Author Topic: AA/AAA battery charger  (Read 20202 times)

Charlotte

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AA/AAA battery charger
« 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  :(
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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #1 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.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Craig

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #2 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.
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.

Wowbagger

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #3 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:
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Charlotte

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #4 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.  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?
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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #5 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.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

bikenerd

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #6 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.

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #7 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.

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #8 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

It didn't look at all like that in the photographs

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #9 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).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #10 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:


mattc

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #11 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?)
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andygates

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #12 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.
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tiermat

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #13 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
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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #14 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
It didn't look at all like that in the photographs

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #15 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.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Biggsy

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #16 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.

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2008, 07:09:58 pm »
Alternative smart charger - the Powerex WizardOne
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.

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #18 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.

 

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #19 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.

tonycollinet

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2008, 01:38:43 pm »
I think these are the equivlalent of hybrios - available from 7 day shop.

Biggsy

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #22 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...
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mattc

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Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #23 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>
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: AA/AAA battery charger
« Reply #24 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...!