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Shelf life of rechargable dynamo batteries

We posted on our Facebook page:

David Priebe asked below: “What kind of shelf life can you expect from those rechargeable dynamo batteries inside your self-powered radio and flashlights? Say you purchase one of these products and never use it for several years. Will the battery be functional if never used and is stored for a great length of time? It would kind of suck if an emergency popped up and you tried to use them and found out they will not hold a charge!”

Some comments we received:

Comment #1: I could be mistaken, but I think they actually have capacitors, not batteries per say. If that is the case, they’d likely out live you.

Comment #2: I have an eton. i bought it over 4 yrs ago. the batteries got weak holding a charge after being left at camp and being snowed on and frozen all winter. it still works fine it just doesnt hold a charge very long. the bateries are replacable. they are the same kind that cordless phones use.

Comment #3: I don’t buy those partly because of the crap batteries they typically have in them.

At it’s core, survival is about Calories in VS Calories out. Cranking that dynamo for limited benefit seems to be a violation of the fundamentals to me.

Takes a lot less effort on my part to pour a little olive oil into a half a can, stick some jute twine in it, and have a makeshift oil lamp than to crank that dynamo for 20 minutes to get 10 minutes of low intensity light.

Comment #4: Instead of depending on batteries from the sotre i am realearning how to make my own out of scrap i have around the house. sonner or later there will be no ready made batteries or solar panels handy.

Comment #5: I got a fairly decent one and it lasted about 6 months before the batteries would no longer hold a charge. Buy a led flashlight and keep extra batteries. You’ll get a couple years off each set of batteries, more life than a crank light will give.

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