We have all had the collection of batteries in the kitchen drawer. The next move is to buy batteries in bulk at placed like Costco, keeping them into the freezer to prolong the shelf life until they are needed. What I seem to get caught on is that I always have run out of a particular battery size and don’t know it until I need that particular size. After having that happen again recently, I knew there had to be something better. From my years as an Amateur Radio or “Ham” Operator, I had dealt with rechargeable batteries and had experienced my share of bad battery situations. I knew there had to be something better. After doing some research, I found the Eneloop batteries from Sanyo/Panasonic.
Sanyo has taken an interesting approach to their line of batteries. The bulk of their product offering is AA and AAA batteries. Before you think that they are ignoring part of the market that needs C and D size batteries. Take a closer look at the graphic on the left. This particular package has two AA batteries and two “spacers” that allow you to use the AA batteries in a device that only understands D size batteries. Before you think that the batteries will be short lived, think again. I have been doing some volunteer work where I have to use different devices that can chew up a set of batteries quickly.
When you have rechargeable batteries, you will need a charger. This charge is the one that Sanyo makes for the Eneloop batteries. The problem I have run into with other chargers is that you have the piece that the batteries plug into to get charged and then you have the transformer and cord that plugs into the charger and the AC wall outlet. That is the one thing that seems to get misplaced or if it stops working, you have to throw out the charger because you either cant get the replacement transformer or if you can, it will cost more than getting a new charger and stand at the same time.
Since I started my introduction to the Eneloops with buying a couple of the blister packs with 2 AA and 2 D spacers, the chance was there that the batteries might be unused at some point and I wanted to avoid them getting misplaced or possibly coming into contact with some metal and shorting out. I found these battery cases from Eneloop that helps keep the batteries in one place and safe.
If you need to start with a few more batteries at one time than you get with the Spacer blister packs that I mentioned earlier, this is a good way to start. You get 10 batteries to start with and 2 cases for 8 batteries. Although I have only mentioned the AA batteries, There is a similar starter package like this that comes with AAA batteries.
Overall, I have been impressed with the Eneloop batteries. The only downside I have run into is that one of the applications I use the batteries for, the spacers from Eneloop didnt have enough surface area to make contact with the spring at the back of the flashlight. My temporary solution was to use a batter spacer from another vendor that had a large surface area at the rear of the spacer to make contact with the flashlight spring. The quality of the other vendors battery spacers are low enough that I will have to find a longer term solution. I may try a metal washer from the hardware store as an option so I could use both of the Eneloop spacers. I have emailed Eneloop customer support over a week ago and havent heard back from yet at this point. For more information on the entire Eneloop product line, check out this link from Sanyo.
|Sanyo Eneloop, 2 Pack AA, Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries with “D” Spacer|
|Sanyo Eneloop 4-Position Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery Charger White|
|Sanyo Eneloop Battery Storage Case x 4|
|Sanyo Eneloop 10 Pack AA Batteries with 2 Storage Cases|