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best button cell batteries - JDonley - 01-30-2013

What are best replacement batteries for 17B11 and 10B? Am replacing Maxell LR44's. I prefer American made batteries. Is there such a thing? This is a very mundane topic for a bunch of brainiacs, but most likely best forum around for everything regarding HP calculators. Thanks

Re: best button cell batteries - Eric Smith - 01-30-2013

I don't think there are any American-made batteries or cells. Do we actually still make anything that you can buy without being asked, "Do you want fries with that?"

Most are made in China. I'm not even sure whether any are still being made in Japan; most of the Japanese brands (e.g., Sanyo) have switched to Chinese manufacturing.

With coin cells, there is a *huge* difference in capacity between the well-known brands (e.g., Duracell, Energizer, Panasonic, Rayovac, Sanyo, Varta) and the "off" brands or no-names. I expect that this is also true of button cells, but I don't have evidence of that.

I think the well-known brands I listed above actually do their own manufacturing. I'm less sure about Maxell, Renata, Seiko, and Sony; it seems possible that they may be OEMing cells from another manufacturer. That's not necessarily bad, depending on the manufacturer, and they would presumably be motivated to choose a manufacturer with a high-quality product.

On the other hand, the less well-known brands and the no-name stuff are made by companies we've never heard of, and their concern over product quality and performance is substantially lower.

Re: best button cell batteries - hugh steers - 01-30-2013

All of those with names you've heard of are about the same. The big difference, though is what they're made of.

For non-button cells, I'm seeing zinc carbon making a comeback in really cheap shops. I look around for Alkaline, they sell these cheap too, but you dont get as many :-)

Also, note that LR44 usually means it's lithium. If you want good battery life from that size, see if you can find SR44 - ie silver oxide. You dont find SR44 on those cardboard sheets from the cheapo shop!

CR2032's were usually lithium anyway, so you're ok to get these cheap.

good luck

Re: best button cell batteries - Calum Tait - 01-30-2013

The SR44 (Silver oxide) has a longer shelf life AND service life than the LR44 (alkaline) and has a shallower and more linear voltage drop as the battery discharges holding a higher voltage until it fails. I have read in the past that some makes of SR44 have a lower internal resistance than others but have no personal experience of testing this. Both these batteries can have other designations, for instance the SR44 is frequently sold as a "357". The SR44 is technically a better and longer lasting battery but they also tend to be somewhat more expensive than the LR44. They can still be had at less than GBP 1.00 each though so may be worth the slight extra cost to you for the extended operating life.

Edited: 30 Jan 2013, 9:35 p.m.

Re: best button cell batteries - JDonley - 01-30-2013

SR it will be. I appreciate all of you taking the time to share your knowledge.

Re: best button cell batteries - Eric Smith - 01-31-2013

CR2032's were usually lithium anyway, so you're ok to get these cheap.

No, that was exactly my point. Even with the same chemistry, there is a *huge* variation in coin cells between the name brands and the off brands. The off brands usually have less than 2/3 the capacity of the name brands, and some less than 1/2. That's not because the chemistry is different, but because the construction of the cell is different. There is less material, or it has different geometry, or different texture (affecting surface area), or something. If there's a way for them to make it cheaper, the off brands will do it.

Of course, if you can get the off brand for 1/3 the price of the name brand, it might actually be more cost effective, if you don't mind changing cells more frequently.

Re: best button cell batteries - Dieter - 01-31-2013

Also, note that LR44 usually means it's lithium.

Sorry, no. LR usually stands for alkaline cells.
  • LR = alkaline
  • SR = silver oxide
  • CR = lithium
  • MR = mercury
  • PR = zinc-air
The SR, MR and CR types can offer substantially higher capacities than regular alkaline (LR) cells. Since mercury batteries have been banned in most western countries long time ago and usual LiMnO2 batteries have voltages > 3 V/cell (so they are not interchangeable with standard 1,5 V alkalines), silver oxide batteries are the best solution here. They provide about 80% more capacity than their alkaline counterparts. So get some decent (Varta, Panasonic, ...) SR type cells and you're done.


Edited: 31 Jan 2013, 3:05 p.m.