Let’s talk Batteries

While I was sleeping… batteries changed.

If you still pick up the same old at the battery kiosk in the big box store, knock it off. Batteries have changed and retailers/manufacturers aren’t about to clue you in.

I use batteries. Not a lot of batteries, but I have a cordless phone, camera and an assortment of remote control units. I have an indoor/outdoor temperature gauge and a remote electricity use sensor on my breaker box that talks to my computer.

I use batteries.

New cutting edge batteries are rechargeable Ni-Mh LSD. If you went where I did when you heard LSD, you are unforgivably old. Get over it. The acronym now means “low self discharge”. That means if you throw them in a drawer for three to five years they keep a charge and still work.

Sanyo Eneloop batteries, for example are billed as rechargeable 1,800 times. Let’s say the batteries in your TV remote last a year, (mine do). If I recharge those same batteries once a year and reuse them I’ll need to buy new batteries in the year 3,814…

What if Sanyo is exaggerating and the batteries give up the ghost in the year 3,000? Caveat emptor? I’ll probably get over it.

Sleeves are now made that fit AA batteries and adapt them for use in things requiring D or C batteries. I find this quite convenient.

Let’s look at how you stuff electricity into them. Chargers have changed too. The new chargers are “smart” chargers. The batteries are “smart” too. This just means that a chip has been added and charger and battery can now communicate. Smart chargers know how much charge a battery needs and when to stop. The best of them have a refresh mode to extend battery life and batteries no longer need to be charged in matched sets.

There are some fancy battery chargers out there with more bells and whistles but a $30.00 model does everything I need.

Perhaps most of you knew all of this already? It was news to me last December when I started reading up on battery technology. I may never need to buy a battery again…. 😉

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7 Responses to Batteries

  1. I recently bought a premium super bright med-small pocket flashlight. Love it.

    The light flickered a modest amount on the first one, so the Amazon merchandiser replaced it, and this one has only occasional flickering. Putting the pocket clip on the body may scratch the paint, so I recommend against it.

    Got a fully enclosed NITE IZE belt holster so it doesn’t scratch or get scratched on anything it rubs against, vs the partly open holster that comes with it.

    For power, I picked up a premium brand Orbtronic 18650 rechargeable LI-ION, with super high capacity of 3400 mAh, and a spare to switch out when one is charging. I am sceptical of acquiring inexpensive rechargeables due to life of the product.

    And a premium XTAR VP1 LI-ION charger.

    But since then, a much more versatile premium charger has come out. So if I ever get a different power type or size of rechargeable battery, or need to charge more than two at a time, this is one of the best at the moment:

    It’s a techie guy thing;-].

  2. Ahhh…..Rechargeables……Every girl’s dream! 😉

    • Sorry, just couldn’t resist and I wanted to say this yesterday, but I was stuck appearing for jury duty again for the umpteenth time only to be sent home without being legally allowed to cast judgment upon anyone. Story of my life I supposed. Always the summoned but never the juror.

      As far as the actual subject of this blog, I have tried to use rechargeable batteries since I first found them back in the ’80s for a camera I had that drained battery juice faster than it took pictures. Now if something doesn’t come with its own rechargeable battery, I get a set for it. Except for the kids’ toys because you just never know when that talking stuffed bear is going to need a bath in the toilet as decided by a 4-year old or that helicopter is going to end up in the neighbor’s horse trough because the Man just had to try it.

      • osolynden says:

        Got it! Well, if you find you need more rechargeables give the low self discharge a try? The new generation of Eneloop now claim they can be recharged 2,100 times.

        For some reason they never call me for jury duty. I suppose saying that they now will…

        Thanks for supporting this blog.

    • osolynden says:

      Tee Hee…. Where I grew up there was an Amish presence and it rubbed off. I still do some things by hand. 🙂

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