I’ve spent the last couple days conversing with a representative from Shure’s Product Management Team.Â Recently, Shure has released a few body packs and one transmitter that are not currently compatible with NiMH rechargeable batteries.
The problem lies that unlike conventional alkaline batteries, it seems that on all NiMH rechargeable batteries there is little or no insulation around the negative contact.Â With a few affected Shure products, there is a data contact that sits in between the two AA negative battery contacts. (see below)
Since rechargeable batteries are slightly wider than alkaline batteries, and/orÂ provide little or no insulation around the contact, it can cause the battery to short out. Due to the power densities of NiMH batteries, this could cause a situation where the packs heat up – or in worst case – melt.
Shure is in the process of making the necessary product modifications.Â In speaking with Shure, they are looking to make a running change to their design that would go into production in the next 2-3 months.
Please note:Â The majority of Shure body packs/transmitters are not affected, just these 4 specific models:Â
ULXD1 – wireless mic transmitter
UR5 – portable receiver for camera mounting
P9RA – in-ear monitor receiver
P10RA – in ear monitor receiver
We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments with the Shure product line.
Low Discharge Batteries are rapidly becoming the battery of choice for many users of rechargeable batteries for several reasons:
1.Â Ease of Operation.Â You can use these batteries just like an alkaline. Not need to worry about getting them back on the charger after use. They remain charged in stand-by mode for up to one yr.
2.Â Higher Capacity.Â The newer versions now tout higher capacities that rival the standard high-capacity rechargeables. For example, our new Ansmann 9V 300 mah is a low self discharge battery that has a higher capacity of its predecessor, the standard 9V 250 mah.
3.Â Higher recycles. We’ve found that the low self-discharge feature also boosts recycles. Some of this may be due to the type of device in which the battery is used. However, if the battery is not allowed to completely discharge, this reserves useable chemistry in the battery and provides maximum recycles.
Of course, if you need maximum “juice” with AA’s or AAA’s, than the Ansmann high capacity cells still make the most sense.Â Certain applications such as wireless mics with a high-drain may still require a higher capacity.
As you may know, Ansmann recently upgraded their rechargeable battery line. The AA’s, 9V’s, and AAAs all have higher minimum capacity which translates into longer run-times and higher recycles.
The Bad News Was . . .
Some of our clients with dimension-sensitive devices could not tolerate the slightly wider diameter of the AA cells.
The Good News Is . . .
Through special arrangement with Ansmann, Horizon Battery will continue to provide the original “slimline” version of both the 2850 mah cellÂ You will now see both versions available on our website.
The Skinny on 9V’s . . .
Ansmann is in the process of consolidating their 9V selections. The new 9V 300 mah is now available and is replacing both the standard 9V 250 mah and the Max E low discharge 250 mah
The standard 9V 250 mah is no longer available.Â We will continue to carry offer the Max E 250 mah as long as there is stock. The new 300 mah Ansmann is also low self discharge and can be used for both high and low drain devices. It is the same dimensions as the previous batteries, so no worries about the fit.
We’ve had great reports from our clients that are using this powerful new battery.Â Check them out!
They say that necessity is the mother of all invention.Â All I can say is that for the last few years I have been talking with battery charger manufacturers about the need for a higher capacity 9V Battery charger that could handle multiple chemistries – both NiMH and Li-Ion rechargeable batteries.
Finally somebody listened. The Tenergy Corp has just introduced an inexpensive, 6-bay 9V battery charger that will handle both NiMH and Li-Ion cells.Â We had the opportunity to perform a “hands-on” product review of the Tenergy TN346 battery charger and see how it stood up toÂ the charging of Ansmann NiMH 9V cells as well asÂ HiTech and Tenergy Li-Ion Cells.Â Take a few minutes to watch the product review.
We found the charger to perform well with both chemistries. The Ansmann NiMh’s charged up to capacity on the first charge.Â Both the HiTech and Tenergy Li-Ion’s required 2 or 3 intital charge cycles to bring them up to full capacity. (This is typical of new batteries, particularly Li-Ion chemistry)
As to the batteries, the “new kid on the block” the Tenergy li-Ion 9V, (rated at 500 mah,)Â we found the true capacity to be closer to 350 mahÂ (it’s stated minimum capacity.)
The best feature of the this new charger is when you have different devices that require a variety of run-times. You can opt for the higher capacity 9V’s in Li-Ion and still use it to charge the NiMH cells of lower capacity.
An example of this would be wireless mics or in-ear monitors. Suppose you have a few units that are real power hungry and require runtimes in excess of 4 hours. You could use a Li-Ion battery and get up to 15 hours and still use the NiMH cells for your shorter run time devices.Â NiMH have higher recycles value than Li-Ions so you can still get the most mileage from them and use the high capacity Li-ions for your longer run-times – without the need for separate chargers — and the possibility of charging the wrong cells in the wrong charger.
What constitutes a high quality rechargeable battery? This is not as simple as some may think.Â As the public becomes more aware of the “green” value of rechargeable batteries, there is a growing list of new battery brands popping up.Â ItÂ reminds me of the “natural foods” phenomenon that occurred when the major food brands were challenged about the nutritional value of their products. Suddenly, every cereal, bread, snack, etc.,Â starting touting the label “all natural.”
And so it goes with the rechargeable battery industry.
Check who’s using them.Â The professionals that rely on high quality rechargeables have been using the best brands for quite some time. They’ve already done the research by trial and error.Â This is a good time to point out some of our high profile companies – like Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, plus thousands of production facilities and professional photographers who all use the Ansmann batteries and chargers.Â This should be a huge “hint.”
Check the warranty.Â Is there a performance guarantee outside the 30-day refund? (Some brands won’t even provide the 30 days!)Â Professional grade rechargeable batteries will offer a two-year guarantee on the ability for a nimh rechargeable battery to hold a charge. That doesn’t mean that the battery will still be able to be charged to 100% capacity – as this will vary greatly by frequency of use and drain applied to the battery. The warranty has more to do about internal shorting of the battery and it’s ability to continue to be used for more recycles.
Check the Label.Â Just like everyone in the supermarket is reading the nutritional value of the foods they consume, your batteries should provide a bit of truth to “what’s inside.” Recently, the European Union forced battery manufacturers to provide the “minimum capacity” on the package of rechargeable batteries and on the battery itself.Â (EU Battery Directive 2066/66/EC) Â This is a step in the right direction asÂ you will now see the differences in what the stated “maximum capacity” is and the minimum capacity.Â If it differs by more than 10%, you going to see a lot of “re-labeling” occur.Â Some brands out there that have been purporting AA 2900 mah reflect a minimum capcity of 2400 mah or less!Â Although this new labeling is not mandatory here in the USÂ (yet) the Ansmann brand is already providing both the maximum AND minimum capacities on their labels.
All though you’ve heard it before, I’ll say it again.Â You get what you pay for. Competition is the battery field is fierce. This is good for consumers with one caveat: Always compare apples to apples.Â In a slow economy, price is king – however – saving $1 on a 4-pack of batteries that you’ll need to replace 3-4x times sooner makes no sense at all.
We’re pleased to announce the addition of our 12-bay battery charger to our arsenal of quality AA and AAA chargers. This inexpensive automated charger works well with both Max EÂ low discharge batteries as well as Ansmann high capacity cells.
Horizon’s New 12-Bay AA-AAAA Battery Charger
This LCD Microprocessor controlled, 12 position battery charger boasts the follow features:
Suitable for 1-12 pieces of AA or AAA N-iMH Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries
Built-in IC and Advanced Delta-V charging control function
Individual monitoring/charging of cells
Overheat, over-current, and short-circuit protection
Detection of non-rechargeable and defective battery
LCD indicator for individual charging status
Manual discharge function
Auto-switch to trickle charge after charge cycle.
Introductory pricing is good through April 25th.Â The charger can be bought separately or with a selection of Ansmann and Max E AA or AAA rechargeable batteries.Â For those that prefer automated refreshing of cell, instead of manual discharge, we still recommend either the Energy 8+ or Energy 16 chargers.Â Many clients use a combination of the reconditioning battery chargers and the new 12-bay “manual discharge” charger.
With a charge current of 500 mA per channel, the new 12-bay charger delivers freshly charged cells in a 2-6 hours range, depending on the cell’s capacity. The charger also carries a UL approved 100-240V US power supply which can be used worldwide.
We’ve just posted Part II ofÂ “Learning the How and Why – Before You Buy” video series – choosing the best rechargeable batteries for your applications.Â In this section we deal with the differences between high-capacity rechargeable batteries, low discharge batteries, nimh and lithium batteries and discuss the strengths and weakness of each.
We encourage you to first view Part I before tackling this section. There are also some introductory savings coupons at the end of this video for first-time users of rechargeable batteries and high quality Ansmann battery chargers.
Fee free to share it with your friends, family and co-workers
We’re continuing to expand consumer education of the effective use of the rechargeable battery in a new 3 part video series just released yesterday.Â In Part I, we explore the differences between high drain and low drain devices as well as understanding run-time, pattern of use, and cost comparisons to alkaline batteries. We’ve also included a helpful link for a “Rechargeable Battery Checklist” which makes it very easy to categorize electronic devices for those who are looking to make the switch to rechargeables.
Although we’ve found that most peopleÂ make the switch to rechargeables do so by first using them for one device, this informative video explains how easy it is to convert your entire household, business or organization over to rechargeable batteries.Â In Part II and III we explore the different types of rechargeable batteries and how to choose the best charger.Â Feel free to pass it on to your family and friends.
Our inventory of specialty cells has grown to include the most common size coin cells, button cells and hearing aid batteries.Â The Ansmann Brand guarantees freshness and high performance.Â If you have a car remote, digital scale or other electronics then you know how important it is to stay stocked in the proper sizes of these specialty batteries.
Alkaline and Lithium Button Cells
We offer both alkaline and high-power lithium coin cells as well as zinc-air hearing aidÂ batteries in all standard sizes.Â You’ll find our prices to be less than what you would pay in the hardware or DIY store down the street.
Next time you place an order for rechargeable batteries or battery chargers, be sure to include a few of these specialty batteries – this way you’ll get them shipped inexpensively.