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  1. #1
    Senior Member User1's Avatar
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    Alkaline battery charger

    Hello all,

    Thought I'd share my one and only "gadget" that I think is worth sharing. I've used this charger for quite sometime and have been very pleased with it's performance. I've gotten one for my father, brother, and a friend of mine. They all reported that theirs have all worked as designed, but my friend was rather abusive to his and it's stopped working. He left his plugged in all the time and he has dropped his numerous times.

    I like to think this was discontinued cause battery companies did not like the "threat" it posed, but I can't tell you either way. I see other chargers on Newegg and other places still advertised there and other places, but none with a track record like this one or with alot of feedback from users.

    I thought this makes a good source for battery use. Get a good source of alkaline batteries from somewhere like CostCo and use this charger. You're pretty much set for quite a few years if you operate things right. Pretty much the manufacturer of the charger wants the costumer to buy reputable batteries and don't let the batteries get completely drained. Done and done.

    So far I have no complains with this charger. Anyone else use this method? Got a charger you like?

  2. #2
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I have very good luck with NiMH. I don't even own any alkaline batteries anymore except for the ones that came with remote controls or something. I get the low self discharge ones like Eneloops, and I can run them right down flat and charge them just fine. I haven't yet had to replace an Eneloop, even after several years they're still going strong. Even the ad copy for the chargers generally only promise 10 charges on alkalines, versus 500 to 1000 for NiMH.

    Some of the reviews indicate that the charger is not smart at all - it charges the same amount of time regardless of the charge level or chemistry. That worries me. Proper battery management requires an intelligent charger.

    There are several other alkaline rechargers on Newegg and Amazon that are still for sale.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    did not know alkalines could be recharged.
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    Member SMorrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    did not know alkalines could be recharged.
    They can't. The carbon-zinc/alkaline rechargers of the past were failures in their market for their performance, and are considered unsafe by today's standards. If you see them advertised, they're a scam.

    Today's consumer NiMhs can be great values if you're committed to rechargeables, and maintain 'em properly. Recharge 'em immediately after use, immediately disconnect 'em when the light goes out, never drain them all the way.

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    Senior Member User1's Avatar
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    I think this charger is far from a scam! It's advertised for charging alkaline batteries and that's what I experience it doing, where's the scam? Sure it could probably do a better job of charging the battery but this has been discontinued now for quite some time. I'm sure if they still were having this in the market, they would have "improved" it.

    Regarding intelligences, there is some kind of intelligences working here cause it doesn't like cheap no name batteries or batteries completely dead. I have yet to try charging dead alkaline battery, so no help verifying this. I do see that if I charged a battery, take it off, let it sit for awhile, then try to charge it again, it will go through the charging cycle. I don't get a battery that's somehow been charged double or something like that. I get a battery that acts like it's just the same as the other batteries. It just went through the cycle with nothing happening to it.

    I used to buy rechargeable batteries but from my experience, this route with the alkalines has been alot more economical and amount of energy available has been more than what I would have with rechargeable.

  6. #6
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    The thing with recharging alkalines is that it requires you to really pay attention to charge level. If you run them dead, you probably will never be able to charge them satisfactorily again. So really if you want to get many charges out, you can only use about half a charge.

    I tried both charging regular alkalines, and also the "rechargable alkalines" that were a thing a few years ago. I found neither of them to work very well unless I was committed to recharging the things at almost every opportunity, and even then, I wound up tossing cells several times a year.

    For modern equipment which is designed properly, NiMH rechargables are almost certainly going to be a better bet. They have about the same total power, but it's at a lower voltage so older dumb electronics without intelligent power management may not work very long on them - they see 1.2 volts and figure the battery is already dead when in fact it's still fine.

    Also, traditional NiMH had a bad problem with self-discharge - charge up a cell and 2 weeks of sitting it might be down to 50% charge without ever having used it. Buying low-self-discharge cells such as Eneloops will mostly solve that problem. This makes them suitable for very low drain applications such as remote controls and wall clocks where a single charge might be expected to keep the device running for a year or more.

    So it largely depends on what equipment you're powering, and if you're using modern, high quality cells. If you are, and you have a good, intelligent charger, you really should get many hundreds of charges which means that even if you're using up a complete charge every day they'll still last years.
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    I agree with the above comments to go with NiMH rechargeable batteries instead of trying to use alkaline cells. The NiMH cells will give you like-new performance over hundreds of charge cycles. The ones advertised as low self-discharge or 'pre-charged' are the Eneloop type and are best for use in devices that might end up lying around for a month or more sometimes - but they have a little less capacity per charge compared to regular NiMH cells.

    Yes, alkalines can frequently be recharged, but their capacity per charge drops off rapidly so the number of charge cycles is very limited especially if you ever run them down too far. You also run a risk of leakage since they aren't designed to be recharged and a leaking battery could easily destroy the device that it's powering.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    NiMH are the way to go.

    The best are probably Eneloop pre-charged, that can retain 90% of their capacity for 1 year and as much as 75% after 5 years. Other pre-charged batteries are available. But they do what they say on the tin, come pre-charged ready-to-use.

    On-to chargers - get a good smart charger. There are many about, but again the Maha C9000 seems to be the standard by which the rest are compared.

    If you want to ask more questions, the the guys over at CandlePowerForums are very knowledgeable on the subject.

    Now for the important bit

    Well there are 2.


    1. Re-charging Alkaline batteries is dangerous, they do have the potential to combust and need to be watched closely.
    2. You need to make sure you match batteries in a device. A smart charger helps here as it can show the actual capacity of the battery, not just it's claimed capacity. But there is a very important reason for matching cell's. More so with Li-Ion than NiMH, NiCad or Alky, but even so it is very important to bear in mind. So why is it important? Well it comes down to deep discharge, which most often occurs in torches (and therefore bike lights) where the batteries are run to exhaustion.

      If 2 or more cells are used in series, and are mis-matched, then the cell with the lowest capacity will "die" first. What can happen then is that the remaining cells can "reverse charge" this dead cell which causes irreversible and sometime catastrophic damage.



    Now - after all that there is one other reason to make the change from Alky to NiMH. And that is the power-curves.

    A standard Alkaline is rated at 1.5v, but will sag to 1.2v quite quickly and then the power will steadily drop and become unusable reasonably quickly. Alkaline batteries will bounce back up to 1.5v after being allowed to "cool-off" for a little while, but will quickly sag back right down.

    NiMH batteries, while rated at 1.2v will show about 1.4v on an open circuit. However, once they have sagged to 1.2v, they stay there for most of their usable life. The only real issue is with some clever circuits that are poorly designed that will class the battery as dead, even when it isn't, because it doesn't peak over 1.4v. NiMH batteries, the good ones at least, have a capacity as much as 4 times a good Alky. They do really pay for themselves.

    Much more info can be found over at the CandlePowerForums.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMorrison View Post
    They can't.
    They can, but it doesn't work very well.

    They'll only hold a small fraction of their original capacity if you recharge them, and I imagine there's always the danger of making them leak.

    But you *can* recharge alkalines to some degree (and no, I'm not talking about rechargeable alkalines.)

    That said, go NiMH instead. They can handle lots of recharges and go to full capacity each time (at least until they get old.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    NiMH batteries, the good ones at least, have a capacity as much as 4 times a good Alky.
    This is not true, or at least it is not that simple.

    The highest capacity AA NiMH out there is rated at around 2800 mAh, but those have given up everything else in the name of peak capacity. For many people, the Eneloops are the best NiMH cells out there right now, and their capacity is around 2000 mAh (but their low self discharge rate makes up for it.)

    As for alkalines, here's the spec sheet for the Energizer E91 alkaline AA, a fairly typical name brand AA alkaline. It delivers pretty close to 2800 mAh if discharged at a low rate.

    However, here's where it's not so simple -- NiMH cells handle higher discharge rates better. If you discharge an alkaline at a high discharge rate, it's capacity goes way down. For example, that alkaline only puts out about 1500 mAh if discharged at 500 mA, when the NiMH cell will not lose much capacity at all due to that higher discharge rate.

    For a low discharge rate application, an alkaline will last longer. Such applications include smoke alarms, bicycle tail lights, TV remote controls, etc.

    For a higher discharge rate application, NiMH cells (especially LSD cells like the Eneloops) will last longer. This includes power tools, high power (> 1 constant watt) bicycle lights with AA cells, etc.

    Of course, considering that NiMH cells can be recharged and alkalines shouldn't be -- NiMH cells are the winner for most applications nowadays. (Well, lipo or lithium ion cells tend to do even better, but that's another discussion.) But it's not quite accurate to say that NiMH cells have 4x the capacity of a good alkaline.

  11. #11
    Senior Member User1's Avatar
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    NiMH batteries is what got me to this point. I bought NiMH from a supplier at my favorite swap meet, TRW swap meet, and those turned out to just be pooh. I did get them replaced by from my supplier when they went bad, but the romance was all but over when I discovered the alkaline charger. I bought the charger and it's been smooth sailing since then. As have been brought up, you need to look at the cost you are putting out for this convenience. I just looked at what CostCo is charging for quality alkaline batteries and it's about $.50 per AA battery. This is pretty much a one time cost and will last for years if you invest in a pack of 48. The battery stays charged for years and even after a charge it stays charged, not sure for how long as I never really looked in to it. I do know that it would easily be a year.

    BTW, does anyone have any prices they'd like to throw out there on what they're paying for the NiMH?

    CostCo has a pack of 48 batteries for little over $15 and a charger like mine you can find on ebay for about $15. So for an investment of about $30 people would be set for years to come. Sadly I could never say that with the NiMH I was using. I'd be interested in some figures thrown out there on systems people standing behind.

    So no one knows why the charger I linked is no longer offered? I'd like to think this is a big conspiracy involving huge profitable corporations squashing the little guy, but I don't have any proof.

  12. #12
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    NiMH batteries, the good ones at least, have a capacity as much as 4 times a good Alky. They do really pay for themselves.
    Mmmm, I don't think this is true, or at least, it's only true in some situations. Fresh alkalines have about the same number of mAH as a good NiMH, and more than a low self discharge cell. About 2500 mAH. Given that they have a higher voltages, they actually have more power. Alkaline at 1.5v, 2500 mAH is 3.75 watt hours. NiMH at 1.2v, 2500 mAH is 3.00 watt hours.

    In SOME DEVICES, in particular ones with high current demand such as digital cameras. NiMH can indeed keep the device running much longer than alkalines. That's because alkaline chemistry is not well suited to delivering high instantaneous current. In high draw devices, alkaline will derate badly, they're just not good at delivering a lot of current. A NiMH AA cell delivering 2 amps will do so for over an hour. An alkaline delivering 2 amps will probably only be able to keep it up for 15 to 30 minutes or so before it heats up and the internal resistance increases to the point where it can't do it any more. If you only draw 0.1 amps, they'll both deliver it for 25 hours.
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  13. #13
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    So no one knows why the charger I linked is no longer offered? I'd like to think this is a big conspiracy involving huge profitable corporations squashing the little guy, but I don't have any proof.
    Rosewill is hardly a little guy. At a guess, I'd say that they just weren't selling. There are plenty of alkaline chargers out there, and even Ray-O-Vac tried really hard (with big marketing $$) to push rechargable alkaline, and I tried those, but they just didn't work well. Maybe 5 or 8 cycles and the batteries were toast.

    I actually know a guy who works in the lab where they developed NiMH, and he says that the purity of the electrolyte in the cells is a HUGE factor in how long the cells last. Cheap cells are likely to last 1/10th or less as long as good ones.

    Also, a LOT of the chargers on the market, especially what you can find in department stores, are really bad. They are often just trickle chargers (take 12 or more hours to charge), or they are timed (charge for X hours even if you put in almost fully charged cells, which can destroy the cells), or they monitor cells in groups of 2 (not too bad but not ideal either, over time this can lead to destroying one cell in a pair).

    It's too bad that you compare the crappiest, flea market NiMH cells with probably a junk non-intelligent timed or trickle charger against quality alkalines with a relatively smart charger. It's no wonder that you feel that alkaline recharging is viable. If you ever decide to try NiMH again, I suggest getting a set of Eneloops and a smart charger with negative delta V monitoring which meters each cell individually. Maha makes really good chargers.
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    You can pretty much charge any battery to some extent, but it's limited with some chemistries.

    Years (decades) ago, there were chargers that were used to recharge alkaline - they didn't work well because the chemistry doesn't lend itself well to charging. They also make a mess if the battery fails (and I think it's a very high likelihood with this sort of charger).

    Furthermore, with the rechargeable low discharge NiMH (and low cost) there is no need to take the risks associated with doing this. And, frankly to put a point on it, I think it's stupid idea.

    J.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    Hello all,

    Thought I'd share my one and only "gadget" that I think is worth sharing. I've used this charger for quite sometime and have been very pleased with it's performance. I've gotten one for my father, brother, and a friend of mine. They all reported that theirs have all worked as designed, but my friend was rather abusive to his and it's stopped working. He left his plugged in all the time and he has dropped his numerous times.

    I like to think this was discontinued cause battery companies did not like the "threat" it posed, but I can't tell you either way. I see other chargers on Newegg and other places still advertised there and other places, but none with a track record like this one or with alot of feedback from users.

    I thought this makes a good source for battery use. Get a good source of alkaline batteries from somewhere like CostCo and use this charger. You're pretty much set for quite a few years if you operate things right. Pretty much the manufacturer of the charger wants the costumer to buy reputable batteries and don't let the batteries get completely drained. Done and done.

    So far I have no complains with this charger. Anyone else use this method? Got a charger you like?
    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    I think this charger is far from a scam! It's advertised for charging alkaline batteries and that's what I experience it doing, where's the scam? Sure it could probably do a better job of charging the battery but this has been discontinued now for quite some time. I'm sure if they still were having this in the market, they would have "improved" it.

    Regarding intelligences, there is some kind of intelligences working here cause it doesn't like cheap no name batteries or batteries completely dead. I have yet to try charging dead alkaline battery, so no help verifying this. I do see that if I charged a battery, take it off, let it sit for awhile, then try to charge it again, it will go through the charging cycle. I don't get a battery that's somehow been charged double or something like that. I get a battery that acts like it's just the same as the other batteries. It just went through the cycle with nothing happening to it.

    I used to buy rechargeable batteries but from my experience, this route with the alkalines has been alot more economical and amount of energy available has been more than what I would have with rechargeable.
    The OP is confused. The charger linked to in the OP is not for Alkaline batteries it is for Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), which are designed to be recharged. Similar chargers are readily available.

    Here is the 'title' for the OP's linked charger; "
    Rosewill RGD-CT505 Battery Charger for AAA/AA Ni-MH Batteries(battery not included)


  16. #16
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Mmmm, I don't think this is true, or at least, it's only true in some situations. Fresh alkalines have about the same number of mAH as a good NiMH, and more than a low self discharge cell. About 2500 mAH. Given that they have a higher voltages, they actually have more power. Alkaline at 1.5v, 2500 mAH is 3.75 watt hours. NiMH at 1.2v, 2500 mAH is 3.00 watt hours.

    In SOME DEVICES, in particular ones with high current demand such as digital cameras. NiMH can indeed keep the device running much longer than alkalines. That's because alkaline chemistry is not well suited to delivering high instantaneous current. In high draw devices, alkaline will derate badly, they're just not good at delivering a lot of current. A NiMH AA cell delivering 2 amps will do so for over an hour. An alkaline delivering 2 amps will probably only be able to keep it up for 15 to 30 minutes or so before it heats up and the internal resistance increases to the point where it can't do it any more. If you only draw 0.1 amps, they'll both deliver it for 25 hours.
    Certainly for low drain an Alkaline cell can match or beat a NiMH cell. But once you get to even moderate drain, they lose out.

    These threads might help the OP.

    Comparison of AA battery chemistries

    Alkaline battery shoot out

    The AA NiMH performance test thread
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  17. #17
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Mmmm, I don't think this is true, or at least, it's only true in some situations.
    I covered the issue in greater deal a few posts before yours (but came to the same conclusion.)

    Alkaline at 1.5v, 2500 mAH is 3.75 watt hours. NiMH at 1.2v, 2500 mAH is 3.00 watt hours.
    Alkalines start at 1.5 volts and go down from there. NiMH cells start at 1.4 volts and go down from there. (I'm not sure why they give initial voltages for primary cells and "typical" voltages for rechargeables, but it tends to lead to "apples to oranges" comparisons like this.)

    This page gives some pretty typical discharge curves for both types of cells.

    Ultimately, you won't get 3.75 WHrs out of your alkaline battery -- probably about 3.1 WHr instead at 100 mAh. As for your NiMH cell, you'll get about 3.2 WHr at at 200 mAh discharge rate (I don't have a 100 mAh discharge curve in front of me, but I'd expect a bit more power out of it then.)

    Alkalines excel at low discharge rates and cases where they aren't used for months or years. NiMH cells excel at higher discharge rates and for their recharging ability, of course.

    But you'll have to have a pretty high discharge rate to find NiMH cells delivering 4x as much energy as alkalines -- according to these charts, even at 2 amps the difference is only about a factor of two.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    Certainly for low drain an Alkaline cell can match or beat a NiMH cell. But once you get to even moderate drain, they lose out.
    Agreed. But the claim made wasn't that they'd "lose out". Instead, the claim was "NiMH batteries, the good ones at least, have a capacity as much as 4 times a good Alky." That goes way beyond "losing out".

    A more accurate assessment would be that the alkaline will beat the NiMH by a small amount for low discharge rates, and by a pretty significant amount for minuscule discharge rates (rates so low that the battery will last months -- like a smoke alarm.) The NiMH will win when the discharge rates are higher -- for example, it'll win by a factor of around two or three (depending on the exact battery) if the discharge rate is 2 amps for a AA battery.
    Last edited by dougmc; 09-03-13 at 02:15 PM.

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    Senior Member User1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    The OP is confused. The charger linked to in the OP is not for Alkaline batteries it is for Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), which are designed to be recharged. Similar chargers are readily available.

    Here is the 'title' for the OP's linked charger; "
    Rosewill RGD-CT505 Battery Charger for AAA/AA Ni-MH Batteries(battery not included)


    Actually I think you might be confused. The first sentence in the Overview tab states; "The Rosewill RGD-CT505 charger is based on a proprietary and technology that enables ordinary disposable alkaline batteries to be recharged." The first and second sentence in tab Details/Feature states; "This charger is based on a proprietary and special technology that enables ordinary disposable alkaline batteries to be recharged." and "The charger is designed to increase the voltage of ordinary used alkaline batteries, so that they can be used several times until they are fully depleted." Not to mention all the references users have made in the feedback area pointing to this being a alkaline battery charger. This was sold for being a alkaline battery charger and that's what I bought this for. What Newegg does after a lawsuit or from having big corporations twists their collective arms, I have no control over. I just know this was never marketed for being a NiMH charger, ever though there was wording on the documentation that it does charge those batteries.

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    Senior Member User1's Avatar
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    So no one is going to be brave enough to put up the cost of NiMH and a charger? I just I'll put something up later tonight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    Actually I think you might be confused. The first sentence in the Overview tab states; "The Rosewill RGD-CT505 charger is based on a proprietary and technology that enables ordinary disposable alkaline batteries to be recharged." The first and second sentence in tab Details/Feature states; "This charger is based on a proprietary and special technology that enables ordinary disposable alkaline batteries to be recharged." and "The charger is designed to increase the voltage of ordinary used alkaline batteries, so that they can be used several times until they are fully depleted." Not to mention all the references users have made in the feedback area pointing to this being a alkaline battery charger. This was sold for being a alkaline battery charger and that's what I bought this for. What Newegg does after a lawsuit or from having big corporations twists their collective arms, I have no control over. I just know this was never marketed for being a NiMH charger, ever though there was wording on the documentation that it does charge those batteries.
    Actually no, I am not confused. In your first post you said the following

    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    Hello all,

    Thought I'd share my one and only "gadget" that I think is worth sharing. I've used this charger for quite sometime and have been very pleased with it's performance. I've gotten one for my father, brother, and a friend of mine. They all reported that theirs have all worked as designed, but my friend was rather abusive to his and it's stopped working. He left his plugged in all the time and he has dropped his numerous times.

    I like to think this was discontinued cause battery companies did not like the "threat" it posed, but I can't tell you either way. I see other chargers on Newegg and other places still advertised there and other places, but none with a track record like this one or with alot of feedback from users.

    I thought this makes a good source for battery use. Get a good source of alkaline batteries from somewhere like CostCo and use this charger. You're pretty much set for quite a few years if you operate things right. Pretty much the manufacturer of the charger wants the costumer to buy reputable batteries and don't let the batteries get completely drained. Done and done.

    So far I have no complains with this charger. Anyone else use this method? Got a charger you like?
    That link points to: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1c4hbw6ugx694

    As you can see from the attached screen captures of that page it says in two places it is designed for NiMH. Since it looks identical to hundreds of other NiMH chargers, I suspect that its 'proprietary technology' is a simple artifact of what happens when you put an alkaline cell in a NiMH charger. Of course, I don't want to risk the acid leakage that can occur anytime you attempt to recharge an alkaline cell I have no intention of determining that.

    idiot.jpgidiot2.jpg
    However, such NiMH chargers are available in grocery stores and drugs stores for well less than $20. Feel free to give one a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    What Newegg does after a lawsuit or from having big corporations twists their collective arms, I have no control over. I just know this was never marketed for being a NiMH charger, ever though there was wording on the documentation that it does charge those batteries.
    Well lawsuits that put an end to products usually are caused by real problems. Like an 'alkaline' cell charger causing acid leakage and resultant damage... You even indicate that a friend of yours 'damaged' his charger by leaving batteries in charge longer than intended. Actually nearly all battery chargers are safe to have batteries left in 24x7. When properly designed they don't cause any problems.

    The problem is that there is no proper procedure to charge alkalines. They don't respond in a predictable way that would allow the charger to shut itself off. Hence why your friend didn't have much success and more importantly the company stopped selling a dangerous product...

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    So no one is going to be brave enough to put up the cost of NiMH and a charger? I just I'll put something up later tonight.
    I wouldn't take the risk of recharging Alkaline batteries, for the several partial charges you might get from them. I believe that best practice is to use alkaline for low load applications, rechargeable where you discharge batteries more quickly. Trying to eek out some extra life from alkalines is likely to cost you more in chargers, time and potential damage than I'd expect to save.

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    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    I just looked at what CostCo is charging for quality alkaline batteries and it's about $.50 per AA battery. This is pretty much a one time cost and will last for years if you invest in a pack of 48. The battery stays charged for years and even after a charge it stays charged, not sure for how long as I never really looked in to it. I do know that it would easily be a year.

    BTW, does anyone have any prices they'd like to throw out there on what they're paying for the NiMH?
    The per cell cost is certainly higher with NiMH, but I find the life-cycle cost to be far less. I pay about $2/cell for NiMH, but they've been giving me well over 500 full charge cycles before starting to drop in capacity. So the cost per charge is less than 0.4 cents (plus about 0.1 cents for the electric power per charge). In comparison, you indicate a cost per alkaline cell of $0.50 and in my experience you'll get fewer than 10 charge cycles - and only that many if you are careful to never let the charge state get much below 50%. So on average maybe about 5 effective full charge cycles. That makes the cost per full charge cycle about 10 cents or about 20 times as high as for NiMH. [And that's before considering the possible costs due to damaged electronics from an alkaline cell that wasn't meant to be recharged and ends up leaking as a result.]

  23. #23
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    I covered the issue in greater deal a few posts before yours (but came to the same conclusion.)


    Alkalines start at 1.5 volts and go down from there. NiMH cells start at 1.4 volts and go down from there. (I'm not sure why they give initial voltages for primary cells and "typical" voltages for rechargeables, but it tends to lead to "apples to oranges" comparisons like this.)


    This page gives some pretty typical discharge curves for both types of cells.


    Ultimately, you won't get 3.75 WHrs out of your alkaline battery -- probably about 3.1 WHr instead at 100 mAh. As for your NiMH cell, you'll get about 3.2 WHr at at 200 mAh discharge rate (I don't have a 100 mAh discharge curve in front of me, but I'd expect a bit more power out of it then.)


    Alkalines excel at low discharge rates and cases where they aren't used for months or years. NiMH cells excel at higher discharge rates and for their recharging ability, of course.


    But you'll have to have a pretty high discharge rate to find NiMH cells delivering 4x as much energy as alkalines -- according to these charts, even at 2 amps the difference is only about a factor of two.


    Agreed. But the claim made wasn't that they'd "lose out". Instead, the claim was "NiMH batteries, the good ones at least, have a capacity as much as 4 times a good Alky." That goes way beyond "losing out".


    A more accurate assessment would be that the alkaline will beat the NiMH by a small amount for low discharge rates, and by a pretty significant amount for minuscule discharge rates (rates so low that the battery will last months -- like a smoke alarm.) The NiMH will win when the discharge rates are higher -- for example, it'll win by a factor of around two or three (depending on the exact battery) if the discharge rate is 2 amps for a AA battery.
    Well I do a agree to a certain extent, and maybe I was a bit rash in my claim - but not completely unfounded.

    If you check the first link I posted above (see below) and scroll down, you will see that at a sustained 3 amp draw, a Panasonic Pro Power (Alkaline) has a life of 0.7Ah (0.6Wh) and a 2nd generation high capacity Eneloop (HR-3UWXB) rated at 2450mAh comes out at 2.4Ah (2.7Wh), pretty close to my original "claim" of upto 4 times longer. But I do agree - it is a high current draw. So I apologise if people felt I was misleading anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    Certainly for low drain an Alkaline cell can match or beat a NiMH cell. But once you get to even moderate drain, they lose out.

    These threads might help the OP.

    Comparison of AA battery chemistries

    Alkaline battery shoot out

    The AA NiMH performance test thread



    Quote Originally Posted by User1 View Post
    So no one is going to be brave enough to put up the cost of NiMH and a charger? I just I'll put something up later tonight.
    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I wouldn't take the risk of recharging Alkaline batteries, for the several partial charges you might get from them. I believe that best practice is to use alkaline for low load applications, rechargeable where you discharge batteries more quickly. Trying to eek out some extra life from alkalines is likely to cost you more in chargers, time and potential damage than I'd expect to save.
    Since NiMH are less likely to leak than alkalines, I would (and in fact have) moved all my low-drain items (clocks, remotes, etc...) to LSD NiMH.

    Hi Capacity normal NiMH are more suited to people who burn through batteries, where the LSD NiMH are good for intermittent use.

    As for cost, well lets pick on the Eneloops as they tend to be more expensive than regular NiMH.

    A pack of 8 (4 free) Panasonic Pro Power Alkalines cost £2.95. That works out at £0.369 per cell.

    A pack of 4 Eneloop 1900mAh LSD NiMH costs £7.59 - that's £1.898 per cell. However, they can supposedly be recharged up to 1800 times. Let us assume through abuse they only reach 1/10th of that, that is still 180 charges. At 1 charge per week that is 3 1/2 years. At 1 charge per month that is a 15 year life!!!

    Lets add the Maha C9000 into the mix. One of the most highly rated smart chargers. That one costs £47.33

    Now lets try and work these figures together.

    For the basis of these calculations, let us set a constant and for the arguments of this comparison say that we are using 1 pack of eneloop a week.

    Based on the thread "Comparison of AA battery chemistries" I will use the following data

    At 0.1A draw the Panasonic Pro Power Alkaline has a life 2.3Ah and the Eneloop has a life of 1.9Ah.
    At 1.0A draw the PPP has a life of 1.0Ah and the Eneloop has a life of 1.8Ah.

    So, burning 1 pack of Eneloops a week at a 0.1A draw means 1.9Ah/Week. So over 1 year that is 98.8Ah.
    In that year, 1 Eneloops (£7.59) has been recharged 52 times in the charger (£47.33) - cost for the year is £54.92 and the cost per week is £1.056.

    Over 3 1/2 years (345.8Ah) it will have been recharged 182 times and total life cost remains unchanged, however the per week cost is now down to £0.30 (remember this is for 4 batteries), obviously the longer you use them the cheaper they become. Also the more batteries you have, the better value the charger itself becomes.

    Moving up to the 1.0A draw we go down to 1.8Ah/Week or 93.6Ah/Year, over 3 1/2 years that becomes 327.6Ah. However as we are basing these equations around the Eneloops, the costs are the same as above.

    Bringing the PPP into the equation we can see that at 0.1A draw, the 2.3Ah life means that for each Eneloop we would need 42.957 PPP, now multiply that by 4 to equal the pack of 4 Eneloops that is 171.826 batteries. That is £63.36 or £8.44 more than 1 pack of Eneloop + the charger. Move this up to the 3 1/2 year mark and that is £221.76. That works out at £1.219 per week - almost 1/4 more expensive than the pack of Eneloops + charger over 1 year but over 4 times as much as over 3 1/2 years. Multiply the number of batteries required and this gap widens as the cost of the charger is spread wider and wider over the cells.

    Moving up to the 1.0A draw,the lower 1Ah life of the PPP means in 1 year 93.6 PPP's will be needed per Eneloop, totalling 374.4 or £138.06. Over 3 1/2 years that is £483.21 - that's £2.655/week - 2 1/2 times as expensive as a pack of 4 Eneloop + charger over 1 year, but nearly 9 times as expensive over 3 1/2 years.

    Now admittedly, most of us will not burn through 1 pack a week. However this does give a good comparison and on this basis expensive LSD batteries and an expensive smart charger do work out cheaper in the long run. Also the more batteries you have, the better value the charger becomes.

    Lets take this to the extreme.

    Let us assume we get all 1800 charges out of one Eneloop.

    At a 0.1A draw that means we would have a total of 3,420Ah and at 1.0A that goes down to 3,240Ah.
    At 0.1A we would need 1,486.957 PPP's. At 1.0A that doubles to 3,240 PPP's. And remember, this is just to match one Eneloop.
    Last edited by CaptCarrot; 09-03-13 at 05:50 PM.
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  24. #24
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCarrot View Post
    ...
    Now lets try and work these figures together. ....
    Good, but misses the point IMO. When your low-power applications require infrequent battery changes, you may never recoup the higher initial cost. Added to the fact that the alkaline batteries may hold their charge for years, where the rechargeable ones self-discharge in a month or two, non-rechargeable are better choices for things like backup batteries in electronics, emergency lights, wall clocks. Even in something like my wireless keyboard, the length of time to get a payback makes using the rechargeable problematic.

    Put it in perspective: the alkaline battery is 25-30 cents. If I'm replacing that in a year in my low current draw device, what's 25 cents compared to changing and recharging the battery 10 or 15 times? My kid's game controller, of course rechargeable! Alarm clock backup, that would be silly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlanoFuji View Post
    You even indicate that a friend of yours 'damaged' his charger by leaving batteries in charge longer than intended. Actually nearly all battery chargers are safe to have batteries left in 24x7. When properly designed they don't cause any problems.
    Where did I say this? I said, "They all reported that theirs have all worked as designed, but my friend was rather abusive to his and it's stopped working. He left his plugged in all the time and he has dropped his numerous times." So how does this evolve to "You even indicate that a friend of yours 'damaged' his charger by leaving batteries in charge longer than intended."? How does someone debate someone when the other person has a hard time following the facts? I just feel like throwing my hands up and saying "what's the point?"

    Furthermore, it looks like you read the description on the charger. So now you're just going to ignore the points where this is being described as a alkaline charger? Again, what's the point?????? Then finally I like how you label your .jpgs. Really makes me want to spend my time answering you!!!!! Basically I'm through spending time answering you.

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