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Components and Circuits For discussions about component types, alternatives and availability, circuit configurations and modifications etc. Discussions here should be of a general nature and not about specific sets.

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Old 4th Jun 2016, 12:01 pm   #1
threeseven
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Default Amazing D cell discovery!

Was checking a non functioning gas fire spark ignitor unit, which contained 2 Duracell D cells. Date mark was 2002 so imagine my amazement when I measured them and found a virtually normal terminal voltage! Even more amazing is that they still pass over 3 amps on short circuit with good recovery!
How is that even possible after 14 years?!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 12:05 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Old Duracells did used to have very conservative best before dates. They've gone downhill since then.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 12:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

It might also fit with the "doorbell effect", whereby cells subject to brief heavy discharges interspersed with long rest periods can supposedly last longer than if never used at all. An alkaline Varta D cell once lasted nearly 25 years in a cooker that I was aware of, the cooker was discarded whilst the cell was still fine and igniter sparking heartily!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 4:18 pm   #4
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

In my 'making an ht battery' https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...t=66030&page=2 I got 10A out of AA cells, 3A for a D seems a bit low.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 5:22 pm   #5
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Nobody let the rabbits in so they don't go flat.

Had some good old ones from other makers too, especially GP.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 7:17 pm   #6
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

During the 28 years I've lived in my current house, I think I've only changed the two D cells in my door chimes twice at most - maybe only once. This includes the cells already in them when I moved in - although I did think they were flat at first, until I discovered that the clink-clunk rather than ding-dong resulted from the unit being installed upside down so that the chimes weren't correctly suspended!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 8:30 pm   #7
threeseven
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinmaxwell View Post
3A for a D seems a bit low.
After 14 years I don't think it's bad!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 9:05 pm   #8
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Not D cell but PP3

I have only had to change the PP3 in my Fluke multimeter at work twice in 27 years. It's not used daily but is usually used several times a week
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 9:18 pm   #9
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

A senior engineer I worked with in the mid 80s always used to say (rather a lot!) that he'd had the same batteries in his AVO 8 since he was an apprentice, in the early 60s.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 10:47 pm   #10
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Hi all,
When I served in the Royal Obeserver Corps (Nuclear reporting), We had torch batteries (D size), dating back to the 1960s. They worked fine in the torches and we never had to requisition new ones. Standing orders were to take them out of the torches at the end of an exercise and stand them upright in the cupboard. They were camoflage Green in colour with the usual broad arrow and ZA number on them. Some wag scraped some of the paint off and discovered they were made by Crompton Parkinson.
No idea what kind of chemical they used. They could have just been Zinc Chloride. Never broke one open to find out. They were still working when we were stood down and disbanded in the 1980s.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 12:29 am   #11
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

NATO spec batteries last forever if you can find some. The 70s ones will be Duracell and the later ones will be Varta (in my experience). They aren't just consumer batteries with a different label but seem to be manufactured to a different spec.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 1:29 am   #12
fetteler
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Old Duracells did used to have very conservative best before dates. They've gone downhill since then.
They most certainly have - I recently removed two Duracell Procell AAs (so called 'professional' grade, hmmm...) from my little Maglite, both well in date but leaking furiously all over the innards of an otherwise sound and much loved torch.

Steve.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 10:42 am   #13
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

The Duracells that I used to buy for my radios back in the 90's used to be great, last absolutely ages and not leak. My Grandad had a stack of Procell pp3's for his smoke alarm, most were out of date, but all worked well.

My last experience of Duracells has not been so good, I had a set that were still in date leaking away merrily in my radio controlled clock, they still gave out the correct voltage too. I only found out when the corrosion had finally got bad enough to cause a bad connection and the clock stopped working! On opening the battery door I must have broken through the corrosion as the clock started working again. Not impressed!

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Old 5th Jun 2016, 11:58 am   #14
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Procells are just Duracells in commercial packaging instead or retail. Otherwise they are the same battery, just much cheaper to buy in bulk boxes. I buy in lots of 50 for around 12 on ebay. They have recently been re-branded Industrial Duracell.
I too have noticed that Duracell seem to leak badly, at one time they didn't. Recently this problem almost took out my much liked Sony ICF-2003, it had Procells in it. It was working normally but I just happened to pick it up and notice staining around the battery cover, it looked really bad inside but fortunately after cleaning the compartment out it is ok. Except for the staining. Strange thing is, there were 2 Kodak brand cells in the memory compartment, which were much older than the Procells, but not leaking at all!
I must do a dissection to determine any differences in construction.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 12:16 pm   #15
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Classic brand prostitution. The new-broom accountants arrive at a successful, reputable company and cheese-pare and out-source crucial parts/production processes. Quality takes a nosedive, but the public continue to think "Duracell (etc., etc.), they're good, even though they cost more." There's a good deal of inertia here, a decade or more if they're in luck. Sooner or later, the worm turns, the reputation stinks and sales fall off a cliff. By then, the accountants have secured the bonus, the gold watch, the pension and the consultancy- but the shop floor is on the dole queue.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 2:08 pm   #16
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

If you moan at Duracell (free fone) they will either give you some tokens or put money direct to your bank account, I did the former, no way are Duracell getting my bank details. Only a few shops take the tokens though (Tesco did), never bought a Duracell since. Maplin bulk packs are good value and I have yet to have one battery/cell leak.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 4:15 pm   #17
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I am trialing Aldi batteries at the moment.
It will be a while before we know it they leak or not. Most Aldi stuff is pretty good so I am qiite confident.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 4:22 pm   #18
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I've been using Poundland Kodak alkalines on and off for about 4 years. No leakage so far, but they don't do them in D cells.

The last D cells I bought were Sainsburys own brand alkalines at 4 for 4. Supermarkets are normally expensive places to buy batteries but these seemed a good deal. So far so good.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 5:34 pm   #19
threeseven
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

It was chance that it was D cells on this occasion, I rarely use them otherwise. It's AA and AAA normally. It's interesting to note the other brands mentioned that haven't leaked. I'll try one of them next time I need some.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 8:27 pm   #20
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Smile Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Hi,
On the subject of long lived cells, I unearthed this novelty 'Smarties' gadget that makes various noises when the buttons are pressed. It originally had a plastic strip to isolate the cell which was pulled out (and lost).
It must be pushing fifteen years old and it still works. It probably used something like an LR44 button cell, or two. It cannot be opened and was expected to be thrown away once the cell was flat.
I didn't realise these cells could have such a long idle life without leaking or going flat despite the very tiny quiescent current.
Cheers, Pete.
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