The Truth About D-Batteries

#3
Great article but seems kind of like a huge plug for BetterLifeGoods.com at the end of it.

Want to buy an honest "D" battery? Check out Powerex. These are the best rechargeable batteries I could find. Click here to learn more. I liked them so much that I bought several hundred of them and decided to offer them through my company, BetterLifeGoods.com. I don't like to see consumers getting ripped off by battery manufacturers, and the Powerex "D" battery is an honest, high-capacity battery that's made with real power cells, not plastic shells. It's a true high-capacity "D" battery that far outlasts the Energizer "D" battery.
Nah, maybe not.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#4
Not in the least bit surprising. This type of thing goes on all the time where consumer perceptions are involved.

Radio Shack did something similar with its audio gear during the 60s and early 70s, shortly after electronic products went from vacuum tubes to "solid state," i.e., transistors and most other components mounted on printed-circuit boards. Weight, heat and power consumption all fell substantially, of course, but reduced weight created an unforeseen issue: Consumers thought the receivers were "cheap." So RS told its contract manufacturers to add vented 3/16" steel plates to the bottoms of each model's chassis, solely to make them feel more "substantial."

I only mention RS because of the institutional knowledge I picked up while working there in the 70s. This was an open secret all the way down to the part timers in the stores. I very much doubt RS was the only electronics maker/seller doing things like this at the time...
 
#5
Like i'm going to buy a Chinese made battery over one of the last brands made in USA. no. way. never had a problem from their batteries nor Duracell. i don't even throw them out--i have a recharger trick that works to make alkalines reuseable. no garbage.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#6
Known about this for years.

Interestingly enough RadioShacks house brand is one of the better quality batteries.

I use Rayovac Alkalines (also Made in USA).

I use almost exclusively AA's. I do use AAA's in some things that require them. And I slot the AA's into D and C cell adaptors....rechargables and alkalines.

EV
 
#7
Mainly i use AAs, AAAs, and C and D. C and D are usually in portable radios i use when the power goes out or when i'm out working and desire music where no outlet exists.

Never had trouble out of any batteries except those cheap chinese-made crap. they usually leak out acid out of the box. Energizer, Duracell i know are still made in America, but some Rayovac batteries are listed in fine print 'made in china'; those ones with the cat leaping through the '9' are now chinese at least on the packaging.

As far as lifetime i usually get about the same per-charge on both Duracell and Energizer; now i don't usually buy the expensive 'high-tech' batteries as not only do i not own anything 'high-tech' but i see no advantage out of paying 3 more dollars.
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#8
I know for a fact that some Duracell Rechargeables are Made in China.

I like the Made In Japan rechargeables, especially the Sanyo Eneloops.
 
#9
I don't buy rechargeables for the same reason i don't but 'Energizer MAX' or 'Duracell ULTRA ADVANCED' as i don't see any point in spending 3 extra dollars for a freaking battery.

I recharge alkalines--i done it for years trial and error- the key is to use only a 12-hour charger (3 hour ones and 1 hour ones overheat and burst the battery or cause leakage) and only charge it for an hour at most, in 1-hour increments. those ones with the tiny little gauge where you push two dots can give you a reading on how much you gain. i try to make sure to recharge before they go below 50-75% charge remaining, as once you go below such a threshold, recharging is almost useless. you may get 1/4 charge total but that's it-once an alkaline goes below 50% it's pretty much useless other than for small items such as remote controls or quartz wall clocks.

With the exception of items that are only made in China (unavoidable if you want a new computer, digital to analog converter, or DVD player) i always insist on American. pay more, but you get more. not too many things are made in USA anymore (shoddy chinese items and that's probably why our economy is in the toilet) but some things, including batteries and non-powered Craftsman tools, are still made in USA.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#10
Have you guys heard this? I was pretty surprised. It seems Energizer D-batteries are a bit of a fraud.

Energizer "D" Battery Exposed page 1
This has been going on for years. Most of the C and D cell rechargeable are just containers to fit the device with a AA battery inside. Back in 1978, I had to research for our company a D cell NiCad that had the most energy. It became quickly clear looking at specs and feeling the weight of the D batteries that there was just an AA cell inside. Back then a NiCad AA was luckly to have 400 mAH. So when we found a D cell that was 1500 mAH we ordered a few and they were SUBSTANTIALLY heavier, way way heavier.

Why is it a deception? It costs more to package a AA in an D cell package. So they will cost more.

Another thing I learned early on about batteries since there was a NiCad battery plant in Hague FL, near Gainesville. It was first put up by GE then later sold. I knew a lot of the people that worked there. Even into the early 1990's there were only 4 places in the world that made rechargeable Nicad AA batteries. One in the US, where I lived, one somewhere in Europe and a couple in Japan. All the brands were just labels. Back then you could take a bunch of AA NiCads and compare them (they guys at the plant showed me their collection) and you could see 4 distinct shapes to the sealed positive end. Those guys would tell you where a battery was made by just looking at the positive end of the battery. The label meant nothing to them. But one thing that does hold out was Duracell while they can claim a good Alkaline primary cell, had the worst NiCads on the market. The factories in Japan did in the early 90's surpass the GE plant in quality on AA NiCads.

Now I don't know what it's like in the NiMH world, but I bet it's the same. I small handful of manufacturers and a lot of private labeling. A little research on the net and you could probably figure out who really makes the AA we use. Probably the same with Lithium Ion batteries as well.

There are lot more people that make primary cell batteries but not that many, so the same applies to that industry.

Another funny thing is to watch people discuss who makes the best recordable CD or DVD. Again there are only about 4 places in the world that make them, most of the private labeled.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#11
Known about this for years.

Interestingly enough RadioShacks house brand is one of the better quality batteries.

I use Rayovac Alkalines (also Made in USA).

I use almost exclusively AA's. I do use AAA's in some things that require them. And I slot the AA's into D and C cell adaptors....rechargables and alkalines.

EV
----------------------
About 26 months back we bought three 'LED' candles (I read they were voted to be one of the ten worst products of 2009) and we love them, except the battery doors are extreeeeemly brittle and I had to design a 'patch' to keep the batteries inside.

They use AA's and we are using Duracell and Radio Shack rechargeables. When new, the Duracells run 8 days, 24/7 - and the Rad Shack batteries ran them 6 days, 24/7.

Also, thanks EV, for reminding me about the AA to C/D cell adapters - I'd forgotton about those! :hail:
Jim
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#12
Well, it was all new to me and it's been an education. As a total layperson I can't finagle a charge for something that isn't there. That's not my forte. So, hopefully, this was of help to some lay folks out there like me, just to help us select better. :}
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#13
Well, it was all new to me and it's been an education. As a total layperson I can't finagle a charge for something that isn't there. That's not my forte. So, hopefully, this was of help to some lay folks out there like me, just to help us select better. :}
Orry, it was a good topic. I am sure not everyone knew how they make most C and D cell rechargeable.

Here is an example of the same company selling both a D cell full of stuff and one that is just a little bigger than a AA inside a D case.

This is probably about as much capacity as you can get in a D NiMH , 9000 mAH and is NOT just a AA in a D case.
Greenbatteries brand NiMH D 9000mAh battery
Sells about $12 a battery

Now this one is pretty big capacity for just a AA (3000 mAH whereas most AA are 2500) but it's not much more than a AA in a D case.
Sells about $5 a battery
Greenbatteries brand NiMH D 3000mAh rechargeable batteries - pack of two

Note that if capacity is your goal, the 9000 mAH is actually cheaper per mAH.
 
#14
There was one old Youtube video where some ancient camera battery held about 8 little watch batteries all soldered together. it was proven true, despite it being one of the infamous 'battery hacks' on America's Funniest Moments.

Some older NiMH laptop batteries from old 486 laptops had either 4-8 C-Cell batteries inside or small AAs all in series. usually the 'smart charge circuitry' fails and the batteries still work, as is the case with the infamous Dell battery 1-3-5 error code, in that case the cells are all good and can be used in anything once removed from the pack, the code means 'defective battery' but is usually the smart circuitry taking a dump
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#15
Jim, I didnt specify, I was talking about RadioShack alkalines, specifically. Though it doesnt read like that.

Duracell Rechargeables with White Tops are made in Japan, by the same manufacturer that makes the Sanyo Eneloop. I think Sanyo is the actual manufacturer....but if not, its the same for both. The Black Tops are Made in China.

There are so many names and power levels of rechargeables now, I cant keep up.

I go to candlepowerforums for all my battery questions.

My favorite charger is the Lacrosse 900 (now known as the 9009) which is really informative with seperate LCD screens of information for each charging battery, rejuvination cycles, and independent circuits for each battery.

Close second is the Duracell CEF23DX4N. Ill discuss this Duracell in depth in another post, tommorrow.

Pay attention to NLee the Engineer's reviews on Amazon links.

I also have the Energizer and Duracell 15 Minute Chargers. No preference really for either one, really. Perhaps a slight preference for the Duracell. They both are competent quick chargers. But I only use them for quick charges where I am standing around waiting on the charge, otherwise use another slower smart charger, for maintaining battery life.

There are some great chargers the Radio Control crowd uses, Ive been thinking about getting one of those.

Maha makes a bunch of good chargers too.

The Sony BCG-34HRMF4 is also good, but I prefer the Duracell above.

The Kodak 1 Hour Value Charger is a great inexpensive charger....batteries are pretty good too.

Sanyo Eneloop Kits are fantastic, though, I dont especially like their charger. It works, though. Kits come with D and C cell adaptors and 8 AA's and 8 AAA's. But other batteries are pretty darn good too, as I said, batteries are hard to keep up with. Another Eneloop Kit.

The Sony BCG-34HE4 Worldwide Quickcharger is a great travel charger. Small and compact, versatile power supply.
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#16
What I have been pressed to find, at least in stores (haven't looked on the internet) is a 0.1C charger. I have a couple of 4 hour chargers that claim a battery is "nonchargeable" but I really doubt it is bad, or it would at least provide a partial use. The 4 hour just refuses to charge it all.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#18
I'm bumping the battery thread

I use almost exclusively AA's. I do use AAA's in some things that require them. And I slot the AA's into D and C cell adaptors....rechargables and alkalines.

EV
I recently discovered another type of battery adapter: we have a large flashlight that uses expensive (square) 6 volt lantern batteries. Its pretty obvious those heavy cells are not very popular these days because whenever I see them for sale, they are covered with a layer of dust.

I went ahead a bought a replacement and when I went to replace it, much to my surprise inside the case of the lantern-style flashlight was an adapter that fits four 'D' cells. Pretty slick!

Jim
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#19
Warning about Sony rechargeable batteries

About two and a half years back I purchased a 4-bay 'AA' and 'AAA' battery recharger from Radio Shack. I also purchased some batteries to go with it, then later I bought a batch of Duracell rechargeable. The Duracells are better.

Within a year of the initial purchase, one bay in the charger quit and every six months or so another bay quit.

So, I was at one of my local big-box stores last week to purchase a replacement charger from a different manufacturer. The only brand they carry is Sony and its a clever/slick design.

The carton has the usual advertising promising a minimum of X-number of recharge cycles and little more information. I plugged it in to recharge 4 Duracell 'AA's. Six hours later they were still depleted.

Within the microprint on the enclosed instruction sheet it says the Sony charger will not recharge batteries from other manufacturers.

We use several different brands of rechargeable batteries in radios, flashlights, remote control units, toys, etc., so I returned the unit and told the Department Manager about it. He was both surprised and annoyed with Sony as well: he said he would report it to those above him and (hopefully) make a 'universal' charger available in the future.

Jim
 
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