NiMH Batteries, Charger, and Voltage Adapter

NiMH Batteries | Battery Charger | Voltage Adapter

NiMH Batteries

Nexcell Batteries

NiMH batteries have more power, last longer, and have no memory effect as opposed to either NiCd or Alkalines. They are also about as environmentally friendly (unlike NiCd) as a battery can get. Mine claim to take over 500 charges.

Lastly, they (allegedly) keep their charge during storage pretty well and don't commit suicide in cold weather.

The best place to get them is from Thomas Distributing. Look for the Nexcell or MAHAcell NiMH batteries.

As an aside, I found the best way to carry them is in a holder which you can get at any Radio Shack.

Why You NeedThem

Digital Cameras (DCs) eat batteries for breakfast. Not lunch... most batteries won't last 'till lunch. When using the LCD screen and flash, most "regular" alkaline AA batteries will last you about 10 pictures.

With full use of the LCD and occasional flash, I can get over 100 shots off before recharging. Probably twice that if I don't use the LCD. I'm carrying four full sets of batteries, so I figure I can cover about a month of travel without any power.

I'm not quite as impressed with their AAA batteries that I use for the TRGpro. I'm averaging just over 11 hours of "on time," which is far less than regular AAAs. For comparison, a set of Duracell Ultras kept me running over 22 hours. Still, three sets have gotten me through five months, and I only had to break into my disposables once.

Battery Charger

Maha Charger

The digital camera discussion forums seem to agree: the best NiMH charer is the MAHA C204F charger, also best purchased through Thomas Distributing.

I'd recommend getting the 12V cigarette lighter adapter as well.

Voltage Adapter

Radio Shack Voltage Adapter

Had I checked the web before I left, I would have found that I could get a 220 transformer for my battery charger from MAHA. That and some plug adapters and I would have been golden.

But I was a moron and got a HEAVY voltage adapter instead. This is the one piece of equipment that I did not research thoroughly. I've seen them offered in in-flight magazines, although they seem to be identical to the one I bought at Radio Shack. There are two different kinds: ones for applia~ces over 50 watts, and ones for small devices (you want this kind) that draw under 50 watts.

The adapter has different plug sonfigurations that will work in almost any country. The exceptions are India and some Middle-Eastern countries; you need to buy an additional adapter for these (which I left at home- Doh!).

My real concern is power surges: I met a couple who fried their digital camera battery in Burma during a power surge. If anyone finds a voltage adapter with a built-in surge supressor or stand alone small surge supressor, let me know!

Page Revised 8/31/00