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The original battery pack is nothing but 2 AA batteries held together with a plastic holder, you can use regular AA rechargeable batteries and save some money. I had a similar camera with the original battery pack held together with some plastic holder, I simply substituted that battery pack with 2 regular rechargeable common batteries and camera works the same.
The 283 and 285 require an adapter to hold the 4 AA batteries. This is because there is an available battery pack NC-3 (NiCad) that works with the Charge-15 rapid charger. Loose AA batteries cannot be used without the adapter known as AP-1. They are all over eBay and quite reasonably priced.
Remove the battery pack from his foot (a screw holds the door shut).
The back has a wire which you disconnect then from the toy -
(its a shrink wrapped collection of normal rechargeable AA batteries) but don't open the pack. The voltage of the charger you need depends on how many AA batteries are in the pack.
Bring this battery pack a shop that does Radio control Cars or Boats - a hobby shop - and they should be able match up a charger to the battery pack you have.
These kind of chargers are shared between lots of toys - connectors are usually the same.
Best place for finding Vivitar 283 anything is on e-Bay, I use a gang of them doing my location photography and have several holders preloaded with batteries so when the cycle time starts to get more then I can bare I just switch out the holders.
Since many Sony headsets use the BP-HP550-11 battery pack, I assume your battery pack is the same. If not, I assume whatever battery pack your headset came with, it is some type of plastic holder that holds two batteries together. Even though you can use regular AAA batteries (that you would have to replace often), there is a huge convenience factor with using the charging cradle that comes with the Sony headset. A solution I found was that I ordered some 550 mAh AAA batteries through Ebay (they came from England and cost me $8 total for four batteries). To make them work in the Sony headset you MUST use the bottom part of the plastic battery holder piece (all you need to do is peel off the BP-HP550-11 label and the bottom half of the plastic battery holder piece slips off of the Sony batteries). Then just slip in the new AAA batteries into the plastic battery holder bottom and then insert into the headset. The reason why you must use the bottom of the battery holder plastic piece is because the plastic piece pushes on a little switch. This switch activates the charging mechanism to enable the cradle charger to charge the batteries.
NOTE: I am not an electronics expert so I do not know if there would be any problem using other rechargeable AAA batteries (with higher mAh ratings). So I decided to be safe than sorry and ordered the 550 mAh batteries through Ebay.
The battery pack for your scanner, Radio Shack item 23-288, is out of production and I could not any source that still carries it. You can, however, power the scanner using six size AA batteries. The black battery holder that came with the scanner is for standard, non-rechargeable, alkaline batteries. The yellow battery holder is for rechargeable NiCd or NiMH batteries. If you don't have the AA holders you should still be able to pick them up from Radio Shack. BillB
I use Duracell 2650 mAh rechargeable AA's with my 283 all the time. You may read that 1.2v Duracells or other rechargeables will not work because of the slightly lower voltage (alkalines are 1.5v).
I believe the problem lies not with the voltage, but is due to the slightly fatter profile of the rechargeables that causes a tight fit in the Vivitar battery pack. I find that, after inserting all four (the last will go in really tight), I need to give each cell one more firm push so that it seats properly into the battery pack.