The 2nd Thing You Absolutely Need To Know About Rechargeable Batteries

Posted by David Schliep on

June 18th, 2011

In Part 1 of this series we discussed, you must first make a list of your battery devices and the batteries they need. Once you understand the needs and specifics of your wireless electronics, you can then select the right batteries. Here’s some helpful ideas in choosing the best battery for each application.

Part 2 of 3 – Choosing The Right Batteries

1. High-drain devices. For electronic devices such as wireless mics, in-ear monitors, flash units, portable fans, etc., always use the highest capacity batteries available. Even if your run-time requirements are minimal, high-drain devices are best handled by high-capacity cells. Since high quality cells like Ansmann do not have memory effect, it does not matter if you use the device for 2 hours or 12 hours. For AA’s this means choosing a high-capacity cell such as the Ansmann 2700 mah or 2850 mah cells. Ansmann cells are not only high capacity, but have high recycles. Obviously, you’ll save more money by purchasing a high capacity battery that allows up to 1000 recharges. It makes no sense to skimp on an inferior brand that touts high capacity but can only deliver for 50 recycles. You’re needlessly throwing money -and batteries- away. For AAA’s, use Ansmann 1100 mah cells. For C and D cells, use the Ansmann C 4500 mah and D 10,000 mah cells. For 9V’s you have two options: If your run-time requirements are less than 4 hours,choose the standard Ansmann 250 mah cell. For longer run-times and extremely high-drain 9V devices, utilize the Hi-Tech 9V lithium ion rechargeable cell. These batteries are rated at 600 mah and can achieve run-time applications for over 15 hours depending upon the drain of the device. However, the number of recycles are up to 500 instead of 1000.

2. Low-drain devices. Use a high quality brand like Ansmann Max-E low self-discharge (LSD) batteries if your portable electronics are dormant for more than a few days. An example of this would be a wireless mouse or keyboard. Even if you use your computer everyday, the drain on the battery is minimal and, unless you’re an online junkie, the keyboard and mouse sits dormant for hours at a time. Another LSD example would be the TV and/or Cable remote. Sure, you may channel surf for a few hours, but eventually the remote just sits there. Flashlights may only be used once a month. The same holds true for a hair trimmer that’s used once a week. Smoke detectors, hearing assist devices, nursery pagers, pre-amps, effects pedals, and LED reading lamps, are all examples of devices that would use LSD effectively. Using the LSD batteries assures there will be power on demand – for up to one year! Ansmann Max-E batteries are available in all standard sizes, and are slightly less in total capacity.

Remember, the higher the capacity (or mah) the longer the run-time. The high-capacity cells have longer -run-times but do experience self-discharge -about 2% per day. This means if you leave a 2850 mah AA battery in a wireless mic for one week, you’ll lose at least 10% of available power just by virtue of self-discharge. High capacity cells need to be left on a quality battery charger on “trickle charge” (we’ll get to that next time) until their next use. So, for devices that are left dormant, in stand-by, we recommend Ansmann Max-E LSD batteries.

3. High recycles are key. Always choose batteries with the highest recycles available. Check the brand reputation. Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and 25,000 schools, churches and theaters all use the Ansmann brand for a reason – they work! Not just 50 times, but up to 1000 times – year after year. Again, the purpose of switching to rechargeables is to save money. The more recycles achievable, the more bang for your buck.

In the next and final step of the series, we explore the heart of your rechargeable system – the battery charger and maintenance device.

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