Need advice regarding rechargeable batteries : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a solar charger which can charge D,C, AAA and AA rechargeables.

Info regarding brands or types regarding nicad is appreciated...thanks :-)

-- Tim (, February 13, 1999


Home Depot has rechargable batteries at very good prices!

-- Freddie the Freeloader (, February 13, 1999.

Commercially available NiCads are all about the same. The most readily available are marketed by GE/Sanyo or Eveready. I've used the GE (both before and after the merger with Sanyo) NiCads for over 20 years with no problems that I didn't create.

The bottom line with NiCads is: don't overcharge them. If you follow that rule, you'll enjoy the same success with them as I have.

Good Luck


-- Casual Observer (who@goes.there), February 13, 1999.

Fuggeaboudid! They are a pain in the ass. You can start out with, say 4 new ones for a walkman, say, and after a few cycles, you'll have one dead, one that will last an hour, one that will last 2 hours, and one that will last 3 hours. So you got to get another set. The length of time your walkman will run depends on the battery in it that has the shortest cycle time. Which is a hell of a lot less than even a regular zinc battery, much less an alkaline..

Anyway, you will need electricity to power the charger.

I went throught that bit, that "by getting rechargeables, I'm gonna save lots of $$."

What's your time worth? (My time is worth something) Too much hassle for me. Of course, you could give a serial number to each battery, and set up a spreadsheet or database program to track all the statistics for each battery, so you could determine proper charge times for each, match batteries with similar discharge times, etc.

-- A (, February 13, 1999.

Tim, if you're looking for the best batteries to go with your solar charger, Nicads are the way to go. They're a proven technology, and you can recharge them about 1000 times before they wear out (that translates into YEARS with normal usage). NiMH batteries store more energy, but have a pesky discharge problem.

I read in a computer magazine that alkaline manufactures (like energizer , etc) don't want us the consumer to find out about the rechargeable Nicad because the alkaline batteries bring about repeat sales.

-- Faze the Nation (, February 13, 1999.


Nicad batteries are a good way to go.

There is one small thing peculiar to them. Use them until they stop working (full discharged) before you recharge them. If you will just do this you'll find that they are very cost effective and useful.

If you don't run them down completely before recharging them the battery will develope a "memory", over time, and that point of discharge will become the point where it will fail. This gives you a short life cycle. Discharge the thing completely before you charge then up.

This is from an Instrument Tech for over 21 years, who has done it probably 1000 or so times in several hundred different applications. It works.


-- sweetolebob (, February 13, 1999.

Make sure you get the industrial grade Nicads, and not the el-cheapo consumer grades. There can be a large difference in the capacity of the cells.

Yes, some cells will vary, and that is a pain. Here's something you can try though. Test each cell individually with a small lightbulb and see how long it runs the bulb. You can do several at one time, and come back once in a while to see which cells have given out. When they do, remove them, and group them according to how long they lasted. You now have a relatively matched set, and will get better use of them. Color code them to keep them seperate from the others.

You can get away with not fully discharging them, if you periodically do run them down fully. Do this say, every 5-10 charges, and it'll be ok. Just don't leave them charging in the charger for long periods of time.

I'm confident in the Ni-Cad technology enough that I spent a heap of money and am rigging up a solar-powered well pump system. It uses a large Ni-Cad battery because: 20 year life, much less sensitive to cold temps, less maintenance required. If Y2k is a bump in the road, oh well, I still use the thing anyways. :)

Good sources for industrial cells are: Abraham Solar (970) 731-4675, $5 Catalog. 4000ma D-cells are $7.50, 1800ma C-cell $4.75, 850ma AA cell $2.10, 9v (8.4v unlike typical 7.2v cells) $8.90.

Another source of AA cells at a helluva price is BG Micro (800) 276- 2206. Has 2 AA 800ma cells attached together for $1.95, or 10 2-pks for $9.95. (less than 50 cents a cell). (you can take them apart if you need to).

I've set up as many of my small appliances as I can to run off ni- cads and recharge them from a small solar panel. Or I can hook them up to the battery bank.

Hope this helps. E-mail me if you have any other questions.

-- Bill (, February 13, 1999.

I have used everyready Nicad for about a year with absolutely no problems. You can get them at a wal-mart or other type store for not much more than normal alkaline batteries.

-- Pat Straughan (, February 20, 1999.

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