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  • Great, cheap and useful !

    posted by Inlog on 01/14/2012
    2 0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:less than 1 day

    Pros:

    Great tool and easy to use! It really tests the battery under the built-in load (resistor), which gives much more reliable battery health info comperad to simple voltage measurement by multimeter (typical advanced customer's home test). My wife will be able to use it easily :) Very simple in use, wide rande of batteries sizes from AAA to D. Can test rechargable NiCd-NiMh batteries as well, which usually have lower nominal voltage (1.2Vdc). Some reviews have noted the lack of case quality or possible problems with testing 'low voltage' rechargable batteries - I can't confirm this. I verified the specification (look at the device label picture) - my one was not well calibrated (electronics inside is very simple - 4 resistors only):

    - GREEN "Good" area 0.88 - 1.52V

    - YELLOW "Good/Low" area 0.72-0.88V

    - RED "Bad" area <0.72V

    Fully charged Ni-Mh battery 1.2Vdc in just in the middle of GOOD grean zone. It's OK. So, calibration is not too accurate but for loaded battery under the test gives rather good result with sufficient for practical use accuracy - result is instant and very clear!

    Cons:

    No real cons except of, maybe, not too accurate calibration. But you may forget and don't care about, use the device 'as is' and be happy!

    What would be desired, maybe, and would improve the usability - some spring for red measuring cap to return to some initial position. This head is hanging now

    OtherThoughts:

    Beware - 1.5V battery is tested under the current of ~200 mA. So, don't test it for hours, you will discharge bettery by yourself! A short test for few seconds is OK. But if you notice that the indicator needle is not stable and is trying to move toward lower voltage area, continue with measurements for 3-10 sec more. This trick will help you to understand that the battery is almost empty and weak, and it's better to throw it out although it is still in green/yellow area.

    The case is rather well done, and there's a lot of unused space inside (see picture). And advanced users and radio lovers may solder and place inside huge of own electronics:

    - starting from adjusting original resistors to improve calibration (shift up Low/Replace range to 0.1V in my example to specified 0.9 - 1.0V YELLOW range)

    - ending with simple electronics with comparators to provide NiMh/NiCd batteries auto discharge to 1.0V level

    Bottomline:

    Does the job, very comfortable in use, is inexpensive, gives more reliable results compared to traditional testing with multimeter. Everybody should have smth similar at home. Buy this! And clean up your home from huge of used batteries!

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