If you want to find high quality batteries or chargers in Vancouver, Vancouver Battery is one of the places to shop. Its address is 2192 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC.
I decided to invest in a high quality charger because the battery life in my camera was too short and I needed to make sure that my bike lights won’t shut off prematurely. My decision was the Powerex MH-C9000 charger which displays detailed information when charging the batteries. The charger has a lot of good reviews on Amazon. It costs $81.
Unlike the cheap and low quality battery chargers, this one has four independent channels and uses a special charging algorithm which makes sure that all cells are fully charged, not overcharged or undercharged which can wear them out prematurely. If you’re charging four cells and one is fully charged, you can remove the charged cell and use that slot to charge another.
The charger displays information such as the charge, discharge, capacity.
Its modes are: Charge, discharge, refresh/analyze, break-in, and cycle. You can select the charge rate, discharge rate, and number of cycles. When your batteries are charged, it will display how much charge they received in mAh which is useful for estimating the run time for your devices. When you select discharge mode, it will discharge your batteries and display how much charge remained. When you use the analyze/refresh mode, it will charge, discharge, and charge your batteries, and display their capacities. This is useful for cell matching which maximizes their run times in devices since when cells are in series, their performance will be limited to that of the weakest one. You want to group batteries with similar capacities. It’s possible to rejuvenate weak cells by using the charger’s break-in or analyze/refresh mode. I’ve never used the break-in mode before. It takes one to two days to complete.
The drawback of the charger is that it may be difficult to use and it’s quite expensive. Before using the charger, you’ll have to read the manual completely. When charging, its default charging rate is 1000 mA which is reasonable for AA cells but too high for AAA cells. If you’re charging AAA cells, you’ll have to always set the charge rate to not higher than 700 mA which can take 40 buttons presses. Charging at a proper rate prevents overcharging and overheating.
My previous charger was the V-3150 charger which takes 4AA or AAA batteries. It will turn off when charging is complete. The only problem is that if one cell has finished charging, it will stop charging the other ones. You won’t even know that they are undercharged. If you want to balance your batteries’ charges, you’ll have to charge one at a time.
The store also has other battery chargers of the same brand. You can get travel chargers or chargers that have eight slots or slots that accept C or D cells. Those chargers are less tedious to use because they don’t require as many button presses. The eight slot charger is simpler to use because when charging, you have only quick and soft charging rates. The drawback is that they don’t give detailed information about the batteries and they don’t measure their capacities. The store collects dead batteries for recycling too.
The charger seems to be doing its job. When taking videos, there’s less chance of my camera shutting down from the lack of charge. I can get away without spare batteries when it’s more than one hour. I’ve never tested how long the camera can last.
If you are a heavy user of rechargeable batteries or require reliable battery performance, I would recommend investing in a high quality charger. Using rechargeable batteries instead of alkaline batteries will be cheaper in the long run.