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AA / AAA travel charger

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IanB:

--- Quote from: james_s on May 14, 2021, 10:51:36 pm ---I have one of those Panasonic chargers too, not my main charger but it came with a set of Eneloops and I use it at our cabin. A lot of these "smart" chargers will fail to detect a cell that has become too far discharged. The fix for that is to connect it in parallel with a charged cell for a few seconds, or better yet a bench power supply  or just use an old dumb charger for a few minutes. Once the voltage is up over about 0.8V you can pop it in the smart charger and it will be detected and charge. I don't know why they don't all have something like a 5mA slow trickle charge to recover overly discharged cells.

--- End quote ---

I have two kinds of Panasonic charger, the BQ-CC17 and the BQ-321. I know for sure that the BQ-CC17 will charge cells from even negative voltages, since my Harmony remote control drains cells to zero all the time (it is a battery hog). I suspect the BQ-321 would do the same, but I don't remember when I last tested it in this way.

I once found some cells that the BQ-321 refused to accept, but they were old, very dead cells recovered from solar garden lamps and honestly were beyond rescue.

The BQ-321 is my favorite travel charger due to its small size (but two cells only).

james_s:
That's good to know, I have not actually tried the Panasonic charger with completely discharged cells. My main charger is a LaCross BC-900 and it does not detect cells that are discharged too low. It's a hassle because I have some devices that use multiple cells and will run them down so far that the charger won't see them, or in some cases so far that one of the cells gets reversed. That in my experience causes permanent damage to the cell, reducing its capacity. I have to set a reminder to recharge them before they're completely dead.

IanB:
I have a Maha C9000 for when I want to recondition cells. Also, if you put reversed cells in on a normal charging cycle it has a trickle charge step to bring cells up to a normal voltage before applying the full charging current.

That said, the Panasonic is fine as a "set it and forget it" device. I can just drop cells into it in the evening and they are charged in the morning. The C9000 is useful if I want to charge cells quickly, though. The 1000 mA charge setting gives a good balance between fast charging and cool cells.

Hydrawerk:
A teardown of Panasonic BQ-CC17 and BQ-CC55.
https://memristor.rajce.idnes.cz/Panasonic_BQ-CC55_NiMh_charger/
https://memristor.rajce.idnes.cz/Panasonic_BQ-CC17_NiMh_charger/
Soldering quality is very good. There is a known 8-bit processor used, not a custom chip. There are unknown capacitor brands. Everything is probably OK. The BQ-CC17 is too small, the battery compartment could be bigger.

Hydrawerk:
Ansmann Powerline 4 is already at my home. It works OK and it charges even old AA / AAA NiMh accumulators. I am happy with that. I will do a teardown in future.
https://www.conrad.com/p/ansmann-powerline-4-smart-charger-for-cylindrical-cells-nicd-nimh-aaa-aa-2362035
I wonder why Powerline 4 is not listed on their website... This is a bit similar product. https://www.ansmann.de/en/battery-chargers/powerline-8

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