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Emergency Spare-Battery

Saves frustration and possible injury.
  (+5, -3)
(+5, -3)
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In my experience, devices which run on batteries are cursed - the batteries always seem to go dead just when they're needed most.

I propose a line of products with a small battery wired in, which kicks in when the usual battery runs out. The battery is only to be used in situations where it is absolutely necessary that the device continues to work.

To enforce this, while using the device you indicate via a switch whether the activity is important enough to be prolonged with the spare battery - if it is not, the battery will simply not provide power.

For instance, you are using your mobile phone in your house, near to a normal charger - for this you indicate that the spare battery need not be used.

However, next week you are on a walk with a friend on a deserted moor, miles from the nearest phone-charger. You need to call an ambulance to rescue your friend, who has conveniently broken his/her ankle. Before making the vital call, you flick the switch to the position in which the emergency spare-battery will be called into use if the normal battery goes dead during the call.

Devices which it would be hugely useful for include torches (for power cuts etc.); radio players (for the last minutes of the final); and laptops (for that vital email).

Mr Phase, Oct 27 2005


       A battery unused for a year will not work anyway. Your emergency spare won't be there for you.   


       "Sorry, grandma, I'm going to have to end this call now."   

       "But, darling, just use that spare".   

       "Sorry, grandma, you're just not important enough"   

       Most humans I know will never have the spare go unused.
sophocles, Oct 27 2005

       You can buy a multi-purpose battery pack that will plug into your cell phone, Palm, etc, to provide juice when the rechargeable batteries have run flat, running off store-bought AA batteries.   

       To me, that seems a better approach than one relying on having additional batteries within the target device, which might fail, run down, etc. without you noticing.
DrCurry, Oct 27 2005

       >A battery unused for a year will not work anyway. Your emergency spare won't be there for you. <   

       Depends on battery type!   

       Lithium batteries have self-discharge rates of 0.5% at room temperature. Even standard Alkaline batteries self - discharge at 5%/year, still useable after 5 years or so.
csea, Oct 27 2005

       what [sophocles] said :-)
ixnaum, Oct 29 2005

       Better power management in the device itself could provide the same features with no actual added battery. Just make sure it shuts down before the existing battery runs out, then allow that to be disabled (allowing all the remaining battery power to be used) in emergencies.
James Newton, Oct 29 2005

       "a battery unused for a year wont work anyway"   

       Not if the spare, itself, was also rechargeable. (in devices like cell phones and laptops that charge when plugged in) basically the device would charge both batteries at the same time (though the spare would be charged more quickly because it would presumably have a smaller capacity, cos its just a backup for "emergencies") As for AA and AAA devices, if you're that paranoid you could just carry another set of batteries.   

       Or maybe for AA and AAA devices, there could be another seperate compartment that took another AA or AAA battery in addition to the main batteries. if the "backup battery" or "sub-battery" was dead the device could have some sort of light or something.
Dickcheney6, Jun 21 2008


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