Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: Charlotte on April 15, 2008, 01:34:59 pm

Title: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on April 15, 2008, 01:34:59 pm
I want to buy a really good battery charger for the 7dayshop rechargeable AAs and AAAs that my lights, camera and pretty much everything else I have apart from my phone runs off.  Hitherto I have been using an Energiser fast charger and I have come to the conclusion that it is cack.

I want something that will get maximum capacity and the maximum recharge cycles out of my batteries and I want to know which ones are duff and which are good.  A decent digital display telling me how many mAh they have been charged to would be ideal.

Fast chargers need not apply as I think they are likely the cause of my present woes.  Which means that 7dayshop don't have anything that would be of any use, no?

Apologies if you've already given the benefit of your wisdom on this before.  The subject came up several times on ACF, but I can't search for it now  :(
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 15, 2008, 01:42:41 pm
Ansmann Energy chargers from www.tantronics.co.uk

http://www.tantronics.co.uk/acatalog/Tantronics_UK_Battery_Chargers_10.html

I've got an Energy 8 and I'm blissfully happy with it (although I'd probably go for the Energy 16 if I had a chance to reorder as I've converted everything in Chez GB to rechargables and I could do with some more on the boil at any time).

I get twice the run-time out of my batteries compared to my old bog standard Uniross charger.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Craig on April 15, 2008, 01:43:17 pm
I'd agree that fast chargers are often rubbish, they usually just cook the batteries.

So I reccommend this charger: Technoline BL-700 (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp).
You can choose what charging current you want (the default is 200mA), and it has a digital display which tells you how much each battery has been charged.
And it has a test mode which will do a complete charge then discharge to tell you the usable capacity of the batteries. It also has a refresh mode which might help sort rubbish batteries.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Wowbagger on April 15, 2008, 01:50:31 pm
I've got the technoline BL 700 as well and I'm very pleased with it. It has an LCD display for each battery which you can watch without having to spend money on a television licence (and the programmes are better too). :thumbsup:
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on April 15, 2008, 02:24:33 pm
Cheers, chaps!

I've just had a very informative chat with a chap from Battery Logic.  The BL700 has just come back into stock and they're shipping again on Monday, so I've ordered one.

Now here's what I have learned:

Rechargeable batteries are like swiss rolls  :)

No really, apparently the higher capacity your battery (I've been using 2700mAh ones from 7dayshop) then the smaller the rolls in your cake.  With me so far?  Well, pretty much most NiMh rechargeable suffer from the terrible affliction of "self-discharge".

Stop sniggering at the back there, Wowbagger!  ::-)

It's true - you can charge your batteries up, but in a week if you come to use them, the buggers will be flat again if they are high capacity ones.

So I have also bought a couple of packs of Uniross 2100mAh Hybrio batteries. (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/hybrio-multi-usage-longlife-aaa-rechargeable-battery.asp)  Apparently, although a lower capacity, these cells manage to hold their charge much, much longer.  So they're ideal for things like bike lights, wot you charge once a fortnight.

I'll still use my high-capacity batteries in my camera when I'm able to recharge them immediately before use, but otherwise, I think I'll be better off with the Hybrios.

You learn something every day, no?
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 15, 2008, 02:28:48 pm
That's why with a good charger (such as the Ansmann ones, and quite possibly that Technoline one) you can leave the batteries in them as long as you like and the charger will keep them topped up with a little trickle-charge.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: bikenerd on April 15, 2008, 02:31:15 pm
Charlotte: that's very useful to know, thanks!
I had 4 brand new Energiser batteries "self discharge", in a different way, in my camera.  Thankfully the camera is alright but I won't be buying Energiser batteries ever again.  I'll stick to Uniross ones.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: nuttycyclist on April 15, 2008, 02:59:21 pm
I'll have to get the details, but my brother-in-law has a battery charger he swears by that will recharge, several times, real batteries such as Duracell etc.  It takes two or three days to trickle charge them.

Being in a household that had a very high battery consumption (kids toys) and not having much success with rechargeables (self discharge issues) he is loving this gadget.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Cyclops on April 15, 2008, 03:08:25 pm
I've been using several sets of 7 Day Shop's own brand 2800mAh batteries for over a year. They last about a fortnight between charges in my Dinotte 200L using the light for about an hour each day (on steady not flashing). They also power my GPS for about 36 hours. They're bloody rubbish in Wii remotes though

Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 15, 2008, 03:13:28 pm
I'll have to get the details, but my brother-in-law has a battery charger he swears by that will recharge, several times, real batteries such as Duracell etc.  It takes two or three days to trickle charge them.

Just google "recharge disposable batteries" and you'll find some.

Being in a household that had a very high battery consumption (kids toys) and not having much success with rechargeables (self discharge issues) he is loving this gadget.

Again, having a charger that will charge batteries, and then keep them charged with a trickle charge works a treat. I know that I've always got 4 x AA, 2 x AA and a PP3 rechargable(s) that are fully charged when I need them (unless I've just put them in the charger).
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: hubner on April 15, 2008, 03:25:49 pm
I use a very basic Uniross slow charger, got it for something like £10 including 4 2000mAh AA batteries a few years ago. I use it with a cheap £2 timer, 2100mAh AA batteries take 17 hours to charge, it seems to work OK.

NiMh batterries going flat by themselves must be the most annoying thing about them. I'm not going to buy any more NiMhs, although I'm still going to use the ones I've already got, in the future I'm only going to buy the "hybrid" type. Actually, last week I bought 4 packs of four Uniross AA hybridio 2100mAh at £3 each at the local Asda  :thumbsup:

Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: mattc on April 15, 2008, 03:29:56 pm
I've been using several sets of 7 Day Shop's own brand 2800mAh batteries for over a year. They last about a fortnight between charges in my Dinotte 200L using the light for about an hour each day (on steady not flashing).
Is this for real Cyclops? My Dinotte gets about a week from those batteries over the winter (so upto 3hrs.) I think it's the self-discharge that does them in, not the usage - I got far more than 3 hours on my first long Audax with them. I think the cold kills them too - I'm often commuting in cold winds etc out here.
(Greenbank - what time did we start needing lights on the Dean?!?)

I always knew my charger was very basic (not a "Fast" charge), but I'm astonished I'm getting so much less run-time than you. (Silver lining - maybe the Dinotte is more efficient than I seem to be finding?)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: andygates on April 15, 2008, 03:33:45 pm
NiMh batterries going flat by themselves must be the most annoying thing about them.

It was annoying enough that I've almost stopped using them.  I too need a charger that isn't a battery rotisserie.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: tiermat on April 15, 2008, 03:34:27 pm
A useful primer (if a little long winded) on batteries is provided by Aus's master on such matters:

Dan's Data (http://www.dansdata.com/cambattery.htm)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Cyclops on April 15, 2008, 03:43:15 pm
Is this for real Cyclops? My Dinotte gets about a week from those batteries over the winter (so upto 3hrs.) I think it's the self-discharge that does them in, not the usage - I got far more than 3 hours on my first long Audax with them. I think the cold kills them too - I'm often commuting in cold winds etc out here.


I've got two sets of 4 batteries which I swap over when the red light comes on. I normally will recharge the flat set overnight and then put this newly recharged set in the panniers where they'll normally sit for about a fortnight before I change them onto the light when the other set runs out. I'd calculate I'm probably getting somewhere in the region of 8 -10 hours from each charge and that's with sitting in a pannier for a fortnight after charging but before use.

As I live in Scotland my commute is hardly tropical, in fact it has been known to be above freezing some days  :P
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 15, 2008, 03:53:27 pm
(Greenbank - what time did we start needing lights on the Dean?!?)

IIRC You faffed with your front light, and got it working properly, at Malmesbury. GPX log says we left there at just about 8.40pm.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Biggsy on April 15, 2008, 04:19:36 pm
7DayShop do sell a slow-to-medium speed charger.  It is misleadingly named "Speedy Box".  I have one but I'm not yet convinced that it charges to full capacity, or that it's really any kinder to cells than a good smart fast charger with individual heat/voltage/resistance sensors, eg. GP U-Smart Powerbank.

It's hard to know what the truth is as there is lots of conflicting advice on the web from experts.

Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: andrew_s on April 15, 2008, 07:09:58 pm
Alternative smart charger - the Powerex WizardOne (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=217893&doy=19m3&ForceUpdate=Y)
Rather nicer than the Technoline BL-700, even if that's working well.
I've got a bit of a down on the BL-700 as mine managed to cook a set of 2700 AAs severely enough to start to melt its own casing. AAAs won't fit properly now. >:(

According to the instructions with the WizardOne, the best charging rates are in the 2 to 3.5 hour range (for a full charge - 700 to 1250mA for 2500mAh AAs). Too fast and you risk damage, too slow and the end-of-charge detection becomes unreliable.

---------------------

As well as the longer shelf life, the Hybrio type seem to do better at living up to their stated capacity. I've had some over spec, but normal 2700 AAs down to 2300 or lower (as shown on BL-700).


"Hybrio type" = Uniross Hybrio, GP Recyko, Sanyo Eneloop, Ansmann MaxE
plus various others advertised as "pre-charged" or "ready to use" from Synergy, Duracell, Camlink, Hama, Powerrman, Powergee ...
They are all about the same capacity (2100 AA, 800 AAA) and apparently there are only 2 or 3 manufacturers, despite the multitude of brand names.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Cunobelin on April 15, 2008, 07:34:28 pm
If you can get them, the Hybrios are good.

My Etrex last a full day on 2700 AAs from Uniross, but 2.5 days on 2100 Hybrios.

Same with the camera, almost twice the life from the Hybrios.

 
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Andrew Br on April 18, 2008, 11:45:48 am
I'll have to get the details, but my brother-in-law has a battery charger he swears by that will recharge, several times, real batteries such as Duracell etc.  It takes two or three days to trickle charge them.

Being in a household that had a very high battery consumption (kids toys) and not having much success with rechargeables (self discharge issues) he is loving this gadget.

I've got one of these:-

http://www.evercharge.co.uk/

I've used it several times on some old alkaline batteries that I had.
So far so good.
I think that it will also keep NiMHs and NiCADs topped up if you leave them in there.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: tonycollinet on April 18, 2008, 01:38:43 pm
I think these  (http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=102891) are the equivlalent of hybrios - available from 7 day shop.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Biggsy on April 18, 2008, 01:51:24 pm
I'll have to get the details, but my brother-in-law has a battery charger he swears by that will recharge, several times, real batteries such as Duracell etc.  It takes two or three days to trickle charge them.

Being in a household that had a very high battery consumption (kids toys) and not having much success with rechargeables (self discharge issues) he is loving this gadget.

Self-discharge should hardly be a problem with good-quality high-capacity NiMhs used in things that are used frequently and heavily - when fully charged in the first place.  But there is a new type of NiMh with a slow self-discharge rate.  Eneloop, I think is a popular one.

Alkalines are poor value and perform poorly in any heavy-drain application, even if you can recharge them a few times.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: harrumph on April 18, 2008, 01:53:21 pm
"Hybrio type" = Uniross Hybrio, GP Recyko, Sanyo Eneloop...

Eneloops have been a great success for me  :thumbsup:

I now have a drawer full of unused NimHs...
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: mattc on April 19, 2008, 02:48:26 pm
...at Malmesbury. GPX log says we left there at just about 8.40pm.
...which is 1h35 after the time on my Co-Op receipt. Either I lost an hour in that pub loo with Maladict, or Malmesbury Co-op is a very good place to finish a DIY on the time limit. </OT - audax>
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Chris S on April 19, 2008, 02:53:40 pm
...at Malmesbury. GPX log says we left there at just about 8.40pm.
...which is 1h35 after the time on my Co-Op receipt. Either I lost an hour in that pub loo with Maladict, or Malmesbury Co-op is a very good place to finish a DIY on the time limit. </OT - audax>


Arrrgh!  :hand: :o.

Quick, pass the mind bleach...!
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Greenbank on April 19, 2008, 03:14:23 pm
...at Malmesbury. GPX log says we left there at just about 8.40pm.
...which is 1h35 after the time on my Co-Op receipt. Either I lost an hour in that pub loo with Maladict, or Malmesbury Co-op is a very good place to finish a DIY on the time limit. </OT - audax>

Ah, yes, it's an hour out. We got there at 7pm and left at 7.40pm.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Maladict on April 19, 2008, 03:19:12 pm
...at Malmesbury. GPX log says we left there at just about 8.40pm.
...which is 1h35 after the time on my Co-Op receipt. Either I lost an hour in that pub loo with Maladict, or Malmesbury Co-op is a very good place to finish a DIY on the time limit. </OT - audax>


Arrrgh!  :hand: :o.

Quick, pass the mind bleach...!

this forum is more predictable because any really long thread tends inexorably towards NSFW.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: bobajobrob on April 19, 2008, 04:50:54 pm
Another vote for the BL-700, it's cheaper than the similarly priced Ansmann and has more functions.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: fred the great on April 19, 2008, 06:53:03 pm
Can't get any of the stuff you folks  are talking about. But for my digital camera I was supplied with a GP Powerbank and four GP batteries. These have been very erratic,  taking a long time to charge followed by a fairly quick discharge >:( they almost caught me out at our Christmas Dinner when I thought they were reasonably charged up.

I replaced the pack with a Sony charger and 4 off 2100 m Amp Sony batteries.

So far these have performed well and the charger itself is a much better design :D
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: antpix on April 19, 2008, 08:43:05 pm
Another vote for the BL 700 from Battery Logic and Hybrio AA's.

Battery Logic are 'good people' - just sent me some more batteries when a new set turned up defective on first charge.

I've got a slew of normal 2700's which are good in flash guns the day after an overnight charge, however in future  I will be getting the Hybrios as they seem to match the 2700's in duration and recharge speed without the self discharge and would certainly be buying from Battery Logic in future.

Ant
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: andrew_s on April 19, 2008, 09:23:19 pm
I've got a bit of a down on the BL-700 as mine managed to cook a set of 2700 AAs severely enough to start to melt its own casing. AAAs won't fit properly now. >:(

ISTR from a previous thread that you have the version prior to the BL-700 that allows charging at 1400mA, or is it my bad memory? It could be that that problem is fixed in the newer version. I hope so, the BL-700 is supposed to have a thermal sensor.

Quite right - it was an earlier model (IC8800, now I inspect it). Blue with black buttons, looks the same otherwise. Max charge rate 1800mA for a single AA or slots 1 & 4 , or 1000mA for 4, 3 or 2 adjacent slots used.
It wasn't a high charge rate that did it - 1 pair of 2500 and 1 pair of 2700 put on at 500mA and left to charge overnight. In the morning I'd got 4 cooked cells and a charger with a distorted casing. The thermal sensor obviously hadn't worked - the instructions say it's meant to stop charging if the temperature goes over 53C and wait for them to cool off.

The WizardOne is nicer anyway, even if more expensive. Charge rates are 200mA-2000mA in 100mA steps, discharge rates 100mA-1000mA, and it's much easier to program the 4 slots independently than it was with the Technoline.
Modes are charge, discharge, test, cycle and break-in, with test being charge, capacity measure and recharge, cycle being a specified number of charge/discharge cycles, and break-in being a timed 1.6 x specified capacity charge at low rate for new or long unused cells.


Ljerams:
It's not uncommon to get the odd duff cell in a pack of 4. If you use one bad cell with 3 good ones, the bad one runs flat first, then the other 3 start to force current through it. That damages it, so it runs flat even sooner next time.
Ideally, you should charge and discharge the 4 cells individually a couple of times before use for real. That way you can match cells of the same actual capacity (what you get from a set used together depends on how good the worst cell is). Also bad cells will often recover after a couple of charges if they haven't had the other cells in a battery forcing current through them.
This is why some of us spend money on expensive chargers.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: fred the great on April 20, 2008, 06:40:14 am
There is really no way I can tell if a new battery is duff but  the GP Pack Charger seemed to have become erratic. Of course it may actually have been a duff battery issue. I did however replace the batteries with identical ones and with no improvement of note.

Confusing wot ::-)

My simple solution was to buy a  reliable well known brand and so far the Sony Pack is proving to be OK. The charger is a much better design ;)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Wombat on April 25, 2008, 07:44:49 am
I've been happily using an Ansmann Energy 16 for quite a while now, but like others, have had about enough of high self-discharge rates on normal NiMh's, and have gone over to using Eneloops for most things.  The older lower capacity NiMh's seem to have a better self discharge rate, most notably some 2200mAh Ansmann ones.  I use radio controlled models, with a variety of battery packs, as well as separate cells for appliance like lights and GPS's. cameras etc, so I've bought a Graupner Ultramat 15 pack charger, which is exteremly configurable, and will charge at up to 8 amps!  You can set all sorts of parameters, including the delta peak voltage.  This can charge lead acid, NiCd, NiMh (and hybrid) and Li-ion or Li-Po batteries.  A bit of an investment, but if you do lots of "stuff" like wot I do, a worthwhile one.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: eck on July 18, 2008, 06:16:38 pm
Yesterday I bought an Energizer Accu charger with 4 AA NiMh batteries, 2000 mAh. The bumph says they should reach full charge in up to 8 hours. It's now at least 14 hours and the wee green lights are still on, indicating that they are still charging.  ???

I turned the charger off overnight as the batteries themselves felt hot, and I didn't want to burn the house down. Would this interruption to the charging extend the time needed, or do they maybe take longer to charge first time round?  Or do I just take the whole lot back, claim it's duff and get a refund?

Now look, I know I should have waited and ordered something more sophisticated, like all the stuff mentioned on here, but it was an impulse buy, so please just humour me.  :-[
Thanks for listening. 
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on July 18, 2008, 06:31:02 pm
Take it back - it's cheap and nasty.

Then get yourself over to www.batterylogic.co.uk (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk), get a charger and some Hybrios.

Mine's on the charge at the moment, for the weekend's festivities.  Bloody brilliant thing it is  :)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: rae on July 18, 2008, 08:48:11 pm
Ansmann energey 16 and a variety of Uniross 2300 and 2100 batteries does me fine.   The charger always has a bunch on top up - generally 4 x AAAs and 8 x AAs.   Childrens toys rip through batteries in next to no time, so they get a hell of a workout.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: border-rider on July 18, 2008, 09:08:32 pm
Take it back - it's cheap and nasty.

Then get yourself over to www.batterylogic.co.uk (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk), get a charger and some Hybrios.


On the advice of this thread, I dd just that on Wednesday

They arrived on Thursday :o
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: MSeries on July 18, 2008, 09:23:56 pm
I got a BL700 this week and some hybrios to try
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: drossall on July 19, 2008, 12:31:24 am
I have an Ansmann Energy 4 and it's a massive improvement on my old basic charger.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 03, 2008, 07:08:08 pm
I'm a rechargeable battery virgin but I need to get up to speed. My new digital camera eats batteries like I eat mini eggs. The instruction book says rechargeable AA Ni-MH and not to use Ni-Cd.

Fuji do do their own overnight battery charger for £12.99 with 4 batteries but I bet I can get something as good or better for less money with your recommendations. Ideally I'd like a solar powered one but that might be asking too much. Is Battery Logic my way forward? And are Hybrios ok to use in my camera? (I don't want the science, I just want a yes or no  ;D because I'm on holiday this week and I refuse to learn anything).
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: bobajobrob on August 03, 2008, 07:35:32 pm
Fuji do do their own overnight battery charger for £12.99 with 4 batteries but I bet I can get something as good or better for less money with your recommendations.

I have the Technoline BL-700 from batterylogic.co.uk (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp). I'm very happy with it and it hasn't cooked any batteries yet. I haven't seen anything that offers better value for money in terms of features and quality.

Hybrios should be fine with your camera. I remember my old Casio QV-R40 camera stated not to use rechargeables, but I used them anyway and it was fine.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on August 03, 2008, 08:00:04 pm
Kirst, if you don't want to spring for a thirty quid battery charger (which I can well understand if you're not a Kit Geek like wot I am) then get thee to Maplins, where they're offering a free fast charger with every pack of Uniross rechargeable batteries.  Including Hybrios  :)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: fruitcake on August 03, 2008, 08:28:06 pm
Plenty more learning about NiMH, NiCad and Li-ion batteries to be had at
Batteries in a Portable World. A handbook on rechargeable batteries for non-engineers (http://www.buchmann.ca/)

Particularly useful info on why you should not charge them til they're hot, the importance of periodically cycling a battery and why you should not let them run down all the way to brown out.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 03, 2008, 08:28:54 pm
I don't mind paying for a decent charger and I will let this be the start of me gradually replacing all my batteries with rechargeables. Ann Summers goods go through batteries very quickly.

This forum is so helpful about so many things.  :D
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on August 03, 2008, 10:12:15 pm
Ann Summers goods go through batteries very quickly.

You need to consider going mains powered (http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=1993)  ;)

Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Cunobelin on August 03, 2008, 10:17:51 pm
Presumably it functions well on  AC or DC?
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on August 03, 2008, 10:18:48 pm
::-)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: rower40 on August 03, 2008, 10:25:21 pm
What all the blokes here are thinking, but none (till me) brave enough to say....

This thread is useless without pictures.

(Fruitless search for smiley.)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Charlotte on August 03, 2008, 10:31:14 pm
Of what, dear heart?
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 06, 2009, 09:50:58 pm
Last year, following your recommendations, I bought a BL700 and numerous Uniross rechargeable batteries from Battery Logic, and it's all been great until tonight. I fully charged 2 AA batteries last week, stuck them in my bike light and stuck that in my pannier until tonight when I needed it. The light lasted about 5 minutes and when I put them back in the charger tonight, one is charging fine and the other one isn't even registering on the charger. The charger just doesn't know it's there. I've tried both batteries in all 4 compartments and all the compartments register one of the batteries and none of them register the other one. Do you know why this might happen and is there any way I can fix it?

I am having no bike light luck tonight - my bloody Ixon fell off and burst open and I had to scrabble around in the dark to get the batteries up and now it won't work at all. Stupid Revolution bikes with their stupid funny shaped frames and handlebars - won't take bottle cages, everything on the handlebars is precarious, cobbles work things loose, gah gah gah.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Polar Bear on October 06, 2009, 10:15:05 pm
Dead battery.   I had one last week.   It died totally unexpectedly.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: drossall on October 06, 2009, 11:20:29 pm
Dead battery.

+1. I'm in a stage of replacing many of mine. They only last so long (although a year sounds quite short unless you have been using them very often).
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: tonycollinet on October 07, 2009, 12:46:39 am
I've revitalised a couple by putting them in a less intelligent fast charge and blasting some charge in whether it wants it or not (which gets the BL to at least recognise them), - then using the BL700 in its charge/discharge mode.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Bledlow on October 07, 2009, 11:38:33 am
Dead battery.

+1. I'm in a stage of replacing many of mine. They only last so long (although a year sounds quite short unless you have been using them very often).
Yeah. I have two deadish (greatly reduced capacity) AAs, each from a different set of 4. Ah well, the GPS takes 3.

The blast with stupid charger then charge/discharge cycle seems to do a partial recovery, but not always. Eventually they're irrecoverable.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: mattc on October 07, 2009, 12:04:33 pm
I think 1/4 of my AA Hybrids* died this weekend, hardly used, maybe 6 montsh old. Dinotte went into energy-save mode, took batteries upto charger; 0V across one, other 3 about as expected.

Bad ride for batteries - on the first night leg 1 of my 4xAA holder thingys burst. :(

Some strategy rethinks required here ...



*as recommended on this very forum, you gits!
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: chris n on October 07, 2009, 12:10:15 pm
Some strategy rethinks required here ...

Like what: carry spares?
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: clarion on October 07, 2009, 12:12:56 pm
I always carry spares.  On my slightly extended homeward ride last night, I needed to replace 2xAAAs in my Smart Bspoke, and 4xAAs in my Hope Vision 1.  No problem.  All charged up when I got back home & new spares put inside the high-tech insulating device (one of Butterfly's handkerchiefs ;D ) before setting off this morning :)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: mattc on October 07, 2009, 12:42:04 pm
Some strategy rethinks required here ...

Like what: carry spares?

:-)

The hybrids were in the spare holder thingy. And the AAs in the broken holder ended up in Ross' GPS, when he found 4 of his spares were too empty.

I meant carrying stuff that almost definitely won't fail + spares,
 rather than stuff that may well fail + spares!
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 07, 2009, 01:19:38 pm
Last winter I used Energiser hybros in my fenix and they were fine. could get about 2.5hrs  of full light out of them.

Dark evenings kicking in, just starting to use lights to ride home. Hmm, this light is rubbish on the dark lanes near home, I could swear it was fine last winter.

I think the damn batteries are dead.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Valiant on October 07, 2009, 07:13:44 pm
If anyone's interested, I have just brought bunch of Uniross 1hr Auto Stop Intelligent Fast Chargers that work with AA and AAA, and come with 4x 2700mah batteries and both a mains and car charger for £16. If anyone wants any let me know. Seems to work quite nicely.

Tis this one Battery Logic UK - Uniross One Hour battery charger - U0142250 (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/Uniross-one-hour-battery-charger-u0142250.asp)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Wowbagger on October 13, 2009, 09:45:43 pm
I think the BL700 sometimes is too sensitive about "dead" batteries. I've had a few which have left the word "null" on the display but when I've put them in a cheap, hard-hitting charger, they have revived.

It seems to happen if a device is allowed to run longer on empty batteries than it perhaps should: if a couple of batteries still have enough charge to get a little light from the Cateye, but the other two are drained, I think the two drained ones will sometimes appear to be dead in the BL700.
Neither I, nor my batteries, have any experience of Ann Summers' products.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Polar Bear on October 13, 2009, 09:49:48 pm
I always discharge my batteries in the BL700 before charging.   It's only older batteries that I have which have been charged in other chargers that have 'null'ed in the BL700.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Wowbagger on October 13, 2009, 09:51:42 pm
I discharge too. But I'm certain that it's over-draining the battery which causes the "null" to appear on the BL700's display.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: bikefish on October 22, 2009, 02:19:19 am
Solar charger  - someone asked earlier. Not sure if sold in UK - but in SE Asia for about $13 GP brand package a solar trickle charger (150ma) with 2 Recyco  AAA 900 ma batteries and adaptor for AA sizes. These batteries are the type that are supposed to hold charge for a year
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: toekneep on October 22, 2009, 08:23:15 am
Another  :thumbsup: for Battery Logic here. I missed this thread completely but I still found myself steered to Battery Logic and Uniross hybrid batteries having done some research. I took Battery Logic at their word and phoned them to talk about batteries. The guy at the other end sounded genuinely happy to explain in great detail, the pros and cons of different battery types and capacities.

Just a very minor word of warning, and it's probably the device rather than the batteries: I put the new Uniross AAA batteries in my travel shaver and it didn't work. I suspected the cheap shaver but then found other batteries worked in it. It turned out that the way in which the outer sleeve wraps around the base of the battery prevented contact with the negative terminals in the shaver.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Mrs Pingu on January 20, 2010, 10:02:51 pm
OK....on recommendation from here I bought a pannier full of Lidl NiMH rechargeables (Tronic). They are gash. Only used them a couple of times and they're barely even good enough to keep in the tv remote for a few weeks!

So having read this thread I'm going to try buying the smart charger and some hybrid batteries.

Can anyone advise on the comparative performance of the Uniross Hybrio vs the 7dayshop 'good to go', given the price difference is £8 vs £4?
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Polar Bear on January 20, 2010, 10:06:38 pm
I seriously recommend the Technoline BL-700.  It will do wonders for your current batteries.

I use Fujicell branded NiMH batteries, 2800mAh AA and 1100mAh AAA rated cells.   I'm very happy with them.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: woollypigs on June 16, 2010, 11:31:31 pm
Nice I now got gadgets that needs AA and AAA batteries, I have been looking at this thread. Therefore I will be getting the BL-700 and some 2100mAh batteries.

Though I wonder if any one had a go at Simon's Bike mounted USB Charger (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6672.msg118648#msg118648) and had success with charging their 2100mAh ? As I would love to be able to do that doing the day while touring.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Tim Hall on June 18, 2010, 08:27:11 am
IIRC Kim has built a gadget. Whether it's Simon's design or not, I've no idea.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: The Mechanic on June 21, 2010, 08:48:01 am
Those guys at battery logic are quick.  I ordered a BL-700 on Thursday afternoon and it arrived Friday morning.  That is good.  I have only used it to refresh the batteries in my house cordless phones at the mo but it seems to have worked OK.  I got four 2100 hybrids with it so will test them out in my garmin on when the current lithiums run out.   
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: MSeries on July 04, 2010, 12:45:24 am
Those guys at battery logic are quick.  I ordered a BL-700 on Thursday afternoon and it arrived Friday morning.  That is good.  I have only used it to refresh the batteries in my house cordless phones at the mo but it seems to have worked OK.  I got four 2100 hybrids with it so will test them out in my garmin on when the current lithiums run out.   
Please let us know how you get on. Hybrios in my Garmin are appalling. I am thinking about trying to get a refund on Battery Logics 28 Day policy, I am very  dissappointed with AA Hybrios
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: TimO on November 10, 2012, 03:56:07 pm
I see that Battery Logic (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/uniross-battery-chargers.asp) are now selling chargers similar to the BL-700, but which have higher charging currents.

The BC-1000 (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-i-charger.asp) looks virtually identical to the BL-700, but can charge at up to 1A with all four batteries, and if you're happy to only charge two, at up to 1.8A.

Now, I suspect these options are probably only a good idea when you're in a rush, and can't wait, but I've just ordered one of these, and some more batteries, since I keep on finding that one charger isn't adequate, when inevitably I find myself needing a mass of batteries charged up now!

I do need to find one of my old cheap and cheerful chargers to give one battery, which was utterly discharged, enough omph that the BL-700 will "see" it, and allow me to use the Refresh system to see if I can get it back into use (the BL-700 won't charge a battery whose output voltage is below 0.9V, because it doesn't realise it's there!)
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Biggsy on November 10, 2012, 09:13:23 pm
For those without another charger.......

Sometimes when four cells are placed in the BL-700 and it fails to see one, it starts to see it some time later if you leave them all in with the other three charging.  I know it's supposed to have an independent circuit for each cell, but some effect seems to be coming from the other cells sometimes.  Maybe it's just the heat?

Before that though, remove and reinsert the "dead" cell a few times.  Just that does the trick sometimes.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: TimO on November 10, 2012, 09:49:38 pm
If the battery is just below the threshold at which the BL700 will see it, the heat from the other batteries may be enough to make that battery produce a little more voltage, or possibly the heating up of the BL700's circuitry may also cause the sensitivity of that part of the electronics to just drift into a regime where it'll be happy.  I suspect this will only work for a battery which is only just missing being "seen", if it's been very heavily discharged, which the one I'm trying to sort out has been, then a more heavy handed approach probably has to be used.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Rhys W on November 10, 2012, 10:20:39 pm
As Peter Kay said when referring to a tv remote that's stopped working - "take 'em out and give 'em a rub!"
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Kim on November 10, 2012, 10:23:25 pm
I've certainly come in from the cold with discharged NiMHs that have benefited from 5 minutes in a trouser pocket before being put on charge...
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: TimO on November 10, 2012, 10:35:49 pm
... I do need to find one of my old cheap and cheerful chargers to give one battery, which was utterly discharged, enough omph that the BL-700 will "see" it, and allow me to use the Refresh system to see if I can get it back into use (the BL-700 won't charge a battery whose output voltage is below 0.9V, because it doesn't realise it's there!)

That did work, although I've never seen the voltage drop so fast in Refresh Mode!  It swapped over to the Charge cycle after less than ten seconds, and prior to that was dropping almost 0.1V/second (whilst only being discharged at 100mA).  It had only been in the other charger for less than half an hour though, so that's hardly surprising.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: StuAff on November 10, 2012, 10:44:43 pm
I see that Battery Logic (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/uniross-battery-chargers.asp) are now selling chargers similar to the BL-700, but which have higher charging currents.

The BC-1000 (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-i-charger.asp) looks virtually identical to the BL-700, but can charge at up to 1A with all four batteries, and if you're happy to only charge two, at up to 1.8A.

Now, I suspect these options are probably only a good idea when you're in a rush, and can't wait, but I've just ordered one of these, and some more batteries, since I keep on finding that one charger isn't adequate, when inevitably I find myself needing a mass of batteries charged up now!

I do need to find one of my old cheap and cheerful charger to give one battery, which was utterly discharged, enough omph that the BL-700 will "see" it, and allow me to use the Refresh system to see if I can get it back into use (the BL-700 won't charge a battery whose output voltage is below 0.9V, because it doesn't realise it's there!)

I got one of those at the end of September- partly to deal with my concerns about the capacities of my existing batteries, and partly because of another battery related issue- the Edge 705 battery seemed to be draining even with my Portapow dual AA USB charger on, so I decided to  go for one of their newer Premium ones, which take three AAs (and solved the issue). Have to say: wish I'd got one of these before. My other charger (Camlink Omega) isn't completely 'dumb', but it's two or four batteries only, AAs or AAAs, not both, gives no indication of capacity, what if one battery needs more charge?....all the extra options and info the BL-1000 gives is very reassuring. It's 'slower' than the Omega, but as others have noted, that's often no bad thing. Brilliant bit of kit, highly recommended.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Valiant on November 11, 2012, 12:23:12 am
Right so my uniross batteries are coming to the end of their lives and it's upgrade time; I need a charger ideally like the B700 but that'll also do PP3s.

Anyone seen such a thing? Where's a good place to buy in bulk as I'm going to need maybe 30x AAAs, 20x AAs and 5x PP3s. Enloops sound ideal.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Biggsy on November 11, 2012, 10:24:32 am
7DayShop Good to Go AA (http://www.7dayshop.com/7dayshop-good-to-go-rechargeable-aa-nimh-batteries-2150-mah-4-pack-in-free-case?cl=157)s are good.  They offer reduced rates for bulk orders.  I just bought ten packs of four - to be ready for the next power cut at home!  £42.90 with free post.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Polar Bear on November 11, 2012, 10:28:50 am
I recall that Ansmann? used to make a charger that did PP3 as well as AA/AAA cells.   Nearly bought one myself a while back.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: handcyclist on November 11, 2012, 10:39:47 am
Alternative smart charger - the Powerex WizardOne (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=217893&doy=19m3&ForceUpdate=Y)
Rather nicer than the Technoline BL-700, even if that's working well.
I've got a bit of a down on the BL-700 as mine managed to cook a set of 2700 AAs severely enough to start to melt its own casing. AAAs won't fit properly now. >:(

According to the instructions with the WizardOne, the best charging rates are in the 2 to 3.5 hour range (for a full charge - 700 to 1250mA for 2500mAh AAs). Too fast and you risk damage, too slow and the end-of-charge detection becomes unreliable.

---------------------

As well as the longer shelf life, the Hybrio type seem to do better at living up to their stated capacity. I've had some over spec, but normal 2700 AAs down to 2300 or lower (as shown on BL-700).


"Hybrio type" = Uniross Hybrio, GP Recyko, Sanyo Eneloop, Ansmann MaxE
plus various others advertised as "pre-charged" or "ready to use" from Synergy, Duracell, Camlink, Hama, Powerrman, Powergee ...
They are all about the same capacity (2100 AA, 800 AAA) and apparently there are only 2 or 3 manufacturers, despite the multitude of brand names.

Another vote for the Powerex Wizard One.

Available from ebay.de for £46 delivered.

It's the dogs danglies - individual battery charging routines, new battery 'moulding' and refresh/analyze for recovery and battery matching. 12v power supply so you could use it in a vehicle.

Buy once, buy good and get more out of your batteries.

Sorry Sam, doesn't do PP3s.
Title: Re: AA/AAA battery charger
Post by: Biggsy on November 11, 2012, 10:55:29 am
Interesting PP3 chargers on eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/dsc/i.html?_sadis=200&_ipg=50&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sacat=0&_samihi=&_samilow=&_fpos=&_ftrt=901&_udhi=&_oexkw=&_sabdhi=&_udlo=&_ftrv=1&_sabdlo=&_adv=1&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_okw=&_nkw=pp3+charger+independent&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=)

I included the word "independent" in the search string (for descriptions and titles) to hopefully find some decent ones that charge each cell independently.  I'd use one of these for PP3s, and a BL700 separately for AAs and AAAs.

Also consider non-rechargeable lithium PP3s for low-drain devices like smoke alarms.