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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Alkaline batteries vs regular battery

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SDE

01-23-2010 07:47:07
174.124.10.130



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What is the difference between the two types of batteries?

I purchased a Bushnell Trail camera and if says to use the alkaline or lithium batteries. Radio Shack clerk said that the regular battery will not last as long and so I will most likely not be satified with their use in the camera, where as the alkaline will last longer.
Steve




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doug in illinois

01-28-2010 16:29:03
74.206.45.133



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to SDE, 01-23-2010 07:47:07  
The ONLY battery that will last more than about 30 pictures in my digital camera is a lithium. The alkaline batteries just don't cut it.

I have lost track of how many pictures are on the lithium batteries, but I am guessing at least 250. They are worth it.

Don't buy an off brand lithium, the ones I have good luck with are the Energizer Ultimate Lithium. DOUG



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Bus Driver

01-23-2010 13:45:38
66.226.51.154



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to SDE, 01-23-2010 07:47:07  
I bought Eveready non-rechargeable lithium for my camera. About $10.00 for 4 of the AA size. One of those batteries failed after about 10 minutes of use. Frustrating!



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MarkB_MI

01-23-2010 12:05:50
220.173.61.111



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to SDE, 01-23-2010 07:47:07  
Yep. Don't waste money on carbon-zinc batteries. For most of my stuff I now use rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries. For a camera that you're going to leave unattended for several days or weeks, lithium is the way to go even though they cost a small fortune. The carbon batteries may not even able to charge the flash capacitor.



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buickanddeere

01-23-2010 08:49:17
216.183.133.157



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to SDE, 01-23-2010 07:47:07  
For the size and weight. An alkaline has a higher energy density than the carbon zinc.Lithium is even better. With the high current drain of an illuminated LCD screen and a flash. Even a new set of carbon zincs due to having a lower max current capacity. The camera may trip "off" on low voltage. Similar to somebody installing a 400CCA battery in a machine drawing 600CCA. System voltage drops below rated levels. Carbon zinc also ruin equipment by leaking if left discharged. In brief,carbon zinc are only good for kids flashlights. Where they leave them on to run down any type of battery.

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KEB1

01-23-2010 08:41:09
97.124.134.172



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to SDE, 01-23-2010 07:47:07  
Amazingly enough, the radio shack clerk was actually right. Alkaline batteries are a different chemistry than the old carbon-zinc cells, and store a lot more energy, plus the discharge curve is much better suited to electronic devices like cameras.

As you discharge any battery, the output voltage drops. In addition to having more capacity, the voltage in an alkaline battery stays in a usable range until the battery is almost discharged, and then drops rapidly. With a carbon zinc, the output volt decreases gradually over the life of the battery, which means that the output voltage will drop out of the usable range well before the battery is completely discharged.

Lithium batteries are even better than alkaline.

You won't damage anything using regular carbon zinc batteries, but you'll be constantly replacing them, and in the long run the alkaline or lithium batteries are actually cheaper to use.

Keith

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Jon Hagen

01-23-2010 13:07:08
69.26.23.125



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 Re: Alkaline batteries vs regular battery in reply to KEB1, 01-23-2010 08:41:09  
Amazingly there are a few applications where an alkaline battery is a no no. Popular science magazine has a story on it a year or two ago.

It seems that as an alkaline reaches the very end of it's life, it begans to build internal gas pressure. The batteries have a blowout plug that will pop out and relieve the pressure before the battery shell bursts. Trouble is when this plug pops out, the caustic juices of the battery are pushed out of the battery under gas pressure. This corrosive stuff will destroy the device.

Now most electronic stuff has an automatic low voltage shut off feature that never drains an alkaline to the point that the pressure relief plug pops out.

The few that do drain the cell totally, like a flashlight, are subject to damage from alkaline battery juice,if forgotton, turned on until the battery is totally dead.

My 99 year old mother has one of those power lift recliner chairs. The lift uses a 24V DC motor,powered by the 120V AC driven power supply.
Because this type of chair is often used by someone who could not climb out of a reclined chair, the power supply has a battery backup built into the power supply. In this case, the backup battery is a pair of 9V batteries. The chair maker insists that you use only carbon / zinc 9 V batteries because of an alkaline batteries tendency to leak if totally drained while under a heavy load.

With alkaline batteries being so cheap and powerfull compared to carbon Zinc, I find them hard to get locally, especially the little 9V.

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