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Rechargeable Batteries

 
Gregg Bolinger
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My wireless keyboard and Trackpad (both Apple) run through batteries at a good pace. Too quickly for my liking. I've never had much luck with rechargeable batteries but it has been a while since I've looked into them. Can anyone recommend a good brand? I'm not overly concerned about the price as long as they will recharge quite a bit, paying for themselves over time. Both devices take AA if that makes a difference on what one might recommend.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I'm happy with Pearstone. I use them for my trackpad, wiimotes and a couple of other things. (I got a wired keyboard because I'd rather not fiddle with batteries unnecessarily. If they sold a wired trackpad, I'd have bought that.)

My trackpad has needed charging once (since July). Granted I use the keyboard much more than the trackpad. The wiimotes need charging every few months as well. The radio needs charging every 4-5 months.

They say it takes 4 hours to recharge, but reality says 6 hours. Charge time isn't on my list of worries though. I have extra batteries. I use AAA and AA batteries from Pearstone.
 
Randall Twede
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one thing about most rechargeable batteries is you should run them all the way down before recharging. otherwise they will think they don't last as long
 
Pat Farrell
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If you need AA or AAA batteries, the photography world is your friend. They use tons of rechargeable in these sizes. A few things to note:

1) Sanyo Eneloop is a well like brand
2) the batteries put out less voltage than an alkaline battery, even when fully charged. Its simply a feature of the chemistry. For many loads, this makes no difference, for others, its a really big deal.
3) pay for a serious charger. One that can monitor the batteries, handle the automatic changing of rate to meet the specified curve, do an automatic discharge/recharge cycle, etc. like this: La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger.


Note, a good charger is expensive, ~$40. Any cheaper charger will be less than optimal, and you may find you have to frequently replace the batteries. This gets expensive quickly.

Depending on your usage pattern, you may not save money. It does feel greener to use recharagable, as nothing goes in the trash. But I'm not sure that the overall impact on the Earth is clear. Lithium Ion batteries require lithium, duh, and mining that is not trivial.

 
Stephan van Hulst
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That's only the case with nickel cadmium batteries. Most modern rechargeables are nickel metal hydride. They don't suffer from this effect.

Lithium ion batteries (mostly used as battery packs for cell-phones, laptops, etc) should be taken care of in the exactly opposite way. You should prevent them from running down, because individual cells may empty faster than others, which will cause the 'slow' cells to recharge the empty ones, which kills them off.

[edit]

After gaining some googlesmarts, it appears the memory effect is mostly an old-wifes tale anyway. Don't worry about it. Just don't purposefully discharge your batteries all the way. If it happens it happens, that's what you have batteries for.
 
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