185 of 189 people found the following review helpful
So far, so good,
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This review is from: La Crosse Technology BC1000 Alpha Power Battery Charger (Kitchen)
I received this BC1000 a couple of days ago. I purchased it along with the 16 AA and 8 AAA eneloop batteries, so I guess this review can be used for both the charger and the batteries. The BC1000 arrived with all advertised accessories present. I purchased the BC1000 instead of the predecessor because of the new auto shutoff mechanism when the batteries get too hot while charging. I think I saw pictures on Amazon of a "fried" 9000 model. Being new to rechargeable batteries, I decided to charge the first 4 AA eneloops on the lowest setting (200ma). BC1000 showed a total charge input of 707 mah, 734 mah, 909 mah and 790 mah. I then decided to test each of these four batteries for total capacity. In test mode, the BC1000 charges the batteries to full capacity, discharges them and then fully charges them to get a total charge reading. These four batteries showed a total charge of 1841, 1867, 1932 and 1918 mah. This process of charging to full capacity and then running the test took about 24 hours. The batteries never got hot.
I decided to just run the test cycle of the BC1000 for the next four batteries, since this would fully charge them. I used the setting of 1000ma to charge and the BC1000 automatically defaults to 500ma to discharge the batteries before charging them again. These for batteries showed a charge capacity of 1986, 1977, 1993 and 1998 mah. Slightly higher than when using the lower setting. It should be noted the BC1000 did what it was supposed to do during this test cycle. Right before these 4 batteries reached total capacity, the charger shut off because the temperature was above 127.4 degrees F. My temp gun read 128, so this was verified. I left the batteries in the charger, and it automatically resumed charging once the batteries had cooled.
Charging and testing at 200 ma took forever. Something like 24 hours. A big chunk of time was spent discharging at the default 100 ma. That alone was over 10 hours. Using just the test cycle at 1000/500 ma, it took less than 10 hours. I wish the BC1000 gave a total test time, but it doesn't. It only shows the total time for each function (charge, discharge, charge). As of right now, I'm using a the setting of 700/350 hoping that is a good compromise between time and heat. When I go to just charging and not testing all of these batteries I might even go to 500 ma or 200 ma overnight.
The BC1000 also displays volts. The eneloops came pre-charged with at least 1.30 volts. They are labeled 1.2 volts. I was able to charge them up to between 1.47 and 1.51 volts. I have not used the eneloops in any device other than the charger as of yet.
Note: I'm on my third set of testing 4 AA eneloops. Right out of the package it took 53-60 minutes to charge each one to full capacity. They got hot as well at 700ma. My temp gun read 126 degrees. The charger did not shut off as the limit is 127.4. I'll try the 500ma setting on the next 4 AA's.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2011 2:17:28 AM PDT
I have not been able to find that deal - the best one so far includes just 4AA and 4AAA batteries. Where did you get yours? Ty.
Posted on Nov 10, 2012 12:31:09 PM PST
D. J. Brady says:
Is there no such thing as a rapid charger (like 1 hour)? What is the fastest this charger handles 4AA's?
Posted on Mar 9, 2013 5:14:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2013 5:19:30 AM PST
Were not those eneloop batteries precharged and ready to be used right out of the package?
And the charger that "fried" itself was a model BC900, wasn't it?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 5:16:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2013 5:21:18 AM PST
My older charger was a one-hour charger for AA and AAA batteries. I have not been able to find another Ray-o-vac that does that. I bought a BC-700 (about 30 dollars) for myself, and a few months later a second (for about 37 dollars - up to 38 now).
If batteries are charged fast, doesn't that eventually shorten their lives?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 5:58:26 AM PST
Chris in SC says:
The batteries were charged right out of the package. I'd say they had 60-80% charge even though they are claimed to have 80% right out of the package. The only way to truly tell how much capacity each battery holds is to drain and recharge them. This charger can then tell you how much capacity each battery has. This is the test mode on this charger. With this charger you can also choose how fast to charge the batteries. Usually I charge in the lowest mode (overnight), but in some cases, I've needed a fast charge. I charged in the next to fastest setting and had a full charge under 2 hours. But the batteries were very warm. Maybe they can charge in the fastest setting in an hour. Not sure. I wouldn't leave the house in the fastest charging setting. I'm sure the batteries get super hot.
Posted on Mar 9, 2013 6:16:05 AM PST
Chris in SC says:
I've seen several comments stating the unit does work. I first tested my eneloops which came pre-charged. When I drained them completely in other devices and went to go charge them, nothing in the La Crosse lit up and it looked like the unit was dead. After about 30-60 minutes the unit would light up and I could see that it was charging. Also, when I first put the La Crosse batteries in the unit nothing would happen. They were completely drained as well. So there has to be a minimum amount of mah in the battery before the the La Crosse unit will light up. This is a design fault to me, but my charger has worked great for a year and a half. Another point, I usually charge my batteries overnight at 200 ma. If I'm in a hurry I charge at 700 ma. At 700 ma the batteries are very warm but they are charged in a couple of hours. If you choose a higher setting the batteries are going to get hot. If you charge any rechargeable battery quickly, in any charger, they are going to get very hot.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2013 8:43:22 AM PST
I agree with everything in your post. As a tip, I would suggest not draining your batteries completely, it's not good for them. Also, as you found out, it makes it difficult for the charger to recognize "what is what" with the cell. There is a workaround for that problem (involves a paper clip), but still better not to run the cells down to near-zero.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2013 8:58:56 AM PST
William L. Rayfield says:
[And the charger that "fried" itself was a model BC900, wasn't it?]
I have stopped using my BC900 because I got tired of standing guard to see if it was going charge or fry.
I would grab my soldering and sucker and replace the unstable component if I knew what to replace.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2013 3:18:13 PM PST
Buy the BC-700 for under $30 right now. You time is more valuable than what it would take to find / remove / replace the offending part(s) - IF it were possible.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014 12:35:35 AM PST
Chris, Are you saying that on completely drained batteries, after 30-60 minutes the charger would start charging them?