A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

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FlyingPenguin
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A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Fri May 01, 2020 12:04 pm

I recycle batteries, and I always test them even if the device is acting like they're dead, because sometimes it's not the battery and just some corrosion.

We have a lot of electronics and use a lot of batteries, and I buy them by the brick at Sams.

I also stock batteries for hurricanes, and I check them every year to make sure they're still good. Especially "D" cells which I stock pile for LED lanterns.

For many years I used a simple and cheap small Radio Shack battery tester that did the job well enough. It put a slight load (via a resistor) on the battery to try to give a fairly accurate measurement under load, since a weak battery under no load (like if you just test it with a VOM) can show you nearly full voltage even though it's weak under load.

Well that Radio Shack tester finally broke, and since then I bought a couple of look-a-likes on Amazon that don't work worth squat. They often show dead batteries to be in the green. I'm assuming they aren't putting a load on the battery, or not much of one.

Since I do test a lot of batteries I decided to invest in a good one that didn't break the bank. I did a lot of research and review reading and bought the ZTS – Mini Multi-Battery Load Tester at Amazon for $45 (they have a more expensive version with more battery options, but this is all I needed).

Seems to work very well. I have a bag of dead batteries (waiting to be taken to the recycling center), that I know are dead, and some used batteries that based on their usage and VOM reading under load seemed to me to be still good, and this tester confirmed that (out of 6 suspected good batteries, 4 showed as 100% (this tester has only 5 bars: 20,40, 60, 80 and 100% so I suspect the 100% batteries were closer to 90%), and the other two shows 80% (good enough to throw in a remote control and finish using them up). All the ones in the bag I knew were dead read were anywhere from nothing to 60%.

It's a fully electronic device, not just taking a meter measurement. It takes a few seconds to measure the battery, during which the lights scan back and forth, and then it shows the result.

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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Executioner » Fri May 01, 2020 1:57 pm

LOL - I have that same tester. I've had it for years. It was actually purchased from where I work, but someone threw it in the trash so I grabbed it. Works great. Mine looks like this:

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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Fri May 01, 2020 2:10 pm

Yeah, that's the pricier version with more features. I didn't need all that.

That one's $95 on Amazon.
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Losbot » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:02 pm

So I picked up one of the Mini-MBT units back in July from Amazon. Turns out the Lithium testing portion of the device (for the flat 3v & 3.6v) is screwed up. They all come up as bad. Bought a fresh pack of batteries and they all registered bad. Amazon replaced that pack of batteries and all registered bad again. I set them aside and today I picked up some Duracell 2032 batteries at Costco. All 12 bad.

Can't be. On the phone with Amazon and they're trying to help because I'm past 90 days. UGH
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:12 pm

I had some questionable lithium battery results the first week. All batteries I knew were good and came up bad, but I found that rubbing the battery against the connectors seemed to help. I think a touch of tarnish builds up on the connectors, and the tester is sensitive enough to get thrown off by the slight resistance.

Even happens sometimes with alkalines. Usually the results are correct but sometimes there's an oddball unexpected bad battery. So I rub the connectors and it's good. Becoming second habit.
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Losbot » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:39 pm

Yeah, I thought of that and even used some light sandpaper to clean off any residue and no matter what, I kept getting RED lights on every test or every battery. Amazon arranged for a replacement. I'll see how that one works out.
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby FlyingPenguin » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:54 pm

Hope that fixes it for you. Overall, very happy with mine.
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Executioner » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Are you sure the internal batteries are okay? I usually take them out and replace them with a fresh set, then I check the ones I pulled out to see if they are good. Most of the time, they are down to 20% life.

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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Losbot » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:36 am

Yeah, those were swapped out. All other types of batteries would always check out but the button cell types were always red.
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Re: A REAL under load Alkaline/NiMH/Lion battery tester.

Postby Shadow250 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:17 pm

load testing a button cell may not be a great idea, there is not much energy there when its new.


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