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Cygolite charger? can I use the Nicad charger on a NiMH?

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Cygolite charger? can I use the Nicad charger on a NiMH?

Old 12-15-04, 12:27 PM
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Gojohnnygo.
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Cygolite charger? can I use the Nicad charger on a NiMH?

Can I use the Nicad charger on a NiMH battery? Both are 6 volts and this is the replacement battery for my light.

One more how long for the first charge 24 hours same as the Nicad?

Cygolite night rover xtra is the light I own.
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Old 12-15-04, 01:39 PM
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A few years ago I read something about this. Generally, you can't use a NiCad charger for NiMH. There is a difference in the way the two types of batteries charge efficiently (little pulses instead of steady current). Chargers that can be used for both have a switch to select the type. For instance, I have a Radio Shack charger that will do either, but you do have to flip the selector switch. I suppose it is always possible that someone could develop a charger that could automatically sense the battery type, but I'm not sure how it could sense the difference. I certainly wouldn't try it unless I had definite knowledge of such capability.
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Old 12-15-04, 01:48 PM
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Thanks Raymond, I think I will give Cygolite a call. I'll post the news here. I don't want to burn the house down or ruin the battery.

Thanks again John
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Old 12-15-04, 02:05 PM
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A quick call to cygolite solved the problem, They said to charge the NiMH at-least 8 to 14 hours but no more than 14 and the old Nicad charger is safe to use on it.
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Old 12-15-04, 02:09 PM
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I forgot to asked how did like the cold temps this AM. I just got to pick.
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Old 12-15-04, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RainmanP
A few years ago I read something about this. Generally, you can't use a NiCad charger for NiMH. There is a difference in the way the two types of batteries charge efficiently (little pulses instead of steady current). Chargers that can be used for both have a switch to select the type. For instance, I have a Radio Shack charger that will do either, but you do have to flip the selector switch. I suppose it is always possible that someone could develop a charger that could automatically sense the battery type, but I'm not sure how it could sense the difference. I certainly wouldn't try it unless I had definite knowledge of such capability.
someone correct me if im wrong but i believe what you are talking about is AC current and DC current.

AC (Alternating Current), is the type that comes from the outlets in your house, and the waveforms are in pulses.
DC (Direct Current) is a steady direct current the waves are steady and do not change rapidly like AC. DC is found in batteries and your car's electrical system. When you use a home charger to charge a battery, such as your light's battery, the charger converts the AC current into the DC current of your battery. When you charge from a car charger to a battery, it is faster because it doesnt waste energy converting from AC to DC. The energy wasted is dissapated in the form of heat.

hope that helps
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Old 12-16-04, 07:33 AM
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Thanks for the primer, but, no, it had nothing to do with AC vs DC. My understanding at the time was that by providing the power in short pulses the charger could "push" higher amperage without overheating the battery. The modern generation of fast chargers apparently use a different balance of duration/power to accomplish charging at a faster rate.

This was a few years ago when NiMH rechargables were just getting popular. Perhaps the differences have been overcome in some batteries. Even now, though, all the chargers I have seen that will charge both NiCad and NiMH have a selector switch.
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Old 12-16-04, 08:15 AM
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If it's a trickle charger (8-12 hours) there should be no problem. NiMH is safe to leave on trickle charge indefinitely. NiCad will actually get pretty messed up if you leave it trickle charging for weeks, but NiMH is supposed to be able to handle it fine.

If it's a rapid charger, depends on the charger. But for a multicell pack it's probably not a rapid charger since it's difficult to properly rapid-charge a pack.

The nicest chargers use a microprocessor to control them, and use a system called negative-delta-V to be able to rapidly approach max charge and then kick over to trickle mode to top off the battery. If you have one of those, they can do either NiCad or NiMH, the method works well on either.

I don't know why anyone's still using NiCad. NiMH costs hardly any more, has far better characteristics, and NiCad is horribly nasty on the environment, both to manufacture and to dispose of. As far as I can tell, the only reason manufacturers still use NiCad is so that they can charge an unwarranted premium for the upgrade to NiMH, which is a total profit for them since NiMH raw cells cost almost no more, and the chargers are practically identical (maybe ARE identical depending on the charger).
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