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USB Recharging

There is news running popping up about a new concept design for rechargeable batteries via USB.  Well, the concept looks cool from a design standpoint, but nothing new in the market place.

First, lets review the design.  Taking a double A battery case, the concept is to attach a USB cable so the internal battery can be recharged.  Nice concept if it came out 5 years ago, but why add the additional USB cable.  Why not make the tip a USB connector?  Oh wait, it’s been done.

So this brings us to what is already in the market place, the USBCell. This is a rechargeable battery which sits inside the double A battery design case. You can recharge the battery at anytime from any PC or car USB port.

In addition, if charging from a PC you can monitor the recharging of the device to make sure it hasn’t failed.

I pulled the source article from Slash Gear and one of the guys who wrote back about the article made some interesting comments, here they are:

As a user of only rechargeables for over five years now, let me clarify the issues:

1. USB on a single cell is ridiculous. Almost nothing runs on just one cell. In fact, almost all run on two, with most of the remainder run on four. That’s your recharge set. The most useful rechargers are build for this set-type rotation.

2. Worst problem in implementing rechargables in one’s life is not knowing. That’s not knowing when they’re done charging (and ready), not knowing when they’re done (not worth recharging– usually after about a thousand recharges they loose their capacity to hold a charge), and not knowing whether the charger is even charging them. Fix these unknowns and everyone would use these things.

3. The biggest gripe I have is that there are no standards, aside from milliamp ratings, to know what you are buying. Fewer questions about standards exist these days, but every battery manufacturer should have to, if warranted, place a warning on their label: “We do not subscribe to anyone’s battery or charging standards but our own, so there.”

Lastly, let me say that the slight inconvenience of recharging my batteries will pay back the investment (if one even bothers to consider it that) in a matter of days, not to mention the warm fuzzies for not pitching such chemicals in a landfill on a weekly basis Those of you with kids who are buying disposables, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

To say that battery manufacturers are at not fault for creating this mindset in people (one that does not care about mindlessly buying disposable batteries) is the one of the great understatements of this millennia. No lie. I’ve saved my family easily hundreds of dollars on batteries for half a dozen devices. And imposed a lasting impression (we parents love doing this) on the next generation of users.

The USB Cell address most of the issues above.  You can get the USBCell just about any on-line store, like Amazon.

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