2003-09-10 – Batteries on test revisited

Well, the battery test of the Lithium batteries has ended with a bang! Not that they exploded, but that they went dead. Quite impressively, they went dead so fast that they corrupted the RAM in the Psion, and made me think that the machine had given up the ghost.

Needless to say, this was more excitment than I really needed for one day, but the saving grace was that I had, just the night before, done my monthly back-up to a CF card. At that time, the batteries were giving out the full 3 volts, and seemed fine!

So, be warned. If you are going to use the new lithium batteries, always carry a spare set with you, or else keep track of how long they have been in use for!

The speed with which they failed, when on essentially a quiessent current (certainly no more than a few milliamps, as even with the backlight on and full power, 170mA is the maximum draw, and the average is about 80mA when on. Of course, it WASN’T EVEN ON!) means that the battery monitor was wiped, along with all the rest of the data on the machine. Hence I haven’t added it to the list. I shall stick to the ones that last half as long, weigh 30% more (which is a very small difference) but that cost half as much for twice as many, and can be recharged by my clever charger at home!

Below is what I previously wrote:


Previously, I have avoided the new \”super batteries\” using Lithium technology, since they were limited in current for high-drain applications, high cost, and liable to go dead just as quick as normal batteries {\”Who left this on? The batteries are $&%* dead!\”}

However, the perfect thing to try them in has got to be my trusty Psion 5. Not only does it have an auto-power-off so you cannot kill the batteries by leaving it on, but it also has a spreadsheet program, so I can’t misplace the scrap of paper with the results written on them! This really is an issue when the pair of AA batteries usually lasts about a month, and the \”new\” set of Energizer e2 non-rechargable Lithium batteries are probably going to last for a full 6 months. Another factor is that the Lithium batteries only cost £5-75 for a pair, which compares well to the Duracell M3, which cost about £4-75 for four. Hopefully, the Li pair will last (at least) 6 times longer than ordinary Duracell m3’s!

Date In Date Out Brand/Make Time Avg Current Drawn Total energy used
29/01/02 ? Sony Alkaline 9 hours 6 minutes 70 mA 637 mAh
25/04/02 10/06/02 Kodak 15 hours 18 minutes 66 mA 1023 mAh
03/05/03 04/06/03 Duracell M3 4 hours 17 minutes
(yes, four!)
92 mA 398 mAh
4/6/03 still going Energizer e2 Lithium 4h 42m and counting 69mA 327mAh

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