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View Full Version : Batteries: I have seen the future and the initials are NiZN!!



brimster
03-03-2012, 02:15 PM
Recently the rechargeable NiMH factory battery pack for my Minelab Sovereign GT died and I went searching for better options. I avoided the battery pack/alkaline option both because it is very expensive over time and is environmentally unfriendly. I considered the battery pack/NiMH option but was concerned about the lower nominal voltage (1.2V) vs. alkaline (1.5V). Finally, I landed on the battery pack/NiZN battery option. These NiZN batteries are amazing with initial voltage of 1.8V (1.6V nominal) and an mAh rating of 2500 (vs. 1000 for the Minelab rechargeable NiMH battery pack). They even weigh slightly less and are significantly less expensive than the Minelab pack!

At this point, Im wondering why anyone would use the factory battery packs.

My batteries were from PowerGenix (www.powergenix.com (http://www.powergenix.com)) and I found them on Amazon.

Id be very interested to hear feedback from others.

CyberSage
03-03-2012, 02:54 PM
Wow! These are pretty kick butt batteries. I was surprised at the price when I googled them. only $16.00 for eight of them, or 4 with the quick charger (1 Hour) for the same price. They even got a very favorable review over at Engadget...

http://www.engadget.com/2009/11/09/powergenix-nizn-rechargeable-aa-batteries-finally-some-cells-w/

The power density worries me a little bit. They do warn that the extra voltage may cause issues with certain equipment. I know the Whites detectors will handle this. Did your Sovereign GT fire up OK? Anybody have information on Minelab voltage tolerances?

rsarge1
03-03-2012, 04:01 PM
just ordered 2 sets of 4 batteries and 2 chargers for $31.98 gonna give them a try in my v3i, only thing that bothers me is some of the reviews state that they don't last more than a year before they fail and some battery applications won't work with them so well see, I might try them with the cordless headphones to see how long they last since this is where i am having an issue for battery life. they will be here next week lol.
sarge

CyberSage
03-03-2012, 09:59 PM
Sarge,
They are supposed to have a 1000 charge cycles, and a long shelf life, so theoretically over 3 years worth of hunting. I think you'll be OK. I have NiMH that are in there 3rd year and still going strong. Keep us up to date with your findings Sarge.

Jack

P.S. Hey, things are thawed out my way. We need to hook up for a hunt soon.

MartinL
03-03-2012, 11:04 PM
Don't mean to be a kill joy but the kicker with these batteries so far has been that if you let the pack on the V3i drop below 12V(the pack does begin above 14V totally charged) that the weakest cell of the 8 will crater, and take out the next weakest cell. It is the back-draw that the NiZn technology does not like. Neither of the dead cells will revive either. I understand that they have a new reiteration coming out, so hopefully my experience won't remain to you guys. I wouldn't suggest banking up a lot of these, as the V3i eats them. This is my experience with the V3i only. The rest of the detectors mat be friendlier. I pull them on the V when the pack hits 12V, or expect to find a fast decaying voltage drop, and I mean FAST. martin

rsarge1
03-04-2012, 07:35 AM
interresting maybe thats why they are so cheap lol

brimster
03-10-2012, 05:46 PM
Just a quick postscript... While NiZN works great for the Sovereign, they will not work for E-Trac. E-Trac has a voltage limit of 13V. The fully charged NiZN pack is nearly 15V. Just an FYI...

rsarge1
03-10-2012, 08:43 PM
well got mine in this week and charged them up I put them in the v3i and they showed 14.3 volts, tomorrow I will see how they do, and how long they last
:tongue: :tongue:
sarge

JTGOLD
03-12-2012, 06:22 PM
I have been useing the NiZn battries for over a year and I left the pack set on the shelf over the winter,when I put the pack in my detector they were 4.7 took 6 hours to recharge back to 14.0,been out 4 times and they still read 14.0,that was right at 8 hours of use.

CODY
03-13-2012, 04:50 PM
Just ordered two sets. We'll see how they do in the F75.

CODY
03-27-2012, 06:07 AM
Just finished the fourth day hunting with the new batteries. Meter on the F75 is still at the top.

Jason in Enid
03-27-2012, 05:53 PM
Very interesting info here.

Last year there was some hype about minelab introducing the NiZn battery packs, but then nothing ever happened.

MartinL
03-27-2012, 06:03 PM
Is anyone here with high praises within this year 2012 running the NiZn batteries is a V3i?

Someone let the voltage draw down into the 9V range before recharge and let me know if all cells are able to recharge. I would love to find that Powergenix resolved the issues I and a few other V3i users have had. Thanks. I'll buy more if the NiZn design has been fixed for the current demands that the V3i gives it. martin

CyberSage
03-27-2012, 10:08 PM
I guess we will know real soon Martin. Someone please let theirs run down all the way, and see if they take a new charge. This would be a good test. ;)

rsarge1
03-28-2012, 09:11 AM
ok well ill give er a try im going out today for a hunt and they are charged full but for as long as they last it's going to take 3 or 4 hunts to get them that low

rsarge1
03-30-2012, 09:52 PM
hi guys well here goes I ran the batteries down to 8 volts, one thing I noted was that when the batteries went below 9 volts they lost charge very fast and I watched them go down from 9volts to 8 volts within a minute. I then placed them on the chargers and both chargers had no problems and started charging the batteries so they did recognize the batteries after being low on charge, but both my chargers after a few minutes went into a fast charge and did not shut down, I checked the chargers and batteries and they were hot to the touch so I then tested the batteries to see what charge they had, almost all batteries were charged to 1.8 volts way over the 1.6 volt capacity, I will be watching this closely and might have to call the company. Hope this answers your question Martin, these batteries last quite a long time but I would not let them get below the 9.5 volt mark.
Sarge

CyberSage
03-30-2012, 10:23 PM
Thanks for keeping us up to date on these batteries Sarge. This is looking like a very good product. They should last a long time in the headphones. :clapping:

CODY
03-31-2012, 10:30 PM
Hey just finished my sixth hunt on the new batteries. Meter still on full. The F75 is great on batteries anyway. I wish I had kept up with the hours. I think they are going to do just fine.

Jason in Enid
04-02-2012, 09:59 AM
My concern would be with running them too low and how that affects these. I run batteries until I get a low voltage warning or the equipment stops working. The voltage level for that to happen varies from one piece of equipment to the next.

MartinL
04-02-2012, 10:39 AM
hi guys well here goes I ran the batteries down to 8 volts, one thing I noted was that when the batteries went below 9 volts they lost charge very fast and I watched them go down from 9volts to 8 volts within a minute. I then placed them on the chargers and both chargers had no problems and started charging the batteries so they did recognize the batteries after being low on charge, but both my chargers after a few minutes went into a fast charge and did not shut down, I checked the chargers and batteries and they were hot to the touch so I then tested the batteries to see what charge they had, almost all batteries were charged to 1.8 volts way over the 1.6 volt capacity, I will be watching this closely and might have to call the company. Hope this answers your question Martin, these batteries last quite a long time but I would not let them get below the 9.5 volt mark.
Sarge


one thing I noted was that when the batteries went below 9 volts they lost charge very fast and I watched them go down from 9volts to 8 volts within a minute

Thanks for the follow up. I am very interested to find out how that pack which showed the fast discharge functions after the next two discharge and charge cycles. My experience has been that once I have experienced the scenario of actually seeing the fast discharge on the V3is meter, a cell was doomed, even if it showed that it charged on the next charge cycle. Then, I would invaribly get another dead cell next time out, as the faliure of one cell begins to suck the life out of an adjoining sell. The charger charges these cells in pairs, so if you happen to have a weak or dead cell paired up in the charger with the lame or dead one, you might get a green light saying charged, but that pair hasn't really been charged. Feeling the pack getting hot is another indication of the problem.

Before I close, I want to say that I do use my NiZn batteries. I just make sure to carry 16 in the field, along with the factory pack. I've had 2 NiZn packs fail in as many consecutive days(2.) I'll wager that most all V3i users of these batteries who try to discharge these to low voltages such as the factory pack allows, will cook a of cell each time somewhere under 10V.

I read this review and it stated my experiences so I thought I would enter it here. Hopefully Powergenix has resolved these issues as of late. I will certainly follow any new reports about them. This an old review from 2010.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'd love to love these batteries, but they haven't solved the quality control problems. My first set had a cell stop charging after only a few uses. I had them replaced, but am still having problems. Used in sets of 4, one cell will invariably die out early. Since most devices won't complain since the voltage is still higher than 4 NiMH cells, that weak cell gets overdischarged. Then, it won't charge properly.

The Powergenix charger exacerbates the problem. It charges in pairs, but only has one indicator light. So put in a bad cell with a good cell, and it won't charge either. But put in 3 good cells and one bad cell, and the light will indicate. However, only TWO of the cells are being charged. The light turns green, but two cells are still uncharged. The dead cell can only be rejuvenated by a high voltage pulse, but you may not know which paired cell to charge with. Pair it with a good cell, and it will either not charge completely, or overcharge the good cell.

So now I'm forced to baby my cells to avoid overdischarging any of them, and possibly starting to mark cells and track them to find stragglers. Now if I'm lucky, I'll have ONE working set after buying two...and it's a laborious science project every time I need to recharge them to make sure I actually get out anything useful. Maybe if I'm lucky the remaining cells will put themselves out of my misery

rsarge1
04-02-2012, 11:32 AM
martin if you check the info on the charger it will charge only 1 battery at a time on up to 4, so you can put the 1 battery in by itself, if it is way low on charge it will take longer to activate the charging lights but if you check the battery you will see that it is charging and coming up slowly, and once it reaches a certain level the fast charge light comes on, i use my battery tester to keep an eye on it once it is back up to par it will work fine but the problem im having is the chargers are locking into the fast charge mode and not shutting down to trickle charge when it reaches capacity.
hope this helps I sent an e-mail to comp and waiting for a reply
sarge

MartinL
04-02-2012, 12:53 PM
I am charging the ones I considered bad now, one at a time. A few have kept a charge of a little over 1.2v so just maybe they have a chance of revival. The single cell charge might just be the trick. It certainly is the best way to segregate a really bad one from the rest. I don't know what I would do without my multi meter, and having chargers comes in handy ;-) martin

CyberSage
04-03-2012, 08:12 PM
Good information coming to light here. Thanks for sharing this!

rsarge1
04-04-2012, 02:44 PM
after contacting the company about my chargers they issued me a gift certificate through amazon.com where I purchased them from and I learned that:
PowerGenix production of consumer batteries is currently on hold. PowerGenix is in the process of selecting a new partner to further develop the AA and other NiZn products for the retail market in 2012
PowerGenix NiZn BatteriesI found this on a different web site so I for one will be waiting for the second generation of batteries to come out hopefully with a better charger like a smart charger.
sarge

CODY
05-18-2012, 12:02 AM
Update. I'm not an that great at lelctronics, but I can tell you, the batteries aren't worth poo! They I bought two sets and started using them in my F75. To start with they seemed to do great. They seemed to last just as long as the Duracells. Now, less than 5 charges, they won't last a full hunt. Not even three hours. A new set of Duracells will last at least 40 hours in the F75.

rsarge1
05-18-2012, 09:00 AM
yeah I agree but I was able to find out that one of the batteries went bad by keeping track of the batteries closely with my meter and was bringing down all the others as well as one of my chargers were bad, once I got rid of the bad baterry and charger they seemed to work good, I also have received a refund from the company as well as another gift cert. from amazon.com so I wasn't out anything except time. but I wouldn;t buy them again LOL

MartinL
05-18-2012, 12:53 PM
I lost one more yesterday, which makes 6, maybe 8 I've lost since using these things. The V3i really loads them down for some reason, and once you approach 1.4-1.6V left in each cell, it's just a matter of short time before one cell craters, which will then kill an adjoining cell if left unmonitored. Even if it doesn't kill the next cell, it damages it, and it's next in the death line. BTW, I was in the safe voltage range on this one, but I had kicked on Boost power for maybe 10 minutes, and then saw the disappearing voltage and quit before totally destroying a second cell. Very weak design.

These things are simply not robust as they are now. I'll be interested in the next generation as well. I wonder if we will be able to mix generations or if the 2nd gens will have to be all by themselves. martin