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Thread: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

  1. #1

    Default That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Bought a few 4pk of Powermax AA batteries at Fry's for .39/pack a few months ago. Batteries have an expiration date printed on the battery of June 2017.

    I've been using them mostly for an radio controlled F1 car (6xAA) and a radio controlled coaxial helicopter (also 6xAA). I also put 2xAA in a black MiniMag (non-LED), and another 2xAA in a silver MiniMag with NiteIze 1-watt LED upgrade II (LRB-1W). They were all installed in their devices around second week of May 2012. The silver MiniMag sees the most use, at least once a day for a few minutes at a time when I'm taking apart or putting together things like working on a car or computer or household maintenance.

    The silver MiniMag stopped working today and when I pulled the batteries out, the bottom one had leaked, and top one had white powdery stuff on the positive end. I checked the other devices and those batteries are fine.

    I'm sure if I used a name brand like Energizer or Duracell, this wouldn't have happened so soon. Cheap isn't always good. =)

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    I'd go so far as to say that all alkaline cells in general aren't good now that we have better (higher usable capacity in higher drain rate devices, higher voltage at higher drain rates, recharge and use many many times, low self discharge, oh yeah, and don't leak) options like Eneloops.

    Eneloops would very likely perform significantly better in the devices you mentioned. And while you'd pay more for them upfront, along with a quality independent port "smart" NiMH charger, you'd likely save overall in the long run.
    Last edited by Wrend; 08-02-2012 at 04:31 AM.

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrend View Post
    Eneloops would very likely perform significantly better in the devices you mentioned. And while you'd pay more for them upfront, along with a quality independent port "smart" NiMH charger, you'd likely save overall in the long run.
    A bit off topic here I suppose, but what really got me started replacing alkaline cells with NiCds in the early/mid 80's was the performance increase, not the cost savings. In the early years, I think I actually spent more converting to rechargeable cells than if I had stuck with alkalines. The increase in performance was worth it to me though.

    As an example, I had a Mini Mag back then, it was one of the first, I believe. I also had an R/C 4x4 truck that used 8 AA NiCd cells at the time, and just for the heck of it, tried out the NiCd AA cells in the Mini Mag. These 400mAh NiCd cells didn't have near the capacity of alkaline cells of the day, but what was noticeable, was how much brighter the light was throughout most of the, admittedly, shorter runtime.

    Actually the alkaline cells were a bit brighter for the first few minutes, due to their higher voltage at the start. After a few minutes though, the NiCd cells were as bright, or actually brighter for most of the run, until they would suddenly drop out, as nickel based cells do, when they're depleted.

    As I remember the 400mAh NiCd cells would only run the Mini Mag for about an hour. Alkaline cells would run for much longer, but most of the "extended runtime" was in what we now call "moon mode", LOL!

    The ability of NiCds to run the light brighter did take it's toll on bulbs though. Due to the higher voltage maintenance of NiCd cells (and thus brighter output), the bulbs would only last about two hours.

    Anyway the reason I started converting over from alkaline to rechargeable cells, wasn't to save money, as I said, it probably actually cost me more. It was the performance gain that I was after. Nowadays, rechargeable cells such as eneloops, offer better performance and capacity in all but very low current drain devices and a few that are voltage sensitive, than alkaline cells. Because of this, except for a few button cell sizes, I don't use alkaline cells at all, anymore. And also, at this point, considering all the cells and chargers that I've purchased over the years, I'm fairly certain staying with alkalines would have been cheaper, but especially nowadays, in most devices, their performance really sucks! That, and I haven't even mentioned alkaline cells leaking! "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"

    Sorry for going OT, Lightwriter. I'll stop now.

    Dave

  4. #4
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    I like using eneloops in low drain devices like remotes, weather stations etc is:

    A) - Main reason: I can always easily check the battery condition (charge, discharge, recharge) and put it back in use. With alkaline it is not so easy - you can measure voltage but it won't tell much about condition. You can measure internal resistance but it won't tell much about capacity in low/high drain. And if you discharge the cell you will get real capacity but you can't recharge it :-)
    I remember having box full of alkalines with voltages around 1.25V which were not useful in most of devices but they were still good for some low drain use... Also you can't trust them (like put them in very badly accessible outside temperature wireless probe and after one month replacing them...) I don't want to deal with this anymore...

    B) I have "stocked in devices" moreless charged AA cells in case of emergency and I can use many cells from remotes etc in flashlights... Sure they are not 100% charged but still better than XX years old alkaline battery with high internal resistance.

    C) they don't leak

    D) Maybe in low-term aspect it will be cheaper (but I really don't bet on it in low drain devices)

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    Flashaholic* Wrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Yeah, but us guys here tend to go a little overboard on our gadgets and how we power them.

    That being said, I think I've almost broken even in the few years that I've been using Eneloops now (maybe not including the second C9000 I picked up yet, though that purchase wasn't really necessary, just a convenience) with what I would have spent on alkaline cells. My wife and I (OK, mostly just me) used to go through hundreds of them a year, and I would store the old depleted leaking ones in coffee cans waiting to get dropped off.

    I'll give it a few more years, and if my Eneloops are still holding up, I'm sure they will have payed for themselves in the form of cost savings compared to alkaline cells (chargers included). Unless they came with something, I always used to buy name brand alkaline cells.

    Either way, getting the Eneloops was worth it just for their performance and convenience (it's pretty sweet never running out of batteries that are charged up and ready to use).

    ...

    More than a bit off subject here, but I thought I'd share with you guys that I just got the urge to make a 10S Eneloop pack to power one of my C9000s, and, you guessed it, use it to charge Eneloops.

    Last edited by Wrend; 08-02-2012 at 07:53 PM.

  6. #6

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    I think the biggest convenience is always having batteries on hand! How many times have you or your kids used the last alkaline and had to run to the corner store so you can power a toy or video game controller? With rechargables this does not happen since in 2 hours you can have batteries charged and ready to use instead of having to wait till the next trip to the store. Other households in my family are constantly running out of batteries but that doesn't happen here. I am guessing there is cost savings bigger than we all realize when you consider all the alkalines that your devices would eat up and those emergency trips to the store to buy overpriced batteries because you are out and you need them now.

    There is also the fact that many devices use 2 batteries but only drain 1, thus if you don't have even a cheap battery tester, you are likely throwing away perfectly good batteries and money too.

  7. #7

    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Rechargeables are the cheapest batteries you can buy, buy quite a large margin. The only thing I use alkalines for are remote controls and other low drain devices. In other devices, like remote contol cars, planes, digital cameras, and of course, high powered flashlights, just think how much money you would spend buying alkalines every time the batteries died! Most of my lights use AA's, and not only are the rechargeables cheaper (In the long run), but they outperform alkalines, and do not damage my stuff!!!!

  8. #8

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    The thing I like the most about rechargables is having a constant supply of batteries that almost never run out as long as you recharge them. I don't put them in remotes though as I have way too many remotes and it would be very costly to buy eneloops for all of them, and my remotes barely drain batteries at all. Even in my most used remote a decent set of alkalines would last more than 2 years. I also put alkaline in my thermostat and smoke detectors, they last a couple years too.

  9. #9
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightwriter View Post
    Bought a few 4pk of Powermax AA batteries at Fry's for .39/pack a few months ago. Batteries have an expiration date printed on the battery of June 2017.

    I've been using them mostly for an radio controlled F1 car (6xAA) and a radio controlled coaxial helicopter (also 6xAA). I also put 2xAA in a black MiniMag (non-LED), and another 2xAA in a silver MiniMag with NiteIze 1-watt LED upgrade II (LRB-1W). They were all installed in their devices around second week of May 2012. The silver MiniMag sees the most use, at least once a day for a few minutes at a time when I'm taking apart or putting together things like working on a car or computer or household maintenance.

    The silver MiniMag stopped working today and when I pulled the batteries out, the bottom one had leaked, and top one had white powdery stuff on the positive end. I checked the other devices and those batteries are fine.

    I'm sure if I used a name brand like Energizer or Duracell, this wouldn't have happened so soon. Cheap isn't always good. =)
    Statement in bold absolutely could not be farther from the truth. The truth is Alkaline cells are failure prone PERIOD. Makes no diff how much you pay for them, what their expiration date is or what brand. They will leak at any time, even new and unused in the packaging.
    CLICK HERE for my flashlight reviews.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrend View Post
    Yeah, but us guys here tend to go a little overboard on our gadgets and how we power them.

    More than a bit off subject here, but I thought I'd share with you guys that I just got the urge to make a 10S Eneloop pack to power one of my C9000s, and, you guessed it, use it to charge Eneloops.

    It must be a sickness. At least its fun.
    Leslie W. Knight

  11. #11

    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Fry's batteries should be pulled from the market, and that's coming from me: a guy who thinks everything should be legal, and that if someone wants to sell fur off a sewer rat as the cure for cancer, that should be legal.

    The difference is: The crazy guy on the corner may really think his sewer rat fur will cure cancer, and I have no proof that it will not. Fry's knows $#@% well their AA and AAA batteries will leak and destroy electronics. Fry's knows $#@% well that their batteries with expiration dates 5-years into the future will not last even 1 year.

    Avoid Fry's batteries at all costs.

    If you want proof that Fry's lies about their batteries, try returning them. They will tell you that you can not get your money back for batteries dated 20127 that leaked, and are still in their original packaging because that's normal for batteries.

  12. #12

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    No try's here but my worst experience has still been with maxell batteries. Amazon reviews corroborate what I have experienced. They just leak, even when in the package. I wouldn't give them to my worst enemy. I would rather pay eneloop prices so at least my stuff doesn't get destroyed.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* Hondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    There are two kinds of alkaline batteries: Those that have leaked, and those that are going to leak.

    I have had a fairly equal number of all major brand batteries of all sizes leak: Duracell, Energizer and Rayovac. Ironically, some of the oldest batteries I have laying about that have never had a leaker are some cheapie store brand ones. I have had way-dead ones leak, ones that have only been lightly used, and tons that are still in the package, and not past exp. date. Lost over half a dozen Maglights to this, finally sent back a brand new 2C with fairly new, never used Rayovacs exploded in it to Rayovac, and they sent a check to cover it. That could be the best reason to use big name brands if you must use alkalines, they will pay for your ruined stuff if you will take the time to send it to them.

    Just tossed several leaking new-old-stock Duracell AAA's the other night. Been waiting a few years to get cycled through something in the house I don't care about, they came with lights that I use NiMH's in.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: That's what I get for buying a 4xAA pack of Powermax alkalines for .39 at Fry's.

    Brand new / unused Duracell just sitting on my keyboard for 2-3 weeks started sweating/oozing on its own. Its juices ate the paint off my HP keyboard... Just sitting there doing nothing!! POS Alkaline!!!

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