Rechargeables in the Real World

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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Jon » Jan 14, 2012 11:59 pm

for caving I use a sten. for work I use an apex and ......... the china version.... couldn't find the Japan ones. I use / abuse them nightly and they make the energizers that everybody else tried (they are cheaper than me) look like a joke. I'm not worried about holding a charge for a year but the energizers that are the same age as my china loops but won't hold a charge off the charger. I have 1 set of the good japan AAA's for the extreme last resort backup light in my pack. Oddly enough they came in a remote for a tv without a charger..... go figure. Some day I hope to find the japan wonders for work but till then china seems to be pretty good.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2012 5:44 am

Random piece of trivia for anybody else out there who uses Rayovac AA LSD NiMH cells. I have an old 2 x AA Mini Maglite that I haven't used for a while. I went to put 2100mAH Rayovac Platinum batteries in it, and found they don't fit. Too fat!! Also tried them in an old multimeter, and got the same result. Switched in the earlier 2100mAH Rayovac Hybrid cells and they fit fine. The old and new pattern cells are the same brand, same technology, and same capacity. Why would the new one be too fat to fit? What the heck, man?? :rant:
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Buford » Jan 15, 2012 7:56 am

Do you reckon that manufacturers made the batteries too fat where they knew the batteries would not work? Batteries cannot, for example, be put in a Garmin GPS backwards (i.e., positive end inserted into negative end), altho admittedly that's because it was Garmin (not a battery maker) that put a stub in the GPS unit to prevent us from frying it.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2012 4:07 pm

Buford wrote:Do you reckon that manufacturers made the batteries too fat where they knew the batteries would not work?

No, I just think it's poor design or quality control on the part of the battery manufacturer. This is pretty much my first and only complaint against Rayovac. The slightly fatter batteries fit the tube compartments in my Zebralight and Fenix headlamps, but in my opinion if you call something an AA cell it should fit the spec in ANY device made to the AA spec. I can accept that NiMHs are only 1.2v nominal per cell versus 1.5v in alkaleaks, but making them a fraction too fat is just irritating.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Cody JW » Jan 15, 2012 10:02 pm

I would like to ask something about eneloops. Am I correct in assuming that if you use eneloops and a La Crosse charger that the eneloops do not have a memory. Or can you charge from a partial or full discharge ?? I noticed my La Crosse charger has a discharge cycle. I did not know if that is because they ( La Crosse) advise a full discharge prior to charging.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Dwight Livingston » Jan 15, 2012 10:06 pm

Sure it's not the light that's too small? The AA battery specification allows up to 14.5mm diameter. What diameter are your Rayovacs?
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2012 10:47 pm

Dwight Livingston wrote:Sure it's not the light that's too small? The AA battery specification allows up to 14.5mm diameter. What diameter are your Rayovacs?

I'm thinking an AA Maglite is generally made for... AA cells. It does seem unusual that various other AA cells fit, except the Platinums. Without the benefit of a micrometer, the Platinum cells appear to be right around (or fractionally over) 14.5mm, and the predecessor Hybrid cells around 14mm.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby paul » Jan 16, 2012 7:27 am

NZcaver wrote:
Buford wrote:Do you reckon that manufacturers made the batteries too fat where they knew the batteries would not work?

No, I just think it's poor design or quality control on the part of the battery manufacturer. This is pretty much my first and only complaint against Rayovac. The slightly fatter batteries fit the tube compartments in my Zebralight and Fenix headlamps, but in my opinion if you call something an AA cell it should fit the spec in ANY device made to the AA spec. I can accept that NiMHs are only 1.2v nominal per cell versus 1.5v in alkaleaks, but making them a fraction too fat is just irritating.


Quite a few years ago I bought what looked like genuine Duracell AAs from an outdoor market very cheaply. They seemed slightly larger in diameter than the ones I was replacing when I put them in a Maglite. A couple of months later I tried to swicth the Maglite on and it didn't work.

I removed the end cap and found the batteries had leaked and also expanded so that I could not get them out whatever I tried, without damaging the Maglite.

I ended up throwing the Maglite away. Obviously these were cheap counterfeit "Duracell" batteries and were very poor quality. I suppose I got what I paid for but it cost a lot more (a replacemen Maglite) in the end. :down:
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby potholer » Jan 17, 2012 11:46 am

paul wrote:Quite a few years ago I bought what looked like genuine Duracell AAs from an outdoor market very cheaply. They seemed slightly larger in diameter than the ones I was replacing when I put them in a Maglite. A couple of months later I tried to swicth the Maglite on and it didn't work.

I removed the end cap and found the batteries had leaked and also expanded so that I could not get them out whatever I tried, without damaging the Maglite.

I ended up throwing the Maglite away. Obviously these were cheap counterfeit "Duracell" batteries and were very poor quality. I suppose I got what I paid for but it cost a lot more (a replacemen Maglite) in the end. :down:

A friend had some Duracell AAs (legit ones, I think) leak in a Maglite and become jammed in.
In that case, I found that I could remove them by hammering/screwing a decent-sized woodscrew into the bottom of the cells and pulling. Trying to push them out from the top didn't work since the only thing thin enough to fit down the gap at the top just punctured the cell and didn't give enough 'push' to get it moving.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 17, 2012 5:48 pm

potholer wrote:A friend had some Duracell AAs (legit ones, I think) leak in a Maglite and become jammed in.
In that case, I found that I could remove them by hammering/screwing a decent-sized woodscrew into the bottom of the cells and pulling. Trying to push them out from the top didn't work since the only thing thin enough to fit down the gap at the top just punctured the cell and didn't give enough 'push' to get it moving.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine with his 6 x D cell Maglite. The dummy left Alkalines in it for maybe a year or more. :doh:

We used the screw hook technique, and it was fairly successful until the last cell which wasn't coming out no matter what. So we gave up and shot at it instead. Not at all productive, but still rather satisfying. :big grin: Now my friend has inherited my old D cell Maglite.

Moral of the story - avoid alkalines, or at least remove them from the device when not in use.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Cody JW » Jan 17, 2012 6:58 pm

I had the same problem with my maglight with AAs. I think the tolerance on the mag specs may be too close. It seems like the mag is the only thing I have had the problem with so far. Radios, TV remotes, Duo, Fennix ect all fine .
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby paul » Jan 18, 2012 7:32 am

NZcaver wrote:
potholer wrote:A friend had some Duracell AAs (legit ones, I think) leak in a Maglite and become jammed in.
In that case, I found that I could remove them by hammering/screwing a decent-sized woodscrew into the bottom of the cells and pulling. Trying to push them out from the top didn't work since the only thing thin enough to fit down the gap at the top just punctured the cell and didn't give enough 'push' to get it moving.

Same thing happened to a friend of mine with his 6 x D cell Maglite. The dummy left Alkalines in it for maybe a year or more. :doh:
[snip]
Moral of the story - avoid alkalines, or at least remove them from the device when not in use.


The thing is, I normally leave Duracell Alkaline AAs or AAAs in various lights and other devices (such as backup light on my helmet, in a couple of Petzl Myos either left in a backpack for walking or in my car, Garmin Etrex GPS, etc things which I would only need "just in case") for months and months and have done this for years and I've only had the leaking cell experience once. And I'm pretty sure the leaky AAs were counterfeit given that they were extremely cheap and had a slightly different diameter than the cells I replaced and those I bought afterwards. And that was quite a few years ago: more than 20!

In fact, now that I think of it, all the various remote controls around the house have alakaline AAs or AAAs, either the cheapo once that they came with or with whatever I subsequently replaced them with (ususally Duracell as they are easiy availble and seem to have a very loing shelf life). Those have never leaked either, so far, and some hardley get used from month to month.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 18, 2012 4:13 pm

paul wrote:In fact, now that I think of it, all the various remote controls around the house have alakaline AAs or AAAs, either the cheapo once that they came with or with whatever I subsequently replaced them with (ususally Duracell as they are easiy availble and seem to have a very loing shelf life). Those have never leaked either, so far, and some hardley get used from month to month.

Good point. I've had a few alkalines in remotes corrode over the years, but most don't. Maybe it's an environmental thing. Indoors, no significant temperature of humidity changes, etc. Or maybe Maglite has a "planned obsolescence" agenda so you buy more Maglites when your batteries corrode and ruin the old ones. :shhh:
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby Buford » Jan 18, 2012 10:54 pm

I've lost a Maglite that way also, but think the reason is that I rarely use them, they sit in the closet or glove box or bottom of the spare light bag for years, maybe 5 years or more without being used, and they get forgotten. Look in the bag - yep, it's there, take it out and twist the head and, yep, it still works, then put it back in the bag. Never use it. For 5+ years. No dang wonder the batteries go bad.

The Maguire family (father and two sons) often went cave diving together back in the late 80s. Then on one dive they suffered something like 13 dive light failures. Why? Because they used the same primaries and the same batteries, they never used their spares, and they had the same dive logs. Perfect storm.

Moral of the story is to change out your batteries at predictable, periodic intervals, and rotate your lights in use. If your Maglite is your last resort light because it is the smallest unit and has the weakest beam, get rid of it. Take only the lights that you use regularly, and rotate your lights. I use a primary on my helmet and a handheld light at my waist. You've heard of binocular vision? I have 'binocular' lighting, and man do two lights ever help in the depth perception category (I am very near-sighted). I rotate my handhelds, use up their alkaline batteries on a regular basis, and replace them on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is that if a flashlight's batteries self-destruct, you didn't need that kind of light anyway.
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Re: Rechargeables in the Real World

Postby NZcaver » Jan 19, 2012 7:33 am

Buford wrote:A good rule of thumb is that if a flashlight's batteries self-destruct, you didn't need that kind of light anyway.

While I agree with most of what you said, another good rule of thumb is if a flashlight's batteries self-destruct, you didn't need that kind of batteries anyway. Use good rechargeables instead. Like the title of this topic implies.
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