Frequently Asked Questions- Charger

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Q1. Do NiMH batteries really require a special charger? I looked at a charger that has separate settings for both NiCd and NiMH batteries, and it appears that the mA output is the same for both settings?

Newer NiMH battery chargers, as all the chargers from, are designed to specifically charge NiMH and NiCd chemistries. However most of the older NiCd chargers were not designed to charge any other battery chemistries such as NiMH since they were unavailable at that time these chargers were designed. That is why many of the current newer NiMH/NiCd chargers are capable of automatically charging both types, while others have a switch. There are more than just mA ratings involved when charging different battery chemistries (charge rate and charge duration, type of charge. etc.). While it is true that some NiCd chargers can be used to charge NiMH batteries you must consider the following points if you decide to attempt to charge your NiMH batteries using an older NiCd charger.

1. Improper charging or using a charger that is not specifically designed to charge any rechargeable battery can cause their useful life to be shortened dramatically or in some cases actually damage them permanently. We have even had some individuals attempt to charge rechargeable alkaline batteries in some of our chargers and were surprised when they exploded.

2. Although a NiCd charger may seem to be charging NiMH batteries fine, this is not usually the case. NiMH chargers are specifically designed to prevent Hydrogen bubbles from forming on the battery plates and of course to charge them to their full potential. You should always use the type of charger recommended for your type of batteries.

3. All the chargers from are specially designed for charging both NiMH and NiCd rechargeable batteries.

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Q2. What are the disadvantages of fast charging over slow charging?

Yes there are some factors to take in to consideration when comparing fast charging versus slow charging, but basicallyas long as you have a good quality charger that does not literally fry your batteries, it all boils downto your needs and preference.Basically to use a simple analogy, fast charging is sort of like when you drive your car at higher speeds, you get to your destination faster butthere is a little more wear and tear on your vehicle. However on the other hand when you drive your car slower you willget to your destination a little later with less wear and tear on your vehicle. But in the end the differences won't matter much. NiMH batteries, like your car, will normally have a longer useful life if they are not abused, and are charged using a good quality charger, whether or notit is a fast or slow type charger.

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Q3. What does smart charger determines my battery is fully charged?

A "smart" charger and it uses a technique called Negative Delta Voltage sensing that senses a brief drop in voltage when batteries become fully charged. This method is generally capacity independent and works for all kinds of capacity.

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Q4. What should I know for using the charger inside a car?

You can use a charger in the car provided that you have a cigarette lighter adapter. Make sure that your vehicle is supplying 13.8V or below. Some trucks may have 24V. In addition, never plug in the charger or operate your charger while you are starting your vehicle.

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Q5. What happens to my charger and rechargeable batteries if there is a power outage?

Not if the batteries have not been fully charged. As long as the batteries have not been fully charged then the charger will simplycontinue the charge cycle when the power comes back on. Thenwhen the charger detects the negative voltage drop indicative of full battery charge the charger will then automatically switch to trickle mode. However if the batteries have already been charged and the charger is already in trickle mode and the power goes off and then comes back on - Yes then this could cause a problem. Basically the charger will again start to charge your batteries all over again. Only this time the charger will have difficulty detecting the negative voltage drops (since the batteries are actually fully charged already) and could conceivably cause damage to your batteries, charger or both, especially if your charger charges at a fast charge rate. Also note that this can also cause a problem with slow timed chargers - chargers that charge for a certain time and then shut off after so many hours. Let's say that we have an 8 hour charger that has just completed the charge cycle and has just shut off. If at this time the power were to go off and then come back on yourcharger would reset its self and start another 8 hour charge cycle. Naturally since these types of chargers normally charge at a slow rate there is less chance of damage to your batteries and none to your charger.

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Q6. When I insert the batteries into my charger, there are no lights whatsoever. What could be wrong?

If no indicator is displayed, check your power source. Make sure it is plugged in correctly into a wall outlet with matching specification listed on the wall adapter. If you continue to experience difficulty, it may be possible that the wall adapter has failed.

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