1,184 of 1,227 people found the following review helpful
[Update on Jan 31, 2014]
There is a new contender in the showdown between MH-C9000 and BC-900, the BT-C2000 Battery Charger Tester Analyzer. It combines the best features from both chargers, plus a new 'Quick Test' function. See my review on it for details.
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. Here is my assessment for those two chargers:
First, let's get the similarities out of the way. Both the BC-900 and the C9000 are powerful battery analyzers/conditioners which can also be used as your everyday battery chargers. Both chargers accept one to four AA or AAA cells with independent charging currents. Both come with universal (100-240V AC) adapter.
Next, the differences:
First thing you'll notice is that the Maha C9000 is HUGE for a 4-AA-cell charger. It is about twice as large as the BC-900 (see my Customer Image for size comparison).
Larger size makes the C9000 less suitable as a travel charger. However, as a home charger this is actually an advantage. Extra spacing between cells allows better cooling, and also makes it easier to remove individual cell.
2. CHARGING CURRENT:
The BC-900 can provide charging current from 200 to 1000mA for 4 cells, or up to 1800mA for two cells. The C9000 can charge from 200 to 2000mA for all four cells. So if you routinely need to charge cells in a hurry, the C9000 is better.
However, due to the complicated key sequences involved (for example, to charge 4 cells at 2000mA, you need to punch in 48 key strokes!), most sane people will probably leave the C9000 at its default current of 1000mA.
The BC-900 has a 4-column LCD panel that shows the status (capacity, voltage, current, or time) of all four cells either simultaneously, or individually. The C9000 sports a LCD display with back-light. It is BIG, it is BRIGHT, and it works really well - as a NIGHT LIGHT!
The biggest problem with the C9000's display is that it can only show one status for one cell at any one time. It constantly toggles from one status to another, then from one cell to the next. If you have 4 cells in the charger, it takes 48 seconds or more (depending on the current activity) for the display to cycle through all 4 cells. There is also no way to pause the display. So if you missed one reading, you have to wait for it to cycle through again.
4. ANALYZING / CONDITIONING FUNCTIONS:
The BC-900 has an easy-to-use 'DISCHARGE/REFRESH' function that can be used to recondition old cells. The C9000 has a similar function called 'CYCLE', but it is very tedious to use (see the USER INTERFACE section for details).
In addition, the C9000 also has a 'BREAK-IN' mode which supposedly should be applied to new cells before first use, or to really old cells that have not been charged for years. Beware that this operation takes at least 39 hours to complete, so I doubt many people would actually use it.
5. DEAD CELL DETECTION:
If a cell is completely drained (battery terminal voltage drops below 0.5V), the BC-900 thinks it is shorted and therefore refuses to charge it. This has caused a lot of frustrations among users, but there is a way to work around it (see my BC-900 Customer Image for details). The C9000 is smarter in this aspect. If the battery terminal voltage is too low, it automatically starts charging at 125mA until the voltage rises above 1V, then it continues with the programmed charging current.
The C9000 also measures battery internal resistance when a cell is first inserted. If the user inserts an alkaline cell (which has much higher internal resistance), the C9000 displays 'HIGH' and refuses to charge it. This is a good safety feature, except that it also incorrectly rejected most of my NiMH cells bought four or five years ago. So I cannot use the C9000 to charge or recondition those old cells, even though the BC-900 reports that they still have around 1000mAh of capacity left.
6. USER INTERFACE:
With the BC-900, you can select the operation and current for all cells simultaneously, or you can change them indivdually by using the cell-selection buttons. The only limitation is that once the charging current is fixed, you cannot subsequently select a larger current without removing all cells.
The C9000 has four completely independent charging circuits that can be programmed to different currents. This may sound great at first, but in practice it soon becomes a burden, because you often need to press dozens of key stokes to program all four cells.
For example: If you want to recondition four cells on the BC-900, you'll go through the following sequence:
- insert in all 4 cells at once
- press MODE to select DISCHARGE/REFRESH (2 keystrokes*)
- press CURRENT to select charging current (2-3 keystrokes)
* Note: need to press and hold MODE for ~3 seconds for the first keystroke
On the C9000, you can insert in all 4 cells at once, but you have to program them one at a time. Which means:
- press UP/DOWN to select 'CYCLE', then 'ENTER' (2-5 key strokes)
- press UP/DOWN to select charging current, ENTER (1-11 key strokes)
- press UP/DOWN to select discharging current, ENTER (1-6 key strokes)
- press UP/DOWN to select number of cycles, ENTER (1-13 key strokes)
Congratulations! You just finished programming the first cell. Now repeat that for the other three cells.
The Maha MH-C9000 is, without a doubt, the most powerful NiMH AA battery analyzer/charger in the consumer market. However, certain design issues (such as a single-status LCD panel and ridiculously long programming sequences) make it difficult to use for multiple cells. For most of my routine charging and maintenance of NiMH cells, I'll continue to use my old La Crosse BC-900.
Nevertheless, I don't regret buying the C9000, because it was a lot of fun for me to try out all its functions. Plus I now have a really cool (but expensive) night light.
[Update on July 17, 2012]
1. Recently the price of Maha C9000 has fallen below that of the La Crosse BC-1000 (replacement model for BC-900). So I consider the Maha a better value now.
2. I just published the "Maha MH-C9000 FAQ" here:
Please take a look and give suggestions on what other topics I should include.
315 of 323 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2008
No doubt about it: the Maha Powerex WizardOne MH-C9000 is a commanding AA/AAA battery analyzer, charger &/or conditioner with few drawbacks in my opinion. It will take on any combination of 1 to 4 rechargeable AA &/or AAA batteries, allocating separate charging current circuitry for each cell. This charger performs its functions quite well & with consistent close tolerances at that. There are few drawbacks to be aware of with this battery charger. There are already several detailed reviews published here, such as NLee the Engineer's review "Showdown: Maha MH-C9000 vs. La Crosse BC-900" (please consider taking the time to read it if you've not done so already). Here are some of my feelings as well as observations on this valuable & flexible battery charger. As with my review/thoughts on the La Crosse BC-700 charger, IF this review is too long for you THEN please consider scrolling down to the end of this review for my bottom line(s).
The Maha Powerex MH-C9000 is about the size of a decent deli sandwich... a tad bulky but still portable enough for many situations. Among its many valuable assets are the generous spaces between the charging compartments. This, naturally, helps to dissipate heat as charging occurs... not a problem at lower charging currents, which will help your rechargeable batteries to last longer, but at the higher current capabilities of this charger (up to 2 full amps for each cell, if you really want/need it) the extra spacing is a real asset. This also makes it much easier to extract batteries from compartments #2 & #3 when having 4 cells in the charger at once.
This multipurpose battery charger is plenty sturdy & will even perform a discharge function without recharging the cell(s) afterwards if you'd like. Now that is something the La Crosse chargers won't do & could come in handy, for instance, with NiCAD batteries that you wish to store for whatever reason, as it is commonly recommended that NiCADs should be stored in a discharged state while NiMH batteries are best stored charged. Additionally, there are 4 other modes to choose from: Charge (fastest & easiest), Refresh & Analyze (charge-discharge-charge with battery capacities displayed upon termination), Break-in (follows the IEC standard procedure in determining cell capacity, taking 39 to 45 hours to complete) & Cycle (the same as Refresh & Analyze except you can charge-discharge up to 3 consecutive times with a final recharge).
AA batteries are placed into the MH-C9000 positive tip first. AAA cells are inserted negative side first. After the programmed bulk charging has been delivered, the charger will then top-off charge @ 100 mA & then settle into a 10 mA trickle charge. The backlit LED display will alternately show, for one cell at a time, the approximate charge/discharge progress during operations, the charge/discharge rate itself, elapsed time (in minutes) & cell voltage... twice each per cell before moving on to the next battery's readings. It also boasts a worldwide power supply, though items such as the 12-volt connecting cord/plug are extra cost & not all vendors carry them. Along with our two C-9000 chargers, we ordered two Powerex 12 volt plug-in cords from 17th St. Photo listed here @ Amazon.com, which Maha states you must use in order not to void their fine 3-year warranty for these units.
One can choose to program charging currents from 200 mA all the way up to 2000 mA for each battery & discharging currents from 100 mA to 1000 mA. Maha recommends that charging currents of not less than 0.3C (30% of the cells rated capacity) or more than 1.0C be employed when using this charger. Too low of a charging current may prevent the negative delta voltage detection from operating optimally, the cell's charging possibly not terminating properly in this case (though we commonly charge our Sanyo eneloop hybrid NiMH batteries @ just 0.2C with no problems whatsoever thus far). Charging at too fast of a rate may damage the batteries. The maximum recommended discharge rate is 1.0C.
Programming the MH-C9000 may seem unnecessarily wearisome until you realize that if you hold down a button while programming then the choices will continue to cycle up or down the list.
*TIP*- The very moment that the choice JUST BEFORE the one you desire is displaying onscreen while you are holding a control button down then release the button at that time & the setting you want will be selected... then simply press "Enter" afterwards.
Example 1: You have placed 4 cells into the charger & want to discharge each @ 200 mA (the cell you are programming will have an indicator displayed under it). Within 10 seconds of inserting all 4 batteries, depress & hold the "Up" button, which will then display the "Cycle" option at the bottom of the display list. IMMEDIATELY lift the button & you'll have the "Discharge" function displayed, then press "Enter". Next, select the discharging current for this cell by depressing & holding the down button. When the display first shows 300 mA, lift & you'll be at the desired 200 mA. Again, press "Enter". Do this for each battery in turn. Total button depresses: 4 for each cell, 16 for all 4 cells... very easy as well as plenty fast enough (far less than one minute for programming all 4 batteries). When you get the hang of this then it's a snap, though it sure would be great if one could program all four batteries simultaneously as with the La Crosse chargers.
Example 2: You have placed 4 cells into the charger & want to "Refresh/Analyze" each @ 400 mA charging - 200 mA discharging currents. Within 10 seconds of inserting the all 4 batteries, press the "Down" button once & you will have the "Refresh/Analyze" function displayed, then press "Enter". Next, select the charging current for this cell by depressing & holding the down button. When the display first shows 500 mA (initially descending from 1000 mA) then immediately lift & you will be at the desired 400 mA of charging current. Press "Enter". Next, in selecting the discharging current, press hold the "Down" button again until 300 mA is displayed (initially descending from 500 mA) & immediately lift & you will have 200 mA selected in the display. Press "Enter". Perform this sequence for each cell. Total button depresses: 6 for each cell, 24 for all 4 cells.
Example 3: You want to recharge 4 fully discharged 2500 AA NiMH reasonably fast. Simply place them into the charger & do nothing, as the default programming current of 1000 mA will automatically engage. In about 3 hours, you'll have your batteries ready to go again. Simple as can be!
Annoyances are few with the MH-C9000. These will bother some more than others:
* The backlit display screen is plenty bright & readable IF you are about 15 degrees or so below it from viewing it straight on. Just for fun, try viewing the screen with Polaroid sunglasses on. It's like Haight-Ashbury all over again, if you know what I mean. If you view the screen at a 45-degree angle from below while it's working then it is quite difficult to read until you lean over up & over it. In this regard, though not backlit, the La Crosse BC-900/700 charger's display screens are quite a bit more readable at various angles. In addition, having the option of switching off the backlight of the C-9000 would be handy.
* The instructions are not a manual but are an unfolding sheet of paper of about 12" x 18"... passable, but a bit disappointing somehow. Having put down about $60 for each charger, a regular flip-through manual would be much nicer. The instructions are adequate, however, & are illustrated well.
* Before it performs any function, the charger will perform an impedance test on each cell & display "HIGH" if a cell fails this test, no further operations resulting. The instructions state that if this reading is thought to be in error then a "Discharge" may first be performed. However, having tried this with 2 older, rejected cells, the charger will still not continue & the program is concluded, displaying "HIGH" once again.
* The time part of the display would be much better if it would display elapsed time in hours & minutes instead of just minutes in my opinion.
* Maha informs that you may hear an audible hissing sound as the charger performs. This is normal, though thus far this has not yet been heard here. As noted by other reviewers, this may only be at higher charging rates than we are using.
Thank you for spending the time reading my review. Being a brain-injured veteran, writing my thoughts are helping me to heal as well as providing me with something useful & helpful to do. It takes quite a while for me to create a review & it's worth every hour it takes... over 6 hours in this case. It's all good.
BOTTOM LINEs- Certainly the Maha Powerex WizardOne MH-C9000 is the finest, relatively affordable AA/AAA battery charger-conditioner-analyzer presently available to us common folk. It takes less than a minute to fully program 4 batteries identically once you get the hang of it. Its versatility & power make it a great choice for most applications. It may reject your older rechargeable batteries as being too high in impedance/resistance, but by using newer, premium-quality NiMH cells (such as Powerex, Sanyo, Sony, Titanium, etc.) then this should present no problem whatsoever. Its independent charging circuits will perform balanced operations on your investment in rechargeable batteries & will more than pay for itself over time... especially if you continuously use as many AA & AAA batteries as we do. The 3-year warranty is top-shelf & its power consumption is quite reasonable, as a C-9000 performing charging/discharging operations 24/7 for a full month will consume about 2 kWh of electricity while charging @ 400 mA & discharging @ 200 mA. In writing well over 100 reviews for various products at many websites over the last 6 years, this is only the third product to earn my 5 star rating, the minor annoyances & irritations not being enough to shave off so much as ½ of a point in my opinion. You will likely have no trouble programming this amazing machine as well as be pleased that you invested in it.
181 of 185 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2008
I purchased the Maha C9000 as a backup for a La Crosse BC-900. I use the BC-900 at work, and the C9000 at home.
First, the good. The C9000 was able to recover a set of ancient Energizer NiMH batteries which the BC-900 wouldn't even recognize. The C9000 also has more conditioning modes than the BC-900.
Like the BC-900, the C9000 charges batteries independent of each other, and you can put each battery on a different mode. The charging rate of the second and subsequent batteries isn't limited to the charging rate of the first, an annoying limitation of the BC-900.
Now the bad. First, the C9000 is more expensive than the BC-900, and doesn't come with any extras like batteries or battery adapters.
The C9000's lighted display won't turn off as long as it's plugged in, so you'll want to move it out of the bedroom unless you want a night light.
The C9000's display only shows status for one battery at a time. To view status for all the batteries, you have to wait for it to automatically switch to the next battery, or use the buttons.
The default charging rate is 1000 mAh. The BC-900's default rate of 200 mAh is a better rate for prolonging the life of the battery.
If you keep your batteries in good shape, the cheaper and better equipped La Crosse BC-900 is a better deal, but for specialized tasks the Maha C9000 is unequaled.
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2009
I have only had this charger for a few days and I believe you should only give a product review after having it for awhile, but I will do an update here if necessary.
I am by no means an expert of any kind when it comes to batteries/chargers. In fact, I never even knew about different charge rates, etc until a week ago.
My old digital camera kept telling me that the batteries were depleted even though I just charged them. I blamed the camera and found out (after buying a new camera) that it was the batteries not being charged properly (too fast).
I started reading about proper charge rates and capacity's and how fast charging (what I was doing on a cheap charger) is harmful, etc., etc.
I had a hard time deciding which charger to get: BC-700/900 or the C9000.
I finally decided on the C9000 since it had a couple more features I liked over the others. I was concerned about the LCD read-out only showing 1 slot at a time. People were complaining about having to wait about a minute for it to cycle around to the slot you want to read. I liked the features of this so much that I felt I could wait 1 miunte.
THIS IS NOT TRUE. You do not have to wait for the slots to cycle. You can press the slot key to go directly to the slot you want. It will then give you that slot's information immediately. No waiting at all!
If you have all 4 slots going and you want to know about slot #4 and it is on slot #1, just press the slot key (3x) and it goes to that slot.
Others have said that it takes awhile to learn the features and how to use the C9000. Again, I am no expert but this unit is almost self explanatory on how to use it. The only thing you would have to read the manual for is how to choose which cycle you want to use. Once you pick the cycle (i.e. analyze & refresh) the rest is simple.
Another thing I don't know why people complain about is that it takes too long to program 4 batteries. They say it is too many buttons to push.
The first time I used this, I had all 4 batteries programmed in 30 seconds; and I am brand new at this. I like the control it gives me over EVERY slot so of course you are going to have to push a few buttons for each slot. That's the great control you have for your batteries. But if thirty seconds to program 4 batteries is too long.....
The LCD is bright and large and the unit has a "prop-up" bar on the back which makes reading even easier.
As mentioned in the beginning, my first impressions of this charger is 5 stars for quality, ease of use, features and versatility. I will do an update in a few months to see if things have changed.
I am very glad I bought this over the LaCrosse since the one feature I was concerned about (the waiting for the info.on the cycling of the slots) was quickly eliminated.
Great product and I would highly recommend it.
104 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Your iPod and cell phone have their own better- technology batteries, but for some devices (like flashlights, or SLR camera flashes) AAs are the gold standard; and with the recent advent of Sanyos Eneloop or Rayovac's Hybrid batteries which don't self- discharge that fast, you might use rechargeables even for your smoke detectors and remote controls. In that light, I was looking for a top-shelf charger that would give me a little more info about my batteries than saying "they're charged". You may think it's a geeky thing to care about the exact properties of your batteries, and maybe to a degree it is, but when you have your SLR flash die on you with "they're charged" batteries, or you're lost in the woods and your GPS receiver gives out, you'll wish you'd have been a little more concerned. It just takes one bad or badly charged battery in a batch to create those scenarios.
This unit takes excellent care of your rechargeable batteries, and yet it's simple to use: insert a cell into a free slot and wait until it says "done" below the slot. What is nice, even with this basic scenario, is that the slots are independent, so you can put in and take out batteries regardless of the others. In case you don't take them out, the Maha will keep them topped off with a small, safe trickle charge. Speaking about safe: unlike other units, this device measures temperature along with current and voltage. On a more "geeky" level, you can select special treatment for your batteries when you insert them. The menu is very simple to navigate, you use the "up", "down" and "enter" buttons to select one of the modes which are:
- CHARGE: default, top off the batteries
- REFRESH/ANALYZE: discharge/charge the batteries, and display the capacity (so you can pair batteries with similar capacities)
- BREAK IN: run a few cycles for new batteries to maximize their capacity
- DISCHARGE: empty out the battery, then display the charge it had (good when you want to test the self- discharge rate)
- CYCLE: run many cycles to bring old batteries back to life.
In addition to the modes, you typically can select charge/discharge current if you're adventurous enough (but the defaults are fine). Again, the unit, unlike others, can handle it. You want to deliver 2 amps to every battery, no problem. Other devices boast high charging current, but they can't do all slots at that rate.
A special section about this "other units" I've mentioned: if you're interested in a sleek charger, you probably have come across the LaCrosse bc-900. It's much cheaper, comes with a bag of extras, and may even have a nicer-looking LCD! However, if you carefully read the forums, there have been some incidents of melting. That's right, in the hands of some users, the thing actually melted down and the support center didn't acknowledge the problem. It may be that this affected only a subset of the delivered units, but for me, such a serious issue coupled with poor response disqualified the product entirely. Not that Maha makes any "tested on the moon" claims, but they do give 3 years warranty. You make your own decision; to me this was a no- brainer.
Back to the Powerex. One thing that disappointed me a little (hence, -1 star) it that there is a slight hissy noise coming from the charger. Not enough to be a nuisance, but audible enough to disqualify it for the bedroom. Of course, since the lcd is backlit when a battery is in, you wouldn't put it in the bedroom to start with. The noise comes from the pulse charging method used by this device. It must be a a good thing overall though, because when I charge my batteries with the C9000 at 2 amps, they barely become lukewarm; but when I use my el-cheapo Sony travel charger (forgive me, but it's really small!), they become very warm at not even 1/4th the current.
Bottom line: you need a good charger for home and don't mind to pay a little extra in exchange for a solid unit and peace of mind? Get this.
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Ok everyone seems to want to comapre this to a vehicle - it's a high end BATTERY CHARGER. The field is VERY narrow here - 2 to be exact if you don't want a charger with idiot lights on the dashboard.
There were some important considerations in the C9000 vs the competition.
1 - Only the C9000 can charge 4x2000 ma (the competition can only do 2000 ma on the outer two most cells due to heating and power limits.
2 - Backlit display. When 3 cells go along normally and one does something wierd being able to read it is important. If your flashlight batteries are IN the charger you won't be using it, right? At this pricepoint an LCD LED is expected. They are cheap 5 cent parts and should be used in a $60 pricerange product.
3 - If you are a control freak, this is the charger for you. 200 - 2000 ma charge rates stepped by 100 ma are possible. If you want to charge at 0.1 C it's no big deal - enter 2700 mAh cells and it will charge at 270 mA, not 300. There is a ton of flexibility in the design, but you must use the other modes.
4 - "breakin" of a new cell is easy, but as others noted it's a 39 hour process with automatic rest periods, so you use this mode cautiously.
5 - Most importantly - being able to select a charge rate from 200 to 2000 mA across all 4 cells with precision voltage readout is great. It may take some keypresses but I can put 4 cells on charge in under a minute at any setting because of the responsiveness on the keyboard to quick tapping. Charging at low currents (e.g. 200-300 mA or 0.1 C) until shutoff is a low stress way to maximize the available capacity in the cell. I prefer this if I have the time. If not, I may double it to 0.2C but seldom go to 0.5C due to heating and the inefficiencies that come out. For example, charging at 0.5C only gets about 90% of the rated capacity. You can charge another 0.1C @ the 0.1C rate for 1 hour the next day to top off hot charged cells.
Because it runs off 12V, car operation is a no brainer (I bought mine with the MAHA Li-Ion charger for my motorola 9505 iridium batteries which came with a fine quality 12V adapter and have used the C9000 with that adapter frequently)
Nobody is ever going to take these chargers out to the drag strip, and they won't be reviewed in car and driver, so I'd look towards the well designed feature rich unit without limits. There are too many features here, but look for me to post a photo of the display which really does justice to the product and justifies its pricepoint for the BIG custom LCD. The competition's tiny unlit displays don't support the competition's pricepoint.
Either charger will do an excellent job of charging your batteries at a slow rate, but the C9000 can really cook em when you need charged batteries NOW, in your car, and on the run. Maha's separate product for lithium cells or NIMH cells up to 20V is very impressive as the (separate) product has positionable gold points you can adjust to fit the battery pack, auto voltage detection, and a strong magnet to hold the pack in place, along with two guides. It was cheaper than replacing my broken sat phone li-ion charger from motorola, more flexible, and can evaluate all my camera packs that just have tabs on the end as well. I use it to confirm suspect packs that are going bad. When all you have is a sealed pack with tabs, it's an ideal match to MAHA's LiIion charger.
As for MAHA brand 2700 mah cells, they gave me 4 free, but they don't store 2700 mAh's as claimed by about 100 shy. I also discovered alot about the REAL capacity of battery packs I've been using for years as they aged using this unit. Looking at the accuracy of the C9000, I compared it by forcing current through a $25,000 Agilent data acquisition unit I used to use to check power supplies and batteries. They matched to less than 1% error, which makes the C9000 a great deal. It time modulates the charging current allowing for voltage measurements in between charging currents, which allows it to give you a very accurate cell voltage. It's well engineered top to bottom and well worth the money. It's not a BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, Rolls, Miata, or Humvee, but it does its job well with a great user interface and that's what counts.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2009
A few months ago I got some Eneloop batteries and a charger and, although I'm not as much into batteries as other people, I wanted a more sophisticated battery charger.
After reading various reviews my choices were the LaCrosse Technology BC-900 and the Maha Powerex MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer.
I almost purchased the BC-900 since it was $40 vs. the C-9000 which was $65, but found the C-9000 on sale for $40 at Thomas Distributing. The BC-900 comes with a few extras, but after MANY hours of reading I decided to buy the Maha instead. It offers individual temperature sensors for each slot, is compatible with potential future batteries with higher capacities (e.g., 20,000 mAh), has a useful -although lengthy- Break-In mode, etc.
I am not that technically savvy, and one of the most useful posts I found was this one:
It contains a review of the C-9000 as well as a side-by-side comparison with the BC-900. There are many other posts at the CandlePower forums, and SilverFox and others have done a great job at describing the unit and its functions, as well as very detailed technical information. In addition, there were thorough discussions regarding some of the earlier units which did have some issues, but those have been corrected.
I don't give it 5 stars because:
-I don't like that the display is always on. It makes no sense to have it on all the time. I wish I could turn the display on and off.
-Some of the information provided is not too useful. For example, during Break-In mode I am able to see the elapsed time since charging began, but once the cycle moves on to another phase, that information is lost and I only have the elapsed time for the new part of the cycle. There's no cumulative information.
-I have to enter the settings for each cell Individually. This is not really a big issue, since I'll often be using the default settings and won't have to enter any information at all. Also, entering information for each cell is very fast and easy.
-Only holds 4 batteries.
Overall I am impressed and very happy with my purchase. I'm sure they'll come up with an improved version, perhaps with additional features and capacity for more batteries, but for my needs this is more than enough and should last me for many years.
My main uses are for AA batteries, mostly for photography, a portable CD player, a portable tape player (pretty old but I still use it), a few remote controls, and a Wii remote and sensor bar that I actually use with my Mac.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2008
This charger is GREAT! I'm not sure why 'the Engineer' (earlier reviewer) dislikes it so. His review almost caused me not to buy this charger, but I went ahead and took a chance and bought it. Now, the Maha MH-C9000 is my main charger, while my BC-900 sits next to it on the bench, looking a little left out waiting for it's turn. The MH-C9000 works practically full-time keeping all my batteries in shape. And it is very easy to use. The Engineer's "dozens of keystrokes" are not nearly as painful as he makes it sound. It's more like "cl-cl-click" rather than "click--click--clickk-clickkk...". In other words, the buttons are very easy to use. They respond very nicely, they're a good size, and it usually only takes about 5 keystrokes to get each cell going. It honestly takes about 3 seconds to program each cell. I mean, I know that's quite a chunk of time out of your day Engineer, but I have a feeling it'll be ok. The squeal sound is there, but it is so soft you won't hear it unless the charger is sleeping with you.
The MH-C9000 is a tad large compared to some of the micro-size chargers, but if your camera case is a tad large, well, there you have it.
The bottom line is, what this charger is meant to be, and does very well, is a very functional and efficient semi-portable charger. I've been using it for 4 years now without a trace of trouble. And it tells me right away when a cell is on it's way out, which has saved me many times from a bad day out in the field with defective batteries.
And the line right below the bottom line is, this charger is the best I've seen.
So there! :)
D. Jensen, sorry I didn't see your reply sooner. The reasons I like the C9000 over the BC-900 is because it does so much more. You can program each of the 4 slots totally independant of the others (unlike the BC-900), and also, an important fact that I didn't notice until some of my batteries finally started failing from age, is that the C9000 detects any problems with your batteries much more accurately than the BC-900. To illustrate this, after the C9000 started refusing to charge a couple of my quite old cells, and gave a readout on the screen of "HIGH", I put the same cells in my BC-900 and they went through the charge cycle as if all was well. So I then started thinking maybe the C9000 isn't so great afterall. So I took the "charged" cells out in the field with me for a day of recording live music with my digital recorder, and they failed after 15 minutes and went dead. Fortunately I had some dry cells with me for backup and was able to salvage most of the day. The BC-900 didn't detect the problem that the C9000 did. I've now been using the C9000 exclusively for 4.5 years with absolutely no problems. It is far superior in the fact that it is so programable for each cell (easily programable), and watches your back by warning you if a cell is not dependable.
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
I was extremely reluctant to buy this charger based on the comparison review by "NLee the Engineer." My takeaways from that review were:
1) The Powerex MC-C900 is HUGE. It might need its own table.
2) The Powerex MC-C900 is bright and will double as a table lamp.
3) Being able to see the status for only one battery at a time will be a huge inconvenience.
4) Setting the program for each battery will be complicated and time consuming. (Read: many, many, many keystrokes.)
I bought this charger anyway because I was concerned with reviews of the La Crosse charger over heating. (I will be charging my batteries constantly - and the possibility of something over heat when I'm out of the house is something I'd like to avoid.) Also, as a photographer I wanted the advanced functionality with this charger.
After receiving and using this charger, I want to say that all of all my concerns based on the "NLee the Engineer" review were eliminated. It's no bigger than my previous charger. I don't feel that the readout is at all too bright. And most importantly recharging batteries is very, very easy, and very fast. Getting a status for each battery is easy and fast.
Finally, the cycle mode takes about 10 seconds to set up -- it's not cumbersome in the least.
I won't say that one charger is better than another charger. But the concerns in the "NLee the Engineer" review are overstated.
Bottom line: there is nothing inconvenient about this charger. It's easier to use than my alarm clock, and I would recommend it to friends.
65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2007
I recieved this item one week ago and so far charged about 23 AAs and AAAs.
One of the cheaper AAA NiMHs I charged overheated so badly that I could not get it out of the charger without using a screwdriver to pry it out. A melted part of that battery is still in that charger AAA slot, fused to the plastic. The charger still works fine but what is going on?
06.05.2009 - Time for an update. The hot battery issue hasn't repeated itself. The battery bay where it happened doesn't work quite as well for certain batteries, but generally I don't notice or remember the issue. Overall I just love the Maha charger. I've been using it since the incident for an average of 4-8 batteries a week, and it just does it's thing. I'm going to see if I can raise my original rating to 5 stars.
I love being able to set my charge rates and see what each battery takes and holds. And it has worked 100 % ok since the original meltdown, with no recurrence of that issue.
07.22.2013 - Another update. I still love this charger - it still works perfectly, no more overheating issues - hard to believe it's been 4 years!