Terminal TLC

Seven battery survival strategies to get you by.

by Dwight Eschliman

1. Pick up a USB charging adapter. In a pinch, you can siphon power from a computer to revive dead cells.

2. Charging AA or AAA cells can take 15 minutes with Rayovac’s NiMH rechargeable system, which equalizes internal pressure. $40; rayovac.com

3. Buying a digital camera? Check the shots-per-charge spec from the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) for an apples-to-apples comparison.

4. When your cellphone roams on an analog network, you get 40 percent less talk time than you would on a digital connection. To conserve battery life, program your phone to stick to digital networks.

5. Fully draining lithium-ion batteries ages them prematurely. Instead, top them off regularly, and keep them cool (but not refrigerated).

6. If you use alkalines in a high-drain device, don’t toss them when they’re dead–because they’re not. Use their remaining capacity for your TV remote.

7. Batteries contain hazardous materials–cadmium, nickel, and so forth. So don’t just trash them; find a recycling center near you at rbrc.com/consumer.