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Best batteries?
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499
Location: Little Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: Best batteries? Reply with quote

Just curious-- I've heard that bad batteries can cause a GPSr to do weird things or affect its accuracy. What type of batteries do you prefer to use with your GPSr? Normal alkalines, or is there something even better out there?
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Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1142
Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of people on the internet tend to spread a lot of misinformation. As long as your batteries provide enough juice to power up your GPSr, it will work fine.

That said, I'm a big fan of rechargeable NiMH batteries. They will save you a lot of money in the long run.
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Dances With Beehives
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Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671
Location: Chaska

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe that's why I have such a hard time finding caches....been using rechargable Energizers...NiMH...but I see they're only 1.2 Volts as compared to 1.5 on the regular batteries. Connected in series, that's 3.0V to 2.4V-quite a difference. Interested to see other comments on this subject.
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Wayfarin Stranger
Geocacher


Joined: 01 Apr 2003

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto Moe....I've been using NiMH batteries in the GPSr and digital camera for a long time and have never had any problems.
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Dances With Beehives
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Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671
Location: Chaska

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, good to hear that....you to Moe...didn't see your post....I started using them in a portable cd player and found they lasted longer than regular batteries. A GPSr uses much less power, I'm sure.
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499
Location: Little Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may have to try out the NiMH batteries. I've only used regular old alkalines in mine, but I find that they don't last all that long, especially if I use the backlight. I am not sure about how much juice the WAAS function uses, but a couple of other cachers told me that it sucks up battery life pretty quickly.

I picked up some Energizer Titaniums, or something like that, at Target today. They are supposedly for "high-tech" devices and are supposed to last longer than their standard alkalines. They weren't much more expensive than the standards.

It is time for me to get a battery recharger. I use several gadgets that require AA's anyway.
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KC0GRN
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 22 Feb 2004

Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eh.. I tried the energizer titaniums and a few other "high tech" batteries in mine, sadly I think they didn't perform as well as my regular old alkaline batteries. I've also tried cheap rayovacs and found they weren't as good. Best deal I've come up with yet is heading over to home depot and buying a 36 bulk pack of energizers (runs around 13-14 bucks). I may eventually try the NiMH ones... Not sure yet.
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rickrich
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Joined: 06 Jul 2003

Posts: 673

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NiMH batteries suffer from self-discharge. You can't just charge up a bunch and then let them sit in the glove compartment. They will discharge within a month or two. They are great for items that burn thru batteries anyway, like cameras and handheld video games.

Best everyday deal on alkalines that I have found is 24 for $5 at Northern. But you can often find them for less as a loss leader at other stores.
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Dances With Beehives
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Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671
Location: Chaska

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use NiMH AAs in so many things, that I don't have a problem with self discharge....they never sit for 2 months. My problem now is....if I can't blame the batteries for not finding caches....I must just really suck at it Rolling Eyes
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pogopod
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Joined: 26 Jan 2003

Posts: 113
Location: White Bear Lake

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best source for cheap alkalines is Costco. My kid used to be in a program in the summer that had really interesting courses. Every year, in a class called adverteasing, the kids tested batteries. They tested Energizers, Duracell and Ray-o-vac. The kids were asked before the test which battery would last the longest and of course they all said the energizer, but for three straight years Ray-o-Vac won the longest lasting contest in identical items and with identical expiration dates on the batteries. I always suspected that if you spent that much on advertising you might have to take something out of the product. Maybe I was right.
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270
Location: Saint Paul

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my other hobbies, electric RC flying, is battery-intensive. What has been said above is correct - NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries are the best for most geocachers since they are readily available in AA sizes and easily charged with wal-wart chargers found at any Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

I also agree that batteries left in a cache for others or batteries thrown in your caching bag as spares should be the old standard, alkaline. They hold their charge a lot longer.

What we've found in the electric RC community is that the Li-poly (Lithium polymer) packs made from laptop battery packs are awesome for our needs. High capacity coupled with high discharge. Not good for the average cacher yet because they are not easily found in AA. I am really looking forward to the gps manufacturers catching up to the laptop/cell phone makers. It may take some time though.
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Kitch
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 18 May 2003

Posts: 1286
Location: SSP,MN

PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing beats rechargeable NiMh batteries. 1 NiMH battery would last at least as long as about 140 disposable lithium cells or 500 disposable alkalines. Laughing


Digital cameras run the table of size, shape, and price. But they share one thing--the thirst for power Exclamation that makes the choice of battery necessary. Their tests point to rechargeable batteries as the clear, cost-effective choice, even if the prices give you sticker Shocked sh0ck .


RECHARGEABLES: THE BEST Idea

Their tests included 5 brands of rechargeable nickelmetal hydride (*NiMH*) AAs with their chargers. They come in 3 power levels: 1,800, 2,100, and 2,200 milliamp-hours, or mAh. The higher the #, the longer the batteries can power a GPS(or camera) . But their tests didnít show any major differences in capacity within a power level. In other words, all the batts. worked good.

The rechargeables carry a high initial $$$ (a set of 4batteries plus charger ranges from $50 to $30), but their long life makes them by far more economical to use.

The math:
Suppose a pair of alkaline batteries costs $2.20 and delivers 100 photos. The cost for the same number of pictures from disposable lithium cells will be about $1.40, we estimate. But because nickel-metal hydrides last through 100's of recharging cycles, their cost for 100 photos is only about 1.5 cents.

The tested chargers work equally ok. Three will quick-charge 4 AA cells in about an 60 mins. (The PowerEx takes a bit longer, and the Kodak will quick-charge only 2 cells in an hour and 4 in about two hours.) Two chargers offer a trickle charge that allows you to store batteries in the charger without damaging them. Some accept 240-volt input from foreign outlets, or 12-volt input for use in a car.

Rechargeable NiMH batteries have one major drawback Crying or Very sad : They lose 1 percent of their charge each day they are idle Crying or Very sad . Thatís a good reason to keep a second set in a trickle charger or disposable batteries on hand. Wink


Wink Wink
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SirPoonga
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Feb 2003

Posts: 144
Location: Marshfield, WI :(

PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used rechargable 2100mAh AA for anything that uses AA. In particular I use Energizer because I have found they last the longest for the price.

Though, I might try and hack some IC-3s sometime. Those charge in 15 minutes but can last hours.

And what I like about NiMH over alkaline is the drop off curve. Alkalines sloly loose power while NiMH will just drop off. Both will go unusable dead about the same time so you get a little more life out of the NiMH.
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Mario and Princess Peach
Geocacher


Joined: 22 May 2005

Posts: 98
Location: South Minneapolis

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Batteries.com has some incredible deals on batteries- like a 24 pack for less than $5 with very, very low shipping costs. I just purchased about 120 AA Alkaline for about $25 with S&H. You might check there to see if they have your favorite battery. I can't vouch for the quality yet, as they're in route, but if anyone wants me to follow up post, I will.

Edit: Here's a coupon I used there, too.

25% off Code: RPN2782 Exp 5/31
10% off Code: SS10
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jaywc7
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Sep 2004

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like nikel cadmium batteries... They are used extensively in the aviation industry. They are always going dead (all the time). I have also heard stories of them getting so increddibly hot that they melt right through the brackets and aluminum, and drop out of the nose of the plane onto the cement. Now that I'd sure like to see! Haven't figured out how to use them in my GPSr yet though... Gonna keep trying on that one. Laughing
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