Peter Clinch <[email protected]
> 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
> 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.