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How to tell a dead battery from a good one
Old 04-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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How to tell a dead battery from a good one

A friend posted this on Facebook this morning:

VIDEO: I Never Knew This Simple Test To See If Your Battery Is Dead. This Is Genius! | American Overlook

Just tried it out on my drawer of dead batteries waiting to go to recycling, along with a new battery. It works! Super simple!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:45 PM   #2
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Some funny comments there.

Try it with eggs too to see if they are still fresh.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:51 PM   #3
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Try it with eggs too to see if they are still fresh.
And be sure to post the video...
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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I wonder if this test works for a car battery?

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Old 04-08-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
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I wonder if this test works for a car battery?

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How about a Tesla S?
Although they don't seem to be very bounceable ...
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MBAustin View Post
A friend posted this on Facebook this morning:

VIDEO: I Never Knew This Simple Test To See If Your Battery Is Dead. This Is Genius! | American Overlook

Just tried it out on my drawer of dead batteries waiting to go to recycling, along with a new battery. It works! Super simple!
Very cool.

Unfortunately, seems to only work with alkalines and not NiMH.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #7
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This may work also with living things. I remember hearing the phrase "Dead cat bounce" in the past, though it has to do with stock trading.

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Old 04-08-2015, 07:20 PM   #8
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I wonder if this test works for a car battery?

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As a kid I ran auto parts for a year. Auto batteries definitely bounce as they crack and break. Not good.

The ones that bounce the best were the early('78) GM Freedom batteries. First sealed batteries, expensive as all get out. The box didn't have a bottom on it. When you used a battery clamp and swung them into a pickups bed they frequently fell out. Luckily I never got charged for breakage, as I managed to do it several times.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:23 PM   #9
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Thanks to some engineers at Princeton, we can see the results of the "bounce test". It's interesting, but it only tells you if there is 50% charge or more.

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Old 04-08-2015, 10:54 PM   #10
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Thanks to some engineers at Princeton, we can see the results of the "bounce test". It's interesting, but it only tells you if there is 50% charge or more.

I like the disclaimer "Just because it bounces doesn't mean it's dead"
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:46 PM   #11
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I just use my tongue to lick one end while the other end held by my wet finger. If there is a tingling sensation, the battery is alive and so am I. If not, ....
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:08 AM   #12
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So does this mean electricity has mass?

If so, that's very interesting, as I'd never heard that before.
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:40 AM   #13
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This may work also with living things. I remember hearing the phrase "Dead cat bounce" in the past, though it has to do with stock trading.
No. This is the "Dead Bat Bounce". Different.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:13 AM   #14
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I just use my tongue to lick one end while the other end held by my wet finger. If there is a tingling sensation, the battery is alive and so am I. If not, ....
The tongue test works with 9V batteries but 1.5?
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:14 AM   #15
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No. This is the "Dead Bat Bounce". Different.
Maybe during the dead bat bounce the batteries sometimes make little tiny "whee" noises that only W2R, the oracle of e-r.org, can hear before her proclamations.
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:49 AM   #16
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Here's a link to the Princeton article:

Princeton University - Battery bounce test often bounces off target

The video in the OP is garbage. Sample size of one, different brands, no control over the height and release of the drop or the observation of the bounce.

Note the Princeton article uses identical batteries, probably from the same lot, and controls everything, and measures along a continuum of charge levels to test for sensitivity. Science.

Bottom line, one would probably be hard pressed to tell anything other than the battery is maybe at > 60% of charge level. The bounces below 60% ar all about the same.

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Old 04-09-2015, 10:19 AM   #17
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Yes I tried this last night with a bunch of batteries I had in the drawer and a sleeve of new Costco batteries. All AAs. And my voltmeter. Didn't work all that well and was consistent with the Princeton study (thanks for that). Works for truly dead most of the time as they really bounce. Also may have been my drop technique but I had quite a few good batteries fall over.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:31 AM   #18
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I just finished trying it..... I would say that it is a good check if there is nothing else there to help...


My 'bad' batteries tested as low as 0... yep, no charge at all.... up to 1.27....

SOOOO, I have a question... what volts indicate a bad battery The video seems to be at around 1.2.....
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:37 AM   #19
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I have a test for battery condition with #2032 nickel size flat 3 volt batteries. I put one in my garage door opener and if the garage door does not go up, the battery is dead.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:39 AM   #20
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SOOOO, I have a question... what volts indicate a bad battery The video seems to be at around 1.2.....
I guess it would depend on the load circuitry. In my garage door opener, its under 2 volts that render it useless for that purpose.

With a flashlight, the light just goes dim to the point where it won't be adequate, but you would have to measure the remaining voltage of the battery.
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