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  1. #1
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Default Solar Christmas light stopped working

    Should have known better than buying Christmas light from Aldi, but after all aren't they all made in China in the same factory for $1 a ton?
    Bought two and they worked well for a good part of 3 week and this past week with all that sun and heat they died out.
    After scratching my head for a while, I pulled the solar panel apart to reveal a no name battery held in place by a dab of silicone.
    Pulled it out and put on the charger to see if it is the solar charger that failed, the battery or the cable. Had to fix the cable already on one that mysteriously broke in half. Considering my little boys (4 and 6) are about, may put that down to their inquisitiveness.
    Actually let's try a new battery and see what it does.
    ... new battery worked so the lights and cable are OK. It's either the battery or the charger. Gave the face of the panel a clean ... see what happens. This rechargeable batteries take forever to charge. I don't see any value in using them for general purpose like remote controls. All they do is die quickly at the worst possible moment. The charge lasts 1/20 of a normal battery and costs 10 times more. I had a rechargeable in my kitchen clock. A normal battery would last about one year. the rechargeable goes on for a week or two. Got sick of it and chucked it out and replaced by an ordinary 50c battery that is ticking away just fine.
    How long until someone decides like with filament lights that rechargeable is the only way to go and ban the normal cheap batteries?
    What is next? car tyres made of vegetable scraps?
    Waiting ... waiting ...
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  2. #2
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    Hope you didn't buy a pressure cooker while you were at Aldi
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/explodin...-people-choice

  3. #3
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    Marc have you fallen on hard times buying Chinese lights and horror they are solar, what’s the world coming to.

  4. #4
    Jon
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    Default Solar Christmas light stopped working

    Run normal batteries in clocks etc and use the rechargeable ones for the kids toys. And get a good quality charger.

  5. #5
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Marc buys some cheap Christmas lights that break and prophesize the mandating of car tyres to be manufactured from veggie scraps!

    Maybe Marc thought that he was posting in the emission trading thread?

    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Run normal batteries in clocks etc and use the rechargeable ones for the kids toys. And get a good quality charger.
    Yep, we only use rechargeables for high drain devices. The packets used to mention this is their forte too. RTFM

  7. #7
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    I think we might move this to General odds and sods.

  8. #8
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    It definitely belongs in ‘odd’.

    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  9. #9
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Well it has been four hours now and the no brand rechargeable are still in the charger and the light is still on, so not fully charged.
    They are Ni-MH whilst the ordinary rechargeable are ni-cad ... What's the diff?
    Yes, good quality charger sounds like good advice. I have a duracell charger. How do you know a charger is good quality? They are all a dime a dozen.

    The only thing "Odd" here is the religious consistency of the usual suspects answering my post when they contain anything that can be construed as some form of dissent on their particualr view of the world.
    Keep it up guys, it makes the place fun and I don't mind at all. You keep the traffic to the sight high I suppose.
    Mr Administrator, can i get a commission?
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  10. #10
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    I am over trying out the rechargeables. I find they are mostly rubbish and uneconomical even with different chargers and a Jaycar smart charger.
    But same can't be said for my battery tools, those ones I can rely on!

  11. #11
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    Our kids have been using rechargables for xbox and wii (various models) remotes for years and they have paid for themselves many times. Out of about 20 purchased over a few years I think 6 have been exhausted beyond recharging. There is no such thing as a "good cheap rechargeable battery"

  12. #12
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    With battery chargers, avoided anything that says “16 hour” charge or there abouts. These are 16-hour-rate charger which are the most primitive way of charging - slow, inefficient, and not good for cell life.

    The ‘smart chargers’ are better, but avoid any that have a ‘master’ cell position. All these do is charge the master cell correctly and assume that all the other cells require the same charge - which is unlikely, especially when the cells age.

    Look for smart chargers that use both dV/dt and dT/dt charge termination in every cell charging position. These are the smart chargers that don’t have a ‘master’ position.
    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  13. #13
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    So now the batteries are fully charged. I read that ni-mh are much better than ni-cd, high capacity and no memory effect, so I'll keep them for now. Lets see if the solar panel charges them or not.
    I suppose that for games that use batteries a lot, recharging makes sense. For low usage like remotes and clocks it makes no sense whatsoever. With the christmas lights, considering that they get sucked dry every night, I suppose a good ni-mh battery should be the way to go, if the panel is big enough to recharge it during the day. It is possible that just one cloudy day is enough to break the cycle. Wait and see.
    I once bought some "High power" rechargeables that claimed 1.6 volts and had to buy the charger for them. Mainly rubbish just like the rest.
    My wife keeps coming back with her pocket ophthalmoscope and otoscope that stopped working half way through the day, to recharge the batteries. Lately I bought a packet of 50 alcalines for a song and she is going through them very slowly.

    Smart chargers ... I have a couple one 15 amp and one 5 amp but they are only for the car or the boat or the mower, not little AA batteries.
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  14. #14
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    Rechargeable Ni-MH Cells come in various "capacities", and qualities.

    I bought (from China) an illuminated Address Number sign to place on the brick work associated with the Letter Box.
    (This one - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/stainles...UAAOSw~AVYqp5I - or one very similar.)
    It claims "can use 8 to 10 hours continuously" when charged. (It also seems to claim that it can be charged from "Street Lamps" - which I strongly doubt.)

    However, with the single 600 mAH AA cell supplied, it would not last through the night in August (I tested it on a North facing window sill before I installed it, so it was fully charged during the day.)
    I replaced the original cell with a 2900 mAH Ni-MH AA cell (and added a second single Cell holder in parallel, in case it was needed) and installed the larger battery.
    It then worked throughout the night and continues to do so.

    Of course, the nights are now shorter and it will be interesting to see what happens during winter.

    I note that my Panasonic cordless 'phones are powered with two 400 mAH Ni-MH AAA cells. However, 'phones such as these sit in units which keep them fully charged at all times, apart from when they are in use - or during power outages.

  15. #15
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post


    I note that my Panasonic cordless 'phones are powered with two 400 mAH AAA cells. However, 'phones such as these sit in units which keep them fully charged at all times, apart from when they are in use - or during power outages.
    This is the only thing they work for me. For my camera they were a waste of money.

  16. #16
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Interesting ... I did not know I can buy 2900 mA Ni-MH AA ... good to know. This are 1600 mA. of coruse the bottleneck is the little solar panel charger. And if it is cloudy all day your are in strife. I heard that some clever state of Australia relies on solar for their energy supply and seem to get into problems when it is cloudy ... or is it when the wind stops? Can't really remember ... I tend to get this urge of throwing up when reminded of this things ...
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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  17. #17
    2K Club Member chrisp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Keep it up guys, it makes the place fun and I don't mind at all. You keep the traffic to the sight high I suppose.
    Mr Administrator, can i get a commission?
    So, now you’re seeking payment for your posts. A bit like ‘cash for comments’? But in this case, I suppose it’d be more like ‘cash for claptrap’!

    There is no middle ground between facts and fallacies - argumentum ad temperantiam

  18. #18
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    FrodoOne, I imagine to charge from streetlights, the streetlights would need to be so close as to negate the need for illumination!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Mr Administrator, can i get a commission?
    Admins don't read posts so you have to make do with understudies.

    We are looking around fro a 10,000 post medal to be struck for you. I'm sure you would appeciate a renewable method of smelting the metal.

  20. #20
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    What do you mean admin don't read post? Of course they do and they even answer them. I suppose you will need to point them out to him/her
    ... Anyway ... it's good that we can laugh about ourselves, at least I can. Some other take themselves far too seriously it seems.

    The sun meantimes keeps on shining and charging my little AA batteries. I was thinking in making a small wind powered charger for Christmas lights. I could use one of those ancient push bike dynamo. They are 6V 3W so just right for 4 1.5V batteries. I could use 4 C size batteries to avoid any blackout when there is no wind ... and need a regulator to stop the charge when there is a storm ... mm, interesting.
    Of course the whole contraption will cost more than 10 new set of Christmas lights. But it is a matter of principle. I must prove that it is possible and money is no objection. It's taxpayers money after all ...
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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  21. #21
    Jon
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    Default Solar Christmas light stopped working

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post

    The sun meantimes keeps on shining and charging my little AA batteries. I was thinking in making a small wind powered charger for Christmas lights. I could use one of those ancient push bike dynamo. They are 6V 3W so just right for 4 1.5V batteries. I could use 4 C size batteries to avoid any blackout when there is no wind ... and need a regulator to stop the charge when there is a storm ... mm, interesting.
    Of course the whole contraption will cost more than 10 new set of Christmas lights. But it is a matter of principle. I must prove that it is possible and money is no objection. It's taxpayers money after all ...
    Ok. So fix vanes to the spokes of an old bicycle wheel and using your forging skills make up make a frame to mount the wheel and the dynamo and off you go. Make them look a bit fancy and artistic and PG could sell them on his stall if you can track him down.

  22. #22
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    You only ever need the lights when it is dark and you don't need them when you go to bed so this would be the solution. You could use it when watching TV or watching the Emission threads from around the world, it has many possibilities and you can throw away those cheap Chinese batteries.

  23. #23
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    There are rechargeables and then there's the usual junk..
    A mate highly recommends eneloop batteries. He's a bit of a geek with this stuff and said they only loose a few % of charge over 12 months unlike most Nimh which go flat too quick to be useful in slow drain devices.
    https://m.catch.com.au/product/panas...ffer_id=477370
    I prefer to grab a pack of Energizer Max and forget the whole Charging process. Then recycle them at Aldi when flat, though I'd never buy batteries there cos they're terrible and leak.

  24. #24
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    Eneloops always get mentioned as the better battery. A Sanyo developed battery.

  25. #25
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Wow, that is some fancy pedal power generator there Bros. Love it. That coupled with Envelop batteries and I am ready to light up the night.
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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  26. #26
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    ... with Envelop batteries and I am ready to light up the night.
    Eneloop Marc, Eneloop.

  27. #27
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    Marc, won;t you ever learn, Aldi should stick to selling food (and a lot of that is also dubious nowadays).

    Everything else they sell other than food either explodes, catches fire, shocks you, or simply fails and is then recalled, I would like to know the payouts they must have for all the failed goods they sell which injured people.

    I only use Japanese made ENELOOP SANYO, have done for years and never had one failure, there are a lot of fake batteries on ebay from other so called reputable brands, I purchase my ones directly from Japan.

    If you want a good smart charger look at the Nitecore ones, these charge just about anything and they extend the life of the batteries, I use the ENELOOPS in everything, from remote controls, cordless keyboards, cordless mouse etc, usually get around 6 month use from the mouse, 12 from a keyboards, 12 from a remote control.

    Like most things these days you get what you pay for, I went through so many fake rubbish batteries then decided to get the Japanese ENELOOPS and will never consider any other brand.



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  28. #28
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Thank you Metrix. I noticed that you can buy Envelop made in Indonesia ... I mean Eneloop, (sorry Phil )
    ... interesting.
    As for Aldi stuff I agree that some is on the low quality side, but not always. I love their cheese selection and German baked stuff .... oh sorry you mean non food stuff.
    Lets see ...
    Bought a fridge, a CV radio, two vacuum cleaners, 3 foldable deck chairs a Bullbar ... no that one was not from Aldi ... many more things I have forgotten usually with good success. You can not buy tools of any sort usually. Camping stuff ... not sure because I don't camp in nor out so wouldn't know. Some of the gardening stuff seems OK. Anyway.

    What were we talking about? ... oh yes, Aldi Christmas lights. ... Christmas lights are made in China and wherever you buy them they will be the same stuff. Mine are made in Guangdong and they sell for $0.65 US in boxes of 100.
    Most retailer would source them from the same place.

    Is there such thing as high quality Christmas lights? Now that would be a challenge, I am sure there are specialised places. I wouldn't know. Next door to my wife's surgery there is ... was ... a 2 dollar shop that burned down literally to the ground from a fire started by the old non led Christmas lights. Plugged 50 different ones permanently in a shoddy row of double adaptors in a power board plugged in a shoddy powerpoint and voilà or is it á, can't remember ... instant fire in the middle of the day.

    My Aldi Christmas lights work again. I gave the little green batteries a leg up by charging them and with the sun out and about, they may go for another 3 or 4 weeks.
    By then all will be forgotten and boxed up for the next year when December comes along and we again reach for decorations.

    So guys, it has been fun and I will take this opportunity to wish you all a prosperous Christmas and a merry new year with your loved ones.
    I also wish you to make twice the money you made this year, and lose twice as much weight as you gained this year. (Triple for Moondog)
    Hooroo
    Marc
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  29. #29
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Real ENELOOP are made in Japan, there are also so many fake 18650 batteries on ebay.

    I have a battery tester which will tell you the "real" capacity of the battery not the one they print on the label.
    I was going to buy some fro a local supplier, they were labelled as 4000mA, I asked the seller if this was the right capacity I was ensured yes they are 4000.

    The I replied I was going to buy them and test the capacity and publish the results on a website, the reply was well maybe you shouldn't buy them, as actually we can't be sure of the real capacity.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  30. #30
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    You are a source of knowledge Metrix ... I was thinking in buying a shipment of rechargeables stick my logo on them and flog them off on ebay. Maybe I can post you a few for testing before I buy?
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
    Confucius

  31. #31
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    Don't bother, they will send you a test sample with the real capacity, then the shipment will be under rated ones, there is a big business of middle man based in China to check the good you are ordering are actually what you ordered.

    Because once it leaves the country you have zero chance of returning the goods.
    If you stick your logo on them it means you take onus of them as a re-seller, if they explode or catch fire you will be responsible for something that was made out of your control, hope you have good insurance.

    There is a good Youtube on a guy who specialises in electric cars etc, they put out an offer to purchase soem huge shipment of supposed top quality 18650 Panasonic or similar, everyone put their order through, all the many thousands of batteries sold out,then there was a problem getting them shipped and the quality of the batteries.

    The payments were in the range of thousands, I think it was done through Paypal or similar, they froze his account as there was too many transactions and forced him to pay some additional fee per transaction which ran into the thousands of $$.

    When there was a problem lots of people wanted their money back, it was a big debacle, as the money was locked in an account and Paypal would not release it, the seller refused to ship the batteries unless the money was transferred, the seller could not get access to the money so it was a stalemate.

    He had to then fork out many thousands of $$ of his own money to the seller to secure some of the stock, then he had to repack and pay for postage to send them out.
    It all went bad, and all he was doing was trying to get his subscribers cheap access to good quality batteries.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

  32. #32
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Yes, I believe that to be possible. Importing is full of potential problems and Paypal is not the best way to pay large sums.
    I know of the product check in China. I wonder if there is a second to check the checker
    Ever seen the inside of a 18650? It's just a roll of something like fine copper and a few oher layers of some black stuff. All very low tech.
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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  33. #33
    Je pense, donc METRIX's Avatar
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    All batteries are low tech, there are some new ones in the lab that will deliver 3 times the amount of current LiIon, and some alternates to LiIon with same capacity that can be stabbed, bent cut in two and they don;t catch fire.
    There are some new Salt Water battery versions that can discharge to 100% without destroying them which is a NONO with LiIon,
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I was thinking in making a small wind powered charger for Christmas lights. I could use one of those ancient push bike dynamo. They are 6V 3W so just right for 4 1.5V batteries. I could use 4 C size batteries to avoid any blackout when there is no wind ... and need a regulator to stop the charge when there is a storm ... mm, interesting.
    “That's not a wind turbine. This is a wind turbine.” - Crocodile UseByDate

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  35. #35
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Too late Use ... Christmas is over ... come back ... next year! ...From The Christmas lights Nazi
    Last edited by Bros; 30th Dec 2017 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Just to be clear,
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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