AA NiCad's: bad luck with Radio Shack "High-Capacity" batteries

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ben, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Ben

    Ben Guest

    I have since switched to NiMH batteries for many of my AA rechargeable
    battery needs (walkie-talkies, cameras) but I still need NiCad's for
    devices that originally came with NiCad batteries and corresponding
    charging circuits; CD players that both my kids were given 12/25/03, a
    Garrity flashlight that came with four 600 mAh NiCad's, and my
    Norelco razor that I replace the batteries on with 600 mAh RS batteries
    that come with terminal strips.

    A couple years ago I bought a couple packs of AA "high-capacity"
    NiCad's from Radio Shack. I first bought some blue ones (cat. #
    23-149A) rated 1000 mAh expecting much longer usage times. Instead I
    got performance much worse than the yellow Eveready's I had been
    using (capacity not stated on the battery) and than some yellow
    Sanyo's I had been using (600 mAh), and by "much worse" I mean
    probably less than 1/3 of the usage time (I've used them in
    walkie-talkies, and in AA flashlights). I didn't bitch to RS
    thinking maybe I ought to try other batteries, so I bought some silver
    ones (cat. # 23-325, 700 mAh looking for a capacity closer to that of
    the yellow ones that seemed to provide more use per chg. The silver
    ones also gave out after only very short usage times.

    The disk players my Kids got a little over a year ago seem to play for
    quite a few hours on a charge. Both Kids use them hours every day. My
    daughter's started refusing a charge recently, and apparently one of
    the original batteries must have been defective because it had what
    looked like corrosion on it. My son's are still going strong. You
    can't find NiCad's easily any more (I checked Wal-Mart, Kmart,
    Target, Staples, etc.) and reluctantly went to RS again. They only
    carry "high-cap." NiCad's now. I complained to the sales guy
    about how poorly the RS batteries performed that I had bought in the
    past. He assured me that I must have somehow abused the previous ones
    I had bought, and I finally (not having a quick alternative) bought
    another set of four blue ones (the only NiCad's they had). They look
    a little different now and have a yellow recycling seal, and they've
    left off the words "high-capacity", so I was hoping for better
    performance. But it turns out they're the same batteries; 1000 mAh
    cat. # 23-149A costing about $13 for 4. In neither CD player will they
    accept a charge that lasts more than a few minutes (even though my
    son's original JVC batteries still go for hours on a charge in either
    CD player after a year of heavy use).

    WHAT IS GOING ON??? To me this has been very frustrating and expensive
    too (the 12 batteries I can't use cost over 30 bucks). I must admit
    that the batteries I also got from RS (600 mAh yellow ones with
    terminal strips) have been working well. But their high-capacity
    NiCad's are horrible. I WILL return these last four (I bought them
    last week). I never use any of the Radio Shack batteries with a
    capacity over 600 mAh (the ones in my razor being the only RS
    rechargeable that I use). I still use my older yellow batteries and
    get much more use out of them (Kids' Walkies, flash lights).

    I don't know where to get batteries to get my daughter's CD player
    working (without an adapter). Should I order on-line and pay the cost
    of batteries plus S&H? What vendor? What type and capacity of
    battery? Can anyone come up with an explanation of my experiences with
    these "high capacity batteries"? By the way, I do try not to abuse
    the batteries; I charge them fully before first use, I try to
    deep-cycle them to prevent the memory effect, I don't drop them. In
    any case, the JVC's, and the yellow ones (the Eveready's and
    particularly the Sanyo's) work well under similar usage conditions.

    Any help on this would be much appreciated. Please E-mail a copy of
    your reply to as will so I don't miss it. Thanks
    much again.

    Ben
    Ben, Jan 7, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Ben, hon -- your razor, your kids' CD player, your flashlight -- this is
    rec.photo.digital, hon. And you want replies emailed so you don't miss
    them. Ben, Ben, Ben.
    --
    Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 7, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Ben

    SteveB Guest

    Throw out the NiCds and use NiMH for everything. Take them out of the
    appliance to charge in a fast smart charger.
    You'll get much longer run times, the only downside is that there's a faster
    self discharge rate with NiMH, so they need charging every month at least.
    Your bad RS NiCd batteries may have internal shorts caused by not being used
    for ages, how long were they on Radio Shack's shelves I wonder?



    "Ben" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have since switched to NiMH batteries for many of my AA rechargeable
    > battery needs (walkie-talkies, cameras) but I still need NiCad's for
    > devices that originally came with NiCad batteries and corresponding
    > charging circuits; CD players that both my kids were given 12/25/03, a
    > Garrity flashlight that came with four 600 mAh NiCad's, and my
    > Norelco razor that I replace the batteries on with 600 mAh RS batteries
    > that come with terminal strips.
    >
    > A couple years ago I bought a couple packs of AA "high-capacity"
    > NiCad's from Radio Shack. I first bought some blue ones (cat. #
    > 23-149A) rated 1000 mAh expecting much longer usage times. Instead I
    > got performance much worse than the yellow Eveready's I had been
    > using (capacity not stated on the battery) and than some yellow
    > Sanyo's I had been using (600 mAh), and by "much worse" I mean
    > probably less than 1/3 of the usage time (I've used them in
    > walkie-talkies, and in AA flashlights). I didn't bitch to RS
    > thinking maybe I ought to try other batteries, so I bought some silver
    > ones (cat. # 23-325, 700 mAh looking for a capacity closer to that of
    > the yellow ones that seemed to provide more use per chg. The silver
    > ones also gave out after only very short usage times.
    >
    > The disk players my Kids got a little over a year ago seem to play for
    > quite a few hours on a charge. Both Kids use them hours every day. My
    > daughter's started refusing a charge recently, and apparently one of
    > the original batteries must have been defective because it had what
    > looked like corrosion on it. My son's are still going strong. You
    > can't find NiCad's easily any more (I checked Wal-Mart, Kmart,
    > Target, Staples, etc.) and reluctantly went to RS again. They only
    > carry "high-cap." NiCad's now. I complained to the sales guy
    > about how poorly the RS batteries performed that I had bought in the
    > past. He assured me that I must have somehow abused the previous ones
    > I had bought, and I finally (not having a quick alternative) bought
    > another set of four blue ones (the only NiCad's they had). They look
    > a little different now and have a yellow recycling seal, and they've
    > left off the words "high-capacity", so I was hoping for better
    > performance. But it turns out they're the same batteries; 1000 mAh
    > cat. # 23-149A costing about $13 for 4. In neither CD player will they
    > accept a charge that lasts more than a few minutes (even though my
    > son's original JVC batteries still go for hours on a charge in either
    > CD player after a year of heavy use).
    >
    > WHAT IS GOING ON??? To me this has been very frustrating and expensive
    > too (the 12 batteries I can't use cost over 30 bucks). I must admit
    > that the batteries I also got from RS (600 mAh yellow ones with
    > terminal strips) have been working well. But their high-capacity
    > NiCad's are horrible. I WILL return these last four (I bought them
    > last week). I never use any of the Radio Shack batteries with a
    > capacity over 600 mAh (the ones in my razor being the only RS
    > rechargeable that I use). I still use my older yellow batteries and
    > get much more use out of them (Kids' Walkies, flash lights).
    >
    > I don't know where to get batteries to get my daughter's CD player
    > working (without an adapter). Should I order on-line and pay the cost
    > of batteries plus S&H? What vendor? What type and capacity of
    > battery? Can anyone come up with an explanation of my experiences with
    > these "high capacity batteries"? By the way, I do try not to abuse
    > the batteries; I charge them fully before first use, I try to
    > deep-cycle them to prevent the memory effect, I don't drop them. In
    > any case, the JVC's, and the yellow ones (the Eveready's and
    > particularly the Sanyo's) work well under similar usage conditions.
    >
    > Any help on this would be much appreciated. Please E-mail a copy of
    > your reply to as will so I don't miss it. Thanks
    > much again.
    >
    > Ben
    >
    SteveB, Jan 7, 2005
    #3
  4. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Phil Stripling wrote:
    > Ben, hon -- your razor, your kids' CD player, your flashlight -- this

    is
    > rec.photo.digital, hon. And you want replies emailed so you don't

    miss
    > them. Ben, Ben, Ben.
    > --
    > Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    > The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    > http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.



    Phil, dear :) -- neither my Canon PowerShot G2, nor my Dimage A2 use
    NiMH or NiCads. I do read this group and am aware of the content. But
    I also notice that there are a lot of folks knowledgeable about
    batteries. Sure I can use NiMH batteries (I have a Maha MHC401FS
    charger and over a dozen high-cap NiMH batteries) but

    1. I am pissed about the RS batteries and just wanted to know what
    was going on with them nad if others had had the same experiences
    and 2. It's much more convenient and easier on the CD player to
    leave the batteries in and let the player's charging circuit handle the
    charging,

    Thanks anyway Phil, Phil, Phil
    Ben, Jan 7, 2005
    #4
  5. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Phil Stripling wrote:
    > Ben, hon -- your razor, your kids' CD player, your flashlight -- this

    is
    > rec.photo.digital, hon. And you want replies emailed so you don't

    miss
    > them. Ben, Ben, Ben.
    > --
    > Phil Stripling | email to the replyto address is presumed
    > The Civilized Explorer | spam and read later. email from this URL
    > http://www.cieux.com/ | http://www.civex.com/ is read daily.



    Phil, dear :) -- neither my Canon PowerShot G2, nor my Dimage A2 use
    NiMH or NiCads. I do read this group and am aware of the content. But
    I also notice that there are a lot of folks knowledgeable about
    batteries. Sure I can use NiMH batteries (I have a Maha MHC401FS
    charger and over a dozen high-cap NiMH batteries) but

    1. I am pissed about the RS batteries and just wanted to know what
    was going on with them nad if others had had the same experiences
    and 2. It's much more convenient and easier on the CD player to
    leave the batteries in and let the player's charging circuit handle the
    charging,

    Thanks anyway Phil, Phil, Phil
    Ben, Jan 7, 2005
    #5
  6. Ben

    Ben Guest

    I didn't even try to use the old batteries in the CD players, only the
    new ones. I too had assumed that the old ones were useless. It just
    seems so absurd that high-capacity batteries could truly be so bad.

    And it is so much easier to let the AC jack on the players provide the
    recharging power. And what about the razor (I feel self-conscious
    after Phil's post even asking about this). The set of 600 mAh
    batteries I soldered in are still providing a week's worth of shaving
    (they had initially provided over a month of shaves) after over three
    years of use (and they are RS batteries too).

    I am just vexed by this whole situation. RS has a pretty good
    reputation (or so I thought) when it comes to batteries, buy my
    personal experience with their high-capacity NiCads has made me steer
    clear of them when it comes to any batteries at all.

    Again, has anyone had similar experiences, and can anyone recommend a
    source for reliable NiCads.

    By the way Steve, the NiMH batteries I have have performed
    magnificently -- there's no question that NiMH is the way to go.
    Still, my Kids will destroy their players if they have to pull the
    batts out to charge them.

    Thanks Steve (and thanks all for putting up with my slightly
    "off-group" question.

    Ben
    Ben, Jan 7, 2005
    #6
  7. Ben

    Ben Guest

    and I want to add also that if the player is turned off and left
    plugged in, that's when the charging circuit does it's job. Would that
    damage NiMH batteries is they were in the unit? When the batts go dead
    they'll use AC to listen to it; I'm sure they'd forget to unplug the
    unit half the time when they weren't using it.
    Ben, Jan 7, 2005
    #7
  8. Ben

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Ben wrote:

    > I have since switched to NiMH batteries for many of my AA rechargeable
    > battery needs (walkie-talkies, cameras) but I still need NiCad's for
    > devices that originally came with NiCad batteries and corresponding
    > charging circuits; CD players that both my kids were given 12/25/03, a
    > Garrity flashlight that came with four 600 mAh NiCad's, and my
    > Norelco razor that I replace the batteries on with 600 mAh RS batteries
    > that come with terminal strips.
    >
    > A couple years ago I bought a couple packs of AA "high-capacity"
    > NiCad's from Radio Shack. I first bought some blue ones (cat. #
    > 23-149A) rated 1000 mAh expecting much longer usage times. Instead I
    > got performance much worse than the yellow Eveready's I had been
    > using (capacity not stated on the battery) and than some yellow
    > Sanyo's I had been using (600 mAh), and by "much worse" I mean
    > probably less than 1/3 of the usage time (I've used them in
    > walkie-talkies, and in AA flashlights). I didn't bitch to RS
    > thinking maybe I ought to try other batteries, so I bought some silver
    > ones (cat. # 23-325, 700 mAh looking for a capacity closer to that of
    > the yellow ones that seemed to provide more use per chg. The silver
    > ones also gave out after only very short usage times.
    >
    > The disk players my Kids got a little over a year ago seem to play for
    > quite a few hours on a charge. Both Kids use them hours every day. My
    > daughter's started refusing a charge recently, and apparently one of
    > the original batteries must have been defective because it had what
    > looked like corrosion on it. My son's are still going strong. You
    > can't find NiCad's easily any more (I checked Wal-Mart, Kmart,
    > Target, Staples, etc.) and reluctantly went to RS again. They only
    > carry "high-cap." NiCad's now. I complained to the sales guy
    > about how poorly the RS batteries performed that I had bought in the
    > past. He assured me that I must have somehow abused the previous ones
    > I had bought, and I finally (not having a quick alternative) bought
    > another set of four blue ones (the only NiCad's they had). They look
    > a little different now and have a yellow recycling seal, and they've
    > left off the words "high-capacity", so I was hoping for better
    > performance. But it turns out they're the same batteries; 1000 mAh
    > cat. # 23-149A costing about $13 for 4. In neither CD player will they
    > accept a charge that lasts more than a few minutes (even though my
    > son's original JVC batteries still go for hours on a charge in either
    > CD player after a year of heavy use).
    >
    > WHAT IS GOING ON??? To me this has been very frustrating and expensive
    > too (the 12 batteries I can't use cost over 30 bucks). I must admit
    > that the batteries I also got from RS (600 mAh yellow ones with
    > terminal strips) have been working well. But their high-capacity
    > NiCad's are horrible. I WILL return these last four (I bought them
    > last week). I never use any of the Radio Shack batteries with a
    > capacity over 600 mAh (the ones in my razor being the only RS
    > rechargeable that I use). I still use my older yellow batteries and
    > get much more use out of them (Kids' Walkies, flash lights).
    >
    > I don't know where to get batteries to get my daughter's CD player
    > working (without an adapter). Should I order on-line and pay the cost
    > of batteries plus S&H? What vendor? What type and capacity of
    > battery? Can anyone come up with an explanation of my experiences with
    > these "high capacity batteries"? By the way, I do try not to abuse
    > the batteries; I charge them fully before first use, I try to
    > deep-cycle them to prevent the memory effect, I don't drop them. In
    > any case, the JVC's, and the yellow ones (the Eveready's and
    > particularly the Sanyo's) work well under similar usage conditions.
    >
    > Any help on this would be much appreciated. Please E-mail a copy of
    > your reply to as will so I don't miss it. Thanks
    > much again.
    >
    > Ben


    Hi Ben...

    My suspicion is - and it's only a suspicion - is that the day
    of the NiCd is over. What you're buying now is old stock
    that's been lying around since who knows when. They do have
    a finite shelf life.

    Some here will surely take me to task for saying it, but
    the devices that have NiCd's and chargers now in your
    possession can almost certainly use NiMh's. Positively
    use them if they are of the slow charge 12 or 24 hour type.

    Give it a try with one of your older set of camera batteries.

    First give them a lecture. Stern fatherly lecture. That they
    never ever remove them themselves, never carry them loose.
    Never transfer them from one device to another. They are
    dangerous - I'm an old retired super cautious electrical
    guy, and I have the burn marks on my leg to prove it.

    Ken
    Ken Weitzel, Jan 7, 2005
    #8
  9. Ben wrote:

    ....
    > WHAT IS GOING ON???

    .....
    > Ben


    I suspect that for one thing you are over reacting. Second you are
    forgetting that sh&* happens and there are things like bad runs that make it
    past quality control or old stock etc. It also happens that some batteries
    require a cycle or two before they come up to capacity.

    Take a deep breath. Consider the real meaning of life and consider
    moving on. Try NiMH's for the uses you are not using old technology for,
    charging them outside the device. They will work for many such devices.
    Also try running the old tech batteries through a few cycles to see if they
    improve.

    Life is short. Don't sweat the small stuff, this is really small stuff.

    --
    Joseph Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 7, 2005
    #9
  10. Ben

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Ben <> wrote:
    > and I want to add also that if the player is turned off and left
    > plugged in, that's when the charging circuit does it's job. Would that
    > damage NiMH batteries is they were in the unit? When the batts go dead
    > they'll use AC to listen to it; I'm sure they'd forget to unplug the
    > unit half the time when they weren't using it.


    Probably not.

    If you want to follow up on your NiCd batteries, here is information
    about restoring cells suffering from memory effect:

    http://www.buchmann.ca/chap10-page1.asp
    http://www.buchmann.ca/chap10-page2.asp
    http://www.buchmann.ca/chap10-page3.asp
    http://www.buchmann.ca/chap10-page4.asp
    Bill Tuthill, Jan 7, 2005
    #10
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