Research Topic: Which Battery Will Do?
Shopping for batteries and chargers
Sanyo Eneloop cells are no longer available in New Zealand, but the new rebranded Panasonic Eneloops are. That's not a bad thing in itself, but sadly the Eneloops available in New Zealand are made in China, not Japan. The Japanese made Eneloops look good, but the Chinese made ones appear to be no better than any other LSD batteries. They don't hold as high a voltage under load, and they don't last as many cycles.
Sadly Dick Smith
Note that the second generation Eneloop is rated good for 1,500 cycles (up from 1,000 cycles) and still having 75% of its capacity after three years (85% after 1 year for the first version). Eneloops are widely regarded as having the lowest self discharge amongst all the low self discharge cells available.
GS Yuasa EniTime is a newer arrival on the LSD scene, but GS Yuasa has been around for many years. Users have mostly reported OK results, although their LSD ability isn't the best – initial self discharge (20% loss in the first month) is faster than other LSD cells but settles down to a slower rate after a while.
Higher capacity cells with LSD properties are also available. However, there is a trade off between capacity and other attributes. Cells with the lowest self discharge and the longest cycle lifes are around 2,000-2,100 mAh only. Higher capacity LSD cells have a higher rate of self discharge and do not last as many cycles. For example:
New Zealand battery retailer Ian Jenkins at Ecobatteries sells Powerex high capacity cells and "precharged" cells with LSD properties.
No high capacity batteries have a particularly long service life, and the advantages and convenience that LSD cells like Eneloops offer along with their very long service life make them much more attractive in my opinion. However, your own needs may mean the higher capacities some cells offer are worth the downsides.
The Maha Powerex brand is available in a 2,700 mAh version at a pretty good price in New Zealand from Ian Jenkins at Ecobatteries. They or the Sanyo 2,700 mAh are probably the best high capacity non-LSD cells available. I recommend Eneloop XX cells instead.
I strongly recommend that people do not buy Energizer NiMH cells. They simply don't have the quality to provide faithful service.
GP Digi1 (NiZn) is now sold out from Dick Smith
Car alarm remote controls commonly use small 12 volt batteries:
A small 6V battery made of four AG13 cell (also known as 76A or LR44 cells) is the 476A or 4LR44.
An alkaline N cell (also called LR1) is not very common. Physically it's about the same size as a 23A battery but with a larger diameter, and only 1.5V.
Ecobatteries also sells the excellent Maha MH-C9000 analyser/charger for a good price, and several other models of Maha charger.
International customers may want to try Thomas Distributing, where I bought my original MH-C9000, although their shipping prices for non-US customers are quite high.