Pretty much all my devices that need mobile power (most of those are related to Geocaching), use either AA or AAA cells.
Some of them (mostly when in a pinch), are non-rechargeable Alkaline batteries.
Now, I'm planning on getting a larger batch of AA and AAA rechargeable cells, with a good quality charger, and get rid of all single-use cells once and for all.
My decision restrictions are:
- Individual cells (AA/AAA)
- Many quick cycles.
By now, I've reduced my decision down to two types:
So, it's between LSD/NiMH and RAM. The Eneloop cells are pretty expensive, so it's also a question of price.
I've read very contradictory things about RAM cells: On my electronics store's Wiki(German), they claim a RAM cell has only about 25 recharge cycles, while on Wikipedia, they claim they have hundreds of charge cycles, if used properly (drained to <25% capacity, no deep discharge). They cannot provide large currents, but that's OK, I'd be using mine for things like radio communication, GPS receivers and things like torches, and sensor equipment.
I understand I'd need a special charging device for those batteries. But that's OK, I'm planing to use just one type of rechargeable batteries in the future.
RAM batteries are cheaper than LSD/NiMH batteries. Eneloop cells have a very low self-discharge rate, not comparable to RAM cells, but still quite low. I know the Eneloops can be recharged many times, but since I've read only contradictory things about RAM cells, I don't know they compare in that, would be nice if someone could clarify this.
Now, as I'm planning to use one type of rechargeable battery for all my mobile devices, I'm also planning to use them for the devices I'm designing. Since I don't do products of anywhere near large volumes, I just use simple AA batteries for powering. This is a minor thing to keep in mind, but if someone could point out differences in power capacity, and discharge characteristics, that would be nice.