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Old 01-16-08, 07:55 PM   #1
tjb
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rechargeable batteries/charger question

first, i want to say this has been one of the most informative forums i've signed on to. I bought a fenix based on the favorable comments here and now i have a estion. i recently bought a pack of eveready 2500 ahm AA's with charger included (Wally world $20) the first time i charged them the 'done' light came on after 6 hrs. first time i used them, in testing, it seemed like they lost charge very quickly. my questions: will it take a few charges to get them up to full charge? is the charger junk? thanks for you response.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:39 PM   #2
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Most bundled chargers at that price are junk. It does not nessessary mean the charger is useless. However there is only so much you can do with a bundle package at that price. Normally the charger is where the skimping comes in. With a poor charger they tend to overheat the cells thus destroying the battery quicker (losing charge/capacity).

Yes from all I have read and also from personal experience it takes a few charging-discharging cycles to 'form' the battery. What that means is that you're teaching the battery basically it's lowest capacity and it's highest capacity. It takes a few cycles to teach the battery that. You can use a charger that has a charge/discharge feature and charge/discharge a few times or use a more advanced charger which can automatically 'form' the battery for you while you go off and do something else.

If you don't have such specialized features on the charger you can always do the old fashion method of charging the cells then using the batteries till they need to be recharged again and do that a few times.

I use a Maha C-9000 which is highly regarded as a very useful/advanced charger while still remaining user friendly for those that don't know how to use all the options and want a charger they can grow with.

The alternative to the Maha is the Lacrosse BC-900. There really arn't too many choices in this part of the market right now. Maha is a leader in the chargers and currently if I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong, and I could be wrong) are in thier 5th - 7th generation of battery chargers. Basically they know thier stuff.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:39 PM   #3
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FWIW, most NiMH batteries need to be cycled a few times before reaching full capacity. Don't overdo it though, as they also last a finite number of charge/discharge cycles.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:46 PM   #4
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www.powerstream.com/nimh.htm Thorough description of the many factors in Nickel metal Hydride charging. Many sensitive factors.
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Old 01-16-08, 08:47 PM   #5
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FWIW, most NiMH batteries need to be cycled a few times before reaching full capacity. Don't overdo it though, as they also last a finite number of charge/discharge cycles.
+1

I'll have to get the Maha C-9000 manual later and check the charging maintance schedule on it. It says on there the times you should so call 'tune up' your batteries if you will. Much like cars/bikes you need to maintain them.
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Old 01-16-08, 10:42 PM   #6
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NiMH battery charging

Initial charge - slow, over 14-16 hours.

Subsequent charge - they like fast charges with a charger that terminates other than by temperature only.

Maintenance - Fully discharge every 3 months. Do not leave on charger, take off when fully charged. Try not to top off batteries that have almost a full charge.

Source: BatteryUniversity.com
http://batteryuniversity.com/partone-14A.htm
http://batteryuniversity.com/partone-11.htm

Last edited by dekindy; 01-17-08 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 01-17-08, 12:13 AM   #7
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I think that the Eneloop battery/charger package would have been better if your Wally world has it.
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Old 01-17-08, 01:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjb View Post
first, i want to say this has been one of the most informative forums i've signed on to. I bought a fenix based on the favorable comments here and now i have a estion. i recently bought a pack of eveready 2500 ahm AA's with charger included (Wally world $20) the first time i charged them the 'done' light came on after 6 hrs. first time i used them, in testing, it seemed like they lost charge very quickly. my questions: will it take a few charges to get them up to full charge? is the charger junk? thanks for you response.
What is very quickly?

There have been bad batches on Energizer 2500s. I had some and they would lose their charge in a matter of hours. Perhaps you got some of this bad batch.
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Old 01-17-08, 05:04 PM   #9
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I got the BC-900. I did a few searches on how to recharge rechargeables. And this thing is working great! It does everything I want. Looking forward on saving a bunch on batteries over the year. The $20 you spent on the Wally World thing could have been better spent on the LaCrosse or the Maha.
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Old 01-17-08, 08:05 PM   #10
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What do you suggest as far as batteries goes?
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Old 01-17-08, 08:20 PM   #11
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What do you suggest as far as batteries goes?
Sanyo, Duracell 2650's, Powerex, Ray-O-Vac.

The hybrid/eneloop batteries don't have the capacity of regular rechargeables yet and my group always does 2 hour rides so they need to be recharged each time I ride anyway.

I am going to replace my non-rechargeable batteries with hybrid/eneloops when my blinkie light batteries expire.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:06 PM   #12
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Ah, so Eneloop's for blinkies/taillights is a good as they're slow release?

How are the batteries that come with the BC-900?

Last edited by hxcxor; 01-17-08 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 01-17-08, 09:32 PM   #13
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Ah, so Eneloop's for blinkies/taillights is a good as they're slow release?

How are the batteries that come with the BC-900?
That is what I am thinking. I will do a post here to confirm that when I actually need to make the purchase, unless someone else posts positive comments in the meantime.

The LaCrosse rechargeable batteries are good AFAIK. I would not purchase them since there are several brands that consistently test better and are user recommended. In fact, I have never seen anyone actually promoting their virtues. The only one that I saw tested was the 2000 and it charged to 93% of claimed capacity, which is far below the top brands. A lot of the top brands charge to over 100% claimed capacity. There is probably someone that has actual experience that can comment. The ones that came with mine charged very close to claimed capacity but I have not had occasion to use them yet.

That reminds me that they are higher capacity than the older, used Ray-O-Vacs that I use for my Radio Shack scanner. It is time to get them out and try them!
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Old 01-18-08, 08:56 PM   #14
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I also just ordered the La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger from amazon.com It was $39.99 with Free Super Saver Shipping.
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Old 01-21-08, 02:41 PM   #15
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well

i've since discharged & re charged a couple of times & i'm getting 1:50 out of them. since most of our night rides are around 2 hrs i'll just carry a couple of spares & i'll be fine. thanks for all the reply's. great base of knowledge here.
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Old 01-23-08, 06:54 PM   #16
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Regarding batteries, I've tried Sanyo 2700s, Duracell 2650s and Rayovak hybrids, and the Sanyos have substantially outlasted the other two brands -- as confirmed by battery tests I've seen.
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Old 01-24-08, 12:23 AM   #17
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Regarding batteries, I've tried Sanyo 2700s, Duracell 2650s and Rayovak hybrids, and the Sanyos have substantially outlasted the other two brands -- as confirmed by battery tests I've seen.
True. In my testing the Sanyo 2700s hold their voltage higher under load.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:36 AM   #18
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Regarding batteries, I've tried Sanyo 2700s, Duracell 2650s and Rayovak hybrids, and the Sanyos have substantially outlasted the other two brands -- as confirmed by battery tests I've seen.
Fry's Electronics did not have the Sanyo's so I am stucj with using inferior Duracells and Rayovac's. I am getting 2 solid hours on turbo using the Duracells. It may take a few cycles to reach full capacity.
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