AA AAA rechargeable batteries?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by 5artist5, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. 5artist5

    5artist5 Monkey+

    I have a lot of things that take AA and AAA batteries.

    I have gotten rechargeable batteries in the past but seem to always go back to buying regular batteries.

    What is your strategy on this?
    Do you use rechargeable? What kind? What kind of charger do you use?

    I was thinking that I would like to set up a charging station in my shed and put some solar panels on the roof that would maintain some larger batteries (Automobile/Golf Cart) for some emergency power just in case and in the mean time use the system to charge my AA and AAA batteries. Anyone have any comments on this idea?
  2. enough

    enough Monkey++

    For consumer electronics, I had been using the energizers. If you read any further, make sure this is what you get out of my post ... DON'T BUY ENERGIZER RECHARGABLES!

    They had a decent amount of mAH, compared to other brands and the price was good, but the life of them sucked. I used them for about 2-3 years and they would no longer hold a charge. They would dissipate without a draw on them. Also, they seemed to not charge completely. Lastly, the did not last as long as I would have anticipated.

    I have now switched to eneloop batteries. They will not dissipate like the energizers and are rated for longer lives. The other thing, they cost about the same as what I paid for the energizers way back when.

    While you may get better results with a higher quality charger, I have always used the little four slot charger that comes with the "starter kit".

    That's my experience. Hope it helps! :)
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Power is Power.... and on this rock, it all comes from the SUN..... One way, or another.... The only things that I power with small Letter sized Cells, are portable type electronics, and tend to use NiMH, or Lithium/Polymer Cells that can be recharged from various sources at my location. Most of the rest of the fixed type small electronics get powered of the 12Vdc Buss in the cabin, which is supplied by a pair of L16s, that get charged whenever the Genset runs. This way they do NOT drag down the AC Inverter/Charger/Battery System with Phantom Loads. It takes a bit of planning and designing the Power distribution system for the place to do it this way, but once done, you do not have to change it much, as things evolve. Our basic system has been in place for 2 decades, and only minor changes or upgrades.
    chelloveck likes this.
  4. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    I actually use a recharger that can cycle batteries, set a charge, discharge and recharge. I actually USE Energizer rechargeable batteries. I get AWESOME mileage out of them. On a single charge 3 AA batteries will run a single LED light all night every for 2 weeks before needing a recharge. I get 3 months on 2 AAA'a in a remote for my DVD player. I get 4 to 5 months for 3 AAA's in my typical EDC 9 LED flashlight (I use the dickens out of it). My FRS radios run on 3 AAs, 2 weeks solid running.

    Your charger is as much a factor as your battery. As with anything, YMMV. Here is the charger I bought and use (USE THE BUY THROUGH AMAZON LINK AT THE TOP SO THE SITE MAKES SOME CHANGE, IF YOU DECIDE TO BUY THIS!):

    Amazon.com: PowerEx MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer: Electronics

    Edit: THERE are Rechargeable Alkaline batteries, I have some. They require a special charger, but they work just as well as regular alkaline batteries:
    Juice Rechargeable Alkaline Batteries, Size AAA, 4-Count Packages (Pack of 3)
    vonslob and larryinalabama like this.
  5. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+

    Rechargable batteries

    I use the Eneloop's, and have some of the energizers, and even some off name that got high reviews on some web sites....I agree about the chargers...the cheap ones, cause the batteries to heat up because they fast charge....my good charger, i can actually set the amount of charge, and use a slow one, so as to NOT heat up the batteries....If you figure how many "duracell's" you'll buy, i believe your still better off with even the Energizers......but each one has a different expectation....rsbhunter
    Gafarmboy likes this.
  6. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I also use Eneloops. Costco had a sale on them a while back so I stocked up. I also bought a rather pricey charger that tells a lot of information and can do wonders for rechargeables with problems according to reviews (LaCrosse BC-700). I haven't had any bad-eries yet.

    I also got one of these: Amazon.com: Premium Solar Charger - Ultra Thin Solar Powered Backup Battery and Charger for Cell Phones, iPhone, iPod, and Most USB Powered Device - Also Includes Built-in LED Reading Light and Window / Windshield Suction Cups: MP3 Players & Accessor
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2015
    kellory and Gafarmboy like this.
  7. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+


    i also have a La Crosse BC-900...that is the one i use the most....It seems to do a great job on the batteries....rsbhunter
  8. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I heard those 900s had overheating problems...that's why I went with the 700. Hopefully they fixed it with the 1000.
  9. rsbhunter

    rsbhunter Monkey+


    I have had it for around 2-3 years, and iv'e never experienced a overheating problem, and iv'e charged 15-20 batteries in a row (4 at a time) have a predator caller that uses 10 at a time, so i charge alot...i'll have to check on that overheating problem though...Thanks for the heads up...rsbhunter
  10. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I think I read about it on Amazon reviews or somewhere else. It could be pure bs.

    These guys like it and they're picky as hell:

    Charger Comparison
  11. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I've had great luck with the Eneloops as well, and the charger I use is from Ansmann, the Energy 16 specifically. Lots of features, and huge capacity. Leaving the batteries on the charger after it's done just starts the trickle charge, overall I've been really happy with it.

    One battery that turned into a disappointment (for me) was the Nizn 1.6V AAs. I started with 8 and within a month returned 6 under warranty because they wouldn't hold a charge. Within 3 months, the original 2 were bad and 3 of the replacements were bad too. None lasted more than 6 months. I read reviews after and found the complaints were common.
  12. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have a dozen Energizers which I am testing semi-longterm in my CD player at work - don't get radio reception in the lower basement. They last at least as long as the alkylines I was using, and I have had no problems recharging them with their four-cell charger. It takes about 12 hours plugged intot he wall - I put four in when I get home, they are ready to take to work next morning.
    I also have the four-cell Duracell charger (and presumably the four batteries... somewhere. Lost track of them. I think they are in a device.

    I also have a bigger "Battery Quick Charger" that handles AAA, AA, C, D and 9V batteries - Chicago Electric Model 47618 from Harbor Fright. It works well too, but the Energizer charger is handier for my needs. I plug it into the wall outlet in the laundry room, in case of blow-up.

    I also have a small solar charger I have not tried yet. With a tiny solar cell, it would likely take a couple days to charge a set of batteries.

    I have four D-cell rechargeables, but have not tested them against Alkylines yet. I need four more to power my 12V fan, then I can do a comprehensive test.
    My first problem was finding sources locally for them. I found them at HF, TSC, and now Best Buy. I know Costco has them, but I am not a member, and it's clear across town.

    So far, I like the Energizer AA batteries - most are the 2300mah capacity, four are 2000's.
    I have eight of the AAA size, for mini-LED flashlights.
    One thing I found is that new in the package, they are not fully charged. I put them a device and run them down, then recharge to full power - works well. In my CD player, when they are low, it cuts off, right NOW! With alkylines, the machine would show low-power symptoms as they got low.
  13. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    the solar yard lights you buy at wally world work well as a cheap recharger and they come with batteries included....:D:D
  14. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    The "REAL KEY" to successfull battery charging is not to lose your batterys, Ive bought several setups but the younguns loose the batteries.
    VisuTrac likes this.
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I picked up 4 Eneloop XX 2500mAh batteries for a wireless (illuminated) keyboard and mouse combo around mid December and I haven't yet had to re-charge them.
  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    OK I have 4 Energizer rechargeable D's. They last as good as cheap Alkaline D's as long as they are fully charged (24 hours of continuous running in my dehydrating rig). I have also discovered the world of ENELOOP "spacers". These are plastic sleeves that allow you to adapt AA rechargeable (or alkalines) to fit "C" or "D" battery devices (each size is available). Allows me to use my Alkaline AA's and save on the cost of D's. YMMV.
  17. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    11 days into April and I'm still at full charge since December....
  18. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I also use the Eneloop spacers. Great product.
  19. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    I get all my stuff at batteryjunction dot com... lots of good stuff and brands... knowledgeable folks... i also make sure all my chargers have the 12v male plugs as an option for off grid charging... have had lots of luck with trustfire...
  20. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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