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Old Jan 16, 2005, 11:19 AM   #1
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I'e been debating between getting the Maha c204f and the c401fs but have been leaning towards the 204 b/c of it's lower price and ability to condition batteries. There's something that worries me a bit though:

The charging current on the 204 is rated at 500ma (during the quick charge portion). At this rate, it should take the charger approximately 5-6 hours to charge 2300mah batteries. Everywhere I've read, however, indicates that the charger completes its quick-charge cycle in about 1-3 hours (ignoring the top-off trickle charge). I don't understand how this is possible given it's output current. Is it possible that the 204 may not charge newer high capacity batteries as fully as the 401?

Is it possible that the 1-3 hour estimate was made for older batteries and that newer ones (ie 2300+) really do take longer with this charger? In essence, is this charger 'future-proof'?

Any thoughts or experiences with newer high capacity batteries would be appreciated.

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Old Jan 16, 2005, 11:58 AM   #2
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Sam, I have the Energizer 2500MaH NIMH batteries. I use them in the new MAHA powerex c204w charger. Four batteries charge in 2 hours and 2 bateries charge in 1 hour. This charger has a conditioner and when the batteries are full it goes into a slow trickle charge to top them off. MAHA(The maker of this charger) says to get maxium top off charge is to leave them in the charger for about 4 hours after they go into the trickle charge. This charger works great with these or any other batteries rated over 2000Mah. I have tested the batteries right after they are fully charge and left in the trickle charge state for the recommended time with a volt meter. The batteries registered 1.46 volts. That is the highest number I have seen on NIMH batteries after a charge. I have tried this on other chargers with the same batteries and could not get them to the 1.46 volts. I am sure the c204f is very good but I like the new features of the c204w. The c204w is not all that expensive either. Hope this helps you.

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Old Jan 16, 2005, 12:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info.

Still a bit confused though - since the output current is 500ma (is that per battery or for the entire group of 4?) I can't understand how 2 hours would charge a set of batteries completely. 500ma x 2 hours = 1000mah. 4 hours of trickle charging at 50ma would only add approximately 200mah for a total of 1200mah in the battery - only half of full capacity... And that's not taking into account nimh charging inefficiency which some say requires and extra 40% power to fully charge a battery (ie not all of the 500ma goes to charging the battery, some of it goes to heat). 5-6+ hours would seem more reasonable for a 2500mah battery.

That's why I'm confused I guess
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 7:52 PM   #4
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Hello Kapow, I would be surprisedif you have read any specifications that claim the 204F will charge 2300mah batteries in 1 to 3 hours.

I have this charger, and the charging instructions supplied with it state:

Charging time is 1 to 4 hours, depending on the brand, capacity, and condition of the batteries.

This chargerwas firstavailable several years ago, when 2000mah or less capacities were used. Hence the 1 to 4 hour recommendation.

You are correct. These days whencharging fully discharged 2300/2500mah batteries, it will take longer. I am now charging 2300mah cells, without any problem. If the cells are not fully discharged, or just doing a top up charge, the charge time is 1 to 3 hours.

Hope that helps the confusion Kapow.
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 8:38 PM   #5
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Thanks Baz,

Now I'm clear on the matter. I guess people were just quoting the manual. That's all I was scared of - the fact that I thought the 204f wouldn't be able to charge higher capacity batteries, but now that I know it works I can go pick one up.

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Old Jan 26, 2005, 2:25 PM   #6
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There may be some confusion between the 204F and the new 204W. Both will charge high capacity batteries. However, the new 204W is a much higher charge rate and, therefore, will charge batteries much faster.
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