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pscates2.0
2010-08-10, 16:18
Silly topic, I know, for something so basic. But now that I have this Magic Mouse, I'll need to start keeping them around a bit. So my questions are:

- Any particular kind I should get (rechargeable, specific type of battery, etc.)?
- Any brands known to be better than others (Duracell, Energizer, etc.).
- Is shelf time an issue? I don't want to buy a 12- or 24-pack if most of them are going to fizzle out while waiting
- Related to that, what's a good quantity to get for this sort of use? A 4-pack? 6? 2? 10-12? Don't want more than I need, but I don't want to be buying them every time I turn around either.
- Or should I look at the new rechargeable kit Apple just came out with? Six batteries, 10 year life, charger included, etc. Constant rotation...two out of six always in use, two in the charger, the other two ready for the charger.

I guess it would help to know how long a set of regular batteries will last me, and then I can run some numbers.

But, in general, what are your thoughts on the above? I love this mouse, BTW. I just hate the idea of buying consumables for anything (toner, batteries, etc.). But it's often unavoidable. :)

Is it worth a one-time plunge of $29 for the Apple rig? Or should I just buy regular 4-packs of Duracells or whatever, and see how the next six months or so goes, in terms of usage/depletion?

After using this mouse since Friday, I'm at 86%. I tend to leave it on at all times, and (hopefully) it's going to sleep when the iMac does, or not use? However, I do tend to turn it off overnight, when I go to bed. That's a definite 6-10 hours that I don't need it turned on, no matter how well it might go into sleep mode.

chucker
2010-08-10, 16:45
I'd wait a bit for the reviews to come in. At $29, Apple's setup isn't actually expensive. A good charger + batteries kit can easily cost $80.

pscates2.0
2010-08-10, 16:52
Yeah, I was wondering where it fit in. Apple being Apple, I figured the $29 was about $14 or so higher than it ever should be. :D

Didn't know about the $80 stuff.

The reviews at Apple's site are currently at 4-out-of-5 stars, with tons of 4-5 star reviews/comments, and a smattering of 1 star "don't buy this...the batteries won't charge!!!" reviews/comments.

I look forward to Macworld's review, and a few others.

I certainly like the idea of a small, compact little rig and a constant supply of six rotating batteries (and never buying them again for this mouse, which I intend to keep forever :D ). But then I think "how does $29 shake out over the course of a year or two, buying regular batteries".

PKIDelirium
2010-08-10, 17:03
$80?! Nope!

http://www.all-battery.com/8xaa2500mahhighcapacitynimhrechargeablebattery9043 1.aspx

http://www.greenbatteries.com/nibachwilcdd.html

That's the setup I use for my camera and Magic Mouse. The batteries and charger are both great, I can take like 500 photos or a LOT of video on one charged set of two of those in my Canon SX100.

Luca
2010-08-10, 17:06
For batteries, you should be getting low self discharge NiMH rechargeables. They can sit in a drawer for a year and still have 80% of their charge. Plus they stand up to multiple recharges much better than typical rechargeable batteries.

Some popular brands of LSD rechargeables are Sanyo Eneloop, Duracell Precharged, and Rayovac Hybrids. They're all about the same. I think the Rayovacs might be the cheapest. I got 8 of them for under $15 from Amazon. There are plenty of other brands as well, those are just some of the most common.

As for a charger, you'll want to use one that charges based on current, not on a timer. These are typically referred to as smart chargers. There are a lot of bad NiMH chargers out there. Apple's charger is a good one. I have a LaCrosse BC-700, which has a million settings that I haven't bothered to figure out because it will automatically charge your batteries at the recommended setting and stop charging when they are full.

Apple's charger is actually a pretty good buy, because not only is it a smart charger (and a very compact one at that), it also comes with 6 low self discharge AA batteries. The main disadvantages are that it can only do 2 at a time as opposed to 4, and it can't charge AAAs.

EDIT: PKI beat me to it!

ironlung
2010-08-10, 17:18
I'll second eneloop, and you can get them cheap on amazon

tomoe
2010-08-10, 17:39
I'll third the eneloop. :)

Kickaha
2010-08-10, 18:14
Anyone have any comments on the three following LaCrosse models, and how they differ? The 900 and 9009 are MSRP $80 as opposed to the 700's MSRP of $50, but their website is lacking in sufficient detail to make a decision. :P The 700 seems to have a max charging current of 900mA, as opposed to the 900/9009 1800mA, but since lower is better for the batteries...

BC-700
BC-900
BC-9009

Also, is it possible to just leave the batteries in the charger indefinitely until you need them? My current Energizer charger is really annoying in that it finishes charging, and if you don't yank them, they *DISCHARGE* into the wall. No kidding. Leave them plugged in over night, and they're mostly dead again. Pull them as soon as they're done, and they'll last a couple of weeks without appreciably discharging.

PKIDelirium
2010-08-10, 18:30
With the charger I linked above, it switches to a trickle charge when they finish, to keep the charge maintained as long as they're left on the charger. Only $30, too. Never had a problem with it.

Eugene
2010-08-10, 18:53
I second the GreenBatteries suggestion. Been using them for a decade now.

For relatively low-drain wireless devices like mice/keyboards, you want the LSD NiMH rechargeables like Luca said. For high-drain devices like digital cameras I might stick to the higher-capacity traditional NiMH cells.

Don't worry about branding. I buy the generics from GreenBatteries. Companies like Energizer and Duracell pretty much just rebrand generic rechargeables anyway.

If you have just one Magic Mouse, all you really need is 4 batteries total for now.

Luca
2010-08-10, 20:22
Kick, check out this page:

http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/bc700/index.php

It says it automatically switches to a trickle charge when the batteries are fully charged.

Also, I got mine for $30, or maybe it was $35, from Amazon. I waited too long; I could have gotten the BC-9009 for $40 with 4 AA and 4 AAAs included, as well as a few shells for C- and D-size batteries (you put the AAs inside the shells). Now the 9009 has been out of stock for months. Oh well, I still got a good one. You should read some of the reviews by "NLee the Engineer;" that guy really knows what he's talking about.

Like I said, even the lower-end BC-700 has a lot of features that I don't fully understand, but the manual also says that if you insert a battery it will automatically charge it at the lowest rate after a few seconds have passed, and it will show you when it's full. So it's pretty easy to use if you don't want to get fancy.

Eugene
2010-08-11, 06:42
Note that NiMH batteries don't have the same overcharging headroom as old NiCads and are more easily damaged by inferior trickle chargers, so stick to the ones that receive high praise rather than finding the cheapest one available.

Kickaha
2010-08-11, 12:36
Kick, check out this page:

http://www.lacrossetechnology.com/bc700/index.php

It says it automatically switches to a trickle charge when the batteries are fully charged.

*nod* All three do, and that's what I'm looking for... what I'm not sure on is the differences between the three models, other than peak current.

Also, I got mine for $30, or maybe it was $35, from Amazon. I waited too long; I could have gotten the BC-9009 for $40 with 4 AA and 4 AAAs included, as well as a few shells for C- and D-size batteries (you put the AAs inside the shells). Now the 9009 has been out of stock for months. Oh well, I still got a good one. You should read some of the reviews by "NLee the Engineer;" that guy really knows what he's talking about.

Like I said, even the lower-end BC-700 has a lot of features that I don't fully understand, but the manual also says that if you insert a battery it will automatically charge it at the lowest rate after a few seconds have passed, and it will show you when it's full. So it's pretty easy to use if you don't want to get fancy.

Thanks, I'll check NLee's info.

Looks like the BC-900 is a bit more capable than the BC-700, and the BC-9009 is the 'new and improved' BC-900... but it has a bad habit of overheating, melting, catching on fire, and exploding batteries. Yikes.

BC-700 or BC-900 it is then.

pscates2.0
2010-08-12, 09:01
Interesting...it sounds like the batteries Apple is using in their new six-pack/charger kit are those Sanyo Eneloops talked about above. (http://www.macrumors.com/2010/08/12/apples-new-rechargeable-aa-batteries-actually-sanyo-eneloops/)

So that's another "plus" for maybe going with the Apple kit? Low draw, good batteries, small "smart" charger, etc.

Luca
2010-08-12, 10:19
A lot of low self discharge NiMH batteries are rebranded from one of a small number of brands. Sort of like LCD monitors. Costco sells rebranded Eneloops, Duracell sells rebranded Eneloops and Rayovacs, etc.

Short version though, yes, Apple's included batteries are good ones that normally sell for $2+ each even when you find good deals online. So that's at least $12 worth of batteries you're getting with the $30 Apple charger.

pscates2.0
2010-08-12, 10:31
That's a good way to look at it. And then if that charger, with its low draw and cut-off feature (whatever that's called) could be considered a decent buy at $18? Even factoring in that 25% "Apple design/luxury/hipster/name surcharge".

I may pick one of those up in another month or so. I'm kinda curious to see how far I can get on these batteries that came with the Magic Mouse last week. Last I checked, I was at 86% after just under one full week of use. If things don't drop the longer time goes by (if this same depletion pattern holds), then it should take me another six weeks to hit that low 10%. Or does this stuff not work that way? You can't go on one week's performance because this stuff starts to drain and behave differently at different levels? :confused:

Eugene
2010-08-12, 18:29
NiMH batteries should drain linearly AFAIK. Especially with a low-power device like a mouse, you probably don't even have to worry much about the voltage drop on the cells when they are almost completely discharged.

pscates2.0
2011-02-09, 11:52
A slight bump to share a bit of info. I've been charting the battery performance on my Magic Mouse since getting it on August 3 (I know...anal :D ), but now, 5-6 months later, it has resulted in some interesting, helpful info (which is why I thought I should do it, beginning on day one last summer).

I'm currently on my fifth "cycle" of replacement batteries:

August 3 - August 27
(25 days...these were the original, included batteries; no telling how long they'd been in)
August 27 - October 7
(42 days)
October 7 - November 15
(40 days)
November 15 - January 1
(48 days...I took a good bit of time off my iMac around the holidays, which probably accounts for the extra week of performance)
January 1 - ???
(currently at 40 days, and two days ago my battery dropped from 100% to 92%; once it does that, it'll drain out quickly, so I'll probably be dropping in new batteries by Friday or Saturday, putting it around 42-43 days)

I've been using these Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries (http://img2.walgreens.com/dbimagecache/03980001793_220x220_a.jpg) since entry #2 (Aug. 27-Oct. 7) above, and getting the solid 40-48 days of heavy, constant use. I can live with that.

I get a 4-pack at Walgreens or Walmart for about $7-8. I could've paid for that Apple charger by now, and just rotate out the six batteries. Maybe I still will at some point.

Anyway, that's what I've learned, keeping my little ongoing chart. I'm going to keep doing it, just for my own jollies and analysis.

On a related note: six-plus months in, I still love this Magic Mouse and it is, hands down (no pun), my favorite mouse I've ever used. When I get on other ones (at a friend's or relative's house) and I can't swipe back and forth through web pages, I get frustrated).

:)

And I love that there's no stupid mechanical wheel or ball to get all crudded up and stop working (which has been the case with 2-3 other Apple mice in previous years). Once you get used to scrolling from the mouse, and then suddenly you can't, that's so aggravating. As long as these sensors and surfaces hold out, I'm good.

I couldn't be happier with the feel, weight and performance. It's my mouse.

I do wish they'd add a few more gestures and capabilities. It seems like a "blank canvas", in which a software update from Apple could provide some new functionality.

kieran
2011-02-09, 13:15
I've been eying that Apple rechargeable batteries since they've come out, but I just haven't had the need to buy new ones.

As for the Magic Mouse, I agree with you Paul. It's the best mouse I've ever used. I haven't been using it at all since I moved to my new house because I haven't set up a desk yet.

A must download for a Magic Mouse is MagicPrefs (http://magicprefs.com/) Bigest reason is to just increase the tracking speed, but there are a ton of configurable different options. I mean, it even goes down to stuff like assigning an action to something like "2 finger swift left from the Apple stem." It's crazy how configurable the Magic Mouse becomes.

Maciej
2011-02-09, 17:41
Are the rechargeables better from an environmental point of view? Did I spell "environmental" correctly?

Eugene
2011-12-07, 10:23
Are the rechargeables better from an environmental point of view? Did I spell "environmental" correctly?
Amazon had a Gold Box deal on a 16-pack of Eneloops recently, so I thought I'd come back to this thread. I would say they are at least environmentally 'conscious.' LSD NiMHs and other rechargeables are supposed to be recycled rather than dumped unscrupulously in a landfill.

A 4-pack of Sanyo Eneloops on Amazon costs $10. Energizer Lithiums are $7.50 if you use a third-party seller via Amazon. So basically one would end up paying $15 a year to keep his Magic Mouse charged while also contributing 8 AAs to a landfill. Instead he can buy a single package of Eneloops or Duracell Pre-Charged (white tops, made in Japan) or Apple's batteries + charger, and they'd probably last a decade before losing a significant amount of charged capacity.

Another side benefit is you won't ever find a leaky old battery in something like a flashlight with rechargeables. Everyone should be using LSD NiMHs.

bassplayinMacFiend
2011-12-07, 11:46
Just in case anyone other than me was wondering what LSD had to do with rechargeable batteries, it means "low self-discharge".

High self-discharge has been an issue for me with rechargeables, especially in flashlights because by the time you need the flashlight, the batteries are dead.

Eugene
2011-12-07, 19:51
Just in case anyone other than me was wondering what LSD had to do with rechargeable batteries, it means "low self-discharge".

High self-discharge has been an issue for me with rechargeables, especially in flashlights because by the time you need the flashlight, the batteries are dead.
Right, there's no use in having a 2700mAh traditional NiMH when it discharges down to 2100mAh in about 3 days on its own. Eneloops typically measure anywhere between 2100-2200mAh despite being advertised as 2000mAh.

LSDs are appropriate for any typical household application except for really high-drain devices that must maintain 1.5V...basically nothing absolutely requires that. Stuff that requires high-voltage typically uses special batteries. High-drain handheld flashlights often use 3.7V "16850" Li-Ion batteries.