EEVblog #774 – Low Battery Discharge Testing Part 1

Dave shows how to do discharge testing on AAA and AA alkaline batteries, for the specific purpose of investigating how much energy is left under the industry standard 0.8V cutout voltage.
This is an explanation of the test setup, verification, and a sample plot of some data before the long term testing.
The setup consists of the BK Precision 8500 electronic load, the Keysight 34470A 7.5 digit meter, and the Rigol DP832 for testing.
Negative feedback T-Shirt
Energizer AAA battery datasheet
Duracell AAA battery datasheet

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  1. RS232 binary isn’t that hard. I write code for that all the time with Python using the struct module. In my case, it’s mostly Modbus RTU format.

    • Actually coding for binary protocols in .net really really sucks.

      Simple strings are in UTF16, converting is 3 nested functions iirc.
      Converting from int to bytes using structs gives very intresting problems because the types are different in .net.
      Every function over serial needs conversions between UI data and serial data.
      Its really horrible.

      I coded quite a complicated test program (also modbus intrestingly enough) but the hours and hours spent searching for and implementing conversions that aren’t needed in most languages really spoils the readability/maintainability.
      Your code looks like random hacks everywhere with no other options.

      • That’s if you’re using .net… That’s why I used Python for it. I actually have ported my modbus library to Java as well and it wasn’t too much more complex. Though I did have to break out the DataInputStream and DataOutputStream objects instead of just using python’s Struct module.

        You may have to get explicit on the datatypes when talking to a stream protocol though, regardless of the language. Luckily, both python struct and dis/dos of Java are pretty explicit about the size of what you’re reading and writing with the stream.

  2. I think that Batterizer can be summed up as: “good quality hardware products already contains equivalent circuitry”

    Or if you want to play the dirty, lying marketing game, link to pictures of phones that have caught fire and say: “it is important to not exceed manufacturer battery specification”. Not that you can get enough power out of a dead AA to cause overheating, of course!!!

  3. After that make the bouncy battery test!

  4. Dave can you perhaps respond to one of the FAQ items on the website of the batteriser team? They claim that using a bench powersupply to test the cutoff voltage is a fallacy, they even have a video explaining why it is wrong. Batteroo has a link to a video below demonstrating the fallacy of using a power supply to determine the operating voltage of a battery operated device hence debunking that as a valid or proper approach. The link is at:

    Their FAQ is at:

    • One thing I see directly is that they measure the batteries without a load. I would like to see the voltage of those batteries under load.

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