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Author Topic: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs  (Read 582 times)

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Offline baustin

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Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« on: December 14, 2020, 01:21:18 PM »
5 members of a band I manage run IEMs which each require 2 AA batteries, so 10 per show. We're going through a lot of batteries and would like to move to a rechargeable system plus a duplicate back.

Any suggestions on long lasting, dependable rechargeable AA battery systems? Shows generally last 2hrs. These things don't use a ton of juice.

Li-ion the way to go?

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 04:43:21 PM »
i’d start with the ikea ladda (rebranded eneloops), and one of the high end maha chargers like the C-9000 or better. buy some extra batts so you have 20 or so. rotate them out. every 8 weeks do a full analyze and write the capacity right on the battery. this allows you to ‘match’ the best pairs for use and take out ones that are down 20% or more.

if 2500 mah can get you through a show with room to spare,  this is likely the simplest/cheapest/most robust option
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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 12:35:18 AM »
Sennheiser IEMS use a factory pack and a recharge rack for multiple charges on a pair of EK packs.  . https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BA2015G2--sennheiser-ba-2015-rechargeable-battery-pack   . There are multiple pack charging stations.

Shure P3’s have a similar system. Springsteen and Jackson Browne use these and this two antenna system insures good reception as opposed to the single EK system which supposedly uses the IEM cable as the second antenna, which is bull.   The Shure battery pack lasts a whole set.  Which for Springsteen says a lot.  .  https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/accessories/sb900a . Again, there are multiple pack charging stations.

I use AAs.  I’ve had repeated failures with rechargeables and simply can’t afford to have one go down in the middle of a show, even when the rechargeable is showing a solid green. I use the old partially used batteries for sound check. At $70 per pack, I can buy a boat load of batteries.

Regards,
Scooter123

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Offline boa

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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2021, 11:17:37 PM »
Has anyone tried any of the rechargeable NiMH 2800mah AA batteries (Powerowl/EBL/Bonai) or Lithium Li-ion AA's (Deleepow) that I see on amazon?
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 11:44:53 PM »
2800 might be just branding. that would be at the top end of capacity for the chemistry and in reality they may not be any better than the 2400-2700 mAH rated cells

ive never seen the 1.5V lithium cells but they probably are flat as heck considering they are regulating the already flat 3.7V native voltage

i see there are some reviews, perhaps with capacity tests, on youtube


this is a review of a similar design, and higher voltage of the li-ions aside (which may or may not be useful for your application), the conventional NIMHs have higher capacity. brand new eneloop/ LADDAs test 2200-2400 mAH and are considerably cheaper

you can probably find similar real-time tests for the specific NiMHs you asked about
 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2021, 12:10:55 AM by jerryfreak »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 08:33:04 AM »
+1 on the IKEA LADDA 2450mAh AAs. I have a couple dozen of them and they are excellent. I cannot think of any reason to spend any more on rechargeable AAs. The only slight issue you might run into is that they have a larger diameter than some other rechargeable AAs. I haven't had any issues with any of my audio products, but they don't fit in a couple TV remotes and some other things around the house with tight battery compartments. I suppose one could always remove the outer wrapper if they needed to.

I do not have direct experience with any of the high-end Maha chargers like jerry recommends.  I use this cheap EBL unit. It charges the LADDA batteries just fine, but it is slow - expect to leave it overnight to get the job done. That's not really the worst thing, as slow charging is better for the long-term battery life. There is no readout or measurement of any kind, nor would you expect that at this price.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2021, 08:40:39 AM »
i think i might try the li-ion AAAs for my headlamp which i use every day.

it kills even good batteries like the laddas in like a year because it runs the voltage down too far while still being usable for my purposes. i think the constant brightness and hard cutoff by the internal circuit would get me more use out of a set

my fancy maha cant even save the AAAs once they display 'HIGH' (indicating high internal resistance). I end up trickle charging them on my crappy 150 mA wall charger. As far as charge rates, according to MAHA less than 0.3C is as bad as over 1.0C, as the former keeps the battery from positively finding the end point. Both overcharging and overdraining NiMHs reduce lifespan. i usually charge 800 maH AAAs at 500-600 mA, and 2500 mA AAs at the chargers default 1000 mA (no buttons to press it jsut starts charging at that rate)
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Re: Rechargeable AA Batteries for Band IEMs
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 03:22:23 PM »
I don't disagree with anything said about rechargeables in general, but as for taping in general, and IEMs in particular (the subject of this thread), there is no way I would use a rechargeable product. 

I have had multiple failures over the years with rechargeables, and zero failures with new AA batteries.  Yes, I check my batteries with quality testers before hand.  I do use rechargeables around the house since they came out in 1990, just not for taping.  Occasionally I get the bad one that shows good voltage, but drains very quickly.  Never had that issue with new AAs. 

With the type of show I usually tape, between the ticket, airfare, hotel and rental car, I might have $1,000 wrapped up in the show.  If I have a battery failure in the middle of the show, more than likely I won't even know it, unless I am monitoring the recorder feed with ear buds.  And even if I do notice it, it becomes very problematic trying to change batteries in the seat and I'm sure as shit not going to get out of my seat and risk venue security seeing an errant wire.  Add IEMs into the mix and it becomes exponentially more difficult.  I now have a full audience rig and up to 2-4 IEM packs with screwy looking antennas, wires, and red and blue lights that say "bomb" to the woman next to you. 

Now if you guys are recording some local cheezy cover band at the local bar down the street, that might be perfect for rechargeables, as who cares if you miss the show.  I am not going to risk $1,000 to save 50 cents on an AA battery.  I want to remove potential issues from the equipment chain, not create them.  AAs are more dependable.  Rechargeables are for household use.

Best example?  Ford vs Ferarri, this scene:

Lee Iacocca: So, you’re saying it’s challenging.

Carroll Shelby: Look, it’s not even a track, Lee. Le Mans is eight and a half miles of country road. It’s narrow, ungraded. It’s rough. There’s no camber on the turns, no rails. You got to do that for twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours, Lee. That means night. Half of that race is in the dark, you can’t see shit. Cars coming up on you out of nowhere. Drivers stumbling around the track, pouring blood. Maybe one of them’s your friend, maybe he’s on fire. You’re exhausted, you’re hungry. Can’t remember your name, what country you’re in, and all of a sudden you realize you’re doing a hundred and ninety-eight on the straight. And if anything goes wrong, you blow a gasket, five-cent washer. That’s it, whole thing’s over. Ferrari wins again. Just like it won last year. The year before that, and the year before that.

Yeah Lee, it’s challenging.

Regards,
Scooter123

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