Suitable replacement to the La Crosse BC1000 charger.

MidnightDistortions

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It appears that the BC 1000 charger no longer exists. Is there a charger similar to this that can charge older batteries regardless of bad Internal resistance?

The SkyRC MC3000 is more tolerant of higher IR than the Maha MH-C9000 but as it stands I just need another charger for my older Nickel metal hydride cells.
 

NiOOH

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MC3000 does not perform an IR-check before charging. I've been able to charge very old NiMH cells that have IR in excess of 150 mOhm. In addition, you have control over any charging parameter, including the value of delta V (down to zero, i.e. peak voltage detection). To me, this is by far the best non-professional charger for cylindrical NiMH cells out there.
 

MidnightDistortions

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MC3000 does not perform an IR-check before charging. I've been able to charge very old NiMH cells that have IR in excess of 150 mOhm. In addition, you have control over any charging parameter, including the value of delta V (down to zero, i.e. peak voltage detection). To me, this is by far the best non-professional charger for cylindrical NiMH cells out there.

I tend to get connection breaks on some cells with that. Though these particular batteries haven't been used often and perhaps need to be cycled more?. I'll have to experiment more on that charger then because I was able to charge batteries that were being used frequently. I do like that charger, though when I bought it was expensive.
 

WC8KCY

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I have the Opus BT-C2000 and BT-C2400. They will charge anything that hasn't reversed polarity due to being overdischarged in an unbalanced pack. The Opus will simply display "null" for the slot(s) where a reversed cell is inserted.

For beat-up old cells that have reversed, a couple minutes on a dumb charger fixes them enough for the Opus chargers to charge them right up.
 

NiOOH

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On the other hand, wouldn't it be cheaper and better to change the cells instead. I mean, what's the point to spend money just to keep old cells, that have very high IR and possibly reduced capacity, going? How many new sets of cells can you buy for the price of a new charger? Any secondary cell has a finite cycle life. When they are gone, they are gone. With proper charging, ordinary Eneloops are good for no less than 1000 cycles, or possibly more. That should be enough for everyone. When chargers start rejecting cells, this means that their IR has gone up badly, so they will not support even moderate currents.
 

MidnightDistortions

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I have the Opus BT-C2000 and BT-C2400. They will charge anything that hasn't reversed polarity due to being overdischarged in an unbalanced pack. The Opus will simply display "null" for the slot(s) where a reversed cell is inserted.

For beat-up old cells that have reversed, a couple minutes on a dumb charger fixes them enough for the Opus chargers to charge them right up.
I will check these chargers out.

On the other hand, wouldn't it be cheaper and better to change the cells instead. I mean, what's the point to spend money just to keep old cells, that have very high IR and possibly reduced capacity, going? How many new sets of cells can you buy for the price of a new charger? Any secondary cell has a finite cycle life. When they are gone, they are gone. With proper charging, ordinary Eneloops are good for no less than 1000 cycles, or possibly more. That should be enough for everyone. When chargers start rejecting cells, this means that their IR has gone up badly, so they will not support even moderate currents.


Well aside from some cells that won't stay charged they work fine in flashlights I use irregularly for work. Plus these cells don't have the low discharge capability like Eneloops have, nor have I recently checked their capacities. I just have more batteries than chargers and even the the batteries that have lower IR takes up slots but I got the PowerEX MH-C808M / 2 MH-C9000s and 2 Eneloop chargers.

I did find that my SkyRC charger had oxidation on the positive terminals too which may have been the cause of connection breaks. Then trying to charge cells in the SkyRC that have been inactive for over a year. I got a container full of old Nimh batteries that are really dead. They held a charge at 1.10v before getting tossed in there which were used in clocks.
 

WC8KCY

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On the other hand, wouldn't it be cheaper and better to change the cells instead. I mean, what's the point to spend money just to keep old cells, that have very high IR and possibly reduced capacity, going? How many new sets of cells can you buy for the price of a new charger?
It really comes down to how many old cells you have in service. I've got 30 deprecated cells in service, and replacing them all with Eneloops would (a) exceed the cost of an Opus charger if I had to buy a charger specifically to tend deprecated cells, and (b) result in no performance benefit to me, since the deprecated cells all perform satisfactorily for an entire year with just one refresh cycle every November.

The OP says he has a "container full" of old cells. Seems to me that if three dozen or more old cells could be revived and put back into service with an Opus charger, it will have paid for itself.

On the other hand, if a user only had 4 or 8 worn cells and their current charging system wouldn't charge them, it wouldn't make sense to buy another charger unless they needed extra charging slots anyway.
 

MidnightDistortions

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It really comes down to how many old cells you have in service. I've got 30 deprecated cells in service, and replacing them all with Eneloops would (a) exceed the cost of an Opus charger if I had to buy a charger specifically to tend deprecated cells, and (b) result in no performance benefit to me, since the deprecated cells all perform satisfactorily for an entire year with just one refresh cycle every November.

The OP says he has a "container full" of old cells. Seems to me that if three dozen or more old cells could be revived and put back into service with an Opus charger, it will have paid for itself.

On the other hand, if a user only had 4 or 8 worn cells and their current charging system wouldn't charge them, it wouldn't make sense to buy another charger unless they needed extra charging slots anyway.

These particular cells charge just fine in the LaCrosse chargers and also work fine as well. It's looking more like that I had the charge rate set too high in the SkyRC unit. Some of the cells are working, noticing that the connection breaks may be due to the cells needing to be cycled as they're just weak from non use.
 

WC8KCY

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These particular cells charge just fine in the LaCrosse chargers and also work fine as well. It's looking more like that I had the charge rate set too high in the SkyRC unit. Some of the cells are working, noticing that the connection breaks may be due to the cells needing to be cycled as they're just weak from non use.
Another benefit to using the Opus chargers: On both charge and discharge mode, the charger will throttle back the amperage to whatever the cells can handle and this can be displayed in real time. I'm not sure if LaCrosse chargers do this.

For example, if I pop in my 20-year-old set of 4 Epson AA cells and select a 1000 mA charge rate, the current will soon throttle back and settle in a range between 260 and 500 mA. If I had to charge these cells on another charger that didn't have this functionality, I'd be sure to set the charge current at less than that of the lowest reading observed on the Opus. With these Epson cells, I'd select 250 mA or less if another charger needed to be deployed.
 

MidnightDistortions

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Another benefit to using the Opus chargers: On both charge and discharge mode, the charger will throttle back the amperage to whatever the cells can handle and this can be displayed in real time. I'm not sure if LaCrosse chargers do this.

For example, if I pop in my 20-year-old set of 4 Epson AA cells and select a 1000 mA charge rate, the current will soon throttle back and settle in a range between 260 and 500 mA. If I had to charge these cells on another charger that didn't have this functionality, I'd be sure to set the charge current at less than that of the lowest reading observed on the Opus. With these Epson cells, I'd select 250 mA or less if another charger needed to be deployed.

Oh cool, my SkyRC charger can throttle back discharge currents but you have to do discharge reduce in the program menu. It's great for cells that are not quite working properly that you normally would just use in a light that has a single cell to avoid overdischarging.
 

MidnightDistortions

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Another benefit to using the Opus chargers: On both charge and discharge mode, the charger will throttle back the amperage to whatever the cells can handle and this can be displayed in real time. I'm not sure if LaCrosse chargers do this.

For example, if I pop in my 20-year-old set of 4 Epson AA cells and select a 1000 mA charge rate, the current will soon throttle back and settle in a range between 260 and 500 mA. If I had to charge these cells on another charger that didn't have this functionality, I'd be sure to set the charge current at less than that of the lowest reading observed on the Opus. With these Epson cells, I'd select 250 mA or less if another charger needed to be deployed.

I just figured out the Sky RC charger is a good bench tester for batteries. I set the max discarge at like 1 amp all the way down to 0. And set the low voltage point at 0.90v and actually finding out some batteries are not fairing so well while others are at least up to 600mAh. It changes as basically you're running it to 0.90v so the discharge amps vary. I may get another SkyRc charger as I'm not sure the Opus will do that but for charging these cells it might not be a bad idea to give it a whirl. I may have saved some time as some of these cells are not producing more than 100mAh.
 

WC8KCY

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I just figured out the Sky RC charger is a good bench tester for batteries. I set the max discarge at like 1 amp all the way down to 0. And set the low voltage point at 0.90v and actually finding out some batteries are not fairing so well while others are at least up to 600mAh. It changes as basically you're running it to 0.90v so the discharge amps vary. I may get another SkyRc charger as I'm not sure the Opus will do that but for charging these cells it might not be a bad idea to give it a whirl. I may have saved some time as some of these cells are not producing more than 100mAh.
The Opus likewise ends its discharge cycle at 0.9V. With long-unused cells, it takes a couple Charge Test cycles to get an idea of what the capacity is.
 

MidnightDistortions

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The Opus likewise ends its discharge cycle at 0.9V. With long-unused cells, it takes a couple Charge Test cycles to get an idea of what the capacity is.

Yeah it's pretty much the same for all the chargers. The SkyRc can discharge to 0.5V, though it's not recommended I noticed if they don't do well down to 0.9V you can get it to go to 0.5V and it will then work the battery there effectively reviving it.

Well I did buy the Opus BT-C2000 and it's got some pros and cons. I like how you can do an IR Test (Quick Test) though it's difficult from the PowerEX MH-C9000 which the IR goes by voltage. They never explained what's considered too high. I had originally thought this charger had dedicated C and D slots but they have adapters instead.

Then as you said it drops the charging/discharging rate to where the batteries can handle. The LaCrosse chargers will charge at whatever current you choose. I like that it saves the last mode you put it on so you can easily swap a cell to stick with that mode. Terminating with -delta seems quicker with it as well or it's more sensitive than the LaCrosse chargers. I got another 4 charging slots, which is the idea. Thanks for the recommendation. Although I'm going to need to buy another SkyRc charger as I found it to be a good way to discharge batteries otherwise in something like a 1 AA or AAA low/medium drain device.

The only thing I noticed the Opus charger doesn't seem to have trickle charging.
 
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WC8KCY

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Glad the Opus is working out for you! It does automatically trickle charge after completing the Charge, Charge Test, and Charge Refresh cycles. Hit the Display until you're at the mA readout and you'll see the trickle charge rate in real time.
 

sim1tti

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I've had an Opus BT-C3100 V2.2 since 2016. It's been great, but now one or two of the slots are acting all buggy. At times I'll get a null reading on cells that are not dead. Other times Cells will never finish charging even though it reads the current and they get plenty hot (gotta imagine it's intermittently draining the cells while charging when that happens). Any one else had similar experiences? It's grown unreliable to the point of being replaced.
 

aznsx

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I've had an Opus BT-C3100 V2.2 since 2016. It's been great, but now one or two of the slots are acting all buggy. At times I'll get a null reading on cells that are not dead. Other times Cells will never finish charging even though it reads the current and they get plenty hot (gotta imagine it's intermittently draining the cells while charging when that happens). Any one else had similar experiences? It's grown unreliable to the point of being replaced.

Sorry to hear that. I had one issue when I first started using mine (about the time you got yours), but it's by design, and I've had no other new / flakey issues. Although I consider it cheap junk (even though there's nothing like it on the market that's likely any better in that regard, IMO), it's been stable with no new symptoms and generally does what it does OK. That said, mine has had a pretty easy life.

The issue I had (which could possibly be involved and would likely get worse with time if not mitigated) is chronically poor connections due to insufficient slider terminal spring tension (in addition to probably crummy contacts / plating) using shorter cells. This requires me to use a dummy / shorting cell together with 16340s to get adequately reliable connections, and that caused all sorts of flakey symptoms until I realized the deficiency. Having to use those is a bit of a pain, but has eliminated the problem(s), so I get by. That's somewhat less likely to be a problem if you're having difficulties with longer (18650) cells, although with time / use it could. If in doubt, as a long shot you might want to clean those sliders and terminals with some good stuff. I used some DeOxit D100 on my sliders etc. about a month ago (don't know what took me so long), and besides just being good practice, I believe it has stabilized my 'internal resistance' measurements somewhat (Quick Test).

No other ideas here. The only upside to cheap junk is that it's cheap, and thus doesn't cost too much to replace. If you decide to replace yours and find something you believe is 'better', let us know, however based on what I've seen / read, I don't think you'll find anything significantly better quality on the market currently. ICBW though, so let us know if you do!

EDIT: It just occurred to me that I should note that my experience(s) with my Opus are entirely with Li-ion cells, so I can't speak to most of what this thread seems to be focused on (NiMH). That said, null indications, connection issues, etc. to which I refer are of course chemistry-independent.
 
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sim1tti

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...chronically poor connections due to insufficient slider terminal spring tension...This requires me to use a dummy / shorting cell together with 16340s to get adequately reliable connections, and that caused all sorts of flakey symptoms until I realized the deficiency. Having to use those is a bit of a pain, but has eliminated the problem(s), so I get by.
That does sound like a pain. If it comes to that, I'll look to replace rather than use a dummy cell. That is a creative hack though.

The springs in mine are have been good, but the plastic track that the paddles ride in have always struck me as too narrow and imprecise. The metal paddles get restricted and snag up in them and the springs can't power them through.
If in doubt, as a long shot you might want to clean those sliders and terminals with some good stuff. I used some DeOxit D100 on my sliders etc. about a month ago (don't know what took me so long), and besides just being good practice, I believe it has stabilized my 'internal resistance' measurements somewhat (Quick Test).
Very good advice. I just took it apart and cleaned all the sliders with 99% alc. Probably the third time in seven years. A quick look at the board while there, no sign anything has fallen off. Testing some cells now after cleaning. We'll see.
It just occurred to me that I should note that my experience(s) with my Opus are entirely with Li-ion cells, so I can't speak to most of what this thread seems to be focused on (NiMH).
I'm having the issue with both Eneloop AA and 18650 cells.
The only upside to cheap junk is that it's cheap, and thus doesn't cost too much to replace. If you decide to replace yours and find something you believe is 'better', let us know, however based on what I've seen / read, I don't think you'll find anything significantly better quality on the market currently. ICBW though, so let us know if you do!
If this goes on much longer, I'll likely purchase a BT-C3400....I think that's the successor model to the 3100, yes? I can't find anything definitive, but seems to be pretty much the same device at twice the price. If anyone knows differently, please let me know.

All said, this has been a great little gadget that has far exceeded all expectations. I'll be sad if I can't fix it but certainly not disappointed.
 

aznsx

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I just took it apart and cleaned all the sliders with 99% alc.

Connection problems are common, and often being intermittent &/or marginal, are among the most difficult to troubleshoot of all things I know of. That cleaning certainly could help, so let us know.

Iso alc is wonderful, and is great for cleaning a whole world of stuff. I use it all the time. If it's what you have on hand, by all means use it. Do however consider picking up some D100 for electrical contacts / connections going forward. The main issue with cleaning oxidized connections w/ alc is that it leaves nothing behind, and does nothing to inhibit the immediate resumption of the oxidation process as soon as you're finished; and especially with low quality contacts / plating, they will oxidize very quickly. Aside from removing oxidation better, D100 also has ingredient(s) designed to do exactly that (inhibit further oxidation), and in my experience it does it pretty well. This makes it far superior to alc for the purpose. It can reduce your ongoing preventive maintenance / reocurring problems. Lastly, it also contains ingredient(s) which provide some lubricity. This can be of value with anything that involves movement / a wiping action (switches and pots come to mind), and that no doubt helps at least a little in minimizing stiction in the charger sliders; which, as you pointed out can affect the effective slider terminal spring tension. It can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but it can help a lot.

There are almost certainly other commercial / industrial contact cleaners which can do much the same, I'm just suggesting the D100 because it has a track record, works well for me, and since I'm not up to date with other such products currently on the market, I'd rather not do the experimenting and reinvent that wheel. Too many other things to do!

Just a thought.
 

MidnightDistortions

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Glad the Opus is working out for you! It does automatically trickle charge after completing the Charge, Charge Test, and Charge Refresh cycles. Hit the Display until you're at the mA readout and you'll see the trickle charge rate in real time.

Yeah, noticed however some cells didn't do that. Others did trickle charge.
 

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