Author Topic: AA / AAA travel charger  (Read 1205 times)

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Offline Hydrawerk

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AA / AAA travel charger
« on: May 05, 2021, 09:54:13 pm »
Hello, please help me choose a good travel AA / AAA charger with built-in electric plug. I want individual cell control. The indication should be made with 4 dual color leds. I want a charge time of 5 to 8 hours. I already have Panasonic BQ-CC17 and BQ-CC55, but they reject old accumulators.
What about Ansmann Powerline 4?
https://www.conrad.de/de/p/ansmann-powerline-4-smart-rundzellen-ladegeraet-nicd-nimh-micro-aaa-mignon-aa-2362035.html
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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2021, 01:05:11 am »
Spend some time over at eevblog member site

http://lygte-info.dk/
 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2021, 09:56:56 pm »
http://lygte-info.dk/
Yes, that website is great, I bought the Panasonic BQ-CC17 according to it. But there are very few chargers with a built in AC plug and individual cell control...
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Offline IanB

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2021, 10:11:05 pm »
The Panasonic BQ-CC17 is a good charger. I have one and have found it to work very well.

If the charger is rejecting cells, then it is a hint that you should reject those cells too. They are past the end of their life.

I think your money would be better invested in buying new cells rather than new chargers.
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 12:30:32 am »
If the charger is rejecting cells, then it is a hint that you should reject those cells too. They are past the end of their life.
They'll still work for a surprisingly long time in noncritical low power applications like solar garden lights.
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Offline aargee

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 02:34:52 am »
I use a Nitecore Digicharger D4, four cells, individual cell charging, it does everything from AAA to 18650 lithium cells mixed. No integrated AC plug but I have a two pin short AC lead, it's my go to for travel chargers.
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Offline IanB

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 11:20:55 pm »
https://www.amazon.de/ANSMANN-Batterieladeger%C3%A4t-inkl-Schnellladeger%C3%A4t-wiederaufladbare-Schwarz/dp/B07C39KC9N/ref=sr_1_2?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&dchild=1&keywords=Ansmann%2BPowerline%2B4%2BSmart&qid=1620769393&sr=8-2&th=1
Ansmann Powerline 4 Smart seems to be OK.

You could buy it and let us know how it goes. However, good chargers will reject bad cells. So you may find it rejects your old and worn out batteries just like the Panasonic does.
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2021, 10:41:14 pm »
I like the big brand high speed charger with the fan. But those need a external plug back and are kind of hard core.

For travel get one that has 4 independent battery chargers, the big companies make good ones. They are not quite as fast.

The one that charges 2 cells in parallel will have a bracket drawn in pointing to a single LED, while the ones that charge 4 cells independently will have 4 LED. They are just better.

I like this one alot, because I can go through all my rechargeables twice a year in short order without it dragging onto an all month affair. When you have enough rechargeables you will appreciate fast charge technology. I prefer it to tenergy brand, which I also own.  The supply for these is more like a laptop charger really, the duracell one is a brick and the tenergy one was a pathetic wall wart. I trust the duracell one much more honestly, 16V@4A = 64 W




But for travel, like really for travel, you should look into a USB powered one.. they are pretty cool. I have one USB one that is a single battery charger barely any bigger then the cell.

The direct plug into wall ones, the panasonic ones are really slow. There are more modern high powered ones that are one part and plug into the wall from energizer, duracell, etc.. that go alot faster, but they are a bit more bulky (same size but thicker). As far as pure size goes, you won't find one much smaller then the panasonic.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 10:50:59 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #9 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.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2021, 12:42:24 am »
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.

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).
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Offline james_s

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 02:36:45 am »
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.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2021, 03:55:06 am »
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.
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2021, 06:38:13 pm »
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.
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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 06:45:21 pm »
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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Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: AA / AAA travel charger
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2021, 12:05:36 am »
Teardown here. https://memristor.rajce.idnes.cz/Ansmann_Powerline_4_Smart/
Soldering quality is not perfect, but acceptable.
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