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美国华人, 帆船
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2,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have my share of using AA and AAA batteries. In my other life, I use lot of them for camera flashes. To my surprise, there are not many sailors use them at all. Not sure why? I have been using rechargeable AA and AAA for more than 6 years. All of them still work like they were new.

For those who want to try them. I would recommend

1. Sanyo Eneloop. There are many other brands, but Eneloop by far holds the charges the longest. The rechargeable have a slight lower voltage, but its sustain power is better. For camera flash, it recycles your flash much faster. I use them of my LED lights and SPOT, they last for a long time.

Amazon.com: NEW Sanyo Eneloop 3rd generation 8 Pack AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries-Newest version-FREE BATTERY HOLDER- Rechargeable 1800 times: [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@51xSlxCabZL

Costco has the best price if you can find them there.

2. Battery charger, it is the most important. Avoid the unintelligent rapid charger, it kills rechargeable in no time. Heat is their enemy. Make sure you buy smart charger, it charges each battery separately. It also has a safe discharge function to rejuvenate battery.

I have this one for years.... This is particular nice because it comes with 12V and 110 plugs. It is most important for us, the Cruisers use 12 volt system.

Watson 8-Bay Rapid Charger for AA / AAA NiMH or NiCd AA-8LCD B&H

I also bought some battery boxes for and use the color tape to indicate if charged or discharged.
Amazon.com: Bluecell Pack of 9 PCS AA / AAA Battery Storage Hard Case Box: Home [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@41qPuaPgiJL

You will never run out of batteries again in the middle of nowhere. Go green.

Full Disclosure: I am about to buy one share of Sanyo stock. You action may make me rich. :)
 

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Old enough to know better
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4,345 Posts
I have a Lacrosse brand charger that has a ton of modes. I have found the Duracell and Kodak (not sure they are still made) "pre-charged" work as well as the elopes. Problem with the Duracell is that some family members don't realize they are rechargeable and pitch them. Also make sure they are the made in Japan version.
 

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美国华人, 帆船
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2,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I believe all smart chargers are good. La Crosse is very good, more expensive.

When I was looking, it only came with 110 v plug. I am not sure how it is now. When on the boat, it is silly for us to step up voltage to charge the battery. Amp/Hr is just as precious as water for most of us. Unless when I am on Perry 59............LOL
 

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I have Rayovacs from china-mart going on 3 yrs
 

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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?
 

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I have the LaCrosse charger too. Problem with running without an inverter is it requires 3 volts. I may give the watson a try, it looks like it uses 12 volts. I love the slow discharge rate of the eneloops. They are replacing all of my old NiMH batteries
 

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Master Mariner
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9,004 Posts
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.
Of course, if you are home every night or on the dock, I guess they would work just fine.
 

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baDumbumbum
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1,142 Posts
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.

Also, just in the name of intellectual honesty, nickel mining and smelting are among the filthiest industries on this Earth. Much of it is done in India, China, Oceana, and the former Soviet states, under appalling conditions and without any environmental controls. So while there's much virtue in one AA rechargeable battery set against a pile of (say) 1000 disposable alkalines ... both in production and in toxicity of the battery itself, alkalines are a gentler technology. Win some, lose some.:)
 

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1982 Skye 51
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379 Posts
I think the only thing i have that used AA or AAA batteries is my beard trimmer. judging from the mess i have on my chin these days, maybe it is time to step up to some rechargables. ;)
 

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I like this idea, but I'm finding the number of things aboard that need charging is getting comical. Multiple iPads and iPhones (depending on who's aboard), handheld radios, jambox, cordless drill batts, lights and on and on. Getting ridiculous. When the genset fires up at anchorage, the spaghetti cords are everywhere.

I'm curious. How long will these batts stay charged on the shelf? I don't swap out many AA or AAA batts very often, but I do have a stash.
 

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I meant, how do they hold a charge on the shelf, compared to disposables.
 

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That is what I meant. They will have 75% of their charge after sitting for 3 years. These don't go dead after a couple months like NiMH cells.
 

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Right. NiMH are dead, these rechargables are 75%, what are disposables?
 

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baDumbumbum
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They hold about 75% charge after 3 years. They hold a charge so much longer than NiMH.
Eneloops are NiMH. Not NiCad, but NiMH.

Minne: Name brand disposable alkaline batts also have good self-discharge rates. If you look on the package, you'll see a sell-by date on Duracell or Energizer about three years down the road. Keep em cool (in fridge, or even in the freezer), they'll last a very long time.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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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.
Of course, if you are home every night or on the dock, I guess they would work just fine.
You could probably get by taking the actual batteries out of the case and hook up a wire to it so it'll plug into the boats 12v system. Won't need to use an inverter or use the charger for the battery pack.
 

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Master Mariner
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You could probably get by taking the actual batteries out of the case and hook up a wire to it so it'll plug into the boats 12v system. Won't need to use an inverter or use the charger for the battery pack.
I do that with equipment that operates on 12 volts dc, but on 4.5v, 6v, 3v, etc. it's not that easy. It would be a bit of a pain running around with a cord from a camera to the boat's 12 v system, taking pics. :).
So far I've not found a good solution to AA or AAA need, rechargeable or otherwise, but I'm always on the look out for 12 volt (car) chargers for everything I can use them on. Both computers have them (12 v to 18.6v converters), as does our phone, but the usb trickle chargers are really slow for tablets, etc; they really do need the 110v chargers.
Unfortunately, we are a tiny market, so we are way down on the list for some of these developments. But one can always hope; like bottom paint that charges our batteries, yahoo!
 

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I like this idea, but I'm finding the number of things aboard that need charging is getting comical. Multiple iPads and iPhones (depending on who's aboard), handheld radios, jambox, cordless drill batts, lights and on and on. Getting ridiculous. When the genset fires up at anchorage, the spaghetti cords are everywhere.
Uhhh, haven't you ever heard of 12V cigarette lighter outlets? :)

In my opinion, a boat can't possibly have too many of them these days, I believe I have at least 6 on my 30-footer... I've long been at the point where I don't want anything aboard that can't be charged or powered by a 12V plug. My TV, DVD player, De Walt battery charger, handheld searchlight, charger for camera batteries, or other any device needs a really good reason to be brought aboard if it can't be charged with a lighter plug, or a USB port, for me...

Blue Seas is now making a receptacle for USB chargers...



Or, simply pick up a dual port USB cigarette plug adapter, the latest now have a 1 A port for cellphones, and a 3 A for iPads/tablets, etc...


 

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1982 Skye 51
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379 Posts
I like this idea, but I'm finding the number of things aboard that need charging is getting comical. Multiple iPads and iPhones (depending on who's aboard), handheld radios, jambox, cordless drill batts, lights and on and on. Getting ridiculous. When the genset fires up at anchorage, the spaghetti cords are everywhere.

I'm curious. How long will these batts stay charged on the shelf? I don't swap out many AA or AAA batts very often, but I do have a stash.
I agree. It seems like everything has it's own battery and charger these days--I think one solar panel is devoted solely to computers, power-hungry little things...

To comment on a post from earlier, I have seen no problem with using these chargers with my Xantrex 1800 inverter. It's not sine wave but it seems to charge just fine.

I have some AAA and AA batteries that have been in the package since I left the US in 2008, probably not too much life remaining.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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dawg-
Eneloop made big news 4? 5? years ago when they first came out, pushing the long storage life and small self-discharge. I was using Panasonic commercial cells in my old GPS and VHF at that point, which would hold better than a half charge in six months of closet storage, while most brand name NiMh cells would be useless in 30-60 days.
Last year I bought some new Eneloop, apparently there are two kinds now, with somewhat different characteristics (# charges, storage, capacity) as well as Amazon's own "Basics" and another brand. Still sorting them out but the Amazon brand also claim long shelf life and seem to be reasonably good too.

Paul-
"Problem with the Duracell is that some family members don't realize they are rechargeable and pitch them." I expected that, and stick a PTouch label on anything that someone else might touch the batteries in. "RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES, DO NOT DISCARD".
Hey, accidents will still happen but it can't hurt.

I'll also take batches (2 or 4) or the batteries and run some colored paint or nail polish around the end so they can be identified as "a batch" that are used together, i.e. so the groups of two or four get kept as a group and used as a group.

Seeing how the drugstores and hardware stores try to get a BUCK A PIECE ?! for AA and AAA cells these days...I just got tired of shopping for the sales on the good stuff. Stuff that gets put away with shelf life being a priority, still gets the disposables though. Sometimes even the lithium Thumpers.
 
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