesitation has always been that if I leave the batteries loaded in the charger, with the charger powered up, eventually the charger will kill the batts. Sounds like this was due to the "dumb charger" I had.

Are the LaCrosse and Watson chargers "smart enough" that I could leave batteries in the charger, charger plugged in for weeks at a time, without fear of damage?
Smart chargers are programmed to recharge your battery, then shut off. They monitor the voltage to determine the battery's charge state, and charge appropriately (or don't charge if it would cause a dangerous condition). That said, all the "dumb" chargers I've seen recently also shut off. The light just stays on with a different color to indicate it's finished charging.

The main advantage of the smart charger I got (a MAHA C9000) is that you can vary the charge rate (a slower charge can usually "squeeze" more juice into the battery), it can completely discharge a battery, and it has two programs to condition the battery (charge, full discharge, then charge). The last one is handy for resuscitating batteries whose capacity has been reduced by poor chargers or just don't work as well because they're getting old.

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I have found that if you live off the dock, rechargeable batteries are not much help, unless you have a 12 volt charger (like for my Ryobi cordless tools) or a solar charger. Many of the 110 volt chargers will not work well on the square wave inverters and most of us would rather not run our generators for hours on end to charge rechargeable batteries. I get very limited life from cordless tool batteries with 110 volt chargers.
Battery chargers use DC, not AC. They just come with an AC adapter plug since that's what's commonly found on land. My MAHA C9000 takes 12V DC input. So as long as your boat's battery bank was putting out close to 12V, it would work fine with direct DC.

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I like NiMH batteries and use them a bunch, but they do have one quirk that makes them problematic: they are not 1.5VDC. Nope. Because of their chemistry, most only output 1.2VDC (Enloop is ~1.4V). Capacity is fine. Ampacity is great. They charge fast,, have low self-discharge rate, and will recharge many, many times.

But they won't work in all handheld devices. Two of my (inexpensive) digital cameras, for instance, read NiMH's 1.2V full-charge as a low battery condition & almost immediately shut down. OTOH, my Garmin 76CSx GPS has a menu setting for battery type: you can tell it you are using NiMH, and it will accept the lower voltage. And of course, simple gadgets like LED lanterns, FM radios, and so on don't really care.
Yeah, this is an important thing to keep in mind. I use Eneloops in my Logitech mouse. They last about a month (vs 3 months for alkaline), and when I pop them in my charger it says they're at 1.16-1.17 V and have about half their charge left - 980 mAh left vs about 1950 mAh full.

So clearly the mouse is expecting 1.5 V and shutting down just below 1.2 V, and the Eneloops are hitting 1.16 V when they're at about half capacity. For this particular application, 1 month is more than enough for me (I keep a couple alkaline AAs in my bag for mouse emergencies - just long enough to recharge the Eneloops so I've had the same set for 5 years).

But if you have devices which absolutely need 1.5 V, you can get NiZn rechargeables. Nickel-Zinc is a nominal 1.6 V chemistry, so they're a good substitute for devices requiring 1.5 V. They're only a bit more expensive than NiMH, though their capacity and endurance (lifetime recharge cycles) are lower. Just be sure to get a charger which can charge NiZn, and don't mix it up with your NiMH batteries and charger (improper charging can cause an explosion or fire).

Last edited by Solandri; 04-21-2014 at 07:03 AM.
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post #30 of 32 Old 04-21-2014
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Re: Go Green, Cruisers!!!

If I can bring a different wrinkle to the discussion. We have not had good success using rechargeables and have fallen back on alkaline batteries (usually Duracells or Panasonic) that we have found a cheap source for. This means we end up with lots of dead batteries over the course of a year. It is important to dispose of these properly. We have a dedicated box for dead batteries (a plastic candy container with a good ascrew-on lid. When we find someone who accepts old batteries, Bob's-your-uncle. Home Depot used to take them and Ikea still does. We found one of the grocery chains in South Africa that did. Better than going to a landfill.
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