Author Topic: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!  (Read 3264 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline EE-digger

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 159
  • Country: us
I have a precious Maglite, given to me about 20 years ago or so, by the Tek regional rep.  It is the pretty blue anodize and has a nice Tektronix name masked into one side (white/silver).

Hadn't used it in a year or two but pulled it out of a drawer this morning and to my surprise, found heavy white crystal growth around the base (must have crawled under the O ring).

I've heard of Gibson and Les Paul guitars damaged by leaking cells but for me, this Tek flashlight is as close as I come to an heirloom.

Duracell just sent me a check two months ago for another Maglite destroyed the same way, without the external growth.

After all attempts to remove the end cap, including chucking in a lathe and taking a strap wrench to the body, I had to cut the battery in half to prove to myself (and them) that the cells are Duracells.  In this case I was unable to extract the battery date but in general, they've been several years before expiration, mostly in the 2020 to 2023 range.

I'm going to insist that Duracell find another light exactly like this !  I know, good luck on that.

I don't care what it costs them, I want this light replaced  :box:  :box:  :box:

After years of giving them positive support for personal use, as well as by the thousands in test equipment products which we produced, it's over.  I've been using Harbor Freight in my personal goods with no problems so far.

It's interesting that on one occasion I spoke to a technical rep.  The fact that most of my own cells were from Walmart seemed to matter to him but he would not go further on that !

So, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, if it's sold by Duracell , it may not really be a duck.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 05:15:55 pm by EE-digger »
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15397
  • Country: za
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2020, 06:54:03 pm »
Probably the cells sold to specific retailers are made down to the price point the buyer demands, thus they use the cheapest cost plant with the lowest QC for those large orders.
 

Online bson

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1674
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2020, 07:02:52 pm »
For anything I care about I use lithium cells.  Apart from lasting longer and having excellent shelf life (meaning it will power on when I use the tool three times per year over the next ten years) they also won't leak.
 
The following users thanked this post: Zucca, rgarito, I wanted a rude username

Offline delfinom

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: 00
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2020, 07:04:00 pm »
Probably the cells sold to specific retailers are made down to the price point the buyer demands, thus they use the cheapest cost plant with the lowest QC for those large orders.

Absolutely does. Walmart in particular does get lower end versions of many identical items you can find elsewhere. The only difference will be the sku.

Walmart is the best known retailer for abusing their power and telling retailers exactly what they will pay ...after demanding the suppliers bill of materials.
 
The following users thanked this post: SeanB, nctnico, rgarito

Offline chris_leyson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1431
  • Country: wales
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2020, 08:04:56 pm »
I agree with bson, Lithium is the way to go. I've never seen one leak
 

Offline GLouie

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 47
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2020, 08:08:53 pm »
Anecdotally, all brands of alkalines seem to be leaking more, so much that I've tried to go to low self discharge NiMH (Eneloops) for everything using AA or AAA.

Lithium ion have their place, but you often can't substitute them easily in a device designed for alkalines.
 

Online nfmax

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1066
  • Country: gb
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2020, 08:32:57 pm »
If you have battery corrosion in an aluminium-bodied device, free up the seized thread/closure using (acetic acid based?) kitchen surface descaler. Usually available as a pump spray, sometimes as a powder you mix up with hot water. It worked for an Apple aluminium Bluetooth keyboard I forgot about for too long.
 
The following users thanked this post: rgarito

Offline EE-digger

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 159
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2020, 08:44:31 pm »
I generally use white vinegar since it's always in the kitchen cupboard.  It works especially well on stainless steel contacts (nickel plated in the solder area only).  They generally clean up like new with a Q-tip and the vinegar.

In the case of both Maglites, I think the O-ring prevents entry to the threads.  One could probably drill a small diameter hole at the threads and let them soak.  Without entry, the threads get welded together by the corrosion.

Thanks for the comments on price point and QC.  I'm well aware of the price point but completely forgot about the level of QC. 

 

Offline mcovington

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 09:08:36 pm »
Probably the cells sold to specific retailers are made down to the price point the buyer demands, thus they use the cheapest cost plant with the lowest QC for those large orders.

That sounds likely for Walmart though probably not for most others.  Walmart often gets special models of products, with a lower price point and some features downgraded slightly.  I've noticed this with car radios and even astronomical telescopes.  They had a Meade ETX 125 telescope with Kellner eyepieces and everyone else sold it with Plossl eyepieces.
 

Offline mcovington

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 09:11:16 pm »
You might want to contact Tektronix and see if another flashlight like this can be found.  Explain that funds are going to be available to pay for it. 

Even so, it's not the *same* one you've had all those years, it's just a replica.  A copy of a memento is not a memento.
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15512
  • Country: gb
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2020, 09:12:13 pm »
I'll just leave this picture my daughter did of the Duracell Bunny after they destroyed something of hers:


Offline unknownparticle

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 132
  • Country: gb
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2020, 09:31:59 pm »
Duracell are the kiss of death, leakage masters of the universe!!  I NEVER, EVER, use Duracell in anything, as I guarantee they WILL leak.
I use Panasonic and have never had one leak, as long as they are genuine Panasonic and not a Chink fake.
DC coupling is the devils work!!
 

Offline Mortymore

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 264
  • Country: pt
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2020, 09:59:05 pm »
A few year ago one AA Duracell leaked in my Fluke 54 thermometer but luckily the damage was minor.

I have lately used in some of my meters Duracell Industrial AA, 9v and AAA batteries with no problems so far.
But if someone know of some problem with the Industrial series, please let me know. Appreciated.

[attach=1]
 

Offline Stray Electron

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 972
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2020, 10:26:36 pm »
   I think Duracell makes the ProCell brand batteries and they DO leak.

   No Duracell doesn't make special, cheap cells for Walmart or anyone else.  ALL of the Duracell batteries can and WILL eventually leak, regardless of the retailer.
 

Offline Wimberleytech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1079
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2020, 10:35:04 pm »
For anything I care about I use lithium cells.  Apart from lasting longer and having excellent shelf life (meaning it will power on when I use the tool three times per year over the next ten years) they also won't leak.
Amen...and lighter weight too.
 

Offline mcovington

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 133
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2020, 12:49:27 am »
I'll just leave this picture my daughter did of the Duracell Bunny after they destroyed something of hers:
...

Doesn't that bunny belong to Energizer, which is Duracell's competitor?
 

Offline delfinom

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 62
  • Country: 00
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2020, 01:08:43 am »
I'll just leave this picture my daughter did of the Duracell Bunny after they destroyed something of hers:
...

Doesn't that bunny belong to Energizer, which is Duracell's competitor?

Well they kind of copied each other
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/25/duracell-energizer-court-bunny-rabbit-lawsuit-us
 
The following users thanked this post: mcovington

Offline GLouie

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 47
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2020, 02:26:06 am »
My bad, I wasn't thinking of disposable lithium AA/AAA. They can be a viable alternative, are quite light and work well at low temperatures. However, IIRC they start at about 1.7v, are a bit expensive, and I think only Energizer makes them (patent?).

You can get rechargeable LiIon in AA size, but of course 3.7v (4.2v off the charger).

Anecdotally, all brands of alkalines seem to be leaking more, so much that I've tried to go to low self discharge NiMH (Eneloops) for everything using AA or AAA.

Lithium ion have their place, but you often can't substitute them easily in a device designed for alkalines.
 

Offline Wimberleytech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1079
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2020, 02:34:19 am »
are a bit expensive,

For sure...but where I am in life...I dont give a $h_t about the additional cost.  They are my go to battery!
 
The following users thanked this post: Ground_Loop

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12245
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2020, 04:05:07 am »
I just threw away a blue Maglite the other day that someone gave me, it had exactly the same sort of damage with Duracell batteries in it. I don't buy alkalines at all anymore, I've been using Eneloop and similar NiMH batteries in all my stuff for years, never had one leak. I don't trust alkaline AA and AAA cells at all, I've had dozens of them from many different brands leak. I suspect it had something to do with the mercury-free formulation, that seems to be around the time they started leaking like crazy.

They're not going to find you an identical light, that isn't realistic. What they will do is estimate the monetary value and send you a check. If you disagree with their appraisal you're probably going to have to take them to court and it will be like battling with insurance. You'll have to have the light appraised and/or find examples of others that have been sold. Look on ebay, Tek must have had thousands of these made so there's got to be a few more floating around out there somewhere.

In the future if you have something special and irreplaceable like that I would suggest storing it empty and only install batteries when you want to light it up. Put it on display on the shelf and pick up a plain Maglight for day to day use.
 
The following users thanked this post: SilverSolder

Offline 0culus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2370
  • Country: us
  • Electronics, RF, and TEA Hobbyist
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2020, 04:19:42 am »
Case in point as to why alkaline batteries are garbage. You should be able to clean it up to the point where it will work again, but you'll need vinegar and a lot of patience.

Personally, I stocked up on Eneloops for stuff that needs AA and AAA size batteries (I don't have anything that uses larger cells, other than 9V). Have yet to find a device that they aren't a drop-in replacement for alkalines.
 

Offline Berni

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2896
  • Country: si
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2020, 06:59:36 am »
I have put non rechargeable Lithium AA and AAA cells into my nice brand name multimeters in fear of this happening.

These lithium cells are quite a bit more expensive but they also last longer so that makes the price a bit easier to justify. But most importantly the different chemistry doesn't pressurize the cell as it discharges so leaks are far less likely.

As far as i know there is no trusted alkaline battery brand that really wont leak. The cheap ones leak, the expensive ones leak (but perhaps less offten)
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12245
  • Country: us
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2020, 07:59:23 am »
Ironically the expensive ones seem to leak more than the cheap ones. There are none I trust not to leak anymore though. The C, D and 9V types rarely leak but AA and AAA cells leak like crazy, it's practically guaranteed they will leak eventually, often while still producing power.
 
The following users thanked this post: SilverSolder, Electro Detective

Online tom66

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3901
  • Country: gb
  • Electron Fiddler, FPGA Hacker, Embedded Systems EE
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2020, 08:49:14 am »
Why do people continue to use and buy Duracell batteries?  Their alkalines are barely better than a Chinese alkaline cell (e.g. GP battery) but price is 6-8x higher at retail and at least 3x higher OEM.  Plus, they leak, which seems to be particularly common for Duracell but much less common for other brands.
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15512
  • Country: gb
Re: Tektronix heirloom Maglite - destroyed by Duracell AA - last straw !!
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2020, 09:20:08 am »
The reason is marketing. Scourge of the universe!

I use GP Ultra cells. Never a problem
 
The following users thanked this post: Electro Detective


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf