D-cell Alkalines... no longer worth it? Obsolete vs. other batteries?

Stress_Test

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Yeah, the C adapters I have look like that. They are open at each end, so there can be contact issues depending on the light (or device).
 

alpg88

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I use these, they look a little better than coil springs, but i did not use them for more than 2A or so, i also put a little piece of foam rubber under the contacts so they press better.

s-l1600.jpg
 

TPA

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D-cells were the workhorse of my family's survival and (ongoing) recovery during and for many months after Hurricane Ian.

20'+ storm surge destroyed our electrical distribution system along with its three generators and their propane tanks flooded away. My Honda EU2000i was spared because it was left on the mainland before the storm. Because of the mess left by the storm, the Honda saw very little usage as I was none-too-enthused about trying to navigate sand & debris-filled stairwells and hallways, nor did I feel the desire to lug fuel up the same debris-filled path.

Costco Duracell 4D & 8D lanterns provided the majority of lighting and some USB charging in a pinch. I do own 4x BLF LT1 and 4x BLF LT Minis, and I love them, but without a consistently reliable way of recharging them, they're paperweights. It's a condo building, so solar panels aren't going to do me any good, especially hiking 10+ stories up and down in a blown-out building.

Also, the Sony ICF-19 is an amazing radio, built for 3rd world countries. Powered by 3x D cells, it'll run for 400+ hours on one set of batteries. Even running it 12 hours a day, the batteries will still good after more than a month. The westernized version, the ICF-506 costs double and only lasts for 35 hours or so on 3x AA cells. If you're going to go for an AA-based radio, look at Sony's ICF-P27.. $23 at Walmart and lasts about 100 hours on 2x AAs.

It was 50+ days after the storm before we were able to get jerry-rigged power to our home's breaker panel and some parts of the building. It was 105 days before we got utility power. It's been 317 days since the storm and there still is no phone/internet/TV there. For awhile the State had set up some Starlink nodes and someone set up an Aerostat (cool!!!!), but those are gone now and it's cell only.

Safe to say, battery-operating lighting and radios have been good friends of mine. As time moved on and AC power was easier to come by, I did start using more USB-based lights like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SW6Y6D3/?tag=cpf0b6-20 , which I used to illuminate stairwells and hallways. I also used https://haventents.com/products/haven-ridgelight , which beats the Luminoodle for light, efficiency, and durability, but the 4D/8D lanterns still did most of our lighting. The BLF LT/LT Minis have made a reappearance.

I don't really care for rechargeable batteries in an emergency situation. Self-discharge is an issue, as is wear. Seeing my battery box of alkalines, I know exactly how much power I have on hand. I have P-touch labels on my emergency gear detailing what type and how many batteries it takes, along with what run-times should be at the various settings. I also have a printed Excel sheet summarizing this as well. In a real emergency, you've got what you got on-hand, nothing more.
 

Monocrom

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To be honest, I've always preferred C-cell flashlights overs D's.

Slimmer barrels for better grip and sometimes even more compact sizes overall.
 

Stress_Test

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Well I've looked online at the Lowes' and Home Depot sites and their prices are just as high as Kroger's were. I thought I had it made when looking at the Battery Junction site, until I found out that the >$50 free shipping doesn't apply to D-cells. By the time shipping cost was added, the price-per-cell was.... pretty much the same as the other stores.

I don't know if the prices are like that nationwide now or not, but it seems like for whatever reason D-cells are now selling for about 2 bucks per cell at minimum.
 

Monocrom

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Well I've looked online at the Lowes' and Home Depot sites and their prices are just as high as Kroger's were. I thought I had it made when looking at the Battery Junction site, until I found out that the >$50 free shipping doesn't apply to D-cells. By the time shipping cost was added, the price-per-cell was.... pretty much the same as the other stores.

I don't know if the prices are like that nationwide now or not, but it seems like for whatever reason D-cells are now selling for about 2 bucks per cell at minimum.
Alkaline battery prices across the board are up.
It's even worse with non-common ones such as button or coin-cell batts.
 

idleprocess

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Alkaline battery prices across the board are up.
It's even worse with non-common ones such as button or coin-cell batts.
Sure are:
1691714025760.png

I still haven't verified whether the store brand are alkaline cells; at that level of discount I imaging they're zinc-carbon.

Li- cells are stupid expensive:
1691714068336.png

I wouldn't regularly use anything requiring Li cells at those prices. Especially not the coin cells running almost as much as 123As.
 

Stress_Test

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Yeah, the crazy thing was that even the Kroger brand D and C were the same prices as Energizer and Duracell! I thought what the heck, this is a scam!

I'll probably bite the bullet and get a 12 pack of D somewhere just to have on hand for my battery powered fan, in case of hot weather power outages. Even a little airflow on the face helps when trying to sleep.

But for lighting heck no, not with the other options I've got. Besides, I went through a 5 day outage about 10 years ago and I hardly made a dent in rechargables because I was mostly using low and moonlight mode on my Quarks. No need to light the place up like Vegas!
 

Monocrom

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Yeah, the crazy thing was that even the Kroger brand D and C were the same prices as Energizer and Duracell! I thought what the heck, this is a scam!

I'll probably bite the bullet and get a 12 pack of D somewhere just to have on hand for my battery powered fan, in case of hot weather power outages.
I'd say your best bet for D-cells (though no guarantees) would be the Home Depot in-house branded HDX batteries. I've got limited experience with those. But found them to be on par with D batteries from other brands. Usually they're quite a bit lower in price than the other brands. Not sure if that applies for online sales, but I've had good luck at their physical, Brick & Mortar locations.
 

TPA

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Sheesh at those prices!! I only buy my alkalines at Sam's / Costco. Button cells come from eBay or Amazon.

For fans, these are my go-to: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y1VZ00E/?tag=cpf0b6-20 I've probably bought more than 50 of them over the past few years. I've give them away as gifts and tips. 18650 or USB powered. Amazing volume of air from such a small, low power fan. On low they'll run all night long, which is the real time when you need a fan in Florida. Daytime there's usually a breeze. At night it's dead still with 100% humidity. Currently 87F with an 80F dewpoint at 1AM as I write this. My original ones from 2017 are still going strong despite being dragged all around the world and used multiple times a week. They saved our bacon after Hurricane Irma. The weather after Hurricane Ian was surprisingly pleasant. If you do go for these, beware. There are other brands with the same case design, but their motors spin at lower RPMs and it's a substantial difference.
 

Dave_H

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Yes, Lithium primary prices are a bit nuts here also, but coin cells are available OTC at Dollar stores (and Ikea) typically 2-3 for $1.25 or so; secondary brands, but usually "good enough" for my use.

Alkaline price not a problem here, just extracted seven Energizer and Duracell D's from recycle. One was dead, rest are at 1.4v to 1.5v no-load. In the last dozen years I have not met anyone else who takes the time to do this (all of 5-10 minutes for the last case). People usually just complain about price and buy more, while many go on under-utilizing the product.

Dave
 

alpg88

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costco kirkland batteries are very good, makes me think it is "rewrapped" Duracell's, pretty much everything kirkland is relabled made by brand names. home depot HDX batteries i never tried but pretty much everything else brand hdx, is not a high quality stuff, mid to low. but then so it the price, their masking tape is the worst. at least it was few years back, bought it once, had to repaint edges, it would not stick consistently, had paint running under it. never bought another roll again, maybe they improved, but i'm not giving them another chance to ruin my work,
 

bridgman

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As for actual D NiMh batteries, need more tests to see how long they will stay charged in a Maglite or other light. I don't see an easy solution in any case but whether you store Eneloops AAA > D adapters or NiMh D cells in the lights and have a partial charge or run the risk ruining lights with alkaline D batteries, or just get cheapo D flashlights and not worry about it.. I'd say that's up to the consumer.
I picked up a bunch of EBL NiMH D cells several years ago (along with a few C's) and am still using them happily. I think one has died in that time but the rest are going strong.

Still have a stock of alkaline D's that I'm keeping around... guess I'm hedging my bets in case there is a massive power outage plus months of cloudy weather for the solar plus no gas available plus burning through the 20 gallons of stabilized gas I keep in reserve.

Statistically it seems more likely that the alkalines will all leak and die before something like that happens.
 

Lawman VII XIV

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I won't user Duracells as they're basically electrons in a sieve. If you use a lot of batteries and they have to be replaced frequently then Duracells would be ok. Rechargeables would be better, but then there's the capacity of D cells vs whatever rechargeables you're using.

I've got a area lantern that uses 3xD and two LED Maglites that use 2xD. Energizer D cells get changed out ever couple of years with absolutely no signs of leaking. I'd never trust Duracells for that, because I've been burned enough to be more than twice shy.

Costco and Amazon branded batteries are most likely Duracells using a disguise to destroy your stuff.

These three devices don't get a lot of use, they're stand-by for the house and car. If they were used regularly I'd check them more frequently. But they are most appropriate for that use case.

Yes, bad for the environment and one day it may be more practical for me to use NiMH or Li actual D cells. My experience is that eneloops low self-discharge rate is exaggerated, and "fresh" eneloops drop to 70% much sooner that is to be expected. So for now Enegizer D cells are my go to.

DeWalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, etc., have high-capacity battery systems that also power their fans, LED lights, and inverters that can provide power for AC stuff and charger electronics. That's an expensive way to go but a few 4A batteries can keep devices going for days longer than Ds or ganged AAs.
 

Lark Hunter

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Alkaline price not a problem here, just extracted seven Energizer and Duracell D's from recycle. One was dead, rest are at 1.4v to 1.5v no-load. In the last dozen years I have not met anyone else who takes the time to do this (all of 5-10 minutes for the last case). People usually just complain about price and buy more, while many go on under-utilizing the product.
I do the same thing. Though I don't use many alkalines in my own stuff, a number of the large commercial facilities I've worked at use them in large quantities. It's not too uncommon to find, say, one bad cell in a device that takes three, so you've actually got two that are still usable. I'll match these by voltage, set them aside... I use the ~1.4v ones in low draw stuff like remote controls, and the ~1.5v ones as new.
 
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