Author Topic: Best Size of Battery  (Read 8134 times)

Offline Braden

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Best Size of Battery
« on: October 22, 2008, 08:29:48 PM »
Greetings All,
  I've been thinking about this one for a few weeks now.
  After listening to the mp3 from this thread (and its definitely worth a listen)
    http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php/topic,16.msg5230.html
  He mentioned that the best type of batteries for anything was D Cell (well I think that is what he was getting at).
  I don't know how on board with that I am (Ok so he worked at Duracell and obviously knows battery tech - and I'm sure he is right).

  I have a few torches/flashlights (depending where your from) that use the AAA size (LED - actually very bright) - they fit easily in 72 Hour and BOB aswell as a few sets of replacement batteries - weight it minimal. I'm guessing that they are alright for torches as they are not a critical item (there is always fire).
  I just like the size/weight factor - but is it really worth it.
  Perhaps AA should be what I should be looking at.

  Of course all this depends on the final use and type of gear - obviously if it is a device like a medium sized radio, perhaps bigger size batteries would be needed.

  I tend to think of batteries like ammo - Try to have as many devices(guns) as possible that use the same size of battery(ammo). That way you only need to worry about 1 size - you will never be wishing you had a few more D cells when they run out, but you have 6 AA left :(

  Also an interesting thread: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php/topic,539.0.html

  Anyway - food for thought - I'll leave it up to members of this forum to give advice and perspective on this kind of thinking (ammo/batteries) - I may be totally wrong  :-\

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 09:13:47 PM »
Best type of battery is what you have on hand that uses that type of battery. Most of my lights are AA or AAA (mostly single cell) because of the longer run times I can stick an extra two or three sets of batteries in my pocket and go. Thats a little hard to do with D's. Also the D size lights are just so big. I mainly focus on smaller lights with long run times. Flashlights are like guns, everyone thinks theirs is the best (or not) at what it does. Most of my gear runs off AA or AAA (radios, walkie talkkies and lights).

Lucretius

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 09:46:55 PM »
I plan to use D's for bugging in, and AA's for bugging out. The D's weigh too much, and are too bulky, for hiking. Their capacity would be welcome around the house WTSHTF though....

Offline Braden

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2008, 12:58:03 AM »
Lucretius - that was what I was thinking about the bugging in and bugging out except of course so far everything I have is AAA
Roknrandy - Also good to hear that someone else has many AA or AAA items, your definitely right about the D cell weight/size

Thanks for the info :)

Offline Stein

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2008, 11:22:12 AM »
It is all about capacity.  Pound for pound, D cells do pack more energy.  A radio will run for a very, very long time on a few D cells.

I have decided to go with AA or D as the only power sources I use with a single exception.  The light I have next to my handgun at night uses CR123s.  It is convenient when those cells are available and would be switched with the larger 4-6 D cell lights when/if it ran out.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are battery adapters that let you turn AAs into Cs or Ds.  The length of service would be minimal, but it would work.

A final thought is rechargeables.  True, they are a fraction of the storage capacity, but what they lack there can be made up with through recycling.  There are numerous solar chargers and hand-powered chargers available.  Even here in the rainy NW, I could eventually recharge AA or D cells if need be.  I can also charge them off of a vehicles alternator, deep cycle batteries or vehicle (boat) batteries, or any type of generator.

Offline Nate

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008, 11:33:28 AM »
I have switched my backpacking flashlights all over to AAA.  I needed a new LED headlamp anyway so the switch was easy.  I carry a hand held AAA LED flashlight as back up.  I have noticed battery life is longer in both of my AAA LED lights with alkaline than rechargeable batteries.   AAA works well for me as the flashlights I have are smaller and lighter to carry and pack.  So if you are bugging out on foot, use AAA's.   My thoughts only.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2008, 11:57:11 AM »
I've seen runtime charts that show rechargeables only have 30-60% of the power of alkalines, but you only need a set or two to keep switching so you never have to keep buying batteries. I store lots of alkalines and rechargeables. The rechargeables get used first then the alkalines so that will give me time to charge up the NIMH I have.

Here another thread on batteries and lights. http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php/topic,167.0.html

Offline Nate

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 12:30:22 PM »
The rechargeables get used first then the alkalines so that will give me time to charge up the NIMH I have.

That sounds like a good system.  Duh!  Why didn't I think of that?!?  I might do this now.

Lucretius

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 02:54:12 AM »
About rechargeables: I have really bad experiences with them. They stop working after a few cycles.

Besides, this is survival - which battery will I trust with my LIFE? I've never had a regular battery fail randomly, the way rechargeables tend to do. I've heard 9/11 horror stories about police officers inside the towers getting stuck in the dark when their rechargeable battery stacks failed... In a similar situation I'd go for reliable as the most important factor.

Besides, when regular batteries reach expiration date, they still have about 80% of their charge left, which is way better than nothing!  ;D

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 04:00:45 AM »
About rechargeables: I have really bad experiences with them. They stop working after a few cycles.

Besides, this is survival - which battery will I trust with my LIFE? I've never had a regular battery fail randomly, the way rechargeables tend to do. I've heard 9/11 horror stories about police officers inside the towers getting stuck in the dark when their rechargeable battery stacks failed... In a similar situation I'd go for reliable as the most important factor.

Besides, when regular batteries reach expiration date, they still have about 80% of their charge left, which is way better than nothing!  ;D

I've had very good luck with rechargeables, The set I'm using now are several years old and have had several hundred charges on them. What type/brand were you using? I only use NIMH (nickel-metal hydride). Some of those stories are true. The were using mag rechargbles with incandescent bulbs. After an hour or so they die. This is why I only use LED lights, because of the much longer run times and the stead discharge curve of NIMH it makes a great combination.

Lucretius

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 06:37:49 AM »
About rechargeables: I have really bad experiences with them. They stop working after a few cycles.

Besides, this is survival - which battery will I trust with my LIFE? I've never had a regular battery fail randomly, the way rechargeables tend to do. I've heard 9/11 horror stories about police officers inside the towers getting stuck in the dark when their rechargeable battery stacks failed... In a similar situation I'd go for reliable as the most important factor.

Besides, when regular batteries reach expiration date, they still have about 80% of their charge left, which is way better than nothing!  ;D

I've had very good luck with rechargeables, The set I'm using now are several years old and have had several hundred charges on them. What type/brand were you using? I only use NIMH (nickel-metal hydride). Some of those stories are true. The were using mag rechargbles with incandescent bulbs. After an hour or so they die. This is why I only use LED lights, because of the much longer run times and the stead discharge curve of NIMH it makes a great combination.

Thanks for the input!
I've tried just about all types except NIMH.... :-\ because I heard that NIMH tech has some serious problems in cold weather - which in my case is a BIG no-no!!!  ;) Maybe it's worth a try, I've other stuff that I need to keep warm (i.e. in a pocket, close to my body), maybe this is such a thing. Any specially good brand you know of? 

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2008, 08:00:25 AM »
The brand I have is NEXcell. I have AA (2400mah) and AAA (700mah) (probably 40 of each) that have given me no problems over the past 2-1\2 years. The store on ebay I purchased these from went out of business so I cant recommend anyone for you to look at  ???

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 08:49:35 AM »
I know a guy that is part of the "Tennessee Task Force One", an urban search and rescue group based out of West Tennessee. At one amateur radio meeting in Memphis, he did a presentation on the equipment that they use on their missions. He told us that they have standardized on using things with AA cells. This let's them buy AA batteries in bulk and have them available to power almost everything (flashlights, radios, GPS units, etc.). They have also found that the AA batteries are readily available most of the time.

They have also built devices that they can load with AA batteries and use to charge re-chargeable items such as cellular phones.

They have a web site www.tntf1.org where you may be able to get some more information on this team. Their web site is having some problems today, but maybe it's a temporary problem.

William

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 08:54:01 AM »
I try to keep my flashlights all on a standard of "AA" except for my weapons lights, which run "CR123".
I've got my Mag light that uses "D"  batteries, and that's soemthing I need to stock up on.

Offline iron mike

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 12:34:54 AM »
I've been running all of my flashlights, 2 way radios,  AM / FM / shortwave receivers, NVDs, GPS.....   on the same 40 AA & 60 AAA rechargeable batteries for more than 7 years now.    I keep twice that in reserve.    there are solar rechargers available.

Offline Hellboy

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2008, 07:16:13 AM »
I made a complete switch over to rechargeable a couple of years ago. For the price of 2 x 4packs of AA's I could get a pack of Lithium based rechargeable. I Also picked up a 12v recharger. If electricity went bye bye I could always charge off the car or 12v solar source. The only issue is I do have a bunch of surefires that tale CR123s si I keep them in stock.

Most things requiring batteries I purchase I make sure they take AA's or AAA's. I even have adapters where I can power my Yeasu Hand held Ham Radio with a AA battery pack if I can't recharge the internal cell.

GroundPounder

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2008, 09:15:47 AM »
Here is a nifty little gizmo I carry with me.  A few USB rechargeable AA batteries.  Keeps me from having to carry along a charger when I travel since I almost always have my laptop.


Offline iron mike

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2008, 12:32:47 PM »
hellboy

check here for cr123 rechargables & chargers

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=PRODSEARCH&txtSearch=cr123&x=15&y=12

they even have combo packs.


I have one NVD that runs on cr123s,  I couldn't find anyone that carried rechargables a couple of years ago,   I bought a lg supply of lithiums & improvised a wooden dowel to hold wires in the battery compartment & a battery box  so that I could power it up w/ AAs after the cr123s ran out.

looks like I'll be getting some of these instead.

GroundPounder

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2008, 01:45:16 PM »
Have you used the rechargeable batteries in a Surefire?  I have some G2 lights and there is warnings on the website that there may be issues with some Surefire lights.

Also, have you used the standard batteries?  How do they compare with Surefire brand?

Offline iron mike

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2008, 02:00:19 PM »
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Have you used the rechargeable batteries in a Surefire?  I have some G2 lights and there is warnings on the website that there may be issues with some Surefire lights.

Also, have you used the standard batteries?  How do they compare with Surefire brand?

The only item I have that uses cr123s is an Aries night vision scope.   So far, I've only run it on duracells & my improvesed 2 AA battery box.

All of my flashlights are AA or AAA


Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2008, 09:21:17 PM »
A little more on battery selection and rechargeables...

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!




On 4 Aug 2001 01:26:44 GMT, in misc.survivalism Dante'@inferno.net
(Speaker to Animals) wrote:

I lurk in a wider group of NGs then I ever post in...

Matching the Battery to the Task

By DAVID POGUE

IF the F.B.I. ever singled me out for surveillance, its final
report wouldn't hold much interest. "Wife, two kids, dog.
Watches `Survivor.'...

***edited by TexDaddy, in accordance with DMCA rules and regulations***
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 01:12:32 PM by TexDaddy »

Earth Monk

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2008, 04:09:01 PM »
I've dabbled with LEDs, they require a tiny fraction of power comparred to my surefires. I have a combo of the watch style battery to power most LED's like in my ballcap visor from L.L. Bean, to AAs for my LED Headlamp that lasts for a shit-ton of hours (yes, shit-ton is a scientific measurement where I am from) to the CR123 for the surefires.

Thankfully i can go down to my Supply shop, paid for by US Taxpayers (thanks folks!) to refresh my stocks when power runs low. (No flaming there, I don't abuse the system, it just so happens I use most of my juice regularly accomplishing duty related tasks).
-Ras

Ticktock

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2008, 08:57:18 AM »
Hello everyone, I thought I'd tune in with my first post on this forum.

There is a very reasonable price for a solar powered battery charger for AA and AAA batteries... in addition, there are a few solar powered chargers for C's and D's.

If you keep your eye in the mail... Lowe's has a 10 dollar off coupon for 25 dollars worth of purchases (at least use them for a 405 battery discount).  It's also a good time to watch for grocery stores closing (Albertson's recently went out of business), and had big discounts... including batteries.

In Liberty,
Thomas
 :o

Offline kernal_panic

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2008, 12:14:01 PM »
I use AAs too for nearly everything.

there is a 3rd type other than alkaline and lithium. its called Oxyride. panasonic developed them and licensed the tech to duracell and kodak. I don't believe energizer sells a version and neither does rayovac.

http://www.duracell.com/products/imaging/moderately.html

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=7050&pq-locale=en_US


Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Best Size of Battery
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2008, 03:01:31 PM »
I use AAs too for nearly everything.

there is a 3rd type other than alkaline and lithium. its called Oxyride. panasonic developed them and licensed the tech to duracell and kodak. I don't believe energizer sells a version and neither does rayovac.

http://www.duracell.com/products/imaging/moderately.html

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=7050&pq-locale=en_US

Never heard of them.  But then I'm sure there's a lot I haven't heard of too.  Were they for "high drain" apps like dig cameras?

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!