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50 Dying batteries: Can they be shorted by cardboard if humid enough?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Thomas G. Marshall, Mar 4, 2007.

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  1. I recently ordered on eBay 100 energizer AA batteries.

    I tested them using a simple battery tester from radio shack. 4 were dead,
    one was near death, and 95 were at an identical high mark, but just a
    "little" below an energizer I bought from a retail package from Home Depot.
    The tester is simple and unmetered, save for a "75%" mark. The needle moves
    up to almost the same spot as my control (retail) battery does.

    They were shipped in 2 corrugated cardboard boxes, roughly the height of an
    AA cell. 50 in each, all standing up on the negative (flat) end. So
    (especially if they are stacked) the top and bottom of all the batteries are
    touching the top and bottom of the cardboard box. HUGE speculation: If the
    cardboard is even minutely conductive (humidity, acidity, or whatever) then
    I have effectively a wired in parallel 1.5V "50xAA-amp" "battery" that is
    shorting through its own packaging (?)

    Is there another possibility for this, other than just lesser quality
    batteries? And is the cardboard shorting even possible? I'm working with
    the seller to try to figure this one out. He's asking about possibly
    putting a plastic or foam sheet above or below them. I'd appreciate your
    thoughts on all of this.
  2. Tom Biasi

    Tom Biasi Guest

    Most likely you bought old batteries.
  3. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    Though you don't have to buy the most expensive to get a decent product, you
    do have to watch what you buy. I've bought some "cheap" batteries in my past
    and well - not only did they go dead fast, they leaked and caused some
    damage to the item. A bargain - it was not. The damage was realitively easy
    to correct - but I knew then not to buy "some" off brands.

    Sounds like you guys got a bum shipment of batteries. I tend to agree with
    the other guys, it is highly doubtful the "shipping" box caused them to go
    dead. It would have to have been made damp and have good contact - top and
    bottom of cells.
  4. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    You got ripped off.
  5. maxfoo

    maxfoo Guest

    Report the seller to ebay's fraud department and have the idiot banned from
    ebay. If more people would report these scammers it might make it a better
    shopping experience.
  6. Jack

    Jack Guest

    Pretty extreme retribution toward someone whose product was 96% satisfactory
    and who was working with the buyer to resolve the problem.
    Perhaps you could share your Ebay id with the group so we could avoid doing
    business with you.
  7. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    Do we "really" know the seller was working to solve the problem? OR just
    blowing off the buyer with a bunch of questions - he himself may have had no
    clue of? I'm not saying the seller wasn't trying to resolve the issue - but
    there is no way to prove it. It is as we've seen, a far stretch to imagine
    "cardboard shipping container" to short out batteries. OR some being dead as
    I believe was also the case.

    In buying bulk, you're probably always going to have some defective product
    show up - I've had it happen to me. Actually, maybe the seller could have
    offered to reimburse some money for loss - but if "he" wasn't BSing the
    buyer, then he had about as much knowledge and chance for a refund - as the
    buyer seems to have had. Us trying to prove the case for the buyer OR
    seller - most likely won't make a damned bit of difference to the original
    supplier if the seller indeed relied on one.

    When you factor in all the product in a "bulk" deal - you figure out your
    per piece cost and then see what you've lost. Is it worth dicking around
    trying to prove anything - or just toss in the trash and forget about it?
    Batteries in bulk are usually pretty cheap. At our local store, I can buy a
    4 pack for a $1 - batteries I use often with no issues. OR I can buy a 12
    pack for a $1, which I HAVE had issues with - leaking. Price doesn't always
    dictate quality, but sometimes - it does.

    Just my 2 cents
  8. I can buy an 8 pack for $1 here. They're good. The fake Energizer 12 per
    pack are total crap.
  9. Yeah, that's a sure sign of crap IME.
  10. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Kind of reminds me when i bought a brick of what i thought was
    Duracell's AA's. after the first set of cells died in a short
    lived period, i noticed they said Duraking and had the same copper
    top casing and all.
  11. Radiosrfun said something like:
    All such notions were mine from the start. The buyer isn't the one with the
    questions. He is just interested in what I discovered, and seems to be
    genuine in this, or so I think.

    Your wording here is a little unclear to me, but I'll try to clear it up by
    saying that the seller *did* offer me a full refund. I didn't press him on
    this to see if it included shipping or not, but I think he would have.
    *Plus*, he also without me asking to put in a small package of 16 AA's (some
    unknown brand) for free. I really just get the sense that this is a guy
    attempting relying on feedback and because his feedback has been almost
    entirely positive he simply was unaware of any issues.

    Discussions are valuable when they instruct, so this seems like a worthwhile
    conversation. There's much here for me to learn about the consumer battery
    world, and I'll leave it at that.
  12. maxfoo

    maxfoo Guest

    You don't need to bid on the item to report fraud, hell I've had a few crooks
    banned before their auction was over. All in the test equipment department.
  13. Jamie said something like:
    Is there a reliable 3rd party battery reviewer/tester/etc. ? Perhaps
    consumer reports? Or does anyone else know of any?

    I can tell you from a fairly thorough experiment of mine involving a Sony
    Walkman (analog audio casset tape) in the gym for nearly 2 hours every day,
    that AA-energizer (classic energizer, not e2 or anything else fancy) beat
    duracell's standard coppertop alkaline every single time. Big thorough
    experiement, but very narrowly focused on 2 brands, one device, and one
    "way" of using it (left on with no stops and restarts). But it was without
    deviation: E beat D in this narrow case.

    But what of BJ's "Berkely & Jensen" OEM'd brand? Or any of the other
    million mumble names out there, probably 99% of them originating in asia.
    Any good ones people like?
  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    'Fake' Energisers ?

    Do they have 'fake' written on them ?

  15. They look the same as or similar to a good brand but they self destroy
    without even being used.

  16. Yes, they do if you know how to read. Cheaper construction, lighter
    materials, paper labels instead of silk-screening. It all says "FAKE"
    loud and clear. US customs impounds tons of the crappy things every
    week or so.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  17. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest


    Maybe you've not seen them, though they may not say "Fake" in writing, they
    ARE "packaged" to look like a brand name. If you didn't look at them
    closely - you would buy them "assuming" they are "brand name".
    The ones I've seen, were IDENTICAL to Duracell.

    There is a HUGE market out there for Knock-offs. Batteries, clothes,
    watches, CDs, you name it - there is probably one for it.
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