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on December 4, 2008
The "Tenergy Speedy Box" (aka "Ni-Cd & Ni-MH Computer Controlled Smart Charger" Model BC-1HU) is, as of this writing, the best (and one of the fastest) smart chargers I've owned yet.

Likes:

* CAPACITY: it has 2 groups of charging bays. The first (located in it's upper right corner) can handle two 9v batteries. The second (under it's silver lid) can handle 4 of any combination of the following types: AAA, AA, C, D. The charger can handle both NiCad and NiMHi.

* ERGONOMICS: There's no need to toggle any switches in order to handle different types of batteries ... the charger's CPU automatically detects the size and type (NiCad or NiMHi) of any given battery placed into any individual charging slot, and it automatically adjusts the charging curve for that slot to the optimum method ... and you can mix and match different types of batteries in different cells, and it will individually charge and monitor each one independantly.

* SPEED: Because this charger is truly 'smart', it can quickly sense when a battery has reached full charge and switch that one battery to standby (the LED for that battery will change from Red to Green) ... which really helps extend battery life by avoiding unnecessary overcharging (esp when the power blinks and would otherwise trigger another full charging pass in many older 'dumb' chargers). The only battery type that takes an unusually long time is the 9v, but that's probably true of all chargers.

NITS:

* I wish the two 9v charging slots each had their own individual charge status LED (like the other 4 slots in the main bay do). Other than that, I'm very happy with this unit. Waxing philosophical for a moment - it'd be nice if someone would make a true "universal" charger that could also handle things like IPods, Cellphones, Car Batteries, etc. (each whith they own connecting adaptor), but that sort of technology convergence is still a ways off in the future.

Highly recommended - I've owned mine since early 2006.

Also recommended are the Tenergy 2600 mAh AA batteries, which have very good capacity and lifespan. I use them in everything that can handle the slightly decreased voltage inherent in rechargeables. This charger, and my batteries, have already paid for themselves several times over. Newer users will reach their break-even point even faster than I did, because this charger's price is now (as of this writing) less than half what it cost me when it first came out.

------------
UPDATE 2014: This unit has since gotten a bit long in the tooth. My current fave charger is the Lacrosse BC-700, which is faster, smarter, and is vastly better at testing and reconditioning batteries ... the only drawback is that it can't handle D or 9V's, and if a battery is drained so completely that it has 0v left, the BC-700 sometimes cant detect it.
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VINE VOICEon January 29, 2009
I bought one of these chargers about five years ago when it was a brand-new model, and considerably more expensive. Still, considering the near-constant use it has seen charging my large collection of batteries that sustain my digital existence, the investment has paid off several times over. This represents many hundreds of charges. At its current price, it is quite competitive with the handful of newer models that have digital readouts (in contrast to simple red and green LEDs,) and has the added advantage of being able to handle C-and D-cells, a feature I call upon frequently.

This is a real "smart charger." That means a microprocessor monitors the charge status of the batteries to ensure that they are not overcharged, and as far as I can tell, it works the way it is supposed to. In five years, I have only thrown out two cells, whose failure is most likely attributable to their dubious origin. Better types, like the "generic" Tenergy batteries, have worked flawlessly with heavy use; the same goes for the Sanyo Eneloops and Rayovac hybrids. //my two cents
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on September 3, 2010
I ordered the charger and it arrived with one 9volt battery slot not working. I returned the charger for an exchange, which was a complete hassle with the seller (battery superstore). The second charger arrived and on the first day of use caused a 9 volt battery to explode. DO NOT SPEND YOUr MONEY ON THIS CHARGER. I have been dealing with the seller for over a month on a refund, and all they care is that I remove my 1 rating.
They have no interest in product or customer safety.
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on June 28, 2010
For less than $25, this is a great charger! (Though less great for 9 volt batteries.)

One reveiwer said that this charger not "smart" and proved so by re-inserting freshly charged batteries and noting that they start to charge again, as indicated by the batteries getting warm. I tried it myself and this is what I found: The first time I charged the batteries it took something like 9 hours. The second time, the charger "charged" the batteries for about 1 hour before shutting off. So, okay, it's not perfect. But it DID stop charging much sooner the second time. For the price I paid, I won't complain!

This charger is VERY versatile, capable of charging four batteries of any type simultaneously. The four channels are fully independent.

A very useful feature is that you can set the charger to fully discharge the bateries before the charge cycle begins. With NiMH or NiCd batteries, you need to perform a charge/discharge cycle on new batteries two or three times before they will hold a full charge. (This is true regardless of the charger used.) So this feature is nice to have.

One complaint is that you need to unplug the charger between charge cycles. It seems they should have included a power-on switch for this. The instructions don't state what happens if you don't power down between cycles. However, be aware that in order to perform a disharge/charge cycle, you need to press the red button within 30 seconds of powering up. If you remember these two things, you don't need to refer to the instructions any further.

One tip I offer is this: The auto-sensing feature (which determines the size of the battery, AAA, AA, C, D) works only of the battery is properly seated. If you're careless, the battery may rest on the bottom slightly tilted.)

One last thing: The part of the charger for 9 volt batteries is NOT smart -- it just has a timer. So make sure you fully drain 9 volt batteries before charging! (The discharge feature doesn't work for 9 volt batteries.) Otherwise the battery life will be shortened.
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on January 1, 2010
I bought this back in 2006, and it worked well for the first year or so, recharging the batteries in the kid's toys. However after a year sometimes the charger would give a green light saying the battery was charged even after it had only been in for 5 mins or so. Taking the battery out and putting it in would fix it, but then another year or so, it would stop charging (the red light would turn off) in one of the bays, meaning I only could charge 3 batteries at a time. A few weeks ago, another bay is not working properly. I think that a charger costing this much should last longer than a few years given that it has no moving parts to fail.
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on September 3, 2010
I had a Vanson version of this (from Maplin). It worked alright, the discharge was a help for NiCads but as the other person mentioned, it's not too smart and will overcharge quite readily if you accidentally put a full battery back in. Be careful.
Mine died just after a year of use; loose connection or suchlike. I thought it was in the mains adaptor, but that tested just fine. I was going to take the charger apart to check for frayed wires, loose connections, signs of burning but it had recessed, security nuts/bolts that you can't remove. As I couldn't drill them out without damage to the unit, I chucked it. Really disappointed.
Have now got a BC900 for only £5 more than I paid for this garbage. Get that instead, so long as you only need AA/AAA, it's far superior.
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on November 9, 2009
Too good to be true, at this price. Easy test- take the recharged batteries and put them back in-- there appears to be no overcharge protection, and the batteries will begin to heat up, especially the AAA due to the high charging current.
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on March 18, 2009
I've had many battery chargers over the years and this is the best by far.
It will charge one battery or up to four batteries at the same time. If I'm having a problem with batteries not holding a charge well when charged in another charger I'll charge them in this charger and if the battery is any good it will hold a charge longer than if charged in faster chargers or chargers that don't have a circuit for each battery.

Recommend five stars.
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on October 20, 2011
When the charger works, it's great. Unfortunately, sometimes with larger capacity C and D cells it will decide to never stop charging (days and days) and it gets the cells so hot you can't touch them. This seems to happen maybe one out of ten charges and the cells are pretty much shot after that.

I have an equivalent (but pricier) MaHa charger that never has this trouble with C and D cells, so I don't think it's my cells or my preferred brands (Imedion, Powerizer)

The Vanson also emits a high-pitched hissing noise constantly, even when it's empty or not charging. It's not loud, but you can hear it across a room if the room is quiet.
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on June 6, 2011
I've been using this charger for a few years now, with NIMH batteries I run primarily in bicycle lights for commuting. It is great IMO (all my batteries are still running strong, no overheating problems), except for one flaw: the points that connect to the positive ends of the batteries are flimsy and will break if you are not careful.

Procedure:
pull the spring-loaded negative lever down far
insert the negative end of the battery first
lay the battery down
THEN release the spring gently so it presses the positive end of the battery in place

As you can tell, I broke a point. Many other reviewers mention slots no longer lighting up/charging, I am convinced they have the same problem. I broke a AAA point in one slot, so I was working around it by leaning my AAA up to the point meant to connect to a AA. The cases of those batteries got a tiny bit swollen/bubbly. I now understand the charger was charging those twice the current because I made it think it was a AA.

I'm shopping for a new charger, but I might just buy this one again and be careful when inserting batteries.

oh also the 9v slots are crap, I use a 9V specific charger for those.
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