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Old May 29, 2007, 9:08 PM   #1
mrb
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Hello -

Well, I have had my Canon S2 IS for a while now, and I think its time to move upfrom using alkalines to rechargables. In addition, I bought a Kodak C875 for my daughter for Christmas, and Kodak recommends against alkalines ... does anyone know why? It seems like it only lasts about 25 pics and it dies with alkalines in it!

Anyway, it seems like the Eneloops will be the best battery for us since our cameras are often used for a weekend family event or sporting event, and then it can sit for several weeks.

What charger do you recommend? I think I would like something that is not too big so that I could pack it on vacation, and super fast charging is not necessary (particularly if it sacrifices battery life). 12V adapter is not necessary, but could be useful. Itlooks like chargers with individual charging circuits are best for max. cell life.

I have seen a lot of good reviews for the Maha chargers, so I am leaning toward them. I was looking at Thomas Distributing at the following...

The Maha Wizard1 C9000 seems to be one of the best, but I may not use all the features and price is about $63. The LaCrosse BC-900 appears to be similar to the 9000 and a good deal at $37. The Maha 401FS also looks attractive with 12V adapter, individ. charging circuits, and lifetime warranty for $40.

Any comments are appreciated, and I am open to suggestions on other models as well.

THANKS!
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Old Jun 5, 2007, 1:58 AM   #2
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mrb wrote:
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Hello -

Well, I have had my Canon S2 IS for a while now, and I think its time to move upfrom using alkalines to rechargables. In addition, I bought a Kodak C875 for my daughter for Christmas, and Kodak recommends against alkalines ... does anyone know why? It seems like it only lasts about 25 pics and it dies with alkalines in it!
Alkalines can only provide enought power for a few shots. If your camera works with alkalines, these should be used only in emergencies.

I've also had alkalines "leak" inside electronic devices when left unused for some time. But I've never had this problem with rechargeable NiMHs or Li-ions.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Rechargeable batteries are also the most economical source of power. Buy two sets so that you will always have a spare when 1 set runs out.
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Old Jun 5, 2007, 11:55 PM   #3
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Thank you for the cautions regarding alkalines. I would still appreciate any advice regarding chargers.
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Old Jun 6, 2007, 12:39 PM   #4
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Hi MRB

Of the three Chargers you Mentioned. I can highly reccommend the Maha 401FS.
I have it and it works great. However, recently i have switched from the 401FS to the C801D. The only reason Is that the 801 can Charge 8 batterys at once. Since i have 6 sets for my DSLR/Flash, I can charge 2 sets at once and be done Quicker. The 401FS was given to my wife and Son to use for their cameras.

BK


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Old Jun 8, 2007, 11:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply BK, and for the recommendation on the 401FS ... that one is definitely a possiblity. The 401FS seems like the best Maha charger in a small size. The Maha C9000 seems to be rated really well, but I don't know if I would use the additional features. The Maha C9000 is now $60 and the LaCrosse BC900 is now $38 at Thomas Dist. I think I'll wait a bit more to see if I get any other responses.
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 10:47 PM   #6
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I recommend the C9000 over the C401-FS. While the 401 is a good charger, it's charging current is pretty low if you're going to becharging 2700 mAh cells. Many cell and charger manufacturers recommend a charging rate between .5C and 1C. The 401FS doesn't come close to the .5C on slow mode, and on high mode, its been known to "cook" cells, which decreases their overall life.

I havethe C801D'ssuccessor, the C800s, which is my second favorite charger, the C9000 being first on my list. I use the C800S primarily for eneloop (2000 mAh)cells, and the C9000 for my 2700 cells.
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 10:48 PM   #7
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 12:33 PM   #8
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Thanks Coppertrail. It sounds like the C9000 may be the best way to go, as I will likely get some Eneloops and some 2700's. I am a technical kind of person, but I don't know if I will want to use all of the features of the C9000. Will the C9000 apply different default charge rates for various types/capacities of batteries? Do you need to enter the correct battery info when you charge them? The Digital Dingus Review (link is on Thomas Dist. website) seemed to indicate that it does have defaults, and you should only vary the default charge rates if you know what you are doing.

Also, the 401FS info says that refreshing cells is not needed because of the type of charging (i.e. build-up of crystals in the battery are broken down during each charge cycle). For the C9000, I think I read that a refresh cycle is recommend every 10 charges or so. Is one of these systems better for overall cell life and performance?
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 9:52 PM   #9
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mrb wrote:
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Will the C9000 apply different default charge rates for various types/capacities of batteries? Do you need to enter the correct battery info when you charge them? The Digital Dingus Review (link is on Thomas Dist. website) seemed to indicate that it does have defaults, and you should only vary the default charge rates if you know what you are doing.
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The default charge rate for AA cells is 1000 mA, or 1A. You can increase/decrease the charge rates by intervals of .1A, so the next rate after 1000 is 1100. This is one of the best features of this charger, you can calculate your charge rate and then set it. Also, it may seem overwhelming, but setting the charge rates/cycles is extremly intuitive and easy. If I want to charge eneloop AAs at .5C, I leave it at the default rate of 1000. 2000 divided by 1000 is .5. If I want to charge 2700 mAh cells at .5A, I increase the charge rate to 1400 mAh, 2700 divided by 2 is 1350, so I charge at 1400 mA.
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Also, the 401FS info says that refreshing cells is not needed because of the type of charging (i.e. build-up of crystals in the battery are broken down during each charge cycle). For the C9000, I think I read that a refresh cycle is recommend every 10 charges or so. Is one of these systems better for overall cell life and performance?
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Although I've used the 401 FS in the past, I don't truly understand it's algorithm that claims to prevent the memory effect during charging. When it comes to conditioning cells, you don't want to overdue it. There are some many different opinions on conditioning I don't know where to start. I prefer to condition my cells using a charger that has a charge/discharge conditioning mode. How often should you condition? If your cells don't seem to be holding a charge as long as they used to, after every 12-15 partial discharge cycles, and after long periods of storage. I recommend storing NiMH cells in a sealed plastic bag/case in the fridge. This lowers the self-discharge rate of the cell and is better for the overall life of the cell. I wouldn't freeze them. I keep them in the vegetable crisper. Do a break in mode for all new NiMH standard cells (eneloop cells don't seem to benefit much from break-in).
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 10:24 PM   #10
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Thank you again for your advice Coppertrail. The different charge rates don't sound too complicated after all! I didn't think I wanted something as big as the C9000, but it seems like a unit that is a few inches bigger is worth it for the extra features. It looks like some of the size of the unit is due to extra space beween the batteries ... which I presume would keep them cooler while charging than other compact chargers.
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