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Thread: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

  1. #1
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    Default Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Charger Powerex MH-C9000





    This charger it not a new charger, but has been on the market for many years. It has been the reference NiMH analyzing charger for many people.





    I got the charger in a cardboard box.



    The box contains the charger, a power supply (US plug, but universal voltage) and a instruction sheet.
    The instruction sheet does a good job on explaining the charger.



    The power supply is connected to the back of the charger with a standard barrel connector. I requires 12 volt 2A.



    The user interface is four buttons and the display. It is only active when there is one or more batteries in the charger and then the background light on the display is on (I like this).



    When powering the charger up all elements on the display is turned on while the numbers count from "00.00" to "99.99".



    When putting a battery in the charger the "MODE" text will start flashing and the desired mode can be selected with arrow up and arrow down and confirmed with ENTER, then the current is selected, again with arrow up/down and ENTER. Depending on mode there can be from one to 3 selections. If no selection is made the charger will automatic start a charge cycle with 1A after some seconds.
    The modes are:
    • CHARGE: Normal charger, it is possible to select from 0.2A to 2A in 0.1A steps, default value is 1A.
    • REFRESH ANALYZE: Charge, discharge, charge, both charge and discharge can be selected.
    • BREAK-IN: Charge, discharge, charge in a slow cycle, the battery capacity is specifyed from 0.5Ah to 20Ah in 0.1Ah steps.
    • DISCHG: Discharge the battery, rate is selected from 0.1A to 1A in 0.1A steps.
    • CYCLE: Charge, discharge a number of times, both charge, discharge and cycles are specified.


    The slot button is used to select what slot to view on the display. When pressed the next slot will be selected and the display will show "mAh", after a short time it will show "ma", "min", "volt" and optional "cyl", then change to the next slot and repeat.
    Usual the most interesting value to check is mAh and the slot button will select that for each slot in turn.



    It is possible to tilt the charger for better cooling and better view of the display from a low position.




    The charger has separate positions for AA and AAA batteries and a thermo sensor for each battery.





    The charger is not supplied with any adapters to handle C and D cells, but it can handle up to 20Ah batteries, i.e. it will work with adapters.



    Measurements


    • Discharges with 0.8mA when not connected to power
    • Charge will restart charging after power loss or battery insertion.
    • Display light is on as long as there is a battery in the charger.
    • Voltage readout matches my DMM within 0.01V using "min" on the DMM, to catch the voltage when current is off.
    • Except for discharge mode, all other modes will apply trickle charge when finished.
    • The charger will start, even if the battery voltage is 0 volt.



    CHARGE: NiMH charge

    Normal charge of a battery, the current can be select from 0.2A to 2A in 0.1A steps.
    When finished the display will show the charged capacity, excluding top-off charge. This value can be below or above the actual battery capacity (NiMH batteries are usual charged with more mAh than they are rated for).



    The charger uses about 2 hours to charge the battery, then it terminates on voltage and uses another two hours to top the battery, before it switches to a trickle charge. The charger will report done after the first two hours.





    The 3 other slots works the same way. Notice that the temperature curve is mostly missing the typically "end of charge" increase, it only looks like there is one or two dots increase at the end of the top off charge. This makes me wonder if the batteries are completely filled or if there could be slightly more mAh in them.



    Not much difference when doing a 200mA charge.




    The XX and AAA eneloop does also look the same, except for the charge time.



    Four batteries with 2A charge for each battery, this does generate some heat, but it looks like the termination is still done on voltage.



    M1: 48,9C, M2: 56,8C, M3: 54,3C, M4: 47,1C, HS1: 69,3C
    It is no surprise that some chargers uses a fan. This charger has no fan and do get rather warm when charging.



    The current from the power supply is also pulsing, with an average current of about 1.5A.



    The charger uses pwm to adjust the charge current, each pulse is charging with 2A.



    For 1A charge this means 50% duty cycle. The duty cycle is not exactly 50%, but slightly below, this means that the charge current is slightly below 1A.



    And at 2A the duty cycle is below 100% and this makes the current slight below 2A.



    Is the 2A charge pulse current due to a specific battery voltage or is it fixed. I uses a shorted battery and tried measuring the current again. It did not change, but was still 2A. This means the charger is using some sort of "constant current" circuit, not just a resistor for the charge current. This helps to limit the maximum current pulses. This is a good way to limit maximum current in pulses.



    The top off charge looks like normal charging, but the pulses is shorter, the average current is about 0.1A and is applied for about 2 hours, i.e. about 200mAh.



    Trickle charge uses the same 2A pulses, but they are even shorter.



    Here I have zoomed in on a single trickle charge pulse. It is about 0.005 second long with 2A current and occur every other second, this gives an average of 5mA (The datasheet for the charger says 10mA). A nice low trickle current.



    If a battery is put into the charger or it is powered on with batteries in it, it will start charging after some time.
    It starts by applying a 10 second high current pulse (This is always the case when charging is started), probably to check for alkaline batteries. If it registers to high voltage after that pulse the display will show "HIGH" and the charge will terminate.



    REFRESH ANALYZE: NiMH single cycle

    This mode will charge the battery, then discharge and finally charge again. Both the charge and discharge rate can be selected.
    When finished the display will show the discharged capacity.



    As can be seen the charge cycles includes the top off charge and there is a rest after the discharge.



    BREAK-IN: NiMH Slow cycle

    Break-in will first charge the battery for 16 hours with 0.1C, then discharge the battery with 0.2C (This will take about 5 hours) and finally charge again with 0.1C for 16 hours. The capacity of the battery is selected from 0.5Ah to 20Ah in 0.1Ah steps. When finished the display will show discharged capacity.
    This method over charges the battery, before measuring capacity, this means it will always get the highest possible value.
    This method is used by IEC for measuring battery capacity.



    This is a slow procedure, taking about 39 hours. In this case here I started with a full battery, but it does still get the full 16 hour charge. It can be seen on the temperature curve when the battery is full.



    DISCHG:: NiMH discharge

    Discharge will drain the battery, while measuring how much capacity was left in the battery. The discharge rate must be specified between 0.1A and 1A in 0.1A steps.
    For measuring the full capacity of a battery the "REFRESH ANALYZE" mode will often be more useful, because it includes charging.



    A 0.1A discharge does not generate any heat. The discharge was supposed to terminate at 0.9 volt, but terminates somewhere between 1.0 and 1.1 volt.



    A single battery at 0.5A is also fairly cool when discharged.



    But four batteries at 1A will generate some heat.



    M1: 49,5C, M2: 47,8C, M3: 41,2C, M4: 41,7C, HS1: 67,6C
    Running discharge at full current on all four channels will heat the two center batteries significantly.



    Discharge is also controlled with pwm, here is the lowest discharge current.



    And the highest discharge current.


    CYCLE: NiMH cycles

    The cycle function will do repeatedly charge and discharge cycles. When finished a final charge is applied.
    Both charge, discharge and number of cycles must be specified. The cycles can be between 1 and 12.
    It is possible to read the capacity of all the discharges when finished: Use the arrow keys to select cycle and wait a moment before the discharge capacity is shown.



    In the above curve I did two cycles (i.e. two dischargers). Charge current at 1A and discharge current at 0.5A. The charger adds top-off charge and a pause after each discharge.



    Alternate test

    I wanted to compare the different capacity analysis methods, all the test below is done with the same eneloop AA battery and in the sequence they are listed. Between each line there is a couple of hours rest with trickle charge.



    The "break in" function charges 3200mAh into the battery.
    The "top-off" charges about 200mAh extra into the battery.
    It looks like ordinary charge + top-off will nearly fill the battery.




    Conclusion

    The charger does not use -dv/dt termination, but constant voltage with a top off charge and has the temperature sensor as backup. With the top off charge it looks like the charger just fills the batteries.
    The function in the charger works very well and looks like they are designed for practical usage (i.e. they always shows the discharge capacity, not the charge capacity).
    The user interface on this charger is easy for normal charging of AA batteries (Just put the batteries in the charger, everything else is automatic), but for doing something more special it can require a lot of key presses for each battery.

    The charger is very good for analyzing batteries, but for normal charging the batteries might not always be filled.



    Notes


    The charger was supplied by Danaco for review.

    Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Very nice job!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Great to see this old charger being properly tested and reviewed at last. Thanks for this.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic Ratton's Avatar
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    Buttrock Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Thanks for the review! I have been putting off getting an AA charger, but this looks like the right on.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Now waiting for HKJ to get to LaCrosse ...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by lowks View Post
    Now waiting for HKJ to get to LaCrosse ...
    I have tested the 1020, but the review is not published yet. I do not know when I will publish the review.
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Hello HKJ,

    Excellent review.

    The C9000 is capable of -dV termination, but the voltage limit is usually hit prior to the -dV signal. I have seen the -dV termination on new cells on the first charge and on older cells that have problems. Other than that the voltage limit is hit prior to the full charge needed to trigger the -dV signal.

    With new cells (other then Eneloop cells) I use the Break In to go through 2 charge cycles and that is usually enough for the cell to behave properly during additional charge cycles.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    I have tested the 1020, but the review is not published yet. I do not know when I will publish the review.
    How was the result yayy or nay ?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by lowks View Post
    How was the result yayy or nay ?
    You will have to wait for the review, it is seldom possible to give a y/n answer, usual there are a couple of grays in it.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    It starts by applying a 10 second high current pulse (This is always the case when charging is started)
    Wow, it always seemed a lot quicker than that. Usually I wait until I get that voltage reading before inserting the next battery but it never seems to be that long. What happens if the voltage is high, does the it still apply the full 10 seconds?

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Floppy View Post
    What happens if the voltage is high, does the it still apply the full 10 seconds?
    I did not test that, but I expect it will break immediately when the voltage is high.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Nice review.

    Can you comment on the AAA charging slots?

    The AAA slots on my C9000 are extremely flaky. Any slight bump or movement of the charger causes random slots to go out as if no battery were present. I have to physical move the battery slightly to get it to register again with the charger acting as if I inserted a fresh battery.

    The AA slots work flawlessly on mine save for the magic of SLOT 1.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    The AAA slots on my C9000 are extremely flaky. Any slight bump or movement of the charger causes random slots to go out as if no battery were present. I have to physical move the battery slightly to get it to register again with the charger acting as if I inserted a fresh battery.
    I have never noticed any problem with the AAA slots (I have been using a C9000 for some years).
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    Flashaholic* Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    Nice review.

    Can you comment on the AAA charging slots?

    The AAA slots on my C9000 are extremely flaky. Any slight bump or movement of the charger causes random slots to go out as if no battery were present.

    I have never experienced anything like that. But must admit my charger usually is placed at a stable surface.

    I have therefore inserted 4 AAA in the all the slots , and while charging moved the charger quite violently around from place to place.
    I have also placed it on the floor while jumping right next to it. Nothing happens , my charger keeps charging on all four slots.

    My unit was produced in February 2012. However I know maha has upgraded the contacts sometime before my unit was produced.
    When was your unit produced ? ( serial number ).
    Last edited by Viking; 06-29-2014 at 09:54 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by Viking View Post
    I have never experienced anything like that. But must admit my charger usually is placed at a stable surface. I have therefore inserted 4 AAA in the all the slots , and while charging moved the charger quite violently around from place to place. I have also placed it on the floor while jumping right next to it. Nothing happens , my charger keeps charging on all four slots. My unit was produced in February 2012. However I know maha has upgraded the contacts sometime before my unit was produced. When was your unit produced ? ( serial number ).
    Is the number that begins with "0K" on the back the serial?

    Unfortunately for me I only discovered this oddity recently because I never used it to charge AAA cells (too many button presses req'd so I used a Sanyo rapid charger instead).

    If it were only violent movements that caused problems it wouldn't be an issue at all.

    However something as simple as placing one cell and punching in the 400mA is enough to disrupt the charging of any random AAA already placed and set. It pretty much makes the C9000 useless for my AAA's.

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    However something as simple as placing one cell and punching in the 400mA is enough to disrupt the charging of any random AAA already placed and set. It pretty much makes the C9000 useless for my AAA's.
    Maybe you are not placing the cells correctly?
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    Flashaholic* Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    Is the number that begins with "0K" on the back the serial?
    Yes "0K" makes it a 2011 unit. But if it is that sensitive I don't think the earlier designed contacts can be the reason.
    Last edited by Viking; 06-30-2014 at 12:28 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Maybe you are not placing the cells correctly?
    What other way is there to place the cells? It's right against the bottom of each slot with button top against the lower two nipples and the inner silver contact pressing against the bottom of the cell.

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    What other way is there to place the cells? It's right against the bottom of each slot with button top against the lower two nipples and the inner silver contact pressing against the bottom of the cell.
    Try if you can press the front of the battery further down. On mine I can get contact without pressing fully down and then you do not need to touch the charger much to break connection to the battery.
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    AA cells get inserted top end first.
    AAA cells go in bottom end first.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    I had some connection issues with the AAA contacts so I took the unit apart and "adjusted" the contacts to eliminate the problem. After that I have had no problems unless the AAA cell has shrink wrap that wraps over the bottom radius of the cell.

    My chargers are some of the first ones built. I don't know if this has changed with newer versions.

    Tom
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  22. #22

    Shrug Question regarding Comparatisons and Raw Data Collected ?

    HKJ,
    Thank you very much for ALL your analysis work. I value it greatly because you execute it objectively and very analytically....kudos and thanks!

    A. After your review of the Lacrosse BC1000/1020 is published, I would be very interested in your opinion and the pros/cons comparing the Maha C9000, LaCrosse BC1000/1020, and the latest competitor Opus BT-C2000 ver 2.1.

    Would you please provide one?

    B. I have performed a lot of data analysis using Excel and would like to offer my services to our humble community. If your testing equipment/software collects raw data and saves it I would be interested in using Excel to perform some comparative metrics. Sometimes comparative analysis leads to some rather interesting discussions that individual analysis may not. We never know unless we try. Just let me know sir.

    Regards,
    CS


  23. #23

    Default Re: Question regarding Comparatisons and Raw Data Collected ?

    HKJ,
    Thank you very much for ALL your analysis work. I value it greatly because you execute it objectively and very analytically....kudos and thanks!

    A. I see your posted review of the La Cross BC-1020. Interesting they advertise improved performance with current LX processor but it looks like a bit of a failure especially when compared to offerings by competitors Maha and Opus.


    Offer still stands:
    B.
    I have performed a lot of data analysis using Excel and would like to offer my services to our humble community. If your testing equipment/software collects raw data and saves it I would be interested in using Excel to perform some comparative metrics. Sometimes comparative analysis leads to some rather interesting discussions that individual analysis may not. We never know unless we try. Just let me know sir.

    Regards,
    CS

    [/QUOTE]

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Question regarding Comparatisons and Raw Data Collected ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GM@CPF View Post


    A. I see your posted review of the La Cross BC-1020. Interesting they advertise improved performance with current LX processor but it looks like a bit of a failure especially when compared to offerings by competitors Maha and Opus.

    I do not know if the new processor fails, but the software on the processor could be better on some points.


    Quote Originally Posted by GM@CPF View Post
    Offer still stands:
    Quote Originally Posted by GM@CPF View Post
    I have performed a lot of data analysis using Excel and would like to offer my services to our humble community. If your testing equipment/software collects raw data and saves it I would be interested in using Excel to perform some comparative metrics. Sometimes comparative analysis leads to some rather interesting discussions that individual analysis may not. We never know unless we try. Just let me know sir.


    I do not believe that comparing raw data would be useful. What would be useful is a table comparing some of the metrics of the different chargers. This is stuff like, supported batteries, usb output, charge time for one battery, charge time for full load of batteries, charge algorithm, and a couple of other parameters.
    My hope was to make it in a spreadsheet and then use my scripting to make it into a couple of web tables. My first try with this is the led driver table: http://lygte-info.dk/info/indexLedDrivers%20UK.html
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
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  25. #25
    Flashaholic WDG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffosborne View Post
    ...AAA cells go in bottom end first.

    Somewhat depending upon when it was made. I use four of these units, bought in pairs, (in 2007, IIRC.) The older pair (0G0C01) prefer top end first, while the newer pair (0G0D01) work better bottom end in first, else the cells may pop out.


    There are a couple other differences that indicate that the "D" version was a fairly significant update. For example, the displays in the "D" version have much dimmer backlighting (following complaints of backlighting being too bright,) and they rate cells lower during BREAK-IN than the "C" versions (possibly more accurately.)


    I have been extremely pleased with these chargers. My only wish is that they were all of the same version.


    Quote Originally Posted by 18650 View Post
    ...I never used it to charge AAA cells (too many button presses req'd...

    I assume you know that you can press & hold to change the charging, discharging, and other rates, instead of requiring individual button presses? It will continue stepping up or down until the button is released.
    Last edited by WDG; 07-07-2014 at 09:59 AM.


  26. #26

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Yes I have been putting in cells bottom first and all the way in. I'd hate to have to open it to fix the faulty slots.
    Quote Originally Posted by WDG View Post
    I assume you know that you can press & hold to change the charging, discharging, and other rates, instead of requiring individual button presses? It will continue stepping up or down until the button is released.
    The alternative is to place cells into slots on my Sanyo charger and plug that into the wall. It charges at 400mA automatically. It's not worth the effort to use the C9000 for AAA for anything other than analysis.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    How long does a "refresh analyze" cycle take for a 2000mah AA eneloop? I'm time poor. Leaving on a trip in 30hrs and hoping to revive some old batteries. Also, at the end of a "refresh analyze" cycle are the batteries charged or do I need to do that as well?

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Quote Originally Posted by Zef View Post
    How long does a "refresh analyze" cycle take for a 2000mah AA eneloop? I'm time poor. Leaving on a trip in 30hrs and hoping to revive some old batteries. Also, at the end of a "refresh analyze" cycle are the batteries charged or do I need to do that as well?
    If you look an the review above, you will see a curve that uses about 650 minutes, i.e. 11 hours:


    The function will both charge before and after the discharge.
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Hi Zef

    Refresh & analyze mode is a good way to sort the best batteries for your trip. However if you don't have the time to get through all your cells , you can use the ICV feature at startup ( It takes less than 15 seconds ) .
    That funktion tells you how much internal resistance the individual cell has. The value is between 1.4-2.10. The higher the value the higher internal resistance.

    You can also combine the two functions , by first do an initial ICV check for all the cells in stock to sort out the poorest. And then focus on the rest ( or best ) for the Refresh & analyze mode.

    keep in mind ICV is only shown once at the display ( just before charging begins ). If the voltage value shown is below 1.4 it is not the ICV value , in that case just take the cell out and try again.

    PS

    All the cells should be in same state of charge before measuring and comparing ICV.
    Last edited by Viking; 07-08-2014 at 12:47 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Test/Review of Analyzing Charger Powerex MH-C9000

    Thank you very much for the detailed responses. I now have an accurate plan of attack. Cheers!

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