Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Batteries or Power Packs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 6, 2006, 7:03 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
Default

the "W" is newer, smaller, lightweight (4 oz!) with an internal power transformer and therefore no "power brick." you can get international power cables too, for a nice clean easy travel without a ton of adapters.

all these items give it a clear advantage over the other model.

i'm going with the W.

(btw, MAHA has a good web site that's a whole lot easier to read than thomas distributing. see http://www.mahaenergy.com/store/view...?idProduct=352 )
bluesdance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 2006, 8:55 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
Default

wait, though -- the C401FS seems to have more features, and it comes with a LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY, unlike anything else Maha offers. How?!

the FS doesn't do a full discharge and recharge like some (including the W)... Maha claims that the FS technology makes that unnecessary, although you might disagree...

I don't know... I'm overwhelmed too!
bluesdance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:08 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
Default

Ok, just did a little more digging and found this post on Imaging Resource. The question was asked: FS or W? Dave's answer was:

"...[M]y vote would be for the 204W, as it has more advanced charging algorithms, so does a better job of 'topping off' the batteries than the 401FS does."

And there you have it. The more portable and newer option (W=2004, FS=2002) is also claimed to be better.

There's still that weird issue of the lifetime warranty, though... :?
bluesdance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:20 PM   #14
mrb
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 84
Default

I too am looking for a charger. I have seen information recommending a charger that charges each cell individually. They say that, if charged in pairs, one cell is never fully charged.

The Maha W only charges in pairs, while the FS has individual circuits for each each cell. I agree that the Thomas website is not the easiest to search, but I have seen many people on this forum recommend them. I did find this page comparing the Maha's if you haven't seen it yet.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/m...y-chargers.htm
mrb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 2006, 9:52 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358
Default

I prefer, and recommend, chargers that treat each cell individually. As cells age, they can develop different charge characteristics that are best met by individual charging.

Keep in mind that a charger that "puts more into a cell," simply charges to a higher voltage. We have noticed that batteries coming off of the Maha 204 charger are at around 1.52 volts, where as batteries coming off of other chargers are at 1.46 volts.

The batteries charged to a higher voltage will show more capacity during a test, but may not enjoy a long cycle life.

Regardless of what they want to call it, NiMh batteries benefit from an occasional full discharge. It is very convenient if your charger can take care of this for you.

There are a wide variety of chargers out there. Some have more features, some charge faster, some have a very low trickle charge rate that will not "cook" your cells. The battery manufacturers recommend charging at 0.1C (250 mA for a 2500 mAh battery) for 12 hours after the forming charge. If you decide to do "fast" charging, they recommend a minimum rate of 0.5C (1.25 amps for a 2500 mAh battery) up to a 1C rate (2.5 amps for a 2500 mAh battery). There seems to be some difficulty detecting the end of charge signal when the charge rate is between 0.3C to 0.5C.

Based on all of this information, you should be able to pick out a good charger.

Tom
SilverFoxCPF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2006, 7:31 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 36
Default

(head spinning from all the numbers)
um... thanks for the post
which one do you use?
bluesdance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2006, 9:26 AM   #17
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

SilverFoxCPF wrote:
Quote:
There seems to be some difficulty detecting the end of charge signal when the charge rate is between 0.3C to 0.5C.
It's that detecting full charge is easiest at biggest currents but when charging current drops detecting full charge becomes harder and harder when after 0.5C charging current.

Then reason for that 0.1C low charging current is that it's small enough that overcharging (because of not detecting full charge) isn't anymore such battery killer.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2006, 11:01 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358
Default

Hello Bluesdance,

I have a lot of chargers, and what works well for me may not be good for you.

With that in mind, the charger I use most often is the Schulze isl 6-330d RS. This charger is probably not practicalfor most people, but it does give you complete control over your charging rates, and will charge all types of rechargeable chemistries. It also has the capability of interfacing with a computer so you can analyze your batteries and keep track of their performance.

On a more practical level, Iuse my BC-900 a lot, and think the Maha C808M is a very good charger to consider. I haveNiMh C and D cells, and the 808 does a very good job of charging them.Maha also makes a similar charger for just AAA and AA batteries that uses the same charging algorithm.

When I am in a hurry,I use theEnergizer 15 minute charger. This charger is amazing. I would think the batteries would burn up when charging at this high a rate, they do get warm but quickly cool off. Keep in mind that this charger is better suited to batteries in the 2000 mAh capacity range. I am doing some cycle testing on some 2500 mAhbatteries, and under extreme use I am seeingsome degradation at around 100 cycles. This test is still in progress, so I can't tell you how much of a difference this is. I guess the thing to remember is that if you are in a hurry, you will just have to replace your batteries more frequently.

When traveling and not in a hurry, I have been using the TG-2800 from www.AmondoTech.com . The charge rate is a little slow, but it has several safety devices built in (one of which is temperature) to keep from burning up your batteries. It also has a discharge function which is very useful.

I recently picked up a Sanyo NC-MWH01U travel charger. It does not have a discharge function, but I am very impressed with its charging ability, and it has a battery condition test function that gives you a general idea as to the state of charge of your batteries.

Please understand that my "collection" is not exhaustive. A few hours spent on the internet in research will yield several other choices similar to the ones that I use.

Tom
SilverFoxCPF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 2006, 11:05 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358
Default

Hello E.T.,

The nice thing about the 0.1C charge is that it is a timed charge. With an empty battery, you charge at 0.1C for 12 hours then shut things off. There is no end of charge detection required.

The draw back of this type of charging is that you need to start with an empty battery. If you battery is only half empty, you will over charge it and run the possibility of doing damage to it.

Tom
SilverFoxCPF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 7, 2007, 5:56 AM   #20
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Default

Sooooooo, it's about a year after the origional post. I, literally, just bought the Lightning Pack 4000N. I haven't had much experience with it yet. Is it one of the "best" chargers? Is there a better one that you'd recommend these days?

Thanks,
Frd...
FrdPrefct is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:45 PM.