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Jun 19, 2021 - 6:00:38 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006


/ begin rant

Okay, I don't know if it's me just getting old and remembering happy thoughts about batteries that never really was real ... or something is going on with batteries, or sumthin' or 'nuther...

I mean, my happy memories is that batteries used to last a little while. It seems that over the last few years or decade or so, that's just not true anymore.

A month ago I bought a 2-pack of those disc batteries for tuners, #2032, a very common battery. I used to get a year out of one of these in a tuner and they seemed to have some shelf life. Lately, I'm lucky to get a few weeks or month out of one. From that 2-pack, one was all used up in my tuner in about 3+ weeks. The spare battery I had bought, was dead once I put it in the tuner, and I tried on several tuners and yep, totally dead. Well, let me back up, it lit up the tuner for about 10 seconds, then gasped its last breath. I mean, what the heck??

A couple of months ago I bought new, fresh alkaline AA batteries for my Zoom recorder, used it a few hours, put it away in its case and this morning they are dead, got the low battery warning on startup then it shut down immediately. I mean, I only used 'em a few hours. Really?

So either I got crappy batteries to begin with (they were all name-brand) or near their end date and I didn't notice, or there's some slow drain going on, or I am just in some happy fantasy land and batteries never really lasted that long. Seems they did, though.

angry

/ end rant
 

Edited by - banjoy on 06/19/2021 06:03:10

Jun 19, 2021 - 7:17:49 AM
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Owen

Canada

8984 posts since 6/5/2011
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Tongue-in-cheek, maybe this is an example of the passage of time appearing to speed up as age increases??  cheeky

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:24:12 AM
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1845 posts since 2/4/2013

My cheap tuner battery, just like yours, has been going for about four months so far. Perhaps it's because "banjo players spend half there time tuning the banjo" and I don't play enough.

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:42:01 AM
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2692 posts since 2/10/2013

Unless battery technologies have changed, batteries lasted longer when stored in a cold place. I once visited a facility that tested equipment. I asked them why they had refrigerators full of batteries for testing equipment. They said batteries lasted much longer when in a cold environment. I would guess the chemicals in the batteries were not as active when cold.

Jun 19, 2021 - 8:47:22 AM
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813 posts since 9/7/2005

Not only do they not last long power wise, but they leak if you look at them wrong and that includes the “name brand” batteries too. I have ruined numerous electronic gizmos and flashlights by discovering too late that they have leaked and eaten up the connections, wiring or something that has screwed them up. My game cams are particularly vulnerable and expensive to replace. Yet another product sent off shore to be manufactured that has turned into “freshly made junk” that is filling up our landfills, and in the case of batteries causing environmental issues also. One manufacturer claims “ten years” storage…….my a$$!

Jun 19, 2021 - 9:05:23 AM
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Brian T

Canada

18366 posts since 6/5/2008

1. Battery chemicals have to be mined and refined. The refining process is costly.
BUT, it's the purity of the battery chemicals that makes them "go."
2. Two electronic circuits, both designed to do the same thing. one will sip on voltage,
the other will suck power like there's no tomorrow. What do you own?
3. Chemical reactions (such as in batteries) change by a factor of approx 2 for every 10C change in temperature. That's why you bake stuff in the oven= you want the chemical reactions done is a reasonable length of time.
So, 20C (68F) in your kitchen. Down to 10C, half of that. Down to 0C, half of that again.
That should slow the chemistry down to 1/4. Your fridge is probably running +4C on your lettuce so storing batteries in there is still a good plan.

Jun 19, 2021 - 10:54:30 AM

6806 posts since 9/5/2006
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i get months out of my tuner batteries,,don't know whats up with yours. i use a snark. what kind is the one you use?

Jun 19, 2021 - 1:30:21 PM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

quote:
Originally posted by 1935tb-11

i get months out of my tuner batteries,,don't know whats up with yours. i use a snark. what kind is the one you use?


I've got one version of about every popular tuner over the last decade or two, currently I'm using a D'Addario Mini tuner like this one which I like quite a bit:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/DAddario-Planet-Waves/NS-Micro-Headstock-Tuner-1375800279142.gc

But mine is un-branded. Same tuner though.

After reading some of the replies I'm wondering if the stores I buy these from have hot warehouses, it's possible. I've been buying my batteries from one of the dollar stores, maybe they don't store their stock properly. As I think about it, it seems I've been buying all my batteries over the last few years from these cheapie stores, maybe that's the issue.

Where would be a good place to buy reliable fresh batteries? I'm thinking maybe I should get these at WalMart? Maybe their stock moves quicker so is fresher....?

Jun 19, 2021 - 1:41:41 PM
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Brian T

Canada

18366 posts since 6/5/2008

Our village hardware store must have as fast battery turnover as any place!

Jun 19, 2021 - 1:58:55 PM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

The AA batteries that died are in my Zoom H6. They were brand new about 6 weeks ago, I did some high-resolution recording for a couple of hours and it said they were down to about 50%. I put it to bed in its case on a shelf in my office, and in that time the remaining juice went away.

With the Zoom at least I can go with a USB / AC adapter but that won't work out in the field.

I keep my house between 75-80 degrees give or take this time of year. I could start keeping spares in the refrigerator, that's no problem.

Anyway, this gets a little costly, buying batteries every time I need to turn something on.

Jun 20, 2021 - 6:02:41 AM
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6806 posts since 9/5/2006
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walgreens always has fresh ones around here

Jun 21, 2021 - 1:26:24 AM
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phb

Germany

2824 posts since 11/8/2010

I use a set of quality rechargeables for my Zoom. I also have a lot of 2032s and no problem with them. The voltage of batteries is determined by the combination of active materials but their capacity by how much of the good stuff is in them. So I guess they can make batteries with more or less capacity/life. I assume that some other battery parts such as the membranes I believe that are in there can be made of different qualities, e.g. equality of thickness across the membrane.

I remember that batteries were very expensive when I was a child. We wouldn't often get replacements for our few electric toys. I think even the literal asking price of batteries today is lower than fourty years ago (I pay like 3€ for 8 AA batteries).

Jun 21, 2021 - 3:25:37 AM
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1121 posts since 9/6/2019
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quote:
Originally posted by banjoy
quote:
Originally posted by 1935tb-11

i get months out of my tuner batteries,,don't know whats up with yours. i use a snark. what kind is the one you use?


I've got one version of about every popular tuner over the last decade or two, currently I'm using a D'Addario Mini tuner like this one which I like quite a bit:

https://www.guitarcenter.com/DAddario-Planet-Waves/NS-Micro-Headstock-Tuner-1375800279142.gc

But mine is un-branded. Same tuner though.

After reading some of the replies I'm wondering if the stores I buy these from have hot warehouses, it's possible. I've been buying my batteries from one of the dollar stores, maybe they don't store their stock properly. As I think about it, it seems I've been buying all my batteries over the last few years from these cheapie stores, maybe that's the issue.

Where would be a good place to buy reliable fresh batteries? I'm thinking maybe I should get these at WalMart? Maybe their stock moves quicker so is fresher....?


This may be your problem. I have noticed that things you get in the dollar stores are usually at, or beyond, their shelf life. Any time my son gets batteries from one of these stores they go dead very quick. They get their stock, and their ability to sell so much cheaper, from stores that are getting rid of old, damaged, or out-of-date merchandise. The button batteries are, in my experience, always hit and miss. I have several rifle scopes that use them for reticle illumination and sometimes they last forever and other times they are pretty much dead right out of the package.

I think you're on to something regarding buying batteries where stock moves faster. I usually get mine from Lowes or Sam's Club. They seem to last better.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:08:25 AM
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4191 posts since 12/6/2009

The red Kodak batteries only last half as long as the black ones in my experience. Probably why they’re cheaper. Also a factor today a lot of battery operated stuff has more inside stuff going on....an old tuner was on off and just a one sound indicator with nothing fancy. Tuners today have buzzers ringers’ lights green and red and blue....3 or 4 levels of whatever...reminds me. I had a watch once as a gift it had a winding stem I thought. I had that watch for 4 years until I did a job down by the jersey shore and I had taken it off and left it on a window sill. It remained on the window sill for 3 months before a Plumber I knew picked it up and as he knew it was my watch he brought it to me. I couldn’t get that dang thing to work by winding and winding. I loved that watch so I took it to the Sears repair guy......went back the next day and it was fixed....I asked what was wrong he said “battery was dead”...I had that thing 4 years never knew it had a battery....it lasted 4 years....and I bet if I hadn’t left it in the high humid shore area it would have lasted another couple years.....car batteries also have a shorter life then used to.....they have so many things that are using electric even with the key off it drains them away....I get maybe 3-4 years now where I used to get 8/10 years on them old cars.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:20:56 AM
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Eric A

USA

1260 posts since 10/15/2019

My snark eats batteries, but it's been better since I started deliberately turning it off when I'm done with it instead of letting it time itself out.

tune quick, be done, turn it off.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:25:46 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

I have a min-flex microphone inside my top tension banjo that I had totally forgotten about because I don't pick that banjo much anymore. So I opened it up yesterday and of course the single AA battery in it was gooped up and nasty. Oops. Should have remembered it sooner.

So I cleaned it up (it was all dry powder by now, and it never touched the banjo, no damage done to anything) it cleaned up nicely no issues. So I decided to take some of the advice above and went to Walgreen's (a pharmacy here in the US) to get some fresh batteries. I only wanted one.

At Walgreen's they had only two brands. So I bought a 4-pack of Energizer AA batteries (didn't these used to come in a 2-pack??). What I noticed is there is NO expiration date printed anywhere on the package. Didn't these used to have printed expiry dates??? But there is a "10 Year Shelf Life" guarantee ... but how the heck to know with no date stamped anywhere?? Makes no sense.

The 3 spare AA's are now in the refrigerator.

I would have also bought some fresh 2032's -- BUT FOR SOME REASON, the battery in my tuner came back to life yesterday. At least for a little while, it worked yesterday, but it was dead, nothing, nada, zip, and now it works again? Zombie batteries? The twin battery that came with this one is still dead, never used but this one is apparently on it's second life...

I strongly suspect the source of where I bought them now. No more dollar store name-brand batteries for me. I'll get them from Walgreen's or WalMart of some big box store from now on.

These things ain't cheap. It adds up!!

=====

(Also, I was wrong, my tuner IS branded "D'Addario" I just never noticed it before because the way it's clipped on my banjo. Nice little tuner.)

Edited by - banjoy on 06/21/2021 04:30:48

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:32:01 AM
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1845 posts since 2/4/2013

quote:
Originally posted by banjoy


But there is a "10 Year Shelf Life" guarantee ... but how the heck to know with no date stamped anywhere?? Makes no sense.


I strongly suspect the source of where I bought them now. No more dollar store name-brand batteries for me. I'll get them from Walgreen's or WalMart of some big box store from now on.

 


I don't think batteries hang around on the shelf or even in peoples draws for 10 years unless people forget about them so a date is fairly pointless.

As to poundshop batteries that's what I use in my tuner without a problem.

Jun 21, 2021 - 4:52:06 AM
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phb

Germany

2824 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by GrahamHawker

As to poundshop batteries that's what I use in my tuner without a problem.


Apparently a quid buys you better batteries than a buck (no wonder, it's 40% more valuable)... :)

Jun 21, 2021 - 5:36:50 AM
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436 posts since 3/26/2009

I don't seem to get much time out of a 2032 in a Snark. If I go to a jam where the key is constantly changing and I keep it on to tweak, a battery only seems to last a few hours.

A couple of months ago I bought this rechargeable tuner from Amazon.  I like it so far, It is only on it's third charge, but I have only left the house with it once.   I worry that it might go dead "out" so I put a Snark with a fresh battery in my case, but it was on most of the day at the festival after a fresh charge and did fine.  My only complaint with the thing is that the power button also changes the mode. (long press, short press).  A couple of times I've ended up in "G"(guitar) mode instead of "C" (chromatic).  Can get a bit annoying.

Jun 21, 2021 - 5:52:31 AM

banjoy

USA

9681 posts since 7/1/2006

It's weird, but every time I have bought a tuner, the battery that came in it lasts a long long time. I own 2 or 3 Snarks (different color ones) and they lasted well over a year on the original battery. Every battery I put in my Snarks since then gets gobbled up super fast, and I usually turn them off after tuning.

This D'Addario mini-tuner was given to me as a gift over a year ago, before the pandemic lockdown, and that battery lasted until last month, so about 13 months out of that one battery. That's how I remember batteries used to be all the time.

Now, like the Snarks, it seems to eat batteries for breakfast.

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:09:10 AM
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458 posts since 5/29/2015

Using a pencil eraser or very fine sandpaper to clean the metal contacts in the battery compartment can sometimes solve what appears to be a dead battery problem.

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:14:23 AM
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YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

207 posts since 5/11/2021

You should be using rechargeable Li-ion or NiMH batteries on your camera and pretty much all other electronic devices. Never buy batteries at dollar stores, they're just overstock resale warehouses and the products are all very old.

Ignore the "tv commercial" brands (energizer, duracell, panasonic) because they're all junk. Look for Eneloop, EBL, or Tenergy batteries, you will have to go to specialty camera/battery store or order online. AmazonBasics brand is good if you get the ones that are Made in Japan, but they use several manufacturers and don't always ship exactly what you order so it's a crapshoot. 

A few years ago I bought several packs of Tenergy rechargeable batteries to replace all my standard cells. That's the way to go for batteries, IMO. Non-rechargeable batteries are basically pointless at this point in time.

Edited by - YellowSkyBlueSun on 06/21/2021 06:15:13

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:24:26 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13474 posts since 5/24/2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by YellowSkyBlueSun

You should be using rechargeable Li-ion or NiMH batteries on your camera and pretty much all other electronic devices. Never buy batteries at dollar stores, they're just overstock resale warehouses and the products are all very old.

Ignore the "tv commercial" brands (energizer, duracell, panasonic) because they're all junk. Look for Eneloop, EBL, or Tenergy batteries, you will have to go to specialty camera/battery store or order online. AmazonBasics brand is good if you get the ones that are Made in Japan, but they use several manufacturers and don't always ship exactly what you order so it's a crapshoot. 

A few years ago I bought several packs of Tenergy rechargeable batteries to replace all my standard cells. That's the way to go for batteries, IMO. Non-rechargeable batteries are basically pointless at this point in time.

 

Good information here.  I have not tried rechargeables since the 1990s.  I curious how long of life you are getting with the newer rechargeable batteries?  Thanks, Brad

Jun 21, 2021 - 6:43:25 AM

YellowSkyBlueSun

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

207 posts since 5/11/2021

I haven't done any real measuring or data collection on the batteries, but anecdotally I haven't noticed them going dead any faster than any other batteries I've ever used. There's various types, so get the battery built for the application. Low-self-discharge are good for things like tuners or tv remotes. Higher capacity (mAH) is better for digital devices. Rechargeable tech has come a long way since the 90s, might want to give them another try.

Jun 21, 2021 - 7:24:36 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

13474 posts since 5/24/2005
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quote:
Originally posted by YellowSkyBlueSun

I haven't done any real measuring or data collection on the batteries, but anecdotally I haven't noticed them going dead any faster than any other batteries I've ever used. There's various types, so get the battery built for the application. Low-self-discharge are good for things like tuners or tv remotes. Higher capacity (mAH) is better for digital devices. Rechargeable tech has come a long way since the 90s, might want to give them another try.


I love my battery powered tools.  But keeping flashlights operating, argghhhh.  I keep a lot of flashlights around the house and basement.  Seems all I do is replace the batteries, but still most of the time they are dead when I a need one..  So I load new ones (good ones) just so the can be dead the next time i need one.  

Thanks, brad

Jun 21, 2021 - 7:30:04 AM

12240 posts since 1/15/2005
Online Now

I will say the the batteries for power equipment are way superior to the old ones. I was lucky to get 10 minutes from a charge on my old B&D hedge trimmer. The ones on my new one will still be plenty fresh when I am worn out ...... same with my drill. I try to buy equipment that takes the same battery so I will always have fresh batteries.

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