Lighting System Batteries

Although they weren't completely shot, I've scrapped my NiCad batteries for my lighting system.  Looking back it seems I last replaced them at the start of 2005. (See Old, Fat & Slow)  That means I got four seasons out of them before they started to wain.  That's not too bad as I think I paid about $35 for them (5 - D cells) at the time.  And that was an improvement as they were 5000mAh rated where the previous replacements were 3000mAh or so if I recall.  So these most recent ones were the third set of batteries since getting the lighting system.  But that seconds set took its toll on the minimal/cheap wall transformer charger.  At the end the second set had a short in one or more of the batteries and it cooked the charger pretty good.  It still worked, but ever since its had that classic burnt electronics smell whenever you used it.  It's long been a concern, but these things they cost money to fix.  So towards the end of last season I started exploring options for replacing the soon to be failing batteries.

I'm using the original 10W halogen lamp for now, but may upgrade to a 12W lamp later.  I'm also using the mounting system and battery case (soft belt mounted as I use it, or can be frame mounted).  But to power it I've now purchased and assembled a set of five 10000mAh NiMH batteries with a new duel operation trickle or quick charger.  There are several advantages to this new setup:
  • I've doubled the power rating so these should (theoretically) last twice as long between recharges.
  • NiMH batteries don't suffer from the memory effect that NiCad's do, so these should last longer without the worry of having to completely drain them before recharging.
  • The extended charge time of these batteries should allow me to continue to ride long distances later in the fall.  Typically I end up tapering off my riding in the fall because as the days get shorter and it stays darker later into the morning, I run out of battery juice before I run out of pedaling juice.
  • I'll sleep better at night knowing that the old charger is now gone and not posing a scary fire risk.
So now we are good to go for what hopefully will be another good year of riding.  But then again it's already is down from last year as was the necessary plan.  Quality over quantity, right?
March 4, 2009 @ 09:58 pm | Category:
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