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RichG

Rechargeable AA's in XD-V70 mic and TPB12

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I'm thinking about moving over to AA rechargeables in all my XD-V70 mics and TPB12 transmitters.  I'm concerned about fit.  Does anyone have any first hand experience they can offer regarding which batteries to get that will fit properly and get through a minimum of 5 hours of operation.

 

I'm considering the Eneloop batteries because they appear to be readily available.  I'm also considering these PowerEx because of their higher capacity.

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My experience has been that anything that has more the 2600mAh capacity will have a diameter too large to fit in the belt packs.  A "AA" battery is supposed to be 13.5mm in diameter with a tolerance that allows 14.5.  Many batteries that call themselves "AA" are simply too large.  The issue with  wireless mics is that the battery needs to be very tight so that it doesn't get shaken enough to break contact but still is removable.  It's a tightrope that you walk in design.

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I have 40 of both the standard eneloop batteries and the XX version. The XX version are too wide to properly fit in the line 6 packs, and get quite stuck however the white 1900/2000 mah version work just fine. I mutalated quite a few of the XX's trying to get them out of the TPB12's.  It is suggested to use rechargeable batteries 2500mah plus which is why i got them, however from my experience the 1900mah batteries are far more than adequate for a 6 hour period, about what I need them to run for in a theatre show. And when the packs are done for a show, they still read about 5 hours of life left on the packs. Plus they slide in and out easily, and can be recharged 3 or 4 times more than the XX's. 

 

However, i found i have to tape the enclosure tightly shut to ensure the connection does not become loose whilst the pack is moving around, perhaps the eneloops are slightly shorter but i have not had the chance to put them side by side with the procell's. I have thought i may need to place a small spacer in to ensure that the lid on the pack remains in contact with the battery.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? 

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I have been using Ansmann rechargeables for my v70 beltpacks for three years now. They have been tight but the door closes and I can remove them when done. Just to note newer standard size Ansmann do not fit, but they do make a slimline variant that does.

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I have just switched to the Panasonic BK-3MCCA12SA eneloop AA 2100. They fit just fine. There is considerable discrepancy in reported time versus real time but I noticed that with the Duracel and Kirkland brand non rechargeable batteries that I was previously using as well.

 

My findings are this:  When it reports around 5:00 left, there is actually about 4 hours. When it shows 4 hours, there is actually about 2 1/2 hours, and when it shows 3 hours, there is actually about an hour left.

 

I typically note that the full charge reports 8:20 and at the end of the show (roughly four hours later) the unit reports about 6 hours.

 

By the way I am using the Titanium Smart Fast 16 Bay Ni-MH AA/AAA Battery Charger AC 100-240V + DC Adapters MD-1600L. I am quite happy with it, as well.
 

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We have 20 of the handhelds and use the PowerEx 2700's from Thomas Distributing. Have tried probably 6 or so other brands, but have found that the PoweEx's have the lowest failure rate and longest life of any we've used. We charge them in the MAHA MH-C801D chargers (we have three of them). I have had some brands that are slighty larger around, but have had no problems size wise with the PowerEx's.....

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We have an XD-V70, 12 channel system that we use at least weekly, with typically 6-10 of the transmitters in use during a Sunday morning (occassionally fewer or all 12); we have been using re-chargeable AA batteries for the last 3 years, and they work perfectly.

 

While at home we use Eneloop rechargeables, for the church we decided to try the much cheaper equivalent Tenergy brand rechargeables.  When I first got them (with three 8-slot 'smart chargers' so I can have them all sitting in the chargers when not in use), I tested the life of the batteries.  The typically run-time was ~8 hours, with the shortest being ~6 hours and a few a bit over 9 hours.   Just be aware that because of the 'base' voltage difference the 'indicator' on the transmitters of the time remaining is not terribly accurate; they are calibrated for alkaline, not rechargeables.

 

Over the course of 3 years I've probably replaced a bit over half of the batteries; the 'smart charger' indicates when they no longer hold a charge ... I consider that a great investment.  On the belt-pack transmitters some of the batteries are a bit snug and have to be 'shaken' to get the battery out far enough to grasp, but that hasn't been any significant issue.

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As a suggestion for a possible future firmware update, how about adding a setting for the type of battery used? I've seen that in digital cameras that use AA batteries so it's not uncommon. It would presumably simply tweak the relationship between voltages and time remaining to give a slightly more accurate picture than the standard alkaline setting. This assumes that such things are done in software rather than hardware of course...

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