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Old Jul 16, 2005, 8:19 PM   #21
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Hello Blr,

You have presented some interesting points, however my testing and real world use of the Energizer 15 minute charger shows something entirely different…

I can not comment on cycle life. I only have around 150 cycles on the cells that I have been using for testing. So far, I have not noticed a reduction in capacity as the results of charging on the Energizer 15 minute charger.

Your comment about the 15 minute charger not completely charging cells is not correct. I have done testing on a wide variety of chargers and the 15 minute charger does a better job of charging than most of the other chargers out there, including the Maha C401FS, the Lightning 4000N, the Energizer 1 hour, the Vanson BC-1HU, and the LaCrosse BC-900. The AccuManager 20 charges to about the same level, and the Schulze isl 6-330d is able to slightly beat the 15 minute charger out, but not in 15 minutes.

It is true that if you pull the cells off the charger as soon as the green light comes on, they will get up to 105 F, but if you leave them on the charger until the fan stops, the come off at 80 F, ready to go. The fan usually shuts off in about 5 minutes after the green light comes on.

The charging algorithm that Energizer uses in this charger is one of the most advanced around. I know that they are not using the –dv to signal the end of charge. Charging at 7.5 amps, the cells would get explosively hot by the time the –dv signal was received. From the testing I have done, I would guess that they are using the 0dv signal and use the temperature signal as a back up.

I agree that total charging time should include the cooling off time as well. In the case of the Energizer 15 minute charger, this extends the 15 minutes to about 20 minutes.

There are a couple of down sides to this charger…

When you charge cells that are already charged, and are doing so in a hot environment, we have seen cell temperatures up to 115-117 F. This is pretty hot, and repeated cycles to these temperatures may damage the cells, so don't do this. This does not occur every time, but I have seen it happen a few times, so it is worth a caution. If you try to charge a cell that has just been fully charged, it will usually flash a red error light and not charge, however if the charged cell has been sitting around for a few days, it may try to charge it and things will heat up quickly.

The other problem is that the AC connection is only for 120 V 60 hZ. This makes use overseas a bit of a problem. The power supply gives 12V to the charger, and people have taken a car adapter and powered the charger off of a car battery. It has worked great for several months, but is not an approved modification.

I have also noticed that it will not charge cells that have developed higher internal resistance.

All in all, I believe this is a very advanced charger and in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee or take a bathroom break, your cells are fully charged, cool, and ready to go.

Tom
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Old Jul 16, 2005, 11:33 PM   #22
blr
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Thank you Tom for the info.

IMO it all depends on how one is going to use the system. I have friends who are professional photographers and for them these 15 min chargers are great. I believe many others may also want such a fast charge. For me it is not that important, I can always wait for 1-2 hours.

Your data about charge completeness surprise me, perhaps I should change my mind about these ultra fast chargers, apparently the enegeneers are doing a good job nowadays.
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 10:09 AM   #23
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Hello Blr,
I must admit that like you, I totally expected the cells to go up in flames at this high a charge rate. I was totally surprised when they didn't.

The Ray O Vac IC3 system has a pressure release valve that terminates the charge when the pressure builds up in the cell. Ray O Vac is claiming 1000 cycles when most NiMh manufacturers only go to 500 cycles.

The Energizer charger does not address the issue of the number of cycles, but this is truly a new chapter in charging batteries.

Tom
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 11:47 PM   #24
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Do any of these 15 minute chargers come with a cigarette lighter adapter?
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Old Jul 17, 2005, 11:59 PM   #25
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No, you have to figure your own way to hook up a 12V plug and a proper plug for the charger.
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Old Jul 26, 2005, 2:20 PM   #26
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Are there any 1 hour chargers with a cigarette lighter adapter?
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Old Jul 28, 2005, 6:37 AM   #27
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SilverFoxCPF wrote:
Quote:
The other problem is that the AC connection is only for 120 V 60 hZ. This makes use overseas a bit of a problem. The power supply gives 12V to the charger, and people have taken a car adapter and powered the charger off of a car battery. It has worked great for several months, but is not an approved modification.

Tom
does anyone have any solutions for using the Energizer 15-Minuter charger overseas? i was looking to get a voltage converter, but most voltage converters have a warning for use of electronic, motorized appliances rated up to a 50 watts max and i think the energizer charger is rated 85 watts. there are 1600W and 2000W voltage converters but they have a warning for use with non-electronic heating appliances rated up to a maximum of 1600/2000 watts as well as the 50 wattss max for electronic appliances warning. does anyone know if it would be okay to use the 1600w/2000w converters? any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Old Oct 9, 2005, 2:24 PM   #28
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HaveBlue wrote:
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No, you have to figure your own way to hook up a 12V plug and a proper plug for the charger.
I was redirected here from a thread at the fuji forum at dpreview.com.

I have been using this great charger very successfully for almost a year now, over half of the time directly from the car adapter that came with my car seat warmer (which I only use in the coldest of winter anyway). I estimate I have probably charged the three sets I have approximately 50 times so far with no noticeable detrimental effects. I get the same amount fo pictures from either charging method. the only thing is, I have had to replace the existing 5A fuse that came with the car seat warmer adapter with a 10A fuse very shortly after I started using the charger with it. This charger does indeed draw a LOT of 12V power.

To help cool off the batteries in summer, I put the charger in front of the vents, and the batteries hardly warm up then (at least on the surface).

The built-in fan does the job but is pretty weak IMO. I've measured temps of about 50C with my digital thermometer at the end of the charge. The batteries do get noticeably hot, but not that much hotter peceptibly than if they were charged with the MaHa I used before. OK, maybe 5 degrees hotter or so; I have a measumenet chart somewhere from tests I conducted a few years ago with the MaHa. the coolest charger I've had was the Lightning, but it took easily 2 hours to charge my batteries, and it was very finicky, refusing at the end to charge batteries that wer either too cool or too hot.

As for this charger refusing to charge older, higher resistance batteries, it is true. It refuses to charge my 3 year old sanyos that still have, I'd say, 50% of their original capacity. However, it would seem that the AAAs are charged at a substantially lower rate with the Energizer 15 minute charger. Someone could in theory install 4 switches to force AAs to ba charged at the built-in AAA charge rate (I haven't measured it but as the cells charge in roughly the same amount of time and are about 1/4 of the capacity of the AAs, I presume the charging rate would be 1/4 that of the AAs).

As for adapters, you can find universal car adapters which have mutilipe heads. Just remember that the output is 12V, I blew my old cell phone not thinking about the 5V it needed. I just use my car seat warmer adapter now for the charger.

Hope this helps anyone, several months after the first post in this thread!!!
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 2:33 PM   #29
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neogeode wrote:
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SilverFoxCPF wrote:
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The other problem is that the AC connection is only for 120 V 60 hZ.* This makes use overseas a bit of a problem.* The power supply gives 12V to the charger, and people have taken a car adapter and powered the charger off of a car battery.* It has worked great for several months, but is not an approved modification.

Tom
does anyone have any solutions for using the Energizer 15-Minuter charger overseas? i* was looking to get a voltage converter, but most voltage converters have a warning for use of electronic, motorized appliances rated up to a 50 watts max and i think the energizer charger is rated 85 watts. there are 1600W and 2000W voltage converters but they have a warning for use with non-electronic heating appliances rated up to a maximum of 1600/2000 watts as well as the 50 wattss max for electronic appliances warning. does anyone know if it would be okay to use the 1600w/2000w converters? any info on this would be greatly appreciated.
I would recommend you use the old style, bulky converter if you want to use the energizer OEM adapter. Preferably yu should acquire a universal adapter with mutiple voltage and polarity settings with multiple output connectors. It has to be able to give out a fairly stable 12V output of up to 10 amps, so it's going to be rather large.

In any case the easiest solution if you are using a car while abroad is to use the cigarette ligther adapter. A 10A fuse is required in the adapter. It will work well running (approx 14.4V) ar even with the engine shut off (12V) so exact input voltage appears not to be critical.
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Old Oct 9, 2005, 2:38 PM   #30
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lucky2505 wrote:
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Are there any 1 hour chargers with a cigarette lighter adapter?
The Maha, the Energizer and the Ray-o-Vac all have 12V input jacks. The Ray-o-Vac and the Maha offer adapters for a reasonbale price (less than $10, usually around $5). Just make sure the polarity is correct if you are going to use a "foreign" adapter for the Energizer, and that the fuse rating is sufficient for the high input current the charger requires.

HTH...
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