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Thread: Best universal chargers

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Best universal chargers

    Hello,

    I've seen this question before, but I haven't found any reference to seemingly one of the best universal chargers.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of these universal chargers:

    Ansmann Energy XC 3000
    http://www.ansmann.de/cms/consumroot...y-xc-3000.html

    Conrad Voltcraft Charge Manager 2020
    http://www.ansmann.de/cms/consumroot...y-xc-3000.html (catalog)
    http://www2.produktinfo.conrad.com/d...NAGER_2020.pdf (specs)
    http://www2.produktinfo.conrad.com/d...0_de-en-fr.pdf (manual)


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    For those of you who don't know the chargers, I did a little comparison with the main specs. I also included the 'old' Maha 808 which used to be the best universal charger.

    Does anyone know if these cycle/alive charging modes of the Conrad or the Ansmann can compete with the new Maha 9000 Break-In mode? I've heard so many wonderful things about this Break-In mode.

    Ansmann Energy XC 3000

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA, 1-4x C/D, 1-2x 9V, 1x LiIon/LiPo

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Discharge
    Battery-Test (charge, discharge,charge)
    Cycle (1-10 user-selectable cycles of discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    AA/C/D - 4x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 250/500mA
    9V - 2x 75mA
    LiIon/LiPo - 1x 700mA

    Additional functions:
    Test function for an extensive list of batteries
    Built-in fans


    Conrad Voltcraft Charge Manager 2020

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA, 1-8x C/D (or 1-4x in power-charge mode), 1-2x 9V

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Discharge
    Check (discharge,charge)
    Cycle (charge/discharge/charge)
    Alive (charge/discharge/charge/discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    C/D - 8x 2000/4000mA
    AA - 8x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 350/700mA
    9V - 2x 21mA

    Additional functions:
    Built-in fans
    Memory backup of current status up to 2 days in case of power failure with automatic resume


    Maha MH-C808M Ultimate Professional Charger

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA/C/D

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Conditioning mode (charge/discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    AA/C/D - 8x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 350/700mA

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    Hi MrSilva,
    judging from you selection, you maybe are capable of german.

    There's a german forum which has intensively tested those and similar chargers:
    http://forum.penum.de/showthread.php?id=9180

    From what I recall, the Ansmann and Conrad charges are decent chargers, but have some flaws, the Maha are generally considered better.

    Mind that for C and D cells the number of chargers is rather small.
    Regards, Alex
    List of my lights: click

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    I don't know what your definition of "best" is. Here is the specs of the charger ($140) that I use.

    SPECS: Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.8 x 5.9" (140 x 46 x 150mm)
    Weight: 24.5oz (695g)
    Input Voltage: 11-15V DC
    Battery Types: 1-10 cell NiCd and NiMH cells (1.2-12.0V) and
    1-4 LiPo or Li-Ion cells (3.6-14.8V)
    Fast Charge Current: 0.1-10.0A - user variable
    Fast Charge Methods: Linear, Reflex, Pulse, 3-step and 4-step
    Fast Charge Termination: Peak Detection for NiCd and NiMH,
    Constant Current/Constant Voltage (CC/CV) for LiPo/Ion
    Peak Sensitivity: 0-25mV adjustable (including 1mV, 2mV)
    Trickle Charge Current: 0-500mA (NiCd/NiMH only)
    Top-off Charge: 0-1000mA (NiMH only)
    Max Discharge Power: 90 watts
    Discharge Current: 0.1-10.0A Linear Discharge Current - user variable
    Custom pulsed 20A and 30A w/dead short mode
    Discharge Cutoff Voltage: 0.1-1.1V per cell (NiCd and NiMH)
    2.5-3.7V per cell (LiPo/Ion)
    Temperature Cut-off Range: 50-132°F (10-55°C)
    Cycle Count: 1-10 cycles (NiCd/NiMH only)
    Battery Memories: 10
    Display Type: 8x21 graphing LCD w/Blue backlight

    Note that the discharge specs of chargers are rarely emphasized - most of them are very limited in this respect.
    Last edited by rmteo; 05-09-2009 at 10:01 PM. Reason: - added pic.

  5. #5
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    No, I can't read German, but Babelfish is my friend! :-)

    In those forums you mentioned, I found some more interesting universal chargers. I'll post a comparison ASAP.

    The ALC 2000 Expert looks particularly interesting. Its a pity it doesn't have English menus.

    The smaller MEC AV4m also looks very good.

  6. #6
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    The Checkpoint charger really seems to be extremely complete, but I'm looking for something more convenient. Its curious that compared to the universal chargers that I mentioned, its price is not that bad.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    The problem with these fancy pants RC chargers is there is no way to hook them up to the cells we use without making some sort of jerry riged hacked together home contraption
    Peace!
    Sygyzy
    www.sygyzy.com | Hall of Fame: js, MrBulk, Litho123, Dark Zero, Lips, Milkyspit, StarHalo

  8. #8
    Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    Quote Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post
    The problem with these fancy pants RC chargers is there is no way to hook them up to the cells we use without making some sort of jerry riged hacked together home contraption
    No jury rigging here Voltcraft Li-Ion Battery Holder - Newbie Modding Guide - CandlePowerForums


  9. #9
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    I have written a good response to the OP twice but the forum kept freaking out on me - let's try this again.

    The reason there's no discussion of those chargers here is that they're not available in the US market which makes up a huge percentage of the user base here and they're super (or should I say uber) expensive which will turn off most of the remaining folks who live in markets where they can buy these chargers.

    Regarding the hobby chargers; they're simply not an ideal solution as you're charging the batteries in series so they're not going to charge completely unless they begin the cycle in an identical state of discharge and have similar resistance and capacitance. Battery pack chargers work best for battery packs - not groupos of single cells; for those you want a smart charger which monitors each cell individually.
    Last edited by MattK; 05-11-2009 at 08:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    Regarding the hobby chargers; they're simply not an ideal solution as you're charging the batteries in series so they're not going to charge completely unless they begin the cycle in an identical state of discharge and have similar resistance and capacitance. Battery pack chargers work best for battery packs - not groupos of single cells; for those you want a smart charger which monitors each cell individually.
    Better chargers have balancing taps, the D9 socket shown on my cradle above is for the taps.
    Norm

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    Quote Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post
    The problem with these fancy pants RC chargers is there is no way to hook them up to the cells we use without making some sort of jerry riged hacked together home contraption
    Hehe, in many cases, yes, but not necessarily.

    Here's my solution:


    Thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=202770


    Quote Originally Posted by MattK
    Regarding the hobby chargers; they're simply not an ideal solution as you're charging the batteries in series so they're not going to charge completely unless they begin the cycle in an identical state of discharge and have similar resistance and capacitance. Battery pack chargers work best for battery packs - not groupos of single cells; for those you want a smart charger which monitors each cell individually.
    Well, yes, I just charge my single cells subsequently. Of course, takes more time ....
    Regards, Alex
    List of my lights: click

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    Regarding the hobby chargers; they're simply not an ideal solution as you're charging the batteries in series so they're not going to charge completely unless they begin the cycle in an identical state of discharge and have similar resistance and capacitance. Battery pack chargers work best for battery packs - not groups of single cells; for those you want a smart charger which monitors each cell individually.
    glad sombody said it, i have both hobby and Single channel multiple cell chargers, and it would be far more preferable to charge using a single channel type charger for ni-mh. if the cells are already a bunch of loose single pieces. Sometimes it is better even if the cells are capable of seperating into singles (aka battery adapter things), Than to series something on purpose to charge it.
    Meaning if you CAN treat each cell individually, try to do that.
    But charging singles (when possible) with a hobby charger can be done "as well As" with the seperate channel battery chargers , but that would just be one item per charger. the problem is for the hobby charger doing multiple Ni-?? is done in series.

    for li-ion charging using a hobby charger, as long as your tapped and using the tapped out cell balancing charge stuff (or singles), you can series or single , but this is because each cell TAPPED is treated like a single item.

    Big differences involved in how these computers can see what is going on and charge as needed, instead of guessing what each cell item is doing, in a group.
    The charge alogrythim chosen which is usually different can solution some but not all of the groups situation, its like group therapy vrses seeing your psycologist individually :-) they both work, one can work better.
    Last edited by VidPro; 05-12-2009 at 06:29 AM.

  13. #13
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    To sum it up, for those interested, here are the specs for best universal chargers I found. I understand some of these are not widely available in the US. I couldn't get the complete specs for the ALC 2000 Expert because they aren't on the web and the manufacturer didn't reply to my email.


    Ansmann Energy XC 3000
    http://www.ansmann.de/cms/consumroot...y-xc-3000.html
    http://www.tantronics.co.uk/acatalog...uctions_gb.pdf

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA, 1-4x C/D, 1-2x 9V, 1x LiIon/LiPo

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Discharge
    Battery-Test (charge/discharge/charge)
    Cycle (1-10 user-selectable cycles of discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    AA/C/D - 4x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 250/500mA
    9V - 2x 75mA
    LiIon/LiPo - 1x 700mA

    Additional functions:
    Test function for an extensive list of batteries
    Built-in fans


    Conrad Voltcraft Charge Manager 2020
    http://www1.uk.conrad.com
    http://www2.produktinfo.conrad.com/d...NAGER_2020.pdf
    http://www2.produktinfo.conrad.com/d...0_de-en-fr.pdf

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA, 1-8x C/D (or 1-4x in power-charge mode), 1-2x 9V

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Discharge
    Check (discharge/charge)
    Cycle (charge/discharge/charge)
    Alive (charge/discharge/charge/discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    C/D - 8x 2000/4000mA
    AA - 8x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 350/700mA
    9V - 2x 21mA

    Additional functions:
    Built-in fans
    Memory backup of current status up to 2 days in case of power failure with automatic resume


    Maha MH-C808M Ultimate Professional Charger
    http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/view...?idProduct=408
    http://www.mahaenergy.com/download/mhc808m.pdf

    Supported batteries:
    1-8x AAA/AA/C/D

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Conditioning mode (charge/discharge/charge)

    Charge currents:
    AA/C/D - 8x 1000/2000mA
    AAA - 8x 350/700mA


    ALC 2000 Expert
    http://www.elv.de/ALC-2000-Expert-Ak...0/detail2_6400
    http://www.elv-downloads.de/service/...010_Expert.pdf
    http://www.elv-downloads.de/service/...M_G_011026.pdf

    Supported batteries:
    1-4x AAA/AA, 1-4x C/D, 1-2x 9V

    Operation modes:
    Charge
    Discharge
    Discharge/charge
    Refurbish (several discharge/charge cycles)
    Cycle regenerate (cycles of discharge/charge until maximum capacity is reached)
    Test (charge/discharge)

    Charge currents:
    ?

    Additional functions:
    Suitable for rechargeable alkaline (RAM) batteries
    Built-in fans
    Memory backup of current status up to a few hours in case of power failure with automatic resume

  14. #14
    *Flashaholic* mdocod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best universal chargers

    MattK and VidPro backing him up are spot on in my opinion. Expensive pack chargers are great for packs, if you have lots of loose cells in different states of charge it is much more convenient to have a multi-bay charger with individual charging channels for each cell.

    The "balance tap" feature, again, is only useful for li-ion pack configurations.

    I'm going to give a freebie plug for MattK on this one as I think it's worth a look...

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/md-3000-charger.html

    Doesn't have all the fancy features of some, might not really be the "best" but for the price, it sure does look good on paper.

    -Eric

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