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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 5th Jun 2016, 8:32 pm   #21
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

It may use something like a CR2032 which are lithium and do have a very long shelf life.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 8:36 pm   #22
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

A large surplus store near to Trent Bridge in Nottingham used to sell boxes of the olive green "D" cells, decorated with the WD pheon. I haven't been there for years, they have maybe closed down now. Been for a snoop around, found they are still operating http://www.anchorsupplies.com/electr...ack-of-10.html

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Pack of 10 Ex Mod Stock Made by Rayovac
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 10:23 pm   #23
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I bought some of those from a seller at the NVCF a few years back but they didn't last very long in use, significantly less than new Duracells.
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 11:32 pm   #24
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I hardly ever see Duracell - generally only when there are batteries included in something, for example Microsoft keyboards and mice. I've found Dick Smith branded AA batteries to be quite good, and very cheap, but I won't be buying them any more now

For AAA and 9V I've been using "Maxlife" - a brand I get from one of the IT distributors I use - but I don't really use enough to know if they're any good. The 9V ones seem to last ok in smoke alarms. For CR2032 and other button cells I'll generally buy from wherever is cheapest - the last CR2032's I got were off eBay, and I'm waiting on some Maxlife LR43's for a new stylus gauge thingy that just arrived (the gauge itself came from Aliexpress).
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 11:52 pm   #25
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Even if you could find Duracells they would probably come from a different source than the ones we see in Europe. Here they are the standard premium brand sold practically everywhere - hardly surprising as they are very expensive so provide a good margin for the retailer. As has been said earlier, they are trading on a reputation which is no longer deserved.

Some people seem to have no awareness of what a battery should cost so will pay whatever is asked, even for an undemanding application like a remote control.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 1:05 am   #26
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjoll View Post
I've found Dick Smith branded AA batteries to be quite good, and very cheap,
Recent production of DSE AA cells was utterly dreadful. They leaked before they even got into any equipment, and made a hell of a mess in short order if they did get installed. They were the black & gold version, but I still have some of the earlier blue & gold version in AAA and AA sizes in use, way past their use-by date but still perfectly alright.

It was a mercy that DSE closed down, but it looks like the new owner is going to continue with the DSE name and if they use the same battery supplier, nothing will change.

Jaycar's 9 volt batteries for my instruments and smoke alarms were bought in bulk but they went the same way. They were excellent for years, then their connectors started corroding out (some even before use) so now I buy only Maxell 6LF22.

Varta and Panasonic AA & AAA (bought in bulk packs), are the only brands I will trust at present.

The words 'China' and 'dirt-cheap' come to mind.

Cheers

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Old 6th Jun 2016, 2:39 am   #27
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I agree that these Procells are dreadful and leak at the drop of a hat. The thing is that they didn't used to a few years ago. I used to buy the 'AA' type by the box of ten for 2 a box when I was at work. I also used to buy the Procell PP3 alkaline for 8 for a box of ten. These used to be good, but the last batches I bought I found that they were either down to 7 volts or had started to push the ends out while still well within date and still in the box. It seemed like three or four out of a box of ten would be dud when needed for equipment.

The Procell 'D' cells sometimes need some care. A piece of kit was reported as getting warm and fizzing. The 'D' cell was running red hot. It was quickly removed and put in a bucket of water and left outside for a while to get over itself! When inspected after warming up the water and flattening itself, I found that it had been 'scratched' at the negative end by a rather sharp edge on a battery holder when it had been inserted therein. The positive connection runs down the outside of the case below the outer label and is crimped round the negative end with just a VERY thin insulator between the two. This crimped edge of the negative end had been 'scratched' by the rough battery holder which had damaged this insulation causing the cell to develop a dead short - a terrible design!

As for the swelled top PP3 batteries - WARNING - I needed some PP3 connectors for something I was 'bodging', so I decided to salvage the top connectors from some of these dud batteries I had put to one side. As soon as I released the top connector plate the cells inside began to explode. I left one on the bench and stood back as the inside cells went off like a shot gun. My work room had one of those tiled suspended ceilings and the inner electrodes of the cells shot up and embedded themselves in the ceiling tile above. I left them there and pointed them out to others as a warning - I've got a photo of it somewhere, if I can find it I'll post it up.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 2:54 am   #28
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Just as an addition to the above - I've got some very old Ray-o-Vac type alkaline 'D' cells that I think are still working. Some are in an old portable TV that has a combined radio and tape recorder. I haven't tried it for probably over a year (or several) now, but it was working when last switched on. I need to dig this bit of kit out ASAP just in case I find that they've all gone rotten and ruined the battery compartment - watch this space!
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 8:55 am   #29
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Ref post #27, WOW!! Panasonic have been mentioned as being good, I too have found that.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 12:27 pm   #30
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew B View Post
A large surplus store near to Trent Bridge in Nottingham used to sell boxes of the olive green "D" cells, decorated with the WD pheon. I haven't been there for years, they have maybe closed down now. Been for a snoop around, found they are still operating http://www.anchorsupplies.com/electr...ack-of-10.html
I occasionally use them.

WARNING Watch out for both speed cameras and aggressive driving kids in sports cars.

It is not an easy place to get to due to not being close enough to the railway station.
Once you get there it is worth it for the browsing.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 2:15 pm   #31
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I fly radio model aircraft and change the battery packs every year, so after 20 years of flying, I have accrued lots of AA rechargables.

I invested in a conditioner/charger from a well known German supermarket chain that seems to deliver the beans. I use these>old< cells in most non critical things, clocks, torches, keyboards, mouse, radios, remotes, even putting them into D and C adaptor sleeves.

I use PP3 NiMH rechargables in my meters, even though they are a nominal 8.4 volts, I have never had a problem with accuracy, the "low battery" warning come on every 6 months or so.
They go back into the charger, which I believe works on "Delta" detect and the charger >conditions< them for 15 minutes, then goes to main charge, which takes about 2 hours ans leaves the cells feeling just warm to the touch.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 11:00 pm   #32
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Well, I've just got the old battery portable TV out from down the side of the bench and the first thing I did after removing all the dust from it was to switch it on as shown in the first picture below. There's only a raster now since the 'switch-off'. I used to use this in the caravan until the 'switch off', but it was mainly run on the external 12 volt supply. It was sometimes used outside on batteries and has only ever had these 'D' cells shown below, fitted. The cells don't seem to be leaking, although they had a very slight 'tacky' feel to them when first removed, but they are housed in tight plastic tubes that are then fitted into the battery compartment, except one that's at the very bottom which didn't feel 'tacky'.

As can be seen, the 'best before' date is January 2001. The sticker with the February 1997 date is the local auction lot number sticker from when I bought the set - the batteries probably date from then. I seem to remember that these industrial Rayovac cells were incredibly good in their time and I also seem to think that this TV/radio/tape unit uses not far off an amp when on TV.

So is this a winner so far with still working alkaline 'D' cells probably having an actual manufacturing date of around 1997?
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 11:28 pm   #33
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

10 alkaline Ds - that must have been quite a weight to carry around.

As mentioned in #22, Ray-o-vac are one of the suppliers who provide NATO spec military batteries, so maybe these are just their Industrial range in a different cover.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 11:50 pm   #34
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Here they are the standard premium brand sold practically everywhere - hardly surprising as they are very expensive so provide a good margin for the retailer.
Energizer and Panasonic probably have that place in the market here. Duracell used to be more widespread, but I can't recall when I last saw them in (say) a supermarket - not that I really check that often (too expensive).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy T View Post
Recent production of DSE AA cells was utterly dreadful. They leaked before they even got into any equipment, and made a hell of a mess in short order if they did get installed. They were the black & gold version, but I still have some of the earlier blue & gold version in AAA and AA sizes in use, way past their use-by date but still perfectly alright.
I haven't bought the black and gold for years, but still find them in remotes etc around here and haven't had one leak. For the last few years I've had the silver and black ones, the last pack was one I picked up at the Riccarton Westfield branch in February when I was in Christchurch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy T View Post
It was a mercy that DSE closed down, but it looks like the new owner is going to continue with the DSE name and if they use the same battery supplier, nothing will change.
I doubt they'd bother with home-brand stuff from their old suppliers, the new "Dick Smith" is just an offshoot of Kogan so anything home branded would be Kogan. On their website they only have two batteries - a Kogan-branded CR2032 10 pack and a rechargeable battery pack for a drone.

The Dick Smith brand is so tarnished now I can't see Kogan doing that well with it, but the cost of running two websites with the same product range and using their existing infrastructure for shipping won't be huge. Personally I don't think I've bought anything but batteries from them for the last 5 years or so - parts from Jaycar or element14, appliances from Harvey Norman or Noel Leeming (service at the latter has improved dramatically since The Warehouse took over).
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 6:11 am   #35
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjoll View Post
I haven't bought the black and gold for years, but still find them in remotes etc around here and haven't had one leak. For the last few years I've had the silver and black ones, the last pack was one I picked up at the Riccarton Westfield branch in February when I was in Christchurch.
Regional favouritism! I've never seen a Black & Silver DSE AA or AAA .

The remotes are easily explained, their batteries would have a very long life and only 2015/2016 production was shonky.

I was buying for heavier use in a range of instruments, plus in power packs, and changing them regularly when they ran low. My used cells went to the local Salvation Army Family Store for clocks etc because thay had adequate life left for low drain appliances, but I had to stop that when they started to leak. I had a bundle of six unused cells leaking like mad and ready to stuff up the nose of the local DSE Store Manager, but he escaped just in time.

Cheers

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Old 7th Jun 2016, 3:19 pm   #36
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I'm glad it's not just me and leaky Duracells.

Ever since shops had to take back used batteries, I've been chucking flat batteries into an old coffee mug, and when it's full, taking them back to the shop.

Before they go, I go through them and count how many of each brand there are, and how many show signs of leakage. I use mainly 3 brands listed below, I don't list batteries beyond their best before date, or brands where I have only a small number of batteries.
This list is AA and AAA batteries over the last couple of years or so (must use mere rechargeables.....)

Panasonic, 72 cells, 1 leaked
Duracell, 42 cells, 9 leaked
Aerocell, 40 cells, 1 leaked

I use mainly Panasonics, 1.00 for 4.
Aerocell, also 1.00 for 4 have the date only on the packaging, not on the cells.
I've stopped using Duracells, they're 3~4 times the price, don't really last longer in most applications, and at least one of the leaky ones was unused, still in date, and still in it's blister pack.

All brands could leak, so I try to remove batteries form equipment not in use.

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Old 7th Jun 2016, 3:39 pm   #37
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

I've stopped using Duracell too: have found them too randomly variable in life/quality to bother with. In my most recent set (eight D-cells used in one intermittent-high-current-draw appliance) two went reverse-polarity [rendering the appliance non-working] while the other six remained OK and worked OK for another few months in a flashlight.

Now for cheap-and-cheerful stuff I use JCB batteries (they're cheap and yellow...) and for the better stuff I use Energizers.
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 6:02 pm   #38
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

Back in the early 1990s, I remember Panasonic alkalines were the best value in terms of joules for your pound. Duracell claimed more amps-hours per cell, but Panasonic were half the price. I knocked up a quick and dirty adaptor to feed a pair of D cells into the mains adaptor jack of my personal stereo cassette player, for listening on long journeys. They managed at least 24 hours' continuous operation on auto-reverse at one point.

I'm really not keen on disposable batteries, though. Even a two-stroke generator is a less polluting way of getting power where the mains doesn't reach, and again cheaper per joule.
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 6:37 pm   #39
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

My old TI-52 calculator turned up a few weeks ago, it had been in an unopened packing box through several house moves. I was pleasantly surprised when I turned it on and it worked perfectly. This calculator was bought in 1986 and was used heavily for a couple of years at the office before moving home, it still has the original batteries (A76 RW62) which look to be in perfect condition.

In my business we supplied 'Procell' batteries with our equipment for many years without problems then found that the distributor started to complain about the poor batteries that we were fitting, they seemed to have much shorter life and there were reports of leakage..... We always fit Energizer batteries now, these seem to be of much better quality, for now anyway......

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Old 7th Jun 2016, 6:54 pm   #40
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Default Re: Amazing D cell discovery!

my parkinson cowan gas cooker had a new duracell D when I moved in 20 years ago and it's still on the same one!
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