Today might be a good day to set aside your dislike of Apple for a moment…
There is a new battery pack + charger option on the market:
In Europe, this combination costs €29.95, and it gets you 6 rechargable batteries plus a charger.
The specs are what make this thing particularly interesting for low-power battery-powered devices:
- each NiMH AA cell holds 1900 mAh charge (rumored to be rebranded Sanyo Eneloops)
- the batteries are reported to retain at least 70% of their charge for 2 years
- battery lifetime is reported as being at least 10 years (with recharges, of course)
- the charger drops to 30 mW “vampire” power draw once the batteries are charged
To start with the latter: I’ve verified it. When charging, there’s a small yellow LED and it draws less than 4 watts. When done, the LED turns green, and power consumption drops to 0.18W. Then, after 6 hours, the LED goes off and the power consuption drops to… zero! At least on the very sensitive SBC-500 I used.
This is a very big deal!
It means you can permanently leave these chargers plugged in, with a few spare AA’s. No cost, no waste – simply a way to keep a couple of cells fully charged and ready to go.
It’s also perfect for JeeNodes, using the standard 3x AA battery holder:
That’s 4.1V when fully charged. And JeeNodes will work with them all the way down to 3.3V, i.e. 1.1V per cell. Also, unlike LiPo batteries, running NiMH batteries down won’t do them any harm.
At last, I can stop wasting alkaline batteries… I’m probably going to replace all of them in the months ahead!