GPS Batteries

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 01:42
ThreadID: 34590 Views:2144 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Purchased a few months back thru exploroz a Garmin GPS that takes AA batteries. Problem is they dont seem to last too long. What does everyone use in their hand helds ?
Are the lithium AA as good as the price warrants, what about the rechargable items ?


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Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 01:57

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 01:57

I use rechargable ones I have 6, 2 in the GPS and 2 charged in the car and 2 in the camera. They last about 10 hours non stop use. I got them from jcar and they are 2400 mAh, I can also recharge them on the road if I need to. It's a great way to save lots of money long term. I think I paid $3.5 or something for one
AnswerID: 176591

Reply By: Redeye - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 06:55

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 06:55

I use rechargeable batteries. Have a one hour fast charger and ten batteries for torch (LED type x 2) GPS and Camera, kids toys.

The charger came with a 12v plug pack. I disposed of this and fitted a cigar liter plug.

AnswerID: 176593

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 07:11

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 07:11
As others above have said - no problem with the re-chargeable batteries.

Nickle - metal - hydride are the ones that you want.

When buying new 'toys', all other considerations being similar, I try and choose a make / model that uses the same AA or AAA batteries that my other toys use eg. camera, torch, mp3, gps, shaver, etc. I try VERY hard not to get any device that uses special batteries that can only be used by that device.

During the day it is unlikely that you will need torches so you will have 'spare' batteries for other devices while you charge any that need topping up.

Get a charger that can be plugged either into the vehicle or the mains. Dickie Smith (and other suppliers) have them.
AnswerID: 176595

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 09:49

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 09:49
Most users get about 20 to 24 hours on a set of quality Alkaline batteries. Thus, it is normally much more economical to use Alkaline batteries than Lithium batteries unless low temperature operation is important. Sony, Kirkland, or Toshiba batteries are available in packages of 40 in the Atlanta area for about $9. We find that the typical Alkaline battery has a capacity of 1800mah at the currents required by GPS receivers.

NiCad batteries typically have about 1/4 to 1/3 the life of Alkaline batteries in GPS receivers. On the other hand, they can be recharged about 500 times and so are an economical choice if the inconvenience of a recharge or battery exchange every 7 hours or so (in a G-12xl ver 4) is not a problem.

Nickel Metal-Hydride (NiMH) offer increased capacity over the NiCad batteries without the 'memory' problem. These come in 1200, 1600, and 1800mah capacity where the NiCads are generally 875mah. (A Street Pilot will log 6 hrs of continuous use on a set of 1200mah batteries before shutdown.)

We ran down three sets of AA batteries in a Garmin G-III+ with Power Saver and Simulator OFF. With the alkalines as a standard, this is what we got:

Costco Alkalines: 20:15 100%
Radio Shack NiMH 1600mah: 16:15 80%
Radio Shack NiMH 1200mah: 12:55 64%

Starting NiMH voltage was 5.7vdc and ending voltage was 4.2vdc. The starting current was 82ma.

Alkaline rechargeable batteries are another option. They usually last about 1/2 to 2/3 as long as regular alkaline batteries and are rechargeable about 25 times before the life time is cut to about half of the original.

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AnswerID: 176612

Follow Up By: agsmky - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 11:11

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 11:11
quote=" These come in 1200, 1600, and 1800mah capacity..."

You haven't bought rechargeables lately :-) 2300mah is not uncommon these days with mine being 2500mah (though i am still dubious about these ratings).

FollowupID: 432695

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 10:25

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 10:25

As Kiwi Kia has mentioned the rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride AA batteries are the go. The only thing to remember is that when compared to standard alkaline batteries, the "battery level indicator" (assuming there is one in the Garmin) will read differently.
Don't worry about this. DSE sell "digitor" brand AA NMh batteries of up to) 2500 mAh rating.

Also, not being familiar with the Garmin GPS, if possible use a "car cable" to run off while in the car.
My Magellan will swap to vehicle supply as soon as its connected, rather than drain the internal batteries.

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AnswerID: 176621

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 10:48

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 10:48
TPM I know you mention using it in a handheld GPS but do you often need to use it in your hand. I seldom did so when I was using mine and 99% of it's time it was plugged into the lighter socket.
AnswerID: 176627

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 13:31

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 13:31
I bought a Garmin 60 (non-map) a couple of months back(on-line). A beauty all round. Re the batteries - when in the car it runs off the 12V line (and turns off automatically when that power is cut - doesn't drain the batteries). I'm still using the original set of AA's after having done many hours of bushwalking recently in the HC - don't know how long they will go but its a vast improvement on my old Lowrance 200 that went phut. NiMH are the go of course - I take a charger and some hydrides with me when bush.... there is always the camera kit as back-up ..... that has the whole AA set up too.
AnswerID: 176643

Reply By: Marc - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 13:35

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 13:35
check to see if your GPS is on battery saver mode too. This will save heaps. What model as we have the old plus 2 and it can run straight off the cig lighter. Any old cig plug lead and some crimps staight on to the pins. We found all the info on the back of the unit and the rest on the net as how to do it.
AnswerID: 176645

Reply By: Member - TPM (SA) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 17:12

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 17:12
Thanks everyone that really cleared up all my questions, I must get a car kit by the sounds of it.
I also do use it alot in the hand, hiking into isolated surf/ fishing spots thru scrub so the info on the batteries is great.

Much appreciated TPM : )
AnswerID: 176665

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 18:02

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 18:02
What GArmin is it? I use my GPS60CS like John above mostly in the car and use a RAM mount for it, and its plugged into the car most of the time, batteries last ages then. If you're fishing then maybe you dont need it on all the time.

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Follow Up By: Member - TPM (SA) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 20:05

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 20:05
Its the Garmin Trek, its only on while I am walking to the surf / fishing spots as its hard to see the destination thru the scrub and I can plot my tracks. It get confusing with all the multiple tracks. My wife also uses it for her surveying studies and it is mostly hand held then too.

Car kit is the go though.

Thanks again everyone.
FollowupID: 432744

Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 18:16

Sunday, Jun 04, 2006 at 18:16

I use 2 x 2300mAh Ni-MH rechargables. Use it sometimes at work at sea, where I get about 18 hours constant use out of a Garmin Emap. Good range for hiking, etc... but you are right, you should get a kit for the car to take advantage of the 12v while it is running all day in the car.

Also, having a AA charger in the car either running off an inverter or a charger that powers through the cigarette lighter is handy to use the GPS away from the car.


AnswerID: 176676

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