Rechargeable Batteries vs. Replaceable Batteries
Most of the collars that we sell are either fully rechargeable (transmitter and receiver) or they are a combination rechargeable receiver (collar) and transmitter with a replaceable disposable battery (9 volt alkaline are very common). A few of our collars use replaceable disposable batteries in both the collar and the transmitter.
Most of the combination systems work very well and we get from 6 months to a year out of these 9 volt transmitter batteries. Once the battery gets low you can replace it with any leading brand of 9 volt battery.
Many of today's remote training collars use Nimh rechargeable batteries. These are easy to use, have extremely long charge lives and do not have the "memory" issues of older rechargeable batteries.
Some of the newer systems are now using Lithium ION batteries.
Many of the rechargeable collar receivers that we sell can run for 40 to 60 hours uninterrupted between charges. This is great compared to the 8 to 10 hours we used to get out of the old NiCad batteries 10 years ago.
When I am looking at a collar I have several issues I consider about batteries - Length of charge time, amount of run time off a single charge, low battery warning, completed charge warning and ease of replacing batteries.
Rapid Charging Systems
In the last couple of years, battery technology and charging systems have improved drastically. Most of the ecollar manufacturers are moving to Rapid Charging systems. Average charge time is around 2 hours and run time off a single charge can range from 40 to 60 plus hours.
All Tri-Tronics and most SportDOG rechargeable batteries now have this rapid charging system. 2 hours for a full charge and 40 to 60 hours of run time and are fully user replaceable.
Tri-Tronics dominates the remote training collar world with it's battery system. The only downside to it is that because I am able to go so long on a single charge, I sometimes forget where my chargers are!
All Tri-Tronics batteries are self contained waterproof parts that are separate from the self contained waterproof electronics.
This makes them easy to replace (3 to 5 years depending on use) and there is no chance of messing up the waterproofing or damaging the electronics.
The other major advantage of the Tri-Tronics battery system is that there are no exposed ports for plugs. Tri-Tronics uses a cradle system that uses a contact pad to charge. This means there is no place for dirt, water or grime to get into the unit and you don't need those horrible little "mud plugs" that break off.
Charge any Tri-tronics collar at any time. You do not have to completely drain the battery to recharge it. 3-way battery charge indicator lights tell you when you need a charge and the cradle lights tell you when the unit is finished charging.
Most SportDOG and some Dogtra systems now have a rapid charge using replaceable Lithium Ion batteries.
The Innotek IUT collars also have a rapid charge system using Lithium Ion batteries, but remember that these batteries are not replaceable.
Systems that still use a regular charging system tend to take between 12 and 14 hours to charge and run time can vary from 45 to 75 hours depending on the unit.
All rechargeable batteries will wear out over time. We find that all rechargeable batteries last longer the more you use them. The worst thing you can do with a rechargeable system is leave it on a shelf and not charge it. We recommend that during periods that you will not be using your system that you charge it every one to two months.
We recommend that you charge your system based on the manufacturers recommendations for maximum battery life.
User replaceable batteries can be purchased from Gun Dog Supply for most Tri-Tronics collars and SportDOG collars. You can replace these yourself at home.
Most DT Systems and Dogtra rechargeable batteries can be replaced, but must be returned to the factory for replacement.
Innotek rechargeable collar batteries are not replaceable. Innotek rechargeable collars will wear out over time and no longer hold a charge. Once this happens you will have to replace the collar or purchase a new system. This is a major design flaw in our opinion.