Pete's Log: Feeling Bitter

Entry #2534, (Smokepacking)
(posted when I was 45 years old.)

Some time ago, I needed to replace the battery in one of our AirTags. Should have been easy enough, it takes a CR2032 and I happen to keep those in my battery drawer.

Not so easy though. Our phones don't see the AirTag after the battery upgrade and I tried various things before finally learning that "Some CR2032 batteries with bitterant coatings might not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products." (Oddly enough, just a couple sentences earlier that page suggests "To further discourage accidental ingestion, use a bitterant-coated CR2032 battery")

You've probably guessed at this point that the battery I used was, in fact, bitterant-coated. So I acquired some other CR2032s without a bitterant coating and the AirTag came back to life with no further issues. I moved on with life.

Last night I needed to replace the batteries on one of my rear bike lights. It also uses CR2032s. The first ones I grabbed were the ones with the bitterant coating. I thought the fancy electronics of the AirTag might be particularly sensitive to needing a specific current that is impeded by the bitterant, but certainly something as simple as a bike light should be fine, right? Alas, the bike light would only function in solid-on mode, and not in any of the more attention-grabbing blinking modes. So I swapped the batteries out for a non-coated version and blinky mode returned.

Anyway, keep that in mind, I guess, when you next purchase CR2032s. Apparently there are now bitterant-coated batteries that are labeled as "Compatible with Apple AirTag." I assume those would be compatible with my bike light as well.