Yoshizen's Blog

Battery Story


Battery is an animal among the electric devices because of it is an electro-chemical device

which is using “on-going chemical reaction”inside, therefore it comes with all sorts of

unpleasant temperament.   Despite their name dry-battery, they are hardly dry solid thing

but contain half wet compound.   Such as a common Zinc-Carbon battery, its inside of

Zinc-can  was filled with black Manganese-oxide which was wetted by the electrolytic

chemical, Ammonium-chloride, and while producing electric energy, they produce hydrogen

gas as well.  (Its pressure causes leak, and it could even explode = when they explode,

popped-up cap break the battery case. ! ) 


Even though the battery was evolved into Hi-tech age and instead of humble Zinc, Lithium

is in fashion, still it is the same “electro-chemical device” so that, very fancy activity of the

chemical, such as crystallization cover the electrode etc. could be happening inside etc.

Not only the product (battery) is animal, to produce it is really a messy business.  This is the

reason why, most of them were produced in the country where environmental, health-safety

regulation is not strict.   (Such as to refine Zinc, its process need to use Cadmium which was

washed out to the river, hence in China, Cadmium contaminated rice, food in general is the 

serious but hidden problem)  —– Imagine, when the battery was mas-produced, somewhere

rather low-standard factory, how about the purity of the chemical, or how minute but crucial

additive such as a rare-earth material was evenly mixed = some got more and others got non.

= It is easy to see that why each individual battery is never the same.


The trouble of the inconsistency of the battery become really a big problem in case of

rechargeable battery, especially when it was used in numbers such as 4xAA batteries

in a camera or a flash-light.

The situation is exactly the same in case of rechargeable lithium battery-pack, of which

in most of the case, battery-pack contains 2 lithium cells.  —– After ten of the charge cycles

the difference of each battery started to show-up. 

Battery Indiv' Charger-A09A1259In case with the  4xAA, and if you are

using a charger which is charging each

individual cell (Individual type has

4 separate LED indicators), you must be

noticed that not all of them become Full in

the same time = some of them takes longer

to be fully charged.  

This is the inevitable fate of the battery =

some loose the original capacity much sooner

than others. ( So, I can say, the reliability is exactly what we have paid.

=  What you can get from a set is, what the worst one gives, not their nominal capacity. :-D)


When the battery has this character, and if you charge them all together, while roughly checking 

the time such as 5 hours, 7 hours kind, or worse  until they become very hot, you are destroying

them. —– When one battery lost the capacity (such as 2500mAH drop to 2000mAH) that battery

become FULL much earlier than others and became hot.   Still if you didn’t noticed and keep

charging, it will be over-charged and makes that battery further deteriorate. — (So, which is the

safest way to charge them.  = Use the charge current  1/10th of the Capacity x 15 hours =

If it was 2500mAH Battery —- 2500 x 1/10 = 250mA current for 15 hours.  = Standard Charge !  )


Battery(3)A09A1110Even worse situation is, such as 4xAA were

used in an equipment, when the one which

lost the capacity became empty, its polarity

reverse (Yes, + became to – , same as you put it

wrong-way) then other batteries’ energy was

sucked by this empty battery ! —– Of cause,

it devastates that empty battery further =

in fact, kill-off. ( With the same reason, a

battery-pack of rechargeable tool never last

more than a year or two.  

And when we need replacement pack, the same type may no longer in the market.  

That is why the professionals only use such as Makita or DeWalt who keep selling the old type

many years. We never seen the same type again among the cheap Chinese tools.)

This worst situation may not occur in a case of latest DSLR because the camera monitor the

condition of the battery, yet still in its battery-pack, one of lithium cell has deteriorated earlier

than the other = So, when I disassembled old battery-pack which lost capacity and no longer

usable for the camera, I found the one of the cell was still usable = I reconstructed an usable

battery-pack out of 2 old packs. (Think about, it worth £50 ! —– though, I wouldn’t recommend

you to try the same. Unlike a simple battery-pack of rechargeable tool, lithium camera battery

has an additional safety device connected between two cells, hence a bit trickier to work-out,

and any mistake could cause expensive damage to the camera.)


So that, when I buy Ni-MH battery, I buy 2 or 3 sets in the same time, and use them in rotation.

And time to time check their capacity to select best 4, which got same capacity to make a set.

Battery(2)A09A1106To check the capacity, discharge each individual

battery through 1 ohm register and measure

the time how long it takes the voltage to drop

to o.8 V. —– But for most of the people, this

method is too awkward = So, my advice is,

Buy an “individual charge type rapid-charger”

and check the charging time, when one reached

Full, write the time on the battery, —– if the one

become Full, much faster than others, reject

that one. (It’s mean you need to keep a spare,

ready to replace with it. —– In long run, this tactics is cheaper and even if it is the second class,

there always a spare-set is in hand.)  —– More easier method is = check the voltage of each

battery with Battery-checker before charge them, (Unlike an ordinary test meter,  Battery

Checker measure the voltage while drawing the current, hence it shows the condition At-work)

and mark bad apple (s) and make a selection of  “Good 4s” and “Bad 4s”   😀

—– Yes, battery is really a necessary evil.   Unfortunately I still need them —- a lots.


Battery Pack(1)3-001

Photo above is a battery pack which was dead.    Five  AAA type batteries inside,

3 were completely dead. —– Anyhow, I replaced all 5 batteries with new set.  

It is possible to do like this though, I wouldn’t recommend you to do this.

—– Without a use of Spot-welder, it need to use the soldering = the heat of

soldering would melt the insulating washer and would cause chemical leak and

cause much more expensive damage to the camera than the cost of battery.  😦  



4 Responses

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  1. elenacaravela said, on October 3, 2013 at 13:34

    Answers to some long standing questions. Thank you Yoshi!

    • yoshizen said, on October 3, 2013 at 15:08

      Yea—h,manufacturer’s aim is to sell more, not answer a question. 😦 and 😀

  2. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on October 10, 2013 at 01:19

    I’ve experimented with various rechargeable batteries, without much success. I always end up going back to regular batteries (and feel guilty about it). I do properly dispose of them, though (as I know most people do not).

    • yoshizen said, on October 10, 2013 at 01:56

      So far, I’ve been using Ni-MH 2500mAH batteries, I’ve bought from Lidl (cheapest super market) 4xAA £2.99 —–
      I bought 5 packs (20xAA) for £15 and selecting them —> Best 8 (4×2) for flash-light, and for toach-light etc etc.
      And in the past nearly 2 years, this system worked well. (In this case, the goods from Lidl wasn’t too bad at all)

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