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Sony BCG34HUE4 Ultra 15 Battery Charger

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Anonymous
July 18, 2005 6:27:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I just purchased a Sony BCG34HUE4 Ultra 15 battery charger with four
(4) AA Ni-MH batteries (2500 mAh). The store where I bought it doesn't
carry Sony replacement batteries for it. (I always like to keep one
set charged in my digital camera bag, while the other set is charging).

Does anyone know whether I HAVE to use only Sony Ni-MH batteries or can
I use any Ni-MH brand (2500 mAh) with the unit? I have another
Rechargeable Battery unit (Energizer) but the unit (and batteries) take
HOURS to re-charge.

Thanks!


Karen
July 19, 2005 3:06:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

[posted and mailed]

You can use any brand of Nimh battery. You might want to check the Thomas
Distributing web site,(thomasdistributing.com) as they have the best
selection and pricing of batteries and chargers. I spent hours checking
web sites and they seem to be the best.
Jack

"Karen Thompson" <karenathompson@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1121722046.927858.211540@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> Does anyone know whether I HAVE to use only Sony Ni-MH batteries or can
> I use any Ni-MH brand (2500 mAh) with the unit? I have another
> Rechargeable Battery unit (Energizer) but the unit (and batteries) take
> HOURS to re-charge.
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 6:56:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 18 Jul 2005 14:27:26 -0700, Karen Thompson wrote:

> I just purchased a Sony BCG34HUE4 Ultra 15 battery charger with four
> (4) AA Ni-MH batteries (2500 mAh). The store where I bought it doesn't
> carry Sony replacement batteries for it. (I always like to keep one
> set charged in my digital camera bag, while the other set is charging).
>
> Does anyone know whether I HAVE to use only Sony Ni-MH batteries or can
> I use any Ni-MH brand (2500 mAh) with the unit? I have another
> Rechargeable Battery unit (Energizer) but the unit (and batteries) take
> HOURS to re-charge.

I have Sony's BCG-34HRMD and it works with any brand and capacity
AA or AAA NiMH batteries. Its only real fault is that it's a bit
overly sensitive when it comes to detecting bad batteries. At least
9 times out of 10 any of the batteries it refuses to charge will
charge properly in one of my other chargers. How long does yours
take to charge fully depleted 2500mah batteries?
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July 19, 2005 6:56:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:
> On 18 Jul 2005 14:27:26 -0700, Karen Thompson wrote:
>
>
>>I just purchased a Sony BCG34HUE4 Ultra 15 battery charger with four
>>(4) AA Ni-MH batteries (2500 mAh). The store where I bought it doesn't
>>carry Sony replacement batteries for it. (I always like to keep one
>>set charged in my digital camera bag, while the other set is charging).
>>
>>Does anyone know whether I HAVE to use only Sony Ni-MH batteries or can
>>I use any Ni-MH brand (2500 mAh) with the unit? I have another
>>Rechargeable Battery unit (Energizer) but the unit (and batteries) take
>>HOURS to re-charge.
>
>
> I have Sony's BCG-34HRMD and it works with any brand and capacity
> AA or AAA NiMH batteries. Its only real fault is that it's a bit
> overly sensitive when it comes to detecting bad batteries. At least
> 9 times out of 10 any of the batteries it refuses to charge will
> charge properly in one of my other chargers. How long does yours
> take to charge fully depleted 2500mah batteries?
>

Can someone explain how this 15-minute stuff works?
What's the charge termination strategy?

I can understand how you might slam 10A into a AA cell designed for
same, although I worry about life when the wire you need to carry the
charge current has larger diameter than the cell ;-)

Does the charger throttle back somehow on lower capacity batteries?
Or does it just try to stuff 10 amps into any old cell?
Local walmart was selling the Energizer variant with 4-AA cells for $22.
The package and the online information was rather vague about using
other brands/capacity cells.

What do you mean by "refuses to charge"? Does it not charge at all?
Seems like if it's smart enough to tell, it should be smart enough
to charge at a lower rate.

I guess we'll find out in a year when some history accumulates.
mike

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Anonymous
July 19, 2005 10:52:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Though the Sony charger (and batteries) are brand new, it took only 15
minutes to charge up the Sony Ni-Mh batteries. That is the time Sony
claims it can charge up their batteries.


Karen
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 12:49:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 02:33:34 -0700, mike wrote:

> Can someone explain how this 15-minute stuff works?
> What's the charge termination strategy?

There are at least two different strategies. The first 15 minute
charger (I think it was RayOVac's) required the use of proprietary
NiMH batteries that communicated somewhat with the charger. If
normal NiMH cells were used, they'd take many hours to charge,
probably 12 or more. Based on past experience, Sony is less likely
to provide detailed information than Energizer, but you could see if
they have any information on the web.


> I can understand how you might slam 10A into a AA cell designed for
> same, although I worry about life when the wire you need to carry the
> charge current has larger diameter than the cell ;-)
>
> Does the charger throttle back somehow on lower capacity batteries?
> Or does it just try to stuff 10 amps into any old cell?
> Local walmart was selling the Energizer variant with 4-AA cells for $22.
> The package and the online information was rather vague about using
> other brands/capacity cells.

It's my understanding that the Energizer charger can be used with
any "good" NiMH batteries. I don't think there is any "throttling
back" of the charge current, but the charger will take a variable
amount of time to charge, depending on the battery's capacity. My
Energizer 30-minute charger (mentioned briefly below) works with
other brands and capacities.


> What do you mean by "refuses to charge"? Does it not charge at all?
> Seems like if it's smart enough to tell, it should be smart enough
> to charge at a lower rate.

Using either LEDs (at least one per cell) or a graphic LCD
display, the individual cell is flagged as "bad" and the charger
then stops charging it. It can take anywhere from seconds to more
than an hour to determine that the battery is "bad". Sometimes
another brand of charger will also recognize the "bad"ness of the
battery, but not always. Someone else may know how this is
determined. Whether the charger recognizes some typical signature
of a bad cell or is simply confused by an unexpected signature I
don't know, other than that some other chargers (usually cheaper
ones, including some "smart" chargers) are able to charge the
supposedly bad cells effectively.


> I guess we'll find out in a year when some history accumulates.

Maybe. I have an Energizer 30 minute charger and while it does a
good job, usually use one of my other slower chargers. I have no
need for a 15 minute charger. It seems like the need for a *really*
fast charger is mostly for people that have no spare/backup sets of
batteries. I usually have several sets on hand that have been
charged within the last 2 or 3 days so whether the charger takes
minutes or hours to charge is of little concern.
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 5:58:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On 19 Jul 2005 06:52:29 -0700, Kyeates wrote:

> Though the Sony charger (and batteries) are brand new, it took only 15
> minutes to charge up the Sony Ni-Mh batteries. That is the time Sony
> claims it can charge up their batteries.

Thanks. I suspected that, based on the Ultra 15 name. I hope
it's built a little more substantially than mine. The cover had a
hinge made of an incredibly tiny piece of plastic that took little
effort to break off. It's mostly cosmetic though, and while it
survived was always propped open while charging. Eventually you'll
have a 10 minute charger (with the original batteries), but with
luck it'll take at least several years to get there. :) 
July 19, 2005 6:13:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

ASAAR wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 02:33:34 -0700, mike wrote:
>
>
>>Can someone explain how this 15-minute stuff works?
>>What's the charge termination strategy?
>
>
> There are at least two different strategies. The first 15 minute
> charger (I think it was RayOVac's) required the use of proprietary
> NiMH batteries that communicated somewhat with the charger. If
> normal NiMH cells were used, they'd take many hours to charge,
> probably 12 or more. Based on past experience, Sony is less likely
> to provide detailed information than Energizer, but you could see if
> they have any information on the web.

I've seen chargers, possibly RayOVac that had proprietary contacts that
would only engage in the proper charger mechanics.
There was mention of one system that had a switch in each battery
that disconnected it when the pressure reached critical.

>
>
>
>>I can understand how you might slam 10A into a AA cell designed for
>>same, although I worry about life when the wire you need to carry the
>>charge current has larger diameter than the cell ;-)
>>
>>Does the charger throttle back somehow on lower capacity batteries?
>>Or does it just try to stuff 10 amps into any old cell?
>>Local walmart was selling the Energizer variant with 4-AA cells for $22.
>>The package and the online information was rather vague about using
>>other brands/capacity cells.
>
>
> It's my understanding that the Energizer charger can be used with
> any "good" NiMH batteries. I don't think there is any "throttling
> back" of the charge current, but the charger will take a variable
> amount of time to charge, depending on the battery's capacity. My
> Energizer 30-minute charger (mentioned briefly below) works with
> other brands and capacities.
>
>
>
>>What do you mean by "refuses to charge"? Does it not charge at all?
>>Seems like if it's smart enough to tell, it should be smart enough
>>to charge at a lower rate.
>
>
> Using either LEDs (at least one per cell) or a graphic LCD
> display, the individual cell is flagged as "bad" and the charger
> then stops charging it. It can take anywhere from seconds to more
> than an hour to determine that the battery is "bad". Sometimes
> another brand of charger will also recognize the "bad"ness of the
> battery, but not always. Someone else may know how this is
> determined. Whether the charger recognizes some typical signature
> of a bad cell or is simply confused by an unexpected signature I
> don't know, other than that some other chargers (usually cheaper
> ones, including some "smart" chargers) are able to charge the
> supposedly bad cells effectively.
>
>
>
>>I guess we'll find out in a year when some history accumulates.
>
>
> Maybe. I have an Energizer 30 minute charger and while it does a
> good job, usually use one of my other slower chargers. I have no
> need for a 15 minute charger. It seems like the need for a *really*
> fast charger is mostly for people that have no spare/backup sets of
> batteries. I usually have several sets on hand that have been
> charged within the last 2 or 3 days so whether the charger takes
> minutes or hours to charge is of little concern.
>

I have a bunch of old Maha 204F 0deltaV chargers that worked fine when
batteries
were 1000 mAH. Now they're 3-hour chargers, but the lower relative
current doesn't drive the cells into the termination zone very well, so
batteries get hotter than they should.

I built a programmable battery analyzer, but my power supply can only
put out 5 Amps. Can't test a 15-minute AA with it. Bummer!

Rechargeable batteries are very convenient for stuff you use all the
time. Problem I have is that the camera sits there for weeks. Then I
decide I want to take a picture NOW!!! It's always flat. Same with
the flashlight, dustbuster, pda, laptop and every other darn
rechargeable thing I own. Fast charger would help those instances.
mike

--
Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
with links. Delete this sig when replying.
..
Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 11:11:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 19 Jul 2005 14:13:13 -0700, mike wrote:

> I've seen chargers, possibly RayOVac that had proprietary contacts that
> would only engage in the proper charger mechanics.
> There was mention of one system that had a switch in each battery
> that disconnected it when the pressure reached critical.

Possible, but I've had a number of RayOVac chargers, from their
slightly brain damaged little box that charged NiCads and
rechargeable alkalines, to their 1-Hour quick charger that works
very nicely with NiCads and NiMH batteries. The all worked with
every AA I've tried. I'm not doubting that you saw such a charger,
but the only ones I've see that were designed to only charge
slightly modified AA batteries were a few that were built into
cameras and CD players. But fortunately they didn't require those
proprietary batteries to operate.


> I have a bunch of old Maha 204F 0deltaV chargers that worked fine when
> batteries were 1000 mAH. Now they're 3-hour chargers, but the lower
> relative current doesn't drive the cells into the termination zone very well,
> so batteries get hotter than they should.

I've noticed that as well. Even newer chargers that take several
hours seem to heat up the batteries more than my 60 and 30 minute
chargers. But the faster chargers (mine don't have cooling fans)
are more massive and make tighter contact with the batteries, so I
wonder if they might be acting as more effective heat sinks for the
batteries too.


> Rechargeable batteries are very convenient for stuff you use all the
> time. Problem I have is that the camera sits there for weeks. Then I
> decide I want to take a picture NOW!!! It's always flat. Same with
> the flashlight, dustbuster, pda, laptop and every other darn
> rechargeable thing I own. Fast charger would help those instances.

That's true if you don't have any other battery using devices.
But I have a good number of them, and pool the battery sets, which I
why I always have a freshly charged set or two available. The
camera makes a difference too. I have one that uses quite a bit of
power, so I can't rely on NiMH batteries if they've been sitting in
the camera for two weeks or more. It also has the nasty habit of
consuming some battery power when turned off. There's absolutely no
reason for this as it uses a lithium button cell to maintain memory
and the clock, and can do so for many years. Another camera (my
Fuji) can sit with the NiMH batteries in it for a month or more and
still take a good number of pictures.

As for PDAs, I have a couple of Palms (TRG, Handera) and use only
NiMH AAA batteries in mine with different results. The TRG uses 2
AAAs and seems to go through batteries quickly, even if it doesn't
get much use. The other uses 4 AAAs and batteries last a very long
time, even with moderately heavy use. Much longer that 2 sets of
batteries in the other PDA would last.

And you're really right about not wanting to use rechargeable
batteries in flashlights (might be ok in some LED lights) and
dustbusters. These two can destroy rechargeable batteries very
quickly, as can any non digital radios and other motorized devices
such as tape players and recorders. I have a digital radio with
built-in recorder that killed a couple of NiCad D cells. I set it
to record from the radio, and eventually the voltage dropped low
enough for the digital radio to turn off. But it wasn't designed to
stop recording when this happened, so it kept on long enough to wipe
out a couple of the batteries. My recorders now use a single AA
cell so that can't happen anymore. :) 
!