AA batteries no longer the trend?

Started Oct 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,141
Standardization is hard...

onlooker wrote:

Joseph S Wisniewski wrote:

A simple cell, the tube full of foil electrodes and chemical paste, does not do that, and it doesn't matter if it's an alkaline, NiMH, or lithium cell. It doesn't have a reliable temperature sensor, charge state monitor [...]

You will get no argument from me on that. Fully agree. What a standard ("AAL" or whatever) would need to include is the electronics inside. No, it wouldn't be a cheap AA anymore. Even the shape of the "rechargeable AAL" is not that important. It could be flat, square, whatever. The benefit would be universality and availability - one box of batteries for all devices. Is it ever going to happen? No idea, but it would have to be rechargeable. There is no way I want to deal with disposables.

We're close to that, right now. the big problem is the same as lens mounts.

  • Nikon believes in a 3 terminal charging port, with the battery pack control chip and the cells sharing a common ground. Canon believes in 4 terminals and a floating ground for the chip.

  • Sony likes shrouded pin contacts, while Nikon and Canon like exposed wiping contacts.

  • Nikon likes the exposed wiping contacts to be longer and wider spaced than Canon does.

But right now, there's no pressure, either from the market place, or from government organizations, to say "you all need to agree on a standard across all manufacturers".

Personally, I don't see it ever happening. Lens mounts have been a hash for decades.

Look at computers. There's still...

  • USB (2 and 3, to boot), FireWire, and ThunderChicken for high speed serial connectors.

  • DVI, dual DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, and ThunderChicken (again) for displays.

  • Analog (at two different voltage levels for consumer and pro audio), S/PDIF, USB audio, TOSLINK, Alesis, etc...

We used to have three major competing computer networking standards: Ethernet, ArcNet, and Token Ring. It wasn't manufactures who settled that, nor government agencies (the IEEE "standardized" things by numbering them 801.1, .2, and .3, like that helped). And the proponents of each fought hard for years, and finally 2 of the 3 went under.

Remember what happened with stereo broadcast television. In the US and Europe, manufactures argued which of their approaches should be a national standard. While they were arguing, Japan, Inc, told their manufacturers to cooperate on a standard, they put it into production, then started shipping the TVs to America and Europe, and gave select broadcasters free modulators, and the rest was history, and Motorola, Royal Philips, etc. lost 100% of the stereo TV business.

Remember Duracell's failed attempt to promote a standardized laptop battery? That's OK, few people remember that.

Well, the ball is already in play, no one is charging in with a new standard so cool it sweeps everything else away (stereo TV), Nikon isn't putting Canon, Sony, and Pentax out of business (Ethernet), and the governments apparently only want things they can tax. The consumers aren't rallying, so the mess we have now will be with us forever, for good or ill...

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.

Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.

Ciao! Joseph

http://www.swissarmyfork.com

 Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list:Joseph S Wisniewski's gear list
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