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Old Sep 17, 2006, 7:13 PM   #1
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Is there a good way to test rechargeable AA batteries using a household multitester?

I am not expert in anything electrical - heck, I once started a fire changing a light bulb - but it seems to me that reading the voltage would only tell me the charging status. Is there any measurement that can be made that indicates capacity as expressed by longevity of use?
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 3:16 PM   #2
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Hello Docmoon,

Determining the remaining capacity of a cell is difficult. www.ztsinc.com lists a series of testers that apply a pulse load and read the voltage under load. It then compares the tested voltage to a database that they developed through testing. Even with the ZTS tester, the results can be off due to the differences in batteries.

Open circuit voltage will tell you if the cells is fully charged or empty or somewhere in between. 1.4 volts is full charged, 1.0 volts is empty, and anything in between is somewhere between full and empty.

If you load the cell with a resistor or lamp, you can read the voltage under load. If the voltage under load is at or above 1.2 volts, there is still some charge left. Beyond this, you will have to do some testing to determine the characteristics of your cells while they are being used in your camera.

Tom
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 3:58 PM   #3
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Pretty drastic, but use a multimeter set to 10A and connect across the battery; the internal resistance of the battery/meter will limit the current.

If it reads 5A or thereabouts, then its fully charged.

If the current begins to fall rapidly, then it's not fully charged.

DO NOT LEAVE THE MULTI METER ACROSS THE BATTERY FOR MORE THAN 15 SECONDS as it could likely overheat.
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