Test/review of Charger Panasonic BQ-CC55

HKJ

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[size=+3]Charger Panasonic BQ-CC55[/size]

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Panasonic has a line of NiMH chargers, some are fast and smart, others dumb. This one here is fairly fast and smart charger.



I got the charger in a transparent plastic box.

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The pack included the charger and a instruction sheet.

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The charger has a foldable US plug.

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The status indicators for each slot is placed in a single line about the slots.

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They can show multiple colors:
Red: Battery is nearly empty
Yellow: Battery is partly charged.
Green: Battery is nearly fully charged.
Off: No battery or battery is fully charged.
Flashing yellow: Battery is nearly worn out.
Flashing red: Error

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The charger has the typically two level slots used for AA and AAA batteries.

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[size=+2]Measurements charger[/size]


  • When not powered it will discharge the battery with below 0.03mA
  • If the charger detect an error the red led for that channel will flash fast.
  • Charge will restart charging after power loss, or battery insertion.
  • Power consumption when idle is 0.3 watt


Panasonic%20BQ-CC55%20%28eneloop%29%20%231.png


The charger uses a -dv/dt termination and has a 1 hour top-off charge at around 140mA.

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The 3 other slot looks the same.

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This cell also has a -dv/dt termination.

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Here it looks more like a voltage termination, but as can be seen on the temperature the cell is full and get stuffed a bit extra with the top-off charge.

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For a -dv/dt charger it is fairly fast at detecting a full cell.

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The AAA is charged fine also and the top-off charge is reduced to about 50mA

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With four batteries the charger current goes down, but not the top-off current.

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M1: 41,9°C, M2: 44,8°C, M3: 44,2°C, M4: 40,3°C, M5: 56,9°C, M6: 48,2°C, HS1: 63,7°C

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When turned on the charger plays with the lights, before starting to charge, this takes nearly 5 seconds.

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With 3-4 cells the duty cycle is changed, removing the extra cells will not change the duty cycle again.
It looks like the charger has one 3A charging circuit and will switch it between 2 or 4 channels, depending on number of batteries.

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The top-off charge is 0.44s pulses each 10 seconds at 3A, this make the current 130mA


Testing with 2830 volt and 4242 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.



[size=+2]Conclusion[/size]

This is one of the better Panasonic chargers, it is a bit critical with old batteries, probably due to the fairly high charge current.

The conclusion must be that it is a fairly good charger.



[size=+3]Notes[/size]

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger
 

schuster

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Thanks again for the review. I had gotten one of these bundled with AA/AAA's at Costco US for a bargain (discussed elsewhere) and was pretty impressed. It's gratifying to see a methodical review that confirms the impression.
 

samgab

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Seems like a good little starter charger, for parents or people who just want to recharge the batteries and carry on without worrying about things.
3A pulses seem quite high for AA cells, but Panasonic know their stuff when it comes to batteries.
Thanks for yet another excellent review.
 

TKC

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Thank you for your review, and I also appreciate your efforts.

I bought that very same charger, a little while ago; I feel better about my purchase, thanks to your review!
 

iamlucky13

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Glad to see you were able to do a review of this charger, since it seems to be showing up in many bundles.

What do you mean when say it is critical of older batteries? Does it refuse to charge some of them that other chargers accept?

I'm also relieved to see it charges AAA's at 1.25A pulses, not 3A! I assume you only tested it with a single AAA inserted?

I'm curious how Eneloops hold up long term when charged with 3A pulses versus 1.5 amps continuous. I doubt anyone except Panasonic has detailed data on this though.
 

samgab

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I'm curious how Eneloops hold up long term when charged with 3A pulses versus 1.5 amps continuous. I doubt anyone except Panasonic has detailed data on this though.

I haven't seen any studies on this, comparing constant current NiMH charging vs Pulse charging NiMH cells, but I understand, anecdotally, that there are advantages to pulse charging over constant current.
It goes something like this:
"[FONT=&quot]The time between pulses allows the battery's capacitive reactance to partially discharge, thus lowering the impedance of the battery. The lower impedance allows the next charge pulse to go in much more efficiently, avoiding excessive heat build-up and over-voltage pressure.[/FONT]" and:
"During the charging process, short rest periods of 20 to 30 milliseconds, between pulses allow the chemical actions in the cells to stabilise by equalising the reaction throughout the bulk of the electrode before recommencing the charge. This enables the chemical reaction to keep pace with the rate of inputting the electrical energy. It is also claimed that this method can reduce unwanted chemical reactions at the electrode surface such as gas formation, crystal growth and passivation."
There's no doubt a whole science involved in figuring out the optimum current rate, pulse length, and pause length to best treat cells and for best cycle life/longevity, but I haven't seen any hard data on it.

The other advantage of pulse charging is the cell's voltage can be measured between pulses to get a more accurate V measurement, although it takes more than a fraction of a second for NiMH cells' voltage to settle properly and give the true resting OCV.
But it does remove any in-circuit voltage drop under load, when the measurement is taken during the rests between pulses.
 

HKJ

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What do you mean when say it is critical of older batteries? Does it refuse to charge some of them that other chargers accept?

Exactly.


I'm also relieved to see it charges AAA's at 1.25A pulses, not 3A! I assume you only tested it with a single AAA inserted?

Yes. As you can see with AA it uses same current with 1 to 4 cells, only the duty cycle is changed.

I'm curious how Eneloops hold up long term when charged with 3A pulses versus 1.5 amps continuous. I doubt anyone except Panasonic has detailed data on this though.

I doubt it has much significance. 3A is not that much above the rated 2A (1C) maximum charge current.
 

marcosg

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Thanks HKJ for the time you took for this review as well as for all the reviews you have done.
I also have gotten this charger in a bundle. Now that you have done the review for it, how would you compare and rate this charger to the BQ-CC17 that you also reviewed?
Best Regards
 
Last edited:

Cekid

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@HKJ

since this charger has top off charge as well, my question is: is there ANY Nimh charger which doesn't have this feature? in fact, is there any nimh charger which filled battery 100% when charger itself shows that batteries are full, either by showing done, full, finished, turn led light into green, turn led light off, or whatever various chargers shows when done on lcd screen or else? or every charger has some sort of top off charging, be it 1 or 2 hours?
 

HKJ

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since this charger has top off charge as well, my question is: is there ANY Nimh charger which doesn't have this feature?

Yes.
Chargers that uses voltage termination need this feature to fully charge batteries, but -dv/dt chargers can do without.
With LSD batteries it is best without any trickle charge, but a small one is not a big problem.
This charger is without both: http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review Charger GyrFalcon All-44 UK.html
And there are many other.
 

hiuintahs

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HKJ, do you think its necessary to do that top-off charge that averages 140mA for an hour after dv/dt? Wouldn't the battery be full say doing the top-off for only 5 or 10 minutes after dv/dt? Thanks again for all the expert advice you provide.
 

HKJ

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HKJ, do you think its necessary to do that top-off charge that averages 140mA for an hour after dv/dt? Wouldn't the battery be full say doing the top-off for only 5 or 10 minutes after dv/dt? Thanks again for all the expert advice you provide.

As I already wrote it is not necessary on -dv/dt chargers.
 

Cekid

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if i understand correctly, this panasonic charger is -dv but it still has 1 hour top off charge? why is that? in practice, it means we never know if charger has top off charge even if it is -dv one before HKJ is doing proper test?

it seems that we need some sort of a list of true -dv chargers and voltage based ones...i don't know why it is such a big deal to made a charger which is going to correctly show when batteries are 100% full, instead of this top off charge mumbo jumbo...it defies the definition of "smart charger"....
 

HKJ

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if i understand correctly, this panasonic charger is -dv but it still has 1 hour top off charge? why is that?

This charger will switch between -dv/dt and voltage termination, depending on the cell. It would have been nice if it only used top-off after voltage termination.
 
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