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HP Forum Archive 04

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Message #1 Posted by db (martinez,california) on 28 Sept 2000, 8:52 p.m.

what with all the talk lately about batteries i was wondering which usually give good service. i've only had stand out service (both plus and minus) from two brands. i once got about 11 years from some union carbide button cells, and i've had some real short lifespans with radio shack n cells. does anyone have a favorite?

Re: batteries
Message #2 Posted by Glynn on 29 Sept 2000, 12:19 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by db (martinez,california)

db-- Union Carbide sold/spun-off their battery division, it is now a part of Energizer Holdings Inc.

My prejudices:

N style: these are all alkaline, no rechargables on market yet (darn). 1.) Kodak KN; 2.) Duracell MN9100; 3.) Rayovac 810; 4.) Eveready (now Energizer) E90; 5.) Varta 4001; 6.) Toshiba LR1; 7.) Panasonic AM5. The first two are all I would really care to look for--- they are not all that much more expensive than the rest.

AA, AAA, C or D: get the NIMH and a NIMH charger, you'll never regret it-- 1.) Kodak NIMH Rechargable; 2.) Energizer "e2"; 3.) Rayovac Accu; 4.) Maha or Quest Gold or Nexcell (all in this category are pretty good).

If you don't yet have a NIMH charger, but you have an alkaline charging system-- 5.) Rayovac Renewal. This was the first alkaline rechargable, and they still make it seven years later, and they keep on making the batteries even better.

If you don't yet use rechargables: (plain alkalines) 6.) Energizer; 7.) Duracell; 8.) Kodak. These are all, in my opinion, fairly comparable, with Energizer just a tiny bit ahead, but Duracell and Kodak so close behind, it doesn't really seem right to rank them behind in any way.

Not recommended under Any but Dire circumstances: KMart, Walmart, Albertsons, Target, Sears branded alkalines. These are usually made by the larger companies like Energizer and Rayovac for the chains, BUT freshness is no longer the responsibility of the jobber; just the inventory practices of the chain or, in most cases, the store.

When I worked at a Sears store a decade ago, one of my weekly duties in my department was to dust the batteries. It hasn't changed all that much since.

On a side note, I've always thought someone should market a "battery condom": a thin sealable vinyl jacket with two tiny metallic discs/rivets built in to make the contacts... so that if a battery fails and oozes out of its casing, your precious camera or calculator or whatever is never exposed or damaged. Maybe the jacket would be clear and have a neutralizing chemical coating inside it which would turn red or something if exposed to electrolyte.

I can see the advertising copy now: "A Durex for your Duracells! Don't let a burst do the worst!"

...Oh well; maybe not. :-)

Re: batteries
Message #3 Posted by cjd on 29 Sept 2000, 8:25 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Glynn

Aren't the Energizer "e2" batteries alkalines, and not NiMH?

Re: batteries
Message #4 Posted by Glynn on 29 Sept 2000, 2:07 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by cjd

Doh!! Take a battery out and LOOK, Glynn...

You are right. The Rayovac NiMH is called the Ultra, not Accu. The name of the Energizer NiMH product is Accu, not "e2". And the "e2" is a premium priced non-rechargeable-- I've never had one of them here... anyone ever try some of these?

Re: batteries
Message #5 Posted by r. d. bärtschiger. on 29 Sept 2000, 2:04 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Glynn

I would like to make a correction to this post;

N cell rechargeables were available some years back. They were sold by Edu-calc. The charger was capable of charging AA, AAA, 9 volt snap on batteries & N cells via an adapter. The charger label reads, excell plug-in Ni-Cd Battery Charger Model: EX-04. It came with four N cell adapters, two of which have red LEDs and two of which don't. The label on the adapter reads; EX-04, 'N' Cell Adapter. The N cells themselves read; P/N 1-150, JaBro the house of batteries, 1.3V, Rechargeable, Lisle, Il 60532. They are an exact fit in the battery holder of an HP-41 series calculator. A full charge takes overnight, as I recall and they last a few hours in the calculator. I hope this information proves useful.


Re: batteries
Message #6 Posted by Glynn on 29 Sept 2000, 2:20 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by r. d. bärtschiger.

Great! I'll try to track some of these down. "N" size NiCads would be a wonderful thing to have!

Re: batteries
Message #7 Posted by Peter (Germany) on 29 Sept 2000, 4:07 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by Glynn

N cell NiCd batteries are available from Varta (AccuPlus) and from Panasonic (P18N) in Germany. Price is around DM 5,- (~$2.2) for one. Look at, part numbers are 255238-08 and 254673-08. I do not know if they will ship international.

Re: batteries
Message #8 Posted by Wayne Brown (USA) on 29 Sept 2000, 7:24 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Peter (Germany)

I saw some NiCd "N" cells in a Radio Shack store about a year ago. I'll check again Monday and see if they still have them and what the price is.

Re: batteries
Message #9 Posted by db (martinez, california) on 29 Sept 2000, 8:30 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Wayne Brown (USA)

i too have seen rechargable n cells at radio shack. hope they are better than thier alkalines. duracell and energizer have worked ok for me but next time i guess i'll look for kodak just to experiment. glynn: if you were to emboss thoes battery covers with a non skid pattern would it be for the benifit of the calculator or the battery?

Re: batteries
Message #10 Posted by Katie Wasserman on 29 Sept 2000, 11:59 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by db (martinez, california)

Digikey sells N-cell nicads too. Here's the page:

They're an excellent company to deal with, incredible stock, super fast shipping and superb customer service. I buy all my nicads from them for rebuilding HP battery packs since they sell virtually any arrangement that you want with the cells pre-welded into the proper configurations to fit the HP plastic holders. In addition, they offer a wide range of capacities/cell, rapid or regular charging and even nimh cells. And they're pretty resonable price-wise!

Re: batteries
Message #11 Posted by Peter Khor on 30 Sept 2000, 11:12 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by r. d. bärtschiger.

An obtuse way of obtaining N cells easily is to scavenge from *new* cordless phone batteries. Lookout especially for on sale items. eg, about a month ago the local Target was clearing out Sony battery packs, 3x N cells from $10 down to $4 and finally down to $2! It's rated @ 270mAh I've also seen NiMH N cell packs for cordless phone. To charge you can get a N cell to AA cell charging adapter (RS has 'em). Likewise I lookout for 5x AA cordless phone battery packs (~$3, generic ~700mAH)with solder tabs to re-build 3xAA and 4xSub-C packs. Oh, and finally there are some cordless tools and emergency lighting equipment that use Sub-C cells, Home Depot clears out these once in a while.

You can obviously get higher capacity tab cells at a price, but it's worked out great for me for all my older calcs.

So much for scavenging ;-)

Re: batteries
Message #12 Posted by Chris Morris on 10 Oct 2000, 1:29 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Glynn

Beware of those rechargeable alkalines (AA & AAA sizes). I have had bad luck with the 'Pure Energy' brand made in Canada (no direct experience of the Ray-O-Vac Renewable design - which may be better?). On two separate occasions, usng their own recommended charger, I have had oozing of chemical from the battery top, the chemical is severely corrosive to battery terminal strips. The last one was bad enough that I sent the mess to the factory in Nova Scotia - no reply yet. This is a problem almost never encountered with ordinary alkalines, unless you leave them in something for 5 years.

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