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On rechargeable batteries for high profile RF mic/IFB/IEM use

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Steve Weiss:
We have used the Ansmans since we opened in 2004. Dave was just starting his experiment on lifespan here when he jumped shipped. I can say that just from casual observance, he is spot on. We change the 9 volts on six months and AA maybe 18 months.

We only use 40 9 volt per day and have 2 sets for rotation every other day.

Dave Stevens:
There are other factors that play into the use of the cells and that needs to be taken into account.  From a technology based view there is no reason not to use rechargable cells. The technology is mature and progressing more everyday.  For some apps it might be best to use low self discharge cells so they have some shelf life.  Another thing to factor in is the quantity required and the frequency (as in number of times) the device is used.  There might be logistical reasons why rechargeable cells might not be appropriate but particularly in the case of AA and AAA they perform as well as the alkaline counterparts in our tests and real world deployments.

When I joined Steve's show I was hesitent about using them, mostly for the same reasons everyone else has had.  The technology, particularly over the last few years with AAA and AA has improved greatly.  Not so much with 9v though many if not most modern designs no longer use 9v.  Our typical mic pack run duration is about 8 hours.  While alkalines still run longer than our rechargeable cells, the rechargeables run well long enough (about 9 hrs plus).  Conditioning the cells are done in the chargers and manually during our dark periods.  It is also during those times we condition the BTR batteries and are alway cycling and conditioning Motorola batteries.  On a show of this scale with so much riding on communication you can not skimp on good battery management.  Of course, that's not the case for all users and many might not be able to justify the logistics or cost conversion.

We use the PowerEx AAA and AA as well as the iPower 9v.  We tried the PowerEx 300mAH 9v and while the quality and consistency of the build was better, it didn't run as long as the iPower.  The build quality and QC of the iPower is pretty spotty and though covered by warranty for the amount that fail or are DOA it's not worth the paperwork on our purchasing side to send only a few back.  They basically pay for themselves in about 20 uses and with the directive from the producers to be as eco friendly as possible it's a good fit for us.

Dave

trace knight:
Hey Dave, welcome back to the trenchs, Battery Czar, pretty good title, At least maybe they will save enough in batterys to give you a raise! This is really a great thing for such a huge show that use's so many cells, go green young man, go green. I could also never use rechargables, they would all get tossed, no one pays attention, it's good your on top of it, in a controlled situation.Have fun, and Happy Holidays.

tk

Andrew Broughton:
Dave Stevens wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 19:00
For some apps it might be best to use low self discharge cells so they have some shelf life.

The new PowerEx Imedion http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/viewitem.asp?idproduct=426
interest me for that reason.

Quote:
Our typical mic pack run duration is about 8 hours.  While alkalines still run longer than our rechargeable cells,

Depending on the drain curve, rechargeables can last longer than Alkalines, as is the case in my experience with the PowerEx AA batteries.

Quote:
Conditioning the cells are done in the chargers and manually during our dark periods.  It is also during those times we condition the BTR batteries and are alway cycling and conditioning Motorola batteries.

Some people may not realize that conditioning of NiMh should be done very infrequently (if ever) to get the maximum life out of them. NiCads are a different animal - hopefully you don't have any of those!

Quote:
We use the PowerEx AAA and AA as well as the iPower 9v.  We tried the PowerEx 300mAH 9v and while the quality and consistency of the build was better, it didn't run as long as the iPower.  The build quality and QC of the iPower is pretty spotty

I concur. The iPower stuff I tried was poorly built. I've not had any problems with the PowerEx stuff. I especially like their chargers.

Dan Johnson:
Dave Stevens wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 20:00
For some apps it might be best to use low self discharge cells so they have some shelf life.

Have you tried the PowerEx low-self-discharge batteries Dave?  I'm wondering what kind of battery life these get compared to the standard PowerEx batteries.

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