DC Supply! Monthly Electrical Ezine

CBC Design (tm) - November 2001 Issue. ISSN 1475-3464
Email: cbc_design@btconnect.com

"...Maintaining a reliable DC supply."



- Editorial
Rechargeable Solutions for Christmas. (Article)
Distilled Water. (Article)
- Competition - Win FREE battery pack!.
- Readers Questions
- Subscriber Ads



Welcome to this months issue of "DC supply".
Christmas is not far away so this month we will be looking at ways in which you can
keep your kids toys running without breaking the bank. Batteries cost a lot of money
so it makes sense to use rechargeable cells where ever you can to keep costs to an
absolute minimum.
With the right combination of batteries and a suitable charger, it is perfectly feasible
to keep all of your battery powered appliances operating for years on end without
having to keep replacing alkaline cells month after month!
Very few people are aware of this but in it's purest form, water is an insulator and does
not conduct electricity. It is for this reason that distilled or de-mineralised water is the
only form of h2o that should be used to top up a wet lead acid battery.
The quality of the distilled water that is used in a battery can quite literally make or break
it so it is vital that you use the correct electrolyte if you want to get the best
performance from your cells. Take a look at article 2 and we'll show you why you
must use distilled water whenever you top up your vehicle battery.
We have added a new subscriber ad section to our publication this month where we will
include free ads submitted by our readers. We have limited the number of ads to a maximum
of five per publication.
Last months competition was won by David Stanfield. Congratulation
David. With "AA" batteries being one of the most popular cells available, we
are repeating the competition yet again this month so good luck to you all!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editor: Alan Fidler.

Alan is the owner and manager of CBC Design, a leading battery management company based in the UK. He has worked in the industry for over seventeen years and has designed charging equipment and battery monitors for some of the world largest companies.

ARTICLE: Rechargeable Solutions for Christmas!. Author: Alan Fidler.
With a matter of weeks to go before the Christmas Holidays are upon us, it is time
to start thinking about all those battery powered toys your kids Aunts, Uncles &
Grand Parents will undoubtedly purchase and how to reduce your running costs
to a minimum.
Batteries are rarely included with the toys themselves and where they are it is
usually because the toy can be tried in the shop which invariably means the batteries
are flat by the time Christmas arrives anyway.
Most of our relatives forget about batteries altogether and this can be very disappointing
when the kids open their presents only to discover that they cannot play with their new
toy just because nobody thought about purchasing a suitable set of batteries.
The simplest solution is to purchase a charger that can recharge a variety of cells and
keep a number of Nicad cells that can be inter-changed from one toy to another. This
significantly reduces the number of cells required and over a number of years can save
a huge amount of money.
Most of the larger toys manufactured by companies such as Matel or Fisher Price use
larger batteries such as "C" or "D" types which are widely used in torches and portable
stereo systems so one or two sets of each type will suit a number of appliances.
"AA" or "A" cells are popular sizes in portable CD players and smaller toys so one or
two sets of each of these may be quite useful too.
Take a look round your own home and list all the battery powered appliances that you
have including toys, torches and any portable equipment such as CD players or radios.
Make a note of the batteries used in each appliance on your list so you can see which
of the cells are the most popular.
Next, try and decide which goods on your list are the most widely used and this
will enable you to decide upon an appropriate number of a given cell type. The initial
cost may seem high compared to non-rechargeable cells but, properly maintained, they
will last for years so over time you will save money and more importantly, you will always
have a reliable set of batteries whenever you need them most.  
Try and purchase a charger with inter-changeable battery holders rather than a fixed
type. There is not much point purchasing a unit that can only charge one "D" cell if
you want to charge 4-8 of them at the same time.
Multi function chargers are available from all good charger suppliers either in the
high street or on-line. Some even build to order giving the customer the opportunity
to specify their own personal recharging requirements.


*** NEW! 12 and 24V DC 60 Watt lamp dimmers ***

Dims single or multiple lamp assemblies with a maximum rating of 60 watts!
Lamps can be adjusted from a dim glow to bright light!
Regular use reduces battery power consumption and increase lamp life!

Go to http://www.cbcdesign.co.uk/dimmer.html and take a look at the
product in more detail NOW!.


ARTICLE: Distilled Water: Author: Alan Fidler. 
In the UK, the BBC transmit a weekly science and technology programme called
"Tomorrows World". Many years ago, they conducted an experiment where it
was proved conclusively that PURE water is insulator.
What I am about to tell you MUST NOT BE TRIED AT HOME!. It is a VERY
dangerous experiment and the slightest impurity in the water could have disastrous
consequences. You have been WARNED!
The experiment consisted of two items, a tank full of pure water and a powered TV
set. The fully functional television was slowly lowered into the tank until the entire
set was completely immersed in water. Like many, I fully expected the appliance to
fail but to my amazement, it continued to function perfectly because pure water is an
insulator. Electricity ALWAYS takes the path of least resistance and since the water
has a high ohmic value, this path was the normal electrical circuits within the set.
So what does this have to do with batteries?
Simply this, if a lead acid battery is topped up with pure water and properly maintained,
it will continue to function reliably for many years. Use tap water or any other form of
contaminated h2o and the internal resistance of the battery will drop thus reducing its
It is VITAL that the water used to top up as battery is pure. Distilled or de-mineralised
water is a must if you want to preserve your cells. It is tempting to use tap water but if
you do, you WILL damage your battery.

Remember: Look after your batteries and your batteries will look after you!



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Subscribe to our ezine and you will be automatically entered into our competition where you can win a FREE Nicad "AA" battery pack.

Simply send your email address (No free email) to cbc_design@btconnect.com with the words "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.



Questions from Sean Morgon! What causes corrosion

Corrosion is the result of a physical connection of two dissimilar metals. The battery terminals are made of lead whilst the connections are in copper or brass. This creates a small potential difference between the metals and an electrical current will flow which erodes the termination.

Question2! How can it be prevented

Use an anti corrosive jelly such as "nocrode" or a similar substance



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