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Battery Management Questions - MZ-RH10

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1. When a fully-charged gumstick battery is inserted AND a fully-charged AA battery is attached, how does the RH-10 "use" the batteries? In other words, is there a specific order in which the player will draw on the batteries? I can imagine a few possible scenarios:

A - the gumstick battery is fully depleted first, then the AA battery is drawn on until it's depleted.

B - the player draws on the gumstick battery all the time. As it's depleted, the AA is used to keep it charged. When the AA is fully depleted, the player will continue to draw on the gumstick battery until it's fully depleted.

C - the AA battery is fully depleted first (by directly powering the player - not by recharging the gumstick battery), then the gumstick battery is drawn on until it's depleted. In other words, the gumstick battery is not used at all until the AA battery is fully depleted.

Is any of these close?

2. When using a AA battery in conjunction with the gumstick battery, is there any reason to prefer an alkaline battery instead of a rechargable NiMH one?

Thanks in advance.

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Last year I was only using the gumstick batt, and lasted x playback hours. In a trip, I started to use the AA battery for two months. When returning home, my gumstick battery only lasts 60% of x hours... Someone told me that the MD power consumption parameters have been changed (?), and other that the MD charging function is not working properly... can anyone help me? Does the external charger work better?

Thanks!,

Marco

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I think the correct answer is B... From what I've experienced (and read over the years), the AA charges up the gumstick, most likely as it's depleted (doesn't seem intuitive given the characteristics of NiMH batteries in general though). At least as it's in use it does this, doubt it does this when the unit is off, and I doubt you can properly "charge" the gumstick from AA's as you would from mains power.

Edited by raintheory
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Older units actually had circuitry to manage the 2 batteries. The RH10 just puts them in parallel. If both have the same voltage (a rechargeable in the case or a partially discharged alkaline) they will both be used together. Otherwise, the alkaline will discharge until it has the same voltage as the gumstick, then both will be used together. Some recharging would be going on as long as the alkaline has a higher voltage than the gumstick. This part could have been better designed

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Older units actually had circuitry to manage the 2 batteries. The RH10 just puts them in parallel. If both have the same voltage (a rechargeable in the case or a partially discharged alkaline) they will both be used together. Otherwise, the alkaline will discharge until it has the same voltage as the gumstick, then both will be used together. Some recharging would be going on as long as the alkaline has a higher voltage than the gumstick. This part could have been better designed

That's an interesting way to manage the batteries. One I hadn't thought of. Personally, I was hoping it was more along the lines of my scenario A. In the 2 and 1/2 years I've had my RH-10 I've probably used the AA battery sidecar less than 5% of the time. But, I'm thinking I may be using it more often in the coming months and was hoping that the AA would only be used as a "spare" for the times when I deplete the gumstick. Oh well, I guess that's not how it works. :(

I'm still wondering if there's any good reason not to use a rechargable NiMH AA battery instead of an Alkaline? Anyone know?

Thanks for your help.

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NiMH have higher self discharge rates. If you haven't used the unit for a long time, the Alkaline may still be going strong while the NiMH lost a more or less significant part of its capacity even when not in use.

For short term usage, NiMH would be preferred as they can handle higher current drain (when recording for example). In high drain situations, Alkaline batteries will seem to be empty way before they actually have used all of their capacity. This remaining capacity can only be used by low current drawing devices like clocks, calculators, etc.

Of course, there's also the environmental aspect: Alkalines are waste after only one full discharge, while NiMH can be re-used several hundred times.

Visit this page for detailed battery info:

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/

Edited by greenmachine
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Several companies now have NiMh batteries with a very low self discharge, these come pre-charged and will loose only about 15-20% of their charge in a year. Sanyo's model is eloop, Ray-O-Vac has one also (don't remember the name). Look on the label for pre-charged or ready to use. These are 2000 MAh, so not as much power as the newest conventional batteries, but they will work for standby.

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As a HiMD advocate who has used the batt sidecar a lot, I think it is closest to B. Using A352, the gumpack gives me about 12-14 hrs. and the side car addition extends that to 20-22 hrs. I typically run both fully charged/run down together so the indicator starts at full and goes from there. A 2-4 hr session may 'dip' the indicator, but it will restore to full given enough time between the next session. This is an RH10 with the display set to constant on during playback. I used to hassle with rechargeable batteries in the sidecar but alkaline mega-packs have gotten ridiculously cheap @ Fry's and Wal-Mart so it's easier to simply swap out commercial batteries for me - not to mention rechargeables penchant for just stopping operation as opposed to commercial batteries tell-tale gradual decline. Recently I just acquired a daily-use NH600D that runs exclusively on a single AA and helps justify the purchase of mega-packs. Cheers.

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The quick mode (under options) constantly drains a little bit of power (about 1mA on my NH700), but that should not deplete a battery in one single week, but rather in a couple of weeks. If you don't regularly use the unit, turn the quick mode off and/or remove the battery.

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Li-Ion's use a different chemistry, voltage and need a different charging circuit. It is not possible to use these in the RH10. People seem to have good experience with GP brand gumstick batteries.

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