Top positive review
114 people found this helpful
Slow charging but well made and excellent value
on 25 November 2012
I've been using an Energizer Universal Charger for the past two or three years and noticed that it was charging faster and faster and my suspicions were aroused when my mouse batteries kept dying within a couple of days. Was it the batteries, some being 3 years old, but surely not the 6 months old 7 Day Shop ones, or the expensive Uniross's?
So, not knowing what was wrong, I ordered this dinky charger as it was almost the lowest price - it wouldn't be an expensive mistake if my problems weren't down to the old charger after all.
First impressions are that it's solidly made and quite weighty. A few things that threw me, at first were, the instruction sheet (with a few spelling errors) that had only a few lines of actual instruction and loads of stupid health and safety stuff) stated that the red LED's came on when the batteries were inserted. Mine went green. Did this mean that they were fully charged? So, tried all my rechargables (over 20!) and they all lit up green. Re-reading the sheet, it then became apparent that the LED's simply go out when charge is completed. So, if your LED's aren't the colour you thought, make allowances...
Whereas that old Energizer unit was huge and with curved sides, this unit is small, being just over the width of 4 AA's side by side and plugs straight in, via the U.K. type plug - no adaptors or U.S style pins to fiddle with or worry about. One thing though, if you try and plug it into a multi-socket extension, its width won't allow you to plug another plug in either side of it. The pins being at the top of the unit should allow it to be plugged into the top part of a two-way plug, directly into the wall, but I haven't actually tried this. The unit does get noticeably warm in operation, but not hot.
Charging - not for those in a hurry - but trickle-charging (as it used to be called) should lengthen the life of both the unit and batteries, compared to quick chargers. None of my batts were fully depleted and so it's difficult to gauge but a set of Uniross AA's (2500mAh) charged only a week ago by the Energizer took about 6 hours before the LEDs went out. Most type should take less long. I have no means of testing such things and don't know how much extra topping up they required over and above what the Energizer gave.
The instruction sheet states: AA 1600mAh - 8hrs; AA 2100mAh - 11hrs; AAA 800mAh - 4hrs; PP3 9v 250mAh - 13hrs. The batteries have to be charged in equal pairs.
We all know that manufacturer's figures are usually very optimistic but would say that at least an overnight charging is required for all types and possibly longer. If like me and you don't have any 'normal' AA or AAA's any more, I would get into a routine of always having a set on charge, or at least until they're all done.