Multiply the number of wireless mics that are currently in use by 1000 and that will give you the number of batteries that are needlessly being dumped into landfills. Why? Because it is now possible to have microphone batteries that are rechargeable and not compromise on performance. Rechargeable batteries can make excellent wireless mic batteries provided you know which brand to choose and how to maintain your rechargeable system with a good quality battery charger. But don’t just run to the “shack” down the road or to the drug store for cheap, ineffective rechargeables. Be certain to get the brand that pro-audio professionals have counted on for over 12 years now.
Archive for July, 2011
Contrary to what many sound techs (and battery companies) will tell you, there are rechargeable batteries that can be used as microphone batteries. The main thing to know is what your run-time requirements are for your wireless mics. Instead of using a disposable battery alkaline battery one-time and throwing it a way, you can use pro-audio batteries to power your wireless mics with no compromise in performance. Why use a battery once when you can use a rechargeable battery as a wireless mic batteries up to 1000 times?
After working with over 25,000 churches, schools, and theater groups – and supplying them with high quality microphone batteries, the answer is a resounding yes. In very few instances have we found that rechargeable batteries will not work as wireless mic batteries. In fact, a majority of the wireless mic manufacturers now design their microphones to work with rechargeable batteries. If you’re throwing money away on disposable batteries, you should at least check out the possibility of going green with your pro-audio equipment.
As long as I have been using and suggesting the usage of rechargeable batteries, I have also strongly purported the employment of a smart charger having a refresh or reconditioning function.
So, why, when I place a rechargeable battery that’s barely six months old on my own Ansmann Energy 16 charger – the most advance charger on the globe – does my battery show as defective? This ever happen to you? If you’ve used rechargeables for almost any stretch of time, the answer will be a resounding yes. But there is a good possibility there is nothing wrong with that battery – and yes it actually could be revived for many useful recycles. Here’s what has happened:
You put the battery in a rather unsophisticated device, such as a child’s toy and the batteries became overdischarged. Typically, you do not want to overdischarge cells below 1.0 volts and the majority of gadgets have an automatic “stop-working” voltage cutoff to prevent this. However, many toys and simple devices do not possess this feature.
So, in this instance, your rechargeable battery voltage has dropped below 1.0 volts – say right down to .8 volts. An intelligent charger will detect this for a bad cell and not start the charging or refresh cycle – because it appears the batteries are depleted. However, if you place this battery in a “dumb” charger for about 10 minutes, the voltage will rise sufficiently for an intelligent charger to acknowledge a viable cell and begin the restoration/charging process.By a dumb charger, we’re talking about some of those units that basically cooks batteries. You can pick-up an inexpensive unit for under $10 bucks. We use the Ansmann Power Set – a simple plug-in overnight charger to accomplish this – however it is only designed for AA’s and triple A’s. If you wish to revive C’s, D’s, or 9V’s try Duracell or Energizer – they specialize in dumb chargers.
Does this mean you ought to give up on your intelligent charger? Of course not. Chargers such as Ansmann Energy 8 plus or Energy 16 will still grant you the most recycles out of your rechargeable batteries as a result of refresh function. The refresh function breaks down the chemistry in the cell in an intelligent way – by introducing a proprietary algorithim of charge and discharge cycles at different voltage levels. This prevents the cell from developing crystalline formation within the chemistry whic can shorten life of the battery and recycles, especially in the latter stages of your cell’s life.
Your very best defense against erratic battery behavior is two-fold. First, don’t let you batteries to totally drain. Even with low self discharge batteries that have a shelf life of more than a year, it’s still better to cycle these batteries every six months. And secondly, always use a smart battery charger to charge your batteries.