Archive for August, 2011


NiMH Rechargeable Batteries Versus “Instant” Rechargeable Batteries

Read how giving people a pre-charged option for buying NiMH rechargeable batteries changed the industry forever — and what the real differences are between standard and “instant” rechargeable batteries.

For the decades that NiCad rechargeable batteries were king, one of the main reasons why they failed to catch on in mainstream popularity were the fact that many consumers couldn’t be bothered to charge them initially. While NiCad rechargeable battery technology was toxic and clumsy compared to today’s NiMH rechargeable batteries, it was nothing more than the fact that NiCads didn’t come pre-charged in their packs. Simply put, batteries are often purchased on an as-needed basis, making an uncharged pack of rechargeable batteries unhelpful for many consumers who are not shrewd enough to plan their battery useage schedule.

It is for this reason why, in today’s consumer electronics market, more and more NiMH rechargeable battery manufacturers are offering pre-charged or ” “instant” alternatives to their standard rechargeable batteries. Now, when your digital camera is completely dead, or if you’re an organisation who recently invested in a large quantity of devices that all need AA rechargeable batteries, you can now go to the store and pick up NiMH rechargeable batteries that offer both the “instant gratification” of alkalines with the longevity of rechargeables. It was the rechargeable battery industry’s way of further competing with the immediacy of disposable alkaline batteries.

Now that the choice between pre-charged and standard rechargeable batteries exists, which ones are better?

Vapex’s AA rechargeable batteries offer the best comparison. In price, they are generally identical — you can pick them up on EW’s website for AUD$14.99 a 4-pack. So, if the prices are the same, why would anyone buy the un-chanrged over the pre=charged? The answer has to do with battery capacity and mAh.

All rechargeable battery companies are careful to make sure that they give their standard NiMH rechargeable batteries a bit more capacity than their pre-charged counterparts, as an incentive for investing in them over the instants. Using the Vapex example, they just recently released an upgrade of their instant model — they now have a quite impressive Instant AA 2500mAh NIMH Rechargeable Battery option. These Vapex “instant rechargeable batteries” actually feature more mAh than even Sanyo Eneloop’s competing model.

But for as impressive as this may be, Vapex’s standard AA Rechargeable Batteries are 2900 mAh. So, what you lack in an instant charge, you make up for in capacity.

To be sure, the set-up for standard NiMH rechargeable batteries can take much longer. Imagine, for example, that you need to buy several dozen AA rechargeable batteries for a set of new walkie talkies. It could take you days to charge all of them, which may not be an option if you need them to work straight away. In this case, you’re going to probably want to go with instants.

In the end, the decision on whether to buy instant or standard rechargeable batteries will depend on how important mAh is in your purchase, and how much time you have to charge them (if any at all).


Rechargeable Batteries & mAh: What a Higher mAh Means For Your Digital Camera

Sanyo Eneloop AA Rechargeable BatteriesWhen researching rechargeable batteries, the term “mAh” gets bandied about quite often. Read about how a higher mAh can have a tremendous impact on the performance of electronics like digital cameras.

Anyone who owns a digital camera — particularly one that takes AA batteries as its power supply — knows that they have the capacity to suck battery power like a vampire. It is not uncommon for a digital camera to completely drain its batteries after just an hour of heavy use, which often comes at the most inopportune times, leaving you with no digital camera when you need it the most.

If you rely on AA rechargeable batteries for your digital cameras, then the most important consideration is investing in rechargeable batteries with the right mAh. Of course, if you have no idea what mAh is, then it might be a bit confusing to determine what level of mAh you need for digital camera, and why.

Rechargeable Batteries and mAh

“mAh” stands for “milliampere-hour.” But if that definition is somewhat lost on you, then think of it another way: mAh is all about battery capacity — kind of like the size of the petrol tank on your AA rechargeable batteries. So, it is easy to imagine that the higher the mAh on your AA rechargeable batteries, the higher performance for your digital camera.

Vapex Instant AA 2500mAh NIMH Rechargeable Batteries

However, it can be particularly helpful in understanding the battery draw of your digital camera when you go shopping for rechargeable batteries, and determining if you’ve got the capacity you need for the kind of camera and picture taking you normally engage in.

What Components on a Digital Camera Use the Most Power?

Simply put, there is no set answer to this question, since digital camera features vary from model to model, and depending on the performance level of the digital camera, you’ll need to take that into consideration when shopping for rechargeable batteries. The good news is that, for the vast majority of digital cameras, they draw very little power when simply turned on — most cameras have idle currents of 1 mA.

However, it is all the “bells and whistles” on a digital camera that start to push the levels of power that drain rechargeable batteries. Actions like encoding a JPEG, manipulating sensor data, driving the LCD screen, or charging the flash, all draw high currents. And considering that these are commonplace operations on all digital cameras, you can begin to imagine why your rechargeable batteries drain so easily.

rechargeable batteries in a digital cameraHow Much Juice Does a Digital Camera Need?

Let’s go back to the definition of “mAh,” and hot it relates to your digital camera’s performance. Think of it this way: if the rating of your rechargeable batteries is 2500 mAh, then you can draw 100 milliamps for 25 hours, or 50 milliamps for 50 hours etc. When you think of your digital camera “idling,” then you’d imagine that you could get a lot of endurance out of rechargeable batteries rated at 2500 mAh. However, this would only be when a camera is  in standby mode. When you’re running all of your camera’s components, it is more realistic to pull about 200 mAh, and when you take a picture, it can draw anywhere between 1.2 and 2A!

The best approach is to invest in the highest mAh possible for your digital camera’s rechargeable batteries. Vapex’s 2500 mAh instant rechargeable batteries are a great value, and come pre-charged. Sanyo Eneloop‘s pre-charged AA rechargeable batteries are rated a bit lower at 2300 mAh and priced a bit higher, but their production quality can make up for the slightly lower rating, with Sanyo Eneloop claiming their AA’s can take up to 500 photos.

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Electronics Warehouse is the leading online retailer in Australia for Vapex and Sanyo Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries? Plus, as an added bonus, use promo code EWBLOG for 10% off your order, plus fast, FREE shipping Australia-wide, just for reading this article. Take a look!


RC Batteries or Nitro/Petrol-Power for Remote Control Cars? The Answer Is Simple

rc batteryWhen investing in a hobbyist-grade remote controlled car, buyers are often confused as to whether to invest in a car powered by an rc battery or by petrol/nitro. But when you compare the two options, the choice is clear for most racers.

If you walk into any toy store today, you’ll be amazed at some of the affordable remote controlled cars and trucks available as “toys.” While most of these cars and trucks appear to be the same size, scale, and performance level of a hobbyist-grade remote controlled car, early enthusiasts quickly learn that moving up to a more advanced remote controlled car has a lot of benefits. Namely, broken parts can be replaced, tires, motors, and other components can be changed out and modified, and the overall performance can be greatly improved.

However, when you’re ready to move up the next level of remote controlled car, what are you going to invest in — a car powered by rc batteries, or by nitro/petrol?

If you’re coming from a pre-assembled “toy” remote controlled car — even if it is a premium model — the temptation of investing in a nitro/petrol-powered can be temping. They are, after all, among the most high performance remote control car designs, and they perform much more like a real car than a battery-powered remote controlled car.

However, there are also some prohibitive factors to building and racing a ntro/petrol-powered remote controlled car as well. For one, fuel costs a lot of money these days: regular petrol is through the roof, and nitro is even worse — it can run upwards of AUD $40 a gallon! Granted, petrol-powered remote controlled cars burl fuel at a much faster pace than nitro-powered ones, but in either case, fueling your car will be an ongoing cost for your hobby, not to mention that fuel-powered cars and trucks are among the most expensive remote controlled vehicles.

Something else to consider is the safety of running a car that uses petrol or nitro, both of which are highly explosive. Many RC enthusiasts like to do their hobby with their children, making it a bit dubious to have flammable, explosive fuel mixing with what is otherwise a toy that children will be prone to want to play with.

NiMH rc battery packs, however, offer a must more cost-effective means of powering your remote controlled car.

With an rc battery pack, you can take advantage of being able to quickly change out spent battery packs on the fly when you’re racing your car. And because rc batteries provide DC power, there is no major risk to handling rc batteries, which means that you can use them around your kids without any problems.

It is true that an rc battery-powered remote controlled car performs less like a real automobile, but in some ways, it might make it easier for you to switch from a beginner’s model remote controlled car to a professional model, since it will respond similarly to what you’re already used to. With a petrol or nitro-powered car, pulling the trigger revvs the engine, much like depressing the accelerator pedal in your car. This means that the acceleration of your car will not respondind immediately like it will with an rc battery pack.

Finally, you simply cannot beat the price comparison between rc battery packs and petrol/nitro. We’ve already demonstrated the lofty prices of fuel. Rc batteries, on the other hand, run anywhere between AUD $20 and $35,00, which means that you can easily invest in a few rc battery packs and charge them cyclically while racing.

It may be tempting to invest in a very high performance petrol/nitro racer. But when it comes to price value, performance, and safety, an rc battery-powered racer is the most obvious choice.


Thanks for reading our article! Hey, did you know that Electronics Warehouse carries a wide range of NiMH rechargeable rc batteries at great prices? Plus, as an added bonus, use promo code EWBLOG for an additional 10% off your purchase, plus fast FREE shipping Australia wide, just for reading this blog. Act now!

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