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Tech Tip Of The Day: Rechargeable Batteries In Live Situations

Are rechargeable batteries acceptable for live use? What do I need to know?

Provided by Sweetwater.

Q: I’ve seen several tips and articles here on ProSoundWeb recently about batteries.

I know batteries are expensive, which is something my church is confronted with regularly.

Something I’ve been wondering is if people go to such trouble to store batteries on the fridge to make them last, obviously they have the discipline to use rechargeable batteries.

So, are rechargeable batteries acceptable for live use? What do I need to know?

A: Great question! The short answer is yes, rechargeable batters are absolutely an option, especially if you have the discipline to ensure your batteries are always recharged.

There’s actually a great Church Sound Blog post here on ProSoundWeb that discusses this very topic which is worth a read if you want an opinion from an active worship user.

However, here are the things you should definitely keep in mind if you decide to work with rechargeable batteries.

1. Rechargeable batteries self-discharge faster than disposable batteries. A NiCd rechargeable can lose 10% of its charge in the first 24 hours, and about 10% per month following that.

2. A slow recharge (say, overnight) is better for battery life than fast recharge.

3. Always use a “smart” battery charger that can detect when a rechargeable battery is “full.” Overcharging can damage a battery.

4. NiCd rechargeable batteries should be fully discharged before being recharged, to prevent the possibility of memory effect.

5. NiMH batteries are not as susceptible to memory effect as NiCd types.

6. A rechargeable battery won’t just stop working at the end of its lifespan. It will gradually lose capacity over the end of its life.

As always, we welcome input from the PSW community and would love to know your thoughts on rechargeable batteries for live use, especially if you’re using them right now! Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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