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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Maha MH C808M Charger

    Maha has stepped up to the high capacity charging challenge by offering a new charger in their line up. The C808M is capable of charging AAA, AA, C, and D cells. It defaults to charging at 2 amps, so it does not take an extended period of time to charge up high capacity cells. My 9000 mAh D cells use to take around 36 hours to charge on my Vanson Speedy Box. Using the C808M, it only takes around 6 hours. That is a vast improvement.

    This charger has 8 independent charging bays and charges AAA, AA, C, and D NiMh or NiCd cells. You can mix and match to your hearts content, but once the charge rate or conditioning cycles is set, it is set for all 8 bays. You can not be conditioning cells in bays 1 and 2, then set it up to charge cells in the other bays. The choices are:
    1. default charging (0.7 amps for AAA cells and 2.0 amps for AA, C, and D cells),
    2. soft charging at half the default charging rate, or
    3. conditioning.
    The conditioning cycle first charges the cells (at either the default rate or the soft rate), then discharges them at 0.25 amps EDIT It seems I was a bit off on this, it is more like 350 mA but see post #54 for the real numbers END EDIT, then charges them back up again. At the end of the charging cycles, a trickle charge of 0.007 amps keeps the cells ready to go. This low trickle charge rate may make this the only charger that you can leave your cells in for an extended period of time without harm. I do not recommend leaving batteries on trickle charge, but if you want to do that, this is the charger for you.

    The C808M comes with a 3 year warranty from Maha.

    The C808M does not use springs in its contact set up. It has individual contacts for each size of battery. This makes for a very robust set up, and allows some spacing between cells to keep them cool. The trade off is that the unit has some size to it. The dimensions of the charger unit are EDIT Oops 7.5” x 3.5” x 1.75” is for the C801D the C808M is 12.63" x 5.25" x 3". END EDIT In addition it is powered by an AC switching adapter that is 5.125” x 2.25” x 1.185”. The power supply input is rated at 100-240 volts 50-60 hertz, so it will work worldwide. It uses a maximum of 1200 mA. Mine came with a North American 2 prong blade plug, but you can get power cords to match the outlet style where you are. The power supply uses a DIN plug to connect to the charger. There is no 12 volt DC power provision.

    The back lit LCD display shows a graphic of what is going on in each slot and also displays the English words Condition, Charge, and when the charge is completed, the word Done is displayed for each slot. When an error occurs, the word Done will be flashing in the slot where the error occurred. The graphic is the outline of a battery with three bars in it. During discharging, the outline disappears and the bars change from three, to two, to one, then none at all. When charging starts, the outline comes back on. The charging progress is displayed by the three bars until “Done” indicates the beginning of the trickle charge.

    A very soft “click” can be heard as the unit charges. This is a result of the pulse charging used while charging, and also while on trickle charge.

    You have to pay attention when inserting the cells for charging. The negative end goes in first and then you press down to snap the positive end in place. AAA cells are placed in the bottom and to the right. I had some initial difficulty getting them in the right place, but when I looked at what I was doing, there were no more difficulties. I have noticed that I often don’t get the AA cells completely snapped into place. The display is very good at letting you know that the cell is not in place, because there will be no graphic display.

    The right side of the unit gets warm during discharge, and you are instructed to insert cells starting from the left side. I asked Maha about this, and they said it was simply to keep the cells cooler. You are also instructed to put the larger cells on the left side and work your way right with smaller cells. Once again Maha says that they are trying to keep the heat down.

    The operators manual also states that you should not leave an empty slot when putting your cells in for charging. Maha does not know why that statement is in there… Anticipating some problems, I did a number of tests starting from right to left, filling the middle slots, and skipping every other slot. The C808M took it all in stride and performed flawlessly. It truly is an independent 8 channel charger – with no restrictions.

    I did have some problems charging NiCd AA cells. It seems that they end up at a higher voltage than the C808M thinks they should and I ended up with an error signal. I also tried to charge some Alkaline AA cells and got the same error signal. I talked with Maha about this. They indicated that the charging algorithm was designed for NiMh chemistry, and it should work well with NiCd chemistry as well, but I was finding a bit of a difference. The cells did end up fully charged, they just ended on an error signal and the trickle charge was terminated.

    So, if you are charging NiCd cells, you may run into this same thing. Please note that this did not occur with every cycle. Sometimes everything came out fine, but other times I would get the error signal.

    The cells come off the charger warm. The highest temperature I observed was 96 F. Maha claims the high temperature cut off is set at 120 F. The charging is consistent from bay to bay.

    I am used to cells coming off the charger at around 1.45 volts. My cells came off the C808M at 1.43 volts. This charger is right there at the top of the pack as far as complete charging goes. The AccuManager 20 just barely beat it out, and it does slightly better than the BC-900. It also just barely beats the Vanson Speedy Box after the charge has completed and the cells have trickle charged for an additional 24 hours.

    I am very pleased with the C808M. It will take very good care of your cells during charging and won’t cook them during trickle charging. It also does a very good job of packing a lot of capacity into your cells.

    The only error I noticed was while charging NiCd cells, and when I tried to “trick” it into charging Alkaline cells. I believe the NiCd error was because the voltage went higher than expected.

    I can give this charger a big “thumbs up” and highly recommend it.

    Tom

    Edit: I forgot to mention that this charger does not have a on/off switch. The LCD display comes to life when you put a cell in to charge, and goes off when you remove all the cells.

    I received an eMail from William at Maha Energy. He explained that the flashing Done that I am seeing while charging NiCd cells is not an error. It is just indicating that the charge was terminated on high voltage rather than delta voltage. He is considering revising the operators manual to include this information.

    By the way, William is the one that sent me the charger to check out. Thanks William!!! If you have any questions, William is the one that programed the charging algorithm used by this charger. He has been most helpful in helping me understand how this charger works. If you have questions, let me know, or get in touch with William directly at www.mahaenergy.com .

    Another Edit:

    Some people have noticed that the 808 will flash "Done" when charging NiCd cells. This interrupts the conditioning cycle and makes that cycle useless for NiCd cells. This is unfortunate because NiCd cells need to be conditioned more often than NiMh cells do.

    This does not happen with every NiCd cell, but it appears that the 808 will terminate the charge when the voltage reaches 1.6 volts. This keeps people from trying to charge alkaline cells. Some NiCd cells bump against this 1.6 volt cut off, resulting in the flashing "Done" and ending the cycle.

    William was kind enough to reveal a work around for this. You put 1 NiMh cell in slot 1 and select conditioning. When the cell enters the discharge phase, you load up the other slots with your NiCd cells. Once the unit has entered the discharge phase, it does not try to charge the additional cells before discharging them. The results will be a conditioned NiCd cell. You may end up with a flashing "Done" at the end of the charge cycle, but the cell will have gone through the discharge cycle and should be conditioned.

    I must add that I have been using this charger for several months now and still am very pleased with it.
    Last edited by SilverFox; 07-21-2006 at 08:41 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Sounds like I might need another charger...

    Did a quick search and it can be purchased from several places:

    Thomas Distributing for $99.97 (I like these guys, been buying stuff from them for years)

    Eastgear $96.36 (Never heard of them before, found with Google)

    Direct from Maha $109.95 (Do you really want to pay full MSRP? )


    Chris


    EDIT: Fixed my spelling!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    I was thinking the same thing.
    I'm glad it is dark, half of the time.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Finally!
    A charger that can handle all 8 of my nFlex WX1S LuxeonV 8AA Mag mod! Although I shy away from charging AA cells at 2 amps, the soft charge 1 amp option should work fine on my Sanyo Industrial 1700mAH NiMH AA cells. The only option I wish for is for it to display the capacity after conditioning the cells. Always nice to know if one of the cells is getting weak taking the packs performance down.
    My BC-900 won't condition on one of the bays and it is a PIA to get the damned thing to conditon (what crackhead designed the human interface!?) Luckily, we have our new Cadex $3,700 NiCad, NiMH, Lead Acid, AGM, Lithium-Ion, Lithium-Polymer and primary lithium cell (3 minute test tells the condition of primary lithium cells for defibrillators... top that!)
    Maybe Maha will come out with one that displays the capacity of the cells one day....
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Update:

    William of MahaEnergy told me that the flashing Done that I am seeing at the end of the charge while charging NiCd cells is not an error message. It simply means that the charge was terminated on high voltage, rather than on delta voltage.

    I also added some information about the lack of an on/off switch in the first post.

    Tom
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Tom, thank you very, very much for the thousands of hours (probably more) that you have spent on battery, battery technology and battery chargers research and the resultant knowledge passed along to all of us. Whenever I see a new thread that you've started, I get a jolt of excitement and click on it immediately! I love to read your posts! thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!

    Mine arrived last week and its worked exactly as you describe. I, too didn't realize until the 2rd batch of batteries that I had not snapped the AA's fully into place. They'll charge without being fully in-place. My only very slightly negative observation is that the vertical viewing angle of the display is a little lower than I'd like. If you view the display at 45 degrees or above, the icons "gray out" a bit. So if you stand over it, the icons will be faint. If you view it from in-front and low, they are "bright".
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox
    Update:

    William of MahaEnergy told me that the flashing Done that I am seeing at the end of the charge while charging NiCd cells is not an error message. It simply means that the charge was terminated on high voltage, rather than on delta voltage.

    I also added some information about the lack of an on/off switch in the first post.

    Tom
    This is odd. I just charged 4 Sanyo NiCd cells yesterday and they completed with a regular Done, not flashing. Maybe some formulations of NiCd cells complete charging at a lower voltage than others.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by Tweek
    Sounds like I might need another charger...

    Did a quick search and it can be purchased from several places:

    Thomas Distributing for $99.97 (I like these guys, been buying stuff from them for years)

    Eastgear $96.36 (Never heard of them before, found with Google)

    Direct from Maha $109.95 (Do you really want to pay full MSRP? )


    Chris


    EDIT: Fixed my spelling!
    Just wanted to mention that Eastgear is based in Singapore, they have a brick & mortar store as well as an online webstore. They are reputable, have good service, a wide range of products like Sanyo batteries at reasonable prices & they sihp internationally. I don't have any business interest with them but am a satisfied repeat customer that's all. Now I'm seriously considering to get the Maha 801D too as I use mostly AAs & AAAs! (already have the 401S & MHC777PLUSII, unfortunately they don't have the 204W)
    Last edited by flashlight; 03-12-2006 at 10:12 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Many thanks for the review Tom, and for all the information you provide here on CPF!

    I recently decided to go with rechargeables and started researching the best charger and cells for the job. I can't tell you how valuable the information you have provided is to me, and with a depth of knowledge and experience I could never hope to match!

    One Maha MH C808M Charger is on it's way...

    Thanks again for the priceless service you (and CPF!) provide!

    Andrew

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Thanks for the review Tom. This is the charger I have been looking for. I've ordered one and can't wait to get it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Tom,

    Is this charger is better than the Ansmann Energy-16? If so, why? I'd like to know the technical stuff!

    Thanks,

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    I got my charger Saturday. I love it. It is so nice to have 8 independent charging bays. I like the charging status display. I wish it could test for battery capacity, but you can't have it all.

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    bcwang:

    No answer for you but I did a quick ckeck this morning on my C808M. All positive and negative contacts are common to eachother! How does it know if it's a AAA installed or a AA, C or D cell?
    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by wptski
    bcwang:

    No answer for you but I did a quick ckeck this morning on my C808M. All positive and negative contacts are common to eachother! How does it know if it's a AAA installed or a AA, C or D cell?
    If you notice under the aaa groove, there is a small button that gets depressed when you put in a AAA cell. This must signal to the charger that a AAA cell is inserted and use the 700ma and 350ma rate. All the other cell sizes charge at the same 2amp or 1 amp rate. I only wonder the consequences if that switch failed and a AAA cell is charged at 2 amps.

    I tried the refresh again last night on 8 aaa cells, one of them I saw start discharging 1 hour into it since it was a pretty full battery. 9 hours later, all the batteries are charging still and not finished. I really wonder what discharge and charge current the refresh mode uses, especially on AAA batteries.
    Last edited by bcwang; 01-23-2006 at 01:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by bcwang
    If you notice under the aaa groove, there is a small button that gets depressed when you put in a AAA cell. This must signal to the charger that a AAA cell is inserted and use the 700ma and 350ma rate. All the other cell sizes charge at the same 2amp or 1 amp rate. I only wonder the consequences if that switch failed and a AAA cell is charged at 2 amps.

    I tried the refresh again last night on 8 aaa cells, one of them I saw start discharging 1 hour into it since it was a pretty full battery. 9 hours later, all the batteries are charging still and not finished. I really wonder what discharge and charge current the refresh mode uses, especially on AAA batteries.
    bcwang:

    Ah! Ha! I didn't notice the little button. If one could make the switch and move the cell outside the charger, current could be easily measured. I'll look into doing that
    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    bcwang:

    I had two AAA that came out of my wireless mouse. I defeated the switch with a piece of wooden taped down. Wires out to a AAA holder. My Fluke 189 shows 1.9A! What's wrong here? I put the other cell in the charger and watched it charge in 15 minutes and got to 93F!

    I connected the other cell outside the charger again, 1.9A or so and got on the phone to MAHA. I should have caught this myself as I had a scope on it the other day(post above somewhere). It's a pulse charger and the current is the same for all cells depending on the mode. The switch changes the pulse rate much slower for AAA. It looks like at least two seconds. One could probably listen to the difference in clicks, comparing AAA's to the others. I'll scope it another time.

    They said that the conditioning cycle uses the slower pulsed current for all three stages but I think that Tom was told differently?
    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Bill,

    I was looking at your scope output picture, but I don't really understand it. 114mv is .114v right, so does that mean 114mv over battery resting voltage? Can that be translated into current somehow? Also, though I know the period is 7.754ms I don't see a second pulse so can't determine the pulse rate from the graph. Help me understand the graph better.

    It's interesting that the AAA switch only changes the pulse rate, and not the current. But 1.9amp seems too low for the charge current, you can't average that to be 2amps no matter how long the pulse is. From my observations, the click you hear with the charger can't be the pulse rate, as that is far too slow, especially if each charge pulse is only 7.754ms long. Maybe each click is when the charger re-measures the cell voltage to update the progress meter.

    Tom,

    The soft charge button does seem to affect the initial charge rate, but after the discharge, the charge rate doesn't seem the same. I will definitely try too test it a third time and try to really time each stage.

    Do you know if AAA also use a 250ma discharge current? If it does then its odd that after 9 hours I couldn't finish conditioning a set of aaa 850mah cells set at the fast charge current. Even if they were empty at the start, it should take at most 6 hours to finish the entire cycle, maybe 7 max with worse case numbers for efficiency and cell capacity. 9 hours just doesn't make any sense with the data maha provides.

    Another thing I noticed with conditioning, after I saw the cells in their final charging state, the conditioning signal went off. Any furthur cells inserted just charge like normal. I want to get to the bottom of how this thing works, it's still a bit baffling at the moment. I hope maha gets back to you soon an answer.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Hello Bcwang,

    I have noticed some strange things during conditioning as well. I have been in contact with Maha about it, but have not heard back from them.

    I was discharging some C and D cells and half way through the discharge (by the way the discharge current is 250 mA EDIT I was off on this, it is more like 350 ma, but seel post #54 for the real numbers. END EDIT), I added some AA and AAA cells. The cells I added did not charge up first, but gave an indication of discharging. About four hours later, they still indicated that they were still discharging, and I still had the same two bars on the indicator.

    When the first cells I put in had finished their discharge cycle, all the cells began charging. The AAA cells finished charging first, followed by the AA cells, then the C cells, and finally the D cells. In the end, everything ended up fully charge, but like you I noticed that it took a long time.

    The conditioning algorithm is supposed to first charge the cells, then discharge them, then charge them back up. You have a choice of the two charging rates. If you put a cell in and push the condition button, you will charge at the higher rate. If you put a cell in, push the condition button, then push the soft charge button, you will charge at the lower rate.

    Tom
    Last edited by SilverFox; 01-24-2006 at 06:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    willchueh:

    You stated in your first post:
    >>>
    . The first stage PWM is a high-frequency one (several hundred KHz) and establishes a fixed 2.0A current. This is done all in the AC adapter.
    >>>
    Now that's a continous output, not something that happens at the start of every cycle, or on each seperate channel, right?
    Last edited by wptski; 01-24-2006 at 07:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Hi William,

    I thought of one other question about this charger. What kind of charge termination methods are used?

    I know -delta V is one
    Probably over temp protection is another

    What about delta T/delta time, 0 delta V, or any others such as time limit? I've seen moving window deltaV mentioned on the maha website before, what does that mean?

    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Here's a superimposed screen in the same time scale using a current probe. The top trace is a AAA cell and the bottom is a AA cell. You can see that the AA cell is pulsed much faster.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Nice graph Bill.

    Does the time division say 5 seconds?

    What charge mode were you using for the AA and AAA to produce this graph?

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Thanks for this one!! I have been looking for a decent charger for some time. Ordered my C801D today. Went with it since I only need to charge the AA batteries. I can come up with something if battery removal is tough. I figure putting a ribbon around each cell before putting them on to charge will do just fine and saves me $30 to boot .

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by bcwang
    Nice graph Bill.

    Does the time division say 5 seconds?

    What charge mode were you using for the AA and AAA to produce this graph?
    bcwang:

    Yes, it's 5 sec. divisions. They both were in Soft Mode. I have problems with picture size when posting. I try to get it big enough but not so big that one must scroll over to see all. Not sure if it's the forum or what, one day, one byte size works but the next day it doesn't.
    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by bcwang
    I thought of one other question about this charger. What kind of charge termination methods are used?
    Thanks again!
    bcwang,

    The charger uses quite a few cutoff techniques. While I am not able to discuss some of our proprietary technology in great depth, I can say that the algorithm is a lot more complicated than Negative Delta V.

    The combination of algorithms we use is responsible for the low battery temperature given such a high current.

    One thing to point out is that the ASIC used in the charger has an effective voltage step size (voltage resolution) of 1mV. Most chargers use microcontrollers (including many of Maha's other chargers) have resolution in the range of 3 to 5mV. This level of resolution is needed to run some of our algorithm. At the same time, such high resolution also require a superb amount of noise reduction and signal conditioning to avoid misreadings.


    William

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Here's another scope screen of a AA and AAA cell in regular charge mode. More visible in the AAA trace, there is a variable PWM going on. I think in the AA trace there is a variable PWM where I have it marked as "false peak". There were also times were there was no pulse at all but you can't see it in the traces but I could tell from the scope. This variable PWM happens while that third and last segment is flashing in the battery icon at the end of the cycle. The scale is 2A by 2 sec.


    Bill

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    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Looks like some of Maha's advanced charging algorithms at work. It's nice to have a scope, you can learn a lot about how things work.

    I wonder if this thread should be in the "batteries" forum. I only caught this one because I searched for this charger model. I guess I've never thought of looking in the reviews for discussion about battery chargers.

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    Arrow Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    willchueh : Please help ..........

    For the first 3 weeks my MaHa C-808-M charger worked just fine ................

    But now :

    I'm having problems too .
    When I insert the first AA battery in the far left slot - and within 2 to 8 seconds press the soft charge button - it won't go into soft charge mode . The word softcharge won't appear on the display . I am pressing and holding the button for 5 seconds - but still nothing .

    If I press condition - the word condition will appear - so that function seems o.k.


    I have un-plugged *AC* power - and the *DIN* connection cable , waited 5 minutes - then plugged all back in so it would re-set and go thru *self test* - all batt. symbols blinked from right to left . I wait 5 minutes after selftest has finished B-4 inserting battery and pressing softcharge button . I have done this whole proceedure several times , but still can't get it to go into softcharge mode . The word won't appear in the display. The first batt. icon on left will register and start blinking as it normally does and the white display light is working......but no softcharge .

    Also have tried several different AA batteries - they are all 2600 MiAh's - 2 months in use - and have been thru at least 6 charges on this charger in 3 weeks and all was fine till now .

    Have done ALL I know to do - can you offer any advice , thanx willchueh , for you help.





    Last edited by TooManyGizmos; 02-16-2006 at 03:16 PM.
    ~ "She" says ... ... I have ... TooManyGizmos ~

  29. #29

    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyGizmos

    When I insert the first AA battery in the far left slot - and within 2 to 8 seconds press the soft charge button - it won't go into soft charge mode . The word softcharge won't appear on the display . I am pressing and holding the button for 5 seconds - but still nothing .

    TooManyGizmos,

    During power-up, the "CONDITION" and "SOFT CHARGING" icons should remain on while the batteries symbols are cycled from right to left.

    Do you see SOFT CHARGING icon displayed during power up?

    William

  30. #30
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    2,987

    Default Re: Maha MH C808M Charger

    bcwang:

    I wonder if that's what I'm seeing also? I charged four cells in the C808M and then D/C the four as a pack on the Triton.
    Bill

    I'm a retired mechanic not a electronic/electrical engineer!

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