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Author Topic: Battery Life  (Read 30769 times)

Knightrider

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Battery Life
« on: July 05, 2009, 09:47:11 PM »

OK, so here's a little experiment.

My new (rf) Icon remote's batteries died about 5 weeks after I got it.

Tonight, I'm replacing them with some energizer alkalines. 

I use my remote excessively. Have it controlling about 50% of my x10 gear, 3 TV's, a surround sound system, DVD/VCR combo, another DVD player and a stereo.

I'll let you know when these die.
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bitman

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 10:06:22 PM »

I forget what kind of batteries I pulled out of my icon.
Wildcat or something.

The Alkalines should run for a while.
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HA Dave

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 10:09:24 PM »

..... I use my remote excessively.

I've been pleased with my Icon's battery useage... although admittedly the first set of batteries went quick. I also have a Harmony-logitech remote that burns away batteries pretty quickly.... as it's LCD screen is always in use.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 08:19:18 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Knightrider

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 12:14:46 AM »

I should also note that I recently set the backlight time out to about 25% of the lower end of the spectrum. It had previously been on the factory default.
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HA Dave

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2009, 08:24:25 AM »

... I recently set the backlight time out to about 25% ..

Yes.. that backlight/emergency flashlight is VERY bright. I think setting up and learning how to use the flashlight.... er.. REMOTE CONTROL.. is what causes the first set of batteries to go quickly.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2009, 09:23:05 AM »

I strongly recommend the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable NiMH batteries for low current drain devices like remotes.  I used them during the beta test, and they worked fine.  They are also great for a camera that might sit in a drawer for months.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 10:57:34 AM by JeffVolp »
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steven r

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 11:57:51 AM »

I strongly recommend the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable NiMH batteries for low current drain devices like remotes...
I love the eneloop and other precharged NiMH batteries. I use them in mostly for high drain applications. e.g. cameras, ham radios, flashlights

I still don't feel rechargeable batteries are best suited for low drain applications. If, however, you do want to use rechargeable batteries for a low drain application, then precharged ones are the only way to go. One should never use standard rechargeable batteries in a low drain application.

Precharged batteries typically maintain 90% of their shelf charge for 6 months and 85% at 1 year. Typical standard rechargeable batteries may lose over half their charge in just a couple months. That means you'll may be changing regular rechargeable batteries ever month or two if you are using them in a remote. 

The other thing to consider is cell voltage. Typical cell voltage for an alkaline cell is 1.5 volts, 1.2 volts for a rechargable cell.
Some items such as the X10 motion sensors do not function reliabally at 2.4V (two 1.2 rechargable cells)
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Knightrider

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 09:40:38 PM »

OK, so here's a little experiment.

Tonight, I'm replacing them with some energizer alkalines. 

I use my remote excessively. Have it controlling about 50% of my x10 gear, 3 TV's, a surround sound system, DVD/VCR combo, another DVD player and a stereo.

I'll let you know when these die.

Got the Low Battery warning at 9:30 tonight.

July 5 to November 16.  5 months.
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HA Dave

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2009, 09:56:46 PM »

Got the Low Battery warning at 9:30 tonight.
July 5 to November 16.  5 months.

That is way too long... you need to watch more TV.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2009, 12:02:45 AM »


I did a lot of battery analysis back at the lab for portable and remote monitoring systems.  Expanding on that with recent results from NiMH cells, here is a quick summary:

Standard name-brand alkaline batteries do amazingly well, and can last a very long time in low drain or intermittent duty applications.  The Duracell AA is rated for 2850 mA hours.  You can estimate the operating life if you know your current drain and duty cycle.

The Energizer L91 AA lithium cells had the highest energy density available to consumers back when I did the study.  While the rated capacity is not much higher than the best alkaline cells, they will do much better than alkalines in high pulse current applications, such as electronic flashes, and probably remote controls such as the Icon. 

For my own use I am converting to the Sanyo Eneloop for low-drain or intermittent duty cycle applications, such as remotes or digital cameras.  Their self-discharge rate is VERY low, and they will last a long time in remote controls.  I use them in our Icon.

For high current applications and continuous moderate drain where long operating life is important, such as a handheld GPS, I like the 2700 mA hour Sanyo AA NiMH.  Their self-discharge is pretty fast, but after a quick top-off before being installed, you canít beat their capacity.  I have never had them die in my GPS even on an all day hike.

A good charger is important.  I highly recommend the La Crosse BC-900.  Its test and refresh modes are particularly useful in determining when cells should be retired. Rechargeable cells do go bad, often much faster than the 500 or 1000 cycles touted by the manufacturers.  However, even at 10 cycles, NiMH cells are more cost effective than disposable alkalines.  And at 100 cycles, you are way ahead.

Jeff
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Knightrider

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2009, 05:01:33 AM »

Now, honestly, ain't it great to have good product researchers around like Jeff Volp and Brian H?
Sometimes you guys go way above and beyond the call of duty when running this hardware through the wringer.

Thanks guys!

(Not forgetting the other helpful people here, too)
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dave w

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2009, 12:46:42 PM »


I did a lot of battery analysis back at the lab for portable and remote monitoring systems.  Expanding on that with recent results from NiMH cells, here is a quick summary:
Jeff

$0.02

I concur with Jeff's findings. When with a previous employer who was the second largest buyer of rechargeable batteries in the US, we regularly bought and tested Sanyo, GE, and Union Carbide cells. Repeated qualification testing almost always resulted in the following: First Prize: Sanyo, Second Prize: GE,  and a distant third was UC. Sanyo and GE later merged.

The message I took home was Sanyo had outstanding process controls. Their cells were the most consistent, lot by lot, year by year.

When NiMH cells were hitting the market, the touted advantages were: less heavy metals in the cell so cleaner for the environment. Higher current density than NiCad, and "Will not develop 'memory' ". Sanyo was the first company to admit and publish information showing NiMH chemistry does indeed develop memory problems, just not as bad.  So IMHO not only do they have a good  ISO 9000/Six Sigma process, but they are honest.
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Knightrider

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2010, 08:15:46 PM »

November 16 to April 21.  March 21

These were Ever Ready Golds.  Looks like the batteries need changing as often as the time and my socks.  ;D






Edit to correct perceived temporal distortion by the author.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 09:21:49 PM by Knightrider »
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nybuck

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2010, 09:26:23 PM »

You guys must be wrong...

    Extended Battery Life!

    No need to plug in and recharge the X10 Socialite. It comes with three AA batteries which last for approximately a year!


They wouldn't lie in their description...  :'
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Knightrider

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Re: Battery Life
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2010, 09:27:54 PM »

Depends on what planet you're on.
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