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AA batteries of any kind in my residence:

Displaying poll results.
A small handful (fewer than 10)
  6202 votes / 22%
A little family of them (10 to 20)
  8976 votes / 31%
A larger conspiracy (21 to 50)
  8437 votes / 29%
Ballast aplenty (51 to 100)
  2949 votes / 10%
Why use AC? (more than 100)
  885 votes / 3%
I live in a household free of AA batteries
  689 votes / 2%
28138 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
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AA batteries of any kind in my residence:

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  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @04:43PM (#37370604)
    A 48 pack of alkalines from Costco, plus whatever is in the various devices (including probably 20 Eneloop/Imedion rechargables). There's probably over a dozen AAs just in remotes.
    • by danomac (1032160)

      Same here. Big pack of batteries from Costco.

      Lots of remotes, my wireless weather station, my consoles, and my clocks. Between them all there's probably 15-16 in use right now.

      The really annoying thing is I have *one* remote which uses AAA, and the wireless thermister for my weather station uses AAA. WHYYYYY? The remote could use AA without even changing the physical size of it, and the wireless thermister would have to be about 5 mm wider to accomodate the AA. Sigh.

      • by Cloud K (125581)

        Interesting how popular Costco are there. We have them in the UK and it's a VERY exclusive club, you have to either own a business or work for the government before they'll even think about letting you shop there.

        • by danomac (1032160)

          Really? I went into the local one here (in Canada) and was stopped at the door. I said I wanted to get a membership, and they let me in to the service counter where I paid for a membership. It pays itself off every time. Do they not have personal memberships there?

          The do have actual brand-name batteries there. I decided to buy one of their own branded packs and realized that they last about the same as the brand name, but were half the price or less. Since then I just get the Costco branded ones.

          • by nullchar (446050)

            In my (and friends) un-scientific tests, the costco / generic-branded batteries performed poorly compared to the name-brand counterparts. I'm specifically talking about AA here. It's great to buy the huge pack for half the price, but they last half as long.

            I should quantify that statement that most use has been in wii remotes and kids toys. That was about 3+ years ago. I have since ditched alkaline batteries for Sanyo rechargeables and I love them. (AA and AAA with adapters for C and D. With the wiimote, t

            • In my (and friends) un-scientific tests, the costco / generic-branded batteries performed poorly compared to the name-brand counterparts.

              Costco sells a nice package of Eneloop rechargeables (with charger), a low-discharge battery I've been really happy with.

              • I second the Eneloop recommendation. We use them in all of our constant use type electronics - Wiimote, remote, keyboards, etc.

                I'm actually kind of grumpy any more in the few cases (like flashlights in the car) where I have to go buy normal alkalines.

              • by CCarrot (1562079)

                In my (and friends) un-scientific tests, the costco / generic-branded batteries performed poorly compared to the name-brand counterparts.

                Costco sells a nice package of Eneloop rechargeables (with charger), a low-discharge battery I've been really happy with.

                Yes to Eneloop!

                We're slowly switching all our remotes/controllers over to Eneloop as they die out, and couldn't be happier. They last *so* long, and I love that you can charge them up and stick them in a drawer for a year without having them lose half of their charge, like regular rechargeables do. Even our main point 'n shoot camera uses AA batteries (for traveling), and the Eneloops work wonderfully for it. It's so easy to toss a couple in your pocket on the way out the door, in case your batteries die

              • by Rei (128717)

                I second Eneloops as well. More people need to hear about these things. They're perfect for jobs like remote controls and game controllers, where rechargeable batteries generally couldn't tread before due to self-discharge. You get a pack or two and you never need to buy batteries again -- you just need enough for spares to leave in the charger that you can swap out whenever you need them.

            • I have since ditched alkaline batteries for Sanyo rechargeables and I love them.

              I'll second that recommendation. Invest in a pack of NiMH rechargeable AAs and a charger, at least for the Wii remotes if nothing else. My kids cycle through those around twice a week. That $10 for a charger and a 4 batteries paid for itself in a couple of months.

              • by CCarrot (1562079)

                I have since ditched alkaline batteries for Sanyo rechargeables and I love them.

                I'll second that recommendation. Invest in a pack of NiMH rechargeable AAs and a charger, at least for the Wii remotes if nothing else. My kids cycle through those around twice a week. That $10 for a charger and a 4 batteries paid for itself in a couple of months.

                Not just any NiMH, Sanyo Eneloop [eneloop.info] are the best. For their Eneloop lineup, Sanyo figured out how to significantly slow down the self-discharge [eneloop.info] problem that makes regular NiMH so much less convenient than alkaline.

                Foe Eneloops, you can charge them up, throw them in a drawer for a couple of years, then pop them in and use them with *maybe* 15-20% loss of the original charge. In comparison, regular NiMH lose pretty much half of their charge after sitting around for only one year, and are completely dead after

                • by tibit (1762298)

                  I don't see a problem recharging all the batteries in my household every year. If only they lasted that long. The bluetooth Apple mouse needs a recharge every month, for example.

            • by nwf (25607)

              In my (and friends) un-scientific tests, the costco / generic-branded batteries performed poorly compared to the name-brand counterparts. I'm specifically talking about AA here. It's great to buy the huge pack for half the price, but they last half as long.

              Consumer Reports found they last somewhere around 90% of Energizer and cost half as much. That's a good deal in my book. Of course, they also sell Duracell if you want a name brand. Still much cheaper than other places.

              I've been rather happy with the Costco generic batteries for the money.

            • by tibit (1762298)

              Perhaps you need to check if the batteries you get are alkaline or zinc-manganese. The latter will comparably suck; yes, they are still around.

          • by txoof (553270)

            Back in the day, about 8 years ago when I worked there, much of the "Kirkland" (Costco) branded items were made by the same manufactures that made the name brand items. For example, Duracel made the 40 pack batteries, Tide made the 5 galon buckets of detergent, etc. I assume that it has something to do with volume; selling twice as many batteries at a price that is $0.20 less per batterie probably makes up for its self in volume at some point on the curve.

            In any case, when I worked there Costco would ta

        • Costco used to be like that in the States, about thirty years ago. Sam's Club brought competition, which forced Costco to change, or maybe it was the merger with Price Club?. At least that is how I remember it.

    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      100-pack for around $20 from Fry's if you catch them at the right time......

  • I live in a household free of AA batteries

  • The real question is how many of our AA batteries are rechargeables. I have a little family of rechargeables but try to keep as few non-rechargeables as possible. If I didn't use rechargeables, I'd probably have ballast aplenty of spares.
    • The real question is how many of our AA batteries are rechargeables. I have a little family of rechargeables but try to keep as few non-rechargeables as possible. If I didn't use rechargeables, I'd probably have ballast aplenty of spares.

      Unfortunately we seem to have "ballast aplenty" of both rechargeables and of regular alkaline AA batteries. I think rechargeables are the way to go; but any device my wife controls/maintains still uses regular alkaline batteries. So many devices still advise "don't use rechargeables" for no apparent reason, and she refuses to be convinced that it's just poppycock.

      • by Albinoman (584294)

        The only thing I can think of is the voltage difference. Regular AAs (an all single cell alkaline) are 1.5V whereas rechargeable alkaline are 1.2V. I haven't encountered any device that it makes a difference with.

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          I've got a cordless mouse from Microsoft. With a 1.5 V AA, it fails gradually every couple of months, seeming to hang intermittently or fail to detect clicks with increasing frequency. When I loaded it with a 1.2 V rechargeable, it would run fine for six weeks or so, but when the battery failed, it was all or nothing. The lifespan of a 1.6 V rechargeable wasn't that much greater than a 1.2, but it seems advisable to bother with loading it with a 1.6 V NiZn anyway. Either way, the mouse will probably have a

          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            With a 1.5 V AA, it fails gradually every couple of months, seeming to hang intermittently or fail to detect clicks with increasing frequency. When I loaded it with a 1.2 V rechargeable, it would run fine for six weeks or so, but when the battery failed, it was all or nothing.

            The discharge profile of battery chemistries is different.
            It's not something that most people think about when buying batteries.
            Some batteries are great at high discharge (motors) but suck at low discharge (remote controls) and vice versa
            Some chemistries have a constant voltage right up until the end, while some will exhibit a slow voltage drop till they die.
            Other chemistries will have a different voltage profile depending on the temperature and usage.

            Check out http://data.energizer.com/ [energizer.com] for PDFs that'll sh

        • by Zarhan (415465)

          Yes, but all devices using batteries *should* accept 1.2V, because almost half of the capacity of alkaline battery is still available when the voltage has degraded to 1.2V.

          I too have several devices that suggest that rechargeables = bad, but so far this hasn't turned out to be true..the most ridiculous case is my electrically warmed gloves that consumes a 2000 mAh rechargeable in a few hours...

          • There are some devices, such as LEDs, that need a high enough voltage to work at all; it's just part of the physics and/or chemistry. For instance, red LEDs need 1.6-2.0v, depending on which semiconductor they use, and blues need at least 2.48. So you may not be able to light your blue LEDs with two NiMHs or worn-out alkalines, but you'd still be able to light red LEDs. Wikipedia has a table.

        • by vlm (69642)

          The only thing I can think of is the voltage difference. Regular AAs (an all single cell alkaline) are 1.5V whereas rechargeable alkaline are 1.2V. I haven't encountered any device that it makes a difference with.

          Self discharge. Rechargeables will be mostly dead in a month. Terrible idea for power outage flashlights, smoke detectors (admittedly mostly 9V powered), remote controls, kids digital toys. If they design for a device lifetime of 5 years and swap the battery every year or so, that means carefully engineer to break the battery door/case after 5 battery changes to maximize profit. However, you'll be annoyed if during your monthly rechargeable recharging routine the device breaks in "just a few months" ins

          • The new hybrid NiMH versions hold their voltage a lot longer - they'll last for 6-12 months of inactivity, as opposed to the conventional ones that as you say will be dry in a month. Even so, they're not what you want for power outage gear, though they're great for cameras (I don't use my cameras very often, but the high power drain means that rechargeables are much better than disposable alkalines. NiZn seems to work pretty well also.)

            And there are rechargeable 9volt batteries, in NiMH as well as NiCd.

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        What do you use in your TV remote or wall clocks? The battery will self-discharge before even using up a 1/4 of its energy for useful purposes.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      I have yet to see a rechargeable AA battery. There are some that are the same size as AA, but they are only 1.2V AA batteries are 1.5V
      I have some 123 batteries that are rechargeable and 3V - same as the alkaline equivalent. However the flashlight that uses that size has a faulty switch - its possibly still useable as a walking to work flashlight, but not useable for brief checking.

      The largest number of battieries I have on hand wpuld be AG13 (A76, 357 , LR44 ) I buy them in packs of 100. for under $10 - ha

      • Yeah, ok, if you want to be picky, NiMH and NiCd don't put out a full 1.5v, but neither do half-discharged disposable alkalines. Most equipment doesn't care, and NiMH also has a higher amp-hour capacity than alkalines.

        But if you're picky, there are Nickel Zinc cells that put out 1.6 volts, and there used to be rechargeable alkalines.

      • I have yet to see a rechargeable AA battery. There are some that are the same size as AA, but they are only 1.2V AA batteries are 1.5V

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AA_battery [wikipedia.org]

        The original ANSI specification for AA batteries was made in 1947. Those specifications are now superceded by a number of different specifications for each possible chemical composition of batteries. "15D", "15A",. and "15LF" are the specifications for non-rechargable AA batteries. "1.2K2" and "1.2H2" are the specifications for NiCad and NiMH rechargeable AA batteries. But, all 5 are officially AA batteries.

  • Lots of odd brand AA batteries at low cost! I'm using mostly Kodak batteries at the moment, but a lot of the time I use gray market Duracells meant for other markets. I have some rechargeables also, but I found myself not using those in much any more. If I actually played my PS/2 more I probably would.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @05:21PM (#37370898)
    I have done a lot of controls software work in a factory that made non rechargeable AA batteries. Their capacity was in the order of 1.8 billion per year. When I heard that number one of my first thoughts was "thats a lot of landfill every year".
    • by cbope (130292)

      Landfill... seriously? You have something that contains many different toxic materials that are poisonous to humans, animals, livestock and the land itself, and you are throwing them in the normal garbage?

      Haven't you ever heard of recycling these things? If there is one thing that should never go into your household waste, it's batteries. How the fuck is this hard to understand?!?

      Where I live, we have collection points for batteries all over. Many stores take them back directly, other have a disposal bin ju

      • by Muros (1167213)
        You fill a plastic bag with used batteries every year? Wow. I use 1 or 2 disposables a year at most. Most battery run equipment I use have internal rechargeable batteries.
      • Hoo, boy. Here's the problem with a lot of reactionary environmentalism.

        Let's start by noticing that GP made a fairly neutral observation about the likelihood of a lot of batteries ending up in a landfill. You then assumed he was putting batteries in the trash. Why you thought this, I don't know. I think the tone of the original post suggested that lots of batteries in a landfill was a bad thing. GP probably shares your opinion, and you laid into him with a nasty, standoffish response.

        The third paragrap
  • Hiding everywhere (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pavon (30274) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @05:27PM (#37370948)

    Several years ago I decided to switch over to using rechargable AAs and AAAs for almost everything after learning about Eneloop and other low self-discharge batteries that actually don't suck. After thinking about what devices I had, I bought a pack of 16 each thinking it would be plenty. Six months later I had run out, so I bought another 16-pack. A year later I ran out again and bought another 16-pack, and am starting to get low on them as I continue to find devices with dead alkaline batteries. I'm amazed at how many batteries are hidden in devices around the house.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I know the problem - so many batteries everywhere!

      I'm a strong proponent of rechargeables. Cheaper (in the long run), and also less waste. Should be better environmentally even, nice.

      Yet I'm still buying normal batteries. Especially for my bicycle light: this is an LED type light, and the 2x 1.2V of rechargeables just isn't enough. The light is much dimmer than when using alkaline batteries. So much that on a first try I thought the rechargeables were almost empty!

    • We also use lots of rechargeables. We have a battery charger sitting on a shelf - whenever a rechargeable is replaced, the empty goes into the charger.

      Just yesterday, for no particular reason, I decided to see how much current the battery charger draws. Mistake. Even with no batteries charging it draws 10 watts. That's 87kwh per year for nothing. It draws considerably more when actually charging a battery - far more than ought to be necessary. This is supposed to be a high quality charger, but apparently no

  • Children's toys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psychofreak (17440) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @06:10PM (#37371250) Journal

    I have a kid (3 yo) with toys that do stuff and/or beep. Easily 100 AA batteries in JUST her toys. (although she does not play with many anymore so they are getting packed up for donation) Funny thing is we got her a wooden train set, no batteries at all, and now almost all the fancy electronic toys are left alone! We will see if this holds true for more than a few weeks.

    Amazing how much more powerful imagination is than batteries.

    Phil

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @09:08PM (#37372312)

      Amazing how much more powerful imagination is than batteries.

      Try telling that to my wife.

    • Amazing how much more powerful imagination is than batteries.

      The machines that created the Matrix knew of this. The human imagination is the only thing that can break the first law of thermodynamics.
      • by flonker (526111)

        I think the original thought was that the humans were being used as biological CPUs rather than batteries. But try explaining that fact in a relatively short movie, and the audience's eyes would gloss over, so they simplified it.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          That makes so much more sense. I don't know why they couldn't have said "processing power" instead of "electrical power" and let the smart people fill in the blanks.

    • by antdude (79039)

      How about old fashion LEGO bricks? ;)

      • by Dan B. (20610)

        LEGO sets have plenty of electrically powered options, especially if you include Mindstorms.

        They are still the best kids play stuff on the planet though

        • by antdude (79039)

          Do they use a lot of batteries though? ;)

          • Motors eat batteries for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, nuncheon... dinner, supper... midnight snack.
          • Depends on the model, if it's just lights or intermittent motor use then it's not so bad but if you have a model where a large motor is running most of the time then you will will probablly get through multiple sets in a day.

            Rechargables are an extremely good idea in such situations!

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      My kid (now 5) has a few toys with batteries, mainly musical instrument kind of toys. With a series of buttons that make a sound. And a Thomas train set, which runs on batteries, that's about it.

      He's also got a wooden train set, lots of it, but not playing much with it. He's mainly interested in the track building but can't do that by himself yet. Just can't get the ends to meet and so. And for the rest of course lego's and other construction kind of toys, that are his favourites. And toy cars. No batterie

    • by microTodd (240390)

      A million times this!!!!

      We buy them by the 100-pack off of Amazon. Probably do a buy at least once every few months.

      Between digital cameras, Mobigos, Winnie the pooh musical riders, and other annoying movement/musical contraptions, its insane how many AAs we go through.

      Actually, as an engineer, out of all the pieces of junk toys that my kids get from grandparents, this one is pretty cool. I want to rip it apart and hack it. http://www.amazon.com/VTech-80-122900-Vtech-Catch-Me-Kitty/dp/B004MWK25U/ref=sr_1 [amazon.com]

  • When low self-discharge NiMH's came out, I thought the perfect rechargeable battery had finally arrived. Unfortunately, I still have a few devices out there that just do not like the lower (~1.2) voltages they produce (mostly medical gadgets).

    Anyone have experience with the PowerGenix NiZn cells -- their robustness, self-discharge rate, etc? Looks like they might work, assuming nothing gets blown out by above-spec voltage.

  • You can save money and reduce waste by recharging your alkaline batteries [newegg.com].
    I was skeptical at first, but the little Newegg/Rosewill charger works quite well.
    • by Kittenman (971447)

      I was skeptical at first, but the little Newegg/Rosewill charger works quite well.

      Nice to see some new tech coming out of Roswell. (You do realize that "Rosewill" is just a cover name, don't you? Marketing department at the UFO crash site had an early day that day, and the cleaner came up with that name).

      • by omnichad (1198475)

        If that's true, then we have better tech than the aliens. Rosewill is a cover name for Goodwill, because that's where I send their crap just a few months after buying it.

  • ...just because I buy them in bulk once a year and I have a fresh pack.

  • by inject_hotmail.com (843637) on Sunday September 11, 2011 @08:26PM (#37372052)
    I see a lot of people griping about NiMH being 1.2v. I'm surprised I haven't seen many people here mention rechargeable alkaline. I use 'em...they are 1.5v, come pre-charged, hold a charge for a long time (their website says 7 years!), and (as far as I'm aware) have the same discharge profile as a regular alkaline: Pure Energy [shoppureenergy.com]
    They aren't infinitely rechargeable...none are...but you WILL get your money's worth out of them.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      That web site you like to is impressively uninformative when it comes to those batteries.

      If you have any actual information I'd love to hear it. This 1.2V is also an issue to me, especially for flashlights.

      • by Xoltri (1052470)
        Been there, done that. Alkaline batteries are prone to leaking, even more so when you keep recharging them. Even the supposidly rechargable ones. Don't bother.
  • I have the NiMH batteries that came with my Kodak digital camera back in the late 90s. Still work but they're on their last legs.

  • I use alkalines for the wireless trackball. They only have to be replaced every 3-4 months. I had tried using NiMH rechargeables, but they required recharging every couple of weeks, and getting this old trackball to sync up with it's base station is a pain so the less often I have to change batteries the better.

  • by Jethro (14165)

    But they're all rechargeable NiMH batteries.

  • by identity0 (77976) on Monday September 12, 2011 @02:04AM (#37373998) Journal

    Wow, what kind of neighborhood do you guys live in that requires so many AA batteries? Even Pyongyang only has 150. [militaryphotos.net]

    • by camperdave (969942) on Monday September 12, 2011 @11:18AM (#37377002) Journal
      I haven't been there since, but apparently every post 9-11 American city is now ringed with anti-aircraft batteries. They've been putting up electrified fences along their borders and they're even considering digging a moat from what I hear. Also, they won't even let you into or out of the country unless you strip naked and walk through some sort of microwave decontamination ray or something. Also, you have to fill out a long questionnaire detailing the origin and value of everything you are bringing into the country, as well as any and all ties to any terrorist group you may or may not belong to. The schools all have heavy mesh or bars on the windows, and are surrounded by razor wire and land mines. Teachers walk around in packs, carrying baseball bats. You can't even take a picture outside without the secret police confiscating your camera. The military is buying up all the oil and gasoline, so if you do have a car you have to convert it to run on used bacon grease or laptop batteries. The only way to remain free is to lock yourself in a faraday cage in your mom's basement and never go outside.
  • I'm a part-time on-location photographer.

    I own 5 small flashes, and for each one I have 4 AA's inside, 4 rechargeable AA's as well as 4 brand new non-rechargeable AA's as backup.
    I also own 5 pocket wizards (remote controls for small flashes) with 2 AA's each (+backup).

    So that's already 80 for photography only. I suppose I got more than 100 in total.

  • The Washington D.C. area has many people who overreact to harsh weather systems and they have plenty of money to spend frivolously. During any kind of severe weather warning you can't buy D batteries anywhere is my area for a week before or a week after. I finally gave up and bought emergency devices ( strapon forehead flashlight, hand crank powered radio, etc ) that use AA and AAA batteries which are always on store shelves even when the rack for D batteries are completely cleaned out. Yes, I also keep rec

    • I just buy bulk packages of D cells for flashlights when I find them cheap, and store them in the closet -- I start looking for more once I'm down to the last 8 or so. Their shelf life is around a decade. I also keep AA and AAA flashlights around to use the dozens of rechargable cells I have floating around in the house. I've never needed to run out and buy batteries when a storm is coming.
  • With 3 children and their toys, I have rechargeable AA and AAA batteries spread all over the house. I have somewhere between 50 and 100 Ni-MH which are used in most of them, except those rare few that will not work on the 1.2V cells or that require coin cells. I try to buy devices that use standard AA, AAA or D cells.
  • 10-20 here. Two in the TV remote, about 10 in various Wii remotes, guitars and other such game console controllers, two in a clock on the wall, two in a Logitech wireless mouse and ... that's about it I think. :)

    All but the four in the TV remote and wall clock are rechargables.

  • Sure, I may have a lot of batteries - but most of them are dead (need to take them in for proper disposal). Let see, one in my keypad boltlock... a few for bluetooth keyboard/mouse (which I don't use at the moment), 4 for a camera (which is empty right not and not used for a few months). So, yeah, number of batteries owned that have been dead for about 5 years and gathering dust in a collection bin doesn't seem to be a fair measure of usage...
  • AA remotes tend to use only one. AAA remotes use two. All my LED flashlights and headlamps are AAA. Really, all portable devices that use disposable batteries are AAA. AA's are confined to a few remotes and a bathroom scale.

  • So 100+ for me. (Although these will last me quite a while, and I still have a few dozen in a bag waiting to go to recycling.)

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

 



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