Spacers are ridiculous. The reason devices call for a C or D battery is for the additional capacity the larger cels hold. Using an AA battery in a spacer in place of a C or D battery is just going to drain the AA super quickly.
For science sake, a typical alkaline AA battery contains about 2,700mAh (these contain 1,900mAh), while a C battery holds 8,000mAh, and a D holds a WHOPPING 12,000mAh. So you can expect to be replacing/recharging the batteries significantly more often.
@curtise Of course. So a AA lasts 10% of the time a D cell would last, but you can just recharge and repeat. Probably often, depending on the application, but most of the time that doesn’t matter (if it does matter, don’t use the spacer).
@curtise I used to think spacers were ridiculous. Then I realized there is no point in buying C cells for the Christmas light strings and emergency radio because they start leaking from old age before they are used up. A couple of Halloween and Christmas decorations use D cells with similarly poor results. The kids’ flashlights use a mix of C and D and they certainly don’t need to run down a one time use battery when left on under the covers at night or dropped on the floor, nor do they need an expensive C or D rechargeable.
Now I use spacers and rechargeable AAs and I’m very happy with the results. I’m even experimenting with some of my D cell devices using spacers which hold 3xAA in parallel to replace a single D cell and things are looking good.
@curtise The reason spacers exist is because almost everything uses AA batteries so you keep a ton of them around. But as soon as you need a C or D battery you won’t have any. Spacers to the rescue until you can get to the store.
@curtise agreed. Regarding C-cells, isn’t it amusing to see Duracell clinging to the past with desperate attempts to keep C-cells alive? - With those multi-flashlight packages at Costco, flashlights that use C-cells, flashlights that are LED, flashlights that don’t need C-cells in order to run plenty long…
Hmmm, wait, there’s a perfect use for C-cell spacers!
@curtise Great post and thanks for the science. What uses C or D batteries these days? The only thing I’ve used was my son’s baby swing, and that went through D batteries like crazy. Otherwise, just plug the sucker in, unless you still like walking around with a boombox on your shoulder.
@wickhameh usually stuff that uses c or d nowadays is just for extended runtime. A 2 D cell LED flashlight will work just fine on AA’s with spacers, just won’t last long. A 2 AA FLESHlight, on the other hand, won’t last too long with that motor sucking on your pee pee.
@wickhameh during hurricane Matthew preparations, there was a shortage of C & D batteries. Lanterns and radios are the usual culprits. Newer LED lanterns usually don’t use anything above AA, unless they’re rated to last for weeks.
@wickhameh , My kids swing is using 4 D’s they seem to last but I have spacers (not these) that use 2 aa’s into 1 D they work! I have a powerx ma9000 charger I purchased additional adapters to accommodate D cellls for Charging, never had the need to use them. I have them if I need them
@Stallion Similar deal here - The kit I bought had 4x AA, and 4x AAA, and the same spacer set, but without the fancy box… And for about the same $24 (plus sales tax, which is cheaper than shipping)…
@Anyone_Else That said, if you don’t want to go through Costco, and the couple dollars off of Amazon pricing seems worth it, I would not hesitate to recommend this Meh deal on Eneloops to ANYONE who needs reliable, long-lasting batteries. And they do make a decent holiday gift to friends and family, if you’re into the whole “practical gifts” idea.
As someone who spent years working with a variety of lithium (polymer, iron phosphate, etc.) and other battery chemistries for a day job (I helped with engineering in some of those car jump starter kits before they were everywhere, and some larger solutions for industrial diesel starters, and home power solutions), these are seriously a grade above just about anything else on the market, and a steal at the price. If treated well, they will end up being exponentially cheaper than buying standard alkaline AA or AAA cells within a handful of charge cycles. Obviously, as stated above, the spacers are only for limited use, as the smaller cells will not last nearly as long as genuine C or D cells, but my 3x D cell LED Maglite doesn’t mind, and it’s been going for months of intermittent use. The Ni-Mh power density isn’t spectacular, but it has longevity on its side, particularly with the Sanyo/Panasonic research that has gone into these things over many years.
The one thing that I would very highly recommend is replacing the charger - It is capable, but not the smartest unit out there. I replaced mine with the La Crosse BC-1000, though the BC-700 is probably a better fit for your average consumer, both in price, and complexity.
But whether it is for use in Xbox/WiiMote controllers, flashlights, seasonal decorations, home theatre remotes, etc… These will do the job VERY well. But, in true Reading Rainbow fashion; You don’t have to take my word for it!
The one thing that I would very highly recommend is replacing the charger - It is capable, but not the smartest unit out there. I replaced mine with the LaCrosse BC-1000, though the BC-700 is probably a better fit for your average consumer, both in price, and complexity.
The Panasonic Eneloop charger is OK if you just want to blindly charge your batteries without being able to see their current condition.
However, if you want to rejuvenate older Eneloops, test them to see what their capacity is, etc… a smarter charger like the LaCrosse is a great investment. (Amazon)
LaCrosse tip: if it won’t start up on a battery, that battery might be so drained you falsely believe it to be dead. Pop it in any charger for about a minute, then put it in the LaCrosse… should be smooth sailing from there.
@Stallion I agree. Those with a costco membership may be better of waiting. I noticed that in the Costco Black Friday circular, their eneloops package (charger + 8 AA + 4AAA) which is normally $29.99 will be an extra $8 off 11/25-11/28. If people don’t need the extra adapters, it’s probably a better bet to head over to costco (store or web site) on these days. However, I am marginally tempted to pick up one or two of these sets for these C and D adapters…
@medz Agreed! I’m an Eneloop and Amazon Basics (the Eneloops in Amazon labeling) user and LOVE them! But I have no use for the charger, sleeves (how many devices use Cs or Ds these days?), or even more AA batteries. I need AAAs!!!
Still, it’s a decent starter set if someone wants to switch to rechargeable batteries that actually work really well and last a long time. I’m saving tons of $$$ now that I don’t use disposal batteries anymore!
@michaelahess That charger works perfectly for me, and I’ve had mine for 6 months. It also has charging indicator lights for each battery bay, which my previous charger didn’t have. What’s your issues with it?
@craigthom The one I got in my power pack doesn’t charge per battery, which is bad, unless all your cells discharge equally, which they never do. I have a proper charger that does all those fun things you mention. If these now come with a newer charger from about 2 years ago, then maybe it’s better.
I just checked, mine was bought before Sanyo sold to Panasonic. My charger is NC-MQN06U, so definitely worse that what you get here. I have a BM200, which is far more flexible. Sometimes you want a quick charge, sometimes you want to revive the other crappier NiMH cells you have laying around with a refresh or two. This charger has made ALL my rechargeables last longer than any of the included chargers I’ve ever had. I had a bunch of “dead” 15 minute Rayovac rechargables that this thing brought back to life, though they only hold their charge for days at a time vs months. But they work great for the kids game controllers.
@michaelahess We are partially agreed - The charger is NOT great. However, it isn’t particularly terrible. It is slow, which can be healthy for the batteries. But as mentioned just a few comments earlier, in my years of experience with Eneloop, you will get much more of the primary benefit of the batteries by upgrading the charger pronto… Which is to say, you will get more charge cycles, less potential for “charge memory” issues, and safer/faster charging.
As I stated earlier, I highly recommend the La Crosse chargers. BC-700 is a relatively consumer-friendly and wallet-friendly option. I went with the more complex BC-1000, due to my own needs, but you really can’t go wrong with those chargers - They’re smart enough to charge quickly, but prevent you from doing anything stupid (usually).
Well, what do you know! I’ve actually been looking to buy a set of eneloop batteries, but I was wondering if the Amazon price would come down. This is down enough for me. Thanks, Meh, I forgive you for all of the novelty LED bulbs and 3D speaker sets. (But not for those ziplock bag holders.)
Can anyone recommend a charger that conditions and float charges better than the one provided? I heard of Battery Tender but not sure if there is something like that for AA and AAAs. /buy here and at Costco!
@somf69tldr; If you don’t already have any Eneloop rechargeable batteries and don’t have a Costco nearby, get this Meh deal - it is solid and you won’t be disappointed. (Especially since you already have VMP.)
For those that own this charger: Is it OK to leave these batteries parked on the charger for a few days until I finally remember to take them off? Or is it like my son’s Power Wheels battery that I have a certain window to get them off the charger or they’re ruined?
@rglee129 Sure, it’s fine. This charger doesn’t trickle-charge, so it won’t harm the batteries. Chargers that keep charging are a problem.
These are LSD (low self-discharge) batteries, so they don’t need to be topped off. I charge them as soon as I get them and put them in the drawer with the other batteries. Unless you forget them for a couple of years they’ll be good to go when you need them.
I have several other rechargeable low-drain batteries, and am ashamed to say that over the last year or so I haven’t been using them much. Lately Office Depot has been running 16 packs of Duracell AA or AAA alkaline batteries for $13.99 then giving you back $13.98 in rewards points so the effective cost is $.01 for 16 batteries with a 10 year shelf life (assuming you buy stuff at OD anyway). They have run this special so often that I am set for batteries for the foreseeable future, and a lot of my stuff is now pre-loaded with rechargeable Li-Ion batteries anyway (which I can then recharge from the battery packs I have bought here in the past!).
I am having some environmental angst over this, but since I recycle my batteries when I am done with them, I am dealing with it OK…
(but thanks to other posts in this thread i will be looking into the ‘parallel’ C/D spacers as I do have a few things that still use those (mostly camping gear) and that may be a good use for those rechargeables. I have used the single battery spacers in the past for wireless speakers etc and they worked OK, but I like the idea of the increased run time.
I’m surprised that we haven’t heard from battery freaks discussing the various generations of Eneloop batteries, 500 charge capability vs 1000 charge capability, and maH’s. I’m no expert on those topics, but I commonly see those mentioned in forums about Eneloop batteries.
By which I mean, I applaud the tone of this conversation.
I’ve been using Eneloop batteries for a long time and have generally been very happy with them. I’ll be getting this just for the spacers and some extra batteries (and I guess to have a backup charger, though I have a LaCrosse for my main charger). Also getting a couple of these to use at white elephants and such this holiday season.
I have had a few of the batteries totally die on me (won’t charge anymore), but I’m pretty sure they were A. some of my oldest batteries, and B. May have been from a bad batch, as I haven’t had any die on my in a long time, so hopefully I’m through most of the bad ones.
Anyway this is a good starter set, and a good price on it.
i’m waiting for lithium AA and AAA rechargeables.
whats the hold up?
i know there is some 3.7V thing going on, but I don’t get why it can’t be solved with similar spacer approach, like one AA to be 3.7V + spacer with a resistor to knock it down to 3V. then any device that takes 2 AA bats, just pop in a lipo AA + spacer… is it really that hard?? can we not be trusted?