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Battery malfunction

 
 
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 11:40 am
Lately I've perceived what seems like a brand-new malfunction with "flashlight" batteries, especially AA and AAA: When it seemingly goes dead early it's not because its guts are exhausted but they no longer make good contact with the external terminals. I suspect it's the one on the positive end that comes loose

Often it comes back to life if placed in an appliance providing greater spring tension
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,054 • Replies: 18
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 11:50 am
@dalehileman,
Firstly a nit-picky correction...."flashlight" batteries are generally considered to be C or D cell batteries. AA or AAA or found in flashes, remotes, small digital gadgets. Flashlight usually need a bigger reserve than AA or AAA can give.

Logical troubleshooting tip:

Most likely, if there's a problem with electrical contact (unless it's a corrosion issue) it's not a problem with the battery itself but with the appliance or unit's terminals. They need adjusting to make better contact.

As you have indicated, when you put the battery in another unit that has more spring tension, then it's not a fault of the battery.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 11:56 am
@Ragman,
Quote:
..."flashlight" batteries are generally considered to be C or D cell batteries
Thanks Rag, yea, I struggled with that'n

Quote:
...not a problem with the battery itself but with the appliance...
Nope Rag this time you're wrong, it's apparently bad contact between carbon rod and its metallic terminal

Next time it happens to you, if you should happen to possess a multimeter or better yet an instrument that provides a load, see what happens when you press its terminals inward
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 12:17 pm
@dalehileman,
Listen, Dale...don't take his the wrong way...I know all about using voltmeters...scope, you name it. I used to fix electronics for a living as Engineering dept....from small devices to computer systems. however, I'm no expert and I can be wrong.

Your description (or thinking) is off as far as I understand what you're writing. The terminals of the appliance are most likely the problem. Batteries (AA or AA) are not likely the issue. Your description has proven that when you swap to another appliance or unit with better terminal spring tension the problem does not follow, does it?.
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 12:33 pm
@Ragman,
Ragman wrote:
Firstly a nit-picky correction...."flashlight" batteries are generally considered to be C or D cell batteries.

Maybe you are used to this convention,. but for most people a flashlight battery is any size from aaa upwards.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 12:44 pm
@contrex,
This is a bit too nitpicky to comment. I personally don't ever put AA or AAA in my flashlights; however, that's not the issue at hand here.

Dale: all of the AA and AAA batteries in my house do not exhibit the phenomenon you're talking about. Also, a few of my remotes have spring/contact tension problems. I adjust the terminals by bending them slightly and they work fine.

I can only guess that you may have a few AA or AAA batteries that are defective.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 01:26 pm
@contrex,
True - almost all of the 'fancy' flashlights use AA/AAA batteries.

I've still got a few that require C/D, but they're not as common as they once were.

Of course it means I have to keep buying 50 packs of the AA batteries.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 01:43 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

True - almost all of the 'fancy' flashlights use AA/AAA batteries.

Maybe I'm giving away how old I am but they are all -- to me -- "dry cells".
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:22 pm
@Ragman,
Quote:
Your description (or thinking) is off...
I'll try to clarify

Quote:
The terminals of the appliance are most likely the problem.
My observation though is based on response of my battery tester, applying constant load pressing its probes' pointed prongs held against the battery terminals. (Alliteration unintended) I'd suspect the probes but the symptom doesn't occur with other batteries

Quote:
Your description has proven that when you swap to another appliance or unit with better terminal spring tension the problem does not follow, does it?
.We're having a semantical difficulty. Pressing inward with the tester probes has the same effect as stronger springs in an appliance. Evidently it shoves the metallic cap back against the carbon rod
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:24 pm
@contrex,
Well yeah. A single cell is not a battery. If more than one cell are contained in a separate unit, it is a battery. Still, most of us around here just say we need a couple of fresh batteries.
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:24 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
its probes' pointed prongs

Just reading that made feel them p-p-p-pricking me!
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:33 pm
@Ragman,
Quote:
Dale: all of the AA and AAA batteries in my house do not exhibit the phenomenon you're talking about.
It's a problem Rag I've just recently noted, as if some new method of assembly affects only certain batteries. Prongs held lightly against the terminals gives either no reading at all or intermittent jumping. In either case a more nearly steady reading is usually obtained by pushing in harder

Quote:
I can only guess that you may have a few AA or AAA batteries that are defective
Precisely
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:35 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
they are all -- to me -- "dry cells"
Me too Beth, at 84 you've made my entire day
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:42 pm
@contrex,
Pricking by probes' pointed prongs probably prolongs prolemic problem
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:49 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

Well yeah. A single cell is not a battery. If more than one cell are contained in a separate unit, it is a battery. Still, most of us around here just say we need a couple of fresh batteries.

I admit I mostly say "battery" for everything these days. A lot of the older types are either hard or impossible to get nowadays. One of my interests is old consumer electronics. People who are restoring old portable radios and want them to look authentic will frequently remove the innards of capacitors ("condensers") (they deteriorate with time) and put modern ones inside the casing. They also do this with some of the old battery types. If an old battery case is available you can use modern batteries in series to make up the voltage. You can even download and print a reproduction of an old battery case onto card stock in an inkjet and cut and fold it.

If you can see this picture, someone has made up a repro battery pack for a vacuum tube portable radio - 69 volts HT and 1.5 volt LT.

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7441&d=1167249902

Here is the battery inside the restored vintage radio-

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7440&d=1167249902

0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 02:50 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

Quote:
they are all -- to me -- "dry cells"
Me too Beth, at 84 you've made my entire day

That was me!
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 03:01 pm
@contrex,
I need to carry a flashlight, so called by me, in my purse - in contrast to the humongo flashlight I keep in the bedroom in case of power outage or a sudden need to whack a mole. That one takes 4 'd's'. Luckily I don't use it often so they last a long time, and so spare me expense, knock on wood.

Anyway, my much smaller purse flashlights take 2AAs. I never have noticed what the companies call those smaller items that one puts the batteries into to acquire light.
Re the question, I've not had any of the small batteries not contact well, ever, unless I put the damned thing in incorrectly, which I'm capable of.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 03:07 pm
Maybe this is all akin to Linkat's fairly recent thread on dented bean cans - a matter which can actually matter, re possible Clostridium botulinum harbored in the can. Not usual, but possible.
One possibility that was brought up, if I remember, is that some can manufacturers were using thinner metal.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2015 05:23 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
That was me!
Oops....
0 Replies
 
 

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