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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.

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?

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

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So a C battery just croaked, and all you have handy is an AA. With the $3-$4 Ziotek Battery Upsizer kit, you place the AA in the C-sized plastic holder, and you’re back in business (although for a shorter time because AA batteries cannot supply the current available from C batteries: see battery details). Likewise, you can “upsize” an AAA to an AA using the small plastic tube, a C to a D using the large tube, or go all the way from an AAA to a D by nesting all the tubes.

The manufacturer cautions: “Do not use Battery Upsizers in a battery charger. If you use multiple battery upsizers, do not use batteries of different types at once, or new and used batteries together.”

Has anyone used these? Would they be handy in an emergency?

Ziotek Battery Upsizer [Manufacturer’s Site]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Sure, you could drop the money on a new Power Squid, but if you already own serviceable power strips with a few blocked outlets, why not just buy a few Power Strip Liberator cables from Ziotek?  They’re not just for power strips — you probably have a few regular outlets blocked by power adapters somewhere in your house or shop.

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