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Money | DIY


torch 012

Multi-test meter, batteries and LED torch

I bought the multi test meter a few years ago it was £2.99 at Maplin which shows you should grab a bargain when you see one; they are £9.99 today for the domestic multi-test meter. I had the 4 AA batteries from Lidl a couple of weeks ago for £2.79 and they fit my camera. I charged the AAA batteries today for the cordless phone, they were the same price. The torch is an LED torch with 2 bright LED’s and a handle that you press to make it light up. I assume the battery charges when you press the handle . I bought that a couple of months ago and the quality isn’t great but it works! I did drop it on the floor when I was arranging that photograph and it was fiddly to re-assemble the on-off switch; but it’s OK now! Guess how much it cost! I had it from Poundland!

Smile with tongue out

Testing… Testing… Testing…

I know, I did electronics in college but most people can test a battery. The base voltage on a rechargeable battery is 1.2V and a non-rechargeable is 1.5V. I tested my batteries from the phone and they were just above 1.2V and the new ones were nearly 1.4V and so at least close to being fully charged. I put the new ones in the phones but the LCD indicator shows they aren’t charged. It seems they have a lot of charge in them but will take some more. I have a phone on charge and it’s now showing some charge after about an hour. It pays to test things because new batteries are much cheaper than new phones. The batteries I took out will be charged in another charger and tested again. In the UK if they aren’t any good they should be sent for specialised disposal rather than put on a garbage bin or normal recycling.

I have used the test meter for checking a lot of things, including a bad connection on my kettle and checking for voltage and connections on my desktop computer.

The torch is cheap but for a pound and quite cool, you can find them in Poundland with the outdoors and camping stuff.

Incidentally, re-chargeable batteries won’t work in everything because they are a lower voltage  and aren’t suitable for some clocks. It is also a good idea to discharge them fully. My camera has a function especially for the full discharge but it’s hard to know when the battery is low enough to use that.

The multi-test meter is also useful for testing fuses and testing for voltage or connectivity on the car when there is an electrical problem. If you don’t understand this stuff, the water that comes out of your tap increases with more water pressure. The flow of electricity increases with more pressure, called voltage and the flow is current in amperes. Fortunately, electricity doesn’t leak all over the floor like water, but it can be dangerous at high voltage and so don’t attempt repairs at mains voltage unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. You might like yesterday’s frugal Friday blog or how about the Thrifty Thursday blog. There are lots more to choose from on the Home Page.  Remember, the best things in life are free… 

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4 responses

  1. Hi Mike, I never knew that you couldn’t use rechargeable batteries in everything. They work so well in my digital camera, regular batteries seem to discharge immediately.

    One of the things I don’t miss about being in the UK is fuses. We don’t have them in appliances here. I remember our Mac computer died a year after we bought it in the UK and I thought to change the fuse. Voila, problem solved! I brought fuses back with us to the US in case we ever need another one here for our Mac.

    You are certainly putting your education to good use, both at home and sharing it with us!

    31, July 2011 at 2:47 am

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    I often wonder about American fuses! I did have problems with equipment from the US when I first worked on electrical equipment. It was different voltages, different safety standard and different colours on the wires! I have fuses in all the plugs and circuit breakers fro every circuit now. The breakers go out faster than fuses sometimes. It was useful when I cut through the cable on the lawnmower! That is one thing I wouldn’t change, our electrical systems are quite safe because of the high voltages. There is usually a fuse inside your computer case too, useful to know if it goes dead. I used to like things that were dead! I knew it was the power, otherwise it’s lots of testing!

    31, July 2011 at 8:58 am

  3. Pingback: Questions And Answers On 12 Volt Battery Charger | Solar Power For Energy

  4. Pingback: Questions And Answers On Cell Phone Charger Voltage | Solar Power For Energy

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