How To Organize Rechargeable Batteries

Do you have several rechargeable batteries for your high drain devices and need tips on how to organize them?

Our friend, Jeff Cable, is a professional photographer who is best known for capturing photos for the US Olympic Committee, photographing the last six Olympic games. He knows he has to always be prepared and make things as easy as possible for himself, so he is sharing with everyone on his blog his tricks on how to organize rechargeable batteries.

Original Blog Post By Jeff Cable

Thursday, October 10, 2019

How I organize my rechargeable batteries to get the most out of them

We are currently having rolling blackouts here in California due to high winds and fire danger. This means that many homes and businesses may be without power for days. Yesterday, knowing we still had power, I charged a bunch of my batteries in preparation for an upcoming event. I posted this photo (below) and had a bunch people write to me and ask me about my labeling system.

Instead of responding to everyone individually, and knowing that this was a common question, I thought it would be good to share my technique here on the blog.

So…here is my system for managing all my rechargeable batteries.

I typically label all of my equipment with labels from my Dymo label maker. The bigger and more expensive equipment has a label with my name and email address. But I also mark almost all of my batteries with a label to help me identify their age and grouping.

These are the Canon LP-E6N batteries which are used in all of Canon’s 5D cameras. I currently have 5 of these batteries in my rotation. I have labeled them based on when I got them. So that “B” battery that you see has been in use for a really long time, probably since the Canon 5D Mark II. The “F” battery came with the Canon 5D Mark IV and is the newest. The original “A” battery has been recycled already, but lasted through many years of shooting.

When do I recycle one of these batteries? I take them out of my rotation when they give me errors in the recharge process or they do not last long in the camera.

The camera batteries are easy to keep track of since I only have 5 of the LP-E6N batteries and 3 of the LP-E19 batteries (for the Canon 1D X Mark II), but keeping track of all my rechargeable AA batteries is a different story.

I have labeled my Canon flashes to keep track of my oldest to newest as well

I literally have hundreds of Powerex Pro AA batteries in my arsenal, with 40 being used in my Canon 600EX-RT flashes in a typical day. I wanted to devise a plan to use them as efficiently as possible, and came up with this strategy:

1. I always keep a group of 4 batteries together throughout their life (which means that they are used together in a flash and charged together in the Powerex C980 charger).
2. I always label the sets of batteries with the date I put them into use.
3. Since I start using many batteries at the same time, I position the labels (even though they have the same month and year printed on them) in different places on the batteries to identify their grouping.

I just entered these eight batteries into my rotation, hence the Oct 2019 labels. As you can see, I have one set labels high and on the back and another set labeled low and on the front. This system allows me to enter many sets at the same time, but still easily identify them by their own group.

You may be wondering why I want all these batteries to be grouped together. The reason is this: some of my flashes get used more than others, and I do not want to mix a newer battery with full power with an older one which is at the end of its life.

The Powerex Pro AA batteries hold 2700mAh which is awesome and they can be recharged hundreds of times. I typically use a set for up to 2 years before retiring them to my household battery drawer. Even though they might be less than optimal for my professional use, they are still very good for household appliances like remote controls and other things.

I hope this all makes sense to you and helps you be more efficient with your batteries and charging.

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1 thought on “How To Organize Rechargeable Batteries”

  1. Hey! Very Cool! I was trying to figure a way to mark my AA batteries…I like your method. I do the same, keeping groups together…so your method makes perfect sense to me. Nice article!

    Liked by 1 person

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