AA and AAA Batteries

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:46
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In recent years I have more and more stuff requiring these batteries. I usually use Duracell Ultras, but only because I reckon I've been sucked in by the marketing. Nowadays, on any seroius trip I seem to have to take at least 10 of each as spare, and often I run out in any case.

Anyone have particular preferences for other brands with possibly longer battery life?

Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:49

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:49
Hi John. Energizer Lithium from ebay. If you serch around you can find them for under $2 each. Cant beat them for life usage and shelf life as well. Cheers,Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:46

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:46
Appreciate that; thanks Bob.

Cheers.
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Reply By: garrycol - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:58

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 19:58
I have a stack of rechargable NiHi 1250mah AAA and 3000mah AA batteries that I take away and just recharge as required via a 12v cigarette socket charger - works great.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:20

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:20
X 2 for that approach. Works well for us.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:46

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:46
That sounds good too.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 11:30

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 11:30
x3, rechargeables is what we do as well, though if I am backpacking I take the Lithium ion batteries in the appliance and no spares to save weight
You can buy two types of chargers (we use cheap "beer can" inverter for our 240V charger). Those which charge quickly (2 hours) which I've seen at Jaycar and those which charge over 24 hours (Energiser brand at Woolies/ Coles).
Perhaps someone can comment whether the newer rapid chargers are still kind on the batteries.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:21

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:21
Ditto here. Charger that will run off 240V AC and 12V DC and a 240V AC inverter in the car as well. We never have a problem with batteries. The charger does heaps from "AAA" and "AA" to "C" and "D" batteries and 9V as well.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 22:47

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 22:47
x5.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:01

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:01
Yes we started accumulating things that require both sizes years ago. I went down the rechargeable Nimh route for a while but after a few started to leak when a couple of years old gave them away and went back to plain old alkalines.
Currently just buy the big jumbo (24 or 30) Varta ones from Bunnings or the Jaycar bulk packs, pretty cheap and last well for the dollar value.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:47

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:47
Thanks peter; I've noticed the big Bunnings packs.

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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:54

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:54
John,
Had the same experience as Peter. The recharging certainly suits some, but it did not for us. Back to plain batteries

There was a current affairs program on some time ago rating all batteries - el cheop against duracell et al.
The cheapies came our tops as far as $ for energy. So we are on the lesser name bulk packs. Yes life is a little shorter but much less than half price

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 10:04

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 10:04
Beware of Varta batteries, they leak badly if left in too long.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:29

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:29
Choice or someone similar did a comparison a while back and the cheapies from Coles came out the best bang for your buck
AnswerID: 466520

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:48

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:48
I hadn't thought about Choice. A friend is a member. I'll get onto it.
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:44

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:44
I am finding the varta lasting longer than anything else, especially in the camera. Good value for money.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:50

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 20:50
That's two for the Varta; thanks Fred.
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:14

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:14
hi john
i have been using varta from bunnings and they last longer than the other brands under heavy duty use and are really good value for the money and have tested them they are always 1.6+volts new
i buy them in the 30 pack $8.95
cheers barry
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 05:12

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 05:12
Hi John,

I'm also a Varta convert. I've had numerous brands of rechargeables over the years and got tired of them not having staying power or holding equal charge.

At one stage I was buying D Smith bulk packs but they don't seem to last as long nowadays, I noticed a slight colour change in outside of battery in recent times maybe a new or cheaper manufacturer.

cheers

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:24

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:24
I have been using the Varta ones for a couple of years as well, cheap and work fine, don't even bother with rechargeable anymore
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:25

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:25
I'm with Phil on this I find that the rechargeable batteries are good for a couple of recharges then their shelf - usable life is greatly diminished. Before each trip I recharge 4 sets of 4 and when I come to use them they are lucky to last a day or so.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:46

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:46
I have never had that issue - I buy mine from the computer fairs - $9 for 4. They keep their charge well and in low powered devices I have left them in for over a year and they still had charge. I have specialist charger that plugs into my laptop and they charge in about 2 hours. The same charger will also plug into a 12v USB charger but that takes a long time and they do not reach full charge.

An overnight charge in both will see my batteries last a week or so depending on the appliance - they last up to a month in small led lights.

I would not use non- chargables when out and about as I have been caught out with them too many times.

However the trick with rechargables is to have many more than you need and have some on charge all the time.

Garry
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:09

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:09
Hi John - looks like it is a common problem, never seem to have enough around.

My latest problem is the purchase of a recent set of rechargeables 'Sanyo eneloops' AAA and I think they are meant to be lithium, but highly reommended at the time.

This follows rechargeable Sanyos (reasonable), Duracells (Coles and not up to scratch), Cam-Plus (okay for some time), Sony (reasonable) to name the ones I can recall.

Got the 'eneloops' fully charged and whacked them in a radio that runs on either 4 x AAA or C cells - and the radio clearly states 6v requirement.

Worked fined on the store bought standard C cells, but when switched over to the AAA eneloops, the battery resgister showed the charge as only 50%.

On examination if find they are marked 1.2v - as opposed the the store bought standard batters which show 1.5v. So that has led me to check the earlier Sanyo AA & AAA rechargeable (Ni-Mh 2300's) which I was happy with for my initial venture into rechargeables, but are over the hill now - and I now notice they also have 1.2v displayed

Caught out again darn it.

Just can't fathom why a lower voltage than the standard 1.5v would be out there in the market.

Will examine the fine print more closely infuture.

Cheers - Phil
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:20

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:20
hi john
yes rechargables are all 1.2volts and are use;]les for h/duty like cameras and computor mouse etc i cant understand either why the only make them 1.2 v as all other batteries seem to have the required volts ??????
cheers barry
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:22

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:22
sorry
i ment phil n jill
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Follow Up By: Lex M - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:35

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:35
Don't be too concerned about the 1.2 volt of a rechargeable cell.
There is no suitable chemistry available to manufacture a 1.5 volt rechargeable cell. Most devices will work OK at that voltage.

Without getting too technical, a dry cell starts at 1.5 volts and reduces to less than 1.2 volts during it's usable life.
The rechargeable holds above 1.2 volts voltage until nearly flat while still being capable of supplying higher currents than the dry cell at that lower voltage.

Eneloop batteries are NiMh (nickel metal hydride). The difference is they have a very low self discharge rate compared to other rechargeables. That means the camera/ whatever won't be flat when you come to use it a few weeks later.
On the down side, Eneloops can't be charged as fast as other NiMh cells without loss of life.

Other manufacturers also produce a "low self dischage" NiMh battery.
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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:47

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 22:47
Thanks all; a couple of consensus' emerging :-)

Cheers.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 23:29

Saturday, Oct 01, 2011 at 23:29
Hi JB

I too use rechargeables. I have a charger than does 2 or 4 of either AA or AAA, with 12 v cord as well, but i find it better to use 240v on the inverter as the 12 v takes forever to charge. When at home it sits on the kitchen bench as it gets used alot. I got it from Hong Kong eBay 8 or 10 years ago. I find the throw away batteries don't work most cameras. I mostly use Varta 2500s - easy to get from Coles or Woolworths. If i can't get them i get Energiser rechargeables. These rechargeables don't hold their power al that well if left after being charged, so charge them up again before use.

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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 03:05

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 03:05
J B

The consensus was done and dusted when Member OZHUMVEE gave you the 'gen' on Bunnings VARTA Mega Packs.

You use them, abuse them and chuck them out when dead.

Also for those with a few smarts and manual dexterity, the end of the Mega Packs can be modified with a box cutter/stanley knife so that you have a dispenser pack & and they all stay nice and tidy.

AND - wait for it!

No poxing charger that either goes missing, doesn't work or gets tangled up with other cables etc etc.

Bunnings and China is God's gift to this world.

DD
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 03:55

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 03:55
I use only NmHi rechargeables.

Energizer have a 240/12volt charger pack at most Big W stores or Coles supermarkets, that just keeps plugging along, but Aldi seem to be the cheapest batterys.

Can be charged whilst driving along,
East as !

Cheers
Bucky



AnswerID: 466536

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 06:55

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 06:55
John,
I think this is a question that has to be asked and answered, for you to decide on one option you may wish to follow.

My experience over the years with rechargeable batteries is they have had failed prematurely and cost quite a lot of money. Maybe the chargers were the problem (had three all with the same result). Also the chargers were set for the correct battery type. They may have improved the batteries and or chargers.

I one or two others also have had trouble with rechargeable batteries.
Others may have had a different experience with them.

May you be all charged with energy today,
RA.

AnswerID: 466538

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 08:09

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 08:09
Come on fellas

Get your act together. Why didn't you discuss this yesterday. LOL

I went shopping with the missus and bought a 24 pack of eveready for the metal detector for about $14.

Although I must admit they last a very long time walking the beach.

We also went down the path of rechargable and then went back to alkiline.

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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 09:08

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 09:08
I bought a supposed high power LED caplight from China on ebay a few weeks ago and was a little disappointed at the light output.
It came with batteries included and I decided to change the 3 AAA's in case they were a bit flat.

While changing to Energizers, I noticed the 3 AAA's in the caplight were roughly 10% thinner than the Energizers.
The new battieries made the caplight much brighter, but the point is that I saw a difference in the thickness of the AAA's.
Maybe that is why some of the batteries don't last as long, not as much storage capacity in them. Similar to a car battery I guess.

cheers

Dave
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Reply By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 10:08

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 10:08
G'day John, for the last 10 years or so I have used only Dick Smith's bright orange - DSE NiMH 2200mAh AAA & AA. Last a very long time & come with a 12v/240v 1 hour charger. Great for high draw things, I originally tried them all in 1998 for my original Garmin GPS (before navigators - which I still use) & after trying then the DSE's won hands down. As for the alkaline I found the copper top Duracell seem to be the best. A bit more confusion for you! hope it helps....hoo roo
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Reply By: two_ks - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:29

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 12:29
We always store small batterys in the fridge,both types,will hold charge much longer
ken
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 13:14

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 13:14
Fantastic responses everyone. More than enough input to chew on.

Hope it's been helpful to others as well.

Cheers.
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Reply By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 13:43

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 13:43
I have not tried this myself but it sure seems like a money saver on battery's

Don't want to spend a wad of cash on AA batteries to power your gadgets? Trim down your spending by cracking open the case of a single 6 volt battery which sells for about $5. Inside you'll find a whopping 32 AA batteries! Considering that you can get 8 watch batteries from a 12-volt battery and 6 AAA batteries from a 9-volt battery, this isn't surprising, but since AA batteries are the most popular among the three, this should yield considerable savings.

Just a throught.
Cheers

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 22:10

Sunday, Oct 02, 2011 at 22:10
Gday John,
Just wondering what you are using that chews thru alkaline batteries?

Generally:
Rechargables (NiCad and NiMH) are good for high current draw applications (eg cameras, RC cars, UHF radios, drills etc). They can deliver more amps, and you may even get enough use to save a few $$. The downside is they self-discharge at a higher rate than alkalines, so you usually find they go flat over a couple of months. And when they discharge, the voltage suddenly drops to nothing. Some items don't like the lower voltage (actually about 1.25-1.4V). There is a lot of difference between brands. Eneloop batteries are very good but are best with the 240V Eneloop charger and can die an early death if used on a conventional NiNH charger. Energiser, Sanyo and Panasonic rechargables are good. The unlabelled rechargables can be hit and miss.
Lithium rechargable batteries are not cheap, but are very, very good. But I haven't used them much myself.

Alkalines are good for low current applications (eg LED lights, and things like UHF radios that are only used occasionally) because they have a very low self discharge rate, and they don't suddenly lose voltage when they go flat, so you have more warning.
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Reply By: Pebble - Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 19:14

Monday, Oct 03, 2011 at 19:14
When I brought my old camera I specifically went for one that took AA batteries, I figured I could use re-chargeables and I could take regular spares as well when camping.
The thing I found was like some others, the rechargeables didn't seem to last that long and inevitably the spare set (which had been fully charged but not used for a while) always happened to be flat or next to flat when I needed them.

So now it's stuff like mobile phones which can be charged via cigarette lighter, or stuff that takes regular AA and AAA's...generally use Energiser or whatever, don't tend to buy cheap cheap packs mainly because we got a whole bunch on special at the Good Guys once only to find after that they were past the use by date and not much good! I know that's different than just buying cheap brands, but make sure you check the date (didn't think to and stickers were stuck over it anyway I think)

I guess the old saying..if it seems to good to be true it probably is!

Generally batteries seem to last ok for us with the exception of most Dolphin torches I've had, the 9v batteries in them always seem to go flat without use for some reason! I've got better AAA type torches since that!
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