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  1. #1
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    Need a charger...

    I've read a bunch of posts on these forums regarding the excellence of Maha charges, etc., and I'm planning to upgrade my el-cheapo 4-cell charger.

    I still would appreciate advice on a good option for a simple 8-cell charger that will juice up my AA and AAAs, and not requiring "pairing" of batteries, meaning that you can load up the charger with batts of different residual charges, and it'll do them all fine. There are lot of similar sounding options with significant price differences, and I'm not sure what to make of it all.

    I won't need any fancy discharge or speed-charge options (unless you can present a compelling reason to do so!). I saw some with LCD displays on batteryspace.com; was wondering how helpful those were as well.

    (I use standard Duracell NiMH AA/AAA batteries.)

    Thanks
    =======================================
    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  2. #2
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Definitely get a charger with discharge and refresh capability. This will help restore batteries that you thought were dead, and it will help squeeze the maximum capacity from new batteries.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

    The official Canadian dealer of TW-Bents recumbent bicycles!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    What is your budget?
    Zero_Enigma

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  5. #5
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    $50-$100. I'll pay more if it's worth it. That link has way too many choices, once again.
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    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  6. #6
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    +1 on the Maha C-9000 model. Yes it is 4xAA/AAA but you can select your charge rate up to 2000mA/2.0A if you're in a real hurry.

    The Maha company are considered by many as the leaders in battery charging technology. If memory is correct they are in thier 7th generation of battery chargers right now. These guys know thier stuff.

    I got my C-9000 at www.paulsfinest.com (no affiliation) for ~$57ish I forgot but less then $60 CDN. I only got the charger alone and a pack of the Maha 2100 Low Self Discharge (LSD) batteries which I've not used yet.

    Depending on how critical you need on your cells the Maha C-9000 may/may not be for you. It's not to say that if you want it for a normal charger you can't do that. It's default charge is 1000mA chamber the cell and walk away and the charger starts the charge at 1000mA or you can program how much charge you want into each cell. If you have a lot of cells I think the C-9000 would be good for you as you can tell which cells are good and which are bad based on thier capacity left which the C-9000 can diagnose (sp) and give you the details so you can quickly mark which cells are good or bad. This charger has 4 independant chambers.

    The cheaper alternative tot he C-9000 is another company called Lacrosse. I don't have any experience with them but I think the max you can charge is 1000mA/1.0A.

    If you're just starting fresh with a new charger and new cells and totally throwing out all you old stuff to start a new well I would think the Maha 80x series would be nice. They have one that can charge 8 cells at once each with independant charging chambers at 2000mA/2.oA I think. Check the Thomas link the other poster listed. The slower version of the 80x series is something like 4hrs on slow charge which is a balance of speed and gentleness on your cells. If you're using the charger to charge cells for a DIY or bike light that uses AA's I and have lots of cells a charger that can charge 8 cells would be a good idea. Like if you own a Dinotte 200L You can charge up 8 cells at once then load them up in thier holders and use one while having the other as a spare for long night rides of ~6hrs then come home and charge all 8cells at once to same time for next nights ride or if you're commuting and run your lights all the time in the day and night you can always charge up bulk and be ready to go back in action any time.

    Gotta go. Catching end of the lunar eclipse. Sorry for the rush post.
    Zero_Enigma

  8. #8
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    Is there a reason this charger costs SO much more than the others? I mean, you can get an 8-cell independent charger for $55 or so. (This is part of the reason I'm confused!)
    =======================================
    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    Is there a reason this charger costs SO much more than the others? I mean, you can get an 8-cell independent charger for $55 or so. (This is part of the reason I'm confused!)
    Agarose,

    The reason being is because the charger the other poster posted was a 'combo' deal. Thus why it costed more because it had some other items clumped up together.

    This is the same charger but without the batteries and battery case and what looks like to me some different carrying bag for the charger. http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-...7af77d6tc9kq66

    The link also has free shipping in the USA which is bonus if you live in the USA. Also has a bag as well. $59.97

    http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-...7af77d6tc9kq66

    This is the unit I was talking about before. 8 cell unit with 2hr fast and 4hr slow charge.

    http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/-...7af77d6tc9kq66

    This is the big brother to the above 8 cell unit. 1hr fast/2hr slow charge. It's charging at 2000mA on fast so a 2700mAh battery would take ~1hr and a few mins.

    http://thomasdistributing.com/shop/l...7af77d6tc9kq66

    This is the rival to the C-9000. I picked the C-9000 because of Maha's reputation and good customer support. Lacrosse is a cheaper option which many have picked but they did have some issues with thier older models (firmware v3.2) which had a thermo sensor set high which caused many battery leaks/and charger meltdowns. However the newer v3.3 firmware models people have reported good results. The downside is thier customer support from all I've heard from the treatment the customers got when calling in for thier damaged v3.2 models was piss poor. The customer support was on a don't-tell-need-to-know basis. Unless you mentioned the problem specifically and that you knew of the v3.2 issue the customer support people would not acknowledge such a problem existed if I recall all that I've read online correctly.

    Thomas Distributing the store has an excellent reputation and customer support. I've not bought anything from them before but I have emailed them before and they were quick with and email back ~1-2 days reply. From the reponses I've read online of the people with problems with the items they have bought Thomas has helped them out. In a recent post someone bought a Lacrosse BC-900 but Lacrosse was slow on the replies and I think not really helpful. Thomas stepped in and stepped up by taking the product back if I recall right and issuing a new item when they could have just told the customer to deal with the manufactuer.
    Zero_Enigma

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    I have bought from Pauls Finest before because of the sale they had on the Maha C-9000 in Dec/2007, Canadian (Montreal), I've heard of many good comments from them and also got a recommend from someone at a local tech group, and because I'm one province away the ship time was rather quick. Like only a couple days.
    Zero_Enigma

  11. #11
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    Thanks zero. That's super helpful stuff. I'll likely drop for one of the ones you put up in your links. Greatly appreciated.
    =======================================
    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  12. #12
    Recreational rider
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    I've been happy with my C-9000. I like the fact that the display shows you exactly what capacity your batteries are, so it's easy to tell which individual cells may be underperforming, and by exactly how much below their rated capacity. Yes, it does cost more than the others, but for an information junkie with some 40 or more NiMH cells in total, it's a great tool to have.

    One of my favorite uses has been lifetime prediction in low-use devices. For example, I fully charged a pair of batteries and then put them in one of my TV remotes for exactly two months. I then removed the batteries and put them in the C-9000 and ran a discharge test. They showed about 60% of what they would put out when new, so that tells me that using non-low discharge cells in a remote will mean they'll last around 5 months or so. At some point I'll probably repeat the test with low self discharge cells too, but it's not exactly a high priority for me right now. I'm just one of those people that loves data and knowing exactly how something works, so the C-9000 was right for me, but is probably overkill for 95% of the rest of the world.

  13. #13
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    Thanks guys. I ended up going with the LaCrosse that ZeroEnigma recommended, mostly because it's relatively simple, came with some decent batteries and C/D adapters (which I'll never use likely), and most importantly, because it was on sale. Seemed like a pretty solid deal.
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    Cervelo P2C Dura-Ace 2008

  14. #14
    Proud To Be An American EXCALIBUR's Avatar
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    I also have the Lacrosse BC-900 charger from Amazon.com It's simple to use and works well for me. At $39.99 plus FREE Super Saver Shipping, it's a done deal.
    EXCALIBUR
    2004 Giant Cypress SX 2006 Giant OCR 3

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