Thu 13-Aug-09 02:36 AM | edited Thu 13-Aug-09 02:37 AM by ZoneV
These batts were designed to be used several times a week, for very short cycles, with deep discharging only every ten cycles or so. They also must be broken in the first time via the 3x method of conditioning. They won't last as long if you constantly run them dead, if you store them discharged, if you top them off after an extended period of storage, if you fail to condition them at the beginning, if you fail to refresh them often enough, or if you refresh them too often.
I think a lot of it depends upon your usage habits. These NiMh batts are desinged to be stored in the fully charged state, recharged without being completely drained (eg as soon as possible), refreshed once every 10 charges or once per month (whichever comes first), and charged/used as frequently as possible.
Personally, I now recharge the batteries immediately after each use, and then store them. They seem to hold their charge for a couple of weeks. I have not have good luck recharging prior to use. In addition, I no longer run my batteries until they are dead. Instead, I swap batteries as often as possible and try to recharge them when they are only partially drained. I only refresh them when it's been a long time (over a month or two) or when I first notice that they aren't heating up as much in the second half of the charge cycle. I mark with tally marks and dates on each battery every time I charge or refresh it.
B&H has plenty of EN-4 packs in stock. And there are plenty of aftermarket batteries avilable from other sources online that cost far less and arguably are better.