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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 12:21 pm   #21
G.Castle
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

Particularly avoid "Simply Duracell" branded types, they are complete junk both for short life and leakage, even for Duracell.

Shame, as I did recently remove a Duracell C battery from a wall clock I picked up from a house clearance sale, it is date coded 1995, hasn't leaked and still has a terminal voltage off load of over 1.5

Poor QC has crept in and production has moved around the world since that example was made. The 'good' ones like this seem to be produced in Belgium.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 1:00 pm   #22
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I am in the camp which is able to favour resistance to leakage over the other parameters mentioned; the Panasonic alkalines i use currently for most things do not have a huge amount of capacity- and for me they don't need to.

The lab would probably test cells in different ambients, but i doubt they would take the trouble to cycle the temperature to simulate an uninsulated outbuilding.

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 1:04 pm   #23
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I use an awful lot of Eneloop and Vapextech low-self-discharge NiMh AA cells.
The beauty of LSDs is that they maintain their voltage on the shelf for well over a year.
They can be fast charged and peak reliably. Highly recommended unless you actually need 1.5v per cell.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 3:50 pm   #24
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I don't understand why Duracells seem to have an order of magnitude (or more) worse leakage rates than other brands (16% rather than 1 or 2% in the data I have since 2014). Initially, I wondered if they were using more aggressive chemicals in their mix to give them longer life, but doesn't show in the battery life tests from Which and others, or even their own data sheets (as opposed to marketing claims). Maybe their owners are cutting manufacturing costs to the bone and cashing in on the name while they can.

Data sheets from different manufacturers are difficult to compare directly, because they all use different measurment methods. Some use a constant load current, others use a constant load power, there seems to be no agreement on end-point voltage, some quote continuous loading, others show intermittent load and different duty cycles, etc.

I think Panasonic Evolta have a slightly different chemistry, where fresh electrolyte migrates towards the electrodes during rest periods. This helps with intermittent heavy loads such as digital cameras, although only marginally compared to switching to Lithiums for such apps.

I used to stock Duracells for high drain applications and Panasonic for low drain, until it became obvious that there wasn't much difference between the two except cost and leakage. With Aldi cells topping the Alkaline performance tables, doing well on not leaking, and being the cheapest (at 22p/cell), they're now my default for everything except a digital camera which uses 2 AA cells, and Lithiums last considerably longer than either Alkalines or NiMH.

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:05 pm   #25
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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Particularly avoid "Simply Duracell" branded types, they are complete junk both for short life and leakage, even for Duracell.
'Simply Duracell' are a disgrace and bordering on brand prostitution. They are produced specifically for low cost chains like Poundland and are downright poor quality, even worse than the normal Duracell brands we like to moan about here. Despite the poor quality, the chains are able to charge significantly more for them than their standard cheap alkalines because some people will pay more for the name. Shameful.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:18 pm   #26
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I couldn't agree more Paul. I hate anything like that, playing on a name.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:36 pm   #27
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

Just been to Aldi and picked up some AAs and AAAs with my usual workday lunch. At 25p/cell they are indeed very good value, especially if they don't leak readily and perform well.

Interestingly, they'd almost sold out of AAs, maybe because of the good publicity. And as is often the case, Cs and Ds and even PP3s were nowhere to be seen.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:36 pm   #28
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

All batteries regardless of brand, are now made in China. I cannot think of a single battery I've bought in the last five years plus that is not Chinese.

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:54 pm   #29
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

There are still some big battery plants in Europe, but being made in (say) Poland doesn't mean they're any better quality. Chinese companies can and do make very high quality products (along with all the rubbish).

Both Aldi and Lidl seem to put some effort into ensuring that their batteries are good quality, regardless of the contract manufacturer.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:56 pm   #30
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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All batteries regardless of brand, are now made in China...
Craig
I just picked up the nearest ActivEnergy AAA and it's clearly marked "Made in Belgium".

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 4:56 pm   #31
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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There are still some big battery plants in Europe, but being made in (say) Poland doesn't mean they're any better quality. Chinese companies can and do make very high quality products (along with the rubbish).

Both Aldi and Lidl seem to put some effort into ensuring that their batteries are good quality, regardless of the contract manufacturer.
They're both German companies and expend much time and effort sourcing good quality products at a low price.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 5:24 pm   #32
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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All batteries regardless of brand, are now made in China. I cannot think of a single battery I've bought in the last five years plus that is not Chinese.

Craig

I've got some Panasonic "Pro Power" AAA cells here that are made in Belgium, and some "DIALL" brand [B&Q] AAA marked Made in Germany.

But as in all thee things, where something is made doesn't tell you much. Some Chinese stuff is great, some UK/European stuff is useless.

I prefer a strategy of regula rreplacement. Batteries are cheap compared to what we were paying in the 'sixties so it's no great hardship to replace rather than have some cells go oozy and cause damage.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 5:27 pm   #33
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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All batteries regardless of brand, are now made in China...
Craig
I just picked up the nearest ActivEnergy AAA and it's clearly marked "Made in Belgium".

Paul
The AAs I picked up at lunchtime say made in EU, the AAAs Belgium.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 8:25 pm   #34
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

Not necessarily representative, however the most recent in date Duracell leakers I had were marked "Made in the USA"
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 4:11 pm   #35
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I thought the Chinese ones were "Flying Bomb" brand - the picture shows "wings".
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 4:41 pm   #36
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

I don't think I've seen a new Flying Bomb battery for many years, but I've a vintage Flying Bomb PP7 - "Made in Hong Kong" at the Kai It Battery Factory, as I think they always were. Never any leakage, but the top and bottom have swelled a bit.

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Old 7th Mar 2023, 5:47 pm   #37
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

know if an AA battery meets a military spec.

FYI military issue ones are made by Varta.
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 6:21 pm   #38
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

Flying-Bombs were Hong-Kong productions back in the 'sixties.

I remember buying packs of 10 PP3 Flying-Bombs at a market-stall in Wellington [now Telford] back min the day, and then selling them on to schoolmates for a significant profit so they could listen to Luxembourg on their pocket-portables after "Lights-out".

I wonder what the modern equivalent would be? Renting out your Li-Ion 'power pack' so a kid could listen to some streaming-service on her iPhone?
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 7:29 pm   #39
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

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Hi
Lab testing is all very well but what happens in the lab and in real life is two totally different kettles of fish!
Take for example the massive temperature swings in my shed going from say minus five in winter to plus 35c in summer. Then add in the high levels of moisture in winter with a gas heater on. Does the lab tests take into account various types of equipment that may have a continuous very small load then a high level pulse, to me there is too many variables that can occur. Personal experience is by far the best.

Now you're being esoteric. The Which? tests and results are aimed at the general user, not for someone wanting to know if an AA battery meets a military spec. But anyway, how can personal experience possibly be "by far the best" unless one is buying and comparing batteries from many sources, and getting through them all regularly given that brands are often changing suppliers. You can't. Which? regularly do these comparative battery tests and so the results are not only up to date but take into account a wide range of batteries.

My intention in posting was to do fellow forum members a favour in advising the results of the Which? AA battery tests. But I get that we all have different views and methodologies.
Don't forget that in my working life I've come across hundreds of different makes of battery, seen remote controls that went on fire due to reversed polarity, horrendous leaks on batteries a few weeks old and many dead out of the box.
Like I said this doesn't necessarily show in the lab but it does in real life.
Incidentally I've never rated Witch magazine and never will.
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 7:48 pm   #40
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Default Re: Best AA battery at the moment

Well I absolutely stand corrected regarding China. The Aldi brand looks good, and Varta are likewise made in Germany.

Delighted that I was wrong!

Craig
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