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Old May 2, 2005, 8:46 AM   #1
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today with an abundance of AA/AAA battery operated devices we pretty much all have invested in NiMh rechargable technology. with the batteries of course comes the need for some form of charging system. these units along with their batteries have produced a rather large marketing opportunity for the manufacturers. i myself have gone through more chargers then i would like to admit to. but then thats what this is about. the chargers and which ones to me are the best and worst designs i have used so far. it is unfortunate that this will probably be an open ended and wallet issue too.:lol:

i look at these from the prospective of a world traveller and bum. these are my opinions and the management of this site has no control over them and may or may not agree with them. this pertains to what is actually in my possession at the time of writing. all unit support 4 batteries total at a time

the not so good:

Maha Powerex MH-C204W: i thought nice 2 channel unit conditioning without a wallwart charger everything built in w/a standard power cord and quality made. made well. the major fault is when you travel by car without an inverter you are out of luck. ok for the hotel crowd not for the hard core camper type. not what i call a true world traveler. put on a power port for an auto adapter and its a winner

Sony BCG-34HRMD: slick design quality made 4 channel conditioning with a nice display. same issue as above but with one addition. when charging is done its done. unit turn completely off. no MX charge. DOH!

La Crosse BC-900: a nicely excecuted information machine. excellent display. lots of flash. could have considerably better control function. limited flexibilty in the charging currents control. i originally thought you could set each "channel's" charge current, not so. oh well. it is good informationally though.acquired skillbutton control for display function. no backlight for that multi function display.now the sort of big bad. the wallwart is elongated and rather large. it also has an output of 3.0vdc meaning no car charging w/o an inverter. i'll leave this one at home (i'd probable crash the car playing with the buttons/display anyway) i see a BC-1000 coming down the redesign/update/upgrade pipe.
:-)


the good:

Maha MH-401FS: compact unit 4 channel with hi/lo control for charging wallwart is very compact and international speaking too. when purchased it came with a car cord too. this to me is a winner in the fast charge catagory travel charger

Maha MH204CF- the venerable old timer in this world. same as above but only 2 channels has conditioning but slower charge. complete with compact wallwart is the same as above
















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Old May 3, 2005, 9:16 AM   #2
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Good info sjms thanks.

I've had several chargers as well. Being in Europe I used products as Ansman (Powerline4 Traveller) and some Kodak and Panasonic chargers. At the end I settled on the Lenmar Mach1 Gamma for most of my home needs. It has all of the advantages of Maha 401 FS (reasonable size, 12 V operation, independant slots) but charges faster and is cooler. The only thing I don't like is the fan which makessome noise, only a problem if I want to fall asleep while charging. On the positive side, you know when the charging is complete-when the fan stops. For ultra-portable travelling I got a Uniross Globetrotter. This is an amazingly small charger that plugs directly into the outlet, it folds. In its US-plugconfiguration the whole thing is about half of the size of a cigarette pack and wights next to nothing. It charges 1-4 cells in 2-4 hours, not the fastest on Earth but given the size I can't complain
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Old May 3, 2005, 9:25 AM   #3
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blr wrote:
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Good info sjms thanks.

I've had several chargers as well. Being in Europe I used products as Ansman (Powerline4 Traveller) and some Kodak and Panasonic chargers. At the end I settled on the Lenmar Mach1 Gamma for most of my home needs. It has all of the advantages of Maha 401 FS (reasonable size, 12 V operation, independant slots) but charges faster and is cooler. The only thing I don't like is the fan which makessome noise, only a problem if I want to fall asleep while charging. On the positive side, you know when the charging is complete-when the fan stops. For ultra-portable travelling I got a Uniross Globetrotter. This is an amazingly small charger that plugs directly into the outlet, it folds. In its US-plugconfiguration the whole thing is about half of the size of a cigarette pack and wights next to nothing. It charges 1-4 cells in 2-4 hours, not the fastest on Earth but given the size I can't complain


but do any of the above mentioned units plug directly into a automobile powerport (previously known as a cigarette lighter)? except of course the 401 and the lenmar and that come with the appropriate plug?it is unfortunate that i have spent many a night using the car as my shelter while on trips.

i'll try the lenmar when one of my older ones goes nonfunctional.

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Old May 3, 2005, 12:54 PM   #4
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sjms wrote:
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but do any of the above mentioned units plug directly into a automobile powerport (previously known as a cigarette lighter)? except of course the 401 and the lenmar and that come with the appropriate plug?it is unfortunate that i have spent many a night using the car as my shelter while on trips.

i'll try the lenmar when one of my older ones goes nonfunctional.
The globetrotter goes directly to the wall plug, I guess it is meant to be used in hotels etc. The Lenmar runs on 12 V DC and mine came with a car cord. I've usedit about a year and it has worked perfectly.
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Old May 12, 2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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I didn't have a good time with my Maha MH204CF...I had the power transformer (the external power brick) replaced twice 'cause it was faulty (it broke down after the first use both times!).
Then the two right slots stopped charging so well (I found it out because my Oly C-720UZ uses 4 AA's) and the two "right" batteries were almost left discharged, so I had to charge my batteries in couples...then the two left slots did the same...the lights turned from red to green after a normal period (i.e. 4-5h) but the camera wouldn't turn on :O

As I had already bought 3 sets of AA batteries (4 pieces each), I was looking for a charger with no batteries, no matter how long it would take to charge them. The best offer was the "Compact Charger Plus" from Varta for 10 euros.
It really does a great work in charging the batteries (i.e. my Palm IIIxe holds power for about 10 days instead of two, using the same batteries!) but it is slow (takes about 13h for 4 AA's @ 2000mAh. I really don't care about that, because I have two pairs of AA's for my digicam while the other one is charging! :-)
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