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Archive for June, 2011

Maximizing Your Recharging System

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Equally important as the correct rechargeable battery is the proper battery charger. You don’t want to ruin great batteries with a bad charger. Let’s take a look at the battery charger options.

First, determine if you want to use a universal, high capacity centralized charging unit or several portable units or both. Most avid users of rechargeable batteries wind up using a combination of both.

Suppose your facility is a church with 12 AA wireless microphones, four 9V in-ear monitors, 5 listening assistance devices that use AA’s, and 10 LED lamps that use AAA’s. Obviously, this application will require a few high-capacity chargers that can charge multiple types of cells.
Perhaps you’re a family of four with a new baby. You need a charger that will handle AA’s for the digital camera and baby monitor, C batteries for the baby swing, AAA’s for the dad’s TV remote and wireless headphones, and a collection of C’ and D’s for the toys and games. It would make more sense to go with a universal charger too, but you may want a small portable charger as well for on-the-go charging.
A professional photographer may want an extremely fast AA charger for flash units, but still need portability for on-location. Ansmann offers quality battery chargers for every application.

If you still have that “device list” I asked you to create, now’s a good time to add all the batteries up and figure what charger(s) is/are best for you. On our website you’ll find a list of battery chargers, divided to into AA, 9V, and Combo chargers. Depending on how many batteries you need to charge, we can charge as little as two batteries and as many as 16 with a single charging unit.

Next, make sure the charger is “intelligent” and automatically switches to “trickle” charge when the batteries are completely charged. This will maintain the batteries in a topped-off condition and prevents over-charging which shortens the battery life and recycles. * The charger should not overheat the batteries. Many chargers on the market today that are dubbed as “fast chargers” overheat the batteries and shorten their life. Ansmann chargers, even the super-speed chargers all have over-heat protection to make sure batteries remain at an optimal temperature while charging.

For best results, choose a battery charger that offers refreshing or reconditioning of the cells. Ansmann Energy 8 and 16 chargers both feature an automatic refresh cycle which keeps the battery chemistry at optimal balance. This assures long run-times and higher recycles then with chargers that do not provide this benefit . And, although Ansmann cells do not have a memory effect, after years of service all nickel metal hydride cells (NiMH) develop chemistry imbalances that need to be corrected for optimal battery life. The refresh function on the Energy 8+ and Energy 16 will maintain your batteries providing you with the greatest battery life.

Here’s a little recharging tip: Do not try to run the batteries completely dry. We’ve all been accustomed to squeezing the most out our throw-away alkalines. You do not have to do this with your Ansmann rechargeables. They do not develop memory effect. Whether you use the battery for 2 hours or 12, return it to the charger and get it ready for the next use.

Finally, consider extra batteries. Instead of having a huge pile of throw-aways, reduce your extra batteries to a few spares or at most a second set. This is true whether you use standard rechargeables, or LSD cells, or both. Always have a few spares. Isn’t it much more convenient to have a few extra batteries just sitting on the charger instead of scrounging around for a random battery in the junk drawer? To save even more money, consider buying our batteries and chargers in pre-packaged kits. You receive special savings and the assurance of getting the best batteries and chargers available.

Our Customers Speak

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

After 25 years of service and literally speaking to thousands of clients, we finally asked our clients to share their stories with the rechargeable world. Ansmann and Horizon continue to lead the pack in top quality rechargeable batteries and amazing battery chargers.

So… below are  just a few of our 25,000 + customers comments on their experience with Ansmann products and Horizon Battery.

The 2nd Thing You Absolutely Need To Know About Rechargeable Batteries

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

In Part 1 of this series we discussed, you must first make a list of your battery devices and the batteries they need. Once you understand the needs and specifics of your wireless electronics, you can then select the right batteries. Here’s some helpful ideas in choosing the best battery for each application.

Part 2 of 3 – Choosing The Right Batteries

1. High-drain devices. For electronic devices such as wireless mics, in-ear monitors, flash units, portable fans, etc., always use the highest capacity batteries available. Even if your run-time requirements are minimal, high-drain devices are best handled by high-capacity cells. Since high quality cells like Ansmann do not have memory effect, it does not matter if you use the device for 2 hours or 12 hours. For AA’s this means choosing a high-capacity cell such as the Ansmann 2700 mah or 2850 mah cells. Ansmann cells are not only high capacity, but have high recycles. Obviously, you’ll save more money by purchasing a high capacity battery that allows up to 1000 recharges. It makes no sense to skimp on an inferior brand that touts high capacity but can only deliver for 50 recycles. You’re needlessly throwing money -and batteries- away. For AAA’s, use Ansmann 1100 mah cells. For C and D cells, use the Ansmann C 4500 mah and D 10,000 mah cells. For 9V’s you have two options: If your run-time requirements are less than 4 hours,choose the standard Ansmann 250 mah cell. For longer run-times and extremely high-drain 9V devices, utilize the Hi-Tech 9V lithium ion rechargeable cell. These batteries are rated at 600 mah and can achieve run-time applications for over 15 hours depending upon the drain of the device. However, the number of recycles are up to 500 instead of 1000.

2. Low-drain devices. Use a high quality brand like Ansmann Max-E low self-discharge (LSD) batteries if your portable electronics are dormant for more than a few days. An example of this would be a wireless mouse or keyboard. Even if you use your computer everyday, the drain on the battery is minimal and, unless you’re an online junkie, the keyboard and mouse sits dormant for hours at a time. Another LSD example would be the TV and/or Cable remote. Sure, you may channel surf for a few hours, but eventually the remote just sits there. Flashlights may only be used once a month. The same holds true for a hair trimmer that’s used once a week. Smoke detectors, hearing assist devices, nursery pagers, pre-amps, effects pedals, and LED reading lamps, are all examples of devices that would use LSD effectively. Using the LSD batteries assures there will be power on demand – for up to one year! Ansmann Max-E batteries are available in all standard sizes, and are slightly less in total capacity.

Remember, the higher the capacity (or mah) the longer the run-time. The high-capacity cells have longer -run-times but do experience self-discharge -about 2% per day. This means if you leave a 2850 mah AA battery in a wireless mic for one week, you’ll lose at least 10% of available power just by virtue of self-discharge. High capacity cells need to be left on a quality battery charger on “trickle charge” (we’ll get to that next time) until their next use. So, for devices that are left dormant, in stand-by, we recommend Ansmann Max-E LSD batteries.

3. High recycles are key. Always choose batteries with the highest recycles available. Check the brand reputation. Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and 25,000 schools, churches and theaters all use the Ansmann brand for a reason – they work! Not just 50 times, but up to 1000 times – year after year. Again, the purpose of switching to rechargeables is to save money. The more recycles achievable, the more bang for your buck.

In the next and final step of the series, we explore the heart of your rechargeable system – the battery charger and maintenance device.

A New Way of Doing Batteries

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Horizon Group launched the country’s Smart Battery Club this week. This is a program meant to alleviate the requirement for families to shell out money on batteries annually. It is not your typcial “switch to rechargeable battery” idea that so many of us have seriously considered, maybe tried previously, and said “forget it.”
Why is this idea so inviting is threefold:

First, Smart Battery Club capitalizes on cutting edge ZeroWatt Rechargeable Technology. Unlike traditional battery chargers, Zerowatt chargers disconnect from the power source when the batteries are charged. This eliminates stand-by power consumption and saves you money on the power company bill.

Second, the application of Max E low self-discharge cells (also referred to as LSD batteries) eliminate the need for the batteries to be left on the charger as a way to stay charged. They may be saved in stand-by up to a year – with minimal loss of power. That as well, saves the family money buy not having to but throw-away batteries year after year. (Furthermore, it takes a small dent out of the 15 billion batteries being thrown-away each year on this planet)  Since Max E batteries are also high-capacity cells, you don’t have to constantly switch out the recharged cells because they are not lasting long enough. The truth is, the most of the Max E batteries outperform alkaline cells in run-time. Add to that the ability to re-use these batteries as much as 1000 times and the savings really start mounting up.

Finally, the club is set-up to refer other families to join. Whenever a new member joins due to another, the referring party earns commissions on the purchase of product. It’s this “pay it forward” attitude of the club that encourages families to do the right thing about living green buy “making some green” too.  This concept has attracted the interest of church congregations, civic organizations and other groups who have a capacity to “convert” other to this new way of doing batteries – and in essence, freeing up their wasted “battery cash” for other priorities. It’s refreshing to see an eco-friendly program that truly saves and earns green too.

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