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Old Jan 6, 2007, 8:58 PM   #1
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I've read all the specs on the different chargers at Thomas Distributing and tons of messages on the forum here until I can't keep them straight any more.

Can someone please summarize the differences between the C401, C204 and new BC900 chargers?

I am looking for a charger for batteries for the Pentax K100D with the AF-360FGZ flash unit. Each piece uses 4 AA batteries.

I've been using CRV-3 batteries in it since I purchased it. And, will probably have a spare set in my bag as backup in the future. Currently have Monster Powercell 1800mAh and it's charger from an older camera.

My current rate of taking photos has been quite high. But, there might be times in the future where weeks (or months, if I get busy) go by without me taking photos.

Questions-

1. Will I be able to charge the Monster Powercell batteries in any of the above chargers?

2. It seems from reading through messages that the higher mAh batteries aren't necessarily going to be any better than the lower mAh ones. What mAh battery should I get? 2300, 2500, 2700? I figured I'd go with the Powerex ones.

3. I will also be purchasing the some of the new Eneloop batteries. I see that at least the C204 will charge these batteries.I don't see that the BC900 or C401will. Am I missing it? Or, do they also charge these?

4. Any reason not to just get the Eneloop batteries and one of the above chargers? I notice they are only 2000 mAh. Does that mean they wouldn't be as powerful as the 2700 mAh?

I don't wish to spend a ton of money on this purchase. But, want something that will cover my needs reasonably.

Any advice welcome. I'm sorry if I'm asking something that's probably already been asked a million times. I've been sitting here for the past three hours looking at all this and am thoroughly confused as to what I should get.

Thanks.





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Old Jan 6, 2007, 9:18 PM   #2
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I think the C204 requires you to charge batteries in pairs.

I have the C401FS, it has 4 independent circuits so you can charge 1 to 4 AA or AAA in any combination.

You don't have to "recondition" batteries with the C401FS. The instructions say it uses a FLEX-NEGATIVE pulse charging that basically reconditions batteries as they are charged.

The BC9000 is real fancy with an LCD information display and selectable charges. Great for folks with an interest in electronics, but way more capability than I want to get involved in.

I like to just put batteries in the C401FS, put in on SLOW charge (to preserve battery life) and just take them out when the green lights come on.
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Old Jan 6, 2007, 10:49 PM   #3
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If you're going to be "putting the camera on the shelf" between uses, consider Eneloops as your primary cells, and a set or two of 2700 mAh cells for the times where you will be taking numerous pictures in a period of 1-3 days.

Based on the price difference among the 401FS and the BC-900, I would go with the BC-900. It's not difficult to use, and you'll learn how to use it and what the readings mean in no time. If you're going to be charging high capacity cells, the BC-900 offers higher charging rates for higher capacity cells.

My concerns on the 401FS:

1. The slowmode might be a bit low for 2700 mAh cells.

2. The Fast mode on the 401FS has been known to overheat cells, which is not good.

My recommendation would be the BC-900, or eventhe MH-C800S.The C800S doesn't provide as many modes, nor will it display numeric cell information, but it does a great job and is very easy to use. It also charges 8 cells, which is a very nice feature.
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 12:38 PM   #4
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Thank you, outpost05 and coppertrail. I will take all of you comments into consideration when I look again.

I did see the MH-C800S, and thought it would be nice to charge both sets of batteries all at once. Although, was hoping for something small to travel with. Maybe a look at both it and the smaller ones is possible. Of course at an interval in between purchasing that doesn't break my budget after Christmas.

Any other thoughts from anyone welcome. I'm still looking.
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Old Jan 7, 2007, 8:12 PM   #5
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I got one of the BC-9000 chargers as soon as it came out. I am not a whiz on electrical things (I once started a fire changing a light bulb), so I can testify that it is easy for a regular user to read and understand the directions. It is very versatile, and I can't imagine needing any other charger for AA or AAA batteries. It has already salvaged some batteries that I thought were done for, and proved that a couple of others really were done for so I could quit wasting my time on them.

It may be a little big for a travel charger, but it's not huge, so you could take it along unless your luggage space is really tight. The BC-9000 is so good at rescuing cells that you could easily pack a small fast charger for use on the road, then run a breakin or refresh cycle on the cells when you you get home. That's probably what I'm going to do in the future.
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 9:31 PM   #6
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Thanks, docmoon. Will take your advice into consideration when I do purchase.

Although, starting a fire with a lightbulb...... Yikes! How do you do that?
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