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- The battery question I really dread
- Problem with the Mag flashlight is testing one battery. Usually it's AAs I'm asked about now, and there are plenty of good single AA flashlights like the Zebralight that will give a reasonable test. Otherwise, pick a load and a voltmeter, or go with the gold standard and use a dedicated ZTS battery checker.
- What's your battery shelf-life experience?
- I agree, shelf life is often a very important battery characteristic. I'd also say that failing involving corrosive leakage is even more important to avoid than loss of charge, and something that Zn/Mn batteries are quite bad at. The early days of "mercury free", especially, as the problem relates to Zn impurities slowly generating hydrogen gas. The reaction can be suppressed (with mercury, or now perhaps an indium compound), and the seal can be made hydrogen permeable (but has to balance that with being water vapor impermeable if you want any shelf life). I am curious why an electronics journal, however, doesn't provide more hard data for articles like this. How about a quick amp-hour test for a new duracell and one of those old ones? All you need is a cheap Bantam type hobby charger, which the company should certainly make available to EDN columnists. Anecdotal info is OK, but leaves us engineering types a little disappointed at times.