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NiMH or NiCD?

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  • NiMH or NiCD?

    Between the universal remote, digital camera, wireless KB/Mouse, and Wii controllers, Chez-Six is going through batteries like Tiger... .... nevermind...

    ANYWAY, I'm looking to get some AA and AAA rechargeables - before I spend time mining google for recommendations, I figured I'd post here first - anyone here have an opinion?

  • #2
    Re: NiMH or NiCD?

    nevermind... first hit on google was gold: :D NiMH it is :D


    • #3
      Re: NiMH or NiCD?

      More good info.

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      • #4
        Re: NiMH or NiCD?

        NiMH > NiCad.

        Of course, if you have any devices that takes a input voltage of 3.7v or higher, you could always spend more on rechargeable Li-Ion/Poly packs. Then you wouldn't have to deal with "battery memory" at all. Just have to make sure you recharge them when they drain down to around 40%.
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        • #5
          Re: NiMH or NiCD?

          I've been using since I got my first digital camera back in 1999. They usually have good bundle deals if you're getting into nonchargeables for the first time. I think a good charger is vital to a good experience with rechargeable batteries, btw.

          Also, you can't switch entirely over to rechargeables. They are NOT good for analog devices that will drain them completely (flashlights, clocks, speakers, etc...). When a NiMH battery is drained completely, it will not recharge. Better to keep them in digital devices which will shut down and/or not power up if there's not enough power in the battery.
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          • #6
            Re: NiMH or NiCD?

            Some of that greenenergy site is a little short on facts, but not entirely wrong, as someone who took a decent amount of schooling on DC electronics.

            NiMH batteries will NOT be a good switch for very low drain devices, a regular carbon-zinc ("Heavy Duty") battery will be fine for remotes, flashlights, etc. The problem with those batteries is on high-drain devices, it's true that thier voltage goes down under load and under discharge, they have a rapid curve downward in voltage as they discharge. Alkaline batteries were developed to combat that, they are more steady on high load. The other difference is alkalines have a lot lower internal resistance, which helps combat that.

            NiMH batteries are bad in a low-drain device like those because thier self-discharge rate is hellacios, 30-40% discharge a month just sitting there, unless you put them in cold storage. Comparitively, NiCd are 1/4 less (not "in a few days" like that article). The problems with THAT are the cell's capacity goes down as they're cooled in the case of NiMH, so you can't go from freezer to device, you'l need to let them warm up to room temperature before using/charging, because that could cause polarity reversal if you load up multiple batteries in the device. (What happens there is, one battery may be used more than the others, it goes dead first, and the others drive a charge through it as a conductor, reversing it's polarity and destroying the battery) The self-discharge may have been aleviated some in the newer "ready to be used" type batteries because they've redone thier formulas repeatedly in the last few years.

            Also, NiMH batteries require a special charger, don't go for a multiple charger type or "battery refresher" like the old days, you CANT use a NiCD charger to charge an NiMH, because of the different charge and discharge characteristics. Use a "smart charger" or one specifically for NiMH.

            All in all, though, they're a decent choice for things like your digital cameras, etc, because that probably has a discharge sensing circuit thats sensing your regular battery's voltages dipping from 1.5 to 1.3 or 1.4 during a flash or discharge and telling you it's dead. My cheaper 10mp camera does that constantly.

            NiCds come out more on top for devices that have a high/rapid discharge (if you have a bulb and capacitor-driven seperate flash for your camera for example, or things that use motors, etc) because thier rate of discharge is nearly flat, they hold almost the same voltage for 90%+ of thier discharge until almost dead, then it takes a dive.
            They hold their charge decently on the shelf, but if you're not going to use them for a long time, it's safer to discharge them to about half and store them in a cool place.

            Their major advantage is high-drain devices, and the fact they can be relatively abused without damaging them too much, with fast/rapid chargers (i've had some chargers claim to fully charge a NiCd for my RC cars in 15 minutes) and they're relative stability on shelf. If maintained properly and not overcharged or shorted out or negative-polarity charged (destroys virtually any battery, but they're moderately resistant to it, unlike NiMH) they can have 1000+ cycles.

            However, they can be prone to overcharging, which helps that memory effect, and they can get dendrites, which are little crystals of electrolyte, on/between the plates, which means you should recycle it. Also, thats one of the biggies, they contain Cadmium, which is a decently poisonous element, for one of their plates. Which means you can't just throw it in the trash, you need to recycle it.

            You might also want to look at those newer "rechargeable alkaline" batteries like Energizer produces. They have a lot of the characteristics of a regular alkaline, but with a regenerative electrolyte. Only disadvantage I can think of to them, as they're relatively inexpensive, is that they don't have a very good lifecycle, like 50-100 charges. However, they can maintain their charge for years on end like plain batteries.

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            • #7
              Re: NiMH or NiCD?

              good stuff guys, thanks.

              I ended up getting some NiMH AA's (2700mAH) along with one of these 8-location chargers:




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