An experiment: battery memory

a scientific experiment - measuring battery performance under simulated load

Does your radio battery last longer if you rest it between uses? This is the question that Steve Reyer asked in the context of his Web page about the first transistor radio (the Regency TR-1).

The image above (from Steve’s site dedicated to the TR-1, and copyright to Steve) illustrates the measuring rig that he devised to explore the question. He has…

  • Examined an assertion made by a commercial concern
  • Searched the literature
  • Devised a simulation of average radio use
  • Ran the experiment
  • Interpreted the data
  • Evaluated the results

My own experience of using a battery powered radio for about half an hour a day tends to support the assertion anecdotally. I’m still on the same set of 6 C cells after two and a half years.

It has to be said that the TR-1 circuit (as shown in the US Patent, from Steve Reyer’s site) has a class A output stage: major inefficiency as the standing current in the circuit had to be set to the maximum output expected into the loudspeaker -probably 50mW or similar

TR-1 audio circuit operating in class A with maximum efficiency of 25%

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