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View Full Version : What battery charger do you use?


CakeBoy
9th November 2009, 01:56 PM
I've got some Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries en route from 7dayshop, so it's time to choose a charger. The original plan was to buy the cheap sub-4 Panasonic available from the same vendor. However, having read a number of articles on the net, it would seem prudent to protect our investment in decent batteries with a smart charger.

The Lidl Tronic 12 charger as seen here (http://www.hotukdeals.com/item/489740/good-spec-battery-charger-returns-a) is a really good deal, though they are not currently stocking it. The Technoline BL700 for 28 delivered (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-bl700.asp), or the BC-900 at 40 delivered (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-i-charger.asp) (both sold in the US as La Crosse branded units) seem favourite. The latter is capable of much higher charge currents but that is possibly superfluous for us given that a slow-ish charge is better for the life of the cells than a fast/hot one as I understand it.

There are, of course, Ansmann and Mata units, though the above seem to be good at the price point.

Does anyone have any other recommendations please? Is the above overthe top or prudent?

Thanks in advance :)

Batman
9th November 2009, 03:45 PM
I use an Ansmann Energy. I've had it for a few years now and it seems to look after the batteries pretty well. It's intelligent so I just leave 4 batteries in it pretty much all the time. It doesn't overcharge them and is also pretty quick. I think it did cost over 40 when I bought it though.

Jim Ford
9th November 2009, 04:18 PM
The Technoline BL700 for 28 delivered (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-bl700.asp)

This one looks pretty good - I might go for one myself!

Jim

AlistairJ
12th November 2009, 01:13 PM
When I got the FL50R I bought a set of 4 NMh 2500mAh AA's plus charger from B&Q, can't remember the brand but it was either Energizer or Uniross (definitely not a cheap own-label brand).

I believe NMh's are the best choice for the flash, the only problem being it takes 8 hours to recharge the set :eek:

Jim Ford
12th November 2009, 01:40 PM
The Technoline BL700 for 28 delivered (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-bl700.asp)

I've just bought one of these (very fast delivery). I'm very impressed with it. One of the features I like is that you can 'refresh' a battery. This mode charges and discharges the battery, measuring the capacity, until the capacity no longer increases. This is really handy for those batteries that you've had for a while, and you're starting to think that they've lost capacity.

Jim

Jim Ford
26th November 2009, 05:46 PM
Just an update.

Probably like most people, I've accumulated a mixture of rechargeable NiMh batteries over the years. I've run them through the charger (above) to test them. It was quite revealing! Some were only half or less than their stated capacity. A couple of the oldest were still holding up fine, but one of the newest was much less than half.

This charger is really proving its worth.

Jim

CakeBoy
26th November 2009, 06:01 PM
I totally agree with you Jim, the quality of charge and available information makes it worth its weight in gold. We too went for one of these in the end and are extremely pleased with it. Although we don't have any older rechargeables to test on it as yet, our new packet 2000 mAh rated Enerloops did vary a tad between 1850 and 1950 mAh when put on 'test'. Very interesting as you suggest. We have now also bought a pack of Vapex 'ready to use' rechargeables which also have a good reputation around the net. We are looking forward to testing them out :)

Jim Ford
26th November 2009, 08:00 PM
The Vapex 2700mah AAs (not 'ready to use') I had were all at much less than half their capacity when I checked them. I'm not sure I'd choose Vapex again.

Jim

CakeBoy
26th November 2009, 10:44 PM
Ooh, that's somewhat concerning. I'll get ours (they are 850mAh AAA) on the charger and report back as to the capacity of the 'readies'.

meach
2nd December 2009, 02:23 AM
Ooh, that's somewhat concerning. I'll get ours (they are 850mAh AAA) on the charger and report back as to the capacity of the 'readies'.

Anything to report back yet? I have a lot of these batteries and I've long had a suspicion they weren't as good as claimed. I've now ordered one of these chargers (strangely down from 28 yesterday to 26.99 today) and will post my results when I've tested them all.

CakeBoy
2nd December 2009, 02:59 AM
Sorry, been a bit lapse on this one. Have now finally put them on charge. They are 800mAh rated and each appeared in the 697-698 mAh range. Now whether that is because they have been sat with a charge for a while or something to do with their capacity remains to be seen. I'll post in a day or so when the test is complete.

The chargers were 26.99 when we bought a week or two ago having been 28 the day before when I posted on here about them. I think you will enjoy the charger, it seems to be very good.

meach
2nd December 2009, 03:33 AM
The chargers were 26.99 when we bought a week or two ago having been 28 the day before when I posted on here about them. I think you will enjoy the charger, it seems to be very good.

Now that's very interesting - as you probably noticed I just said the very same thing!! I wonder if they go down day by day somehow using your IP address or something?

cychwr
2nd December 2009, 08:43 AM
I have one of these, http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6152 , charges / discharges each battery individually, really good charger for 8.45 delivered free. Alan

CakeBoy
2nd December 2009, 10:48 AM
Now that's very interesting - as you probably noticed I just said the very same thing!! I wonder if they go down day by day somehow using your IP address or something?

At the time, I thought they had simply gone down in price, but after you mentioned the same thing happening to you it made me wonder. As you say, perhaps we are all seeing at least two different versions of the price based on our traffic to the site. Spooky!

I have one of these, http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6152 , charges / discharges each battery individually, really good charger for 8.45 delivered free. Alan

That looks like a really good deal for a charger capable of refreshing batteries and on an individual basis. The charge currents are quite high though and don't appear to be adjustable, though not necessarily an issue. Amazing features at a great price reading the spec blurb.

cychwr
2nd December 2009, 10:53 AM
That looks like a really good deal for a charger capable of refreshing batteries and on an individual basis.

It's a smashing little charger, so good it does a round of the family every so often to do the refreshing, :)
It's been one of my best buys, would really recommend.

CakeBoy
2nd December 2009, 11:05 AM
It's a smashing little charger, so good it does a round of the family every so often to do the refreshing, :)
It's been one of my best buys, would really recommend.

At that price, I'm tempted to get one. We have a couple of items that use six batteries and they only have 'one set' of rechargeables each (unlike the camera flash ;)). It would be nice to have the facility available to charge all six simultaneously rather than in two batches :)

CakeBoy
3rd December 2009, 02:26 AM
An update on the Vapex Instant AAA 850mAh batteries. The first packet (we bought two) tested at 845, 847, 831 & 849mAh respectively. Not a bad result overall? Only one battery any distance under the advertised capacity. It will be interesting to see how long the retain the charge compared to Enerloop equivalents. Further update to follow when the other packet finishes the test :)

Update: And the second packet: 864, 813, 821 & 836mAh respectively. Not bad again, and one had the best capacity of all eight, though the other three were defiately below the average.

meach
7th December 2009, 08:08 AM
I've just spent the weekend testing 16 Vapex 2700 AA batteries. Eight had between 1886mAh and 2070 mAh (70 - 75% of claimed capacity), while one had 480 mAh and seven didn't even make 100 mAh!!. Admittedly they're a couple of years old but they've had very little use - some have probably only ever been in the charger, which happens to also be a Vapex. More results (from Vapex and other makes) to follow.

CakeBoy
7th December 2009, 12:29 PM
That is not good at all :( So it looks perhaps as though the lower capacity versions (AAA) are reasonably close to the stated capacity, though the AAs may not be so?

meach
7th December 2009, 12:53 PM
That is not good at all :( So it looks perhaps as though the lower capacity versions (AAA) are reasonably close to the stated capacity, though the AAs may not be so?

It looks that way - but I have a lot more to work through yet, including AAAs. But I can tell you now that I know my 550 Zennox AAAs last a lot longer than my 800 Vapex AAAs. Watch this space!!!

meach
7th December 2009, 12:55 PM
It looks that way - but I have a lot more to work through yet, including AAAs. But I can tell you now that I know my 550 Zennox AAAs last a lot longer than my 800 Vapex AAAs. Watch this space!!!

That's 550 mAh and 800 mAh - I don't have that many batteries!!!

meach
8th December 2009, 04:19 PM
I have tested lots of batteries now (still a few more to do) with the following results:

Make Size Claimed Capacity Actual Capacity

Vapex AA 2700 1886, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2070, 1988, 1959, 2020 plus another
eight binned for seriously poor results.

Vapex AA 2600 2050, 1824, 2040

Zennox AA 2000 1854, 1767, 1878, 1810

Vapex AAA 800 639, 639, 625, 611

Zennox AAA 550 602, 617, 616, 544

Duracell AAA 1000 1030, 1015, 1001, 1032

What I've also learned (apart from the fact I obviously have far too many batteries) from both the fact the Zennox AAAs last far longer than the Vapex AAAs despite having less actual capacity, and the fact that all the Vapex took much longer to charge, is that the Vapex (AA and AAA) do not hold their charge - either in storage or between uses - though I am unable to quantify this.

meach
8th December 2009, 04:21 PM
I have tested lots of batteries now (still a few more to do) with the following results:

Make Size Claimed Capacity Actual Capacity

Vapex AA 2700 1886, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2070, 1988, 1959, 2020 plus another
eight binned for seriously poor results.

Vapex AA 2600 2050, 1824, 2040

Zennox AA 2000 1854, 1767, 1878, 1810

Vapex AAA 800 639, 639, 625, 611

Zennox AAA 550 602, 617, 616, 544

Duracell AAA 1000 1030, 1015, 1001, 1032

What I've also learned (apart from the fact I obviously have far too many batteries) from both the fact the Zennox AAAs last far longer than the Vapex AAAs despite having less actual capacity, and the fact that all the Vapex took much longer to charge, is that the Vapex (AA and AAA) do not hold their charge - either in storage or between uses - though I am unable to quantify this.

I had this all formatted with headings before I posted it! The first figure after the size (AA or AAA) is the claimed capacity - the following figures are the actuals). My apologies.

meach
12th December 2009, 12:18 PM
I've done the final batch now - 16 Vapex 2900 batteries about a year old but never used except for charging up. Results:

2480, 2470, 2550, 2570, 2580, 2570, 2640, 2590, 2690, 2490, 2520, 2530, 2550, 2400, 2480, 2520

Slightly better percentage wise than the other Vapex but still not good. In fact the only make that reached it's claimed capacity (and in fact exceeded it) was Duracell.

I also this week bought some Uniross LSD 2100 mAh batteries and have tested four of them:

1858, 1917, 2000, 1903

I think I'll be checking out the prices of Duracell in future!!!

Jim Ford
12th December 2009, 01:15 PM
None of the NiMh cells I've tested have been their rated capacity. I wonder how accurate the numbers shown by the chargers are - there's no way of telling.

Jim

meach
12th December 2009, 01:47 PM
None of the NiMh cells I've tested have been their rated capacity. I wonder how accurate the numbers shown by the chargers are - there's no way of telling.

Jim

That's true - but I think they'll at least be consistent so even if the capacity they show is wrong we can still compare different brands against each other. For example all my Duracell AAAs were at or slightly over their claimed capacity - a much higher percentage than the other two brands