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Author Topic: Not another battery thread.... but yes. Best battery options?  (Read 879 times)

Dave Garoutte

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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.
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Russell Ault

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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
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Erik Jerde

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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.
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Steve-White

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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. 
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Brian Bolly

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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/


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Jonathan Hole

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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. 
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Steve Litcher

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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

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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
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Steve Litcher

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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

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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 »


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