So this Lazy Old Geek uses a lot of rechargeable batteries as probably do many people.
Here’s some that I can think of: laptop, cell phone, cordless phones, cameras, blood pressure cuff, cordless drills, flashlights, cordless toothbrush, cordless PC mouse.
There is a lot of information on the Internet about rechargeable batteries that can be confusing. I am going to try to summarize some of this plus add some tips of my own experiences. I welcome comments with your own experiences.
Some of my information came from these websites:
This website sells batteries and charges.
Batteries in a portable world
Both of these websites are sponsored by a company called Cadex that makes battery chargers.
Rechargeable Batteries and Chargers: A Personal Perspective
With many products you have no choice of what type battery you can use, e.g., laptops, cordless toothbrushes. Some like cordless drills you can select the type when you buy, NiCd, NiMH, Li-Ion.
With many products that use standard battery sizes, especially, AAA and AA, you can select the type of battery to use.
Step 1: AA AAA batteries, Cameras
It is simply incredible how much stuff use these batteries especially if you are a Geek like I am. See pictures. Many products come with alkaline (or zinc carbon) batteries. When they give out, I will always try to replace them with rechargeables. Now I say ‘try’ for a good reason.
The basic alkaline (and zinc-carbon) battery is 1.5Volts.
The basic NiCd and NiMH battery is 1.2Volts so may not work.
Many newer products, like my Canon camera are actually designed to work with either voltage and battery type but many older products will not or may only work on a freshly charged NiMH and may not last as long. I think I have an atomic clock and a couple of remote controls that won’t work with NiMH and one of my blood pressure cuffs will only work for a short time on AAA NiMH.
Suggestion: If you try rechargeable NiMH and they do not work, then switch back to alkaline.
Or you might try rechargeable alkalines.
Recharging akaline batteries: I do not do this but have read the following.
First, make sure your charger is capable of charging alkalines. Most are not. Second each time you recharge an alkaline, it will have less and less charge and will not last as long.
Third many people report that when they tried to recharge regular alkalines, they leaked. This is rather messy as (I believe) this is an
acid. (as a reader pointed out) alkali, a very caustic substance.
Not recommended. Alkaline batteries are pretty cheap anymore.
My Canon camera will work with alkaline batteries or NiMH batteries. This is true of many digital cameras. Most users find that the alkaline batteries don't last as long as NiMH batteries and recommend using NIMH batteries. I do. However, it you suddenly find yourself with discharged batteries, it is nice to know you always have the option of buying and using alkaline batteries.