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La Crosse Technology BC-9009 AlphaPower Battery Charger (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,065 customer reviews
| 96 answered questions

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  • Battery charger for NiCd and NiMH AA and AAA rechargeable batteries
  • New overheat detection protects against overcharging; Individual LCD displays for each charging compartment
  • 4 operating modes--Charge, Discharge, Refresh, and Test
  • Includes 4 AA and 4 AAA rechargeable batteries, 4 C- and 4 D-size battery adapters, and a travel bag
  • Measures 5 by 3 by 1-1/2 inches; 1-year limited warranty
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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: La Crosse Technology
  • Model Number: BC-900/BC-9009
  • Item Package Quantity: 1

Product Description

Be charged and ready to go with La Crosse Technology’s BC9009 portable battery charger. Optimum simultaneous charging of AA & AAA batteries with separate cell display. Automatically defaults to 200ma charge and won’t overcharge, as the LCD displays voltage, charging current, charging percentage, and cumulative capacity for each cell compartment. Also, detects a defective battery from charging and works with all NiCd & NiMH AA and AAA rechargeable batteries. The previous version of this battery charger had known issues with the adaptor. This version comes with the new upgraded adaptor featuring overheat detection to protect against overcharging.

Product Details

Data Sheet [2.13mb PDF]| Product Manual [3.56mb PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.1 x 3 inches ; 1.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00077AA5Q
  • Item model number: BC-900/BC-9009
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,065 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 1, 2004

Important Information

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Why should you get this charger instead of some other charger?

Choose the individual charging rate for each battery, (200/500/700/1000/1500*/1800*mA).

Why choose the charging rate?
If you're rushing, charge fast and hot. If you're charging overnight or over dinner, charge more slowly. Slow charging is almost always gentler on the batteries, giving you a longer useful life.

Why set the charging rate individually?
You want this ability in case you have batteries of different capacities, partially discharged batteries, mixed brand/quality or any number of other reasons.

* Note
1500/1800mAh only available in Charge mode and only when charging 1 or 2 batteries in terminals 1 and/or 4.

This mode discharges the battery down to 1 volt then recharges to full capacity using Delta V measurement, at a user-selectable charging level*, of course.

Why discharge then charge?
This is the older technique developed to avoid capacity-robbing memory effect encountered when recharging NiCad-based batteries (which by the way are compatible with this charger, unlike the Maha mentioned below).

Why Delta V?
This is the modern measurement adopted by most "fast/rapid" chargers. While not quite as accurate as simultaneously using Temperature measurement and/or detecting Zero Delta V, as the Maha/PowerEx C-204W can do, it should be enough to prevent battery damage and insure complete, consistent charging.

* Note
Discharge rates are 1/2 the selected charging rate (max 1000mAh charging in this and other modes). Some batteries can take discharge rates this high, others can't.
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[IMPORTANT NOTICE on Jan 5, 2010]
My old BC-900 has served me well for the past 4 years. But recenetly there is an inrush of reports on 'meltdown' of the new BC-9009. I can only assume that La Crosse is having very poor quality control with the new model. My advice is to stay away from BC-9009 for now, until the situation has been rectified.

[Update on Apr 15, 2010]
The BC-9009 is available through Amazon again. But of course it will take a few more weeks before we can be sure if the overheating problem has been fixed. If any brave soul decide to order one to try out, I encourage you to exercise the charger fully (Refresh at the 1A current setting) for a few days, and watch for any signs of overheating (such as hot-spot on the base of the charger). Make sure to let us know the outcome.

[Update on Jan 22, 2011]
If you have purchased the BC-9009 recently, make sure it has the latest firmware version '37' (this number appears briefly in the rightmost column when you first plug in the AC adapter). Several users have reported that they have no overheating problems with this new version, even though the AC adapter has the same 'IV' marking.

[Original review follows]

I have a La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower Battery Charger since nearly two years ago, and I'm very happy with it. When the Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer was announced, its looked even better on paper than the BC-900. So I also bought the C9000 one month ago.
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Ni-MH batteries have become ubiquitous over the past decade. Their low cost and ever-increasing capacity make them a great alternative to alkaline batteries. Of course, you need to keep these batteries charged... And that's where things get complicated.

Charging Ni-MH batteries is the result of a compromise. A low current is gentle on the battery and maximizes its lifespan, but a full charge takes hours.

A high current will recharge the battery much faster, but put more strain on it, causing it to wear out prematurely. It also requires careful monitoring of the battery's electrical characteristics to prevent damage.

Most of the chargers you can find on the market today use one or the other of these methods. The fast chargers, especially the cheap ones, excel at one thing: destroying perfectly good batteries, because they lack the monitoring circuitry to control the charge current and detect when the battery is full. The slow chargers are usually better, mainly because it's harder to design a really bad slow charger. Unfortunately... they're slow.

The BC-900 is a completely different breed: it lets you pick the charge current for each individual battery, has very sophisticated monitoring circuitry that controls the charging process, and is also capable of "renewing" batteries by running full controlled discharge-recharge cycles.

I was a little skeptical that a fairly inexpensive product would be so thorough, but after reading all the 5-star reviews on Amazon I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did: it's all it's cracked up to be, and more.
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