What Battery/Charger Combos Are You Using ???

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k2ns

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I recently got a Uniden BCD396T scanner. As you know, it came with its own charger and 3 NIMH GP Industrial 2250 Mah batteries. I recently got a charger/battery combo on Ebay, so I could recharge one set of batteries while the other set is powering the scanner. It's a Chinese made charger and it came with twelve BTY brand 2500 Mah NIMH AA cells. I figured that I would have about 4 sets ready to go while 1 set was in use.

It's not working out. The charger outputs a charge of 160 milliamps, so I have been letting it charge a set for 18-20 hours. The charger does not have any kind of charge indicator other than 2 red leds to tell you that power is applied. I figured that 18-20 hours would be fine, but I am only getting 1-2 hours out of a set of those BTY cells. I put the original GP cells in the charger yesterday, and let them charge for 20 hours, and I have them in the scanner now, and I'll see how much time I get out of them. I usually get about 4 hours with them after being charged with the Uniden charger while in the radio.

What are you guys using for power ??? I just ordered a La Crosse BC-900 charger, and I'm wondering what brand & type of AA cells I should look for. I've seen lousy reports on Duracell regular NIMH cells, but great reports on their "precharged" NIMH units. Sanyo eneloop cells get great reports, but I've seen them in many capacities--up to 2700 Mah, and as low as 2000 Mah. I think some of those are early ones and others are currently sold ones. I don't know which are which. I found one company selling the 2700 Mah Eneloops for $9.75 per 4 pack, but that sounds too cheap--maybe it's early technology. Their website is:

http://www.digitalfotoclub.com/sc/from-froogle.asp?id=964740767&rf=froogle&dfdate=7_18_2008

So, what do all of you "experts" use for power ??


RON


P.S. Maybe the forum operators should start a separate discussion group for "power"---batteries & chargers in "Topic Specific Forums". I'm sure that there are a lot of users who would post on and read that group. Everyone is interested in getting more life out of their batteries.
 
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UPMan

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90% of the time, I just use the internal charger. I use an external MAHA C401FS for times when I need a higher duty cycle or am keeping extra charged batteries on hand for multiple devices.

I use the highest capacity NiMH name brand batteries I can find (usually Sanyo ... but I usually do my battery shopping at Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku area of Tokyo and brand selection is usually either Sanyo or Panasonic).

You might find this battery charger forum useful: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_forum.php?id=51

And also this retail site: http://www.thomas-distributing.com/index.htm
 
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Raven95150

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Most people here will probably recommend a charger and batteries from Maha/Powerex. Their chargers are more expensive than most but are higher quality. They give the batteries am more complete charge and can recondition them, resulting in longer life per charge and longer overall life.

I've been using a Rayovac charger (model PS23-B) and have used batteries from Duracell, Energizer, Kodak, as well as Wal-Mart's cheap brand. The Duracells seemed to last longer when they were new, but their performance dropped off much more quickly than the others. The other 3 brands all performed about equally.
 

LEH

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I've used a variety of battery brands and chargers over the past several years. I am slowly migrating toward the Sanyo Ennoloops charged by my Maha C9000 (I like it though there is a thread here where a guy has had some problems).

Other brands I've used are Radio Shacks brand name, Energizer, Rayovac and Duracell. None really were that much different from the others (though I will state the Energizer's with the green tops were relatively poor).

Chargers were typically the one that came with the battery set. I tried a couple of different 15 minute chargers, but though they did nicely in the quick charge department (nice for the morning I forgot to charge overnight), but rough on the batteries themselves.

I've also done more than my fair share of in scanner charging. For this, the ones that seemed to hold up the best use wise (time between charges) was the 2000 MAH 15 minute Rayovacs. I replaced them in my 96 a couple of months ago with the Ennoloops. Still get good time, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere near what I got with the Rayovacs.

The only issue I've had with the C9000 charger is that a couple of the Rayovacs (that came out of the 96) don't seem to want to charge in the 9000, they read "high". But (as the guy in the other thread says too), they will charge in other chargers and they still work.

Maha makes several very nice AA and AAA chargers. Nearly all will allow you to charge individual batteries (nice when charging the 3 pack out of the 396). The top end of their line will also allow you to select charge rates, refresh (run down and recharge), analyze (to tell you the state of the battery) and some other nice features.

UPman does as many of us do, charge in the scanner. There are a couple of folks who will say this is not smart (and to a degree I am one of them). If you have the external charger, use it. If something goes wrong with a charge (battery shorts out or something), it is only the battery and the charger, not the scanner too, that are damaged. Chances of this happening are pretty slim, but if it does, unless it is a real bug in the scanner (lots of similar failures) don't expect it to be a warranty repair.

Paul, you're making us jealous. Never was able to make to Tokyo or Hong Kong in my Asian travels. :D
 

linuxwrangler

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Second that on all counts (MAHA, Thomas and Steve's). I've had good experience with MAHA (Powerex) chargers. I have a 401 but now mostly use the C9000.

The nice thing about the 9000 is that it lets you test, cycle and keep tabs on your batteries. I bought some cheap "high-capacity (2500mAh)" no-name batteries that never tested better than 2100 even when new. Replaced them with some Powerex Imedion batteries that are rated at 2100mAh and have never seen less than 2150. So don't trust labels - at least not on off brands.

And even though the Imedion are "only" 2100mAh, they are low-self-discharge. Some standard NiMH lose 10% in the first day 1 so if you charge a couple sets and end up waiting a day or two, your 2100mAh batteries could be down to around 1900mAh.

Making things worse, that 10% is "off the top". Rated capacity takes the battery down to 1v while the 396 cuts out well above that. I seem to recall from my tests that using the official rating method, there is 15% or so capacity left when the 396 cuts out. So if you lose 10% off the top and have only 85% to start with you are actually losing almost 12% of usable capacity.

If you are only getting 4 hours, something is wrong. Perhaps insufficient charge time or a bad cell. I usually get at least 9 hours and usually closer to 11.
 

k2ns

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Maha makes several very nice AA and AAA chargers. Nearly all will allow you to charge individual batteries (nice when charging the 3 pack out of the 396). The top end of their line will also allow you to select charge rates, refresh (run down and recharge), analyze (to tell you the state of the battery) and some other nice features. :D
The La Crosse 900 model does all that also, and it's priced right. Here's a link to it, and that site has a link for the owner's manual.

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/la_crosse_bc-900_battery_charger.php


So far, the original GP batteries have been running for 2 & 1/2 hours with no problems. Evidently those BTY batteries are real CR@P !!!


RON
 
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N1SQB

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Maha All The Way!

I love my Maha MH-C801D charger!
If you go through a lot of batteries, this charger is one of the best to have! I hear some not so good things about the Duracell AA/AAA batteries but I can not relate. I run 16 over-the -counter purchased Duracell 2650 Mah batteries. Mainly on my AOR-8200MKIII and my Fuji digital camera. Both are high drain devices. I have never had a problem with the batteries that I can recall. Then again, I have been charging them, fully discharging them and deep conditioning them like you are supposed to using the same Maha charger. A lot of people dont fully discharge and/or deep condition their batteries. I also swear by the Sanyo 2700 Mah batteries. Love them. I purchase all my batteries from Thomas Distributing so I add another thumbs up for them.

Manny
 

n4yek

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I use Energizer 2500 mAh and the corresponding charger that came with it. Picked it up at Lowes for $20 dollars. I also bought extra batteries so I can swap them out when one set runs down, it never hurts to have plenty of batteries on hand.
 

texasemt13

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I use Energizer 2500 mAh and the corresponding charger that came with it. Picked it up at Lowes for $20 dollars. I also bought extra batteries so I can swap them out when one set runs down, it never hurts to have plenty of batteries on hand.
I did the exact sam e thing and have had NO complaints about the life of my batteries. I'm pretty on top of the charging cycles though and often supplement the charge with the in car DC adapter.

Might try some of these new Maha rechargeables though...
 

doug408

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I've used a variety of battery brands and chargers over the past several years. I am slowly migrating toward the Sanyo Ennoloops charged by my Maha C9000 (I like it though there is a thread here where a guy has had some problems).
For those who may not be familiar with them, I believe "Ennoloop" above is intended to be "Eneloop." One big claim of these is that they retain their charge on the shelf much longer than many "equivalent" batteries. I recently started using them in a digital camera and a PSR-500, and have been pleasantly surprised at their real-world lifetime, especially for uses like a camera, where it may sit on the shelf for quite a while, but you don't want to spend time messing with batteries when you need it. I'd be very interested to hear comments from anyone who has experience with these and knows of something better.

I'm less impressed with the charger that Sanyo sells with these. It charges quickly, but doesn't seem to charge as fully as a (longer) charge directly from a PSR-500. This may be a "good enough" or even desirable tradeoff in many situations, but I'd like to have a choice. Some day I'll have to look into the MAHA chargers, which consistently seem to get good reviews.
 

gmclam

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I use Energizer 2500 mAh and the corresponding charger that came with it. Picked it up at Lowes for $20 dollars. I also bought extra batteries so I can swap them out when one set runs down, it never hurts to have plenty of batteries on hand.
I too have some Energizer 2500 batteries. They work OK, but not as good as some other brands I have. Funny thing, they charge fine in the scanner and the dumb charger but not the Maha C9000. When all is said and done, I do not believe the Energizer 2500s maintain the same capacity over time as other 2500 mah and higher batteries. For example, I have some Panasonic 2300 mah NiMH batteries which were purchased at the same time as the Energizers, and came with their own dumb charger too; and they are still going strong with no problems (including the being accepted by the C9000).
 

slicerwizard

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I too have some Energizer 2500 batteries. They work OK, but not as good as some other brands I have. Funny thing, they charge fine in the scanner and the dumb charger but not the Maha C9000.
That's because they have higher internal resistance than most NiMH cells. How many times have we seen others here write about Energizers and their problems? The warnings are legit.
 

Skud

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I use Energizer 2500 mAh and the corresponding charger that came with it. Picked it up at Lowes for $20 dollars. I also bought extra batteries so I can swap them out when one set runs down, it never hurts to have plenty of batteries on hand.
how long does a charge last?
Have you ever tried to leave the backlight on to see how long a charge will last with it on?
 

fmalloy

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Apparently the C401FS is no longer available from Thomas?

I have heard that some chargers (Maha included) have to charge either two or four cells - true? My scanner has three AAs and I want to be able to charge only three.
 

pdfdems286

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although i've gone thru several charger's/batteries,i currently use the maha mh-c801d charger and 12 delkin 2900 mah nimh aa batt's. i have these backed up with about 40 or so nimh batt's of various mah and make's.i have 4 pack's of 4 sanyo eneloops for long storage/emergencies.remember,when you really need batteries is when the system will fail.i also keep a cache of aa alkalines.i try to find the cheapest price for the most batt's.usually home depot or lowes has the best price's.i'm also a big thomas distributing fan.
 

gmclam

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I have heard that some chargers (Maha included) have to charge either two or four cells - true?
It depends on the exact model of the charger. I can tell you that the Maha C9000 will charge any combination from 1 to 4 batteries. I believe that is true for the LaCrosse as well.
 

Unadan

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90% of the time, I just use the internal charger. I use an external MAHA C401FS for times when I need a higher duty cycle or am keeping extra charged batteries on hand for multiple devices.
Upman I see a lot of forum members that advise against this. I have a new 396XT should I use the internal charger set at one hour charging vs. the default of 5 - or will the batteries get too hot inside the scanner? Or should I continue to use my ccrane external charger? Is there any disadvantage to using the internal charger (power fluctuations, etc?) that could damage the scanner during the charge period?
 

UPMan

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We designed the battery charger to be used. Whether you use it is a personal choice, but I've never advised against it...
 
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