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While it probably won’t make the top ten list for 2009, or even the neat-products list for the last decade — those lists are really starting to annoy me, by the way; as if those damn end-of-the-year lists weren’t bad enough, this year we have to put up with the end-of-the-decade lists, also — the Ziotek ZT1153195 Digital Battery Checker looks like a handy device. It’s a single-AAA powered tester that can check a variety of 1.5V batteries: D, C, AA, AAA, N, and button cells. It puts a load on the battery under test (~ 90mA for AAA and N; ~ 190mA for D, C, and AA; and ~ 10mA for button cells), and displays the battery voltage on a “color-coded, liquid crystal display” as a bar graph — “color-coded” here refers to the printing surrounding the display; the display itself is black and white.

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This tester will set you back about $9. Is it a worthwhile addition to your electrical tool kit, or are there better alternatives? What do you think?

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Ziotek Digital Battery Checker [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]
Ziotek Digital Battery Checker ZT1153195 [Manufacturer’s Site]

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9 Responses to Ziotek Battery Checker

  1. MattC says:

    I have one and it works quite well. Maybe it is my OCD nature, but I use this and group batteries (in a battery carrier) by the amount of charge left in them.

  2. Fabian says:

    I have this tester and works great.

    Funny note: the unit came in a container which had some pictures on it which show a 9 volt battery clearly on the front packaging, yet this unit does not test 9-volt batteries..

    F.

  3. ErikP says:

    And to make it worse, the decade doesn’t even really end until 12/31/2010.

  4. Tom K says:

    When a device with more than one battery stops working, it is often just one bad battery. I have had many occasions where only one of the batteries was bad. A tester lets you keep those 3 good batteries rather than throwing them away.

  5. Chris W says:

    Tom K, I probably have a dozen devices at work which take from 2 to 8 cells. I find it better to replace all at once rather than have them go bad one by one. By the time one cell goes bad the others are nearing the end of their lives so I’m replacing marginal batteries not good ones. I use rechargeables when possible, but I keep them in sets so they all get the same amount of use.

    The battery tester I use has an analog meter, can test 9V batteries, is powered by the test battery, and even has the load specs printed on the back. It cost 2 or 3 bucks.

  6. Manny says:

    Seems like a little money saver. Having a 4 and 1 year old at home, you can bet your ass the the battery operated toys are running almost daily. You’ll be suprised that maybe only 2 out of the 4 batteries that toy on low power are the only weak ones. I would put the other 2 good ones in a device that takes 2 and refresh the original device with 4 new ones. I check’em with an analog device that cost me 2 bucks and/or digtal multimeter if I want to see the precise juice left. I’m all for checking batteries before discard. Its better for the enviroment too. This device on topic now looks cool. If i’m not mistaken it looks like it has the convenience of an cheap analog checker but with a digital screen. I like it. If I see one, i’d get it.

  7. Brau says:

    “It’s a single-AAA powered tester that can check a variety of 1.5V batteries”

    Umm, it would seem it *should* be able to work when testing a good battery, no? I have one that load tests and doesn’t need an internal (extra) battery that would get robbed by the first toy-hungry kid to find it.

    Doesn’t test 9V batteries either, you say?

    AND costs $9?

    No sale.

  8. jeff says:

    A few years ago I decided to toss out the cheap testers I had because they didn’t work that well. I picked up an inexpensive digital multimeter instead. Granted it was twice as expensive as the product here but can test any battery as well as diagnose other electronic issues.

  9. Mark says:

    I’ve been looking at the ZTS (http://www.ztsinc.com/minimbt9r.html) and Ansmann (http://www.ansmann.de/cms/consumroot/batteries-battery-packs/accessories/energy-check-lcd.html) battery testers. They both claim to use some better way of checking than a load test, but who knows if that’s true. They’re expensive, so I could by a whole bunch of batteries for the price.

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