ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?  (Read 722 times)

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 584
    • MixMasters Podcast

I recently sold off my Shure SBRC units and all of my SB-900a batteries in the interest of saving some weight while touring. The band I work with usually does direct support, so sets are relatively short (around 30 minutes or so).

We have 14 channels of Shure wireless (6x ULXD, 4x PSM1000, and 4x Axient).

I've been studying Shure's resources, watching Project Farm YT videos, and trying to find other information about the best rechargeable battery options (all of the units require AA batteries). It's really interesting to see how the rechargeables behave under load - the voltage drop, the longevity vs marketing/specs...

So, with all of this in mind, what are the preferred rechargeable, non-Shure batteries for Shure devices?

I was looking at the Fischer rack mount unit for recharging, now trying to find best options for the cells. The thing that scares me about the cells is when reading reviews on various retail sites, it sounds like it's a crap-shoot as to whether or not they'll die after a month of use, or if they'll match-up to the performance specs.

Real world experience/feedback is appreciated. I've used ProCells before, but would really like to avoid having to deal with dead batteries, recycling, and so on. I do have a bunch of these in two different colors (for "new" and "dead"), and love them.

Steve-White

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 593
  • Fort Worth
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 02:59:01 pm »

Subscribed to thread.  Years ago, I recharged nicads, then the NIMH - because shelf life was so poor on charged cells, I then began using Lithium non-rechargeable for the best overall performance to include output and shelf life.

Wondering where things are today - might be time for a change from non-rechargeable Lithium to something rechargeable.
Logged

Uwe Riemer2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 51
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2021, 03:57:03 pm »

weve been using Panasonic eneloops for two years now ( or more precise used them one year and then practically stored them away for another year ).
The white ones ( not pro )

So far they work pretty well. Size wise they fit tight into the Sennheiser ew units but not too bad, no idea about Shure.

Charging: Batteries get warm so I would not want to put them in isolating boxes while charging
Logged

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1327
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 04:06:28 pm »

{...} So, with all of this in mind, what are the preferred rechargeable, non-Shure batteries for Shure devices? {...}

It depends on your application. Historically, as Steve White mentioned, the biggest challenge of NiMH batteries (if you aren't doing 8 shows per week, anyway) is their relatively-high self-discharge rate, but this has been improving over the years. Maha recently replaced their Powerex model (which was basically the standard in theatre when everything shut down) with their new Powerex Pro, which is spec'ed to only self-discharge 25% per year. I've also used their Powerex Precharged model (~15% self-discharge per year, but lower capacity) with a group that only performs occasionally (I use two sets of batteries for that group: the previous-show's performance batteries are used for the current show's soundcheck, and the other set is recharged during soundcheck so they'll be fully-charged for the performance).

The two pieces of practical advice I can give are: (a) always carry at least one full set of alkalines, just in case, and (b) don't trust battery metres when using NiMH batteries.

-Russ
Logged

Ike Zimbel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 679
  • I'm not a newbie, I just play one on the internet!
    • Zimbel Audio Productions
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 04:40:58 pm »


The two pieces of practical advice I can give are: (a) always carry at least one full set of alkalines, just in case, and (b) don't trust battery meters when using NiMH batteries.

-Russ
On many newer wireless systems (vague enough for you??) you can go into a menu and select what type of batteries you are using. In some cases, the manufacturers have taken the time to measure battery performance with the different types and allow you to select the type you are using so the metering is more accurate. That said, it's anybody's guess what brand of each type of battery (or brands... if they really did their homework) they used to do the modelling.
Logged
~Ike Zimbel~
Wireless frequency coordination specialist and educator.
Manufacturer's Representative (Canada)
Radio Active Designs
Pro Audio equipment repair and upgrades.
~416-720-0887~
ca.linkedin.com/pub/ike-zimbel/48/aa1/266

David Sturzenbecher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1799
  • So. Dak.
    • Sturz Audio
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 05:36:57 pm »


If you were looking to save weight, why didn't you just axe the SBCR for the SBC800? 
Logged
Audio Systems Design Engineer
Daktronics, Inc.
CTS-D, CTS-I
AES Full Member

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1327
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2021, 05:53:04 pm »

On many newer wireless systems (vague enough for you??) you can go into a menu and select what type of batteries you are using. In some cases, the manufacturers have taken the time to measure battery performance with the different types and allow you to select the type you are using so the metering is more accurate. That said, it's anybody's guess what brand of each type of battery (or brands... if they really did their homework) they used to do the modelling.

The accuracy problem is ultimately due to the discharge voltage curve on NiMH batteries being so shallow that there just isn't an accurate way to measure capacity from voltage (special metering mode or no). Li-ion cells suffer from the same problem, which is why most state-of-charge indicators for modern batteries rely on other methods (like coulomb counters). This can work great when you can integrate the smarts directly into the battery packs themselves (which is also pretty common for Li-ion batteries), but obviously not when you're swapping out individual cells.

As far as I'm concerned, the most reliable "battery meter" for NiMH batteries is a stopwatch (as long as you're keeping track of the actual capacity of your batteries, anyway).

-Russ
Logged

Brian Jojade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2007
    • HappyMac Digital Electronics
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2021, 06:20:00 pm »

With only 30 minute sets, it gives you a lot more flexibility in your choices.

For that purpose, you can buy the cheap bulk throw away alkaline batteries and put new ones in every show. Of course, that generates waste, but it's an option.

For rechargeable batteries, there are lots of options on the table, all with trade offs.  The biggest problem is there are SO many choices on the market, it's hard to know what's going to work and how well and for how long.  And even if you buy the same thing next week, it could be completely different internally and behave differently.

Rechargeable batteries have a finite lifespan, and how batteries are cared for will impact how long they live.  Different types need to be cared for in different ways.  Also, as previously noted, the meters on the mics are likely not going to give you anywhere near as accurate of a representation of remaining battery life.  Many LiON batteries have internal voltage controls that give you perfect power - until they don't.  No indicator given to the device that is being powered, so it's impossible to truly meter!

Regards to charging and battery life, again, knowing how many charge cycles each battery has gone through can help predict their lifespan.  LiON batteries are happiest if kept between 20 and 80% charge. If you do that, they can last pretty much forever.  But, keeping them in that happy charge range can be difficult to do.

There's no real right answer to this problem.  The Shure batteries were probably the 'best' choice for rechargeable batteries. Using anything else is going to open you to compromise.  Is the weight savings you get from not having that briefcase (and trading with another slightly smaller one) worth it?
Logged
Brian Jojade

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1327
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2021, 08:18:23 pm »

{...} For that purpose, you can buy the cheap bulk throw away alkaline batteries and put new ones in every show. Of course, that generates waste, but it's an option. {...}

I hate the waste, but if the OP's number one goal is saving weight, their absolute best-bet is to make alkaline batteries a rider item. You'll still need to carry a full set to cover the inevitable screw-ups, and you'll lose control over the quality of said batteries (although if they're only touching your equipment for 30 minutes at a time it'd hard for them to do too much damage), but that's definitely the lightest option.

Personally, I sleep better at night using rechargeables because I know that (a) I'm producing less waste and (b) all the show batteries are known entities (which, in my mind, is the sleeper advantage of regargeables: if the goal is to change nothing after the show opens, then why the heck are we willing to use new batteries directly from the packaging?).

-Russ
Logged

Steve-White

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 593
  • Fort Worth
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 11:03:51 pm »

Russ why Alkaline's?  I men over like the non-rechargeable Lithium's.  I keep a couple of drawers full of them in the parts bin, different sizes.

Just curious and always want to learn.  I know the why for backup batteries of course.  Just curious about Alkaline -vs- other types. 
Logged

Dave Garoutte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2576
  • San Rafael, CA
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 11:46:53 pm »

Been using the eneloops with success.
Logged
Nothing can be made idiot-proof; only idiot resistant.

Events.  Stage, PA, Lighting and Backline rentals.
Chauvet dealer.  Home of the Angler.
Inventor.  And now, Streaming Video!

Russell Ault

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1327
  • Edmonton, AB
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2021, 11:51:10 pm »

Russ why Alkaline's?  I men over like the non-rechargeable Lithium's.  I keep a couple of drawers full of them in the parts bin, different sizes.

Just curious and always want to learn.  I know the why for backup batteries of course.  Just curious about Alkaline -vs- other types.

I'll be honest, up until now I hadn't looked into Li/FeS2 batteries much. Now that I have, I'd suggest that they aren't as good as alkalines for production wireless backup battery usage because:
  • they are expensive
  • they feature a typical lithium-chemistry discharge profile (i.e. almost full nominal voltage forever, and then suddenly nothing) so it's impossible to gauge their actual state-of-charge, which means...
  • they are just as must-dispose-of-after-first-use as alkalines (or, rather, more so, since at least with an alkaline you can make an educated guess about remaining charge by measuring output voltage under load), which is a problem because...
  • they are expensive

I'd have no problem reusing them for sound checks (if my client is reasonably patient, anyway), but if I can only use fresh batteries for the show regardless of chemistry then I figure I might as well use the (much) cheaper ones.

-Russ
Logged

Erik Jerde

  • Classic LAB
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1112
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2021, 12:28:20 am »

I've been using Ansmann cells for nearly 15 years now.  Never had problems with the 2850 mah cells when they live in the charger when not in use.  Even when replacing them every 1-3 years it's a lot cheaper than decent alkalines.  Just make sure you get slimline ones to avoid fit issues. 

I use the low self discharge ones (max e pro line) personally all over the house from camera flashes to wireless keyboard/mouse, remotes, and kid toys.  They are only 2100 mah but they really do take quite a while to run down so the low-self-discharge is for real.  A quick look says that my personal set (charger, 8x AAA, 32 AA) is over 4 years old and still going strong.  For $300 that's a good deal in my book.
Logged

Steve-White

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 593
  • Fort Worth
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2021, 12:59:32 am »

I'll be honest, up until now I hadn't looked into Li/FeS2 batteries much. Now that I have, I'd suggest that they aren't as good as alkalines for production wireless backup battery usage because:
  • they are expensive
  • they feature a typical lithium-chemistry discharge profile (i.e. almost full nominal voltage forever, and then suddenly nothing) so it's impossible to gauge their actual state-of-charge, which means...
  • they are just as must-dispose-of-after-first-use as alkalines (or, rather, more so, since at least with an alkaline you can make an educated guess about remaining charge by measuring output voltage under load), which is a problem because...
  • they are expensive

I'd have no problem reusing them for sound checks (if my client is reasonably patient, anyway), but if I can only use fresh batteries for the show regardless of chemistry then I figure I might as well use the (much) cheaper ones.

-Russ
Understood, makes perfect sense as well.  For contract use the Alkaline's are probably the best choice as charge condition is predicable as you stated.

I have used different battery types for years in remotes at home as well as thermometers and other household stuff like smoke detectors and alarm keypads.  That's where I went from rechargeable NiCad's, to NiMh and then to Lithium.  In the remotes and thermometers NiCad's and NiMh go flat on their own faster than the drain of the device.  The Lithium's last a long long time.

For a show, fresh batteries at the start every time. 
Logged

Brian Bolly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 565
  • Homeward Bound
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2021, 02:54:05 am »

I recently sold off my Shure SBRC units and all of my SB-900a batteries in the interest of saving some weight while touring. The band I work with usually does direct support, so sets are relatively short (around 30 minutes or so).

We have 14 channels of Shure wireless (6x ULXD, 4x PSM1000, and 4x Axient).

We've had excellent service from the Powerex Pro batteries and the MH-C980 charger, although we do have some SBRC/SB900A as well for certain projects.  You can fit 4x of the Maha/Powerex chargers in a 1U sliding rack shelf (Penn Elcom R1291CL-KL-K), which gets you 32 cells.  If you were to swap the power connectors on the PSUs to 90, or do a custom supply that does all of them you might be able to get 6.  But 4 gets you fully loaded, plus 4 spare cells.

The weights on the Maha/Powerex stuff are:

MH-C980 - 230 grams (8.11 oz) x4
PSU - 170 grams (5.99 oz) x4
Powerex Pro AA - ~30 grams (1.06 oz) x32
Total - 2560 grams / 5.64 lbs

The MH-C980 will charge anyone's batteries, not just their own.  I did weigh the batteries/charger/psu on a kitchen scale, so they're moderately accurate.   ;D
If you need to rack them (i.e. - not in a pelican), add a Penn Elcom 1U drawer - R1291CL-KL-K - 3600 grams (7.94 lbs).

Conversely, the Fischer Amps ALC 161 MKII is 2.5 kg (5.11 lbs), so to get 32 slots you need to double up - automatically 10.22 lbs of charger, not including batteries.

For comparison:

SBRC - 4400 grams (9.8 lbs) w/o modules or batteries x2
SBC-AX - 119 grams (4.2 oz) x8
SB900A - 45 grams (1.58 oz) x16 <- (This seems really low compared to the Powerex single AA, but I don't have one in front of me)
Total - 10472 grams / 23.09 lbs


When I was doing my research on which single cell rechargeables to use I also came across this site, which was rather interesting and enlightening:

https://eneloop101.com/batteries/rewrapped-batteries/


Logged

Jonathan Hole

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 39
    • Sound Resume
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2021, 07:56:28 am »

I recently sold off my Shure SBRC units and all of my SB-900a batteries in the interest of saving some weight while touring. The band I work with usually does direct support, so sets are relatively short (around 30 minutes or so).

We have 14 channels of Shure wireless (6x ULXD, 4x PSM1000, and 4x Axient).

I've been studying Shure's resources, watching Project Farm YT videos, and trying to find other information about the best rechargeable battery options (all of the units require AA batteries). It's really interesting to see how the rechargeables behave under load - the voltage drop, the longevity vs marketing/specs...

So, with all of this in mind, what are the preferred rechargeable, non-Shure batteries for Shure devices?

I was looking at the Fischer rack mount unit for recharging, now trying to find best options for the cells. The thing that scares me about the cells is when reading reviews on various retail sites, it sounds like it's a crap-shoot as to whether or not they'll die after a month of use, or if they'll match-up to the performance specs.

Real world experience/feedback is appreciated. I've used ProCells before, but would really like to avoid having to deal with dead batteries, recycling, and so on. I do have a bunch of these in two different colors (for "new" and "dead"), and love them.

I use the Ansmann batteries and chargers for both touring (4 wireless, 4 IEM packs) and twice weekly at church (8 wireless, 4 IEM packs) and have excellent performance on Shure and Sennheiser.  On Sundays we power on at roughly 6:45am and run to 12:30pm or so with no concerns at all, monitoring in WWB.  We replace every 2 years as a precaution and the economics vs regular batteries not to mention ecological benefits work out well.  For touring we do 3 hour shows, add in a break and encore and up to 4 hours, still no problems.  As mentioned, in Shure set to rechargeable battery type so WWB or meters show correct or close to correct charge. 
Logged

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 584
    • MixMasters Podcast
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2021, 08:10:20 am »

Thanks everyone for the information and experiences. Extra thanks to Erik, Brian, and Jonathan - I'll definitely check out the recommendations you've shared.

Weogo Reed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 291
  • Western NC,
    • LiveEdge
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2021, 11:39:34 am »

Hi Steve,

    I've been using rechargeables for over two decades.
For AA and AAA, the white Eneloops are my first choice for a reliable, long life.
Ansmann are good and the new PowerexPro looks like a contender.
The Eneloop black batteries are great for high-discharge devices like camera flash, but
have a shorter life.
    I use the IPower 9V Lithium rechargeables.

    Get this battery tester, which tests with a load:
 https://www.ztsinc.com/mini9RL.html
All batteries get tested before a gig, or if questionable.
If a battery won't go to at least 80% it gets tossed.

    Get a good charger.
I have a LaCrosse BC1000, but most of the mid-price models are fine.

    Earth thanks us!

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
Logged

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 584
    • MixMasters Podcast
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2021, 02:33:23 pm »

Hi Steve,

    I've been using rechargeables for over two decades.
For AA and AAA, the white Eneloops are my first choice for a reliable, long life.
Ansmann are good and the new PowerexPro looks like a contender.
The Eneloop black batteries are great for high-discharge devices like camera flash, but
have a shorter life.
    I use the IPower 9V Lithium rechargeables.

    Get this battery tester, which tests with a load:
 https://www.ztsinc.com/mini9RL.html
All batteries get tested before a gig, or if questionable.
If a battery won't go to at least 80% it gets tossed.

    Get a good charger.
I have a LaCrosse BC1000, but most of the mid-price models are fine.

    Earth thanks us!

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Awesome - thanks so much! I'll check out all of the recommendations!

Steve Litcher

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 584
    • MixMasters Podcast
Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2021, 06:09:05 pm »

Update/Closure: thanks to the input from this board, I ended-up going with the Ansman Slimline 2850 batteries (48 of them), the Energy 16Plus charger, a PowerEx MH-C880M charger/conditioner, and the ZTS MBT-1 tester.

Everything is on premises now; spent part of the afternoon doing initial testing of the batteries (all showed around 80% charge), and then giving them an initial charge. I've got the Shure units fired-up with the new batteries - meters showed full charge as hoped/expected, now doing a "dry run" of leaving them on to broadcast/receive for a few hours to help cycle the new cells and to help get some understanding of how the discharge rates are in the Shure devices (sending signal to the PSM1000s and sending "signal" (a bluetooth speaker with mics on and positioned around it) from the ULXD2/AD2 stuff.

Many thanks again - it's looking like this should be a solid investment.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2021, 06:09:05 pm »


Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.055 seconds with 19 queries.