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Thread: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    I'm new to this GREAT forum.
    Some background: I've been using rechargeable batteries since the early 80s, but didn't own a 'smart' charger until 2003 when I bought a Maha C204F. Little did I know, so the fact that it only has 2 circuits had escaped me as being problematic - so much for 'smart'... I've been using it primarily for charging sets of 4 AAs that my P&S cameras use. (One day they'll die and probably be replaced by non-AA cameras as they're harder and harder to find.)
    When we got two Petzl headlights that use 3 AAAs each, I got a cheap(ish) second charger with 4 individual circuits; unfortunately it's an even less smart charger...
    Hence I've been fairly disappointed with the performance a/o longevity of the various batteries I've bought over the years (Powerex 1800 & 2000, GP 2700, Sanyo 2700, GP 1000, + various no-names), half of which I've already dumped in the recycling bin.
    So now it's (belatedly) time to get a proper charger (and some new LSD AA/AAAs).
    I started reading up through the many relevant threads first, so came to conclude that I'd either go for a C9000 (or maybe BC1000) or 'just' a simple(r) and cheaper smart charger like a Sanyo/Eneloop MQR06 or a Sony BCG34HRE. Living in France, but often travelling to/from Holland, I'd probably by it here http://eu.nkon.nl/maha-powerex-sanyo...-chargers.html, where I'd get the Sanyo + 4 AA Eneloops for half the price of the C9000.

    Q: Not being much of a battery analyzer, and prepared to 'dump' most of the remaining batteries I have, should I go for the simpler & cheaper option (and spend the saved cash on new Eneloops or Recykos)? Or would I still be buying more batteries in the long run that way, because I wouldn't be able to properly analyses/recondition them?

    Thanks in advance for any enlightening advice!

    PS: other appliances that use some AA/AAA batteries in the house: laser level (4 AAs), thermometres, simple weather station, computer mice

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    In January, when I bought a new assortment of NiMH AA/AAA cells to replace my 15min batteries, I ended up buying both a MaHa C-9000 and the LaCrosse BC-700 to fiddle with. I like each for different reasons and neither broke the bank.

    Chris
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    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    If I had to buy again the choice would still be a C-9000.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    If I'd get the C-9000, which of my old batteries c/would be worthwhile reconditioning: they vary from 0.5V till 1.27V? For instance, I put an old GP1000 AAA (measuring 0.722 V) in my current basic charger and started a discharge/charge cycle - it only discharged for a minute and than charged (at 850 mA - fixed rate) for about 5 minutes till 'full' (then measured 1.385 V)...

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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by strawbale View Post
    If I'd get the C-9000, which of my old batteries c/would be worthwhile reconditioning: they vary from 0.5V till 1.27V? For instance, I put an old GP1000 AAA (measuring 0.722 V) in my current basic charger and started a discharge/charge cycle - it only discharged for a minute and than charged (at 850 mA - fixed rate) for about 5 minutes till 'full' (then measured 1.385 V)...
    That sounds like false termination - a break-in on the C-9000 would (most likely) fix that.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowww View Post
    That sounds like false termination - a break-in on the C-9000 would (most likely) fix that.
    Just a quick question on the break-in mode on the C9000. How do you discharge the batteries first?

    I got the impression that it isn't part of the break-in cycle, so what's the best way to get your AA batteries down to absolutely nothing?

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    Flashaholic* Russel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by wshyang View Post
    Just a quick question on the break-in mode on the C9000. How do you discharge the batteries first?

    I got the impression that it isn't part of the break-in cycle, so what's the best way to get your AA batteries down to absolutely nothing?
    You don`t want to discharge down to nothing.That would be hard on your batteries. The C9000 will discharge to about 0.9 volts in dlschage mode. Just be sure to discharge at a reasonable rate.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by wshyang View Post
    Just a quick question on the break-in mode on the C9000. How do you discharge the batteries first?

    I got the impression that it isn't part of the break-in cycle, so what's the best way to get your AA batteries down to absolutely nothing?
    The C-9000 has a separate Discharge mode for this purpose. You set the discharge rate and off you go. It stops automatically.
    Cool is generally a good sign.

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    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by strawbale View Post
    If I'd get the C-9000, which of my old batteries c/would be worthwhile reconditioning: they vary from 0.5V till 1.27V? For instance, I put an old GP1000 AAA (measuring 0.722 V) in my current basic charger and started a discharge/charge cycle - it only discharged for a minute and than charged (at 850 mA - fixed rate) for about 5 minutes till 'full' (then measured 1.385 V)...
    If you have little faith in any old cells I would opt for a new supply of Eneloops. I did just this after finding that a surplus of old RayOvac's were not worth time of effort to attempt revitalizing. Added benefit is that you are a lot less likely to have a cell not perform at a time where it would be crucial to have a failure.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by pobox1475 View Post
    If you have little faith in any old cells I would opt for a new supply of Eneloops. I did just this after finding that a surplus of old RayOvac's were not worth time of effort to attempt revitalizing. Added benefit is that you are a lot less likely to have a cell not perform at a time where it would be crucial to have a failure.
    That's basically what was behind the first part of my original question "Not being much of a battery analyzer, and prepared to 'dump' most of the remaining batteries I have, should I go for the simpler & cheaper option (and spend the saved cash on new Eneloops or Recykos)?" E.g. for the price of the C9000, I'd buy the Sanyo Eneloop MQR06 charger + 8 eneloop AA + 8 eneloop AAA ...

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by strawbale View Post
    That's basically what was behind the first part of my original question "Not being much of a battery analyzer, and prepared to 'dump' most of the remaining batteries I have, should I go for the simpler & cheaper option (and spend the saved cash on new Eneloops or Recykos)?" E.g. for the price of the C9000, I'd buy the Sanyo Eneloop MQR06 charger + 8 eneloop AA + 8 eneloop AAA ...
    Look to the mid level La Crosse BC-700. It does most of the important stuff that the C-9000 accomplishes, but it's closer to $35. 4 independent channels, Analyze/Refresh, charge, discharge and TEST. You're limited to 700mAh charge rate, but that's no big deal. And, it's easier to pack in a suitcase and bring on the road, than the MaHa C-9000.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGarrett View Post
    Look to the mid level La Crosse BC-700. It does most of the important stuff that the C-9000 accomplishes, but it's closer to $35. 4 independent channels, Analyze/Refresh, charge, discharge and TEST. You're limited to 700mAh charge rate, but that's no big deal. And, it's easier to pack in a suitcase and bring on the road, than the MaHa C-9000.

    Chris
    Good point, Chris, I'll seriously consider that. Just checked and the BC700 is about half the price of the C9000 overhere, so still some euros left for AAs/AAAs.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    I agree that the BC700 is a good choice - had two of them and two of the BC900 units. I also had a couple of the Maha C-9000 units but they were way too large for me with my travels in Europe. Check out the stickies by Unforgiven at the top of the forum for a "Charger Evaluation" which has an evaluation of Ni-MH chargers by SilverFox, primarily AA/AAA. As I recall, the Titanium TG2800 was under $20, scored well, with independent channels, with a discharge function and 4 segment display. Alternatively, my current travel chargers in Europe for several years for my entire family are the Sony BCG-34xxx, also with discharge function and individual channels. The earlier Sony units had an LCD display. the later Sony units only LED indicators.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    OK, made up my mind - ordered the BC700 (and some Eneloops AA & AAA).
    Will start using them some time next week.
    @Everyone, thank you for all your valuable input.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    Quote Originally Posted by strawbale View Post
    OK, made up my mind - ordered the BC700 (and some Eneloops AA & AAA).
    Will start using them some time next week.
    @Everyone, thank you for all your valuable input.
    You really can't go wrong. I did buy both the C-9000 and the BC-700 at the same time and I do use the C-9000 first, but if I were on a budget and needed to save, the BC-700 is a reputable charger that works well and is small enough to place in a medium zip lock baggie and place in your suitcase without much fuss.

    Eneloops are Eneloops and you'll never go wrong with them.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    I have two C-9000 and one BC-700. But I would choose the Maha for 2 main reasons:
    1) option to charge with 1000mA and more
    2) the handling is much better. Try to remove a single cell from slot 2 or 3.

    But I believe also that the BC-700 could be the better choice for AAA.
    And even believing so - I do not use it anymore.

    I was many years very content with the BC-700 - only the 700mA charging limit annoyed me.
    Comnparing the BC-700 with the C-9000 I would say it is like an A class compared to an E class model. (The C-9000 is not perfect - so I wouldn't call it S class)

  17. #17

    Default Re: Advice sought for new AA/AAA charger

    I've been using the BC700 now for a few years. No complaints whatsoever.

    A bit more user friendly than the 9000 being that when you go out of default, you can make your settings globally, as well as being able to view the stats of all the batteries at once without having to scroll thru each individual batt.
    Last edited by lwien; 06-23-2012 at 03:53 PM.

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