How to distinguish battery type?

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Hello

 

I plan new product which could be powered with single use CR123 battery or rechargeable 123 Li-ion battery. These batteries have identical size so there will be one socket for both. This product could be also powered with 12V DC power supply. It is recommended to have internal li-ion charger, that would be perfect to charge the li-ion when the user has 12VDC connected. But what if user places disposable CR123 battery and connects 12V power supply? Single use batteries can't be charged. How to distinguish what battery type is inserted into the socket? Any user selectable options in GUI or any jumpers are not accepted. 

extronic.pl

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extronic wrote:
How to distinguish what battery type is inserted into the socket?
The product that catches fire has the wrong battery inserted. Sorry... you cannot solve for STUPID.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Make the Li battery non-user replaceable! i.e. internal to the product(like it is in an iPhone).

 

Jim

 

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extronic wrote:
How to distinguish what battery type is inserted into the socket?
Maybe by impedance; compare the 100% SoC and 0% SoC impedances of CR123 and Li-ion 123.

edit: for a given size, secondary cells typically have reduced internal resistance versus primary cells (might be an order of magnitude); apply a step load (constant current sink) then compute and compare internal resistance.

Designing Hardware/Firmware for Low Power MCUs - 8 - Most Brown-Out Reset Circuits Don't Work (next to last paragraph)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Fri. Feb 15, 2019 - 02:45 PM
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extronic wrote:
I plan new product which could be powered with single use CR123 battery or rechargeable 123 Li-ion battery.

 

Piece of advice.....Don't do this.  Make it ONE or the OTHER.

 

You cannot expect the average consumer to understand battery chemistries and what to od 'IF" this battery is in place over that battery.  The consumer want to pick the thing up, use it and put it away.....thats it.  If the consumer has to think to use it...they will only think not to buy it.

 

Just put the rechargeable cell in the device and be done with it.  Since the cell you are using is only 3v you could make a very inexpensive charger for it.  Oh make the charging port a microusb connector so the consumer cvan charge it froma computer, or a little plug in wall wart.  If 12v car is needed then they can but one of those readily available car adapters.

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

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jgmdesign wrote:
Piece of advice.....Don't do this. Make it ONE or the OTHER.

1+

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jgmdesign wrote:
You cannot expect the average consumer to understand battery chemistries and what to od 'IF" this battery is in place over that battery.

Of course I can't! That's why I want to have a circuit that would recognize battery type without any user action.

 

Why I can't place two separate holders for single-use and rechargeable one - because there's no space. 

 

I have AA NiMH charger that can recognize if user has inserted NiMH battery or alkaline. If it recognizes improper battery it blinks a LED. So it is possible someway somehow but I have no idea how is it made and if this solution is applicable for Li-ion batteries.

extronic.pl

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Lemme try and put this another way. 

 

Making the device able to detect the type of cell installed is nice.  But why would you want to add cost....which adds to the final sale price as well to a product?  Look at the end user point of view, if the option of a replaceable cell is there and they use one and it fails they are going to complain that the product should simply come with a rechargeable.  If you look at most electronic devices out there in todays markets its pretty rare for there to be user replaceable cells.  Most of the devices that use the cell type you spec are wireless home security sensors and smoke alarms.

 

Of course we dont know what type of end user you are catering to, so maybe they like having to remember that they need to keep track of how long the cell has been used as opposed to just plug it in at the end of the day and forget about it.

 

extronic wrote:
I have AA NiMH charger that can recognize if user has inserted NiMH battery or alkaline. If it recognizes improper battery it blinks a LED.

Completely different battery makeup.

 

Can it be done?  I am sure it can.  But after 30 years of listening to end user complaints, I have learned to make anything I design as maintenance free as possible.  Lowers my costs, which means more sales.

 

Your milage may vary

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

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Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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In my sheltered life I don't think I can remember a commercial product that had all of line powered, rechargeable and disposable. Just seems like an odd set of requirements in the first place??

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extronic wrote:
I have AA NiMH charger that can recognize if user has inserted NiMH battery or alkaline. If it recognizes improper battery it blinks a LED

How big is this device, how much did it cost, will it fit in the space available.....

Most likely not!    With Li types of batteries, you have the risk of fire if improperly charged/handled, so best to choose one or the other and not allow a mix of battery types.

You may choose to ignore any advise given here, best of luck with your project.

 

Jim

 

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Here are the reasons why I'm thinking of two types of batteries. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages

  • Single use batteries have larger capacity and almost zero self-discharge current. Rechargeable Li-ions have self-discharge rate of 20% per month. This means after half of the years a battery will discharge itself whereas single-use batteries have 10 years operating time
  • Li-ion dramatically reduces its capacity when its temperatura falls below 0'C. Single use LiMnO2 can operate down to -40'C
  • Product will be installed in many various environments and it may be used very often or very seldom. When used very seldom, a single-use cell will be better, but when very often used better solution would be 12V from mains with li-ion as a backup. Moreover product will be installed in places where there's no electricity and battery is only option, no matters if rechargeable or not

extronic.pl

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I once saw a rechargable battery with a metallic strip on the outside (Not connected to any of the electrode's)

If that (factory default) battery got replaced by non rechargable batteries a contact in the battery compartment got opened and it refused to charge the battery.

 

Some evil minds thought it was done to only be able to replace worn out rechargable batteries by batteries from the same company (with the metallic strip).

 

Another way would be to use a few switches.

When the battery compartment gets opend, or the battery removed your device looses it's charging function.

Then put a switch behind a small hole that can only be pushed with a bent paperclip or similar and write a section in the user manual that this button may only be pushed when rechargable batteries are inserted. This will provide a safe default, and if people do stupid things you're not liable.

 

A temperature sensor may also provide additional safety.

Most (I think) non rechargable batteries will heat up significantly before there is a serious risk of damaging more than the battery alone.

Some time ago I demolished an old laptop battery pack with 18650 in them.

These had some weird chemistry and start heating up significantly @ 4.15V, just before normal chargers cut off. For the rest they seem to work OK, but they get very hot @4.2V.

 

Yet another idea is to use batteries with welded-on tabs for the rechargables. Once your equipment has found a soldering iron you may assume it's also got some brains, or simply void warranty.

 

 

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Last Edited: Fri. Feb 15, 2019 - 04:05 PM
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A cell's model will have series resistance (internal resistance) and series inductance.

An inductance-to-digital (LDC) converter will measure both.

LDC Device Selection Guide (Rev. B)

(page 2)

1.4 Other Types of Sensing

(second paragraph)

LDC technology can use a wide variety of sensors in addition to spiral trace PCB inductors. One example is using LDC technology to measure a spring’s extension and contraction.

Some cells are spirally wound.

Do the primary and secondary 123 cells have significantly different inductance?

 

Conversely, a Texas Instruments Impedance TrackTM fuel gauge may be more concise than LDC.

The MCU inside these have ADC of greater precision than ADC in typical MCU.

Impedance Track Based Fuel Gauging

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I don't think you will find the battery expertise here to answer your questions, best to seek your answers from a battery manufacturer directly for best practices and charging circuits.

 

Jim

 

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extronic wrote:
Li-ion dramatically reduces its capacity when its temperatura falls below 0'C.
and can't be charged below 0C except for Tadiran - TLI Rechargable but am uncertain would be a fit and form for your requirements (TLI : size AAA, AAA capacity is two orders of magnitude less than CR123, self discharge is 5%/year)

extronic wrote:
... better solution would be 12V from mains ...
or 12V automotive as an operator may prefer to be mobile or remote (12V photovoltaic)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Are you sure about your 20% figure?

#1 This forum helps those that help themselves

#2 All grounds are not created equal

#3 How have you proved that your chip is running at xxMHz?

#4 "If you think you need floating point to solve the problem then you don't understand the problem. If you really do need floating point then you have a problem you do not understand." - Heater's ex-boss

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ki0bk wrote:
I don't think you will find the battery expertise here to answer your questions,

 

Not Quite.  I know one Freak that uses battery power in extreme environments who may, or may not have an answer.  THen theres another one or two others that may be asleep at the moment.  Wait and see.

 

ki0bk wrote:
best to seek your answers from a battery manufacturer directly for best practices and charging circuits.

Now that I cannot agree more to.

 

East Side Jim

 

I entered a simple Google search of "Circuit to detect different battery types"....Lots to look through.  YOu might want to try that.

 

I saw this:

https://electronics.stackexchang...

 

Which led me to this:

https://www.maximintegrated.com/...

 

Which might offer some solutions to your questions.

 

Then there is this:

http://www.ti.com/lit/ml/slap106...

 

 

Not so simple a task....

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"Step N is required before you can do step N+1!" - ka7ehk

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

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Last Edited: Fri. Feb 15, 2019 - 05:22 PM
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Discmans / Walkmans used to use AA NiCad but have the option of using AA Alkalie.  This was in case you where out and your battery went flat you could always go to the 7-11 / quick-e-mart and get some fresh energizers and keep listening to your banging tunes.

 

How they did this was having the two AA NiCad molded into a plastic shell and there was a mechanical switch that detected some of this plastic.  When AA Alkalie were used then switch would not be pressed down by the plastic shell.

 

I know you are using a single cell but you could still easily figure out a way to make the rechargeable physically different to be detectable.  Would require a custom battery holder and would tie the customer to be buying the rechargable cells from you, but most vendors would see vendor lock in as a plus.

 

There is NO reliable way to detect cell type electrically at the point of insertion.  It is an impossible task.  Don't think about the problem from an electrical engineers point of view.  Think about it from a philosophers point of view.

 

What happens if you work out the primary cells have X inductance and rechargables have Y inductance today.  So your circuit tests inductance and if it matches Y it pumps electrons in.  Then tomorrow some company releases a new primary cell chemistry that is 50% more power, solves the world peace problem and makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.  All of a sudden you have a lot of incendiary devices out in the market because you thought you were very clever.

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I am facing a  similar challenge from a group of students in an instrumentation lab that I assist. They really want to be able to pop any battery on their shelves into a variety of units. Their reasoning is from a "manufacturing supply" view. Suppose that a given battery becomes hard to get or the price suddenly drops on XYZ chemistry and they can get them for a dime a dozen. Their goal is to be able to use any battery available. 

 

I have been trying to discourage this thinking, at least to do it on the basis of some electrical characteristic of the battery. I DO like the idea of a coded carrier. They have ready access to 3D printing and they are all pumped up about the idea of 3D printing. So, maybe that would be a good fit.  It would also force them to evaluate each battery that they consider, in order to create the carrier and to configure the charging for that type.

 

Some good thoughts here.

Thanks

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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Hmmmm I see the problem is more complicated than I had thought before. I need to rediscuss this topic with my boss. 

 

I like the solution with custom case for rechargeable ones and mechanical switch. This should reduce a bit the problem of cheap chinese crap batteries.

extronic.pl

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Though more expensive than a switch, a crypto-authenticator can be attached to a cell by a 1-wire interface.

Crypto-authenticator use cases start at the bottom of page 5 in

http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/Atmel_Protecting_People_Data_Profits_with_Security-Optimized_Embedded_Design_part2.pdf

via https://www.microchip.com/design-centers/security-ics/cryptoauthentication#mchp-White%20Papers (Datasheets tab)

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Sat. Feb 16, 2019 - 07:51 PM
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extronic wrote:
I need to rediscuss this topic with my boss
Face it. Some things are just a bad idea... even if it came from the boss.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Brian Fairchild wrote:
Are you sure about your 20% figure?
Had the same thought.  The quoted percentage is more typical of NiCd.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

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"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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2 companies come to mind on this.

Maxim or Lineair technologies had dedicated battery charger ICs that were able to detect what kind of battery was actually attached.

IIRC it needed to be controlled by a MCU , but was able to charge a number of different battery types.

I could not find it back in my mail archive, but we had the same problem with replaceable 2032 cells that normally would have a rechargeable battery but the user could just replace it and as such we had to take into account that they put in non replaceable.

As this project was canceled quick after we actually started it I do not have any actual experience with these IC's.

Note that I do know they were at that time not cheap.....

 

Also keep in mind that there are a lot of different battery manufacturers out there that all will most likely have their own cell with their own characteristics, both in the rechargeable pool as in the non rechargeable pool. So if you solved it for 1 it might not be solved for number 2 or 3 causing failure......

 

edit:added comment

Last Edited: Mon. Feb 18, 2019 - 06:35 AM
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joeymorin wrote:

Brian Fairchild wrote:
Are you sure about your 20% figure?
Had the same thought.  The quoted percentage is more typical of NiCd.

 

Various sources present different values. Unfortunately, manufacturers' datasheets don't mention self-discharge rate. Here's a screenshot for an application note from Microchip.

 

Here is other comparison, also from Microchip, with other values

 

 

I have an idea - please tell if in your opinion it's worth considering or throw it away. At first please have a look on discharge curves:

 

Li-ion rechargeable battery

 

Li-MnO2 single use battery

Li-MnO2 battery at the beginning has the voltage of 3,3V which very quickly drops to 2,8V and stays stable for most of the time. Li-Ion has 4,3V after recharge, then it remains at 3,7V for most of the time. Can I recognize battery type by the voltage? If the device detects that user has inserted a battery with voltage of 4,3V then I could be sure it is Li-Ion. Then internal charging of the battery would be enabled. But when the user inserts a battery with voltage of 3,4V or less, then I can't be sure it is Li-ion and then charging feature is disabled. If the user has inserted a weak and discharged Li-Ion battery with voltage under 3,4V - sorry, no charging, dear user please use external charger. 

extronic.pl

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Can I recognize battery type by the voltage?

Probably.  Also, if you apply a 4.1V charge voltage/current to a Li-Ion cell that's at 3.4V or less, it will sink substantial current and drop the voltage, while a LiMnO2 cell will be essentially an open circuit.  You should be able to detect that before anything bursts into flames.  Probably.

 

 

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What is the current requirement of this device - there's a strong chance the voltage may "sag" under load and (presumably because of internal resistance?) it may sag differently for different chemistrys. So I'm not sure it's that cut and dried.

 

The mechanical enclosure/switch thing is (so far) the only idea I've seen here that may give a SAFE solution.

 

(if you want to know how to almost put a multinational, multi-billion dollar company out of business just ask Samsung about their Note 7 and the effect of making mistakes in the battery area can have if you get something like this wrong!) 

Last Edited: Mon. Feb 18, 2019 - 12:10 PM
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I still think one of my ideas from #12 is best, and also very simple:

 

- If you have a factory installed rechargable battery the device knows it.

- Whenever the battery is replaced it defaults to non -rechargable mode.

- Add a way to re-enable the battery charger mode by the user.

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You seem to be ignoring the advice of the many and well experienced freaks here. I don't know why that might be, other than your boss might sack you if you don't design the charger circuit.

 

"How to manage your boss" is the subject of another thread I imagine.

 

extronic wrote:
But what if user places disposable CR123 battery

OK! this isn't a "what-if" at all, it's going to be a when. Just put yourself in the shoes of one of your "less technical" customers. When the factory fitted battery dies for whatever reason, the customer will pull the old cell and think "Ha Ha it's a standard camera battery, I can pick up one of these at a large number of stores in town."

 

Secondly just what cell will you fit at the factory ?

I searched briefly but couldn't find a source of Li-Ion CR123A type cells. The big boys in that game seem to have stopped production and left the market open to some brandless stuff on Ebay that will probably blow your hand off should you actually try recharging.

 

I'm prepared to be told I'm wrong but I don't think there is a Li-Ion cell in any form-factor that matches a commercially available primary cell. Now why might that be ?

 

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AA is widely available under the size name 14500  as Li-Ion.

An image search also finds plenty of pictutures with "Panasonic". Is Panasonic "One of the big boys" in battery land?

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=li-ion+14500+panasonic&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

 

Similar for CR123A. Most seem to be primary "photo cell" batteries, but I also see rechargable "industrial"  Li-Ion's from Panasonic, (But I do not know how old those pictures are).

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=li-ion+cr123A+panasonic&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

 

CR123A is apparently also known under other names such as 17345, but I haven't looked further into that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_battery_sizes#Camera_batteries

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Last Edited: Mon. Feb 18, 2019 - 03:36 PM
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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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How about a jumper, connected to a piece of sting to a red piece of paper in the battery compartment with the text:

"Remove jumper when non re-chargable battery is used."

A bit like all those "Remove before flight" labels on airplanes.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q="remove+before+flight"&iax=images&ia=images

But tying 1000's of strings to paper labels is not my idea of a fun job.

I have no idea what it costs to outsource such a thing.

I would also add a similar text on the silk screen or moulded in the plastic casing for when that paper label is lost.

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Paulvdh wrote:

"Remove jumper when non re-chargable battery is used."

I'd make the warning a little more forceful:

"Failure to set this jumper to the right value for the battery installed may cause a small explosion and burn your house down"

That should encourage the user to pay a little more attention!! cheeky

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Paulvdh wrote:
AA is widely available as non-chargable alaline and Ni-Mh, ...
and nickel-zinc (NiZn) though sales are greatly less than NiMH AA.

PowerGenix, the precursor of ZincFive, created NiZn AA and AAA cells, moved production of those to China, then continued development with subC cells (batteries for traffic light controllers) and automotive batteries (EV, hybrid, batteries for combustion engine start/stop)

NiZn cells aren't low self discharge (LSD); LSD is common for NiMH.

NiZn 100% SoC open-circuit voltage (1.8V) is significantly greater than 1.5V primary (alkaline, Li/FeS2) and 1.2V secondary (NiMH)

Nickel cells won't 'vent with flame' though do have a vent; most cells shouldn't be in a sealed enclosure, be potted, or be conformal coated.

In-lieu of a CR123 cell, maybe an AA cell with a boost converter.

 

Conrad energy HR06 AA battery (rechargeable) NiZn 1500 mAh 1.6 V 4 pc(s)

Conrad energy HR03 AAA battery (rechargeable) NiZn 550 mAh 1.6 V 4 pc(s)

About - ZincFive

Energizer Technical Information

15g IEC-FR14505 (FR6) :

http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/l91.pdf

16g CR123 or IEC-CR17345 :

http://data.energizer.com/pdfs/123.pdf

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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How about putting the whole thing in a steel enclosure?

User stupidity will destroy the whole PCB and they will have to buy a new one, but without much risk of more than smoke damage outside the enclosure.

It seems that all (most?) usefull options have been mentioned by now.

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Paulvdh wrote:
How about putting the whole thing in a steel enclosure?
with a vent.

A cell has a vent to prevent the cell from producing shrapnel.

Some safety standards preclude cells or a battery inside an enclosure; so, battery in a battery box at atmosphere with a power cable to the enclosure.

Locally and in Texas, some Li-ion cells in e-cigarettes are venting causing the e-cigarette case to fragment sometimes with lacerations and punctures; a punctured carotid artery can be dealt with but the one doing first aid for the injured one must be aggressive and effective with their treatment of the injured one (even then, there's a risk of the injured one having an immediate stroke; EMTs and EM physicians can somewhat treat a stroke though time's a ticking) (immediately evaluate EMT time-of-arrival versus hauling ass to the emergency room or to the EMTs; stay on your mobile phone when conversing with the dispatcher)

Texas man dies after electronic cigarette explodes in face | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

...

His [William Brown] left carotid artery was severed, the [medical examiners] report says.

...

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Paulvdh in #12 and my #18 post are both quite similar and are quite easy to do.

 

They keep boss happy because you can use either primary or secondary cell.

 

They make boss even happier because "vendor lock in" for new cell sales.

 

Choose one of them.  Conductive strip on cell to act as identification switch.  Plastic shell around batter to actuate identification switch.

 

STOP trying to figure out a way to detect them via chemistry differences.  You can not see the future.  You don't know what chemistry is going to come out tomorrow.  That is dangerous and stupid.

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Paulvdh wrote:
Is Panasonic "One of the big boys" in battery land?

Absolutely - they bought Sanyo and with it their Eneloop technology.

https://www.cnet.com/news/panasonic-finally-buys-up-all-of-sanyo/

 

Ha Ha Ha. Well I did find one for sale

http://www.allbatteries.co.uk/lithium-ion-battery-tf16340-cr123-pcm-3-7v-880mah-ct-acl9025.html

The brand name of "TrustFire" just about sums this entire thread up quite nicely.

 

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N.Winterbottom wrote:
The brand name of "TrustFire" just about sums this entire thread up quite nicely.
So after 39 posts we return to #2. cheeky

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia