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Rechargeable batteries

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batteriesSouth Shields business comes up trumps

I’m a heavy user of rechargeable batteries, (mainly ni-mh around 2500 mAh), my Pentax camera has a fairly high drain when shooting huge RAW files and if I make great use of the LCD screen on the rear then even more juice is consumed. So I have an almost constant supply of freshly charged AA batteries to carry around in the bag. Trouble is, and you may have noted the same downfall with your camera, .mp3 player, or other portable device, ni-mhs tend to  lose some their charge before you come to use them. In fact seeing as they develop a memory effect, you may charge some today and try to use them on Wednesday and find that the voltage has dropped below a critical 1.1v and discover that your device won’t work with such a poor set of batteries. This is because one of the other downfalls with ni-mh batteries is their ability to “self drain” while sat around doing nothing, in other words from a freshly fully charged state they will gradually lose voltage all on their own!

I had heard that a new type of ni-mh battery had found it’s way on to the UK market, known as a low self drain rechargeable, and Sanyo seemed to be the market leader with it’s Eneloop battery. It’s advantages are that the batteries are bought ready charged and can be used straight away, the other big claim is that a freshly charged battery will maintain it’s voltage for many months whilst not in use, in other words the voltage does not drain away. Naturally I was interested so I put out this tweet on Twitter and someone pointed me to Asda in Boldon where I bought a pack of four AAs for a tenner, and sure enough they performed straight out of the pack, but it’s a fair way to go to get a set of batteries.

This is where the plug and the praise comes in, I received an email from South Shields businessman Eddie Czestochowski who owns and runs Cell Pack Solutions on the Tedco estate on Station Road. Eddie had seen my tweat and responded by letting me know that he has a stock of German Ansmann low self drain ni-mh rechargeables which he thought were a good alternative to the Sanyo Eneloop, indeed the 2500 mAh rating suggests that they may do more work than Sanyo’s 2000 mAh cells. So I went down to meet Eddie and decided to take a four pack of the Ansmann Accu MaxE AAs to evaluate alongside the Sanyos. Keep in mind Eddie had no need to email me, he didn’t know me, and he could have ignored the call over a measly four pack of AAs, but his attention to the needs of a potential customer impressed me, you don’t get that good of a service from large multi nationals so it was refreshing to find a local businessman fighting to win new customers for his company.

Eddie was very personable and pleasant and certainly has his buttons on when it comes to batteries (of all kinds), so his company’s reputation may be at stake whilst I evaluate the product but I’m confident that he will have found a new customer, his own confidence in the product, and his knowledge, were very encouraging signs to start with.

We are in the middle of a long and painful recession and it is great to note that some young South Shields companies are fighting hard to gain customers and expand their markets, key to this is service, good products, and attractive pricing, and so long as people like Ed Czestochowski are setting these examples then we can be confident that local businesses will prosper and flourish as we find recovery and return to economic growth.

I’ll report my findings on the batteries when both sets have been exhausted and been through a full discharge/recharge cycle.

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Written by curly

October 19, 2009 at 9:47 am

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