Four Letters Re: Rechargeable Batteries and a Solar Charger

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Sir,

I have used Battery Junction for many years and am happy with their product and service. Below is what I use.

I use these batteries daily and have for over three years. I have no affiliation with this company. Thank you for the work you do. Respectfully, – L.G.

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Hugh,

Reading the Rechargeable Batteries and a Solar Charger, I was glad to see the Eneloop recommendation, as I’ve been using those since 2006 myself and plain old Sanyo NiMH since the 90’s. However, you then recommended the Energizer 15-minute battery cooker. Notice I don’t call it a charger, since charging seems to be a secondary goal behind cooking your batteries. Basically, it’s one of the worst chargers out there. The current selling version seems to not be as bad as earlier ones but is still too fast and harmful to the long life of your batteries. There are some who like to push the envelope and will monitor the charging batteries with expensive temperature sensors and fans to dissipate the heat, but that is not something you want to mess with for survival situations. If you want a good charger, you need to look at Maha or LaCross. Occasionally, other brands will put out decent chargers, but you have to research and look for the good models. – E.N.

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Hugh,

Just a thought on the really neat charger, Maha PowerEx MH-C800S. It’s really neat BUT…

Even though it can be used on worldwide voltage with a plug converter, it has a drawback. For right now, it’s great, but if we have upsets, it isn’t easily run on 12VDC. The power supply uses a DIN connector to power the unit; they’re not very convenient to convert or adapt. I looked at all the tech specs but couldn’t find out what the wall wartoutput voltage was.

As I said above, I ONLY use chargers that run off of 12VDC or use a wall wart power supply that provides 12 Volts DC. AC is not forever and is hard to make in uncivilized times/arenas. This is just my two cents worth. YMMV.

Best regards all – The Army Aviator

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Hugh,

I have personally owned and used the Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger (for 2 years now) and can attest to its excellence. Once a month, over the course of 2-3 days, I rotate approximately 275 AA and AAA batteries through the charger to keep them fresh. Once I complete my modest solar array, I’ll add three more of these chargers to the mix. Standard night vision devices and, especially, thermal units go through batteries rather quickly. This charger removes the “guess work” regarding your batteries. – P.C.

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