Author Topic: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?  (Read 3367 times)

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Offline CHexclaim

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Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« on: March 20, 2013, 02:33:08 am »
Dave usually comments that battery life in hand held DMMs has not improved for a long time. My question is, does it really matter? Maybe on some particular occasions it does, but maybe for most of us it doesn't.

My point is that if battery life for a typical DMM is about 400 hs, that is about 17 days if it is not powered off. But in most cases having the DMM powered on for 1 hr per day is a more realistic figure, considering auto power off.

Then, the battery will last for more than one year. In my opinion, there are two things I consider, 1) shelf life of the battery starts to kick in into the scenery and 2) changing the battery once a year is more prudent than an inconvenience.

One of my best everyday DMM was destroyed with the acid or whatever leaked out of the battery. One advice, always store the DMM in such a way that if the something comes out of the battery, the unit is unaffected.

Charlie.

 

Offline notsob

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 02:57:52 am »
I think just about everyone, sooner or later comes across something damaged by leaking batteries, so if you are not likely to be using the battery powered device in the next few months, remove the battery/batteries, put it/them in a Ziplock bag and leave the bag with the device.(write the date and device the batteries belong to on the bag with a permanent marker).
 

Online Rick Law

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 03:02:46 am »
.........a typical DMM is about 400 hs, that is about 17 days if it is not powered off.........One of my best everyday DMM was destroyed with the acid or whatever leaked out of the battery. One advice, always store the DMM in such a way that if the something comes out of the battery, the unit is unaffected..........

I switched over to NiMH recharge and battery leak is one of my two main reasons.  The other one is data-logging.  Data logging introduces a different usage pattern.  The DMM could be on for hours if not days or weeks.  With rechargeable, I have no leak worries and I can always top-up before a data-log run - whereas, with a primary battery already in use, I can never be sure how much juice is really left in it and would it go the distance when I set everything up for a long data logging run.

Also, 400 hours is a bit optimistic in my view if it is the typical 9V.  Best I can find is the good 9V batteries has 400-500mAH.  My two DMM's (both 9V) uses 4mA and 5mA.  The run time for them would be 100 and 125 hours on a 500mAH battery.

With a rechargeable, I am more confident more often.  It is merely 200mAH, but when in doubt, I just pop it back into the charger before I go.  I can (and did) test the charged-holding capacity of the battery giving me the assurance that I do have 200mAH - but you will never be sure how much you have left in your primary cells even a week after you pop it in.  The battery might have been in the warehouse for God knows how long, and exposed to freezing/cooking during transport...

So far, I like my rechargeable-NiMH (LSD) for DMM very much.  I wrote a review on this blog no so long ago.  I really like the rechargeables and the charger.

Mini-review for the LSD cell and charger I am using:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/tenergy-centura-9v-and-tn141-mini-review/

Rick
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:31:21 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 03:05:21 am »
Personally, I've not been inconvenienced by the battery life in any DMM.

On the other hand, the 12V G23 battery in my Peak component analyser always seems to be flat when I go to use it!
 

Offline CHexclaim

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 03:36:14 pm »

...I switched over to NiMH recharge and battery leak is one of my two main reasons.  The other one is data-logging.  Data logging introduces a different usage pattern...



Sure, that would be an exception, for sure.

About the NiMH, I had issues with bad quality ones. For reasonable results spending on good quality ones is advisable. I had issues with cheap NiMH that leaked (somthing..).

Also, AFAIK the NiMH discharge with time, without using them. At least, much worst that alkalines.

I'll take a look at the review of the charger.

Thanks, Charlie
 

Offline CHexclaim

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 03:40:18 pm »
On the other hand, the 12V G23 battery in my Peak component analyser always seems to be flat when I go to use it!

I love those Peak products! Dave should review them. But yes, battery life is a complaint on the web..
 

Offline deephaven

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 04:02:01 pm »
Also, AFAIK the NiMH discharge with time, without using them. At least, much worst that alkalines.

Eneloop batteries have addressed this issue to a large degree.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 06:12:37 pm »
A23 batteries no problem, I buy them by the dozens for remotes. For my remote units i always add a low value electrolytic or tantalum across the battery, it makes them last a lot longer. I can have 2 remotes that one will last 3 months on a cell unmodified while the other will run for a year, all with similar usage pattern. The extra capacitance helps as the battery ages and it's ESR increases. Eventually it goes so low that the remote will show low battery ( but how many people know that a Keeloq remote signals low by flashing the light) but it still works for a few days more.
 

Offline ben_r_

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 06:28:18 pm »
While we're on this topic, anyone use Eneloops with their Fluke 289? Do you find that they work well in that meter? How long to they last?
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 

Offline Cones

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 07:20:35 pm »
While we're on this topic, anyone use Eneloops with their Fluke 289? Do you find that they work well in that meter? How long to they last?

Hi, I only bought my 289 in the last week. It currently has Eneloops in it. The battery gauge reads only 3 now 2 bars. I might try a logging test and see how they last?

Mark
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 10:16:03 pm »
Personally, I've not been inconvenienced by the battery life in any DMM.

I have. Battery powered DMMs s*ck especially if you use them for long periods. Because I mostly use a DMM on my test bench I bought a couple of mains powered bench multimeters. One has an LED display and one has backlit LCD. Both have big numbers and are easy to read.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline ben_r_

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Re: Battery Life, is it as important as it is attractive?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 10:19:41 pm »
Yea I just went ahead and bought both just in case.
If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!
 


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