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February 1998 Vol. 13, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Does the Bunny Have the Best Alkaline Battery?

from the February, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

As a traveling diver, chances are you tote something that uses alkaline batteries. But, which should you buy? Is that drum beating bunny better than all the others?

Not according to Consumer Reports recent tests of eight brands. While they judged all the batteries to be “excellent,” divers should avoid some than drain to raidly in high drain usage such as strobes.

In the AA category, rated by overall score, with the best listed first, were GE Sanyo, Panasonic, Duracell, Kodak, Eveready, Radio Shack, Rayovac and Sears. Sears rated “worse than most in high - and maximum-drain tests.”

C size ratings were Duracell, Rayovac, GE Sanyo, Panasonic, Kodak, Sears, Radio Shack, and Eveready. Sears and Eveready were “worse than most in maximum drain test.”

D size, rated with the best first, were Duracell, Rayovac, Panasonic, GE Sanyo, Sears, Kodak, Eveready, and Radio Shack. Sears and Eveready rated “worse than most in maximum drain test.”

Buy according to price, says Consumer Reportes, and Pricewise, the GE Sanyo won hands down, especially in the AA category where the average national price for the fourpack was $1.84.

Panasonic rechargeable Nicad AA tested significantly better than three others: Eveready, Radio Shack, and GE Sanyo. Panasonic is available only at BJ’s and Costco.

And, does cold storage keep your batteries fresher? Not by much, they conclude. They’ve been sorting batteries in a refrigerator since 1994 and find that while the AA’s remained nearly perfect, those stored at room temperature retained 96 percent of their charge. The C and D cells stored in a refrigerator had a ten percent greater charge than those at room temperature.

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