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Rechargeable 1.5 volt batteries


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:55 PM

Anyone using rechargeable double AA batteries in their super-8 cameras? Rechargeables make a lot of sense for people doing time-lapse photography. I can vouch for wanting to stop buying alkaline non-rechargeables as I have well over 150 double-AA batteries nearing the end of their usefulness.

Are the NiCad 1.2 volt batteries enough since when multiplied by 6 one is only getting 7.2 volts instead of 9.0 volts. I think there are also NiCaD 1.25 volt rechargeables, are those maybe a more logical choice because they would deliver 7.5 volts instead of 7.2 volts. Is the milliamp flow just as important? Is it possible that a 1.2 NiCad has better milliamp flow than a 1.25 Nicad thereby negatiing the difference between the two voltages???

Are the alkaline rechargeables the way to go since they carry a 1.5 volt charge?

And then when it comes to the Nizo line of sound cameras, I have heard they are very finicky in voltage requirements and actually work better with the 1.2 volt rechargeable NICAD's verus alkaline. Does anyone have the manual for any of the Nizo with model numbers like 2056, 3056, 4056, 4080, 6056, 6080, etc.....(there are a couple more model numbers, I don't remember them all) to see if they address this voltage issue and what batteries they recommend for their cameras?

Please share your rechargeable stories and if you swear by them or at them, please mention if you are using Alkaline or NiCad rechargeables and what your experience has been.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 andres victorero

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 05:07 PM

Hi, I use rechargable batteries in my leicina special. I use AA Ni.Mh 2100 mAh. and works perfectly.
The Ni Cd, Ni - Mh, etc are 1,2 volts but you get of them 1,5 volts and one best thing of the Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh batteries is that the voltage is constant all the time. the voltage fall dow at the end of its work.

Now there are great Ni-Mh 2500 mAh. batteries and are relatively cheap.
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 06:23 PM

The Ni Cd, Ni - Mh, etc are 1,2 volts but you get of them 1,5 volts.


I understood everything you wrote except for the above phrase. Do you mind rephrasing it for me?

Also, I have unopened Energizer NiCad rechargeables and they are rated at 1.2 volts / 2500 milliamps but wouldn't alkaline rechargeables match regular alkalines more closely?

And what do you think of the 1.25 NiCad rechargeables?
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:24 PM

I've done some additional research but it has left me with more questions.

Juice.com sells rechargeable alkalines.

What I found perplexing is their rechargeable alkalines are higher voltage but appear to offer a lot less oconstant current, much less then the 2500 that is claimed by the NIMH batteries.

So do super-8 users go for higher voltage or higher current?

RayOVac rechargeable alkalines can supposedly only be charged in RayOVac chargers. The claim is if other chargers are used the RayOVac rechargeables can overheat or explode.

There are also are solar powered battery chargers available. At first I thought that that might be an oxymoron because as the charger sits in the sunlight it would overheat the batteries while recharging them, but then I read that alkaline rechargeables seem to do better in warmer weather than NiCads. So does that mean if one buys a solar powered charger (very affordable by the way) they should stick to alkaline rechargeable batteries?

It might be time to find experts in the model car field who run their cars on double AA rechargeables who would be willing to share their experiences.
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#5 Prem Edpuganti

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 01:38 AM

I've done some additional research but it has left me with more questions.

Juice.com sells rechargeable alkalines.

What I found perplexing is their rechargeable alkalines are higher voltage but appear to offer a lot less oconstant current, much less then the 2500 that is claimed by the NIMH batteries.

So do super-8 users go for higher voltage or higher current?

RayOVac rechargeable alkalines can supposedly only be charged in RayOVac chargers. The claim is if other chargers are used the RayOVac rechargeables can overheat or explode.

There are also are solar powered battery chargers available. At first I thought that that might be an oxymoron because as the charger sits in the sunlight it would overheat the batteries while recharging them, but then I read that alkaline rechargeables seem to do better in warmer weather than NiCads. So does that mean if one buys a solar powered charger (very affordable by the way) they should stick to alkaline rechargeable batteries?

It might be time to find experts in the model car field who run their cars on double AA rechargeables who would be willing to share their experiences.



Dear Alessandro:

No matter what kind of batteries you use, you need to match the voltage and current requirements of your camera. You may have a label underneath the camera that shows this information.

First, choose type of batteries that can deliver at least twice the milliamps your camera needs, the more the better, for technical reasons. Then decide how many batteries are required to build up to the voltage the camera needs. If your camera needs 9 Volts, you may want to start with 7 batteries and may be add one more after some experimentation. Better to start on the safe side. If your batter holder is designed to hold only 6, may be that is all you can use, unless you bring the conncection outside.

All the storage batteries are rated at 1.2 Volts. Variations you hear are due to the slighltly higher voltage present right after the battery is charged, and under no-load conditions. But very soon, it will settle down at 1.2 Volts, under load.

When the batteries are suppling rated voltage, milliamps are determined by the device, in this case the camera, not the other way round. It will draw whatever amount it needs. If you are using zoom while running the camera it will draw more milliamps. The more milliamps the battery is capable of supplying, the less the chance it will drop down in voltage. Some devices shut down if the voltage drops drown below a certain level, may be your camera as well.

Coming to your choices, NiMH is the best, as it can supply relatively large amounts of milliamps at constant voltage for relatively long time, and as the batteries can be charged fast. Ni-Cad loses its voltage easily even when you are not using, runs out too soon, and takes much longer to charge. Alkaline rechargeables, in my opinion, are simply a myth. Solar charging, only if you are in a remote corner of the world where there is no electricity. In a bind, I sometimes use UPS as my power source, Uninterruptible Power Supply that is designed for computer use.

Good luck.
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 01:45 AM

Then the Energizer NIMH 2500 milliamps I bought are probably a good choice.

I agree about the alkaline rechargeables, they do supply more voltage but they apparently only output 500 milliamps of current when under load.
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 04:24 AM

Then the Energizer NIMH 2500 milliamps I bought are probably a good choice.

I agree about the alkaline rechargeables, they do supply more voltage but they apparently only output 500 milliamps of current when under load.


I have used rechargeable batteries in a wide range of S8 cameras and never noticed any problems whatsoever, so I wouldn't worry about it, just charge some up and shoot.

The only problems I ever have with rechargeable batteries, is that they lose their charge sitting around, so it is best to either constantly have some on charge if you are constantly shooting, or remember to charge some batteries in advance if not. It's often good to have two sets of batteries too so you can have a set to use when the other set are recharging.

I don't expect you will have any major problems.

love

Freya

There are also are solar powered battery chargers available. At first I thought that that might be an oxymoron because as the charger sits in the sunlight it would overheat the batteries while recharging them, but then I read that alkaline rechargeables seem to do better in warmer weather than NiCads. So does that mean if one buys a solar powered charger (very affordable by the way) they should stick to alkaline rechargeable batteries?


I've used ni-cads in solar battery chargers. I've not had problems except that the batterys take a long time to charge. The charger only needs lights so where I live it's possible to leave them in sunlight without it getting hot at all because the climate isn't hot here generally. Where you live it might be harder I suppose, although I also suspect that a bit of warmth might be okay. I tend to find that it's when batteries get cold that they lose all their charge, but as I say, I live in a colder climate.

love

Freya
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 08:40 AM

But have you shot time-lapse?

Time-lapse requires the camera be left on for as much as 10 hours at a time. The simple solution will be to set up two cameras, one with conventional alkalines and the other with the rechargeables and see what happens. This is not a perfect test because each camera's internal condition including lubrication, voltage settings and voltage draw can affect the amount of power the camera needs to run effectively, but it should give me an idea.

On another note, the rechargeables I purchased were almost hot to the touch after the charging phase was completed. By the time the charger's red l.e.d. went out (signifying that the batties were fully charged) the batteries were almost hot to the touch, that can't be good can it?


I just did a quickie test in a Super-8 camera. This camera has a 45 slow motion option that works best when the camera has fresh batteries. As batteries wear down, the slow motion function will no longer reach 45 frames per second. I tried paritally used alkalines that metered out (with no load) at 8.71 volts for a pack of six, versus the rechargeables, which metered out at 8.13 volts.

The alkaline's allowed for the slow motion function to work however when I put the rechargeables in I definitely noticed that the slow motion speed was higher by the louder sound the camera motor was making. Rechargeables now offer 2500 milliamps of current which is much higher than what they were capable of years ago, so it is possible that the higher current in a rechargeable may produce a better result than a higher voltage but lower current one gets from alkalines.

Anybody know what the milliamp flow is in a non-rechargeable alkaline?
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#9 sparky

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 03:46 PM

Alex, you are confusing the battery capacity rating with its current handling capabilities. The 2500 is not mA but mAh- that is it is a measure of the batteries' charge capacity that means it can deliver 2500mA for 1 hour (well actually probably not as they normally measure capacity at a low discharge rate like 1/10C or so)
NiCds and NiMhs generally can deliver very high currents (NiCds are generally the higher)- much higher than Alkalines- that is why they do better in high current draw applications where alkalines generally fail quickly. I'm not sure what the capacity of alkalines are as they rarely advertise it, but I think its higher than rechargeables in low current draw applications.
Super8 cameras are probably regarded as medium draw- in the 250mA range for normal use. That would be 1/10C discharge for your 2500mA batteries so there's a good chance that you could run your camera continuously for close to 10 hours straight with those batteries. As for timelapse, the camera is not moving most of the time so the average current draw will be much lower and the batteries will last much longer. If you take it to real extremes (months) you might run into self discharge problems which as already mentioned is much higher with rechargeables- and I beleive is worst with NiMhs.
250mA would be quite a high discharge rate for alkaines so their performance might suffer.
So the real question is if your camera can run effectively with the lower voltage that you will get with Nicds or NiMhs. Most do fine but some apparently not. If it doesn't, use alkalines, if it does use rechageables and save some money/be greener (with NiMhs at least!)

Mark

Edited by sparky, 02 May 2006 - 03:53 PM.

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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 05:51 PM

Well the slow motion test I did was interesting. The NiMH definitely was moving the camera at 45 FPS, whereas the alkalines that had a collective voltage of 8.71 (about 1.45 volts per battery) was definitely laboring at a slower rate.

So how does one convert Milliamphours to current? There must be some correlation between a higher millamphour rating versus current, no?
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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:27 PM

But have you shot time-lapse?


I certainly have, and with Nicads too!

Time-lapse requires the camera be left on for as much as 10 hours at a time. The simple solution will be to


...but certainly not for 10 hours! Yowch!!! How do you deal with that, can't be fun to watch a camera do its thing for 10 hours and if you aren't paying attention, someone might "have it away!" :(

love

Freya

On another note, the rechargeables I purchased were almost hot to the touch after the charging phase was completed. By the time the charger's red l.e.d. went out (signifying that the batties were fully charged) the batteries were almost hot to the touch, that can't be good can it?


My ni-cads are normally warm when they get pulled out.

I just did a quickie test in a Super-8 camera. This camera has a 45 slow motion option that works best when the camera has fresh batteries. As batteries wear down, the slow motion function will no longer reach 45 frames per second. I tried paritally used alkalines that metered out (with no load) at 8.71 volts for a pack of six, versus the rechargeables, which metered out at 8.13 volts.

The alkaline's allowed for the slow motion function to work however when I put the rechargeables in I definitely noticed that the slow motion speed was higher by the louder sound the camera motor was making. Rechargeables now offer 2500 milliamps of current which is much higher than what they were capable of years ago, so it is possible that the higher current in a rechargeable may produce a better result than a higher voltage but lower current one gets from alkalines.

Anybody know what the milliamp flow is in a non-rechargeable alkaline?


I understand that some of the slow-mo functions in S8 cameras, just couple the motor directly to the power without any regulating of the speed. Rechargeables should probably maintain their speed even as they slow down.

Edited by Freya, 02 May 2006 - 07:21 PM.

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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 10:47 PM

I certainly have, and with Nicads too!
...but certainly not for 10 hours! Yowch!!! How do you deal with that, can't be fun to watch a camera do its thing for 10 hours and if you aren't paying attention, someone might "have it away!"


One technique is to have a reason to be someplace for that long, or do it from homebase.


My ni-cads are normally warm when they get pulled out.
I understand that some of the slow-mo functions in S8 cameras, just couple the motor directly to the power without any regulating of the speed. Rechargeables should probably maintain their speed even as they slow down.


And yet, my non-rechargeable alkalines were putting out 8.71 volts versus 8.13 for the NiMH and the NiMH batteries were running the camera significantly faster. Could the voltage versus current comparison become more and more critical the older our cameras get?
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#13 David W Scott

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 09:25 AM

I am using NiMH AA's in my cameras, very happily.

I have never found NiCad's reliable, so I had previously resorted to Alkalines. However, I don't like hurting the environment or my wallet with disposable batteries. Once I switched to NiMH batteries for other high-draw use (my digital still camera), I tried the NiMH in my Super 8 cameras, and haven't looked back.

Obviously, the voltage difference might be a factor for your cameras, affecting the light meter or even the frame rate. But realistically, alkaline batteries drop to 1.2 volts pretty quickly under heavy use, and continue to drop as they are expended. The nice thing about the NiMH is that they hold that 1.2V right up until they die.

I use the NiMH in an Elmo Super 106, with 4xAA cells, and an AGFA Movexoom 10, which uses 6 cells. With 6 cells, the cumulative voltage drop using NiMH's will be substantial, so I tested the AGFA with both Alkalines and NiMH. I used fresh alkalines, metered at 1.56V each, and NiMH measured at 1.3V each. Despite the difference of 9.36V total, vs 7.8V total, there was no change in exposure metering, and no difference in operation of the camera motor or functions.

Regarding how hot the batteries get -- NiMH cells will get quite hot when they are charging, and when they are discharging. That is completely normal. However, it is recommended to NOT RECHARGE your batteries as soon as they are depleted, and while they are hot. Let them cool down before you put them in the charger. Similarly, DO NOT PUT FRESHLY CHARGED batteries into use immediately. They are hot coming out of the charger -- take them out and let them cool down before you pop them into your camera and start running.
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:59 AM

Great info David, thanks!

What milliamp hours do your batteries rate at and do you feel there is a threshold point at which the milliamp hour rating actually affects the camera operation, or do you think the battery output current is similar whether the NiMH rechargeable is rated at 2000 or 2500 milliamp hours?
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#15 David W Scott

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 02:58 PM

My batteries are a couple of years old -- they are 1800 milliamp hour.

I wouldn't get hung up on the mAh rating. I believe it is only an indicator of capacity, not of current handling. So, 2500 mAh should let you shoot for 125% of the time that 2000 mAh would give. Current should be comparable, but I haven't tested.


Great info David, thanks!

What milliamp hours do your batteries rate at and do you feel there is a threshold point at which the milliamp hour rating actually affects the camera operation, or do you think the battery output current is similar whether the NiMH rechargeable is rated at 2000 or 2500 milliamp hours?


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#16 Mike Crane

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:04 PM

If you are doing intervalometer work, the more mAh you can get the better! You will need this for extended shoots. I would go with the highest mAh number available.
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