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Old Mar 18, 2007, 1:49 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.


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Old Mar 18, 2007, 5:34 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358

Hello Zero_enigma,

The best consumer analyzer is the CBA II from www.westmountainradio.com . The CBA allows you to compare discharge graphs for your different cells and, if you know the current draw of your device, allows you to match cells using the same current draw. It does not charge cells, and it does not do pulse loading - yet. However, a constant current discharge gives you a pretty good idea of what is going on.

You can even measure the internal resistance of your individualcells, or hook several together to form a battery pack.

It runs off of your computers USB port and gives you files that you can export to Excel or other programs for analysis. If you are so inclined, you can set up a spreadsheet for your cells with all their pertinent information.

You can also run tests to see how well your chargers are doing, and if they evenly charge from slot to slot.

You can get some of the CBA features plus the ability to charge with either the BC-900 or the Maha C9000. The early version of the BC-900 had some problems with the charger melting down. The current version has had far less of these melt down problems, but there still is an occasional report.

The original C9000 had problems with missed charging terminations when lower charge rates were selected. These units are no longer available, and the improved C9000 works great.

Here is a comparison of the BC-900 and the C9000.


The C9000 offers more flexibility both in charging, discharging, and it can run off of your car battery. It also has ZERO incidents of melting down.

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