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Old Jun 8, 2004, 7:19 PM   #1
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What's a good smart universal charger and how much does one cost? I would like one that can charge at MINIMUM 8 batteries simultaneously, preferably 16 or something like that. Of course I would like for it to also monitor/charge each battery independently of the others.
For right now I am mostly using NiMH AAs in capacities of 1800mAh, 2000mAh, and 2300mAh, and NiMH AAAs in 750 and 800mAh sizes.
I was wondering if anyone knows of any good battery info websites that compare standard alkaline, rechargeable alkaline, NiMH, and maybe NiCads? I am considering getting rechargeable alkaline D cells (if I can find some) for my flashlight (I've heard that the rechargeable alkalines start at full voltage and retain their charge over time, which would be useful for my flashlight because I might go some time in between uses, and I don't want to be stuck without batteries when the ones I have go dead, because I don't usually buy batteries for it very often).
What would the cost (up front) of 4 rechargeable alkaline D cells run approximately? (I could probably find this out from a website somewhere - anyone have any links? I will be googling for info, but any help I can get here would be appreciated.)

As far as the charger goes, I would like one capable of getting the batteries from completely dead to fully charged in less time than it takes to run down alkalines in a Canon S1 IS or A80 or A70, or somewhere around 1 to 2 hours or so, or maybe 4 hours. (basically, not an overnight charger, but not one that charges them so fast that we can use the battery charger in place of a wood stove & chimney when the weather turns cold)
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 3:26 PM   #2
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Stick with NiMH, rechargeable alkalines are a joke. The D cell NiMH batteries aren't cheap but they go for a very long time. This is what the cops use in their big Maglight 6-cell torches.

For info on this charger and its smaller brother, see my battery page at:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/nimh_...s.html#ansmann
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 4:57 PM   #3
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that looks like an interesting charger.... do you know what the shelf life of nimh D is? (btw I think you know what I mean by shelf life - how long I can let it sit after charging it and still expect to give me a reasonable amount of service time)?

btw I usually run my flashlights down almost to where you can look in and see the filament glowing a dull orange or yellow, or you shine it on a wall from a couple feet away in a fairly dark room (one that, for example, if you took a no-flash picture, your camera would expose at F/2.8, ISO 400, 15" with exposure compensation of -2) and you can barely see the spot. That's when I run it really low, although when I'm talking "reasonable amount of service" I mean where it still will give out some light - more than enough to read with.
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Old Jun 21, 2004, 8:18 PM   #4
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If money is no object:
http://www.futaba-rc.com/batteries/futm4170.html

... Up to 36 cells! :-)


pianoplayer88key wrote:
Quote:
btw I usually run my flashlights down almost to where you can look in and see the filament glowing a dull orange or yellow, or you shine it on a wall from a couple feet away in a fairly dark room (one that, for example, if you took a no-flash picture, your camera would expose at F/2.8, ISO 400, 15" with exposure compensation of -2) and you can barely see the spot. That's when I run it really low, although when I'm talking "reasonable amount of service" I mean where it still will give out some light - more than enough to read with.
You can't do this with digital electronics: below a certain minimum voltage, the internal logic will reset preventing the cameras from functioning -> take the depleted batteries from the camera and put it back in the flashlight... There's still plenty of juice left to light up the light bulb! :idea:

http://www.batterieswholesale.com/faq_nimh.htm
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Old Jun 22, 2004, 9:55 AM   #5
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There is a potential problem running NiMH cells in flashlights and other devices that don't have overdischarge protection. The problem is that there are small variations in the capacity between cells, i.e. some cells have a bit more juice than others although they're marked as identical. When connected in a battery the weaker cells will be drained first. Without overdischarge protection, the werakest cell in the battery can be drained to zero volts and beyond into a reverse polarity and be damaged. When I use NiMH in a flashlight I charge the cells as soon as the light starts to dim. At this point there is about 5-10% of the capacity left in the cells.
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