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Thread: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

  1. #1

    Default What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Bought a package of Rayovac charger with 2 AA's and 2 AAA's for $10 yesterday. I am using the 2 AA's on my Canon A530 camera without first charging them...they seems to be working fine, but should I charge before using them?

    Another thing is that I've read bad thing about the charger (PS32), exactly what's wrong with it? And what does the better charger have to offer than the PS32?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    The PS32 is a cheap timed charger. It will charge cells in pairs at for the same time, no matter how full or empty the cell actually is. Say you put one dead cell and one nearly full cell on at the same time. It will charge the dead cell, but it will also charge the full cell for the same amount of time, cooking it. It will kill your batteries in the long run. A individual channel charger with delta V cutoff is what you want.

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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Lakersgo,

    Some advice I was given was to keep the Hybrid charger, it may come in handy in the event a battery won't charge in a 'smart charger'. With a timed charger you may be able to charge it up enough so it will be chargeable, since a timed charger will just start charging, and not check voltages, etc...

    Check out this thread I started, some good info in there, and particularily for the advice I got about the Hybrid charger in post #2, Tom (SilverFox)explains it better. This Thread

    Steve
    Last edited by tslrc; 11-24-2007 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Added link

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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    Another thing is that I've read bad thing about the charger (PS32), exactly what's wrong with it? And what does the better charger have to offer than the PS32?
    I'd say you can over-analyze the whole charging question. Firstly, it's best to use and charge cells in sets. So if you have a device that uses two cells, you should use the cells and charge the cells in pairs, and not mix them up. The question of charging one empty cell and one full cell at the same time should not come up.

    Secondly, if you have a timed charger that, say, charges at 200 mA for 16 hours, then the cells will not even get warm at that rate, and will be nice and fully charged at the end of it. For the average user, charging cells this way is quite fine, and not "bad" at all.

    Some will tell you constant slow charging promotes large crystal growth and limits the ability of the cell to deliver high currents. Well if you are a techy who really can measure and care about that, you already know enough to buy a more expensive charger. But for every day use in a camera or something like, I doubt it matters a bit.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Thank you.

    I think I will just be happy with the timed charger. I just can't justify spending $40-$50 on a charger only to extend the life of a few cells ($2-$3). It sure was interesting to read all the batteries-related threads here though.

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    Thank you.

    I think I will just be happy with the timed charger. I just can't justify spending $40-$50 on a charger only to extend the life of a few cells ($2-$3). It sure was interesting to read all the batteries-related threads here though.
    BigLots sells a good cheap Rayovac independent channel charger PS23-b for $8, and comes with 2 batteries.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger? And some Qs about Duracell...

    Real? If you would be so kind, please tell us which biglots store you found those. I might have to check them out tomorrow.

    Btw, is it true that the duracell pre-charged is the same cell as the sanyo enoloop (sp?)? I saw a few duracell packages with different combination, the main difference seems to be the charger. One with mobile charger, one with value charger and last one with something called "gauge charger". Mmm...which one should I get? The "gauge charger" package costs $20, which is the high-end of my budget limit. I am willing to spend $20 on a rechargeable set but I need to make sure it's good stuff.
    Last edited by lakersgo; 11-25-2007 at 12:46 AM. Reason: typo

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Most BigLots carry the Rayovac PS23-B right now. I believe the power gage charger doesn't have the pre-charged with it, but 1700mAh NiMH. A really good deal is at Costco for Eneloops, including a smart charger, 8xAA, 4xAAA, two each AA to C and D converters for $20.

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    Flashaholic* MrAl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Hi there,

    Im sure many cells are just repackaged from other companies.

    I dont like the 'gauge' charger if that's the one i think it is. It doesnt
    do enough for the money spent.

    I make a chip that helps charge and discharge cells but you have to be able
    to assemble your own circuits (solder to a perf board) to be able to use it.
    This allows you to use a common wall wart to charge cells.

    There are many chargers out there for a decent price but the 15 minute
    chargers really make life easier as you can pump your cells up in just
    a little over 15 minutes. They are a little more than average (30 dollars US)
    but they seem to be worth the extra few bucks spent.
    I havent been sorry i bought mine, except that i would really like to
    build my own 15 minute charger too as the one thing i dont like about all
    the ones i've seen so far is that they dont provide LEDs for each individual
    cell, only one LED for all 4 cells.
    Take care,
    Al
    LED's vs Bulbs, the battle is on.
    My bumper sticker: "I Brake for LED's"
    To err is human, to theorize divine.

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  10. #10

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Now if only I can borrow a Costco card...

    The PS23-b looks pretty interesting to me. If it does indeed charge individual cell seperately, $8 would be a killer deal. Any idea how long PS23-b takes to charge 2 AA's?


    MrAl: when u say the powergauge charger doesn't do enough for you, what do you mean? I suppose it gauges individual cells and charge them seperately, right? At least that's what the name implies.

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    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    I own the Duracell Power Gauge Charger, I think I got it for about $20 in Target. It seems to me like quite a nice charger; it charges in 4-5 hours keeping the cells cool, it has 4 independent channels with separate charge progress indication on each one, it has USB input, it is light and fairly compact, and it can be used worldwide. When I want plug-and-go no fuss charging, it's the one I use.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* MrAl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Hi again,

    Mr Happy do you have a link to that charger?
    The one i saw only showed the time charging and the voltage.
    Maybe that's a better model.
    Take care,
    Al
    LED's vs Bulbs, the battle is on.
    My bumper sticker: "I Brake for LED's"
    To err is human, to theorize divine.

    Got Light?

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    Now if only I can borrow a Costco card...

    The PS23-b looks pretty interesting to me. If it does indeed charge individual cell seperately, $8 would be a killer deal. Any idea how long PS23-b takes to charge 2 AA's?


    MrAl: when u say the powergauge charger doesn't do enough for you, what do you mean? I suppose it gauges individual cells and charge them seperately, right? At least that's what the name implies.
    For only 2xAA, it'll take around 2 hours. The Energizer USB charger is also a good buy for around $15. I would just use it plugged into a wall outlet since it will charge faster that way, not USB. It's a 2 cell independent channel charger. More info on the Rayovac PS23-b here.

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrAl View Post
    Mr Happy do you have a link to that charger?
    The one i saw only showed the time charging and the voltage.
    Maybe that's a better model.
    It is model CEF-21N or CEF21N. However, it looks as if I have misunderstood the USB function. It is a USB power port for powering up and charging other USB devices like iPods. Also, the USB only works off mains power and is not powered by the batteries.

    I notice on Duracell's web site that they have introduced a new charger, the "Mobile Charger". This one looks like a redesign of the CEF-21N, and in contrast to that it can power USB devices from a set of NiMH cells. On the other hand it seems to have lost the power gauge function, but it does look like it still has individual charge indicators for each cell. This new charger also comes with a set of four Duracell Pre-Charged AA cells.

    You win some, you lose some, I guess...

  15. #15

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    if it lost the gauge feature, how does it know how much to charge to each battery? I might be picking this one up instead of the powergauge charger since the mobile charger is much smaller.

    Btw, I called all the big lots store in my area, they don't have any Rayovac PS23-b anymore. You guys are too quick.

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Walgreens, Home Depot, and others have the Energizer USB charger for ~$15. It's quite small and can charge off either USB or a wall socket. Comes with two batteries also. Also, I would physically check your local Big Lots, as far too often the computer and actual store shelves don't match up. They are sold near the electronics or flashlights.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Mmm...I saw "mini" charger like http://www.argos.co.uk/wcsstore/argo...7UC408769T.jpg

    is this any good?

    I still couldn't find any energizer usb charger....you guys!! Leave me some!

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    if it lost the gauge feature, how does it know how much to charge to each battery?
    It knows internally what the charging progress is. The gauge feature just gives you an approximate visual indication of how long there is to go -- it's like a bar chart above each cell with a stack of three red LEDs and a green LED. They light up one at a time as charging progresses, and each channel is done when they're all lit up.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Ok, Mr. Happy....I just want to make sure you are not mixing up the "mobile charger" and the "power gauge charger". The power gauge charger that I saw is much bigger and not really portable. The mobile charger is quite small and stylish and has a glass cover, this is the mobile charger we are talking about right? I think pavillion has it for sale for $15. I might pick it up.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Ok, this is what I did today.

    1. Returned the Rayovac hybrid charger/batteries package.

    2. Took a look at the Energizer USB charger at home depot. I didn't buy because it comes with 2 AAA batteries instead of AA batteries which I need.

    3. Bought Energizer value charger/2 AA batteries package for $10. With $10 rebate this thing will cost me nothing.

    4. Bought Eneloop charger/4 AA batteries package for $20 at WalMart. Might not be the best deal but it's got NC-MQN05U charger, which I suspect might be 4-channel charger. I read the manual the this charger, while it doesn't insist on charging in pair, it doesn't say anywhere it's 4-channel charger either.

    Without costco membership, this is the best I can do.
    Last edited by lakersgo; 11-25-2007 at 07:23 PM.

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    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    Ok, this is what I did today.

    1. Returned the Rayovac hybrid charger/batteries package.

    2. Took a look at the Energizer USB charger at home depot. I didn't buy because it comes with 2 AAA batteries instead of AA batteries which I need.

    3. Bought Energizer value charger/2 AA batteries package for $10. With $10 rebate this thing will cost me nothing.

    4. Bought Eneloop charger/4 AA batteries package for $20 at WalMart. Might not be the best deal but it's got NC-MQN05U charger, which I suspect might be 4-channel charger. I read the manual the this charger, while it doesn't insist on charging in pair, it doesn't say anywhere it's 4-channel charger either.

    Without costco membership, this is the best I can do.
    The Eneloop charger looks simple, but it has shown to be a 4-channel charger. Might want to ask around at work and such, see if someone you know has a Costco membership.

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* Mr Happy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by lakersgo View Post
    Ok, Mr. Happy....I just want to make sure you are not mixing up the "mobile charger" and the "power gauge charger". The power gauge charger that I saw is much bigger and not really portable. The mobile charger is quite small and stylish and has a glass cover, this is the mobile charger we are talking about right? I think pavillion has it for sale for $15. I might pick it up.
    I happened to be in Target today, and they had both. The Power Gauge charger comes with 4 regular 1700 mAh AA cells and costs $19.99. The Mobile Charger comes with 4 "Pre-charged" AA cells and costs $24.99. Since the cells alone cost $9.99 when sold separately and are truly useful, that makes the Mobile Charger work out at $15.

    The Mobile Charger has a flip-up mains plug, comes with a 12 V car lighter cable, and can power USB devices from the mains, from a car, or from a set of 4 cells in the charger, which makes it pretty neat. It also seems to be a 4 independent channel charger with a charging time of about 5 hours (?), so all in all it is a very versatile device.

    As to size, I couldn't really tell without getting it out of its packaging. But I own the Power Gauge charger and while it isn't super compact, I don't think it is especially large or unportable. Maybe the Mobile Charger is a little smaller, but it doesn't look much smaller to me.
    Last edited by Mr Happy; 11-25-2007 at 09:06 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Happy View Post
    Well, I was in Target today, and they had both. The Power Gauge charger comes with 4 regular 1700 mAh AA cells and costs $19.99. The Mobile Charger comes with 4 "Pre-charged" AA cells and costs $24.99. Since the cells alone cost $9.99 when sold separately and are truly useful, that makes the Mobile Charger work out at $15.

    The Mobile Charger has a flip-up mains plug, comes with a 12 V car lighter cable, and can power USB devices from the mains, from a car, or from a set of 4 cells in the charger, which makes it pretty neat. It also seems to be a 4 independent channel charger with a charging time of about 5 hours (?), so all in all it is a very versatile device.

    As to size, I couldn't really tell without getting it out of its packaging. But I own the Power Gauge charger and while it isn't super compact, I don't think it is especially large or unportable. Maybe the Mobile Charger is a little smaller, but it doesn't look much smaller to me.
    Thanks. I think I will settle with the eneloop package that I got from walmart. Btw, if you want that mobile charger with pre-charged batteries for $15, head to Pavillion now.

    Update: I just finished charging the 4 AA batteries out of box, took about 1.5 hrs to do so. This is definitely not a timed charger. Confirmed.

    One day I am going to test the channel charging feature either to confirm or to disprove the consensus here.
    Last edited by lakersgo; 11-25-2007 at 09:34 PM. Reason: update

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* MrAl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong with Rayovac (cheap) Charger?

    Hi again,

    One other thing i thought i would mention is that when buying a charger
    it is good to check what the charger current is, or at least how long
    it takes to fully charge 4 AA cells. The chargers out there differ by
    quite a bit and if the device isnt marked it could very well take as long
    as 8 hours or even 24 hours to charge 4 cells. Keep an eye on that
    if you dont want to wait all day for your cells to charge. Good luck.
    Take care,
    Al
    LED's vs Bulbs, the battle is on.
    My bumper sticker: "I Brake for LED's"
    To err is human, to theorize divine.

    Got Light?

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