Charging camera batteries

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pietpetoors
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:33 am

Perhaps the electronically minded members can help me here.
I use normal penlight rechargeable batteries in my camera. When I recharge them I often forget the batteries in the charger which result in 18 or 24 hours charging times. Surely this damages the batteries since they are hot when I eventually take them out.

I want to plug the charger into a timer and set the timer on 4 hours. I think 4 hours is sufficient to load 4x penlights. My question now is, after it charged for the selected time and the times switches the charger off, will the batteries loose its power if they remain in the charger and I do not take them, this will be after the power was switched off by the timer.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:23 pm

I do not think so since they are connected to as rectifier which is diodes that will not allow reverse current to flow back into the transformer. Doesn't charger have a LED that indicate charge level. These types of chargers normally have a regulator in and should limit current once the batteries are charged fully.

Eric jy ken mos die goeters beter. wat sê jy?
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:17 pm

Piet,

The time duration for batteries to charges is fully dependent upon the battery capacity, the later batteries being nearly double the capacity of the previous types of the same size. Basically, you get a rapid charge rate which only takes some 4-6 hours depending on the battery capacity, or an overnight slow charge, which usually takes 12-16 hours, again depending on the battery capacity and the output of the charger.

The Rapid Charger should be an "Intelligent" type, which senses the battery state of charge and temperature *before* it commences a charge, and not purely a "Fast" charger with no intelligence. If a battery is left unattended in an unregulated battery charger for longer than it should be, you will most definitely damage the battery as a result of overcharge.

Uniross make quite nice little regulated chargers that switch off after a preset time period. These work fine and will not harm the battery.

http://www.uniross.com/consumer_html/home.php?zone=5

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Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:53 pm

Hi Eric

I have never seen the type of charger before where can I obtain one of those? Stores like ?
Last edited by Niel on Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:19 pm

So does it mean if I leave the batteries in the charger after the LEDs turned green the unit still charge them at flat speed? Mine is a universal charger than charges everything from AAA to torch batteries but it does not have a timer.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:38 pm

Niel,

I bought my charger (similar to the one pictured) either at Hi-Fi Corp, or possibly Makro. Can't remember the price, was a couple of years ago. The charger pictured above will switch itself off after a set time, no harm done.

Bennie,

Many chargers charge at a fast rate until they battery is about 90% or so full, then they switch over to a trickle charge. That is usually when the charger LED switches over from red to green. The batteries should not be warm to the touch after a couple of hours have passed while in the green mode.

The cheaper chargers do not have this regulating feature, but any charger costing in the region of R300 or so should have it.

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Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:52 pm

The batteries should not be warm to the touch after a couple of hours have passed while in the green mode.
Does that mean that it is normal for the batteries to become hot while charging??

Seems to me that it also means that if I remove the batteries after 4 hours I could do it harms since it was not fully charged yet, it might still be in rapid mode when I remove them?

I think it will be safer to go look for one of these proper chargers. A set of batteries cost R120, so it is worth investing in a proper charger. Thanks for the detailed lesson, now I understand the charging procedure better.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:55 pm

I am sure that I saw one of these chargers at Pick @ Pay this week, will check when I go to Vredenburg again, out Pick & Pay is only 35Km away.
http://www.uniross.com/consumer_html/se ... f=RC104425
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:39 pm

Well, this is what they have to say about the RC104425:

Charger: rc104425
Name: X-Press 300
Reference: RC104425
Dimensions: 62 x 122 x 46 mm
Weight: 229 g
Recharged sizes: AAA / R03, AA / R6, 9V / R22
Plug: Europe
Charger type: Economical
Voltage: 220-240 V
Description: Ultra compact plug-in charger Unique design to charge on both sides Charges 4 AA / 4 AAA or 2 9V
Ideal for: All digital applications, audio, toys, home
Charging Current: 300mA
Control functions: Timer, trickle charge, indicators lights, bad cell detection
Charging time: 5 to 9 hours
Supplied with: 4 AAA 900mAh

If you're using penlight batteries (AA) of around 1700~2100 mAH, then you would require to charge them for some 6 - 7 hours, at 300mA rate. The batteries should feel warm, but never hot, to the touch. Once the charger reverts to a trickle charger, it only charges at about 30mA or so, so the battery charge temperature will drop considerably.

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Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:40 pm

Next Question:
My one set of batteries are 2700 mAH and the other 2500 mAH. Will the charger mentioned below work for it, of is hy te lig in die broek?

My current charger says: Output 2xAA (2.8v = 170-190mA 0.48-0.53 VA)
Seems like this one is even smaller.

My main concern was that the batteries heated up, but now looking at the gigures it seems like I always undercharged the batteries becuase I took it out before it was done.
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Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:58 pm

Piet,

Should be fine, if the charger really has a rated current output of 300mA. But it is marginal for those size batteries. I wasn't even aware that there were penlight batteries rated at 2700mA/Hr. That is quite potent for such a small battery! You will need to charge for the full nine hours that this charger can be set to.

On the other hand, you do not want to charge penlight batteries at anything more than about 300mA, or the batteries get too hot, thereby affecting their charging efficiency.

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Fri Aug 10, 2007 9:49 pm

Eric

Want to know if I can use the existing 220v "wall charger" to charge the uniross batteries in an inverter or do I need to get a separate 12v/220 v charger when charging it in an inverter.

See pictures of the existing 220v "wall” chargers
I will start a tread on inverters as well (need some info).
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Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:20 am

Niel

Depending on how many items you want to run of the inverter it might just be another option to charge batteries and phones directly of 12Volt. Decent inverters are not cheap and you can get 12 adapters or devices as well.

Have a look at for instance this universal charger that can work of either Mains or 12V.
http://www.akita.co.za/Batteries/default.htm wrote: Vanson Model V-2299 Universal
Microprocessor Controlled
Intelligent Fast Charger for
NiCad/Nickel Metal Hydride Cells

Features

Charges AAA,AA,C,D and 9v square batteries from either mains or from a 12V car cigarette lighter.
bullet AA cells (800-2500mAh) charge in 1-3 hours
bullet D cells (1200-9000mAh) charge in 2-14 hours
bullet Negative delta V cut off function
bullet Bad cell detection

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A bargain at R250.80 incl VAT
If you shop around you might even find it cheaper, this one I found a quick Google search.

The advantage of using an inverter is the flexibility in that you can plug in many different devices.

The disadvantages is the cost, efficiency due to heat generated. To invert power generates heat which is is effectively energy acquired from the vehicles battery and then converted into heat and then lost.

Now to bring the 220V back down to the desired 1.5, 3, 6 or 9 volt that the device needs a transformer of switch mode power supply is used. These devices waist energy due to heat generation as well. Thus you are wasting energy twice in the process. If you can find a device like the charger on top to charge the batteries or operate your Laptop etc. directly of the available 12V your energy inefficiency becomes less which means that your batteries will last longer.
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Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:29 pm

First of all I would like to bring to your attention that some charges have the facility to first Discharge the batteries, this is very important, to lengthen the life span of batteries.

Then it is not correct to mix various rated batteries when re-chargeing them, rather charge the same type of battery.

We have a few types of charges, first of all this one in the photo is manufactured by GP it is a NiCd and NiMH Charger, you can select which preference that you require by moving a small lever across, red is for charging and green indicates when the batteries are ready for use, the model of this unit is GPKB 34 P
Input/PRI 230 volts-50Hz 6W
Output/SEC 2x (3v ---- 250mA) 1.5 VA

We have been using this unit for many years and have not had any problems, sometimes the batteries are left in the charger with the green light showing and do not get damaged.

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