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Author Topic: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?  (Read 35303 times)

JAOgann

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Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« on: July 18, 2010, 08:40:02 pm »

We are looking into the "low-self-discharge NiMH" (LSD MiMH) AA batteries now being offered. They don't loose their charge quickly when stored and come pre-charged.

Has anyone tried these on UHF AA battery powered wireless mics? There is a lot of info on the forum on 9V but not much on AA's.

We use Shure SLX's.

Some come with "smart" chargers so batteries can be left in them after charge is complete.

These are the brands and models in question:
   * Duracell Rechargeable Pre-charged
   * E8GE 1000 Ready to Use Rechargeable
   * EasyPix Pre-charged Rechargeable
   * Panasonic R2 Technology Rechargeable
   * Powerex Imedion
   * President's Choice Rechargeable
   * Rayovac Hybrid
   * Sanyo Eneloop
   * Sony CycleEnergy
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 10:03:45 pm »

I don't have any experience with rechargeable AAs in mics, but I use the Duracells you mentioned for my camera.  I work as a photographer for car dealers for my day job, and I haven't a problem getting 600-800  pictures(~50% w/flash)on one charge of those batteries.  That's usually in one day though, and I recharge them every night, so I don't really know how they'll do when fully charged on Sunday morning, used for a couple hours then sitting all week.  They do work better than regular NiMH or alkaline batteries for my use of them.
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Darin Brunet

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 10:43:59 pm »

Shure ( http://www.shure.com/americas/products/wireless-systems/slx- systems/slx1-wireless-bodypack-transmitter ) states that "rechargeable" AA batteries are acceptable for use in both the SLX1 and SLX2 transmitters. However, they also state that the 8+ hours of use are with alkaline batteries, not the rechargeable kind. I would expect that NiMH batteries would provide acceptable performance but maybe not for a full 8 hours of use, since you will be short on voltage. Remember, they do not provide a full 1.5V per cell. I have used them but usually recharged them after every 3-4 hours of use (2+ hours on Sunday, 1+ hours on Wednesdays), putting them in the recharger after Wednesday evening service. BTW, since I remote mount my receivers, the transmitters only go for about 15-20 ft. YMMV.
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Christy L Manoppo (okky)

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 11:27:59 pm »

we currently use energizer rechargeables for all of our wireless mics, senn ew500g3 and shure's UR.
So far, 6hrs plus of use every sunday, we don't encounter any problem yet.

also, the battery life depends on some factors;
- transmitter power level (most says 10mW, 50mW)
- recharging habits. (make sure it discharge completely before any recharging cycle begins).
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Darin Brunet

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 11:49:27 pm »

Christy L  Manoppo (okky) wrote on Sun, 18 July 2010 23:27

we currently use energizer rechargeables for all of our wireless mics, senn ew500g3 and shure's UR.
So far, 6hrs plus of use every sunday, we don't encounter any problem yet.

also, the battery life depends on some factors;
- transmitter power level (most says 10mW, 50mW)
- recharging habits. (make sure it discharge completely before any recharging cycle begins).


There is no need to completely deplete an NiMH battery before recharging. NiMH batteries do not have the "memory" that older NiCD batteries did.

From Energizer:  Battery "memory" is a loss of battery capacity due to partially discharging and recharging repetitively without the benefit of a full discharge. This was evident with early nickel cadmium (NiCd) rechargeable batteries and is not found in nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) currently manufactured.


I continually charge and recharge the NiMH batteries in my DSLR cameras, cell phones, AA & AAA's and have never had a problem. Smile
~DB
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 01:21:56 am »

Darin Brunet wrote on Sun, 18 July 2010 22:43

BTW, since I remote mount my receivers, the transmitters only go for about 15-20 ft. YMMV.


Transmitter-to-receiver distance doesn't directly influence battery life, but I suppose that a weak battery would be more usable if the distance was short -- on an analog-tuned transmitter.

If your transmitter uses digital tuning, chances are good the unit will shut off when the voltage drops below the level necessary to operate the chips, and you won't notice much of a difference at all in transmission distance. Those same batteries that are too weak to operate the digital-tuning transmitter just might work OK for a while longer in an analog-tuning transmitter.

If the transmitter allows you to adjust the RF power output, you may be able to optimize the battery life.
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Darin Brunet

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 01:33:41 am »

Jonathan Johnson wrote on Mon, 19 July 2010 01:21

Darin Brunet wrote on Sun, 18 July 2010 22:43

BTW, since I remote mount my receivers, the transmitters only go for about 15-20 ft. YMMV.


Transmitter-to-receiver distance doesn't directly influence battery life, but I suppose that a weak battery would be more usable if the distance was short -- on an analog-tuned transmitter.

If your transmitter uses digital tuning, chances are good the unit will shut off when the voltage drops below the level necessary to operate the chips, and you won't notice much of a difference at all in transmission distance. Those same batteries that are too weak to operate the digital-tuning transmitter just might work OK for a while longer in an analog-tuning transmitter.

If the transmitter allows you to adjust the RF power output, you may be able to optimize the battery life.


Yes, I absolutely agree with you. I did not mean to imply that distance affects battery life. My poor choice of wording Sad Thanks for the clarification! I do remote mount my receivers and amplifiers for other reasons... just NOT for battery life.
~DB
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 06:10:45 am »

Darin Brunet wrote on Mon, 19 July 2010 03:43

 BTW, since I remote mount my receivers, the transmitters only go for about 15-20 ft. YMMV.


I was forced to do that with our previous Samson UHF diversity system. They all became illegal, and we replaced them with Shure SLX and AT 3000-based systems.

Remote mounting receivers is pretty nasty because you lose so much feedback about how the link is running. It eliminates the benefits of remote battery status indicators.

In retrospect, the lack of frequency agility was the probable cause of the range related problems that we had with the Samsons. Of course both of the new systems are frequency agile.

I've been able to simulate the same symptoms we had with the Samsons by picking the wrong frequencies with the new ATs. The Shures are self-setting, and never seem to put themselves onto troublesome frequencies.

Getting back to batteries, we've never risked rechargables. The improved battery life with the new equipment, and the switch to AAs is a tremendous benefit.
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George S Dougherty

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 08:36:23 pm »

I run the 15 minute charge Energizer types. I do a fresh charge on a Saturday and they're good for 3 services and about 5 hours of use through Wednesday. We pickup a new set every 6-12 months.  $12/4AA's
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David Sharp

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Re: Rechargeable AA batteries for UHF wireless mics?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 10:25:15 pm »

I use these batteries:

http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/ansmann-2500-aa-low-d ischarge-nimhbrfour-batteries-per-pack-p-1880.html?SP_id=&am p;osCsid=a98rm8a91donrsllit8gi3gna7

With this charger:

http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/ansmann-energy-8-rech argeable-battery-chargerbrincludes-4-free-2850mah-ansmann-aa -batteriesbr1-eight-cell-ansmann-battery-holder-p-550.html?S P_id=&osCsid=a98rm8a91donrsllit8gi3gna7

In a Sennheiser G3. We've been using them for about 2 months no with no issues. I also use a 9v rechargeable in a Shure model handheld. Only issue I've had there is with a negative terminal detaching from one of the batteries.

- David
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