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Don’t Forget to Include Batteries with Your Electronic Gifts

clock December 20, 2010 20:57 by author Ty

 Binary Christmas Tree - 2010 Christmas Present Ideas

62 percent of us will be buying electronic gifts for friends and family this Christmas. Electronic gifts and gadgets are becoming more popular each year and nothing is better than trying out those gadgets right away once you open your gifts. Many electronic gadgets require batteries, chargers and other accessories to get them running, so we put together a list to include the extras with your electronic Christmas gifts.

iPad, iTouch, Kindle and e-Book Readers
The iPad and iTouch use a specific Apple charging plug and it doesn’t hurt to carry extras on you for home, office and travel use.  The Kindle is easy on power and uses a micro-USB charger cable. Other e-book readers either use a mini-USB or micro-USB charger cable. Other ideas for these products are iPad cases, Kindle stand for reading, Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, and gift cards for downloading music, e-books and applications.

Digital Cameras and Camcorders
Digital cameras usually have two or four AA batteries or a Li-Ion battery that is model specific. Rechargeable AA NiMH and Li-Ion batteries make great gifts for digital cameras and help keep our planet green by not using disposable AA batteries. Model specific Li-Ion batteries are custom for each digital camera and additional OEM and aftermarket digital camera batteries can be purchased, as well as an external charger if you have multiple digital camera batteries. You can also by a universal camera charger to charge many differenty types of rechargable batteries. Camcorders also have model specific batteries and have external chargers. Extended capacity camcorder batteries are great for a longer camcorder run time and universal camcorder chargers can charge a variety of batteries for different manufacturers.

TVs and Computer Monitors
New TVs and computer monitors have many input and outputs, including HDMI, VGA, RCA, mini-plug, coax, and even an ethernet plug for internet ready TVs. HDMI cables, RCA cables, power strips and other accessories are great ideas for Christmas gifts. They will always come in handy when hooking up a new Blu-ray DVD player, gaming console, DVR, sound system and many other electronics.

Desktop and Laptop Computers
New desktop and laptop computers have many accessories and peripherals that can be attached, which leave a wide range of Christmas gifts open. A nice wireless mouse or keyboard, mouse pad, external speakers, USB jump drive and hard drives, AC laptop power adapter for the car, laptop case, surge protector, UPS battery backup and LCD screen wipes. If you can’t decide what to get for family and friends, a simple gift certificate from your nearest computer store leaves these options open.

Small Electronic Devices
Many small toys and electronic devices are battery operated and do not include batteries. The most common battery options are disposable AAA and AA batteries and rechargeable AAA and AA batteries. If you’re going to be buying a device that needs batteries, it’s a good idea to throw in a set of new batteries with the gift.

Batteries and Chargers
Batteries and chargers make great gifts and come in a variety of options ranging from AA, AAA, USB chargers and car power inverters. Recharge those NiMH and Li-Ion AA and AAA batteries with new 15 minute battery chargers and keep USB electronic devices charged in the car with AC power inverters. Different USB chargers and adapters also make great gifts ranging from iPod, Mini-USB and Micro-USB charger cables.

With all of these great Christmas gift ideas, you can’t go wrong with buying electronic devices for your friends and family. Electronics gifts are growing each year as the presents of choice, so don’t forget to include a set of batteries. If you can’t decide what kind of electronic gift to get, you can always purchase a gift card at your nearest consumer electronics store. (Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Radio Shack, Office Depot, Staples)

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Dell Accidentally Ships Engineering Sample Batteries with Venue Pro Smartphones

clock November 17, 2010 00:59 by author Ty

 

Dell Venue Pro

Dell has accidentally shipped a batch of the Windows 7 Venue Pro smartphones with batteries labeled as "Engineering sample". With it's stunning 4.1" multi-touch display, full sliding QWERTY keyboard, and powerful Windows Phone 7; one quick look at the battery and you will notice the labeling stating that the battery is an "Engineering sample."

Dell Venue Pro Battery Engineering Sample

"So I went to the Microsoft store here in Denver CO. They told me that Dell accidentally sent engineering models to them and that’s why they were having issues with the wifi. Apparently this is a known issue with the Microsoft stores.
They were great customer service wise and swapped out my Venue Pro for an HD7 which is really awesome too."

As embarrassing as this may seem for Dell, Microsoft and T-Mobile, all batteries are being swapped out with the correct ones and any WiFi issues should be eliminated.

Cell Phone Battery, Cell Phone Charger, Cell Phone Power Adapter



Why Old Lithium-Ion Batteries Can’t Hold a Charge

clock November 2, 2010 20:41 by author Ty

Researchers at Ohio State University are studying why aged batteries don’t maintain their full charging capacity and lose their charge as they get older. Lithium-ion batteries are being focused on because they have been the best choice for use in electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. The Li-ion batteries are being tested in various conditions ranging from hot desert temperatures to cold sub zero temperatures. Different battery loads of charge / discharge rates are also being tested. All battery tests are being done to mock real world situations with temperatures and load in a controlled environment.

Chevy Volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack GM
Chevy Volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack - GM

After extensive testing and battery aging was completed and battery capacity began to drop, the Li-ion batteries were then opened up and researched at a microscopic level.

When the batteries died, the scientists dissected them and used a technique called infrared thermal imaging to search for problem areas in each electrode, a 1.5-meter-long strip of metal tape coated with oxide and rolled up like a jelly roll. They then took a closer look at these problem areas using a variety of techniques with different length scale resolutions (e.g. scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscope, scanning spreading resistance microscopy, Kelvin probe microscopy, transmission electron microscopy) and discovered that the finely-structured nanomaterials on these electrodes that allow the battery rapidly charge and discharge had coarsened in size.

Additional studies of the aged batteries, using neutron depth profiling, revealed that a fraction of the lithium that is responsible, in ion form, for shuttling electric charge between electrodes during charging and discharging, was no longer available for charge transfer, but was irreversibly lost from the cathode to the anode.

"We can clearly see that an aged sample versus and unaged sample has much lower lithium concentration in the cathode," said Rizzoni, director of the Center for Automotive Research at OSU. "It has essentially combined with anode material in an irreversible way." (Source: How Batteries Grow Old)

Discovering why there is a lower lithium concentration and preserving or reversing the natural reaction could be the key in future Li-ion battery manufacturing to produce longer lasting and more power batteries.

Sources:
http://www.newswise.com/articles/how-batteries-grow-old?ret=/articles/list&category=latest&page=3&search[status]=3&search[sort]=date+desc&search[has_multimedia]=

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/11/study-shows-how-lithium-ion-batteries-age-and-degrade.php

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/77344/20101030/ohio-state-university-lithium-ion-batteries-electric-cars.htm

Batteries and Chargers for Laptops, Cell Phones, Digital Cameras, Camcorders, UPS, Power Tools



New FAA Warning on Lithium Ion Batteries and Flying

clock October 28, 2010 21:03 by author Ty

Lithium Ion Battery Metal

Lithium-ion batteries have been known to catch fire and explode in rare cases and have caught the attention of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). The FAA has issued carriers a warning that fire suppressants carried on aircraft are ineffective of extinguishing lithium-metal battery fires and are not foolproof in Lithium-ion battery fires.

Lithium-metal batteries are highly flammable and fire ignition can occur if the battery short-circuits, overheats, is overcharged, is mishandled or is defective. In a rare event that the lithium batteries ignite from overheating or short-circuiting, thermal runaway could occur from self-heating and release of the batteries’ stored energy. Other batteries within the cargo area could also ignite and cause a further catastrophic event, depending on the total number and type of batteries. Halon 1301 fire extinguisher effectiveness is not 100% with lithium-metal battery fires can result in the fire to spread within the cargo area. Lithium-metal batteries are currently prohibited as bulk cargo shipments on passenger-carrying aircraft.

If you are traveling, make sure you keep your batteries and electronics with you or in carry-on baggage. Avoid putting batteries in checked baggage so the flight crew can monitor any type of hazardous activity in the cabin area. TSA security might not allow the batteries to be stored in checked baggage. “As of January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) no longer allows loose lithium batteries in checked baggage. The FAA also no longer allows large, palletized shipments of these batteries to be transported as cargo on passenger aircraft.”

737 Jet Takeoff Lithium Batteries

Pallet Shipping Lithium Ion Batteries

Source: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=comm&id=news/avd/2010/10/18/17.xml&headline=FAA%20Issues%20New%20Warning%20On%20Lithium%20Batteries

TSA – Safe Travel with Batteries http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm

FAA - Fighting Fires Caused By Lithium Type Batteries in Portable Electronic Devices - PDF File

Batteries and Chargers for Laptops, Cell Phones, Digital Cameras, Camcorders, UPS, Power Tools



Laptops causing the Toasted Skin Syndrome

clock October 14, 2010 23:02 by author Ty

Scientists from Switzerland are identifying a condition where skin is exposed to heat for long periods of time and are calling it the, “Toasted Skin Syndrome.” This can occur with laptops where heat can exceed temperatures of 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The extreme heat is usually caused by a combination of components heating up internally in the laptop ranging from the batteries, power supply, processor, memory, hard drive, motherboard, on board video, and other laptop components. Extended periods of exposure to this kind of heat on your lap can create discolored and sponge-patterned skin on your legs. Chronic damage to the skin could lead to a small risk of further skin damage with long-term use of the laptop.

There is nothing new with laptops heating up and feeling too hot to put on our lap for actual use. However, if your laptop is getting too hot to touch, you should turn it off and think about aiding to the internal cooling. External USB laptop fan platforms, laptop stands, and cleaning the laptop air vents can help increase air flow to the internal components of your laptop. Just be aware that extended periods of hot laptop time could leave some marks on your lap that you might not find so amusing.

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