Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Batteries or Power Packs

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Mar 18, 2007, 1:43 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 33

I am veyr interested in getting a battery analyzer right now. I take photos with my Canon S2-IS mainly at two major yearly events then the camera pretty much hides away for the most part unless there are some road trips and such. I've amassed about 30-40 NIMH and NICAD batteries but majority (95%) are NIMH.

I have some NICADS dating back around 1992ish I think. For those in Toronto, Canada that remember Consumers Distributing the walk in catalog store well congrats you're old now. :lol:My NICAD's still work like a charm.

Perhaps it is best I explain the batteries I have so those like SilverFox and such can help me out. Unless specified the batteries areNIMH. Nearly all my cells (90%) are all AA's, AAA's,with only couple that are C cell NICADs.I own the following:

Dynacharge XP (NICAD)

Dynacharge (NICAD)

Generic (Green color, from China) 1100 mAh

Energizer 1850 mAh

Energizer 2500 mAh

Duracell 2650 mAh

Ultra 2500 mAh ( www.tigerdirect.ca -> Search Ultra AA )

I used to use the Isun Battpak (able to charge via DC/AC/Solar) which was chambered for 10 xAA/AAA and which I found out later could do N cells as well. It was a dumb charger dispite havig status lights for when the batteries were ready via the red/green light. That was my first NIMH charger. Before then I used to use the old Dynacharger for NICAD only before using the Battpak which allowed NIMH/NICAD.

I soon retired the Battpak for the Ultra 5hr battery charger. I got a combo deal on it and it did list smart charger capabilities with -dV, alkaline protection, terminal charge when complete, and something else I forgot. I hope I got that right. You can check the charger with the link above. I charges 5hrs with independant charging chambers which I liked for the right mix of speed to gentleness. I used to charge my 2500's in about 20hrs on the Isun Battpak.

Well some of my batteries seem to be losing thier charge a bit and also for all the long uses on the cells with flashlights, radios, cameras, fans, bikelights, etc. I would like to get the best analyzer for my money to see which cells are near dead, half dead, or to check against the manufactuers claims on new cells I buy. Any low cells I'll just put them in the Isun Battpak and attach the slow 2.2W solar panel to them and use them for power up low priority sutff like aradio or temp flashlight when I don't need it to be critical.

Now I already know of the BC-900 heating issues and the new firmware 3.3v loaded on them. I still like thier packaging on thier charger deal but having a bin load of cells myself is optional to have more. Now I know MAHA''s been through a few generations already. I've seen and followed up on them via www.imaging-resource.com and www.thomas-distributing.com and like some of the features then have withthe revival of dead/not-charging cells. I've already gotten a few cells that won't charge on the Ultra charger now. Some of my 1100's, Dynacharge, and 1850's. Now I always keep up on the battery charging to top them off. I either charge my whole collection every 2weeks or 3-4 weeks. Right now I am 'jump' charging the cells that the charge flashes to reject by sticking a working battery in then quickly pulling that cell out and puttting the one that the charger won't charge in.

I know the 1850's are good. I hardly put too many cycles on them and never drained them to zero voltage dead before charging them. They keep thier ~1.2v for about 2 weeks fine after coming off the charger at ~1.42v - 1.47v when I checked on the DMM. Oh yes, my current charger does not have a discharge feature so I use the Madcatz Gameboy Advance battery pack charger which happens to have a charge/discharge button on it and happens to fit the AA's perfectly in them and that's how I discharge but that's only 2xAA at a time.

Ok, so now that I've given a little bit about what I have and use and my cells I would like to know which charger is best for me right now? Which is easier to use?

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post. I figured some background on my stuff would help out more.


zero_enigma is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Apr 11, 2007, 7:25 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 31

(After not so good experience with two other 'high tech' chargers) - I own the Maha MH-C9000 WizardOne and am very happy with it.
donato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 12, 2007, 9:07 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 203

I own both and would choose the C9000 if I had to get rid of one of them. More features and a better display.

I sent 4 Powerex 2700 mAh cells through a Refresh/Analyze mode on the C9000. All cells were between 2740 mAhand 2790 mAhat the end of the cycle
coppertrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 2007, 4:16 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 84

I bought one of the MAHA chargers as soon as it came out. In about a month one of the ports failed to recognize whena battery inserted. I emailed Thomas Distributing, and their reply was that a replacement had already been shipped (!) along with a paid return shipping label. The second one is several months old now and working fine.

So with the MAHA you are getting a quality charger/analyzer that will help you keep your batteries in good shape - and outstanding service in the company behind it.

The charger performs very nicely, and the conditioning and break-in modes resurrect cells you might otherwise discard. Display is very easy to read, and cells keep nice and cool with good spacing and a little bar on the bottom that props the charger up.

The only changes I would make to the charger is to add a start button, so that you can change your mind about programming without taking the battery out and re-inserting it, and an option for turning the display off at night. It's a pretty bright night-light, and my wife hates it. When Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.:-)
docmoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 23, 2007, 7:28 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 23

I have three of the La Crosse BC-900 chargers. I bought them so I can charge many cells at one time.

The BC-900 is an excellent charger with the exception that it really needs a fan to blow on the cells while charging. I had a charger melt down when I wasn't using a fan. Now I just use a small table fan blowing on the cells. It doesn't need to be a gale force wind, any air movement at all is fine.

I've seen the Maha but I must confess I don't own it and haven't spent a lot of time with it. It seems to be a great unit too but I prefer the La Crosse from my initial impressions of the Maha MH-C9000. By the way, I prefer the La Crosse display. I can see the state of every channel at a glance without having to cycle through them.

Something I recently noticed about the Maha MH-C9000 is that it can charge at 2A. I presume this is all channels driven. It also shows that it can discharge at 1A. The BC-900 can charge two channels at 1.8A but the most it can drive all four channels continuously at is 1A. The most the BC-900 will discharge is 0.5A current. It would be nice to be able to drive four cells at 2A charge, 1A discharge. Some of these really big cells take a long time to charge, test, and then charge again.

I will add that once you realize how little power those old Dynacharge cells can store, you'll probably throw them out, like I did.

It seemed like I was forever fooling around with batteries. I ended up throwing out any AA with less than 1600 mAh (regardless of rating) and I picked up two dozen Eneloops to go with my standard Sanyo and Energizer 2500 NiMH cells. The Eneloops are a dream. I use them in everything from remote controls to clocks.

In fact, it seems like I geared up to handle a problem that largely went away once I determined that many of my cells are underperforming. Now, when I pick up a device it has lots of power, lots of runtime, and I generally don't think twice about it.
Tom Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25, 2007, 5:39 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 181

If you are going to frequently run all four like batteries and run the same cycle, BC-900 is easier to use.

Testing the amount of charge present using 500mA rate on BC-900:

Load all four cells, then press and hold mode until it responds. Repeat until you hit "discharge/refresh", then push current until you get 500mA. The setting will take effect on all four bays.

It would discharge -> charge -> discharge -> charge ->discharge ->charge.

To get the remaining capacity, you simply need to take a reading before the second discharge cycle is finished. To get the cell's possible capacity, wait until second discharge cycle is complete or just use the "test" mode. That is the cell's full charge capacity.

BC-900 has four separate displays and shows the status of all four cells at the same time and the read out is manually selected (voltage, time, mAh, mA)

MH-C9000 is much a pain to use for something like this.

To test the remaining capacity at 500mA rate for four like cells...
Load all four cells. Set mode to discharge, set current to 500mA(which happens to be default). You need to do this separately for every bay.

You can only view one bay at a time and the reading is constantly changing. I really really dislike the display interface.

It would automatically sweep through each bay and read the full set of values for each bay twice.

MH-C9000 is probably better if you frequently wish to perform a different task in each bay.

BC-900 is probably better if you frequently do exactly the samething in all four bays at the sametime.

itsme000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 2007, 3:49 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4

I have the both chargers. I just plugged in the C9000 for the first time today.

The BC-900 was completely silent however the Maha C9000 makes a high pitched noise that pulsates every second. It is very irritating and makes it unusable in the bedroom & common areas. I'm not sure if this is normal.
EvlD99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7, 2007, 8:55 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 203

I've not heard the noise you're referring to.
coppertrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2007, 5:55 AM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4

coppertrail wrote:
I've not heard the noise you're referring to.
Strange. Maybe I have a defective one then. I will start another thread so I don't derail this one.
EvlD99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 1, 2007, 2:47 AM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8

I too hear the high pitched noise it's not a defect it's the mosfets firing.

you'll notice that at 1000 ma charge rate it starts to sound like a constant pulse and at the lowest setting a brief blip.

I guess as you get older the sound starts to go into the unheard region.

I could complain but I've learned to tell if my batteries are charged from sound alone it makes a different pulse sound when the batteries are recieving trickle, I hardly ever glance at the display now.
vortex05 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:50 PM.