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Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Pack includes;
Prices have certainly gone up…
Still a very good price. Charger can be sold for $15 on Facetree, bringing it down to $8.33 per 4-pack.
Why would someone pay $15 for a charger with no capacity detection?
No idea, but I bought four sets and didn't want the changers and that's what I sold them for.
This looks like the same bundle as the previous Costco deal. If it is the same model of charger, it's a dumb charger, which will damage your batteries. You'll probably still get 20+ charge cycles out of the batteries though, so maybe worth considering.
If you want long battery life, follow JMC's advice from the last deal: "A $15 LiitoKala Lii-202 would be a worthwhile upgrade and keep the batteries healthy."
Some other chargers are good too, but it can be difficult to know which ones are good. Some chargers call themselves "smart" chargers, but take so long to charge the batteries, they are really dumb chargers in disguise. If the charger says it takes more than four hours to charge the batteries, it's no good, with the exception of Nitecore chargers which use a different method of charging.
where is the best place to buy the $15 liitokala charger?
A quick look on Ebay shows several at under $15 delivered, alas all from overseas, so slow delivery.
This one says delivered by speedpak, so maybe a little faster:
Australian suppliers start at about AU$20 on Ebay.
thanks i might get one.
I have this costco panasonic one. i forgot to take the batteries charging off after 10 hours and it got hot.
this will be better as it cuts off after full charge hopefully. ;]
@MagicTsukai: If you're near an Ikea, their LADDA charger is also good, but the single LED for indication of all four battery channels is a bit limiting. None of the other Ikea chargers are smart chargers, despite what they say.
EDIT: scratch that, they don't sell the LADDA charger any more, they have replaced it with KVARTS charger. It may be good, but only if you leave two slots permanently empty. When charging more than two batteries, the charge time gets too long for the -dV/dT effect to be reliably detected, and that is what is needed for a smart charger.
Would you go for the 4 bank option if you could instead of the 2 bank?
@Pandaboss: I have several chargers, and all of them do four batteries or more. But your situation may be different.
If you only have a small number of rechargeable batteries, a two-slot charger may be fine.
I use NiMh batteries in almost everything. Clocks, digital scales, remote controls, computer mice, torches, cameras. So I have about ten spare AA batteries, which sit on a shelf, in a row (laying down, not standing up). When a device stops working because of flat batteries, I charge that device's batteries, and I fill up the empty charger slots with batteries from the right-hand side of the row of spare batteries, and when the batteries finish charging, I add them to the left side of the row.
While the batteries are charging, I grab a few batteries from the left side of the row, and put them into the device that just had flat batteries. Because of the way I remove and add batteries to the row, the leftmost ones were recently charged.
If you do want to use rechargeables a lot, and haven't had a charger previously, I really recommend getting one that lets you test the battery capacity, giving a result in mAh. Batteries eventually lose capacity, and without having the ability to test them, you won't know which ones are going bad. Batteries with low capacity are still usable in low-current devices, so I use a permanent marker to draw a ring around them, and use them only in clocks and remote controls until they die completely.
@Russ: Thanks for that.
I never got into rechargeables, and quite keen and interested now.
After reading on what you do I might adopt a same format and have rechargeables where I can at home.
With the capacity check, does the Liitokala have this? I am thinking of purchasing a charger or 2, and I'll have probably a dozen batteries that will be used at one time, so will need 2 dozens to be able to cycle it like you do.
I would prefer to have just the one charger though for space saving.
Please recommend me a charger. Mainly AA and AAA batteries.
@Pandaboss: Apologies for the late reply, I haven't logged in for a few days, so I didn't know you'd replied.
Of all the chargers I have, I like the Liitokala Lii-500 best, and that's the one I recommend. It has two battery testing modes:
- "Fast Test" discharges the battery, then charges it, and uses the charging current and time to estimate the battery capacity.
- "NOR test" is more accurate, but takes longer. It charges the battery, then discharges it while measuring it, then charges it again.
But, there are a number of things to know.
This Amazon seller has the Lii-500 and an adapter with AU plug, but I'm not sure about the "Goofly" branding, possibly counterfeit?
Liitokala have an official store on AliExpress, and are the cheapest seller, but you can't use PayPal. Select the picture saying "Lii500 and adapter" for the correct price:
If you're wary of using AliExpress, Gearbest appear to have the next-best price:
For the batteries, I find Aldi's batteries ($6 per 4-pack) are fine for remotes and clocks and computer mice. Eneloops, in my opinion, are hyped too much on OzBargain, and considerably more expensive without being substantially better. I've also had good results with Turnigy batteries sold by hobbyking.com, but shipping makes them expensive unless you are buying 20 or more. I haven't tried Ikea's batteries, they sound good, but beware: Ikea sell low-capacity rechargeable batteries too, you want the "normal" capacity batteries (AAA >= 800mAh, AA >= 1900mAh).
@Russ: I jumped the gun and got this from aliexpress.
Nitecore UMS4 without adapter. It uses are micro USB, got plenty laying around.
It ended up around $42AUD shipped.
I will take note of the points you have mentioned as this will make batteries last longer and also the NiteCore unit. I am not sure it has the testing modes you mentioned and will check it when it arrives.
Now to look for batteries and will have a shop at ALDI.
My first actual use for this charger will be for 18650 batteries which is going to power wireless microphones for karaoke . haha
I see eneloops do get mentioned alot and thought Ill join the band wagon but I can wait and trial other batteries out.
@Pandaboss: That looks better than many of the previous Nitecore chargers, but I'm concerned with how hot it gets. The thermal images show the metalwork of the charger reaches 66 Degrees - first-degree burns start at 55 degrees.
There are four thermal images in this thorough review:
Manual can be downloaded from here:
It doesn't have any test modes. It will tell you how much power it pushed into the battery during charging, but that isn't the same as battery capacity unless the battery was completely flat to start with.
Heat is the enemy of batteries. If the batteries get too hot a hidden seal will rupture from the internal pressure, and the liquid electrolyte in the batteries will dry out over many months, with the battery capacity dropping as the electrolyte dries out. For NiMh batteries I choose the charging current to give a 3-hour charge, that is a good compromise between heat and having the -dV/dT effect work correctly, so the charger can accurately terminate the charge at the correct time. If charging takes 4 hours or longer, the -dV/dT effect becomes so small that chargers will usually miss it, and will then overcharge the batteries, which makes them even hotter.
So for 2400mAh NiMh batteries, I recommend 800mA charging current, for 2100mAh NiMh batteries I recommend 700mA. This will keep the batteries a little cooler than the default 1000mA charging current of the UMS4. According to the review, it can charge four AA NiMh batteries at 1A each, simultaneously, even with a non-QC adapter.
If you're wondering how hot this gets, 50 degrees is "I can hold the battery with my fingers wrapped around it in a fist, but it's really uncomfortable". By 55 degrees your reflexes usually take over, and you'll drop the battery.
The above is all about NiMh charging. I don't know much about charging Li-ion batteries or what temperature they can withstand.
Wow I didn't realise it gets that hot! That is insane!
I will be using the charger in the garage and away from any flammables because of this.
Thanks for giving me the current charge rate for NiMh batteries, I will refer to it so that batteries can last longer. Will need to look up Li-ion charge rates.
Such a shame that it doesn't have the test function, but ill be sure to run batteries flat to get the most life out of it. Is that correct?
Or should I start recharging at 20% and only run flat 1 every few charges? Ill be getting Li-Ion to start with.
All consumer-grade chargers get somewhat hot. Here's the equivalent review of the Lii-500, the metalwork gets to 57 degrees, and the hottest battery 46 degrees: https://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20LiitoKala%20...
But when I charge batteries at 700mA, I don't feel that high a temperature. The batteries get quite warm, but not uncomfortably so.
Running NiMh batteries flat is fine, as long as you run them flat individually. If you have two or more batteries in series powering something, inevitably they won't have exactly the same capacity, and one will run flat before the others. When that happens, the non-flat batteries continue to supply power, but the effect is that the non-flat batteries are reverse-charging the flat battery. Reverse-charging batteries definitely damages them. So perhaps invest in a few cheap single-AA flashlights to discharge the batteries. Ideally the flashlight should take 3 hours to discharge a full battery, you don't want a flashlight that could double as a light-saber. Batteries can get hot on discharge too, when discharged too fast.
For the older Ni-Cad technology, running batteries individually flat gave longer life. If you didn't, you could see what is known as the "memory effect", where they would lose capacity. NiMh batteries aren't supposed to suffer from the same effect. But I have found that using NiMh batteries in remotes and clocks, charging them about once per year, the capacity does drop unless I charge, discharge, and then recharge them again. That brings the capacity back close to what is written on the batteries.
Running Li-ion batteries flat is definitely bad. The deeper you discharge a li-ion battery, the fewer charge cycles you'll get from it. See table 2: https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_l...