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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    246

    need new charger & batteries...

    I need a new charger - my current 8-cell AA charger from Radio Shack (at least a year or two old) isn't nearly good enough anymore.
    What are several GOOD chargers in the $40 to $140 price range (I'd like a few choices at different prices) that:
    can charge at least 12-16 AA size batteries simultaneously (also would charge AAA, C, D, 9V)
    can charge high-capacity batteries (for example 1200mAh AAA, 2900mAh AA, 6000mAh C, 12000mAh D), and higher capacity ones that may be introduced in the future.
    can charge different brands / capacities / chemistries / sizes of batteries independently of each other simultaneously
    has user-variable charging speed (for example I could charge 12 2700mAh batteries in about 8 hours to get best quality, or I could charge 4 of those in 15-20 minutes to 85-90% capacity in an emergency)
    has a good conditioner

    These wouldn't be only for my digital camera - there are other devices I use them with very frequently. (in fact, my next camera(s) may not even USE those types of batteries.)

    Also, what are some good batteries to get in various categories, and an approximate price to pay?:
    AAA - at least 1000mAh - preferably 1200 or more - i probably might need 4.
    AA - at least 2700mAh - preferably 2850 or more - I use these more than any other and like to have plenty of spares. I'm thinking at least 16 or so.
    D - at least 10000mAh - preferably 12000 or more (note: it'd be nice to have some that will retain a charge for as long as possible. Any suggestions - would rechargeable alkaline be an option, or is there something else I should look at? I'd be using these in a 4-cell flashlight (and I'd probably be keeping alkalines as backups just in case).) I'd like to get at least 1 set, maybe 2.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    181
    http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=133440

    Hope you understand the trade-off between high-capacity batts and their self-discharge rates vs the new generation hybrid batteries.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    246
    I might actually like some hybrids for my 4-D-cell flashlight. I use it infrequently enough so that I need a long shelf life.
    Most other things, like my camera, radio, CD player, etc, that I use - I use them often enough so the faster discharge really doesn't make all that much of a difference.

    Also, I think I have things to learn about deep-cycling batteries. Apparently you don't have to have them totally dead (i.e. they won't even light the filament on a flashlight, or power a wall clock, or other low drain device) before recharging? I have some batts, like Lenmar, Energizer, and maybe a couple others, that I've deep-cycled like that, and now some of them won't charge. Also I've had the labeling peel off of a few of them, too.

    The charger I'm currently using is a Radio Shack 23-422. I definitely need a better charger, though. With the 2500+mAh batteries I've been using, the cutoff timer often kicks in BEFORE the batteries are fully charged. Also, a lot of the time, after they've been charged, the batteries are almost too hot to touch. Also, I have to charge 2 batteries at the same time, and they have to be the same size (i.e. I can't charge an AA & AAA, or 2 of each).

    I'll take a look at that site.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    181
    Hope your not making the same mistake as I just did. Coming from poor quality Radio Shack rechargables and chargers, and with poor charging habits, my AAs never really lasted all that long and I thought I'd need *a lot* of rechargable batteries.

    Now having stocked up on high quality rechargables (Sanyos), a smart battery charger and more knowledge of how to charge/store them, I find these batts last so well (like 4x or more what I was used to) that I can't even manage to use, or cycle, all the new one's I just bought and am now cycling many in a storage mode - it is not good for NiMh to be not used regularly .

    Yes, if you burn a NiMh in a flashlight to 0 volts, you'll kill the battery. Most smart digital devices will shut down at around 1.1 volts to prevent this. If you fast charge a battery so that is hot to the touch, you are damaging the battery.

    You should read some of SilverFoxCPF's posts here, tons of good info:

    http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/s...pf&forum_id=51

    This guy know more about rechargable batteries than I've ever seen anywhere on the Net and repsonsible for conducting most of the tests in the link I provided.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    246
    Lots of good info there.
    So far I've purchased a set of Sanyo 2700mAh batteries, which I've read good things about, and a set of Duracell 2650mAh (read a post on there which gave me pause though).
    I haven't tried the eneloops, yet, though. I'd really like some for my 4 D cell flashlight. Let's see... since normal high capacity NiMH is 2900mAh max, and the long shelf life ones are 2100mAh (72.4&#37, then since high-cap D's I've seen on Thomas Distributing are 12000mAh, then where can I find some long shelf life / eneloop / something D's at around 8000 to 8500mAh? Or is there something else I should use for my flashlight? It sits long enough so that standard NiMH would self-discharge too much.
    Also I haven't decided on a charger yet. I'd like one that has selectable charging and discharging currents, a capacity tester, conditioner, independent charging circuits, enough bays to charge at least 12 to 16 AAs simultaneously, or some other combo of AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, and a way to keep the batteries cool even when charging at high speed (i.e. under 1 hour).
    I like various things about the LaCrosse BC-900 (4 example the various features), the Ansmann Energy 16 (ability to take quite a # of batteries simultaneously and different sizes), the MAHA MH-C9000 (good LCD and lots of selectable advanced options), MAHA MH-C808M (claims to be faster on the Ds than the Ansmann 16).
    What charger (obviously not listed here) would give the best of all of those? As far as # of circuits simultaneously, I'd like to at least be able to charge 4 2700mAh AAs, 4 2100mAh Eneloop AAs, 4 12000mAh (or 8000mAh long shelf life) Ds, simultaneously, in anywhere from 30 minutes for a rapid charge (including the cooldown period) to about 8-10 hours or so for a max life charge.
    Budget for the charger would be around $100 to $150. I hope to keep it for the next several years at least.

    Oh, and while I'm at it, it's a diff type of battery, but my Motorola V300 cell phone battery isn't hardly holding much of a charge anymore. 4 example, unplugging the phone (I charge the battery in the phone cause I don't have any other way) from the wall after it says charge complete, then making a call or using the web browser gets me about 15 or so minutes until the phone shuts off. I've had it for a year or two - is there ANY way to condition the battery so I can at least get a few hours of "talk" time, or should I get a new battery for it? And what should I expect to pay for a new one with at least 240-300 minutes of talk time per charge? (right now I can't afford a new phone (and I'm not about to sign a contract to get a discount on the phone), unless I forego some other purchases, like a better AA/AAA/C/D charger, Fuji F31fd, etc (I gotta budget - don't have unlimited resources. ))
    Last edited by pianoplayer88key; 05-03-2007 at 05:35 PM.

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