Re: Rechargeable Batteries - l-o-o-n-g
Wed, 15 Dec 1999 17:19:51 -0800

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Dennis wrote:

>Suggestions/Recommendations for AA cells. Here's what I intend to do.
>For VHF-FM hts use NiMH cells, keep them in the fridge in a plastic
>bag/container between uses, and top up their charge just before putting into
>service. Let them come to room temperature before charging. Note that NiMH
>cells get a bit warmer than NiCads when charging. Second choice would be
>NiCads, with Panasonic apparently having a bit better capacity than others.
>Third choice and a desirable backup would be Alkaline cells, with Duracells
>perhaps having more capacity than others.

I think it was Consumer Reports that recently tested batteries. The
recommendation was to buy the cheapest alkalines. The housebrands appeared
to be made by the leading manufacturers and performed the same as the
Duracells and Energizers. Costco had the best deal with their house brand.
There was a premium version of one name brand that was just a tad better
but was several times more expensive and not worth it. The lesser
advertised Ray-o-Vacs are also as good as the Duracells and Energizers. I
don't recall if they compared NiCds.

They also concluded that keeping batteries in the refrigerator didn't have
any significant effect on their storage life.

>For GPS's, use RAs and have a backup RA set available. For maximum cycle
>life don't discharge more than about half-way, and recharge as soon as is

I have a cigar lighter adapter that lets me plug my Garmin GPSII+ into the
boat's supply if the alkalines run down. If Santa brings me a handheld vhf,
I want one that will use either rechargeables or alkalines and has both a
12 V dc and 115 V ac charger. I don't know if they can also be operated
directly from a 12 V source.

My MinnKota requires 24 V, so I have two deep-cycle 90 Ah wet cells.
Manatee is presently wired to use one of the batteries for a 12 V supply
for lights and such, but I might get a separate "house" battery if I ever
find I'm using my lights much. (I rarely do.) I charge my two batteries in
series at 24 V, and I'm not sure what the effect will be if I run one down
more than the other. To extend battery life, I always recharge soon after
use and use a slow 2 A rate if time permits.

P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA