battery question

goodguy

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Location
north carolina
We have been a supplier of Procell batteries (Duracell professional alkalines) to the pro audio industry for a number of years.
Last month, the acqusition of Duracell by Proctor and Gamble was completed, and p&g has been unable to fill customer orders in a timely manner since they took over distribution. We have not received shipments in over a month and our shelves are bare. P&G does not give us valid ship dates or followup information and they appear to be a long way off from achieving the customer service standards that Duracell established when they were owned by Gillette.
We are considering switching to the Energizer Industrial alkalines, and since the majority of our customers use these batteries for wireless microphones, i am anxious to learn how this community compares the two in wireless mic applications.
I apologize if this posting appears to be too commercial in nature, but the health of our company and our ongoing ability to serve a loyal, long time, customer base is in jeopardy.
We would appreciate your input.
If you would prefer to offer your input outside of this forum, i would appreciate your contacting me at [email protected]
 

Dillon

Active Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Location
New York
I'm now using Rayovac (they're in the process of changing their name to Spectrum Brands). I go directly through their industrial sales division. We're getting brand new 9V's for about $0.80 each.
 

tenor_singer

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Orwell, Ohio
I don't know exact numbers, but aren't the polls on the 9-V batteries of both brands different in height?

I was told by an old sound engineer friend that you should use Duracell because the other brands can bend the contacts in a belt pack causing an unnecessary repair down the line. He believed this so ardently that if he found that you didn't use them, he would not rent (or in my case because we traded equipment throughout our theater seasons... lend ) his private stock of wireless microphones to you ever again.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
We have had good luck with the Energizer brand. The Interstate Industrial line is an other issue. They work OK for rehearsal and short shows, but I don't recommend using the any longer than necessary. Life just isn't there.
 

JSFox

Active Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2006
Location
The Tundra
I thought the problem was just our local supplier. We're down to our last 400 9's and 600 AA's and told 'at least 2 more weeks to get procells'. We just started a comparison trial today. I'll let you know what we come up with.

The pole height is one I don't remember hearing before (then again, I don't remember much of anything these days). I'll have to look at that.
 

soundlight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
That's what we used at Northwood when I was there, that's what the school buys in bulk from their office supplier. I appreciated the packaging that Energizer did with their Industrial 9v batteries, as well as the AA's. The AA's, if I remember correctly, were shrink-wrapped in packs of four. It kept the battery drawer in order. They're really long life batteries when it comes to our Shure wireless equipment, and they work well. (I'll mention to Ms. Carlin that you would be a good source for batteries for our wireless, since the dance teacher already gets gaff from you.)

Best of luck with the business,
 

Andy_Leviss

Active Member
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Location
NYC
Actually, in the professional world of Broadway/touring theatre, we as a general rule have switched from ProCell to Energizer Industrial years ago, when the Gillette transition first came about. At that time, the batteries were apparently reformulated, and general QC went downhill. I, and most engineers I know, won't trust a show to ProCells anymore. I've had many more "bad out of the box" ProCells than Energizers.

While I don't spec out many shows these days, since I work more as an engineer as a designer, any show I've designed, going back at least 6 years, included the restriction on the bid/shop order that only Energizer Industrials were allowable, and that ProCells were not to be considered an acceptable alternative.

So I'd say that, even if supply weren't an issue, Energizer Industrial is most definitely the way to go.
 

fosstech

Active Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Location
Tacoma, WA USA
We use Powerex 2700mAh NiMH AA's for all our Shures. I know about the argument against rechargables, but we never have had a problem with them dying too quickly. They last the duration of the show (and then some), and when the show's done that night, we just pop them all in the charger. When you have 20 mics, batteries get expensive. Rechargables keep that cost down, and help the environment.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Which argument against rechargables ? you mean the one where a rechargable AA only outputs 1.25 v instead of the requisite 1.5 ? or that, a 9v will only be suppling about 8.25 - 8.5 volts ? I always stay away from rechargables Specially in Mics or any gear that that is utilizing RF. Unless specified by the manufacturer Rechargables, are litterally "not compatible" with most sophisticated electronics.
 

fosstech

Active Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2004
Location
Tacoma, WA USA
The argument I've heard is that they die off very quickly when low. So by the time you get the low battery indicator at the receiver, there may only be minutes before they die. But we never run them long enough to get the low battery. Tech rehearsals use about 5.5 hours out of them from the time I put batteries in to the time I take them out at the end of the night, and they still have lots of life left. We never have had any problems with the transmitters either, they seem to take them just fine. They're Shure UHF and UHF-R systems.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
just as a point of comment, Alkaline batteries actually have a veryvery quick fall off rate. Which is why they are so good at what they do. They put out a constant voltage until they reach they end of thier life then they suddenly die. That is the reason why most smoke detectors used to have on them, a warning to not use alkaline batteries in them. Their power curve at the end of thier life was so steep that is was possible you'd never hear the low battery warning beep which is generated whenvoltage falls below 1 volt. Anyway, That is a reason to only use alkalines in mics they deliver a good consistent voltage untill they start to die. The reason this is advantagious is that you don't have to worry about an issue being the battery as long as the battery indicater reads good, whereas when using almost any other kind of battery that should be the first thing you check.
 

saxman0317

Active Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Location
western NY
I tend towards using the Enigizer, but no matter what batteries im using i always switch at the beginning of every show and intermission if its extra long. New batteries for shows, those preused ones for rehersals and checks. Ive had too many batteries die and s/m's without extra battiries in the pockets backstage during large productions for me to chance it...but dont think i waste here..batteries go from mics for shows, to mics for non show use, to random little tools, to just the little stupid things that always need 9vs and you carry 10 of em in your pocket. then, and ONLY THEN, are we allowed to toss one away.
 

PhantomD

Joined
Mar 3, 2006
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I use rechargeables in both of my main audio workplaces, to great effect.

However for very important things I still use Alkalines. And although we use rechargeables for our Musicals, the Radio Mics crew always has Alkalines lying around for if the rechargeables die out.

I can definitely backup Van about the Rechargeables giving lower and lower voltages throughout use, and Alkalines holding voltage. Our rechargeables spend time on Low Battery light quite often but they will still give a perfect output for a long time thereafter.
 

jbeutt

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Location
Berkeley, Ca
I don't really get this issue, unless you're in a position of stretching battery life for as long as possible. In the real world, as saxman alluded to, battery changes are frequent enough that it really doesn't matter. If it makes it through a show and is the cheapest, it wins.

I think this could be of some interest, though:

http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/17897/8564/

this doesn't really put to rest the difference between energizer and duracell, but this thread on prosoundweb seems to suggest that people are making some pretty subjective comparisons between batteries and perhaps being taken in by "pro" labeling.
 
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soundman1024

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Denver
Just a bit to throw out about rechargable Ni-MH batteries. Though one is supposed to be able to not worry about running Ni-MH down all the way before recharging them it still helps. In addition charging them with a slow charger instead of a fast charger gives them more life.

I use my camera quite a bit. I use Energizer 2500mAh Ni-MH batteries in my camera in addition I have an Energizer "Compact Charger" that charges them in about 8 hours and a Radio Shack "Fast Charger." If I take the batteries out of my camera after it tells me I have a low battery and put them on the fast charger I can get about 50 pictures with flash on the next cycle if I am careful about LCD usage and what not. Compare that to if I take them out of the camera when it says they are low, put them in a flashlight and just let them burn till the flashlight burns out, then charge them all the way up in the regular charger and I can get about 250 pictures with flash even if I am more liberal about using the LCD. In addition I get more notice on low batteries. They will sit there on low batteries for about 50 pictures, which is about what the charge lasts for on the fast charger!!

This is just observation I have had over a year of using these batteries. I wore out a set of them and got another one I was so happy with them. I am interested in these 2700mAh Powerex batteries though. Perhaps I'll order a set.
 

jbeutt

Active Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2005
Location
Berkeley, Ca
the reason i think rechargeable batteries just aren't viable in mainstream theatre is that they require too much consideration and attention when compared to the easy task of just tossing. Maybe this calls for a poll.

I know some rechargeable batteries are better than others, but with an alkaline, you pretty much always know what you're going to get and they simply are more reliable, even if by a small margin.
 

SHARYNF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Be aware that some of the rechargable batteries for instance AA versions do not have the full 1.5 volts rating to start, but instead are 1.4 volts. Most of them will actually show the rating on the battery

Sharyn
 

jkowtko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
This thread hasn't been updated in well over a year.

Can anyone provide comments on recent experiences using NiMh rechargeables?

We have AKG transmitters with 2 AAs in each. I use Duracell now and they last two full shows (3.5-4 hours each show) very consistently. I toss them when the pre-show voltage check is under 1.40 ...

Running 22 shows per production (tech plus performances) definitely makes the economics of rechargeables start to look pretty good. But I don't want to invest the $$ or potential hassle if the battery life for a single show (4-5 hours safely) is still marginal.

Thanks. John
 

avkid

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Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Howell, NJ
You have to check the draw of the device versus how much the battery can supply.
-
I used some old ones I had kicking around the house and killed them within an hour.
It turned out the voltage and supply were too low.
-
We actually figured out about a year ago that it would save us $150 the first year.
But the initial investment would be about $600, which we don't have.
 

Pip

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Location
Manitou Springs, CO
You have to check the draw of the device versus how much the battery can supply.
-
I used some old ones I had kicking around the house and killed them within an hour.
It turned out the voltage and supply were too low.
-
We actually figured out about a year ago that it would save us $150 the first year.
But the initial investment would be about $600, which we don't have.
Yeah, we had similar findings when I was in high school... They usually just don't have the power to last long though- my idea was to use the rechargeables for rehearsals and then use alkalines for shows... But like you found, it's more of an investment than we could have made, even if it was to save a lot of money in the long run...