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I’ve tried rechargeable batteries — mostly because I hate paying for new batteries all the time, and getting rid of the old ones — but I use the crap out of my batteries, and inevitably I wake up one day and those rechargeable batteries I shelled out for no longer hold a charge.  The La Crosse BC-900 promises to remedy that problem;  its refresh mode will bring those dead batteries back to life.

The BC-900 works with all NiCd and NiMH AA and AAA batteries, even ones that’ve succumbed to the false memory effect.  With four separate LCD displays you can monitor each battery’s progress in any of four different modes: Charge, Discharge, Refresh, and Test.  It prevents overcharging by monitoring battery heat.

For $45 the BC-900 comes with 4 AA and 4 AAA batteries, C and D adapters, and a travel bag.

BC-900 [La Crosse]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

16 Responses to Bring Those Batteries Back From The Dead

  1. Matt says:

    I recently got fed up with disposable batteries (especially with wireless videogame controller) so I bought one of these. It works quite well and can charge at many different rates. The carrying case is pretty silly, but does make it easy to keep all the adapters together.

  2. Bob says:

    I have one of these works really well. It is better than pretty much all the other battery chargers out there since you have the different charging modes.

  3. John E. says:

    I think this is the internet’s most favorite charger/conditioner. I’ve heard plenty of cases where people have brought ‘dead’ batteries back to life with its reconditioning charge.

  4. Leon says:

    I wish this would work on my Dewalt batteries

  5. Bob S. says:

    I’m a Big fan of this charger. It works really well, has different current settings for charge/discharge, and doesn’t ‘abuse’ batteries; they last a long, long time.

    The ‘battery refresh’ really does work at making older, abused batteries usable again.

  6. Jimmy says:

    @ Leon try this circuit: http://home.scarlet.be/johnstaybank/nicad_repair.htm

    works with Milwaukee NiCads.

  7. Greg! says:

    I *just* got one of these (yesterday) and really like it so far. It brought a battery back to life that I was sure couldn’t be saved.

  8. Bill Schuller says:

    I have this charger, and many, many others (run into too many deals where buying high-capacity NI-MH batteries meant getting the charger along with it). This is the one I actually use. More important than the charger in my opinion is the battery. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun. I have a myriad of AA and AAA powered devices that I use day-to-day. This is nothing, however in comparison to my son’s toy collection. It seems that every toy made these days at least beeps if not more. Since an unbeeping toy is all the reason my soon-to-be-two son needs to go bananas these days, keeping plenty of fresh batteries on hand is a must.

    I now exclusively buy Enloop batteries. They’re towards the high end of the capacity range (800 mAh AAA, 2000 mAh AA) to start with. The key, however is the super-low self discharge rate. That’s right, you can charge a batch of these puppies up, put them aside for a few weeks and when the next time your Wigglin’ Musical Microphone runs out of batteries that batch will still be holding a near-full charge. What’s even better is when said toy either falls out of vogue or gets lost behind the couch, it just might not be dead when it’s picked back up.

    I can’t recommend Enloop batteries more highly.

  9. Shopmonger says:

    Yeah……can we get one of these to bring our tool batteries back………18v version?

  10. Dan says:

    I have this exact same model. It is so much better than any charger I have ever owned. Totally worth every penny and then some.

  11. PutnamEco says:

    The remote control model guys are really into batteries and their chargers, They use a wide variety of chargers. Peak detecting, cycling and match charging are common. I can’t wait for the Lithium polymer rechargeable batteries to make it into consumer devices, I feel they will be a major improvement over the NiCads and NiMH that are offered today.

    Just one manufacturers offering of chargers
    h t t p:// w ww.commonsenserc.com/index.php?cPath=38_84

    Moderation bot repeat defeat

  12. Joe says:

    When you’re ready to buy new rechargeable batteries (AA, AAA, etc.), go for low-discharge NIMH, such as MAHA Imedions. They’ll keep about 75% of their charge even when left idle for months.

  13. I have to agree with Joe, the new generation of low-discharge rechargeable batteries are so much better.

    I tired going all rechargeable once. I got sick of having dead batteries in what ever device I picked up. So I went back to primary disposable batteries.

    Then I tried a Eneloop kit from Costco and haven’t looked back, you can actually use them in devices like remotes and kids toys where they get very little current and get used intermittently. Unfortunately I can only find them online now that Circuit City folded.

    Anybody know of a good brand sold in a big box?

    ——-

    As for zapping or jolting your Nicads to get them working again: I’ve had bad luck with that. I seems to work for a short time; it brings the cell voltage back to normal, but then when you need them under a real load, they seem to fail again. It’s not worth it.

  14. I found some ancient C’s that were failed short, far too dead for the LaCrosse to work with. So I zapped ’em with my bench power supply until I saw the amperage fall off and the cell voltage start to come up. Then I built adapters that let me charge C-size cells from the BC-900’s AA-size pockets. On the first test pass, most of the cells were holding between 50 and 500mAh. After a few days of refresh cycling, they were right back up to factory spec of 2700mAh.

    Yes, this is a wonderful, wonderful charger, but it’s so much more than a charger. I used rechargeables for many years before it, but now I look back and wonder how I ever got along without it. I was flying blind! A good analyzer like this lets you see what your batteries are up to, identifying problems and in many cases fixing them.

    I tried a Maha C-9000 for a few days too, but the hiss of its switchmode power supply made it unsuitable for the bedroom, which is where I keep my chargers. The C-9000 offers many of the same features, plus a backlit display, and my favorite feature, it accepts 12-volt input, not the 3-volt brick that powers the LaCrosse BC-900. That makes it a natural for mobile operation.

    Although when I’m traveling, the BC-900 spends a lot of time plugged into my car’s inverter.. 😉

  15. FB says:

    For the big boys – like the DeWalts and other tools, give these folks a look – they can rebuild you DOAs to better than new at half the cost of a new battery.
    http://www.primecell.com/

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