Electronics > Beginners

How to measure the mAh capacity of AA/AAA NiMH batteries using a multimeter?

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the cba from west mountain radio is a handy tool for this sort of task.

there is a lengthy discussion on rcgroups about building your own constant current discharger with logging.

The real problem lies with Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries when one does not know the capacity.

Over charging them has some very bad effects when used with an insufficient charger :(

I'd guess the one in the video was seriously overcharged intentionally to make it blow up like that, I expect many battery types could be a bit volatile under extreme overcharging conditions

Batteries have different mAH for discharge currents, so alas, what you'd want to do is get the spec sheet of the brand of battery, or a model battery, and see if your battery meets or exceeds the mAH for each discharge current.

Today, you can buy such a charger/reconditioner, and set the discharge current to easily estimate mAH.

I have some LiPo batteries for RC Vehicles (cars, trucks, small helicopters) and other than the invoice, there is no data sheet. Sometimes they have the mAH on the outside label and other times they don't - that is where the permanent marker comes in handy.

There are a lot of cheap (poor quality) battery chargers out there and people will buy them up like there is no tomorrow because of the low price. Unfortunately if they are not careful in what they are doing, there will be no tomorrow for them.


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