Warning! Backlit Remotes are battery hogs!!!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JohnnyCorona, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    Found this out the hardway. Batteries only lasted me 1 week! I got the kenwood 7080 with the backlit touchzone remote.

    So Im looking into rechargable batteries. The chargers on ebay range from $7.50 - $40. Does anyone know what to look for in a battery charger?? Will the generic ones do the trick?

    Johnny
     
  2. Pete Jennings

    Pete Jennings Second Unit

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    Give it a little time first... My Marantz RC-3200 ate the first couple of sets of batteries pretty quickly. After I finished programming it to my needs and quit uploading and downloading configuration changes, the batteries began lasting over three months. For the sheer convenience of a "wife friendly" remote, I can live with that!

    Pete
     
  3. TomCW

    TomCW Second Unit

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    Got some Energizer Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries and a ray-o-vac charger at Walmart for less than $20. Works for me.
    Tom
     
  4. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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  5. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    If this was the set that came with the remote, I'd try one more set before messing with rechargables. Batteries packed with gear are not the greatest.

    But if rechargables are where you need to go, I agree that NiMH are the best choice.

    BTW, many backlit remotes aren't too bad on batteries. I've had several that last for months. It just depends on the remote and how much one uses the light.
     
  6. Daniel T.

    Daniel T. Agent

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    NiCads have a tendency to die really quickly. Hmmm, better way to phrase that. They last great, but once the capacity is used they don't slope off power slowly, they just DIE. Might be a bad thing if you have lotsa macros or custom buttons.

    I put Energizers in my Sony system commander, and they are going strong for months now.
     
  7. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    Yah, I think I'll just try a new set of batteries first and see what happens. The thing is, with this remote there are no buttons, the remote looks blank until you pick it up, then the buttons automatically light up and appear, all of them, and stay lit till you set it down. It looks really cool, but theres no way to use it without it lighting up. Also, it uses 4 AAA which I would think would be weaker than AA batteries.

    Anyway, Ill see what happens.

    johnny
     
  8. Ben_E

    Ben_E Stunt Coordinator

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    JohnnyCorona, heres my recommendation for NIMH batteries. I did some research before buying my Maha NIMH battery charger and 2200mah batteries. From what I read Maha Powerex batteries are the best as well as their 100 minute cool charger which i purchased. I had an Energizer 15 hour charger along with 4 Energizer 1700mah batteries before this for my cd/mp3 player. Timed it and the Maha batteries lasted 2.5 to 2.75 hours longer than the engergizers. Yea having the higher mah probably helped but from what I read Maha Powerex batteries usually laster longer than other brands of equal mah. A little bit pricy but IMO worth it. Heres a link to the charger I purchased and the package you would probably want to get if you decided to go with it:

    Maha charger with 4 AAA 700 mah batteries

    Price is $44.97 ea. for the combo.

    A cheaper option is the older charger for $31.97 ea.

    Older Maha charger with 4 AAA 700 mah batteries

    Might search around some more for different packages and prices if your interested. Also the main differences between the chargers is that the older one you have to condition the batteries where with the cool charger you don't, it has some sort of charging algorithm that prevents the memory effect somehow. And with the cool charger you can either rapid charge for 100 minutes or use the slower 5 hour charging method (extends battery life). Hope this helps.
     
  9. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Ben[​IMG] I use gold peak 1800 mah batteries with that rc3200 remote...and a good charger...works VERY well...and yes, even after 3 months, the energizers never made it a week...and that's with little use...grab the rechargers...you'll be glad ya did.
     
  10. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    If that remote is the same as Radio Shack's Kameleon remote (which I believe it is), then I feel your pain. My Kameleon went through a set of batteries in two weeks. Why? Because every time I bump the couch, the backlight comes on. Every time my SVS hits hard, the backlight comes on. If I get up for something, the backlight comes on. If the cat moves, the backlight comes on. If I'm -10 from reference, the backlight comes on even if the sub is turned off. In short, I found the remote to be absolutely useless because of how sensitive it was to vibration. I ended up taking it back and sticking with my old remote.

    That being said, I believe there's a way of turning down the illumination a bit and that might save you some battery life.
     
  11. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't mean to hijack the thread but I have a related question:

    I have a Marantz RC2000 remote. In the manual it says "use only alkaline or lithium batteries".

    Would NIMH be a problem with it?
     
  12. Ben_E

    Ben_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Hm I'm not sure about that one. I know most NIMH batteries are 1.2 volt as apposed to 1.5 volt for alkaline. I 'think' my cd/mp3 player's manual said to only use alkaline batteries but I've been using NIMH batteries in it ever since the Duracell Ultra batteries that came with the cd/mp3 player ran out.
     
  13. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Duane: It won't hurt anything. In fact, I knew of someone thru the web that ran NiMH in his RC-2000.
    As Ben notes, most rechargeables are rated as slightly less voltage than their alkaline counterparts. So, you would probably need to swap them a bit more than you would with regular batteries. But since they're rechargeable, that's not an issue...
     
  14. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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    Get Nickel Metal-Hydride (NiMH) rechargables. They are far better than Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and are better for the environment as well (Cadmium is horribly toxic). Be aware that different brands have different capacities... check the side of the battery, as it is usually listed there. These days, don't buy a NiMH AA size that is less than 2000 mAh (2200 or more is available). You can use any brand NiMH charger on any brand of NiMH cell. Fast chargers are harder on the batteries than slower ones, but in any case you will get hundreds of charge cycles.

    Some companies make alkaline recharbles. These are garbage IMHO. They have no more capacity than NiMH, and often less, and can only be charged 10-25 times or so. I have some that I got only 3 or 4 good charges out of before they refused to take a charge anymore. Besides that, alkalines require a unique charger, whereas a NiMH charger will also charge those old NiCd batteries you have lying around but lost the charger for.

     
  15. Duane_T

    Duane_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys, thanks for the info.
     
  16. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Aaron: Wellllll, I was overly simplifying my reply. And to be fair, I never mentioned capacity as such. That said, I'll still stay with my basic answer in that for batteries (and the devices that run on them), voltage IS part of the whole equation, not just the ability to deliver amperage over time. All one needs to do to prove this is measure, under load, a fully charged battery versus a partially discharged one of the same type. The difference in voltage will show quite easily.

    That said, as you've alluded, the under load voltage drop may or may not have a noticeable effect with the device in question. Some devices aren't fussy at all and can operate over a wide range of voltage. Other devices are easily upset and even a 1/4 of a volt drop can cause operating quirks. And you're right in that the length of time that a battery can deliver the rated goods is quantified by the battery's mAh rating.

    Botom line is that in the case of the Marantz, I think we both agree. Based on what others have reported, the RC-2000 does not appear to be particularly sensitive to slightly lower voltage. Thus our feeling that rechargeables should be fine...
     
  17. Rik P

    Rik P Stunt Coordinator

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    Johnny:
    I have a 7080 also, and mine went through the first set in about a week. Im on my second set that has lasted me about a month so far. Also you can dim the remote display as well. Another thing you program the remote to wake up with only the buttons lit up with the last source used instead of all the buttons illuminating every time. I discovered that recently in the front of the manual.
     
  18. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    Hey thanks for your reply Rik P! I completly overlooked that section of the manual and did not know I could change the brightness!!

    Johnny
     

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