Light battery storage

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Steve, Feb 13, 2003.

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  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    OK Folks

    Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    Drain them right down or fully charge them?

    Steve
     
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  2. Steve wrote:
    > OK Folks
    >
    > Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?

    Drawing to a close? Do you knock off early then?

    Out of interest do you work at the Komatsu between Durham and Newcastle?

    Colin
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Steve wrote:

    > Drain them right down or fully charge them?

    Reports vary: I've stored my NiCad caving lamp both ways and it doesn't seem to have made any
    difference to it, though most people seem to keep them fully charged and come the next use, run them
    down and charge them freshly. It's widely held that a full drain of a lead/acid is a Very Bad Thing,
    but OTOH the one in my car has survived that happening a few times and it still works fine...

    So charge and cycle fully at the end of storage if you want to stay with the safety of "received
    wisdom", and that way shouldn't bite you.

    Must say you can add battery maintenance to the list of things I really don't miss any more (since I
    got a dynohub). If that makes me an evil evangelist saying people with battery lights are worse off
    then I guess I'm an evil evangelist, at least as far as utility bikes go...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Steve wrote:
    > Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?

    Store what? My lights are dynamo powered and permanently fitted :)

    (and even if they weren't they'd stay on the bike in case of a late one).

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  5. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Steve wrote:
    > Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    > Drain them right down or fully charge them?

    Maplin Electronics supply (or at least supplied to me a couple of years ago) new NiCad cells totally
    flat. But I've read conflicting advice on how they should be stored. Some even say drain and freeze!

    I understand it's best never to completely drain NiMH cells.

    ~PB
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > Maplin Electronics supply (or at least supplied to me a couple of years ago) new NiCad cells
    > totally flat.

    Note. That's deliberate policy, as documentation explained; wasn't a mistake, etc.

    ~PB
     
  7. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Steve wrote:
    > OK Folks
    >
    > Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    > Drain them right down or fully charge them?
    >
    > Steve

    What battery chemistry/lighting setup?

    If you have a cunning charger you can leave it switched on all summer.

    --

    -Alex

    ----------------------------------
    [email protected]

    http://alexpg.ath.cx:3353/cycling/ http://www.westerleycycling.org.uk
    ----------------------------------
     
  8. Pattledom

    Pattledom Guest

    Steve wrote:
    > OK Folks
    >
    > Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    > Drain them right down or fully charge them?
    >

    Dunno about NiMH but I don't think it matters with NiCad. The important thing is to fully charge
    them before using them after they've been stored - because if different cells have lost different
    amount of charge in storage you can end up putting reverse polarity across a cell if you use them
    again before recharging.

    Lead-acid are best kept charged.

    --
    Andrew Pattle
     
  9. Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote
    > Steve wrote:
    >
    > > Drain them right down or fully charge them?
    >
    > Reports vary: I've stored my NiCad caving lamp both ways and it doesn't seem to have made any
    > difference to it, though most people seem to keep them fully charged and come the next use, run
    > them down and charge them freshly.

    With lead-acid you should *definitely* make sure they are fully charged before putting them away.
    With NiCad and Ni MH it doesn't matter much.

    > It's widely held that a full drain of a lead/acid is a Very Bad Thing, but OTOH the one in my car
    > has survived that happening a few times and it still works fine...

    With *all* types of battery (by battery I mean several cells in series or parallel) you should never
    run them down to completely empty. When your lights go dim and yellow, turn them off. With a single
    cell (like AA or D cell) it's OK to completely empty it, but there are very few devices that run off
    just a single cell!

    Your battery may tolerate such a full discharge, but it's asking for trouble and is highly likely to
    reduce the lifetime of your cells.

    > So charge and cycle fully at the end of storage if you want to stay with the safety of "received
    > wisdom", and that way shouldn't bite you.

    NiCads occasionally benefit from a cycling, but cycling means only discharging until lights are dim
    and yellow and then recharging, it does not mean discharging until lights have completely gone out.

    Cycling is never of any benefit to lead-acid batteries, and I don't think it's any use for
    NiMH either.

    > Must say you can add battery maintenance to the list of things I really don't miss any more (since
    > I got a dynohub). If that makes me an evil evangelist saying people with battery lights are worse
    > off then I guess I'm an evil evangelist, at least as far as utility bikes go...

    I have two wheels with hub dynamos (one 700c, one MTB) but now I'm rinding the Brompton so I'm back
    to using battery powered lights. Still batteries aren't much of an issue as I have LED lights front
    & rear -- a BS rear made by Knightlite and a Cateye 3-white-LED front one (the kind with 4 AAs, not
    one of the little ones). The front light is nowhere near as good at showing me where I'm going as my
    dynamo light, which is a drawback for riding on bike paths, but is very good for being seen.

    -Myra
     
  10. Bob Flemming

    Bob Flemming Guest

    On Thu, 13 Feb 2003 16:37:54 -0000, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Steve wrote:
    >> Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    >
    >Store what? My lights are dynamo powered and permanently fitted :)
    >
    >(and even if they weren't they'd stay on the bike in case of a late one).

    This is something I am wondering about in relation to my shimano hub dynamo. Do they wear out? More
    specifically, am I shortening it's life if I leave it on the bike all summer, obviously using it for
    log periods without making use of it's charging capability? I'm not that fussed about weight or any
    drag I may incur, but forgetting all physics and the like, I am in the dark about it! Obviously
    bearings will wear and/or need adjusting, but anything else?

    Just curious. ta bob
     
  11. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Bob Flemming wrote:

    > This is something I am wondering about in relation to my shimano hub dynamo. Do they wear out?
    > More specifically, am I shortening it's life if I leave it on the bike all summer, obviously using
    > it for log periods without making use of it's charging capability? I'm not that fussed about
    > weight or any drag I may incur, but forgetting all physics and the like, I am in the dark about
    > it! Obviously bearings will wear and/or need adjusting, but anything else?

    I'm sure Myra has chapter & verse - the bearings in the Nexus are better protected than standard
    hubs and long-lived. I've heard they can be challenging to replace, but mine are still fine after
    5,000 miles or so - and now I'm riding the 'bent with a SON. Obviously removing the SON would render
    the bike aesthetically sub-optimal :)

    I'm not aware of any risk of deterioration of the permanent magnets thorugh not powering the lights.
    Hub dynamos tend to be long-lived, but I've not known anybody wear a Nexus out yet so I don't know
    how long they do last.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  12. Myra VanInwegen wrote:

    >
    > With lead-acid you should *definitely* make sure they are fully charged before putting them away.
    > With NiCad and Ni MH it doesn't matter much.

    I managed, due to moving house, to lose my Cateye SLA for most of last year. Although I charged it
    up as soon as I found it, it died quite quickly once powering the lights. I assume I have fscked the
    thing through leaving it discharged for so long. Is there anyway to remedy this or should I just get
    a replacement battery (20 quid from Wiggle)

    Colin
     
  13. Pete Biggs wrote:
    > Steve wrote:
    >> Whats the best way to store your rechargeable lights now that dark days are drawing to a close?
    >> Drain them right down or fully charge them?
    >
    > Maplin Electronics supply (or at least supplied to me a couple of years ago) new NiCad cells
    > totally flat. But I've read conflicting advice on how they should be stored. Some even say drain
    > and freeze!
    >
    > I understand it's best never to completely drain NiMH cells.
    >

    Best never to completely drain NiMH *batteries*, I think. Single cells should be fine, AIUI. Mind
    you, my only experience is lurking on bikecurrent for a year or two.
     
  14. Colin Blackburn <[email protected]> wrote
    > I managed, due to moving house, to lose my Cateye SLA for most of last year. Although I charged it
    > up as soon as I found it, it died quite quickly once powering the lights. I assume I have fscked
    > the thing through leaving it discharged for so long. Is there anyway to remedy this or should I
    > just get a replacement battery (20 quid from Wiggle)

    I'd get one from Maplin or similar; it would be alot cheaper.

    -Myra
     
  15. Tim Hall

    Tim Hall Guest

    On Fri, 14 Feb 2003 10:31:25 +0000, Colin Blackburn <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Myra VanInwegen wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> With lead-acid you should *definitely* make sure they are fully charged before putting them away.
    >> With NiCad and Ni MH it doesn't matter much.
    >
    >I managed, due to moving house, to lose my Cateye SLA for most of last year. Although I charged it
    >up as soon as I found it, it died quite quickly once powering the lights. I assume I have fscked
    >the thing through leaving it discharged for so long. Is there anyway to remedy this or should I
    >just get a replacement battery (20 quid from Wiggle)
    >

    Try an electrical wholesalers - this size battery get used in fire alarms, emergency lights and so
    on. Try Yuasa or Sonnenschein (sp?) as manufacturers. Maplin probably have them too.

    Tim
    --

    fast and gripping, non pompous, glossy and credible.
     
  16. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Colin Blackburn wrote:

    > I managed, due to moving house, to lose my Cateye SLA for most of last year. Although I charged it
    > up as soon as I found it, it died quite quickly once powering the lights. I assume I have fscked
    > the thing through leaving it discharged for so long. Is there anyway to remedy this or should I
    > just get a replacement battery (20 quid from Wiggle)

    Take the opportunity to build yourself a NiCad or NiMH pack - abt twice the capacity for the same
    weight, or the same capacity for half the weight :)

    --

    -Alex
     
  17. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On 14 Feb 2003 01:54:28 -0800 someone who may be [email protected] (Myra VanInwegen) wrote this:-

    >With a single cell (like AA or D cell) it's OK to completely empty it, but there are very few
    >devices that run off just a single cell!

    My torches and lights run on single cells, though they are assembled into a battery inside the
    device. To simplify my life I have almost standardised on AA and D cells now. Just one radio and the
    smoke detectors to replace now... These cells can then be charged in a standard smart charger.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Guest

    > Drawing to a close? Do you knock off early then?

    Just 4:45, but we are very close to the arctic circle up here!

    > Out of interest do you work at the Komatsu between Durham and Newcastle?

    Yeah I do. Do you pass me on the way to work or something? I'm the one going really fast! Ha Ha!

    Steve
     
  19. David Hansen <[email protected]> wrote
    > On 14 Feb 2003 01:54:28 -0800 someone who may be [email protected] (Myra VanInwegen) wrote this:-
    >
    > >With a single cell (like AA or D cell) it's OK to completely empty it, but there are very few
    > >devices that run off just a single cell!
    >
    > My torches and lights run on single cells, though they are assembled into a battery inside
    > the device.

    And thus if you run your torch (or whatever) until it's completely black, you will risk cell
    reversal just as much as if the cells were soldered together. You should turn your device off while
    there's still a bit of power left and then recharge, else risk damaging one of your cells.

    > To simplify my life I have almost standardised on AA and D cells now. Just one radio and the smoke
    > detectors to replace now... These cells can then be charged in a standard smart charger.

    Which one? We haven't found a single-cell smart charger that actually works. We have one that calls
    itself a microprocessor controller smart charger, but if you put cells that have undergone exactly
    the same treatment (been used in a flash, say), it turns off the charging of one cell after 15 mins,
    but does the other one for an hour! Something clearly wrong here.

    -Myra
     
  20. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On 17 Feb 2003 02:06:54 -0800 someone who may be [email protected] (Myra VanInwegen) wrote this:-

    >> These cells can then be charged in a standard smart charger.
    >
    >Which one?

    I think I bought it in Maplin. It looks rather like the one Innovations sell. It has charged various
    sorts of cells for at least a year, AAA to D.

    I told a lie, I have two NiMH batteries in my mouse that are AAA size. I must get a bigger mouse to
    get rid of that non-standard size:)

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E I will always explain revoked
    keys, unless the UK government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
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