AA batteries in devices.


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Network Support I
AA batteries in devices.
I really recommend Energizer Lithium AA in devices that use AA batteries.
Time and time again it is worth the extra dollars, or when you go to use them you get the crud. I Use vinegar and a Qtip to clean, what have others found to be effective?
I made the rookie mistake of storing a large number of alkaline AA batteries in a sealed .50 caliber ammo can.

Yeah... I found out the hard way that alkaline batteries outgas and leak horribly in a container like that. It ruined some other items in the can, too.

Meanwhile, lithium CR123's seem to do just fine in the same place.
Eneloop is what I tend to use for AA and AAA sizes. They are rechargeable with a long reliable sustained charging range throughout their life cycle.

The power output is not as high as lithium cells but they beat alkaine for sustained power output under load. They are also problem free and cost effective both with a functioning power grid and when charging off of a portable solar kit while hiking. I bring a few spares and charge them in a rotating cycle so I always have full ones ready if one goes down.
Lithium only for me. Alkaline if the world as we know it has come to an end and your forced to scavenge AA’s from tv remotes to keep your nods going.

Have to second the top shelf rechargeable solar kit idea though. Just make sure to let the rechargeable batteries rest before use!


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Lots of reasons to use different sorts of batteries.

Lithium is the winner for primary (disposable) batteries in electronics we care about because of
  • Discharge characteristics — The old "heavy duty" ones discharge more or less in a diagonal line, so drop voltage immediately. Fine for incandescent flashlights, motor-powered equipment. But many electronics are designed to work with 1.45 - 1.55 v and nothing else, so you may get minutes of use.
    • Anyway, Alkalines drop slower, so keep useful voltage for most of their life, but it depends on the device more than the battery.
    • Lithiums keep voltage until something like 95% discharged, then drop off the cliff. So, you get pretty much all the milliamps into your device.
    • Overall: it's not capacity, it's usable capacity.
  • Temperature insensitivity — Lithiums work well over a broad temperature range. But, not infinite. I have had devices die from low power (they said so before shutting down) with fresh lithiums. When warm: worked again for hours and hours. So, cold doesn't destroy the battery, it just saps the ability of the battery to work at that moment. Anyway, cold enough and it won't work, so plan to keep your electronics warm if it gets below freezing.
  • Storage time — Lithiums are rated for 10 year shelf life. I have had full power out of 20 year old ones (odd batteries like N cells that only came lithium in the 90s) so they are very, very stable.
    • Secondarily, they die, but do not change chemistry in dangerous ways like leak.

+/- as good are rechargeable NiMh cells. I was strongly suggested by someone knowledgeable to only use these in my NODs, as there's something on the PVS14 power management that can fail at over-voltage, and Lithium primaries can do that.

Recognize that only a handful of battery plants exist. Just like I say meh to Surfire batteries because they have no factory, Eneloop also doesn't have a factory. So, they are contracted by someone else, and we have to take their word for quality. At least one of the Amazon Basics rechargeables (the black ones?) are apparently the same as Eneloop, as are a few others. Which? Ugh. Takes research. But I have had good luck with Accuvar and Amazon black ones.
Shoobe01, totally agree. Back when Sanyo existed they owned the factory and the brand. After Panasonic bought the brand, Fujitsu got the factory and the rights to manufacture LSD batteries. I just refer to them all as eneloops as that’s the original name: they are for sale under brands by Panasonic, IKEA, and Amazon as far as I recall. But there are all still made by a single factory in Japan. So there won’t be a quality control difference between them from contracting other factories.


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Network Support I
Does anyone currently use the AA Lithium rechargeable? If so, what brand and what has been your experience so far?


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Sorry, wrote that confusingly. I didn't mean Eneloops are bad (due to the way that they came to be) so much as I meant that others can be as good.

My Surefire 123 distrust is because I saw some explode in lights back in the day. Warranty coverage sure, but they shouldn't do that. Shortly after they apparently changed manufacturers, and having a good QC program in place is what makes outsourcing work, but... they could at any moment decide to downsize that department and we wouldn't know.

I like my Sanyos, because they own the factory. Etc. etc.


Regular Member
Interesting add on for the cold performance. Army fiend was telling me (then I had him write up for [another forum]) his experiences in cold wx training and and EXs with some northern euro armies. Many good lessons but two that are relevant:
  • Everything with batteries will die if it is cold enough. JEMs, Javelins, everything. Even keeping them inside coats, not enough. Dead.
  • Except NODs. Their PVS14s (they didn't have any BNVDs, ENVGs, etc) worked the whole time, no problem, and yes hanging off people's heads, not kept warm. Not sure why, but good to know.