New York Times Article on Battery Life; Includes Photos of the NXT

An article in today's New York Times addresses battery usage in toys and other electronic devices. It also features photos of the NXT. It states that:

1) The primary drain on batteries is external heat (naturally).
2) Rechargeable batteries suffer significant power leakage, whether being used or not.
3) Alkaline batteries have less power leakage and last longer.

The article goes into detail about all types of battery usage and is well worth the read. Find it here.


Unknown said…
For anyone considering purchasing the NXT Mindstorms kit, I always recommend buying rechargeable batteries. The article is quite correct when it suggests that the NXT drains batteries quickly.
There's one mistake in that article which states: Nickle-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries..."They can lose capacity if they are not discharged completely, often called the “memory effect.”

The "memory effect" problem was with the even earlier gen of battery materials called Nickle-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries. The "memory effect" problem is not an issue with NiMH (or Li-ion, and LiPo (the NXT rechargeable pack)) batteries. NiCads should be charged and used-up almost immediately, discharged after each use or if you expect to store it half-charged. NiCads should be stored in a depleated state or the memory effect (loss of capacity) can happen. They just will not charge to full capacity. I have 20 yr. old NiCads still able to hold a charge after several thousand cycles. Over-discharging NiCad batteries will cause "cell polarity reversal" and render them useless (not a prob with NiMH, Li-ion, or LiPO). Some (now older) NiCad chargers had functions to Flex (burp) the battery back into condition and erase most of the memory-loss.

In my opinion, the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Rechargeable Battery Pack is a very good renewable power source for the NXT toolset and saves a huge amount money that would be spent on single-use non-rechargables.

Anonymous said…
There are change-retaining NIMH batteries that be stored for many month without losing much or their charge. See my post in the forum for more info.
Rick Rhodes said…
After getting rechargeables, we'd never go back to the non-rechargeable kind.

However, we were in a Home Depot today and noticed they were selling a factory-sealed pack of thirty-six AA Energizers for $13.36US. That's an amazing price.

I don't know if the sale is nationwide or not, but it's worth a look if you're near one of their stores.
Anonymous said…
take a look at Sanyo's eneloop battery, it combines the advantages of rechargeable batteries with the advantages of disposable batteries
I just ordered some from amazon and they are working great.

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