Letter Re: The Importance of Proper Hearing Protection

Regarding the [recently mentioned] Peltor tactical 6S (sound trap) [electronic earmuffs]: While the battery power for these is somewhat of a concern, they are well worth what you might spend keeping a few extra sets of AAA rechargeables (two for each ear) around. I, too, have been running these muffs for a number of years and really like them, especially under a helmet. The radio part works well too. On the qualification range with all the M4s going off, you can hear a hammer fall.
So here is my quandary and request for advice. I’ve tried NiCd and NiMH batteries and have been really disappointed with the battery life of any rechargeable in these earmuffs. (You know me, only hi-cap rechargeables!) Next thing you know, the volume is down. I’ve ended up using only Duracell throwaways, or equivalents. I mean rechargeables work but they are about 1/3 of the operating time that a throwaway battery has. Of course, they are AAAs and those are pretty puny anyway. Any advice, guidance or comments for enlightenment?
Thanks, – The Army Aviator

JWR Replies: Sadly, I don’t know of any rechargeable AAA batteries with decent mil-amp hour capacity. There just isn’t the room in that tiny battery casing for much “oomph”. Perhaps there is a SurvivalBlog reader out there that has a solution–either disposables or rechargeables. Oh! I just had one possible blinding flash of the obvious (BFO): As long as you already have a radio cable plugged in, how about running a co-axial power cable–modifying the earmuffs so that that they can “piggyback” from your radio’s battery pack? It would be fairly simple to rig resistors to drop the voltage to 3 VDC That would allow the muffs to run for weeks. Just a thought–it might be too difficult to McGyver into practical implementation.