EZ Test Battery: A Great Gift Idea
Date Posted: 11/12/2016
Dad Will Get a Real Charge out of this Gift Idea
by Bill Holton, AccessWorld Correspondent
If you’re like me, somewhere in your house you have a drawer full of batteries, only you don’t know if they’re still charged or not. I bought several packs of D-cell batteries several years ago, but they were the wrong size for the device and now they’ve been languishing in a desk drawer for years. Sooner or later I will wind up with a device that requires D-cells. Will I be disappointed when "batteries not included?" And what about those two 9 Volts on the counter? Which is the dead one I took out of the smoke detector and which is the second new one that came in the package?
Needless to say, a battery tester would be nice to have around the house. Most consumer testers use flashing lights to signal a battery’s charge or lack thereof. Also, many testers will only accommodate a few sizes.
Recently, I discovered the EZ Test Battery Tester, a 100% accessible battery tester produced and sold by the American Printing House for the Blind. It comes in two models. One model beeps to announce a battery’s charge level; the second model both beeps and vibrates, which means the device is also accessible to the deaf blind.
The EZ Test is 4.5 by 1.1 by 0.6 inches, and takes two AA batteries—which are included. The package also includes a user’s guide in large print, Braille, and CD recorded formats.
EZ Test "EZ" to Use
Using EZ Test could not be, well, easier. The top surface features a tiny conductive bump; a short cable tipped by a metal contact protrudes from one end. Simply place the battery’s flat, negative side on the bump, then touch the top, positive contact with the corded probe. A fully charged battery will beep or beep and pulse three times. A half charged battery will sound off twice, and a nearly completely discharged battery only once. If there is no sound at all, the battery is either completely dead or, if this happens several times in a row, it may be time to swap out the EZ.
Test batteries for fresh ones and then test the ones you removed. The cable is long enough to accommodate cells from AA to D. I was even able to test several coin batteries. Also, on EZ Test’s rear surface, there are two circular indentations for testing 9 volt batteries. My smoke alarm battery still had half a charge left, not enough to stake my life on, but plenty to run my talking scale for a month or two.
Actually, since I hate tossing spent batteries in the trash, I have a bag filled with about a hundred of various sizes waiting for me to find a nearby recycler. EZ Test discovered 8 fully charged and 14 half charged batteries in the mix, enough to power my EZ Test for years to come.