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sd04 07-06-2008 06:22 AM

Battery Rechargers
Just a quick question:
I have a very old Dicksmiths battery recharger. it came with 4 AA rechargeable batteries. I would like to get more batteries but don't really want Dicksmiths ones. Can i buy some other brands of batteries (like Eveready) and use them with my Dicksmiths charger? Do i need to buy the same type of battery (NIMH or whatever) or can all chargers charge different types of batteries?

micromind 07-06-2008 08:05 PM

I would be willing to bet a tidy sum that this is a 'constant current' type of charger. All it does is apply a constant amount of current to the batteries, regardless of voltage, and when the battery is fully charged, it simply converts this current to heat. Usually, these operate at around 50 to 80 ma (0.05-0.08 amp), and at 1.25 volts, it really isn't much heat. The battery will be warm, not hot.

To answer the question, any brand of ni-cd will work in it. If you charge nimh in this type of charger, you'll get maybe 1/2 of the batteries capacity, and its life will be much shorter.

Since the voltage vs charge level of both ni-cd and nimh batteries if pretty much flat (voltage is about the same with a full charge as with deep discharge), they cannot be 'float charged'. A float charger applies a constant voltage, and current falls off as the battery nears full charge. This type works well with lead-acid batteries.

To properly charge a nimh battery, it needs to be hit with a very high current, usually a couple of amps. Then the current is shut off, and voltage is read. When the non-charge voltage reaches a certain level, the battery is fully charged. During this process, the battery will become rather hot. 150 degrees is normal. Some chargers (usually 15 or 30 minute ones) will have a cooling fan and temperature sensors built into them. These chargers will wreck a nicd after only a few charges.


sd04 07-06-2008 10:15 PM

So say if i got two chargers; one nicd and one nimh, i could use any brand of battery as long as i put them in the right type of charger? I have both nicd and nimh AA batteries lying around at home. I have some nimh batteries that have come with a camera but have lost the charger so if i bought any type of charger would they work in there or a camera batteries different?

Nestor_Kelebay 07-06-2008 10:16 PM

Dicksmith prolly didn't make those batteries, they just bought them off some company in China or Mexico that printed Dicksmith's name on them.

I think it's a safe bet that as long as you stick to the same type of rechargeable battery (NiCd or NiMh) as your old Dicksmith batteries, you'll be fine.

sd04 07-06-2008 10:33 PM

Ok. the dicksmiths are nicd but i also have nimh ones lying around. If a buy a nimh recharger can i use different brands as long as they are nimh batteries like what i will do with the dicksmiths or are nimh different?

Nestor_Kelebay 07-07-2008 10:09 PM


The most knowledgeable people would be the people listed under "Batteries" in your yellow pages phone directory.

I have a "generic" battery charger that I got so long ago I don't even remember, and I charge all my batteries in it. So far, so good.

My understanding is that different battery chemistries result in different battery idiocyncrasies. However, I have never seen a warning on a battery charger saying "Don't charge XXX batteries" in this battery charger, nor have I ever seen any warnings on rechargeable batteries saying that they had to be charged in a certain type of charger.

So, so far as I know, if the battery will fit properly in your battery charger, it should charge your battery.

I know that the lithium batteries used for digital cameras take a lot of charge because they have to power the telephoto lens motor and the colour display and everything else, but I charge them in my generic charger too. I guess they simply store more juice, but get charged the same way.

sd04 07-08-2008 07:50 AM

Thanks guys. If worse come to worse, a new charger and batteries wont be that expensive.

micromind 07-08-2008 08:22 PM

Generally speaking, any nicd charger will charge any brand of nicd battery, but it might not charge nimh batteries well.

Any brand of nimh charger will charge any brand of nimh battery, but it will destroy a nicd pretty quickly. Maybe explosively!

As stated above, there are only a handful of actual battery manufacturers out there, and they market their batteries under many different names. They're all built with basically the same materials.


Charles 07-09-2008 10:37 AM


Originally Posted by sd04 (Post 137044)
Thanks guys. If worse come to worse, a new charger and batteries wont be that expensive.

Depends on the brand. I was on a site and left my coworkers Dewalt charger w/battery. Luckily I remembered before it got snagged, but locally the charger was over $70 and that is not even including the battery.

SuperAkuma 07-31-2008 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by sd04 (Post 137044)
Thanks guys. If worse come to worse, a new charger and batteries wont be that expensive.

I would just start fresh and get a new set of batteries with a new charger. If you said the charger is very old, it may not have the "auto stop" feature that stops charging when the battery if full.

I bought a new set just a few weeks ago from costco. Sanyo envelope are rated to be the best batteries in the market. The set I bought was about $25 and it came with a charger, 8 AA batteries, 6 AAA batteries, 2 C batteries adaptor, 2 D batteries adaptor and a nice carrying case to keep them orgainzed.

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