Pro96 with NiMH? HORRIBLE battery life?

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fog

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What's the deal with getting a Pro96 to run on rechargeables? My search turned up discussion of "the yellow adapter," but I must have either lost mine (before ever noticing it), or never gotten one.

However, I'm not interested in recharging in the scanner. If I put the 4x AA NiMH batteries in the scanner, fully charged and with 2300 mAh capacity each, I'm lucky to get 20 minutes of runtime before the scanner shuts down on low battery. By contrast, 4x alkalines and the thing lasts a couple days, but since I use this a lot (on the go), I'd rather not go through 8-12 batteries a week.

Does this mythical yellow holder take a fifth battery for NiMH, or is it simply a normal one wired to permit charging? I suspect the problem is one of voltage -- the NiMHs are 1.2V, whereas normal alkalines are 1.5V... The net is 4.8V instead of 6V, but this hasn't been a problem in my digital cameras, etc., all of which get extraordinary battery life off the rechargeables. The Pro-96, though, dies in short order.

Re-reading the manual, it refers to using the yellow adapter for charging, but doesn't make any mention of impaired battery life. Does it simply add a trace to the 9V jack on the side, or does it physically take a 5th battery? Have other people run into the same problem?
 

trixwagen

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I used my nimh rechargables in the regular "non-yellow" battery holder. They seemed to work just fine for many hours. Maybe you have a bad batch of batteries?

The yellow battery holder is just for charging, but I never charge batteries inside the scanner. Seems like a disaster waiting to happen. I charge my batteries in an external charger with zero problems.
 

xpawel15x

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I use 2500 mah NIMH rechargables that last like 12 hrs non stop :twisted: (in my Pro-96)
 

iMONITOR

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The battery trays have nothing to do with how long the batteries will operate your scanner.

What is the mAh rating of the batteries?
How old are they?
What do you use to charge them?
How long do you charge them?
 

fog

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Huh, I'll have to re-check the batteries.

They're 2300 mAh Duracells. They're the 15-minute rapid recharge ones... These (exact) batteries have worked quite well in other devices; I'll have to double-check them for a bit and see if they're maybe going.

I recharged 'em about an hour ago and kept a multi-meter on hand... 5.64V across the battery pack's terminals; after 34 minutes of listening, I got a low-battery beep for the first time and measured 5.36V. About 20 minutes later, I'm at 4.08V and the radio won't power up with these batteries.

Thanks for the help -- I'm going to try picking up a new set of rechargeables. I guess the fact that they used to work great is at fault for me assuming it was a problem with the radio.
 

KC0QNB

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What brand are they? I can tell you from my personal experience energizers suck, they will self discharge in a day or two.
 

iMONITOR

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Those fast chargers are hard on batteries and typically shorten their life cycle.
 

unitcharlie

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I used to use 2650 mAh rechargeables both in the radio and as back-ups (I work 10 to 12 hours with the scanner going the whole time), after about six months they'd die a quick and very obvious death, dropping from 14 hours solid to barely nine hours... This happened to the batteries I charged in the radio and using the recommended (per the manufacturer) charger....

Upon the recommendation of a friend I purchased two sets of Sanyo Eneloops.... they have been in service about a month now and last at least 10 hours nightly (I thought they'd die within 8 or 9 hours because they're 2100 mAh.... but apparently their low discharge rate and their are lower capacity gives them the extra punch)... I keep a set in the radio and charge them there; if they die during a shift I will replace them with the spares I carry with me; charging the ones in the radio using the wall wart and the dead ones in the other brand's recommended charger.... I switched to the 2650s after having a bit of ragged luck with 2500s that wouldn't work well after less than a thousand cycles each....
 

N1BHH

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I use RayOVac 2500 and 1800 mAH battery sets and charge them with a RayOVac smart charger. Fast chargers do beat the heck out of batteries. Slow charging is the best. If you can, get several sets, I have 5, and charge them at normal speed, they will last longer.

You may have one cell that is bad, this will cause the scanner to sound the low battery alarm. Leave the batteries running until it actually stops altogether and then fully charge them. They should power the radio much better under a full charge. Hope you have better luck.
 

iMONITOR

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I used to have a Maha MH-C777PLUS-II Universal LCD charger/analyzer/conditioner. In spite of it being a "smart charger", complete with a temperature sensor, etc, it used to cook the hell out of my batteries. I use Radio Shack's NiMH batteries, the green ones, typically they're available in 1800 to 2200 mAh. They would get so hot in this charger the Mylar labels would almost melt, and get a textured look to them from excessive heat.

Now I use an inexpensive Radio Shack charger, Cat 21-1302, which gently charges them in 2~3 hours. They get slightly warm at best, and I can re-charge over, and over, and they work great!

Unless you really need to charge quickly, I'd avoid fast chargers. They're like fast women, and will cost you a lot in the long run!
 

hfxChris

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Upon the recommendation of a friend I purchased two sets of Sanyo Eneloops.... they have been in service about a month now and last at least 10 hours nightly (I thought they'd die within 8 or 9 hours because they're 2100 mAh.... but apparently their low discharge rate and their are lower capacity gives them the extra punch)... I keep a set in the radio and charge them there; if they die during a shift I will replace them with the spares I carry with me; charging the ones in the radio using the wall wart and the dead ones in the other brand's recommended charger.... I switched to the 2650s after having a bit of ragged luck with 2500s that wouldn't work well after less than a thousand cycles each....
I also have to recomment Eneloop batteries; I have three sets of them for my scanners, and have had awesome luck with them. Their primary advantage as mentioned is the low self discharge time; when my mobiles are in the house they're plugged into a wall wart (I never use the yellow holder to charge them by the way), so I really only ever use the batteries when I'm mobile, and I don't usually take a scanner with me when I'm on the go, so the batteries can sit for weeks without being used. This is where the low self-discharge rates come in handy for me; I can charge, have them sit for a few weeks and have no significant reduction in charge. I also use them for all kinds of other things in my house, like remotes, clocks, wireless keyboard and other low power-use stuff.
 

N1SQB

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Bacon,eggs anyone?

Huh, I'll have to re-check the batteries.

They're 2300 mAh Duracells. They're the 15-minute rapid recharge ones...
BINGO!
Herein lies your problem. Those 15 minute chargers are only good if you find yourself in a jam and really need to have power right away. Otherwise, you might as well put the cells in a frying pan along with the eggs and bacon.( HMM, Im getting hungry).It has to be a 2 step deal. Think of it like this. You spend $500 on a new scanner to use as a base. Then you get a really cheap antenna and cable, then wonder why you get better signal from your hand held than your base. With batteries, having good quality ones is only half the battle. The other half, and perhaps the most critical of the 2 is what you charge them in. I sound like a broken record on here sometimes because I have said this over and over on different posts.
I can only recommend what I have tried. The Maha chargers with the conditioning feature are among the best. Now as far as batteries, I have had great success with both the Sanyo 2700Mah ones as well as the over the counter Duracell 2650 Mah ones from Walmart. What you choose is up to you, but spend your best dollar on a good charger and put the 15 minute one away. My 2 cents worth.

Manny
 

unitcharlie

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Pardon me for this tangential resurrection of an old thread, sorta.... but this was the last place I saw reference to the Sanyo eneloops.... in a news release, Sanyo announces the 12 September 2008 release of "C" and "D" sized eneloops and a Universal Charger. The event happens in Japan with release elsewhere following thereafter.... The charger looks interesting.... 1 to 8 "AA" and/or "AAA" batteries in the lower bank and 1 to 4 "C" and/or "D" in the top bank.... don't like the thought of the top bank of slots being unused (I don't have any "D" or "C" sized scanners).
 
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