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testing AA batteries with a multitester

 
Trailboss
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I have about eight batteries on my desk and I don't know if they are good or should be thrown out.
I also have one multitester.
Anybody know how I might use the multitester to tell if the batteries are good or not?
 
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I have about eight batteries on my desk and I don't know if they are good or should be thrown out.
I also have one multitester.
Anybody know how I might use the multitester to tell if the batteries are good or not?


I dont know what do you mean ny multitester.
If it is something like DMM(Digital Multi-Meter) then change it to Voltage and then to voltage range (5-12volt etc) and then touch + and - points to the respective points.
 
paul wheaton
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So if I'm testing a 1.5 volt battery and it is fully charged, it will test with 1.5 volts and a dead battery will test with something like 0.0 to 0.3 volts. Is that correct?
Ignoring that my tester is probably not perfectly calibrated ... some of the batteries tested at about 1.8 volts and some tested at about 0.9 volts. Most tested somewhere in between.
I was guessing that in this pile of batteries, some were dead and some were new. Might a dead battery test at 1.2 volts?
 
paul wheaton
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I'm gonna try to find some device in the house that needs just one battery ...
 
Ugly Redneck
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I'm gonna try to find some device in the house that needs just one battery ...


Battery is a collection of cells. You want to find a device in the house that needs one "cell"
 
R K Singh
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if you have compass (the thing which makes circle, could be found in geometry box) then you can put battery between two legs of it and touch the tourch bulb on the + side. If battery is working then bulb will light.
 
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Ravish,

Not recommended procedure on testing a car battery for instance.
regards
 
R K Singh
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are we talking about car batteries or pencil cells ??
 
HS Thomas
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I just wanted to point out the safety issues of testing batteries in general.
regards
 
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Set your meter to the range where 1.5 volts will be near the top. I'd say, depending on the complexity of the device (more complex devices probably needing closer to full voltage than say a flashlight), that anything above 1.1 volts is still useful...
 
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[UR]: Battery is a collection of cells. You want to find a device in the house that needs one "cell"
Technically yes, but the original meaning has been corrupted, in the US at least. If you go buy a pack of Energizers, each individual cell is labeled a "battery". Most people here will be confused if you try to buy a cell.
[HST]: I just wanted to point out the safety issues of testing batteries in general.
It seems Paul is just talking about a 1.5 V cells; not a big deal usually. Then again, I've used a $20 digital multitester to see what was going on with my car battery, no problems. Just be careful what you touch.
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
It seems Paul is just talking about a 1.5 V cells; not a big deal usually. Then again, I've used a $20 digital multitester to see what was going on with my car battery, no problems. Just be careful what you touch.


Thanks. I'd hate to think what might happen to Ravish should he wrap his compass points around something he shouldn't.
regards
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
I just wanted to point out the safety issues of testing batteries in general.
regards


I think, 1.5 volt can be tested by tounge also
PS: Dont try this on car batteries
 
HS Thomas
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I just didn't want MD to loose your particularly brilliant talent !
regards
 
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
I'm gonna try to find some device in the house that needs just one battery ...
My walkman takes one AA battery and has a battery life indicator on the display. That's how I sort out my duds.
 
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In India, Duracell used to include a small strip to test charge in a cell with every two-cell pack. These days, they have built it into the casing of cell itself, I suppose.
 
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I think it takes more than just a volt meter. Many batteries might be able to source 1.5 volts to a high impedance load like a volt meter. When you hook them to a real load, they don't have enough energy. I have a cheap battery tester I bought at Radio Shack.
 
paul wheaton
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So the number of volts could indicate the amount of battery left, but it does not give a complete picture. A proper battery tester would be better. Yes?
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
So the number of volts could indicate the amount of battery left, but it does not give a complete picture. A proper battery tester would be better. Yes?


Actually, power of battery also depends on the equipment you are using.
You can use battery useless for walkman in wall-clock and battery useless for clock in TV remote.
Though it is not recommended.
[ November 20, 2003: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
 
Jim Yingst
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I think it takes more than just a volt meter. Many batteries might be able to source 1.5 volts to a high impedance load like a volt meter. When you hook them to a real load, they don't have enough energy.
True. Often when batteries go bad they increase their internal resistance, which means that you can measure the voltage with no current and get 1.5, but when you start running a curent, it drops considerably. And how bad is "too bad" depends on the the device. Testing in a working device is best. Say you've got a flashlight that takes two batteries. First you have to try batteries at random until you find a pair of two that work. Then go through all the other batteries, relacing just one battery from the falashlight at a time (so if the flashlight doesn't work, you know which single battery was just replaced, without further guesswork).
The multi-tester can still be of some use though. Even if the main problem is only observable under load (current), there's usually some decrease in zero-current voltage as well. The tester gives you a quick way to scan for batteries that are most likely to be bad (or good), which can help you speed things up by making better guesses when you're swapping batteries around in your flashlight.
In India, Duracell used to include a small strip to test charge in a cell with every two-cell pack. These days, they have built it into the casing of cell itself, I suppose.
This is true in the US too. Presumably Paul has a different brand, or older batteries that don't have this. Or maybe he just didn't notice the green power tester strip. This was a pretty cool idea from Duracell, actually. I suppose it's probably patented so other companies can't do it...
 
Rufus BugleWeed
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So the number of volts could indicate the amount of battery left, but it does not give a complete picture. A proper battery tester would be better. Yes?


True, I could see a farmer using this purchase as a tax deduction. My battery tester only cost about $5. I keep it and my batteries in the fridge. When I need some new batteries I get the ones out I want . I let them warm up. I test them. ( unless I'm in a hurry )
Supposedly the cold extends the shelf life.
This is a problem when the power goes out and you don't want to open the fridge.
 
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Paul, like mentioned earlier, I usually just stick the + end of a battery on my tongue and the - end on my top lip. If the battery is strong, you'll feel a tingling. If the battery is on its last legs, you won't feel much of anything except cold metal. Works for me.
Jamie
ps use this method only to test 1.5 V batteries if you value your taste buds!
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

Actually, power of battery also depends on the equipment you are using.
You can use battery useless for walkman in wall-clock and battery useless for clock in TV remote.
Though it is not recommended.
[ November 20, 2003: Message edited by: R K Singh ]


Does this mean, re-cycling the battery and using it in other appliances that need lower voltage as it gets weaker , extends the use of the battery but is not recommended for extending the life of the appliance ?
Why should a weaker battery affect the subsequent life of an appliance even if after a brand new battery is installed ?
regards
[ November 21, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:

Why should a weaker battery affect the subsequent life of an appliance even if after a brand new battery is installed ?


Might be marketing strategy.
Most of the appliances recommend not to use old cells.
 
HS Thomas
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Just looking further up the posts , I think the answer lies somewhere here :

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Often when batteries go bad they increase their internal
resistance, which means that you can measure the voltage with no current and get 1.5, but when you start running a curent, it drops considerably. And how bad is "too bad" depends on the the device.


Current can be bad for a device, apparently. I get worrying, grinding noises when my PC starts up these days. It does have some heavy energy consumption components like a Bosch fan. I'll have to get these noises investigated soon. Imagine being cut off from the insta pundits in MD
Noises usually indicate something's wrong. Batteries in smoke alarms emit warning noises of requiring re-charging which is accomplished by switching the light on for a few hours. A life saving idea which could be used in appliances generally. Or warning lights where more appropriate as you find in cars. So I expect we'll see the last of tongue-testing batteries eventually. (I thought that was a Ravish joke!).
regards
[ November 21, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
HS Thomas
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

Might be marketing strategy.
Most of the appliances recommend not to use old cells.


Thinking about it I'd rather have the option to change a teeny-weeny battery than be forced to buy a new car. Also, I'd be horrified if they've invented a long-life car. When would you know when that car has reached it's end ?
Having said that, I really like the Honda-to-Ambassador conversion ad we have running here. You may get it too. This Indian guy gets a brand new Honda but decides it needed a little something to attract the attention of the girls. So he bashes it around a bit, an elephant sits on it sideways and finally he is extremely happy with the result. An Ambassador ! I'm not sure why I like it , I just do! Neat marketing !

We like the ad but I haven't seen anyone copying this here. I doubt Indians do ti either. So why is it a success? Marketing is a bit shite-faced !

regards
[ November 21, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
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