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Old Jul 7, 2006, 1:38 PM   #1
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Hello, not quite sure wether to be a cheapskate and get something like this 1 hour battery charger with 4x2600mah Ni-Mh AAs, something even cheaper like this not-too slow charger, again with 4x2600mah Ni-Mh AA....

or wether to stick with brand names from ordinary shops.

Feedback and advice appreciated.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 3:34 PM   #2
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Um, thisis the charger I use.

Teamed up with some generic/cheap/neverheardofthatmanufacturer 2600 mAhNiMh batteries from ebay and with the Sony H1 (2.5in lcd) , I can get over 300 shots, lcd on full time and maybe 50+ shots taken with flash.

You just need to "condition" the batteries first , charge-discharge afew cycles, this charger can do it for you plus it you can see from the lcds the total charge the batteries have taken so you can weed out underperforming ones. Has independent charge circuits so you don't have to charge in pairs.

Other people love the various Maha chargers.


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Old Jul 7, 2006, 4:23 PM   #3
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That's well and good, but is there anything fundamentally wrong with cheapo ones?
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 2:21 AM   #4
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Hello Pterrr,

Cheap cells usually have less quality control. This results in inconsistencies between cells and a lot less than rated capacity. The other thing that happens is that substandard materials are utilized that give poor cycle performance.

If you are playing around with non critical applications, it can be fun to test out various cells. If you need performance, I would suggest getting the best cells you can find.

It is my humble opinion that the same logic goes for chargers. If you go for the cheapest charger, you should expect to be "let down" at times because your charger may be taking some short cuts. For critical applications, a very good charger is a necessity.

Perhaps it would be better to find the best value...

Tom
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 8:24 AM   #5
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Thanks Tom, that seems to make sense.

If I can expect cheapo cells to have less than rated capacity, I think I'll stick with brand names. Fun as it may be, I think I'd rather spend my time in other ways than testing cells...

Likewise, I'd rather have a decent, reliable, (perhaps not 'very good') charger. I don't know exactly what 'short cuts' a charger might make, but nonetheless... Cost is still a major factor, but I guess now is a bad time to be a total cheapskate. I don't want to make any false economies.

Cheers,
Peter
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 9:35 AM   #6
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I use the Lacross charger mentioned above - really excellent. But when it comes to AA NiMH batteries, go for the best. They are not expensive anyway and who knows how good the cheapos are or how long they will last. I use only Sanyo batteries.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 10:48 AM   #7
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I recommend Powerex or Sanyo AA NiMH Cells. As for chargers, I use the MH-C401FS and the LaCrosse BC-900.
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 10:11 AM   #8
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One of the other factor in using cheaper AA's is that they tend to lose their capacity faster than quality batteries. Some have been shown to fail after 90 charges.

We supply Maha chargers to camera stores here in Australia. Most of the stores also sell cheap chinese batteries and chargers, and have a lot of customers return them to the store for replacement. You may be lucky and not have a problem, but they just don't seem to be built to last.

When you consider you will probably be using the charger for many years, it is worth paying a little bit more for a quality product with a 3 year warranty to back it up.
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Old Jul 9, 2006, 12:13 PM   #9
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Part of the reason I'm reluctant to spend money on a nice charger, is that I'm not sure if I'll suddenly have special requirments, like solar for example, that mean I want another one later anyway.
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