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Old Dec 11, 2004, 11:43 PM   #1
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Thanks for taking the time to help me.

For the longest time, I've probably been destroying my NiMH batteries by over-charging them in a slow-charger built for traditional NiCad type batteries.

So now that they are near-useless because of such abuse, I need to invest in a set of new batteries and a good charger.

I ask for your assistence in this front.

I build models, so most of my camera use would be indoors. I've thought about getting a much more affordable adaptor - but who knows? Once in a blue moon, I'd maybe like to take my pictures outside for some reason. Hence, I'll fork out more money for this purchase.

I have use for NiMH batteries in many places, although I'm not too much of tech-saavy person myself.. I've run across Imaging Resource's reviews on the above models, and all of them are rated highly.

So here I am, stuck.

I'm hoping to get a charger that can somehow recondition my old set of batteries for active use, so the 204W seems like a good choice in this way. However, the FS seems to be a more refined model (of the three) and its multiple charge channels is a very nice touch. Then again, I can't think of any use that I know of that takes an odd number of batteries.. but you never know.

The F model seems to be the most affordable, and an all around great charger. I'm not too bent on considering it, seeing as how the 204W is an improved version on the F (so it seems to me at the least). However, it's going on Ebay for quite a nice price, and I'm considering this as a result.

Economy is a problem for me, I think. At this point in time, I'd like to save whatever I can - and I'm even considering buying an AC adaptor for my Cannon A70 in the near future so that I'll have to forego the worry of charging batteries altogether, until I have a real use for them.

Give me your opinions - I need them.

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Old Dec 12, 2004, 8:48 AM   #2
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The C204W, which I own, is a great charger, 1 hour for 2x 2000mAh batteries and 2 hours for 4x 2000 mAh batteries. I am not sure, but I think it is the latest of all chargers produced by Maha. It has a few weak points: It only has a fast charge mode, only charges NiMH batteries(not so weak) and charges 2 or 4 batteries. On the strong side there is the very small size, the fact it can be taken anywhere in the world, the good quality of the charge including some trickle charge when the batteries are fully charged.

The C401FS is another great charger by Maha, it has a few advantages over the C204W: The possibility to charge batteries individually, the possibility to have a slow charge. But on the other hand, even tho the charger seems quite small, it has an AC plug which is bulky so the C204W wins for this, it doesn't have a "transformer" inside so that it can be plugged anywhere in the world like the C204W. Besides thats, both chargers are similar.

For the C204F, I am unsure of what its like, but as far as I'm concerned its also a great charger, I think it can only charge 2 or 4,has a fast and slow charge, its the older model, but its a good one nonetheless. The charge time it indicates will vary, probably will take longer since the batteries have evolved a lot since it first came out.

All those Maha chargers are excellent and if you need info on any of them, I suggest you read the review at Steve's of both the F and FS. IMHO any of those chargers will give you better results than your previous charger and possibly better than most chargers on the market.
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 6:15 PM   #3
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Nicolas,

Thanks for taking the time to lend me a hand.

They all seem like good chargers, and I'm still quite stuck on which model to pick up. Would I have any chance of using the 204W to rescue my defunct batteries? Is the discharging program useful? Or perhaps.. is there another way to discharge the batteries, seeing as how the FS does not carry this feature?

They all have strengths, and their weaknesses as well.. which makes deciding all the more difficult. I just need to know the right charger, adept for the uses that I'll put it through.

Yes, I've read the reviews at the site, and it does a rather good job of selling the strengths of each to me. The problem is: all of them are 5/5 for ratings. Not exactly.. critical in terms of analysis.

The AC Adaptor's size is not a deal for me.. as I don't seek to travel with it anywhere.

Is there anything else that can help tip the scale for me? Right now, price is winning, making me choose the F model.
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 11:03 PM   #4
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Not sure if you'd need the rejuvenate function of the C204W and since you don't plan to travel much, I'd suggest going with the FS.

I read a bit more about the F, and I am sure it is a very good charger but it was out in 99 or maybe 98, so that makes the charger quite old. The technology is a little better on the FS and C204W. So if you don't choose the F, then perhaps the FS is the best choice given your priorities and most of the time you can charge using the slow charging, to keep your batteries lasting longer and longer.
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