True 1.5v AA and AAA batteries

gnappi

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I've been off of commercial pre-charged batteries whenever possible with the exception of AA and AAA batteries. I found that 1.25 volt cells do not work in a number of small devices I have (pulse oximeter, label maker, toothbrush etc.) and I've wanted to get re-chargeable substitutes since forever.

Recently I tried buying eight EBL AAA "1.5" volt rechargeable batteries off Ebay and they were too weird to be of use. They "charged" to 4.6 volts, and afterward read less than 1 volt in my DMM and failed to work.

So I'm on the hunt for a brand that can actually replace the reliable "copper top" batteries I now am forced to use. Has anyone here found anything that works?
 

NiOOH

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This has been discussed here. If you want a spot on 1.5 V during the whole discharge, get regulated LiIon AAs.
 

fivemega

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Fully recharged 1.5 V Li-ion regulated Li-ion AAs have voltage of 1.5 volts WITHOUT LOAD.
Under load of about 1 Amp, voltage drops to about 1.2 volt.
I still think Eneloops should work fine for your application.
 

NiOOH

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Fully recharged 1.5 V Li-ion regulated Li-ion AAs have voltage of 1.5 volts WITHOUT LOAD.
Under load of about 1 Amp, voltage drops to about 1.2 volt.
I still think Eneloops should work fine for your application.
That's not true. The batteries are regulated and keep constant 1.5 V under load right up to their max. current limit.
 

hamhanded

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That's not true. The batteries are regulated and keep constant 1.5 V under load right up to their max. current limit.
Have you tested this with some? Which brand? I've been using fivemega's advice on all things voltage related for some time now; it's possible some brands behave differently.
 

NiOOH

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Have you tested this with some? Which brand? I've been using fivemega's advice on all things voltage related for some time now; it's possible some brands behave differently.
Yes, I have with XTAR, but IFAIK all work the same way. This is the point of the stabilized, regulated output (same as in power banks). The advantage is obvious. The disadvantage is that battery indicators become useless, since they read full charge until the very end. I think I measured something like 1.48 V @ the max supported 2 A load. Above this, the protection circuit just kicks in, but until then they are nearly flat (1.50-1.48 V). No Eneloop will read even close to this at 2 A.
Here is a review on another brand: https://ripitapart.com/2015/06/17/performance-analysisreview-of-kentli-ph5-li-ion-1-5v-aa-battery/
 
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alpg88

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I have tried few different brands, if you can call them brands, i did not measure voltage drop under load, but what i did notice very high self discharge rate for about half of cells, or even more, some died after only dozens of cycles, so no consistency whatsoever, but it was several years ago, yesterday i ordered 4 different kinds on ebay, pretty much every kind ebay had, i will test them again and see if they improved in any way. i do like the idea a lot, but so far execution was so so, at best.
 

NiOOH

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The only brand I've used was XTAR. Used them for several cycles before giving them to a family member that uses them now (approx 1 year later). No complains about high self discharge or anything else. I guess different brands use different quality cells and electronics. XTAR are known to make (or brand) decent quality products. Based on my experience, I can recommend them.
Then again, if you don't need the constant 1.5 V these supply, there isn't much point of using them. They are more expensive than Eneloops and require a dedicated charger or USB charging. Also, they are limited to a max discharge current of 2 A, and their discharge capacity drops at high loads. Some devices like camera flashes or mech. toys may require a bit more.
 

radellaf

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EBL and XTAR have newer versions that drop to a lower voltage (I have records but forget which) at the last 10% or so, for cases where a warning is important. I mostly use them in LED candles, so don't care.
For radios, too much RFI/EMI. For flashlights, I'm not keen on the heat these generate if you pull more than 500mA, so that's a limited set of flashlights. These days there's enough 14500 compatible lights.
IMHO, at the moment, the biggest annoyance is premature death. Haven't had it happen personally, but reviews report it.
 

vicv

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EBL and XTAR have newer versions that drop to a lower voltage (I have records but forget which) at the last 10% or so, for cases where a warning is important. I mostly use them in LED candles, so don't care.
For radios, too much RFI/EMI. For flashlights, I'm not keen on the heat these generate if you pull more than 500mA, so that's a limited set of flashlights. These days there's enough 14500 compatible lights.
IMHO, at the moment, the biggest annoyance is premature death. Haven't had it happen personally, but reviews report it.
I ran a 1.3A load on my XTAR AA, and they never even got warm
 

radellaf

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I guess they've improved. Good to know!

The early EBLs I would never have run at 1A. I should do tests on the newer ones but, honestly, I don't care. I have no use for 1.5V LI AA at (sustained) high currents. Still, I'm curious.
They are useful in motorized things. All those I've tested are either <500mA (massagers, small RC that still use AA), or just run a short time (door lock, blinds, BP monitor). I guess my thermostat might be good for them, but LiFeS2 work so well, and so long, in that. My remotes are all happy with NiMH, or even heavy duty. So many reviews indicate that some remote controls crap out at 1.2V, though. Or even 1.3 maybe.
 
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vicv

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The only reason why I have any is because XTAR sent me some when they sent me a charger to review. But like you, I don't have a lot of use for them as eneloops serve well. One situation I found them good for though, is for alkaline powered incandescent. Because they hold a 1.5 V, (and to reiterate and disagree with fivemega, they definitely do hold 1.5 V. I don't know why he is insistent on regulated cells dropping voltage underload.), they work very well in this situation. Alkaline cells are terrible under anything more than a few hundred milliamps. Using these instead, gives you the output of fresh cells, for the entirety of the runtime. But this is a pretty niche use. They work great in a incandescent mini mag or an ML 25 IT.
 

radellaf

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One situation I found them good for though, is for alkaline powered incandescent. ...gives you the output of fresh cells, for the entirety of the runtime. But this is a pretty niche use. They work great in a incandescent mini mag or an ML 25 IT.

Yegads, yes, they definitely would put out 1.5V quite happily at a mini mag's ~300mA, which does smush typical alkalines down to about a 5 hour runtime (1500mAh, then?).

But, um, wow... what kind of lamp life do you get out of that? I vaguely recall Mag saying "about 5 sets of batteries", which, with alkalines, would be running below 1.3V for half the time. I remember when Energizer Ultimates first came out and I'd pop the bulb in one set. Then the AAA came out and the solitaire bulb I don't think went a full hour.

It's amazing the RFI, though. I tried the new blue Hixon AAs and, in a cheapie 2AA low current LED RayOVac, they'd mess up an AM radio until they were about a foot away from the internal antenna. Six inches away and you basically couldn't receive anything but hash.

The niche I like best is motors. I'm not sure if the motors will burn out sooner than Eneloops. Probably depends on the thing and how well it's designed, and how long the motors run at a time. I just can't see 'em for most flashlights. Unregulated 2AA LEDs, like that RayOVac, love the 1.5V.. but then I have $10 of batteries in a $5 flashlight. Now that I have so many extra...

LED candles are the use that's made the most difference to me. Especially anything 2AA just doesn't seem designed for anything less than 1.3-1.4 volts without getting dim. I used NiMH, and the lights are dim at about 800mAh used from 2200 or so. Again, batteries cost more than the LED candles, string, or strip...

They're clever, they're cool, and where they're useful, they're a really nice option. USB port ones on those 1AA mice, is nice.
 

vicv

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Yegads, yes, they definitely would put out 1.5V quite happily at a mini mag's ~300mA, which does smush typical alkalines down to about a 5 hour runtime (1500mAh, then?).

But, um, wow... what kind of lamp life do you get out of that? I vaguely recall Mag saying "about 5 sets of batteries", which, with alkalines, would be running below 1.3V for half the time. I remember when Energizer Ultimates first came out and I'd pop the bulb in one set. Then the AAA came out and the solitaire bulb I don't think went a full hour.

It's amazing the RFI, though. I tried the new blue Hixon AAs and, in a cheapie 2AA low current LED RayOVac, they'd mess up an AM radio until they were about a foot away from the internal antenna. Six inches away and you basically couldn't receive anything but hash.

The niche I like best is motors. I'm not sure if the motors will burn out sooner than Eneloops. Probably depends on the thing and how well it's designed, and how long the motors run at a time. I just can't see 'em for most flashlights. Unregulated 2AA LEDs, like that RayOVac, love the 1.5V.. but then I have $10 of batteries in a $5 flashlight. Now that I have so many extra...

LED candles are the use that's made the most difference to me. Especially anything 2AA just doesn't seem designed for anything less than 1.3-1.4 volts without getting dim. I used NiMH, and the lights are dim at about 800mAh used from 2200 or so. Again, batteries cost more than the LED candles, string, or strip...

They're clever, they're cool, and where they're useful, they're a really nice option. USB port ones on those 1AA mice, is nice.
I've been fine so far but honestly, I don't use them much. I prefer my lithium primary and lithium ion powered incans. But haven't blown a bulb yet. But I do imagine it will live a shorter life than on eneloops. But on alkalines? I've always swapped them out when they start to dim, which is almost immediately so I don't use them
 

alpg88

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Using these instead, gives you the output of fresh cells, for the entirety of the runtime. But this is a pretty niche use. They work great in a incandescent mini mag or an ML 25 IT.
THE problem is, bulbs are made with alkaline sag in mind, 1.5v li ions do not sag, putting more volts than lamp was designed for, i used 1.5 li ion D in a 6 D maglite with a bulb, burned 2 bulbs during short use already, i've never blown a 6cell bulb before, and i used 6d light for much longer continuent runs than i did with li ions.
4 cell (6v) bulbs are 5.2v bulbs, 2 cell(3v) bulbs are 2,5v...... they account for sag of alkaline cells
 

vicv

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THE problem is, bulbs are made with alkaline sag in mind, 1.5v li ions do not sag, putting more volts than lamp was designed for, i used 1.5 li ion D in a 6 D maglite with a bulb, burned 2 bulbs during short use already, i've never blown a 6cell bulb before, and i used 6d light for much longer continuent runs than i did with li ions.
4 cell (6v) bulbs are 5.2v bulbs, 2 cell(3v) bulbs are 2,5v...... they account for sag of alkaline cells
Well ya over 6 cells that little extra bit of voltage adds up. With just two…..it's just a nice little overdrive. You've been around long enough to have been part of the incandescent era. We've always pushed bulbs harder than spec
 

radellaf

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We've always pushed bulbs harder than spec

I tried a lot of putting higher wattage bulbs in lights, but I've never been a fan of overdriving LEDs or lamps.
An exception is turbo modes for brief use. That was never a thing on any hot wire light I've used.

3V vs 2.6V, say, is extremely different as far as bulb life-span. But, sure, it's your bulb! That is a reasonable level of overdrive. IDK how many hours you'll get, but it's not going to pop it, and I doubt it would melt anything. I'm... just perfectly happy with alkaline or NiMH in minis. Back in the 80s, I thought it was uber cool to use 600mAh red & yellow Sanyo RC car AAs in mine. Albeit, they died in <2h.

And, I agree, if you're going to use your alkalines for <2h before (i hope) using them for some less demanding use, then, alright, that's probably about the same thing.

Oh, the other use: remote controls. You ever had a remote that cares about 1.5 vs 1.2? Mine all seem to work exactly the same, but the battery reviews seem to say that 1.5 is a godsend for some remotes.
 
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