Just finisheed a primitive battery test. As Clare had said that carbon
cells last longer with high drain applications. Today I visited the
Dollar Tree, near me. I bought an 8 pack of carbon zinc cells, and a
two pack of alkalines.
When I got home, I put one each of the carbons and the alkalines into
my digital camera. I set the flash to "forced on" and started to take
The camera went dead after 121 picture. I checked the batteries, and
the carbon zinc cell was lower. So, I put another carbon cell in. With
the part used alkaline. I kept taking pictures.
104 pictures later (all with flash) the both batteries were low, with
my swing meter tester. I used a Battery Manager Ultra, to check the
voltage. The carbon was 1.33, and the alkaline was reading 1.34 volts.
I put in a new carbon cell, and got about 10 more pictures out of the
combination of batteries. One new carbon zinc cell, and one used
For fun, since I had a lot more carbon zin ccells, I tried two of them
(new). The camera would turn on, pause a second or two, and then turn
back off. Aparently, my Panaonic Lumix LS-70 does not run on carbon
zinc batteries if two are used. Even if the two are brand new.
What surprised me, was the ratio 2:1, which is different than my flash
lights at 4:1. And my tape recorder, which was also 4:1.
On Sat, 16 Oct 2010 20:34:53 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"
You were drawing a lot more than 700 ma - and I never said you could
use carbon batteries in a CAMERA. Particularly not the LUMIX. I can't
run it on NiCads or NiMh batteries either - Fresh out of the charger
they are good for a few pictures within a day or so - a week out of
the charger and the camera won't even turn on. It's either alkalines
or Lithiums - I generally use lithium E2 Energizers in mine.
Also, were these standard cheapy cells or the heavy duty cells?
I guess I should repeat my test again with currently available
zinc/carbon batteries and monitor the current and voltage throughout
the cycle. My numbers would be a little off because I assumed
constant current draw - with declining voltage the current would drop
off somewhat. Don't know if I still have the 2.2 ohm 2 watt finned
power resistor I used back then either. Don't know if the industrial
cells I tested are still available here either - most likely only
cheap chinese crap.
Current draw was determined based on KPR222 Krypton flashlight bulb
used in 2AA flashlight..
Yabbut - the whole point of a flashlight, IMHO, is that you pick it up and
it works. Since you're probably going to be reaching for it in an adverse
situation (lights out, something's lost, etc) you just want it to work.
Just yesterday I just pulled some CZM batteries (Bexels that came with a
remote I bought) out of a penlight that had been hanging bulb down from a
hook. One of the batteries had leaked and all the goo reached the reflector
and turned it black. The other battery, the one not near anything that a
leak could damage, was fine.
Aside from trying to remember to store them bulb UP next time, I think I
will still be using alkalines in flashlights just because of the longer run
You may be right about CZM batts being as good as alkaline in flashlights,
in general tasks, but I want something that's going to work at full power
every time I fire it up. These new long shelf life "precharged" NiMH
"Eneloop" type batteries *may* be what I am looking for, claiming up to hold
up to 80% of their charge after sitting for one year. So far, my tests have
been mixed, and already have 1 Sanyo Eneloop that lost all its charge
sitting in small penlight for three months. It's going back to Sanyo soon.
The other Eneloop in the same flashlight with it showed a reasonable charge
after six months. Both were from the same pack charged in the same charger.
I just went and bought a whole mix of "precharged" NiMH's from Fry's to test
for retained charge now that I have my fancy LaCrosse chargers with the cell
by cell readouts. Got cells from Sony, Ray-o-Vac, Sanyo and one other whose
name escapes me. Charged them all up, tagged and bagged them and six months
and then a year from now I will see which cells remain charged and to what
voltage and capacity.
Informally, as another test, I measure how much additional charge these
supposedly precharged cells take when I first remove from the packages. The
results are not encouraging. Since no manufacturer open dates these cells
in an obvious fashion, I can't say how long they have been sitting other
than by a copyright date on the package. All of the "precharged" cells I've
taken out of the pack have absorbed significant recharging - some nearly
3/4's of their capacity. Others have been amazingly close to being fully
charged. Same manufacturer, same battery package of 4 with significantly
different results within a single package.
So, I won't really know until six months (and then a year from now for test
phase II) how well they do. Using NiMH has the advantage of enforcing a
three month cycle of flashlight inspection and the disadvantages of NEEDING
a three month cycle of recharging. (-: A six month inspection cycle is a
lot better than a three month one, IMHO, so these precharged cells might be
The precharged NiMH cells might be especially useful in my old Nikon 950
cameras that are notoriously power hungry and can't sit for a month with
normal NiMH's without dropping their voltage too low to be useful. I've
augmented some with add-on lithium rechargeable packs, but add-on packs are
always a nuisance.
The one downside of precharged cells is that the longer shelf life seems to
have a cost. The precharged cells all seem to be in the 2000mAh range,
where you can get close to 3000mAh in the really high capacity NiMH
Yes, choosing the right battery these days really is "rocket surgery." (-:
I don't think there's any issues with them, I'm not aware that they
self-discharge faster than regular alkalines.
Where did you find them? I was buying them for a while for my digicam,
because it doesn't like rechargeables (even the Nikon-branded ones, go
figure) but I haven't seen them in a year or more so have resorted to
being even less ecologically correct and buying the HugeAssPack of
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Good price. I'm tempted to buy them for my tool box lights. Sadly,
other brands have leaked. Couple days ago, I trashed a couple
Thunderbolt Magnum alkalines from Harbor Freight. Fortunately, they
were not in a device.
Please try Powergenix (sold on www.amazon.com ) batteries. They
are slightly higher voltage than NiMH (1.6 versus 1.2) and my digicam
really loves them. They are rated 1500 mA, but I havn't tested. I
have, however, melted some plastic and blown bulbs in devices which
were over voltaged. Little lantern with PR-13 battery tends to blow
bulbs. The 4.5 volt PR-13 bulbs don't last when powered on four 1.6
That's actually a big difference in the world of cameras like my Nikon 950's
and 2100 that shut down when the voltage drops below a certain point (which
happens to be right around the voltage of most NiMH cells except for hot out
of the charger). Fortunately, cheap lithium rechargeable packs are
available for the 2100, but not the 950's (the greatest camera for close-up
and "low angle" photos ever made, perfect white balance and wide dynamic
range - has a head that swivels and can focus to 1mm but sucks down
batteries faster than I can feed them and, of course, also has an incredibly
badly designed battery door - the only ones that aren't broken are ones that
have never been used).
4x1.2 = 4.8V but 4x1.6 = 6.4V so to a camera looking for 6.0V, it's easy to
see why the lithium cells are such better performers. They also perform far
better than alkalines at low temperatures. I use them in all my remote
temperature and PIR sensors outside the house where they last 3 years
compared to an alkaline's 2 years. Any maintenance I can skip outside is
welcome, so the extra cost of the batteries is offset by the decrease in the
nuisance factor. Shelf life is 7+ years and I have yet to have one leak or
explode. (Knocks on wood!)
What did that cost? About thirty bucks, for the 12 pack? Them are
expensive. I've heard they have slightly higher voltage than
alkalines. But, they should work fine in mini mags with filament bulb.
Seriously expensive, but they should work. They would be good if you
don't like to change batteries often.
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