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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Think I remember hearing something like you need to "train" a new rechargeable battery the first few times you charge it... something like you must run it completely dead and then charge completely the first few times to get the most out of it?

is this true?... or whats the best way to "train" new rechargeable batteries?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:20 pm 
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I hear the same. Apple whose battery life has lived upto it's promises thus far (knock on wood), suggests using it till empty upon purchase, fully charge and then once a month full let the battery go. My Windows laptop has about 45 minutes of battery life now as opposed to its original 3.5+ hours. I would say its due to charging habits. Following manufacturer recommendations is my usual course od action. Perhaps i am a sucker tho? :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:26 pm 
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wesworld1970 wrote:
Think I remember hearing something like you need to "train" a new rechargeable battery the first few times you charge it... something like you must run it completely dead and then charge completely the first few times to get the most out of it?

is this true?... or whats the best way to "train" new rechargeable batteries?


Depends on the battery chemistry. For Lithium Ion batteries (Li-Ion), this is generally not the case, but for Nickwel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) types, it sure is. Always follow your equipment manufacturers reccomendations for your specific equipment on this as they will only cover the batteries for a very short initial period (a week to 10 days in most provinces) as DOA after which you have to take things up with the battery manufacturer.

With Ni-MH batteries, you usually need to go through at least 4 or 5 full charge/almost full discharge cycles before starting to use the equipment normally. After those first 4 or 5 cycles, yoor battery should be good for its full service life. The worst thing you can do before the break-in period is over is to charge the battery partially or fully and use it for a few minutes before continuing to charge it, especially in the very first charge cycle aas this kills the battery full charge and usage life "memory" right off the bat which is not covered under warranty as DOA. Can't tell you how many expensive laptop batteries I've ruined by not going through the proper break-in cycle and that I have not had a single one go bad since I started doing proper break-in.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:29 pm 
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mortron wrote:
I hear the same. Apple whose battery life has lived upto it's promises thus far (knock on wood), suggests using it till empty upon purchase, fully charge and then once a month full let the battery go. My Windows laptop has about 45 minutes of battery life now as opposed to its original 3.5+ hours. I would say its due to charging habits. Following manufacturer recommendations is my usual course od action. Perhaps i am a sucker tho? :lol:



Sucker? Naww, you can just change the battery, yes?























oops.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:33 pm 
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:lol: oh man, I'm so not into reading directions...

there must be some kind of truth to it cause my cordless phones never last cause they always sit on the chargers... but my iphone is pretty good (charge only when dead)...

just got the mrs. a new camcorder and was giving the usual know it all advice about charging the battery the first time. :lol: The girl who sold it to us said the battery will last 2 hrs... you know the mrs. will time it to the min. and I'm dead if it doesn't last... :shock: :oops: 8) :lol: we're still talkin about batteries rite?...

Thanks, OBI... yeah its lithium...

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:36 pm 
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The quality and design of the charger determines the life of a battery.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:39 pm 
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yournamehere wrote:
The quality and design of the charger determines the life of a battery.


heard that too... this battery just stays on the camcorder and you plug into the cam to charge... bunk?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:46 pm 
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I used to use the NiMH batteries in my DSLR camera, but everytime I picked the damned thing up (which was infrequently) the batteries were dead. Now I now use the alkaline hybrids which hold a charge...these are almost as good as lithium. It's no wonder the copper top guys never got into the rechargeable business until the hybrids showed up.

A new mp3 player I just bought has a 90% recharge option in the battery saver menu....apparently this increases battery life. It's good for a claimed 50 hrs between charges. My old player claimed 25 hrs and at 6 years still has the original battery...and a useful play life between charges.

Lithium rules......that's about all I know about batteries.

Ps, the charger does make a difference. The Ryobi 18v fast NiCad charger brought back to life more than one battery that the older slow one couldn't/wouldn't charge.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:47 pm 
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The idea is for the device to control the incoming power, which is ok.
The wallwart supplies voltage constantly, and the device will inevitably use diode blockers to stop it.
Discrete circuits use micro devices for everything.

How long will they last?

I rather look for charging types that fit the job and tailor power delivery to the device.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:10 am 
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Adding a few things here

In the early 90's there were only 7 manufacturer's of NiCd's in the world

- Varta, Saft, Emmerich, Panasonic (Goldstar?) , GE - I forget the other 2

They were of different grades - Commercial, Industrial - Medical/Military

For a Commercial grade battery, the Panasonics were considered the best and GE the worst.

Companies often stuck their lables on them such as Duracell or Energiser
For example, in the early 90's, Duracell never made a rechargeable battery.


Industrial or Medical Grade NiMH batteries can be bought today from specialty battery stores.
But Varta or Saft's are expensive.
Here in Ottawa - total battery sells different grades of batteries.

One of the key figures to look at in terms of NiMH is the how much energy the battery can store.
This is an indication of the quality of the battery.

The energy is rated in terms of mA x hours (times the voltage of the battery).

A good NiMH "AA" can store 2600 mA x hours.
If mAH's are not spec'ed on the battery - its probably a cheap commercial grade battery - I'd say forget it.

Battery weight and location of manufacture is another indicator.

The other day I picked up Qty - 4 "Energiser" NiMH rated at 2300mA x hours for $18 - from a box store
Being made in Japan is a good sign.

Other "Energiser" rechargeables are made else ware and are rubbish.


To add to Comments above - with NiMH, I charge and completely discharge them each cycle.
.


Last edited by Uunderhill on Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:18 am 
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Good post Uunderhill, but the information you posted is relevant to most industry standard, user replaceable batteries where you have a choice of suppliers and grades. What about all of those other rechargeable batteries that are proprietary in terms of shape and size such as those in laptops, camcorders, certain digital cameras and cell phones? With those, the consumer has no other choice than the manufacturer supplied or replacement batteries.

I just bought a new digital camera yesterday and other than the ability to be able to take highly detailled, very close up shots, very wide angle shots at short distances and true 1 handed operation, my main selection criteria was the ability to use standard, user replaceable AA rechargeable battereies and SD memory cards. There were dozens of really interesting models that met my first 3 criteria within my budget of $500, but most of them used proprietary battery packs and chargers, so they got scratched off my list.

My final choice (Nikon) wound up being less than half my budget, works great and has more features and quality than I will ever need and I can reuse my existing AA batteries and SD memory cards. Only problem is that I now can take highly detailled pictures of the dust and pet hairs on the floor .... :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:39 am 
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OBI56 wrote:
Good post Uunderhill, but the information you posted is relevant to most industry standard, user replaceable batteries where you have a choice of suppliers and grades. What about all of those other rechargeable batteries that are proprietary in terms of shape and size such as those in laptops, camcorders, certain digital cameras and cell phones? With those, the consumer has no other choice than the manufacturer supplied or replacement batteries.

I just bought a new digital camera yesterday and other than the ability to be able to take highly detailled, very close up shots, very wide angle shots at short distances and true 1 handed operation, my main selection criteria was the ability to use standard, user replaceable AA rechargeable batteries and SD memory cards. There were dozens of really interesting models that met my first 3 criteria within my budget of $500, but most of them used proprietary battery packs and chargers, so they got scratched off my list.


Exactly - its kinda a basic design rule to develop a product in which the parts can be obtained from 2 or more manufacturers.

With a single source (proprietary) component, your at the mercy of that manufacturer.
- and what ever they feel they can get away with price wise.
- Or "sorry we don't make that any more."

So you were wise to stay with a camera that uses "AA" batteries.

I stay away from cordless drills for this very reason.
Have a look at the price a Li-Ion proprietary replacement battery for a cordless drill - yikes !


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:50 am 
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thats why i have so many drills... for 50 bucks more you get a whole new drill...

the only thing I dont like about lithium on a drill, is that theres no warning before it goes dead. With the old 18 volt, you could feel it slowing down and knew to start charging another one. With lithium theres no warning and wham... beer break!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:46 am 
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wesworld1970 wrote:
the only thing I dont like about lithium on a drill, is that theres no warning before it goes dead.
That's why 2 batteries is mandatory for me. I saw a 20v lithium B&D for only 80 bucks, but didn't buy it because it only had the one battery. If I bought 2 I'd've been better off...with spare parts for the drill. Didn't think to check the ampacity of the battery at the time, but at that price I figure it isn't going to be much anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:48 am 
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I like NiCds, have little use for NiMH, and really like lithium polymer over lithium ion, lithium ferrite or 123A cells. NICds and NIMH do have a memory effect and if they are subjected to an input current at a medium or high charge state, the cell structure crystallizes. Li-Po cells offer about 50% higher capacity than Li-Ion and are capable of much higher currents. The self discharge rate is low, and after sitting at a half charged state for twelve months, I've found Li-Po cells typically lose but a mere couple milliamp hours of capacity per 1kmAh. They do not have the memory effect but do need special care. Some should be cycled at a low discharge rate for the first few cycles, dependent on the brand's cell structure chemistry for proper forming. That in hand, many others have been tested to offer no immediate or long term benefit from cycling. If a lithium cells is left at a high charged state for extended time, it can lead to cell degradation and break down of the conductive nano cell pathway structure. Similarly, over-discharging reduces energy storage capabilities and prematurely increases the cell's IR value. The charge process must be handled by a charger with the proper CV and CC programming that tapers the current toward the end of the charge and prevents the voltage from rising. Most non-computerized type chargers do a poor job and eventually lead to the destruction of the cells. Discharging at too high of a rate can cause them to swell and sometimes burst into flames, vs NiCd which explode but normally do not cause a fire. Newer high end lithium polymer cells can be charged at up to a 10C rate, and can supply several hundred amps from a relatively small package. I can charge some of my Li-Pos in 15 minutes, vs hours for NiMH to take a quality charge. The IR value will increase on its own, offering a maximum performance life window of about two years, afterwhich the voltage drop and useable capacity will be reduced by a notable margin. They are also temperature sensitive and the IR varies are much as 150% with an 8 degree temperature rise. They prefer lower ambient temperatures for storage. It's a good practice to leave 20% of the cells total capacity unused to extend the working lifespan, but in some electronics its not possible to identify the mAh used so the 3.0V/cell rule is used.

Most consumer lithium cells today are overpriced for their decade old performance criteria. Only a handful or manufacturers produce the cells to their client's specifications, they are then re-branded and sold under those names. The performance can vary widely from one chemistry specification to another for each brand. The cells with the cheapest chemistry and conductor pathway are the most common ones found on the market for consumer electronics.

Below is a test I performed a couple years ago on a single cell 250mAh 3.7V lithium polymer cell with a PC logic controlled load, precision is 1/000th of an Ampere and FFT math display. Cell was charged to a normal 4.199V, discharged at 0.990-1.000A and ended at 3.325V. Notice the temperature started at 20.5 degrees Celsius and arose to 30 degrees, yet the discharge rate was only 4C. The voltage drop is typical of a low cost cell as often found in consumer electronics and tools.
Image
This is an 850mAh 3 cell 11.1V pack, tested from 12.6V fully charged and then discharged at 1.990-2.000A to 9.9V/3.3V per cell.
This pack performed good at even 15A and was half discharged about forty times, staying above 3.0V cell until over 90% capacity was depleted in final testing. No memory effect present. Newer packs of this size can provide 60A under the same circumstances.
Image

Sincerely and Best Wishes On your Audio Journey,
CAAudioCollector

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