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I just put a set of Ray-o-Vac rechargeable alkaline batteries in my old White’s 5000D. Son of a gun, it still works! The speaker is going to have to be replaced because it sounds like it has sand it when you tilt the detector to one side, but it works.

These are not new batteries. I’ve used them on and off in radios for over a year, so I have no idea how many charges they have on them already. I put in about an hour of hunting today, and according to the meter, the batteries are still at full charge.

These batteries come four to a pack for about $7 US per pack. So it takes four packs or almost $30 US to put batteries in the detector. That compares with about $12 US for regular alkalines. I don’t remember how many hours of operation a regular set of alkalines will give, but I’m going to guess at least 20 hours of operation with this old detector. If the rechargeables do as well, they very well could be cost effective.

I see right now that I’m going to have to buy a set of regular alkalines and run them out to see how much time they provide, and then compare that figure to one I get from these rechargeables. Ray-O-Vac provides a fast charger which will charge four cells at a time. That might seem like a disadvantage, but it only took me six hours to charge enough cells last night to run my detector. The advantage, as I see it, is that unlike 1.2 volt Nicads, I can get 1.5 volts per cell just like a standard alkaline. That should translate into more power for the system and longer life.

We’ll see. I’ll keep experimenting and will post about it from time to time.