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 Best batteries ever?
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:54:29 AM on 14 October 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 570

I have a power meter clamped to my incoming active feed to the Main switchboard.
That meter runs from a battery powered clamp on data transmitter.
The transmitter sends a burst of date to the LCD receiver in the house and I can check my wattage draw.
The LCD readings started dropping out so I figured maybe the batteries in the transmitter needed changing.
I had installed 2 Duracell "D" cells, um, a long while ago.
The Duracells were stamped with a use by and manufacturing date.
The use by year was 2012 and the manufacturing date 2005-06.
Each cell had dropped to 0.8 volt.
That's pretty poor I thought (i'm kidding) only lasted 14 years!
Should deserve a refund under warrantee.
Anyway, I was looking at the cells, still active but at end voltage and thought back to my practical experiments "refreshing" (they shout at you if you say "recharge") primary cells.
I put the Duracells on a 24 hour charge at 3.6 volt at 200ma. At the end the cells had an open circuit terminal voltage at 1.3 volt. So I put them back in service and lets see if I get another 14 years out of them!
Any body else with a similar experience?
Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 10:21:32 AM on 14 October 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3698

My experience with modern Duracell's is all bad to the point that I am seeing them disappear from local supermarket shelves & I won't use them. Too many leaking and often doing that before they are flat, or have not reached their claimed shelf life. I don't need the damage I see.

I did remove a "York" cycle battery from a "Seyon", which did quote that its warranty expired 1927. It had some charge. I have a "No break" with a Gel Cell (Tested recently) that was first installed 1998. A lot of the chemical reactions in dry cells should not be reversible.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:15:16 AM on 14 October 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5262

My experience with modern Duracell's is all bad

I just pulled some leaky Duracells out of a radio. I also refuse to use Duracell anymore.

The best 12 volt AGM battery I have ever experienced is a Yuasa which now 20 years old and is still going fine.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 12:46:08 PM on 14 October 2019.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 320

Original Duracell’s some years ago were the best that you could buy.
Not any more, and I have seen numerous wrecked radios and other equipment caused by leaking Duracell’s.
I believe that they are now manufactured by a different company.
And they still dare to ask a good price for them.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 1:34:55 PM on 14 October 2019.
Fred Lever's Gravatar
 Location: Toongabbie, NSW
 Member since 19 November 2015
 Member #: 1828
 Postcount: 570

O dear, no chance of warranty from Duracell then (still kidding).
When I was working for Jaycar, Duracells were like a bench mark for goodness.
Guess now they are made in (pick your country of choice) and are as crap as all the others.

Yeah Marcc back then last century I did a lot of discharge and life tests on various cells from suppliers brands, sorting out which were absolute liars and which came close to the stated rating.
Remember the old "Green Refresh" "chargers" you could buy to "recharge" your primary cells?
Jaycar did sell them and I did discharge and recharge...oooppssss..refresh cycles on the ordinary carbon/zinc/whatever cells to validate or disprove the idea. I used resistive discharge and current limit recharge over time at 1C as the method,
NOT a predictive rate of slope bulls...t box of computer chips thing.
I achieved remarkable results. I could get from 5 to 10 cycles of discharge (to the end point voltage at 1C discharge) from carbon type cells with one HUGE provision.
The cell HAD to be re.. um.. freshed IMMEDIATELY after discharge or within a short time, from memory less than an hour.
If a cell had been "flattened" and left overnight you could charge it until your bum caught fire, but there was no return.
IF you had an application where a cell was discharged, then immediately refreshed, it could be used many times over and the consumption of cells could be dramatically reduced.
An application like that was Miners Lamps, but refreshing carbon cells required a regime to remove the cells when they were weak and swap them for a set of "fresh" cells. NEVER going to happen in real life because of the shift timing and so on. Then of course they just used NiCads and a charger and all problems solved.
So to me a primary cell was made of stuff that did not completely get used up on the first flattening and could be refreshed.
Someone with chemical and battery construction knowledge will know the reasons behind this.

It will be fascinating if my 2005 duracells are made of the "right stuff" and refresh or "wake up" to some degree. The actual load of the transmitter I have not measured but it packet bursts every 30 secs or so, just a blip and I guess microamp discharge. Might be close to shelf life rather than a discharge.
Fred.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 4:52:09 PM on 14 October 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 804

Have also had leakage problems with Duracells and now use only Eveready Energiser alkalines.

Difficult to educate members of the family not mix battery brands and types, and only use new batteries from the same batch. If batteries are taken out for any reason they should be taped together to avoid mixing with new or other partly used batteries.

I have somewhere an article from many years ago for a circuit for an alkaline battery charger. The principle was to use AC with a positive DC bias so that the voltage dipped slightly into negative. The wisdom then was that only about 5 recharges were possible, and as you say Fred, the battery could not be fully discharged. Will have a look tonight.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 8:30:26 PM on 14 October 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3698

My observation is that Duracells are either made in Mexico, China, or SE Asia. I have not seen too many USA. The Mexican ones seem a little better.

Its interesting to see what is floating around in the workshop;....

Varta: Germany

Energiser: Singapore & Malaysia Energiser Max claiming USA, with the same bar code as the Malaysian ones?

Chevron: Chevron: Ex Woolworths: China

Eclipse: Jaycar China. Not had an issue with them yet.

What I love is an Exit light that failed its in probably less than two years & was no older than 2012 probably less, & I will have a records.
What sort of racket are we running here by putting NiCd batteries in it. We know, these due to the way the chemicals behave, have a memory and are grossly unsuited for shallow discharge work?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 9:10:01 PM on 14 October 2019.
Tonyb's Gravatar
 Location: Lawnton, QLD
 Member since 6 March 2018
 Member #: 2223
 Postcount: 2

Don't use the Aldi blue alkaline batteries... they'll leak bad and destroy your item before 12 months.
IE Mac wireless keyboard, eats the aluminum housing, battery bung, had to drill battery to get them out.
Been still working in remote controls, but leaked.
Leaked sitting in drawers as well.
Cheap, good to flatten quickly in power hungry torches ect, then throw them out.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 9:24:11 PM on 14 October 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1050

Last week I found one of my old radios in a box which has not been used for about 8 to 10 years and so I looked for the 12 volt charger which I couldn't find and I turned the radio on and to my amazement it fired up and worked?
How can that be I thought? So I too the back off and looked at what battery was powering it and it was Franklin's D batteries!! Well Franklin's has been gone for years and years wow , amazing..pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 9:35:56 PM on 14 October 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5500

When I was about 12 I took apart a dead 9 volt transistor battery - the one with 6 C-cells in them - and found that despite the outer cardboard being branded Eveready, the cells themselves were branded Embassy, which was the generic brand for the Coles and New World supermarket chains before they merged.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 9:56:25 PM on 14 October 2019.
STC830's Gravatar
 Location: NSW
 Member since 10 June 2010
 Member #: 681
 Postcount: 804

The article was

"Better Use of Dry batteries - Part 2" by Rod Cooper in Practical Electronics Science and Technology, Vol 22 No 7, July 1986, pp 16-19.

It actually applies to carbon-zinc as well as alkaline cells and gives various circuit diagrams for chargers one of which has a built in timer.

Five "golden rules" for recharging these cells (in brief):

1. recharge individually to avoid over-current due to a faulty cell
2. limit the current again to avoid over-current due to a faulty cell
3. limit recharge time to prevent overcharging
4. do not allow cells to become fully discharged; preferably stop short of full discharge and recharge fairly soon
5. most importantly, do not use DC.

The article makes the point that in Japan, after a court case, claims printed on dry cells that they could not be recharged were outlawed.

I can supply a pdf if anyone is interested.

I once owned a Ferris cradle car radio which made the claim that its internal 9 volt battery was recharged while it was in the cradle. I never investigated how this was done, but the batteries did seem to last quite well as I used it a fair bit out of the car. Alas I let it go with the car which I regret as it was built like a battleship (die cast case) and made a good yard radio.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 11:34:52 PM on 14 October 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5500

I remember the guarantee that used to be printed on the side of every battery - "We will, at our option, repair or replace any device damaged by this battery" - battery manufacturers would be up for a few bob replacing every TV remote that has been eaten away by leaking dry cells over the years.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 11:49:12 PM on 14 October 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3698

The fun is repair of the wooden ones. I did a Philips from the 50's recently. Fortunately there was a donor board, or is was scrap. The electrolyte (literally) dissolves the wood and it looks like charcoal.

Normally I use Aqueous Ammonia on that to kill the electrolyte & neutralise it (and it gets everywhere) Then evaluate the situation before cutting out the damaged wood remaining.

One of the things I have noted & used on various type of cells and dating from 70's came to me from a German "Metz" flashgun. It had the option of NiCd batteries, which I had. Now NiCd cells as we know have some annoying habits. One they won't fully charge unless run flat and the other annoyance is that they can reverse polarity.

To counter this nasty habit the rechargeable battery holder has a Baretter, so there is no way that any current can be drawn of a magnitude that will destroy the transformer. Even if a reverse polarity occurs.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 12:19:36 AM on 15 October 2019.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 5500

Half a jug element was always good for discharging NiCads. The trouble would be finding one for sale now.


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A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 12:26:26 AM on 15 October 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5262

Half a jug element

Still sold here, but for how much longer?

https://allfixelectrical.com.au/products/1600watt-spiral-electric-jug-element-part-js

Be cheaper to buy some nichrome wire from Jaycar.


 
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