A battery of questions!
October 26, 2011 3:42 PM Subscribe
Does an expensive battery charger do a better job of charging and maintaining NiMH batteries than a generic, cheapo charger?
A couple of years ago, I purchased a La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger (linked here : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RSOV50 )
The reviews were very positive, and I purchased one, based on these reviews, and the fact that I seemed to have accumulated old NiMH batteries that eventually seemed to become less and less useful. Upon putting some very old NiMH batteries in the LaCrosse charger, it ran through a lengthy process of discharging and recharging, and by god, it seemed to bring them back to life! According to the product FAQ,
"The REFRESH mode will discharge and recharge the battery up to 20 times to reach its fullest capacity. The REFRESH or conditioning mode works best on batteries that have been used under load for awhile first. It is also a great way to renew old rechargeable
I have been happy with the charger, but when I mentioned it to a friend (who, is much MUCH more knowledgeable about such things), he commented that,
"I had recently been doing a lot of research on charging NiMH for a friend who asked me to design a special charger for him (to keep batteries topped-up in long-term storage) - general consensus is that discharging NiMHs in a charge cycle is a BAD thing. It unnecessarily reduces battery life with no known advantage"
So, is my charger using some sort of flim-flam and harming my batteries? I don't think I've lost any batteries in the 2 years that I've owned the device and have been very happy with it, so I'm a little confused.
Am I simply the happy owner of a decent battery charger, or am I a victim of some sort of electronic placebo effect?