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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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Battery usage and disposal.

One thing I'm learning quickly especially in the audio world is how quickly one can burn through a set of batteries. Everything from mics, to mixers, recorders and so on. AA, AAA, 9 volt, oye!

So my question is not so much about the economics. I'm sure that you figure in your proposals battery usage/replacement (or should). I know you can buy bulk packs of batterirs at places like Costco, not sure if their prices are competitive. Maybe you all have some great resources.

I'm assuming you guys just send the old batteries to a recycleing bin some place (not trash!)

Does anyone use rechargeables for devices or is that just asking for trouble. I know lithium runs about a volt less than standard IIRC.

Just got me thinkin' Wow. lots o' batteries!

Jonathan
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

Rechargeable (secondary) cells typically have lower output voltage than primary (one-time) cells.
For example 1.2V @ full charge vs 1.5V @ full charge, etc.
This is OK for some equipment, and other gear thinks 1.2V is "flat".

Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH batteries are highly regarded by many as being higher than average quality.
Lower self-discharge, etc. But still only 1.2V at full charge.

Cost of disposable primary cells is typically factored into the cost of production.

IME, Costco is a good place to buy batteries as the bulk price is decent, but perhaps MORE importantly, the turnover is VERY HIGH, ensuring that you are always getting fresh product.

I had a horrible time in South Africa trying to find "new" AA cells that weren't already half-flat. Learning: BYOB (bring your own batteries) if traveling abroad, and especially in the "3rd world".
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:28 PM   #3
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

I use copper tops in all of my audio gear. 12 batterys everytime. They get changed before every job. I buy them in bulk packages at Costco. Yep, lots of barely used battery's but I don't throw them away. I have 3 grandchildren that have devices that use AA battery's so once a month or so I "donate" the used battery's to them. I also keep some around the house for flashlights and the like.
It's at the point that my son is telling me they don't need anymore so I'm going to start taking them to a recycle center or donate them to a shelter.
The only ones that don't have a lot of juice left in them are the 6 from my receiver but the 6 that I use in my transmitters are generally about 80% so they're good for something.
I did use rechargeables once (Eneloop 1900MaH) and I was as nervouse as a long tailed cat in a room foull of rocking chairs. I"ve used them in my LPMicro light and 1 set would last about 4 hours but in the audio....Man I was sweating. I never used them for audio again. Never had a failure with the coppertops so why change?
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

According to sources I considered reliable, the Costco house-brand ("Kirkland") batteries are copper-top Duracell with a different heat-shrink label around them.

Recycling (of batteries or anything else for that matter) is rather a local variable that you will have to research for yourself.. At the office where I work, we have four plastic buckets for discarded batteries of various chemistries.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

I've heard that as well and I MIGHT try one package to see if there is a difference but honestly, I get 40 AA coppertops there for about 13 or 14 bucks and it's a writeoff anyway and I just TRUST them. I can go thru an event without worrying if the batterys are going to make it thru but I think I will look into the Kirkland brand just to satisfy myself.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

Thanks guys.

I know Home Depot recycles batteries, as do some computer store places i.e. Microcenter, not far from me.

It seems for production work, bulk is the way to go.

Don, I like your idea of donating bats that are not completely empty. Shelter's are a good idea.I was also thinking of putting "job" used 9 volts in smoke detectors around the house. I know that at a certain point the detector may send out a beep letting me know that they are to gone to use for even that.

So yeah, the issue too is that all those drained batteries are not 100% drained from production work, and to some how use them for some other use until they are gone.

Interesting thoughts.

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Old January 3rd, 2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

From what I''e read regular alkaline batteries just end up in the dump no matter where you put them.. Home Depot has recycle bins for 'rechargeable' batteries, (as well as CFL bulbs) Never seen or heard of any other type of battery bin at the Home Depot stores, or Best Buy stores either.
I have an external battery system in my bag, which powers the mixer, recorder and Lectro receivers. Sennheiser receivers and transmitters are usually powered by rechargeables. The G2/3 will run 10+ hours on Sanyo Endloop or Rayovac Hybrids. I'm looking into Lithium Ion rechargeables.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
According to sources I considered reliable, the Costco house-brand ("Kirkland") batteries are copper-top Duracell with a different heat-shrink label around them.
From experience, the Kirkland batteries MASSIVELY under-perform compared to coppertops. I get about 4.5 hours out of coppertops in my wireless audio system, MAYBE 3 with Kirklands. Use in a Zoom H4N is similar... about 60% versus coppertops.

Bang for the buck in low drain devices? Point: Kirkland. Mission critical and/or high drain devices? Point: coppertop
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Old January 10th, 2013, 01:38 AM   #9
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

I used to use duracells exclusively until I started using eneloop rechargables. Now that I have enough eneloops to have sets of spares, I am wondering if I should give away my duracells before they expire because I never use them (joking but not too far from the truth).
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

Just "mistakenly" put a set of 6 NiMHs in a field mixer. The instructions were pretty explicit about using alkaline. It seemed to work normally for half an hour and then there was awful sounding buzzing and whirring that went up and down the scales.

Found one of these fast discharging batteries starting loosing its power before the others. Learned a lesson quick there. No harm to the unit but now the NIMHs are just for flash and portable vid lights.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Battery usage and disposal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Mirro View Post
Just "mistakenly" put a set of 6 NiMHs in a field mixer. The instructions were pretty explicit about using alkaline. It seemed to work normally for half an hour and then there was awful sounding buzzing and whirring that went up and down the scales.

Found one of these fast discharging batteries starting loosing its power before the others. Learned a lesson quick there. No harm to the unit but now the NIMHs are just for flash and portable vid lights.
and that's why I don't use rechargables in my audio gear. Nick I hope it didn't cost you anything. :-(
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