Do eneloops need an initial break in?

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AFAustin
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Do eneloops need an initial break in?

In the past I vaguely recall seeing different opinions on this—-some saying eneloops need an initial break in and others saying it’s unnecessary. After a decade or more of service some of my trusty eneloops are dying, so I bought some new ones, along with some LADDA 2450 mAh cells. So, I’d appreciate any informed opinions on this.

I’ve been using a Maha MH-C401FS charger for many years and have been very happy with it, but it doesn’t have a discharge function. So if I do need to break in the cells, what’s the best way to go about it?

Thanks,

Andrew

Lightbringer
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Just use ‘em.

(Just like “How do you break in a new pair of shoes?”, you just wear ‘em.)

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Boaz
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I think the only thing NIMH  cells ever did was get better capacity the second third and forth usage . They were considered asleep and needed a kick in the pants to fully wake up . but there wasn't any prescribed best method to do it . the question is are  low self discharge cells already ///Pre-charged and won't get any better ? i think that's the case but either way in two or three charges you will be seeing all they have to offer .

 Like Lightblinker says ...use em !!  

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samgalax
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Dont need To breakin.

Just use them normally.

Do 3 full chargue-dischargue cycles with normal use and thats it…

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AFAustin
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Thanks, gents. I like easy. So, after a full charge, I should use them in one of my flashlights down to the point where it shuts off? I.e., there’s nothing harmful about taking them down that low?

Katherine Alicia
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AFAustin wrote:
I should use them in one of my flashlights down to the point where it shuts off? I.e., there’s nothing harmful about taking them down that low?

Yes and No, if your light has LVP then no problem, if you have multiple cells in series then you should never let them go to zero, because one or more will be being charged up Backwards!

AFAustin
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Thanks for the advice. I have a number of 1xAA lights I can use, and honestly don’t know if any have LVP but I’m guessing not. So, given that, how low should I take the cell during its initial discharge?

Katherine Alicia
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if it`s a single cell light without LVP then just wait until the light goes dim and do it then, it`l be fine Wink

AFAustin
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Perfect. Thanks, K.A.

Andrew

gchart
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AFAustin wrote:
I have a number of 1xAA lights I can use, and honestly don’t know if any have LVP but I’m guessing not.

1xAA implies that it has a boost driver. Most boost circuits stop operating around 0.7 volts, so you should be pretty good. Note: that only holds true for single battery configs.
ChrisGarrett
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I always run the break-in procedure on NiMH batteries, using my Maha C-9000, but I’m a little OCD in that way.

It allows me to sleep better at night!

Chris

gchart
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BTW, ChibiM is our resident Eneloop expert. He has a great Eneloop thread here and he also runs Eneloop101.com. Below are a few excerpts from his website:

From an interview with Eneloops technicians

Quote:

22. Do you have graph of the effect of a periodic refresh V break_in V control (regular recharge without refresh or break_in) of Eneloops?
Quote:
No, they don’t. They don’t even recommend doing a Break-in, but this is all up to the users. It probably only helps reviving capacity with a very small amount.

Also this from his Charge page

Quote:

When to use a break-in with Eneloops?
Only with an empty battery! When using rechargeable NiMH batteries people advice to do a Break-In right out of the package. I personally don`t think you need to do this with Eneloops. It`s a great feature for old rechargeable AA or AAA batteries that are almost useless or completely dead.

My advice would be to not use the Break-In mode (too often) with Eneloops, especially not with Eneloop Pro. Eneloops don`t really need it unless you want to have the extra 5+% capacity.

Ps. New eneloop batteries need a few cycles to get to max capacity… (This is also written in each battery product specifications.

Katherine Alicia
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I must admit, when I switched the entire house of to Rechargable batts, I had loads of brand new cells (well over 100) and a couple of chargers also new. And at first i thought there was something wrong with he batts, then maybe it was the chargers? because nothing seemed to just Work, many of the cells never went to fully charged, quite a few got Hot before they read as charged, some never even read as charged, others seemed to take ages to charge (I had about 4 different brands before I discovered eneloops).
Over time though these batteries seem to gotten quite well behaved and do exactly as expected of them, both my chargers were actually fine, I think the cells themselves needed “training” first (I read them the riot act more than once! LOL).
Even the eneloops I later switched over to seem to be working well and have full capacity now.
I just thought they worked perfectly out the package first time, seems they do need a bit of excersize first to get the most out of them and best behaviour.

Seeing this has convinced me I wasn`t dreaming the whole thing, they really were quite naughty at first!

AFAustin
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Great information. Thanks to all.

Andrew