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Thread: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Numbers's Avatar
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    Default NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Can anyone recommend a high quality battery charger for NiMh and Nicad batteries. I need advice on a charger that can be used for both types of batteries.
    I need a recommendation on a charger that will do aa and aaa size batteries, and a recommendation for one that would do all sizes of rechargable batteries using battery holders, as well as battery sticks such as the one in the SF8AX. The ability to charge cells individually rather than in pairs is also important for when the need arises.
    The only experience I have had so far with chargers is with the Maha 204f (recent digital camera purchase) which may get the job done but in my opinion is not high quality (1st one I ordered did not work, second one blew a battery at the end of the charge cycle, on my third now which keeps on charging forever, I dont think it is detecting voltage drop at what should be the end of the charge cycle).
    Help Please, Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    For AA /AAA w/ability to charge one cell, check out Rayovac 1 Hr. charger available for about $30 store-bought incl. 2 NimH 1600 mA aa's. For others: http://www.thomasdistributing.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    the alltek 5798 looks like a decent charger...not as fast as some but with the all important microcontroller (NOT a timer) and the nice conditioning feature...too bad you can't charge a single battery if you wanted to, not everything uses batteries in pairs...

  4. #4

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Also...
    Rayovac chargers designed for their "Renewal" alkalines also charge Nicd and NiMH. Microprocessor controlled, automatic recognition of battery type. They are not "fast chargers, though, and no conditioning feature. (you can always run your bats. down in a flashlight before recharging to condition them). http://rayovac.com

  5. #5

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Forgot to mention: Rayovac's larger renewal charger will handle AAA, AA, C, D sizes. http://WWW.rayovac.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    I bought the Rayovac PS3 charger for $15. It does AAA-D batteries. 8 AAA/AA at a time, or 4 C/D. It has 4 separate charging circuits.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    For NiMH I would recommend CCrane's charger. It will charge 1 cell at a time and monitors each one individually. You can find it at
    http://www.ccrane.com/quick_charger.asp

    I personally use the MaHA 204 found at
    http://thomas-distributing.com/maha-mh-c204f.htm

    I just like the smaller size for transport, but the larger one is nice because you can do single cells, and get a readout of actual cell voltages.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* txwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Al:
    [QB]Also...
    Rayovac chargers designed for their "Renewal" alkalines also charge Nicd and NiMH. Microprocessor controlled, automatic recognition of battery type.
    ***************
    I bought the Rayovac charger for my renewal alkalines & thought it would be great to be able to do my NiCads too. Problem was, after 3-4 days, some of the NiCads were still chargeing. It had them over 1.4V & still chargeing. I just use it for the renewals, as I don't feel comfortable with its auto recognition system. TX

  9. #9

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Tested my ps3 with 4 1600mA NiMh's that had only self-discharged for about a week ... after 3 hours ps3 was going and going and going ... batteries getting hot.
    Took 'em out and put 'em in a MAHA 2040f ... after 5 min. the MAHA shut off (to trickle mode) .. Think I'll restrict the Rayovac to the Renewals also.

  10. #10

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Sent an e-mail to consumers@rayovac.com advising them of this ...

  11. #11

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    I haven't had any problems with my Rayovac PS3 charger. I've used it on rechargable alkaline, NiCD and NimH. The batteries barely get warm.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* txwest's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Al:
    Sent an e-mail to consumers@rayovac.com advising them of this ...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    *************
    I did this when I had the problem with mine. I got a reply that sometimes it takes awhile to charge..........but 3 days! Since the expensive chargers don't do the "renewables", I have my doubts that this $10 will handle all 3 types. TX

  13. #13
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Any one has the Rayovac 1 hr charger?

    Alan

  14. #14

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Picked up the ccrane quickcharger and am putting it thru it's paces ... seems so far that it does as advertized, interesting though that the unit automatically goes into a "conditioning" cycle if the battery(ies) are below a certain voltage level. Does this regardless of chemistry (NiCd or NimH). Has an override button to get around this, however.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* RonM's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> the unit automatically goes into a "conditioning" cycle if the battery(ies) are below a certain voltage level. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> no conditioning feature. (you can always run your bats. down in a flashlight before recharging to condition them). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Noticed the comments about conditioning. Everyting I've read says that you should not condition NiMH batts. It's more destructive than productive. You especially don't want to run them down in a flashlight or any other device that doesn't have a low voltage shut off.

    Personally, I've been using the Maha charger for a few years with great success for my digicam batts. Would like the ability to do one cell at at time, since my Motorola Talkabout radios work on 3 AA's.

  16. #16

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    the unit automatically goes into a "conditioning" cycle if the battery(ies) are below a certain voltage level.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    no conditioning feature. (you can always run your bats. down in a flashlight before recharging to condition them).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Noticed the comments about conditioning. Everyting I've read says that you should not condition NiMH batts. It's more destructive than productive. You especially don't want to run them down in a flashlight or any other device that doesn't have a low voltage shut off.

    Personally, I've been using the Maha charger for a few years with great success for my digicam batts. Would like the ability to do one cell at at time, since my Motorola Talkabout radios work on 3 AA's.

    First quote (in context) made it clear the user could get around this automatic feature where NimH's were concerned ... second quote (in context) was discussing BOTH chemistries ... should have made it clear that the NiCd's could be "run down" for "conditioning" :-)

    At any rate, the Ccrane charger seems to accomplish the same as the MAHA 204F, but heat is noticably absent with the Ccrane.

  17. #17

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Picked up this info at this site: http://www.greenbatteries.com/docume...Q.htm#alkaline

    Do NiCd batteries really have a memory effect?

    Answering this question is a sure way to start a flame war on the internet. The simple answer is: Technically speaking NiCd batteries do not have a memory effect. However, they do suffer from a voltage depletion phenomenon that most people call the memory effect. So practically speaking, NiCd batteries do suffer from a memory effect, even if it is not technically correct to call it that. Fortunately, the voltage depletion effect is reversible by conditioning NiCds.

    If you use NiCd batteries you should be aware that most the problems experienced by NiCd battery users are not due to a "memory effect" but are due to overcharging. Overcharging is usually caused by poorly designed first generation battery chargers. These chargers continue to deliver current to the batteries even after the batteries are full charged. "5- hour" and "8-hour" chargers can easily damage NiCd or NiMH batteries.

    The big difference between voltage depletion, the "memory effect" and damage caused by overcharging, is that reduced capacity due to overcharging is not reversible.

    Do NiMH batteries have memory effect?

    No, NiMh batteries do not have a memory effect, but strictly speaking neither do NiCds. NiMH batteries can experience voltage depletion similar to that of NiCd batteries, but the effect is much less noticeable. To completely eliminate the possibility of NiMH batteries suffering any voltage depletion effect some manufacturers recommend an OCCASIONAL, deep discharge of NiMH batteries followed by a full recharge.

  18. #18

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Al:
    Picked up this info at this site: http://www.greenbatteries.com/docume...Q.htm#alkaline

    Do NiMH batteries have memory effect?

    No, NiMh batteries do not have a memory effect, but strictly speaking neither do NiCds. NiMH batteries can experience voltage depletion similar to that of NiCd batteries, but the effect is much less noticeable. To completely eliminate the possibility of NiMH batteries suffering any voltage depletion effect some manufacturers recommend an OCCASIONAL, deep discharge of NiMH batteries followed by a full recharge.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Conditioning is nothing more than permitting the cell to discharge to around 1 volt. If one had to be cautious, making sure they are recharged before they ever reach that state in order to avoid "conditioning", then NiMH is a poor substitute for NiCd. I've been nearly depleting my NiMH cells for around 3 years and they are holding up as well as when they were new, if not better.

  19. #19

    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    By Empath:

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Conditioning is nothing more than permitting the cell to discharge to around 1 volt. If one had to be cautious, making sure they are recharged before they ever reach that state in order to avoid "conditioning", then NiMH is a poor substitute for NiCd. I've been nearly depleting my NiMH cells for around 3 years and they are holding up as well as when they were new, if not better. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Same here, and I found that my cell phone NiMH battery responds better to a charge if I wait until it's almost depleted before charging.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Although it is a long time ago that you posted this question:
    Conrad recently develloped a high quality battery charger that meets your requirements: Voltcraft IPC-1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Numbers
    Can anyone recommend a high quality battery charger for NiMh and Nicad batteries. I need advice on a charger that can be used for both types of batteries.
    I need a recommendation on a charger that will do aa and aaa size batteries, and a recommendation for one that would do all sizes of rechargable batteries using battery holders, as well as battery sticks such as the one in the SF8AX. The ability to charge cells individually rather than in pairs is also important for when the need arises.
    The only experience I have had so far with chargers is with the Maha 204f (recent digital camera purchase) which may get the job done but in my opinion is not high quality (1st one I ordered did not work, second one blew a battery at the end of the charge cycle, on my third now which keeps on charging forever, I dont think it is detecting voltage drop at what should be the end of the charge cycle).
    Help Please, Thanks

  21. #21
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Hello Hendrik,

    Welcome to CPF.

    We know that charger as the La Crosse BC-900. If you search on that, you will find a lot of discussion on it.

    Since 2002 there have been a lot of new chargers introduced, but some people are still using their CCrane chargers with good results.

    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...

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    Rayovac PS3 --I got one one time when I needed a charger in a hurry for a lot of AAs for a group camp. I don't know how it decides when cells are charged but I suspect it uses temperature; it seems to terminate faster when I keep the cover closed, and run on much longer and heat the batteries up more when the cover is kept open but the compartment has air circulating. Anyone willing to correct me, please do.

    Also, for AA and AAA cells, the PS3 can take two cells in each of its four slots. I think it just splits the charging current, and while that's slower, the cells aren't as hot when removed. So I'll usually put a pair of cells in one slot. Again, just guessing about this. No real documentation with the thing. But it was cheap and there when I needed it right away.


    On the CCrane, I'm still using one bought a long long time ago. One trick --- after a few years, you hear a 'sproing' and one of the sliders loses its springiness. It's happened to 2 out of 4 of mine, each time when I tried to put a D cell in, which I'd never done before.

    No sweat.

    You can fix this easily. Open it up, and you'll see each slider has a simple "ball point pen" type spring, and one end of that was just pushed over a little plastic nub that was then melted down to hold it. And after a while the plastic 'mushroom' pops off.

    The other end of the spring is tack-soldered to a bump on to the metal slider; if it comes off you can solder it back on.

    NOTE, there's a small electrical wire that goes right through the spring, to connect to the slider -- it's not hard to work it around when you put in a metal screw to replace the little plastic bump, but be careful that it's moving okay.

    Taking a tiny little drill to the 'mushroom' base (careful to center it) to create a hole then threading a tiny little short screw from your computer/electronics scrap bin through the hole in the spring and then into the hole you've drilled in the plastic.

    Use a short one so the end just comes up flush with the inside of the battery compartment; if it sticks up slightly it's OK; if it sticks up too much back it off because it will interfere with AA and AAA batteries staying in position. And if it sticks up too much on the inside it might short out and will let the end of the spring move up and down on it.

    As always, if anyone does this and has problems, I hereby deny all responsibility.
    But I got this advice from Ccrane when I called them up and asked them if I would be able to fix the thing, the first time it happened.

    Probably talked to the janitor, but hey, it worked.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: NiMh and Nicad battery charger

    talk about necroposting. CPF has been around since '01???

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