Batteries, Chargers, Recharging Rate

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pure, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    First of all, yes I did a search and read most of the posts on this topic, however, I have a few questions.

    Batteries:
    I'm a hybrid between a casual NiMH battery user and a hardcore battery user. Sometimes I may use a flash all day, and sometimes I may just leave the flash in the bag for a couple of days. Since we all know NiMH naturally discharge, I think it'd be best for me to get 2 sets of low discharge batteries, like Eneloops, and then 2 sets of high capacity, but high discharge batteries. Does anybody see anything wrong with that logic? I just don't know what batteries to get. I read Eneloop 2Ah hold their charge the longest, but I have no idea whatsoever what high capacity batteries are best, something like 2.7Ah capacity. Powerex?

    Chargers:
    I really don't use batteries often enough to need a 8 cell charger, So I was looking at these two 4 cell chargers.

    I was looking at the La Crosse BC-900, and the MAHA MH-C9000
    LA CROSSE BC-900 Battery Charger w/ LCD DisplayDeluxe Travel..
    and
    MAHA MH-C9000 Advanced Battery ChargerFree Deluxe Storage Ca..

    Are there any major differences between the two?

    Charging Rate:
    Charging too quickly can kill a battery, but sometimes, we just need to charge faster than .2Ah. What is a normal charging rate for batteries that won't destroy a battery's life span. I believe .2Ah is standard, however with the "1hr" chargers, doesn't that mean they charge as unresonable rates like 1Ah+? Or should I use two settings? One for slow charging, and one for "oh **** event in an hour" charging?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Opher

    Opher TPF Noob!

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    I just picked up some duracell at canadian tire that clame to hold there charge for 365days. They are NiMH. Now are there clames true? I will have to get back to you on that.
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I got Duracell charger with 12-15 (don't remember) rechargeable batteries. The older rechargeables were about 4-5 yrs old before they became useless. Recently bought the newer ones - It seems cost effective to spend $20 for 8AAs and change them every 4yrs.
    & the best part, I have no clue what they are made of, it was never an issue, thank goodness and hopefully won't be one.
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Jeeze those chargers are expensive. I got mine with 4 AA's along-with for the same price (around $40).

    1-hour chargers definitely kill the batteries, and I would say just don't go there. Heck, I'd be amazed if you can even hold the darn things without burning yourself when they're done charging. If you're going to have some very slowly discharging batteries, this shouldn't be an issue.

    Yep, they're probably indeed true. The newest NiMH batteries can hold their charge for an amazingly long time. The Panasonic ones I have should hold about 80% of their charge if left for a year. Not that I'd ever not use them for a year, but still, it's nice to know that I can leave them for a bit and not worry overmuch. That and they're a lot more resistant to the wear that recharging has on, say, a Lithium battery (Lithium batteries also have steep death curves; really nasty, that).

    What the battery is made of is indeed an issue. For instance, alkaline batteries are SLOW to recycle, because they have a very high resistance. They're not so hot for flashes. NiMH batteries on the other hand, have low resistances and get you very quick recycle times. My 580's can recycle in under 3 seconds with the most recent generation of NiMH batteries in them. Fast, hold their charge, relatively cheap, and resistant to all that wear and tear. Pretty nifty (though they do get pretty warm if you're firing the flash a lot, but so will every battery). They really just fall short of having an external battery pack (which easily would let you fry the flash if you're not careful).

    See http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/index3.html#powersource] here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the LA CROSSE BC-700 and I like it a lot. I have some old dead batteries that thing brought them back to life. As for the battery. I use some Eneloops. But for the flash, I mainly use the 2450mah Energizer now. I just need to make sure I have spare batteries charged
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I rate the MaHa chargers as about the best money can buy.

    I started using this charger about a month ago ($90 on Amazon). There is only 1 thing I can say about it: Sweet!

    It will charge AAA, AA, C, D, NiMH or NICd. (I don't use NiCd anymore)

    This is pro gear. I use the Energiser's too.

    I never use the quick charge. Eneloops retain power better, but are only rated at 2Ah, same for the Imedion's (not enough for the recycle times I need).

    All my rechargable batteries are numbered in sets so they don't get interchanged. I have 16 sets of NiMH AA for just my speedlights. 12 sets of 4 AA, and 4 sets of 5 AA's for my SB-800 (SB-800's can use either 4 or 5 batteries. 5 gives quicker recycle times.).

    I never leave rechargable batteries in an accessory after a shoot.

    Oh, I have 3 of the above chargers so I can recharge 24 batteries at a time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  7. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    Which energizer batteries are you guys talking about?

    Should I even get Eneloops for last minute things?

    Whats a good/average charging rate for batteries?
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    2500mH NiMH AA Energizers.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've got the 900, would have liked the 9000 though. (there was a bigger price difference back then).

    As far as I know, the difference is that the C9000 has a 'break-in' mode. Most good chargers monitor the batteries to know when they are full and switch to a much lower trickle or maintenance charge at that time. However, many NiMH batteries don't have the full capacity that we think they do...and this get worse over time, until they finally can barely take a charge at all. (either of these chargers have a 'test' mode that will tell you the actual capacity). Anyway, the 'break in' mode is meant for new batteries...it break them in. However, it can also be used to revitalize old batteries that have worn out. This is because the break in mode slowly forces a charge into the batteries once they are past the point where most chargers would stop.

    So if you are like a photographer friend of mine and have a drawer full of old (used up) NiMH batteries, the C9000 would pay for itself pretty quick because it could give life to many of those old batteries.
     

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