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*Cheep* batteries for digital calipers

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  • *Cheep* batteries for digital calipers

    The other week my digital caliper started blinking at me to tell me to change its battery. But it has always bothered me to have to but a $4 battery into a cheepie $16 caliper. Then by chance I ran across an article about how some batteries are made up of a bunch of these button cells.

    So I decided to check it out. Bought a 12V battery,



    And then proceeded to cut it apart. Where upon I found it was indeed made up of 8 button cells.




    However they where unfortunately a smaller in diameter then what I needed. But no problem that is why we have lathes. So I just turned up an adapter ring to make the cell fit.



    Naturally I don’t expect one of these little cells to last as long as the correct one, but 8 of these little cells I presume will last substantially longer. We shall see. These eight cost the same as one of the correct size.

  • #2
    The batteries in my Brown and Sharps last for about ten years. The China made calipers go through batteries much faster because they are drawing current even when the caliper is turned out. At least that is the hear say that I have heard. Gary P. Hansen
    In memory of Marine Engineer Paul Miller who gave his life for his country 7-19-2010 Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Freedom is not free, it is paid for with blood.

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    • #3
      Yes, this can be done. ALL higher Voltage batteries are made up from multiple cells. 9 Volt batteries are always made from a bunch of cells. The trick if finding ones that have cells that are compatible in both dimensions and Voltage rating. And different manufacturers may make the same kind of battery from a different combination of cells so brands or even types within a brand may matter.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

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      • #4
        Seems that all (or most, anyway) of them take the 357/AG13/LR14 battery and they practically give them away on flea bay, I have about 8-10 left from an order of 50 that I got for 1 penny, yep one cent, -- course postage was $9.99 but thats still pretty cheap.

        I have about 5-6 different apps for them and as mentioned, a couple DI's will use one up pretty quick, but in other things one'll go forever, --and Ive given a lot of them to friends, so the other day I was looking on ebay to get another batch and bought 50 more, this time for $6.99/free frt. That first batch were totally unknowns, but they performed right along side some name brands Id paid 2-3$ for. Havent got these others yet ...will see.

        I didnt know they were stacked like that!
        If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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        • #5
          How about this?

          http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=97072

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          • #6
            There was a thread here some months ago, describing the difference between the alkaline and the silver chemistry. The silver type last a LOT longer, but do cost a bit more.

            Steve

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            • #7
              The LR44 batteries aren't nearly as good as the SR44/357s, even though they're interchangable. Enco had the SR44s on sale very recently for $.45/each, they might still be available at that price.

              Surprisingly (to me), my Chinese caliper's battery lasts at least a year. The Mitutoyo 'Z' readout on my B'Port uses the same battery, but it lasts several years, and I never, ever, turn it "off".

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              • #8
                Since most of us buy from Enco and may need to pad an order to meet the free shipping minimum - add a few batteries. Their prices for Energizer silver-oxide cells are much better than the local drug store or WalMart. The 357 cell is Enco # 712-0185 and the 2009 catalog lists it for $1.16. This is a drop in replacement for the cheap AG13 alkaline cells that the HF calipers come with and will last a lot longer.

                I looked at that assortment (#97072) at HF the other day. It would only be a good but if you have a use for all of the different sized cells. For me, I would end up throwing most of them away.

                Another "cheap way out" is to check the local dollar store and see what they sell that is powered by these cells. A couple months ago I picked up several "personal security alarms" that used 3 of the AG13's. Three bucks (plus tax) and I now have 9 back up cells. These are alkaline cells and won't last as long as the silver-oxide cells, but the price was right.

                Ain't it fun to be cheap?

                Glenn
                So many projects . . . so little ambition! Arroyo Grande, CA

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                • #9
                  SR-44's are intermittently available at Big Lots in packs of 5 or 6 for a buck. They're much better than the alkalines. They're Chinese made, as are all these things these days, under the Sunbeam label. Not worth a trip there, but something to keep eyes open for if you have one of those stores in your area.

                  Some dollar stores have packages of the alkalines for a buck as well, anything from 5 to 12 in a pack, but it's a crap shoot as to whether they'll have them or if they'll be any good. I've gotten some bum ones, but some that lasted well.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bruto
                    SR-44's are intermittently available at Big Lots in packs of 5 or 6 for a buck. They're much better than the alkalines. They're Chinese made, as are all these things these days, under the Sunbeam label. Not worth a trip there, but something to keep eyes open for if you have one of those stores in your area.

                    Some dollar stores have packages of the alkalines for a buck as well, anything from 5 to 12 in a pack, but it's a crap shoot as to whether they'll have them or if they'll be any good. I've gotten some bum ones, but some that lasted well.
                    I bought a few keychain flashlights at the dollar store just for the SR44 batteries inside. (3 inside as I recall)

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                    • #11
                      Why not just buy a decent caliper and be done with it? You'll
                      undoubtedly get one that is more accurate as well. If you want
                      a *complete* explanation of the short battery life here it is:
                      http://davehylands.com/Machinist/Caliper-Batteries/

                      Ed P

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                      • #12
                        Hey OldGuy: Enco's price when ordered over the web is now 0.75. Too bad I don't need anything else from them. Had to buy Gits oilers from MSC; Enco doesn't stock the type I needed.
                        John Burchett
                        in Byng OK

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                        • #13
                          we have a dollar rama sotre here andi get 5 of the proper batteries for only 1.00 and they last a long long time infact its been almost a year sence i changed out the battery that came with my digitial calipers

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                          • #14
                            If you want to buy several at a time, you can try http://sr44.com . I have a pack of 25 on the way right now.

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                            • #15
                              You could just use a dial inch/metric caliper and never buy another battery in your life!

                              The digital ones, even Starrett (especially Starrett?) have peculiarities that make measurung OK, but setting to a size troublesome. Delay, number catchup, etc......

                              I have used the same 6" Fowler (from Germany) dial caliper for 30 years now, and the darn thing still checks out within 0.001 with gage blocks. And, it has a full turn per tenth, so its easy to read accurately. used it every workday of those 30 years.

                              I did have to reset the gibs a few years ago.......
                              2730

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Everything not impossible is compulsory

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