Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: jogler on November 14, 2010, 09:19:44 pm

Title: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: jogler on November 14, 2010, 09:19:44 pm
for AAA & AA batteries,please.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: andrew_s on November 14, 2010, 09:36:52 pm
The Technoline BL-700 (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-BL700.asp) is the best value good charger. There's also the Maha WizardOne (http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?moduleno=217893) which is nicer and does faster charge rates, but costs more.
Both do the important things - charge cells one at a time, proper intelligent charge termination, discharge, capacity reporting etc.

If you use the batteries fast enough that you are charging every week or oftener, you are best off with standard high capacity (2800or 2900) NiMh from Vapex,7dayshop or someone (there's an awful lot more brand names than there are manufacturers).
If you charge more rarely (ordinary rear light,spares) you are better off with the 2100 long life or pre charged cells (Eneloop, Hybrio or whatever)

You should run the batteries through 2 or 3 charge cycles in the charger before first use to make sure you haven't a duff cell and to get them activated properly. Don't reply on the advertised "ready for use" nature of the 2100 long life cells.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Crumbling Nick on November 14, 2010, 10:31:58 pm
A word of caution about treatment of new batteries if your requirement is for infrequent recharging.

IME, ordinary NiMH cells have a very low self discharge rate when brand new. They have literally held a good charge for a couple of years or more after the first charge. Recharge them a few times and this is no longer true. I suspect that the difference between the "pre-charged" cells and ordinary NiMH is less than the marketing hype would have us believe.

I shall wait for some robust experimental data before I am convinced that cycling "pre-charged" cells before use is beneficial. My experience of these cells is that they work as advertised if you use them naively.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Biggsy on November 15, 2010, 08:28:20 am
Do get something as good as the BL-700 charger.  Cheap chargers are a false economy as they don't get the best from your batteries, and you'll be throwing some batteries away prematurely.

Brand of battery: I find doesn't consitently make any difference, in terms of capacity and reliability.  Some individual cells are better/worse than others, but that goes for all the brands I've tried.

Quote
If you use the batteries fast enough that you are charging every week or oftener, you are best off with standard high capacity (2800or 2900) NiMh from Vapex,7dayshop or someone (there's an awful lot more brand names than there are manufacturers).

I agree with this, except I'd say you're best off with standard high capacity if you are charging every two or three weeks, rather than every week, especially if stored at cooler than usual room temperatures.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Notsototalnewbie on December 13, 2010, 10:49:49 am
I have a question about the BL-700. Do you think it's alright to leave plugged in, doing its thing while I'm out and it's unattended?

Signed, A. Worrier.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: frankly frankie on December 13, 2010, 10:59:50 am
I place it inside a porcelain dish.  Apart from that, I sometimes forget about it and leave it on for a week ...
(I've had mine for several problem-free years by the way)

I suspect that the difference between the "pre-charged" cells and ordinary NiMH is less than the marketing hype would have us believe.

The marked capacities on the highest-capacity standard NiMHs is invariably optimistic.  No doubt these capacities have been proven in laboratory conditions, but in the real world they seem to be plateauing at around 2550mAh according to the Technoline charger and measured runtimes.

Of the hybrid types, the marked capacity (which is generally lower) seems pretty spot on when measured in the same way.

So that is one difference.  And it even applies to the Ansmann Max E+ 2500mAh hybrids, which therefore (at a price) offer the best of both worlds.

However it is generally more cost-effective to buy 8x cheap cells and identify and reject the weakest 4, than to buy 4x expensive cells (which after all may still include a dud).
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Biggsy on December 13, 2010, 11:04:56 am
I have a question about the BL-700. Do you think it's alright to leave plugged in, doing its thing while I'm out and it's unattended?

It's not something I worry about, but there might be slight risk of fire if any gross overheating happens with the batteries or charger - if not placed on a dish or something, like Frankie suggests.

I turn mine off after charging has finished to save a tiny bit of electricty.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Tom B on December 13, 2010, 11:22:06 am
Quote
I have a question about the BL-700. Do you think it's alright to leave plugged in, doing its thing while I'm out and it's unattended?

Dear Ms / Mr Worrier

I have done this on many occasions and there has been no sign of overheating or other damage. Even when I failed to brush my hair 41 times or wipe the rim of the toilet bowl with the magic silk cloth while humming 'Singin in the Rain', the BL-700 performed faultlessly. As a result, I may even consider risking leaving the refrigerator on when I go to work.

Yours sincerely

O. Seedy

Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: rafletcher on December 13, 2010, 11:22:48 am
I have a question about the BL-700. Do you think it's alright to leave plugged in, doing its thing while I'm out and it's unattended?

Signed, A. Worrier.

Mine sits on the carpeted floor of the spare room, and charges overnight.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Notsototalnewbie on December 13, 2010, 11:36:05 am
Thanks guys. I am a bit OCD, methinks; I blame my father's obsession with unplugging everything all the time. I'll stick it on a china plate or something.

(Tom B, I was very briefly in Manchester the week before last and thought of you...but alas t'was only a flying visit)
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Hot Flatus on December 13, 2010, 11:41:07 am
I have found Sony branded batteries to be very good. 7dayshop are fine, but they do fall apart after a while. Vapex aaa that I have used seem to leak at the top.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: hbunnet on December 13, 2010, 11:50:26 am
Thanks guys. I am a bit OCD, methinks; I blame my father's obsession with unplugging everything all the time. I'll stick it on a china plate or something.

You are perfectly sensible to think about it, there is a risk but it is very small.   I leave mine on most of the time, and will now put it on a plate as suggested above.

My own obsession is with the multifarious transformers  left plugged in at the wall, it is a faff to turn them off but I do it if leaving the house for more than a day.

I came across a reason to defend our British plumbing the other day.  Here in Norway, you have to leave the heating on all the time for fear of freezing water.  Because they use pressurised water (no storage tank in the loft), it is difficult to drain the system as we can. 

Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: toekneep on December 13, 2010, 12:55:35 pm
I have asked Father Christmas for a BL-700 so I'm hoping. I asked him for one last year though and I didn't get one. Miserable bugger! I've been much gooder this year so fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Wowbagger on December 13, 2010, 01:01:13 pm
I have asked Father Christmas for a BL-700 so I'm hoping. I asked him for one last year though and I didn't get one. Miserable bugger! I've been much gooder this year so fingers crossed.

Oi! Cheeky git! there was a postal strike if you remember. Blame Royal Mail, not me! >:(

I've gopt the BL-700 and it's very good. At the moment I'm thoroughly approving of the latest batch of Uniross batteries (AA, 2.7Ah) for use in the Hope Vision 1.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Adam on December 13, 2010, 02:02:05 pm
Twice in the last year, I've found the BL-700 won't charge up a fully flattened battery, and just shows Null on the display. 

Both times, I've simply put the duff battery into a non intelligent charger for a few hours, put it back into the BL-700 and then it's been fine.  And I hadn't noticed any effect on subsequent overall run times in my Hope 1's using those batteries.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: mattc on December 13, 2010, 02:11:27 pm
Twice in the last year, I've found the BL-700 won't charge up a fully flattened battery, and just shows Null on the display. 

Both times, I've simply put the duff battery into a non intelligent charger for a few hours, put it back into the BL-700 and then it's been fine.  And I hadn't noticed any effect on subsequent overall run times in my Hope 1's using those batteries.
This may be a red herring, but when I had that problem, the BL-700 accepted the battery in a different slot!
[ I wonder if there has to be a detectable voltage present before the BL-700 will choose to charge. The same logic might prevent charging a battery inserted backwards? ]
I generally try not to flatten my rechargeables, so this hasn't happened often.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Kim on December 13, 2010, 08:45:36 pm
On a related note, many thanks to woolypigs of this parish for indirectly bringing this one to my attention:

Extreme LCD Fast AA & AAA battery charger + USB charging (http://www.batteryvault.co.uk/extreme-lcd-fast-aa--aaa-battery-charger--usb-charging-236-p.asp)

Not as nice as the BL-700, but has the rare combination of individual charging channels and being able to run from a 5V (USB) supply.  Hopefully in combination with appropriate unobtanium quantum accelerators to provide plenty of 5V power that should cover my requirements for charging things while touring.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: andrew_s on December 14, 2010, 01:58:42 pm
I have a question about the BL-700. Do you think it's alright to leave plugged in, doing its thing while I'm out and it's unattended?

Signed, A. Worrier.
I had a BC-900 (more expensive version of BL-700) (http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/technoline/technoline-i-charger.asp) that cooked itself and a set of batteries one time. It got hot enough that the batteries were bulging, the top side of the charger casing was deformed, and there were char marks on the underside.
It wasn't in a porcelain dish, but the house didn't burn down.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: andrew_s on December 14, 2010, 02:02:49 pm
On a related note, many thanks to woolypigs of this parish for indirectly bringing this one to my attention:
Extreme LCD Fast AA & AAA battery charger + USB charging (http://www.batteryvault.co.uk/extreme-lcd-fast-aa--aaa-battery-charger--usb-charging-236-p.asp)

so 6 hours for 4x2500 AA is Extreme Fast, is it?  ???

(about right for anything running off USB though)
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Kim on December 14, 2010, 02:20:58 pm
so 6 hours for 4x2500 AA is Extreme Fast, is it?  ???

To be fair, I don' t think the 'Extreme' is referring to the charging speed, but merely a branding.


Quote
(about right for anything running off USB though)

Indeed.  What I'd describe as proper fast chargers need Rich Juicy Amps at 12V to complete the charge in an hour or so.  On a bike, that would mean carrying sufficient lithium-ion cells to store enough energy for the whole charge including efficiency losses - distinctly suboptimal.

This one will draw up to 1000mA at 5V.  That's about right for what you're likely to extract from a hub dynamo, given efficient rectification and the all-important switching regulator.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: rower40 on December 14, 2010, 08:30:57 pm
This one will draw up to 1000mA at 5V.

Is 1000mA what us Electrical / Power Engineers tend to call...

An AMP ?
 8)

Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: fd3 on November 24, 2019, 08:36:44 am
Thread resurrecting as things change in 9 years (I'm looking more to supply batteries to three children (I have never produced as much battery waste!) as opposed to lighting the bike and running accessories).

Not thread derailing from Greenbank (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=114139.0), as I don't need D cells recharging

Following the advice from
Try one of these old topics for starters:

Alternatives to Technoline BL-700N? (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=110328.0)
Battery testers and duff batteries (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111547.0)
battery charger . . . (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=85120.0)
AA/AAA battery charger (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1352.0)
Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger.. (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=40525.0)

I have read through the topics and thought this one is most appropriate.

Could I have some thoughts on? 
wajcgac suggests the Youshiko YC6000, is this the 2020 replacement for the BL-700 (it appears to get better reviews)?

Enloop Pros or Vapex?

Can anyone suggest a started guide for "how to maintain your rechargable batteries" and "which are best for which use".  I have seen suggestion that 2900mAh for 1-3 week recharges and 2100mAh for less common recharges.  Would a low-self-discharge cell like the 900mAh Vapex be appropriate for remote controls (TV) or should those still use disposables.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: robgul on November 24, 2019, 10:40:29 am
Totally off-topic but the appearance of the this thread and OP reminded me of Jogler (Alan) who was an active member, and I'd like to think of him as a great friend, here until his untimely passing in 2014.

Rob
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: fd3 on November 24, 2019, 12:52:00 pm
A lot of that in the air for me.  The last couple of people I started to write to had been dead for a year or two; you try to google their contact details and find an obit.
Title: Re: Recommend what type of rechargeable batteries & battery charger..
Post by: Polar Bear on November 24, 2019, 02:50:32 pm
Totally off-topic but the appearance of the this thread and OP reminded me of Jogler (Alan) who was an active member, and I'd like to think of him as a great friend, here until his untimely passing in 2014.

Rob

Absolutely.

Wonderful company and much missed.