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Old Aug 12, 2005, 9:05 PM   #1
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I bought a new camera (Canon A95) and a Lacrosse BC-900 charger. I charged the batteries that came with the charger and they only reached about half of their rated
aMh. I used them in the camera and they worked fine. I got a second set of batteries
(Energizer 2500). When I charged them the amh rate was only about a third of the rated 2500. I used the charge and refresh feature and they were better.
What is the procedure to charge new battries?
Unless I am traveling should I leave the second set in the charger until I need them?
With my two sets should I use the normal charge setting on the LaCrosse BC-900?
With twp sets I am sure I can get by but would like to get the maimum charge into and maximum usage out of my battries.
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Old Aug 13, 2005, 1:44 PM   #2
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It is fairly common to get only a partial charge the first couple of times you charge them. If you have charged them a few times and still aren't getting a full charge with two different brands I would be suspicious of the charger. You might experiment with different charge rates – your charger is one of the few that allow that. I think the lower standard rate will extend your battery life though.

Some chargers feed a trickle charge after the batteries are charged. I have read that most battery manufacturers don't recommend a trickle charge, but smart chargers like you have don't usually just do a constant trickle but do little bursts as the batteries self-discharges. I would say it is OK using a charger with a microprocessor like yours to just leave the batteries in the charger.

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Old Aug 15, 2005, 7:26 PM   #3
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Hello JLB,

The first charge on a brand new battery (or one that has been in long term storage) should be a 0.1C charge for 14 hours. I do this after 4 or 5 full charge/discharge cycles. The initial cycles are to break the cells in. This is not absoultely necessary, but you will get better performance and life from the cells if you do this.

C refers to the capacity of the battery. Your 2500 mAh cells should be charged at 250 mA for 14 hours the first time. This is a timed charge and you should not depend on the charger to properly terminate the charge.

The LaCrosse BC-900 has a 200 mAh charge rate which would work fine for this. Put the cells in and come back in 16 hours and take them out.

Normal charging in the LaCrosse for 2500 mAh cells should be set to 1000 mA. This will charge the cells in under 3 hours, and is a high enough rate to signal the end of charge.

Unlike Slipe, I do not recommend leaving cells on the charger after they are charged, or storing them in the charger while traveling. I have heard of cells being discharged by the charger when it was not plugged in, and believe that constant trickle charging takes its toll on the longevity of the cell. I also don't believe in charging cells unattended, although I do this from time to time. Sometimes an overnight charge is called for, but I would rather be awake while charging. Current chargers are pretty safe, but accidents do happen.

To get the most performance from your batteries, you need to top them up in the morning before use. You will then be ready for the days shooting. If you don't shoot much that day, you can just go again the next day. I would suggest topping them up at least once a week to keep yourself in the position to have the best performance.

If you follow this regime, you need to do a complete discharge/charge cycle about once a month, although you can stretch it out for two months if you happen to be on a long vacation.

Another thing you can do is with two sets of batteries you can swap them out each day. If you do this, you can just leave the LaCrosse at its default 200 mA charge rate. This will minimize the time on trickle charge and should have minimal impact on the life cycle of the cells. You still need to do the discharge/charge cycle every so often. By the way, it is OK to do the discharge of the cells by using the camera.

Good luck, the BC-900 is an excellent charger with lots of capability. You will have a lot of fun using it.

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Old Aug 17, 2005, 9:01 AM   #4
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Tom, Thanks for the reply. That is just the type of answer I was looking for. I have both sets charged and think for now I will change every two days. i mostly carry the camera around taking maybe 10 to 20 shots a day. I will make sure the batteries have a fresh charge for a heavy shooting day. Thanks for the good info.
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