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Recargeable batteries/charger compatibility

  1. Feb 12, 2008 #1

    Danger

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    Berkeman, I figure that you'll be the first one in on this. I would have just PM'd you about it, but my box is full and the topic might be of interest to others.
    With the number of things around our place that run on AA or AAA batteries, from my toy helicopter to W's... toothbrush :uhh:... I just shelled out about a hundred bucks for a bunch of rechargeable NiMH cells in those sizes.
    When reading the package for the charger, it said that recharging times would be dependent upon the type and brand of battery. Once I got home and opened the package, the instructions inside say that I can use only Duracell batteries in the charger. That seems contradictory to the package. Since there were no Duracell rechargeables for sale other than the 4 in the charger pack, I bought Energizers to go with it. Is there any reason, other than trying to sell more Duracells, that I shouldn't use them?
    Available specs are:

    Charger: Duracell model CEF21/1.6 VDC 400 mA for each of 4 AA slots/1.6 VDC 175 mA for each of 4 AAA slots/5 VDC 500 mA on the USB port
    Duracell Batteries: AA/HR6/DC1500 NiMH/1,2V/1700mAh
    Energizer AA's: 2000 mAh
    Energizer AAA's: 900 mAh

    Those are the only figures that I could find, and are directly quoted from the printing (including the comma rather than period in the '1,2V' spec).

    Is it safe to use the Energizers with the Duracell charger? And, by the way, what the hell is that 5V USB port for? :confused:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
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  3. Feb 12, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Apart from the image of poor starving Duracell executives..

    Lots of stuff charges from USB (my mobile bluetooth headset) so they put a spare USB socket on the charger because it already has the regulated dv supply.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2008 #3

    chroot

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    As long as you're using the same battery chemistry (NiMH), it'll work fine. They may have some cheap-out clause where they won't warranty the product unless you use their branded batteries, but it makes absolutely no difference.

    The USB port is for charging devices (like iPods) which usually charge via a USB port. It's a convenience.

    - Warren
     
  5. Feb 12, 2008 #4

    Danger

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    Thanks, guys. I figured it would be safe, but since we don't have fire insurance on our place...
    More about the USB thing, though. The only battery operated device that I own with a USB port is my camera. It draws power from the computer when uploading pictures. Does this mean that I can recharge the batteries in the camera by plugging the upload cable into the charger USB port?
     
  6. Feb 12, 2008 #5

    chroot

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    That would depend on the camera. Most small form-factor cameras purposefully do not include built-in charging circuitry because it would make the camera larger. Instead, they put the charging circuitry into a separate wall-wart type unit separate from the camera.

    Even if the camera can run using the 5V from the USB port, I'd put the odds at below 50/50 that it can actually charge its battery that way. Check your manual.

    - Warren
     
  7. Feb 12, 2008 #6

    Danger

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    The manual wouldn't cover it, Chroot. The thing just uses disposable batteries, and doesn't have it's own charger. It's a little Vivitar that I got in a package deal with a Lexmark printer (which I've never used) about 4 years ago. I'm going to start using the rechargeables in it (if I ever again see anything worth taking a picture of), so I thought that the USB might be a short-cut to loading them up. Thanks again for the info.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2008 #7

    chroot

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    If it's intended to use disposable batteries, then it's certain that it contains no charging circuitry. After all, there are many different rechargeable battery chemistries available in the AA standard size, and each requires a different charging profile.

    - Warren
     
  9. Feb 12, 2008 #8

    Danger

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    Yeah, I'm not sure why I missed that aspect of it. Maybe I should start having just 3 or 4 beers for breakfast instead of 10... :redface:
    I've gotta face it... I'm a child of the 50's. I still think of Aerosmith as a new band. This tech stuff just keeps me off balance.
     
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