American Survival Guide - - BATTERIES, PART 2 -

Elec­tronic gad­gets sel­dom come with the re­quired bat­ter­ies, leav­ing the con­sumer the choice of which brand of bat­tery to pur­chase. Re­gard­less of the claims printed on the pack­ag­ing, not ev­ery bat­tery can be the “long­est last­ing,” so choos­ing the best bang for the buck can be frus­trat­ing. In or­der to sort out which one truly is bet­ter, we put them in a head-to-head test to find out which one did, in­deed, last the long­est. All bat­ter­ies tested were pur­chased brand new and were as fresh as could be found. To keep it fair, all tests were per­formed in the same de­vice dur­ing a long stretch of con­sis­tent weather: Day­time tem­per­a­tures reached the mid-90s, and the tem­per­a­ture dropped into the 70s overnight. Each brand was tested three times, and the re­sults were av­er­aged. The “test bed” for this ad­mit­tedly non­sci­en­tific test was a Garmin etrex Ven­ture HC hand­held GPS unit. This de­vice was cho­sen be­cause— • The Ven­ture HC is a power-hun­gry de­vice, able to slay even the best al­ka­line bat­tery in a day of con­tin­u­ous use. • It keeps pre­cise time to record ex­actly how long a set of AA bat­ter­ies can sat­isfy its power need. Bat­ter­ies from sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers were pur­chased at var­i­ous re­tail out­lets and in­stalled in the Garmin GPS unit. The Ven­ture HC runs on two AA bat­ter­ies. Cost per bat­tery and cost per hour of op­er­a­tion (based on the cost of two bat­ter­ies) are rounded to the near­est whole cent. Costs are based on the pur­chase price of small-quan­tity pack­ages. Pur­chas­ing in larger quan­ti­ties can save a con­sid­er­able amount of money.

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