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Rechargeables for UHF packs


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We're currently spending just over $100 per month on batteries. Mainly 9V for our wireless packs. (Yes, we have and use that many.) We run Sennheiser (battery hogs) and Shure packs for both instruments and IEMs.

 

I'm considering going rechargeable. I know that NiCad isn't what I'm looking for. I am thinking of NiMH or Lithium Ion.

 

I need to have 10 per night per show, so a charging station of some sorts is needed.

 

Has anyone used rechargables? Would one battery get me thru a 4.5-5 hour gig? What brand would you recommend? Any distributors you'd recommend?

 

Much thanks.

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Alkaline 9v batteries last forever on the shelf, good ones have a little more than 9 volts, and they have a gradual ramp-down as they discharge.

 

Rechagables, 9v especially, have a bad rep because they drain even when they are not being used, 9v usually has 8.4v, and they stay at their rated power until the point where they suddenly and swiftly die.

 

Newer rechargables are much better, such as the

batteries from Thomas Distributing and other sources. 9.6v, up to 250 mAh.

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Don't do it... (waving index finger back and forth at you.)

 

Rechargeable batteries and Alkalines do not react, over their operational life, in the same manner.

 

Alkaline batteries slowly lose voltage over their life. When an alkaline battery starts to go the sound will have minor problems. (Hopefully you're changing them long before this time.)

 

Rechargeables, OTOH, keep their voltage fairly constant through the operational life. But then.. they go from working fine to dead in an instant. Bad news onstage.

 

Stick with long life Duracell batteries. You can contact Duracell and ask for an endorsement. They'll probably say, "no thanks", but it won't hurt to ask.

 

The only battery besides Duracell that I trust implicitly is Kodak, and I haven't used or seen them in several years. I'm convinced they were Duracell batteries in a different wrapper. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Yes, there are! Look for places that sell Duracell Procells. I've been told by many sources that Procells are identical to regualar coppertops, but are sold in bulk pricing through electronics shops and tour supply houses. Also, I paid $10 and change to Costco for 28 AAA and about the same for (I'll have to go home and look. :freak: But at least 16) AA batteries.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Be careful about Lithiums; if they are not charged properly or maintained properly they can catch fire and even explode (I fly R/C planes and we are using them but there are tons of horror stories; also pay attention to companies like Apple recalling 30,000 Powerbooks due to dangerous not-up-to-snuff packs.)

 

Ni-Cads are great because they can be fast-charged at high amp levels (for our planes we charge at up to 5-8amps and the packs can be ready in 15-20 minutes) and you can pull a LOT of power out of them in a hurry (some of the power maniacs pull as much as 100amps on performance aircraft.) NiMh's are now as good as Ni-Cads and leave less heavy metals in the dump when you toss them.

 

The automatic chargers that are out there are computer-based and can charge a pack to 100% and automatically cut to trickle. I use this one and it will auto-charge from 1-24 cell packs of NiCad, NiMh, Lithiums or even lead acid batteries:

 

http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCJG7&P=ML

 

The above is a 12v charger, but other companies like www.astroflight.com have 110v models, too.

 

Best advice is: Pony up the bucks and get a QUALITY charger. The smarter it is, the more cycles you'll get out of rechargeables with far less safety hazards.

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Originally posted by where02190:

rechargables will drain current much faster and not give nearly the performance that alkaline batteries will. Unfortunately it's the downside of wireless.

Battery current drain is a function of the battery's rating measured in ampere hours and is depleted according to circuit demands. A circuit does not know if a battery is rechargeable or not.

GY

 

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I understand that rechargeable batteries die quickly when they start to run out. So I'm wondering if you use pro quality NImH or Lithion Ion 9V batteries with a good charger in a situation where you can change the batteries pre-emptively, are they consistent enough to work. That is, can you count on them dying after a certain amount of time and no sooner? I ask because if you can count on them relaibly lasting until the set break or intermission then they might be worth using.

 

An answer from someone with actual hands-on experience would be best. Thanks.

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Originally posted by GY:

Originally posted by where02190:

rechargables will drain current much faster and not give nearly the performance that alkaline batteries will. Unfortunately it's the downside of wireless.

Battery current drain is a function of the battery's rating measured in ampere hours and is depleted according to circuit demands. A circuit does not know if a battery is rechargeable or not.
NiCd batteries will not last as long on a charge as an alkaline battery. So I guess NiCd's just don't have the storage capacity of an alkaline battery. And that doesn't mitigate the fact they will work one minute and be virtually dead the next, whereas alkaline batteries will ramp down, giving you ample warning that they will fail within 15 - 20 minutes.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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I don't know about your wireless, but on my AKG WMS80, the second either of the two AA's in the body pack drop below spec, the transmission dies. Consequently, I put in fresh batteries every gig. It's nice to be using the AA's instead of the 9v's . . . I can buy a boatload of the AA's pretty cheap.

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Originally posted by GY:

Originally posted by where02190:

rechargables will drain current much faster and not give nearly the performance that alkaline batteries will. Unfortunately it's the downside of wireless.

Battery current drain is a function of the battery's rating measured in ampere hours and is depleted according to circuit demands. A circuit does not know if a battery is rechargeable or not.
NiCd batteries will not last as long on a charge as an alkaline battery. So I guess NiCd's just don't have the storage capacity of an alkaline battery. And that doesn't mitigate the fact they will work one minute and be virtually dead the next, whereas alkaline batteries will ramp down, giving you ample warning that they will fail within 15 - 20 minutes.
Thats' true. Battery Ah is from full-charge voltage down to something like .5v?? It's also true that the Lithium Ions get to a point where they drop like a brick. If you let Alkalines sit a while their voltage comes back a bit, for a while.

GY

 

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