1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Rechargeable batteries?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by EvoMan, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. I'm wondering if anyone has used rechargeable batteries in their basses? I have owned a lot of basses that take 9V (PP3) batteries (and several 18V basses that take 2) and I was thinking of trying some rechargeables in a bass (since I am buying some rechargeable 9Vs for my Raven Labs PHA-1).

    For example, I have heard a lot of people complain that Alembic Series electronics eat up batteries if you don't use the power supply (which can be a pain to use), and I wondered why people don't try some rechargeables. I really have no idea how often people end up having to change batteries in other types of basses, but it seems like a good idea to have a set of rechargeables to swap in and out.

    I wonder if people might be concerned over battery life or the fact that rechargeables lose charge when sitting around. Since you can get good 9V NiMH batteries for $6 and a charger for $30, it seems like a good idea, and you get the added (or perhaps major) bonus of not throwing out all of those toxic batteries.
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Yes. All of them. Standard alkalines are too expensive, and I got a whole bunch of PP9 sized NiMH's cheap.
    Yes they do
    Compared to using an outboard supply, batteries are a pain, unless you want to go cordless/UHF. Soon all my basses will be modified to use an outboard supply, as well.
    If you play regularly, and have a professional attitude (irrespective of how well, often or what you play), I don't see why you wouldn't have a small charger in your road/rack case and a bunch of rechargeables, and replace them regularly so that the battery shouldn't give you a cause for concern on stage, especially if your axe has a seperate easily accessed battery box as many basses do.
    Not adding to toxic waste is a noble idea. Simply marking a few batteries with a sharpie (permanent marker) and rotating them in sequence with regular charges should give no problems in practice.
  3. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Jul 8, 2003
    The problem with Rechargeable 9v batteries is that they
    are not 9 volts --- they are actually +/- 7.2 volts.

    They choke your electronics.

    You'd be better off using 2 for $1 carbon batteries.
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have DieHard NiMH batteries and while the whole "It's rechargeable, I'm not polluting the world" part is cool (really!), they seem to last about 1/10 as long as alkaline batteries.

    For example, my boom box that takes 8 D cells can kill my diehards in a day. Compared to many days on alkaline batteries, this can suck.

    But, if you are diligent about having available backups and rotate your batteries every show, you should be OK.
  5. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Then there's this fact as well. I imagine this would have a larger impact on 18VDC systems. I'm sure Energizer / Duracell / RayoVac could solve this dilemma but it wouldn't be fiscally prudent for them to do so.
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Actually, I think a 9V system will likely suffer even more. My EUB goes completely in the tank when the battery gets to 8.7 volts. I know the exact number from painful experience.

    I modified one bass long ago to use external power. It's a pain, but it allowed me to use some circuitry that flat out wouldn't cut it with batteries. My EBS has facility to provide external power, and I may well implement that soon.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    There's always the new 9v Lithium Ultralife batteries. Guaranteed to last 10 years if used in a smoke detector. Since smoke detectors are 'always' on, I'm sure they would last quite a while if used in an active bass.
  8. The statement on voltage is not, to my knowledge, correct. MaHa makes 8.6V rechargeables, and AccuPower (and others) make 9.0V (nominal) that apparently charge to 9.4Vs in reality.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that there are 200mAH rechargeable 9V batteries, which will last longer than the 150mAH or so cheap ones you get at a local store.

    I think that the shorter life is probably a real issue and may be a stumbling point for some. I do nearly all of my playing at home, so I can run out of juice and just wait to recharge! Not necessarily a risk you want to take while on stage I suppose.

    [Ironically, my cordless mouse just let me know that the rechargeable batteries are running low, time to get off the computer and charge the mouse!]
  9. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Precisely why my customs and some of my others will be/are externally supplied. Low voltage, low current electronics suck sonically compared to what you can do without a 9V/1mA limitation.
  10. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    DWBass is very right.

    I had one of these in my old thumb bass & it lasted almost 2 years. In fact, its probably still going strong, cause I sold the bass with the battery still going.
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Older NiCad designs and first generation NiMH ones both were as low as 7.2 volts, at full charge. I just spent quite a while surfing the new designs, thanks for the heads-up. Not sure about my EUB, but those look good for many other devices I have. My wife was just bugging me last night about all the dead alkalines we have kicking around.
  12. Ed Denton

    Ed Denton Guest

    Aug 25, 2004
    Alamogordo, NM
    I was wondering the same thiing. I have a custom bass with an EMG35 which claims to last 3000 hours per battery . The battery is under the pickgaurd and to change battery you must take off the pickgaurd. I was wondering if I put a rechargable battery and mount a recepticle in the pickgaurd that i can plug the charger in to. That way I dont have to remove the pickgaurd at battery changes. The battery is isolated when the 1/4 inch guitar cable is unpluged. :hyper:
  13. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    I did it the "hot, fast & cheap" way....

    Picked up a selectable-voltage, reversible-polarity AC-to-DC universal adapter for $5 at Big Lots. :D Among it's many device connections is a 9V snap-on.

    Wouldn't do this for gigs, but it works just fine for practice.