Different use by device of NiMH and alkaline cell

When I put an AA cell in my voice recorder, the menu asks if it's NiMH or alkaline.
Could the recorder be working differently depending on what type of cell I am using?
Perhaps the type of cell affects the battery gauge, low voltage switch off, etc. Maybe there is even something in the functional electronics which can be made to work differently?
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On 4/10/2017 4:10 PM, pamela wrote:

What did you tell it?

What's your guess?

Perhaps. Did you read the manual?
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On 4/10/2017 10:16 PM, John S wrote:

The voltages are different. So on something simple and/or old fashioned, NiMH may look a bit like a low battery (except that it obviously knows of the existence of NiMH).
"Voice recorder" is really not giving us much to go on.
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On 22:33 10 Apr 2017, newshound wrote:

I would guess this is now a feature of many voice recorders. Mine is a Sony and I imagine several models in the range will work the same way. This is the one I have:
http://helpguide.sony.net/icd/u53/v1/gb3/contents/TP0000003636.html
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On 22:16 10 Apr 2017, John S wrote:

I tell it alkaline when I use alkaline and NIMH when I use NIMH. Are you expecting something different?

In the past I would say not and I never saw the option presented but I'm not familiar with the latest developments in electonic components and wonder if this may have changed.
Based on your up to date knowledge of electronics, do you know anything about this?

There's honestly no need to provide an ambiguous answer to every question I ask if you have nothing to say.

http://helpguide.sony.net/icd/u53/v1/gb3/contents/TP0000003636.html
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On Mon, 10 Apr 2017 22:10:25 +0100, pamela wrote:

It would certainly impact any battery level detection.
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That's quite likely. Alkalines, NiMH, and lithium primary cells differ a lot in their initial voltages and in their discharge curves.
Alkalines start out at somewhat above 1.5 volts, and decrease in voltage gradually until fully discharged. Lithium primary AA cells start out at above 1.8 volts, and also drop gradually while discharging.
NiMH and NiCd start out at around 1.35 when fully charged, drop fairly quickly to around 1.2 or so, and stay there with little change until almost fully discharged... at which point they fall off the edge of a cliff.
So, a low-battery detector or charge-level indicator does need to adapt to the characteristics of the battery in question if it's going to give useful results.
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On 23:00 10 Apr 2017, Dave Platt wrote:

Can anything fancy be done nowadays in the electronics (such as a changes in audio bias voltage) for the circuits to continue to work at lower voltages? I rather doubt it but who knows if there's some impressive new changes nowadays.
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There are certainly tricks you can play with the electronics, depending on what you're willing to give up and how much you're willing to pay. There are some pretty hard stopping-points, though... if you want to use silicon bipolar transistors and diodes, for example, you're going to need more than .6 volts of headroom if you hope to get them to "turn on" with any useful amount of current.
Another approach is to incorporate a voltage booster circuit... for example, the popular "Joule thief" which lets you use a white LED (needing 5 volts or so) with a single alkaline battery as the power source.
Diminishing returns will still getcha, though. By the time an alkaline drops to 1.2 volts, or a NiCd/NiMH to 1 volt, it's got only a few percent of its original energy content left, and you won't get useful work out of it for very much longer even if your device has a splendid tolerance for low-voltage input. A Joule Thief might be able to eke out the last few percent from the battery... but then device goes dead rather abruptly when the battery is sucked dry.
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On Tuesday, 11 April 2017 01:06:54 UTC+1, Dave Platt wrote:

I';ve noticed that computer memeory chips workign voltage has decreaced over the years was 12V with DTL then 5V was popular for a long time now most seems to be 3.3V and 2.5V although I;ve seen laptop memory go down as low as 1.8V
There are some pretty hard stopping-points,

LM2623 amonst others. It;s then importantn to not just know about the voltage but the actual power that will be needed (somethig our students don;t always get) if a white LED runs at 4.5V 20ma then running it from one AA batt will require at least 60ma so they shouldn't expect the batts to last too long doing something like this.
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On 13:40 11 Apr 2017, whisky-dave wrote:

It's nice many electronic devices such as my recorder now run on 1.5 volts. I had a few 1.5 volt recorders years ago but they were never as nice sounding as my modern Sony and I wonder if that was down to the voltage provided for the mic.
Back then I had to use a battery box to drive an external electret with a higher voltage than provided by on-board Plug In Power.

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It's more likely that they actually run on a much higher voltage than 1.5 - making it easier to do the normal functions like amplifying, etc.

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*A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 19:04 11 Apr 2017, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Maybe a step up DC converter isn't as inefficient as I thought. I figured it would be too inefficient to use with a small capacity cell but maybe it's more feasible than I realised.

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On Tue, 11 Apr 2017 20:45:53 +0100, pamela wrote:

Back in the late 70s/early 80s, consideration was being given to improving reliability of NiCad powered devices by replacing a battery of say 5 AA Nicads with a single D cell to provide the nominal, in this example, of 5volts by using a high efficiency low input voltage switching inverter (circa 95 to 97 % efficiency at 50 to 100mA tops) to power the battery operated portable gadget.
The idea was to eliminate the oh so common hazard of reverse charging the weakest cell in a string which would reduce the capacity yet further, swiftly aggravating this condition with each fresh attempt to recharge and squeeze the *stated* capacity out of the battery, resulting in the whole battery being rendered worn out despite the remaining cells more than likely having better than 80% of their original capacity left.
The problem wasn't too bad when *only* a pair of such cells needed to be employed since the task of detecting when the battery was in danger of reverse charging one its two cells was considerably eased, allowing the power management to shut off the equipment well before there was any danger of damaging the weakest cell.
A two cell NiCad battery only provides a usable voltage in the range of 2.7 down to 1.3 volts which for most portable kit of the last century was insufficient without some form of low input voltage high efficiency switching converter. Unfortunately for the end users, this was an idea that was regarded as a needless manufacturing expense by most makers of domestic battery powered kit (it was far cheaper to simply incorporate a 3 or 4 cell AA battery compartment and have their customers shell out that little bit extra on batteries).
After almost four decades, I expect the advances in switching voltage converter technology have finally reached the stage whereby it is now possible to supply a hundred milliamps or more at 5 or 6 volts using a single 15AH D cell instead of resorting to a battery pack of four AA or C cells to do the job much more expensively.
Even if you can only purchase your D sized NiMH cells in pairs, it would be reassuring to know that you will be able to get the full service life out of each one without any risk of reverse charging damage that would otherwise see you chucking away a whole set of four cells for the sake of just one bad cell.
The biggest "Fly in The Ointment" with such a scheme, lies with the problem of high resistance contacts inherent with the classic "Torch Battery" design of AA, C and D cells which is aggravated in the case of rechargeables being expected to survive some 500 to 1500 charge/discharge cycles ignoring the inevitable deterioration of the contacting surfaces which one shot primary cells neatly avoid by the simple fact that each fresh set of primary "Torch Battery" cells comes complete with a brand new set of untarnished contacts. :-(
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Johnny B Good

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On 11/04/2017 20:45, pamela wrote:

Back in the 70s I had a pocket calculator with a vacuum fluorescent display rather than LEDs, powered by two AA batteries (alkaline or NiCad or mains PSU/charger). Since VFDs require an 18V HT, there must have been some kind of step up converter.
--
Max Demian

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NiCad in the 70s?
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from KT24 in Surrey, England

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wrote:

Sure. NiCds were invented 100 years ago and in commercial production since at least the '50s. I had GE NiCds in the mid-'60s[*]. By '70 NiCds and plug-in charger modules were generally available in drug stores.
Sorta like these: <http://www.ebay.com/itm/GE-BC2-Nickel-Cadmium-Double-Battery-Charger-for-Rechargeable-NiCad-Batteries-/131981612912?hash=item1ebab79770%3Ag%3A50UAAOSwx2dYDsbC
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On 15/04/17 13:20, charles wrote:

I was flying with them in model planes in the 60's
NiCd is WWII technology.
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Thats not a bad old meter I've got a 8050A and its fine c/w batteries. The only problem with them these days is the LCD screen can be a bit faded but several, see U tube, have done replacement screen adaptions which do look very good.
Still use a model 45 Fluke, excellent dual display unit....
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Tony Sayer




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On Saturday, 15 April 2017 11:44:16 UTC+1, Max Demian wrote:

I think I still have one, did it make a crackling sound when switched on mine was a pale blue dispaly IIRC. mine ran from 4 AA or a PSU.
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