Reviving old NiCd batteries

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On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 01:00:26 -0500, The Daring Dufas

That's why they were only rated for 5000 power-on-hours. ;-)

No, they cost 4-5 thousand dollars because they could. BTW, I paid $2500 for mine. ;-)
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On 6/23/2011 9:14 AM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Well, I think the MTBF was rated a bit low. I pick up those things, plug them up and they run. For something 30+ years old that's not too bad. Do you remember the original Lear 8 track tape players and the units produced by Delco for GM? The construction was massive and tough as nails. When the Asians started building them they made them out of tin cans. :-)
TDD
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On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 12:51:34 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Sure, but that design point was needed to get the cost of the components down. The same sort of parts were used in 100kPOH devices. The real difference was testing.

I haven't plugged mine in for probably 20 years. I still have it, with an expansion unit with a *huge* 10MB disk drive. ;-)

Didn't know they made tin cans out of plastic. ;-)
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On 6/23/2011 9:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I had a 5MB hard drive with the one I put together out of various parts I came across. It was so much fun back then but in the mid 1960's, the darn computers were too freaking big and expensive to play with. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 23 Jun 2011 23:08:12 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Actually, they were cheaper then. I didn't even have to own one. ;-)
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Don't underestimate the Asians. We shipped them the remains of NYC's Third avenue elevated subway scrap iron that came back to haunt us as Mitsubishi Zeros. Saw a great piece on "History Detectives" about how they traced an engine rocker arm found on a private Hawiian island (must be nice!) with english markings to one of the early zeros, circa 1941 from a Zero that crashed there. Great story about how the downed pilot was able to terrorize *most* of the islanders with his wing machine guns except for the guy that rushed him and killed him.
I made a living for a while upgrading the original IBM PC's that came with the huge full height floppies using the far inferior (but IBM logoed) PC JR half heights that flooded the market when the junior went under.
Take out the full height, replace them with two half-heights and a 20MB drive. Even learned how to copy the XT bios onto a blank (ssshhh - don't tell IBM) because the clones did not come with BASIC. Still remember writing my first BASICA program using the SOUND command. Up until then, programs were something you punched onto cards that eventually spit out a fan-fold printout and nothing more. What a kick to hear a computer make sounds.
Then I started selling clones I built with the half-heights because people didn't really know what a "clone" was. All they knew was that the diskette drives said IBM in big letters. As long as it worked and I helped them load and run their apps (DbaseII - which needed a memory upgrade - I used the AST multifunction boards - to 256K!) they didn't care. They certainly got NO support from Computerland once they walked out the door. Yes, multiple counts of fraud and infringement, but the statute of limitations has long since expired.
My original black IBM PC power supply crapped out quite early, but then again I was running the absolutely dreadful CMI 20MB hard drives that taught me early in life that a) you can't have too many backups and b) a backup isn't a backup until you've been able to restore in correctly. In those days bad floppy disks were the norm, not the exception. I remember throwing away boxes of IBM branded 5.25" disks because they would not format 100%. Those that *accidentally* managed a full format wouldn't hold data worth a damn.
To keep back on topic, today I am recharging all the NiMH cells that I fully recharged at the beginning of the year. My 4 cell LaCrosse charge has an LCD display that reads out all important battery parameters. If I stick them in the charger after 6 months and they are at 0 volts, off they go to the trash. If they accept a charge well above their rated capacity, in the trash they go. That process alone has increased overall battery reliability incredibly. The wedding photogs I know swear by them. A hinky NiMH cell can spell disaster if it causes them to miss a "money" shot.
Life's too short to "burn off whiskers" (when I tried that, the whiskers soon grew back). I stopped when I had some explode - I charged them inside an old .50 cal ammo box. The AAA's sound like .22's and the AA's sound like .38's going off. Life's also too short to get caught flat-footed with a battery that *should* have been thrown out but wasn't.
NiMH cells are enough of a problem when they're in tip-top shape, especially in cameras. As someone else noted, they are most useful only hot from the charger. Every hour they are out means a subtle drop in voltage that makes a digicam read them as dead when they still have plenty of current left.
If I was dirt poor I'd probably push every milliamp second out of them but I'm not, so high-ho, high-ho, in the trash they go. The LaCrosse charger proved one thing - Ebay NiMH cells from China are HORRIBLY overrated. Those marked 3000 are hardly 900 mAh.
I can't recommend the new chargers with individual cell readouts highly enough. Expensive but worth every penny in culling the battery herd. Tells you how much of a charge the battery has taken, has "recondition" modes, etc.
La Crosse Technology BC-9009 AlphaPower Battery Charger
I'd post a URL but all of them are 8 miles long and include ID numbers. Someday Google will learn that people don't send URLs that are 100's of characters long to other potential customers and yes, I know about TinyURL - that still doesn't remove the tracking numbers that vendors like to stuff into their URLs these days. Track this Google --!--
http://www.google.com/search?q=La+Crosse+Technology+BC-9009
OK - that works.
-- Bobby G.
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Robert Green posted for all of us...

I looked at the results and at the bottom of the page is one called "meltdowns".
Just reporting an observation no scare tactics involved...
I am offering NO opinions but I don't pay much attention to "reviews" of products. I think some posts are reimbursed but that is another topic.
--
Tekkie

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