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Thomas Road Baptist, Liberty University Joins The List Of Rechargeable Battery Users

October 4th, 2011

Welcome aboard, Thomas Road Baptist in Lynchburg, Virginia. Last month the tech-savvy crew at Liberty University switched their sanctuary wireless mics and IEM’s to Ansmann rechargeables. They are utilizing the 4 Energy 16’s and 48 AA 2850 mahs to drive their wireless units – and are saving a bundle on batteries.

Welcome Aboard – Northpoint, Saddleback, Willowcreek, Grapevine

August 25th, 2011

Every week we add new “church” clients to the list of users of our rechargeable technology. And, let me once again say “thank you” for the many happy client referrals we receive. These past couple months, we’ve had a few “notable” churches in America convert to Ansmann rechargeables.

  • Northpoint Community Church and Ministries -  Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Saddleback Church -  Lake Forest, California
  • WillowCreek Community Church – Barrington, Illinois
  • Fellowship  Church and Campus – Grapevine, Texas

While these “mega-churches” require a rather large number of chargers and rechargeable batteries, the technology works the same for small and medium-size churches.

And the money saved by switching to Ansmann rechargeables is also realized by the church with 1 wireless mic or 48 wireless mics.

Which leads me to the obvious question:  Who do you know that could benefit from converting to Ansmann rechargeables? We offer a FREE Rechargeable Evaluation to any church, school, theater, or production facility that is looking for the right recharging system to handle their wireless mics, IEM’s, and other gear.

If you know someone, by all means, point them in our direction.  Thanks!

Getting What You Pay For with Rechargeable Batteries

August 3rd, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how many times I hear the following:

“Well, we tried rechargeable batteries but they only lasted for 50 recycles and then they just died.”

Undoubtedly, in addition they inform me they found this great deal on rechargeables and saved two dollars per 4-pk.  I forgot who talked about being penny-wise and pound-foolish, but it definitely pertains to rechargeable batteries.  Sure, you can check out e-bay or some other discount online store and acquire cheap, ineffective rechargeables. Or, you can spend a few bucks more and get a pack that truly works.  Beware of just visiting the big battery companies that sell a bunch of alkaline batteries – because you’ll find that they really don’t pay much attention to the caliber of their rechargeable stock. Trust me, they will much rather have you buy alkaline throw-aways month after month and year in year out.

So, why is the Ansmann brand so different?   The reasons are listed below so that you can review but it all boils down to quality.   You get what you pay for.  Don’t make the same mistake trying to scrimp.  With Ansmann batteries and chargers, you’re already likely to save hundreds to thousands every year.

Ansmann rechargeable batteries are professional grade batteries. They’re manufactured to Ansmann specifications for longer life cycles and long run-times.  They are also “vented” and strong-walled to prevent leakage and explosion. Each battery is covered by a 2-year warranty against defect. Many other brands will not have these features and are only designed to give you 50 high-capacity uses. That’s why they don’t cost as much. Ansmann batteries are built to give high capacity, long run-times for up to 1000 cycles.

Ansmann battery chargers are built to work with high-quality, high-capacity cells. They provide multiple over-charge protections, and do not permit the battery to rise above critical temperatures that will harm the battery and shorten life cycles.  Ansmann chargers also provide “refresh” or “deep cycles” functions to maintain the battery chemistry in good shape. This is particularly important when battery reaches 200- 300 uses. Since the battery ages, the chemistry could become unbalanced. The refresh function restores the chemistry to a balanced state.  Ansmann chargers are handled by a 3 year warranty against defects.

Track record.  Ansmann rechargeable batteries and chargers are used by the top production facilities throughout the world. Cirque du Soleil, and Blue Man Group are only two of thousands of theatre groups, broadcast facilities, schools and churches that have used our products for over 10 years. It’s always great to hear from a church that have to re-order batteries …. seven years later!

The next time, you think of purchasing rechargeable batteries, take into account the above.  Spend a few dollars more and get your money’s worth.

The Wireless Microphone Battery Dilemma

July 29th, 2011

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.

Wireless Mic Batteries – How to avoid the expense

July 20th, 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?

Rechargeable Wireless Mic Batteries – Do they Work?

July 7th, 2011

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.

When Not To Use A Fancy, Intelligent Charger

July 1st, 2011

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.

Maximizing Your Recharging System

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

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

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.

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