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Old 08-03-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Joe Perez might have an idea..."how do you make use of old betteries?"

Whenever I use my camera, it seems that after a few videos or a few pictures, the battery light comes on. I swap the old batteries for new ones, and then the old ones sit around, cause I'm too thrifty to take them to work and recycle them. If I measure them with a voltmeter, I get like 1.2 volts. If you think about it, most of the batteries that go dead in a camera or other electronic equipment still carry a decent amount of voltage.
My question is, is there a useful way to drain the voltage from batteries that are too low to power a camera, but still carry too much voltage to be deemed junk?
I'm not talking big like being able to crank my car over...I'm talking something that makes more sense than having 2 dozen batteries that still carry voltage get thrown away.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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Whenever I use my camera, it seems that after a few videos or a few pictures, the battery light comes on. I swap the old batteries for new ones, and then the old ones sit around, cause I'm too thrifty to take them to work and recycle them. If I measure them with a voltmeter, I get like 1.2 volts. If you think about it, most of the batteries that go dead in a camera or other electronic equipment still carry a decent amount of voltage.
My question is, is there a useful way to drain the voltage from batteries that are too low to power a camera, but still carry too much voltage to be deemed junk?
I'm not talking big like being able to crank my car over...I'm talking something that makes more sense than having 2 dozen batteries that still carry voltage get thrown away.
Before you come up with new uses for them, consider rehabilitating them in "Hospital For Better Batteries" so to speak. There are ways to briefly overstress or overvolt a battery such that additional normal usage life can be achieved.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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I usually put them in devices that are not high current. For instance, a set of batteries no longer strong enough for the camera will still last for 1 year or more in the direcTV remote.

Tried putting them in the RC Nitro car once. It was as bad of an idea as it sounds. Battery went out at WOT with the car going down the road. What is interesting to know here is that there is no failsafe for this type of issue. The car continues at WOT until it (inevitably) runs into an object with greater mass. This event was no exception. :(
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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I usually put them in devices that are not high current. For instance, a set of batteries no longer strong enough for the camera will still last for 1 year or more in the direcTV remote.
This. I usually put them in an LED converted Maglight. They'll last for quite a while before they get junked. The LED conversion is available at Harbor Freight, and is well worth the cost, because they never burn out as far as I can tell. I've replaced lots of those tiny bulbs over the years, but never a LED.

We have a battery recycling program here at work, so I bring them in, and toss them in the bucket.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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We have a battery recycling program here at work, so I bring them in, and toss them in the bucket.
My job has a similar program. I usually use old camera batteries in my garage or living room clocks, the clocks will run for about another year after that. I'm just looking to solve the issue of having a pile of batteries sit around, because I have more "won't work in camera" batteries than I have new ones.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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I usually put them in an LED converted Maglight.
The maglight suggestion is a great idea. I have a maglight on me at work the entire time I am there, and I use it at least 4 times a day. I don't have the LED conversion though, but I bet the "wont work in camera" batteries would still provide sufficient light in my mini Maglight.
Good call.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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For CR123's, go buy an Inova X5 flashlight. Should be available for around $25-30 I think.

It's not the brightest light, nor the smallest light, nor does it have dozens of features. It has a well-made anodized aluminum barrel, 5 reasonably bright LED's, and a simple push/turn tailcap switch.

And it'll provide useful light for years on the same set of 123's. It's amazing, in fact. I use my X5 all the time. It's the perfect "late-night-reading-and-getting-another-drink-and-I-don't-want-to-wake-the-wife" light. I've been running the same set of 123's in it for at least 3 years with no appreciable drop in output.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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What is interesting to know here is that there is no failsafe for this type of issue. The car continues at WOT until it (inevitably) runs into an object with greater mass. This event was no exception. :(
They sell failsafes separately. That would have been hilarious to watch.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
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Buy NiMH batteries and recharge them?

I have AAs that I use for the P&S camera, off camera flash, remote controls, kid's toys, etc. They tend to last 4-5 years/set in my usage scenario.

They pay for themselves very quickly.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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Anyone here ever lick an old battery?
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:35 PM   #11
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They sell failsafes separately.
Yeah I know that now.

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That would have been hilarious to watch.
Unless you are the owner.
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