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La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
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- Battery charger for 4 rechargeable NiMH and NiCad AA and AAA batteries; with 4 modes: charge, discharge, refresh, and test
- With individual compartment for each battery with own LCD display and mode selection for multitasking
- Operates on 100-240-volt AC input for international use; 3 charging rate options of 200 mA, 500 mA, and 700 mA
- Detects overheating for safety; not for use with any other batteries other than those specified
- Measures 5 inches long by 3 inches wide by 1-1/2 inches high; limited 1-year warranty
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Top Customer Reviews
My original review was written back in August 2007. Now, nearly 5 years later, most of its content is no longer current. So I will use this spot for publishing my "Frequently Asked Questions" relating to BC-700/900/1000 family of chargers. This list is work in progress and will grow with time. Let me know if you have new questions to be added. Here goes...
[Q1] There are four operation modes on the BC-700 (Charge, Discharge, Test and Refresh). Which mode should I use and when?
[A] Most of the time you just need CHARGE mode. That means put in the batteries and select the charging current desired (500/700mA, etc)
- If you want to know how much capacity your batteries can actually hold, use the CHARGE/TEST function. Be careful not to run this operation if the batteries are freshly charged (doing so may lead to over-charging).
- If you want to find out the remaining charge in a battery, run DISCHARGE/REFRESH and record the 'mAh' number at the end of the first discharge.
- If you suspect your batteries suffer from reduced capacity, run the DISCHARGE/REFRESH operation. Or you can use this mode to refresh your batteries once every 6 months or so. Don't over do it!
[Q2] Why won't the MODE button response when I press it?
[A] Press and hold the MODE button for 3 seconds, then toggle it to change mode.
[Q3] What is the difference between TEST and REFRESH?
[A] TEST starts with a full recharge, then it discharges the cell once to determine its capacity. Next it recharges the cell to full again.
REFRESH starts with a discharge to determine the cell's remaining charge capacity, then it charges the cells back up and drain it down again to determine its new capacity.Read more ›
I have owned at least 10 chargers for the last 8 years, Maha's, Panasonic, ChargeIt, etc. This charger shows you the mAh on the LCD panel as the battery charges up. Most chargers will only shows an LED light indicator to signal when charging is done.
Compared to the specs of BC-900, the BC700 can only go up to 700mA (the max) which is slower than the BC900. But the faster the battery charges, the hotter it gets. And one of the worst enemy of rechargeable batteries is heat. Less heat means longer life for the batteries.
- 3 adjustable charging speeds
- Will show you the actual capacity in mAh. This is good so you know which battery needs to be refreshed. You always want to use batteries with the same capacities in pair or in a group.
- 4 independent charging stations with individual LED readouts. "AA's" and "AAA's" can be charged in different combinations. Don't you hate those gadgets that only use 3 batteries like portable radios? (walkie-talkies). You end up with 1 un-used battery if you bought a 4-pack. How will you charge it if your charger only charges in pairs?
- Reasonable price for an excellent charger
- Small and light. Better portability
- Multi-volt up to 240v. Very useful if you travel a lot.
We have 4 cordless microphones at my church which take 2 AA's each. Consuming 8 AA's every week, we were spending over $200 a year on batteries. After bad memories of the old NiCd's, I decided to give rechargeables another try after learning about Eneloop and new NiMH hybrid or "low self-discharge" (or "LSD") technology. I chose this LaCrosse charger because of great reviews, solid features, and reasonable price. Three months later, I am extremely pleased and would recommend it to others.
I have been recharging and tracking our 8 AA's every week for 3 months, and now I can share my experience. First of all, the charger and 8 AA batteries have already paid for themselves. Second, I have needed all 4 of the charging modes that the LaCrosse offers.
Here is what you need to know:
1) CHARGE CURRENT: Fast charging is not good for batteries. Slower is better. Fast charging generates heat, which degrades the battery, reduces its life and in extreme cases can ruin it. The LaCrosse has 3 charging currents: 200, 500, and 700 mA. If you just put batteries in and do nothing else, it will charge at 200. This is a "slow" charge, taking 8-12 hours to charge 2000 mAh batteries. The 500 is a moderate speed, taking about 3-5 hours, batteries may be a little warm at the end. The 700 is the "fast" speed for LaCrosse, but it can charge your AA's in about 2 hours which is handy when you really need it. Batteries are pretty warm at the end, but not hot. Keep in mind, 700 is only half of the 1.Read more ›
October 2010 update: The Lacrosse now has developed a bad habit of undercharging batteries placed in charger bay #4. Even though the display indicates that all the batteries are fully charged, if one toggles to the accumulated charge screen, it shows that the battery in bay #4 is only half-charged. Sure enough, when I charge that battery again, it will take another half charge to fill it. I now have to do this each time I charge batteries--always have to replace the fourth battery in another bay and continue to charge it for about 6 more hours. This works, but is very frustrating. I would not purchase the Lacrosse again.
December 2010 update: The Lacrosse 700 now is totally unreliable. Several charging bays are indicating full prematurely. I now put batteries back in and watch the 700 continue to charge for hours after it initially displayed "full." Even then I can't trust its readings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have finally reached the point where virtually every battery-operated device in my home is run off of rechargeable batteries. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Richard Allen
I recently started using NiMH rechargable batteries in several flashlights, and bought this " smart" charger. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Sam
I have purchased 2 of the BC-900 and 1 of the BC-700s and now the BC-700 has failed also. I can overlook the "Null" problems since there is a workaround. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Mickey Mouse
Awesome charger. Lots of features. I love this thing. It has made my life way better!Published 20 hours ago by Ryan C Dunn
Geat product and would recommend this to anyone who recharges their own AA/AAA batteries.Published 1 day ago by Ron M
Works really well to charge all of my rechargeable batteries.Published 2 days ago by Joshua W. Keyes
Overall this is an awesome smart charger. There are already a few hundred positive reviews but I wanted to add addition information for prospective buyers. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kane
I was very pleased with it for approximately a month. I was packing for a trip and noticed that it started fading in and out as I charged some batteries. It finally just quit. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Aegis