Assault On Batteries

3 Aug

Baghdad BatteryI was having a discussion with Opopanax the other day – while I was busy swapping out the batteries from a remote – largely centered around the fact that there must be one battery to rule them all: one battery brand that is empirically better than all other AA-providers.

Quickly setting aside my first idea, (to buy a large sample of each type of battery and a dollar-store hand fan,) I sat down to google it.

From a 2007 article by CBS news affiliate, KDKA:

The first is a low-drain or more sustained use, which is needed for clocks, toys, and most television remotes. The second test simulated short bursts of power, or the kind you need for something like a digital camera flash.

For those short bursts of power, Consumer Reports rated the Energizer e2 Lithium battery at the top of the list. At $2.25 per battery it costs more, but tests show it is less expensive in the long-run.

For sustained use devices, testers say the alkaline batteries are the way to go.

The best of the bunch is the Kirkland AA batteries from Costco. They are .21 cents a battery and will keep your toys and other things running for a lot less than other alkaline batteries.

Fine, but what if that isn’t a deep enough discussion? What if I need more battery data?

Then I might need to head to Battery University.

Battery University is an on-line resource that provides practical battery knowledge for engineers, educators, students and battery users alike. The papers address battery chemistries, best battery choices and ways to make your battery last longer.

It’s a neat idea, and obviously a labour of love by battery geek, and President of Cadex Electronics, Isidor Buchmann. Visit to learn things like:

  Testing deep cycle lead acid batteries

  • What is the difference between Capacity and CCA?
  • Battery rapid-test methods
  • What are typical battery problems

Personally, I’ll probably just forget about this topic until my remote stops working again.

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3 Responses to “Assault On Batteries”

  1. Bmj2k August 3, 2010 at 13:03 #

    All I know is that Radio Shack batteries are the worst. In fact, all RS products are awful. I once had a RS audio cassette literally fall apart in my hand. Other than speaker wire or led lights for a science fair project, avoid RS (Tandy) products like the plague.

    • JRD Skinner August 3, 2010 at 13:23 #

      Interestin’. I’m not sure if we can even get RS batteries in Canada anymore – all of our Radio Shacks were bought out by Circuit City and basically turned into cellphone stores. (It was like an alchemical process to turn poop into a different kind of poop.)

      • bmj2k August 4, 2010 at 00:56 #

        Our Radio Shacks pretty much specialize in name brand cell phones and DVRs, but they still remain the only place I know to buy a diode.

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