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 Now, nearly 5 years later, most of its content is no longer current.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 ›
Buyer beware however: The computer controls the charge termination, under normal circumstances this is fine since it has triplicate protection from overcharging, namely -dv, a charge capacity limit, and temperature shut-down if all else fails. HOWEVER, these three factors only feed as input to the computer. If the computer crashes, which in my case may have been caused by a bad connection of the power adapter to the unit, the PWM charger can crash into "full on" charging, which basically completely melts down both the unit and your batteries, causes a lot of nasty smoke, and could easily cause a fire. I documented this with photos et. al. for the company, and never even received a reply other than to reiterate that the molten remains of my charger was no longer under warranty. I'm surprised the whole line didn't get recalled. You can see more about this problem by googling it, or even pictures others have uploaded on Amazon, though there is a lot of mis-information and speculation of user error and bad batteries, which I assure you is not the issue. It's a shame the company still denies this problem despite clear documentation and evidence from many users, many who just like me still love the charger.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just like another reviewer, stopped working right around 2 years in. Pretty disappointing.Published 2 hours ago by Robert E.
I really like this. I used to have an Energizer "smart" charger, but it still had me charging batteries in pairs. When it abruptly broke, I bought this. Read morePublished 6 days ago by mom de plume
This charger is very picky about batteries. While I appreciate the advanced features, I would be nice if it could "dumb" charge the really dead batteries a bit so they... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Alex B. Szabados
Great for charging my eneloop batteries. But the button is not so sensitive. Need to press it many times for it to response.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a very good product! Very easy to use and does exactly what the product description says it will do --
I highly recommend it !!
This is actually the best charger for rechargable batteries I've ever owned, and a must have for those of you with Eneloops, although it works on any AA or AAA rechargable batters... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Mike M