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Why are there so many damn batteries?

 
 
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 08:39 pm
Is it a scam so they call sell them for more money?

Specifically batteries like this:

http://www.batteriesplus.com/images/Product/medium/28687.jpg

I went to buy a new battery for my oldish camera today. The last time I bought a battery for it I went to the big box electronics store and picked it off the shelf. I think I paid about $9 for it.

Today I was faced with dozens and dozens of batteries that were so similar to one another as to be exasperating, not to mention expensive -- $30 and up. The only difference seemed to be the spacing of the contact points.

I'm guessing that there really aren't that many manufacturers of batteries. Wouldn't it make sense for a camera manufacturers, when they design a new camera, to space their contact points millimeters differently so they could use a common battery? The batteries are all exactly the same size, with the same voltage.

What the hell is up with this? Can anyone explain this to me?
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 1,448 • Replies: 14
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roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 09:27 pm
@boomerang,
You tell 'em!

While we're on the same subject, why do some things, like the alarm clock batteries require a 9v battery? Is there really something special about the clock chip in an alarm that is so different from everything else in the world. Right now, if I wanted to keep spares for my indoor/outdoor (two different batteries) thermometer, three sizes of flashlight, kitchen timer, and wall clock I would have to stock D, C, A, AA, and AAA. You can get a good price on batteries at say, Sam's Club, but you're buying 24 at a time. Swell, but they're all the same size and don't have an infinate shelf life.

I one time had to toss a perfectly good Scuzbuster because someone had tossed the charger.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 09:45 pm
@roger,
Amen, brother!

Don't even get me started on C batteries. They are only sold in packs of 4 and you always need 6 so you end up with 2 sitting on your shelf forever.

I used to laugh at the idea of a shop like "Batteries Plus" until today. I ended up there today, haggard and bitter, and they treated me with respect.

They'd seen my kind before.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 09:54 pm
Along the same lines... A Canadian politician, can't remember who, tried recently to make a private members bill, political mumbo jumbo, to force companies to use the same battery chargers. As much as I think this is a great idea, and about damn time, I have absolutely no doubt that most companies just scoff at wee little Canada trying to make them do anything.
However, consumers, us stupid sticks in the mud, if we made enough noise all this madness would end. I've got so many chargers, lose one and pay the piper, and so many batteries, lithium, and so on ... If only they could all be charged, recharged, with one adapter, whatever, just make it freaking easier to use this must have stuff... Is this too much to ask?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 10:12 pm
@Ceili,
Damn straight, Ceili!

We're a fairly low tech family and our house is nest of cables. I keep painters tape on my desk so that I can label all of the new cords that come in to the house: (brand) camera charger, (brand) camera to computer, (this x 4, since I have 4 cameras), telephone, Kindle, other telephone, game player, etc., etc. etc.

Things are too damn specific.

It is nonsense!
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 10:19 pm
@boomerang,
Comes down to the not-so-new but increasingly popular field of user-experience. People want smaller devices. Companies are driving their manufacturers to meet their personal needs seemingly from device to device. With each step towards technological 'shrinkage', you see a new slew of parts that don't accept the parts from any other device by dint of their being tiny.

Take apart an old iPhone at some point, and compare it's parts to a new one. Or a Razr to any other flip phone. There's no way we'd EVER be able to wrangle up enough disgruntled consumers to rally against the seemingly endless types of batteries, merely because we all want the latest and greatest tech that rely on those batteries each being customized for a particular line of devices.

That plus the battery folks are just making gobs of cash off of it.
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 10:27 pm
I disagree, my first phone had a far smaller plug in than my iPhone. My camera's have smaller plug ins too. If apple can do it with all their stuff, why can't every other stupid company under the sun.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 10:36 pm
@Questioner,
Quote:
That plus the battery folks are just making gobs of cash off of it.


In my case that has to be it.

My camera, that I love, is absolutely old but the batteries being sold are EXACTLY the same size, only the contact points are different. That can't be about miniaturization.

Maybe it's psychological -- if something doesn't come with a different connection we don't fee as if we've acquired something new. Maybe the wire nest is an emblem of success.

Maybe keeping something in working order for more than a couple of years is a sign you've become old.

If so, I'm ancient!
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Jan, 2012 10:39 pm
@Ceili,
The thing about apple is that yes, all the plugs are the same. The batteries inside are not. At least that's my understanding.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 02:54 pm
I was thinking about you today, Ceili, as I'm packing for a trip and had to make sure I had all the cords...

The cords to my big camera x 2(recharger, computer)
The cords to my little camera x 2(recharger, computer)
The cords to my video camera x 2 (recharger, computer)
The cord to my cell phone
The cord to Mr. B's cell phone
The cord for my Kindle

.... what am I forgetting!?
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 03:12 pm
@boomerang,
TOOTHBRUSH!
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 03:19 pm
@Questioner,
I use an manual toothbrush.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 05:22 pm
@boomerang,
Luddite!

If those computer cords are all USB, you might only need one. That's still a lot of cords, though
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 05:48 pm
@roger,
I wish! No cord works with a different device. It's crazy stupid.
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2012 06:27 pm
@boomerang,
Might look into one of those pads that supposedly charges all devices that you can lay on it.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/the-powermat-portable-mat/18805614?cm_mmc=googlepla-_-specialtyproductscommercehub-_-q000000633-_-845519000017&cm_mmca2=pla&ean=845519000017&r=1
0 Replies
 
 

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