I have various sets of 4 rechargable AA or AAA batteries and a number of appliances (camera flash, bike flashlight, hand flashlight, portable phone handset, wireless keyboard/mouse, etc.) which require 2, 3 or 4 batteries. All of them are Ni-MH, some ordinary, some of the eneloop brand (Sanyo first generation or Panasonic make). Altogether I have 20 batteries in sets of four.
For charging I use a charger with separate circuitry for each battery, four loading status displays and a discharge function (the charger can either charge or discharge, cannot charge one battery and discharge another at the same time).
I've been told some time ago to follow these rules:
- Full charge, full discharge whenever possible,
- one to three 'refresh cycles' from time to time, less so with the eneloops,
- don't combine different capacities or brands or newer batteries with older ones.
My question is what should I do to make best use of the batteries while being able to grab some and use them for whatever I need at the time (not having a set designated to a particular single use).
I ask this because the way I use the batteries contradicts some or all of the three rules above - namely I can't always get the same level of wear or I'd like to use batteries from different sets which sometimes lay idly when the rest is used somewhere else etc.