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Help Regarding Battery Chargers

There are two main types of battery charger...

A timed battery charger and an intelligent battery charger. A timed battery charger will tend to charge rechargeable batteries for a fixed length of time, after which the battery charger may switch to trickle charge or simply switch off. These battery chargers are fine for batteries of a certain capacity. Say your battery charger takes 5 hours to fully charge 1700mAh AA batteries. Perhaps these batteries came with the battery charger. All will be fine and your batteries will reach their full charge. However, if you put higher capacity batteries in the same battery charger, it will charge for 5 hours at the same rate and your higher capacity batteries will only ever be partially charged (to about 1700mAh).

Ok, so how about I charge the higher capacity rechargeable batteries again before use, using the same battery charger?

You could do this of course as this will give the batteries a double dose. But how would you feel if, on a drinking binge, your capacity was say, 8 glasses of wine, and you were forced to take two lots of 5? You get the jist? The charger will spend another 5 hours charging the batteries, but of course you risk damaging the batteries by overcharging them. This will shorten their life. Quite an apt analogy perhaps? We get many customers who purchase the new high capacity Uniross 2500mAh NiMH AA batteries and find that the performance of these batteries is not much better than the 1700mAh batteries they were replacing. In most cases this is because the battery charger being used is a timed battery charger. The best solution is to use an intelligent battery charger.

What is an intelligent battery charger?

An intelligent battery charger is just that, cleverer than a timed battery charger. It is often microprocessor controlled and charges the rechargeable batteries until their full capacity is reached. Once they are fully charged, the battery charger stops charging, preventing your batteries from being "cooked" which prolongs their life.

Can I charge NiMH rechargeable batteries in my existing NiCd battery charger?

Sorry, no. Well you can, but the battery life will be severely affected by this treatment. Some battery chargers allow the charging of both NiCd batteries and NiMH batteries. Some battery chargers auto sense the battery type (like the Ansmann Energy 4 Traveller battery charger) and some require a switch to be used to select the battery type. The Camlink Z1 battery charger is ideal for charging Lithium-Ion batteries for digital cameras. If your digital camera uses regular AA rechargeable batteries, the Ansmann budget charger EC-800 would be a good choice for a low cost intelligent charger.

I am now informed! Take me to your battery chargers!

Product Name
Battery Types
In Car Use
Charging Speed
(Max. Charge Rate)
Individual Cell
Cell Refresh

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