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Old Nov 1, 2002, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default Should I get old or new Maha charger?

I just bought an Olympus c-3020 and need to get batteries and a charger. I already have 8 rechargeable NiCd batteries and charger, but want to get a NiMH capable charger, and I'll use the NiCds as backups. I've read all about the new Maha C-401FS and the older C-204F. My question: since NiCd batteries need conditioning (and my old charger doesn't do that), would I be better off getting the older Maha that conditions batteries rather than the new C-401FS that doesn't, or do the features of the new one outweigh the reconditioning feature of the older C-204F? Thanks in advance for your advice/opinion.
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Old Nov 1, 2002, 11:31 AM   #2
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I would throw away the NICD batteries. I own the C204 and it is a great charger. If I were going to purchase today, I would purchase the new charger and 1800mah or higher batteries.
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Old Nov 1, 2002, 12:06 PM   #3
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I have both the 204 & 401 chargers. They are both outstanding but I don't think the 401 really has a great edge on the older 204 (except that it can charge individual batteries) also its a bit faster, supposedly 100 minutes as compared to around 3 hours with the 204. I don't really find an advantage in this as I have 5 sets of nimh which I keep topped off at all times.

If you decide to go for the 204, newegg.com has them listed for $19 (charger only) which is a great price. They also have the powerex batteries (1800) at $12 for 4.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...tby=14&order=1

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Old Nov 5, 2002, 6:19 AM   #4
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:roll: Everyone is excited about this new Maha 100 min. charger. I've had a Ray-O-Vac 60 min. charger for 6 months now. It doesn't condition them, but you can do that yourself by draining them a couple times. It does charge them separately and it does AA's, AAA's and 9 volt. $30 at Walmart.
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Old Nov 25, 2002, 11:36 PM   #5
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I have the 204 as well, and I would NOT recommend buying a charger WITHOUT CONDITIONING capablities. I'll trade an extra hour or 2 charge time vs. the conditioning capability any day. After a years service my PowerEX batteries that I got with the charger are still holding the same level of charge as when they were new. I don't know if I'd be able to say that without the regular conditioning that I've put them thru (unless time is of the essence, I always hit the conditioning buttons - I drop them in on my way to bed and they are ready when I wake up).

Yes you can condition through use, but what a pain. The best reason to have the feature is when you buy new batteries. Run them through 3 or 4 cycles and they're ready for work. Without a conditioner, you'll be taking 25 pictures....then charging.......50 pictures.....then charging........100 pictures......then charging.....GROAN!!! So much easier to hit a button
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 7:47 AM   #6
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Just another opinion, but I own both the 204F (old) and the 401FS (new) and I don't think you'll lose with either of them. I've had the 204F with two sets of Powerex 1700mAH batteries for almost a year and a half and it's been all over the country with me and never so much as hiccupped. Two things:
1) If you use the car adapter and you've got a car that turns off the cigarette lighter with the ignition, get your batteries out of the charger before you turn off the car. That little guy gets really confused when power to it comes back on if there's batteries in it. I also read in a newsgroup somewhere that a fella actually frapped a charger having it plugged into the wall and when the power came on following a power outage it burned up. Maha replaced it, but not the smoldering batteries...lol.

2) Don't close the cover when you're charging batteries. It's right there in the instructions, but who reads those..lol. Heat is the enemy of batteries and they'll get much hotter if you close the lid during charging. In the trickle mode I don't see any difference, but I almost roasted a set charging them lid-closed. Since then I've removed the cover from both of mine. It probably will shorten the life of charger (dust/dirt, etc....?), but I've already gotten my money's worth out of it.

In my own "style of use" I tend to drain the batteries down til the camera taps out anyways, so I've found that I don't really use the conditioning feature on the 204F. It usually only conditions (blinking yellow light) for less than a minute. I like having the little bit of extra quickness and the individual cell charging of the 401FS. It's really nice when you're gonna go out on a long shoot and want to top off your batteries on the way. Maha also claims that the type of charging it does ("Flex Negative Pulse") doesn't require conditioning. Here's a link to a recent review: http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/C401FS/C401A.HTM Anyways, like I said earlier, you can't go wrong with either of these chargers, just figure out what features you want and go for it!!

Good Luck!!!
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 8:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBusCandid8
1) If you use the car adapter and you've got a car that turns off the cigarette lighter with the ignition, get your batteries out of the charger before you turn off the car. That little guy gets really confused when power to it comes back on if there's batteries in it. I also read in a newsgroup somewhere that a fella actually frapped a charger having it plugged into the wall and when the power came on following a power outage it burned up. Maha replaced it, but not the smoldering batteries...lol.
Very good point .....I wasn't aware of it.

Quote:
2) Don't close the cover when you're charging batteries. It's right there in the instructions, but who reads those..lol. Heat is the enemy of batteries and they'll get much hotter if you close the lid during charging. In the trickle mode I don't see any difference, but I almost roasted a set charging them lid-closed. Since then I've removed the cover from both of mine. It probably will shorten the life of charger (dust/dirt, etc....?), but I've already gotten my money's worth out of it.
Another good point......and something that should have been common sense to me, but wasn't. I'll charger 'lid open" in the future.

Larry
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Old Nov 26, 2002, 8:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses. I bought the older charger (the MH-C204F), as I can still use my old NiCd batteries for kid's toys, and I want the conditioning feature for those batteries. I bought a set of the GP2000 mAh batteries, and a set of Powerex 1800 mAh batteries, so hopefully I'm set. So far, I'm really impressed with how long these batteries last compared to the NiCd. What a difference. Look forward to learning all the ins and outs of dp from y'all who post on this site. Thanks!
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