Best rechargeable AA batteries?
What's the best system of rechargeable AA batteries (+ charger)? I'm mostly using them for things like camera flashes, remotes, and radios.0
No doubt, the best I've used are Sanyo's Eneloop cells. They're NiMH but the self-discharge problem is pretty well licked; they're the ones who solved the problem.
Eneloops are still the best, but there are more makers now of LSD (Low Self Discharge) NiMH cells. Usually marketed as "ready to use", their initial charge should still be available at time of purchase.
Sanyo has a fairly broad range of chargers available to go with these things, of which I have a couple. But to really get the most from my cells, I use the LaCrosse Technology BC700 Alpha Power charger. A very good combination for me.
2nd vote for the eneloops - have been using them for a few years and still on first set of 8. Have had very good luck with batteryjunction.com for both batteries & chargers
3rd-ing Eneloops. Available at Amazon.com. Reasonably priced, great for the Wiimotes at our house.
4th Eneloops. I also quite like Apple's Batter charger (which comes with what the community believes to be rebadged eneloop batteries). It's a very nice, very compact charger which for $29 includes six batteries. It's not the cheapest, but it is the smallest charger I've ever owned, and it works great with the eneloop batteries I use.
I've had one of these Maha chargers for the last few years and they are great. I've revived batteries with it that have been used in other cheap chargers and it keeps my camera flashes and my kids' toys in a seemingly endless supply of charged batteries.
another voye for eneloop! fantastic batteries. made me switch back to rechargables!
2nd vote for enloop and the LaCrosse.
2nd Vote for Enloop & lacrosse charger
Another vote for Eneloops and La Crosse.
Eneloop is coming out with several different types of new batteries soon so take a look at their site to see which best meet your needs.
We have dozens of chargers out in classrooms and La Crosse smart chargers keep batteries from being overcharged, deal with batteries that are put in backwards and turn off if alkalines are put in them.
USBcells are great since they charge, natch, from a USB port.
I have the same rig as Wayne notes. I use it mostly for AAs but also AAAs. Eneloops have worked exceptionally well for use in my Nikon Speed Light flashes, my digital recording device (a Marantz 660), and various flashlights. The LaCrosse recharger unit is great, robust, and allows numerous options for charging, recharging, topping off, etc.
I've had four packs of Eneloops (in the sort of plastic battery carrier devices sold by County Sales or MaxPedition stuffed into the bottom of my camera or recorder go-bags...and pulled them out not remembering when they were last charged...and they worked like a charm.
I'm going to be the dissenter in the ranks, but let me justify it. First -- I will definitely recommend the Maha Powerex branded chargers. I have been using the C9000 for a few years (or it's predecessor) and love it. Simple to use if you want to ignore the buttons, but when you need to you can rematch and renew your sets.
It also runs from 12V which means that you can use it in the car and elsewhere without too much trouble.
Secondly, while the enerloops are great, the low-self discharge batteries have lower capacity than the more traditional models. If you need more than around 2000mAh per AA, you are better served by the 'regular' NiMH chemistry cells. These come in capacities as high as 2700 mAh last time I looked. If you are charging and using immediately (camera flashes, or any heavy current draw items) the advantages of LSD are lost.
Whichever cells you go for, the Powerex chargers are fantastic. You can check the performance of the cells (vs rated) and keep them in 'pairs and quads' with matched capacities and you get much better service from your batteries. Also let's you find the cell that is dragging down the performance of the others and identify which ones you need to replace. Cannot recommend it enough.
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