*La Crosse BC-900U Battery Charger*
I have a growing supply of AA and some AAA rechargeable batteries. Several of the batteries came in sets that included a charger, and I have been using these for the past few years. After reading some posts here on the Rubicon Alt Energy Board about battery memory and different re-chargers, I set out to find a good replacement.
I purchased the La Crosse off Amazon after reading the reviews, which were very favorable and detailed.
The unit now costs just over $40, and includes a nice carrying case, 4 AA batteries and 4 AAA batteries. It also includes a set of C and D adapters that allow you to insert a AA battery into a hollow sleeve the size of a C or D. This lets you use a C or D device off the AA battery, which may be better than not using it at all.
The best feature of the charger is also itís one big downside. It has the ability to Charge, Discharge, Refresh and Test batteries, and you can select different charging/discharging rates, and be doing different things for each battery or in some cases different things for two groups of two batteries. But you control all of this functionality through a very small number of buttons, and the users manual is adequate at best. I have spent a good bit of time playing with the charger and reading reviews of otherís experiences with the unit to get a feel for how to use it.
But bottom line, it will take a worn down battery (high memory) and refresh it to nearly like-new condition. This process can take up to TWO DAYS, but itís better than throwing the battery away and once the refresh is done, you shouldnít have to do it again for quite some time.
The Test feature also gives you an accurate reading on the capacity of each battery, and is a good indicator on whether or not that particular one needs refreshing. It can also spot a Ďdudí in the group of your rechargables that might be limiting your device life and hurting your other batteries.
All in all, I think this is an excellent product, itís designed to be portable, and I think would be a good addition to your preps.
(by the way, the red tape on each battery identifies them to us as a rechargeable since we use a mix of them and alkalines. We donít want to accidentally throw away a rechargeable and this helps!)
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