April 27, 2009

REVIEW: Convert AA Batteries to C or D

'D' Size Adapter for Two 'AA' Batteries These days it seems every kids toy available (and plenty of big kid toys) takes batteries of one sort or another. Rechargeable AA's make a great alternative to disposable alkaline batteries, but what do you do about C and D size batteries?

There are NiMH batteries built to the C and D sizes (as well as 9 volt), however they tend to be expensive and require a specialized charger. You need to be careful as well with capacity, the rechargeable C and D sizes are often times the same capacity as a AA battery. Surprisingly, the Energizer system of falls into this unglamorous category.

Instead, I recommend using adapters that allow your AA batteries to fit in the battery compartment of your C or D powered device.
How is this possible?

All three battery sizes produce 1.5 volts in their disposable form (rechargeable batteries come rated at 1.2 volts). The 'AA' size is smaller in both length and diameter, so an adapter just has to fill in the extra space to fit the electrical terminals.

AA's in 'D' Size Adapter
These Soshine C-size and D-size battery adapters from dealextreme.com perform exactly that function, and for a good price.

The D size adapters allows the use of 2 AA batteries at a time. This doubles the available capacity allowing less frequent battery changes.
The negative terminal end is a hinged door with a snap tight latch.
The latch takes a good amount of effort to open. In fact, those with weak fingernails probably need to use a screwdriver to avoid winding up with a broken nail.
The hinge too seems to be quite strong. Sometimes with hinged plastic I fret continually that it will break, not so with these. Overall I've been very happy with the quality of these adapters.

I have been similarly happy with the C size adapters, although I have not used them nearly as much as the D's.
Instead of being hinged at the end like the D's, the C's are hinged along the length of the adapter. This hinge is of similar high quality as the D adapter. The latch is much easier to open, but still does a good job locking the case around the battery.
'C' Size Adapter for one 'AA' Battery
I heartily recommend either battery adapter as a great companion gadget for your rechargeable AA batteries. There are other brands out there and I've tried a few of them, but the combination of features, especially on the D size adapter is unmatched.

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