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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 30th Apr 2021, 10:12 pm   #1
Lancs Lad
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Default 'Household' battery chargers.

Further to a recent thread about AA and AAA battery charger recommendations, I just wanted to show you my 'old faithful' charger.

It fits all sizes of battery, thanks to its spring loaded negative contact arms, and even has contacts to attach 9 volt batteries.

Bought from Tandy in 1986, it's still doing everything I need it to, without any fuss or fault. Alright, it might not be 'smart', or as fast as newer models, but it suits me.

It lost its fancy smoked perspex hinged lid years ago, but it still does the job.
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Last edited by Lancs Lad; 30th Apr 2021 at 10:32 pm. Reason: Additional photo.
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Old 1st May 2021, 9:20 am   #2
Lloyd 1985
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

I’ve got the same charger here! Still got the lid on it, surprisingly! I remember my Dad got it when I was very young, along with a load of rechargeable AA and C cells to power a remote controlled car! I’ve still got some of the RadioShack branded Nicad’s that it used to charge, mostly all dead now though.

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Old 1st May 2021, 10:11 am   #3
Lancs Lad
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Good to know you've still got yours, Lloyd.

I seem to remember the first lot of batteries I had were AAs, branded Ross (or possibly Uniross?) and let's just say that they weren't the best rechargeable batteries I've ever had!
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Old 1st May 2021, 11:27 am   #4
emeritus
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Uniross. I still have the Uniross NiCd charger I bought from Argos in the 1980's. It takes up to 8 cells (AA, C, and D) in three groups of two and two singles, and three PP3 cells. One of the single cell/PP3 positions has a meter operated by a push button to indicate voltage. I used to use it regularly to charge the 4Ah SAFT "D" NiCd cells for my cycle lamps. These days I normally use chargers bought from Jessops in one of their sales where the charger plus batteries cost no more than the batteries. The Jessups ones take AA and AAA cells, in pairs only, are for both NiCd and NiMh cells and, unlike the Uniross, cut out after a preterermined time. One will also take a PP3.
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Old 1st May 2021, 4:20 pm   #5
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Uniross D cells (wearing a red,white and blue logo) were what put me off miniature Ni-Cads. Pathetic, and soon produced pretty green crystals at the +ue end.

I came across several of these (dumb) chargers in a box today, i think it's time i disposed of them...can't think of repurposing them for anything else.

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Old 1st May 2021, 4:28 pm   #6
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

I've heard of the Ross brand but never came across any of their batteries, it's a bit before my time, the perspex lid was primarily for Ni-Cd batteries incase they exploded during charging, it's not needed for other types.
Years ago, I bought a Uniross charger with auto shut-off primarily to charge D cells for an airbed inflator, the said airbed did have a few uses at rock gigs.
The pic below is of said charger, it now only sees occasional use when charging solar garden light batteries.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 8:13 pm   #7
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

I found a Kodak Easyshare M863 digital camera at my mums that hasn't been charged for six years, the Li-ion cell was down to 2.8v and stubbornly refused to charger on it's own charger.
In desperation I applied the full 5v from the charging supply across the battery terminals in three second bursts, on the third attempt the terminal voltage shot up to 3.6v and I returned it to the camera and it took a charge normally.

I have been using the camera today and it's fine.

I mention this because although I have often revived NiMH and Ni-Cd batteries, this is the first time I can remember having success with Li-ion.
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Old 4th May 2021, 12:19 am   #8
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

I once had one that was too flat to take charge from the factory charger.
I applied power from a bench power supply set to 500ma and took it off when it got to 3.5 volts. It worked again too.
Those cheap cells that sometimes blow up never recover even if they only get slightly warm.
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Old 4th May 2021, 10:59 am   #9
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Li-Ion which has dropped below it's 'shutdown' voltage can typically be given a trickle to bring it back into range so that the designated charger unit will accept it. Bigclive covered this subject in the past.

It surely has to be safer than zapping them, but I would keep a close eye for temperature elevation or ballooning of the envelope if it's a wafer type.

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Old 4th May 2021, 3:19 pm   #10
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

My default battery-charger is this little one bought from Halfords at least 25 years ago. The four AA NiCd cells it came with have long since gone to meet their maker.

It is designed to 'fast charge' 700mAH cells - doing so in two hours. There's a built-in cutoff after 2 hours, so charging 1300mAH cells takes two 'cycles' and 2000mAH cells need three cycles.

The case was originally white but a combination of heat and age has caused it to go distinctly yellow.
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Old 7th May 2021, 3:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
My default battery-charger is this little one bought from Halfords at least 25 years ago. The four AA NiCd cells it came with have long since gone to meet their maker.

It is designed to 'fast charge' 700mAH cells - doing so in two hours. There's a built-in cutoff after 2 hours, so charging 1300mAH cells takes two 'cycles' and 2000mAH cells need three cycles.

The case was originally white but a combination of heat and age has caused it to go distinctly yellow.
The plastic used in the case is that so-called flame-retardant plastic that turns yellow in sunlight exposure.
My 17yo fridge has trim that turned yellow, compared to the handle.
Dave, USradcoll1.
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Old 8th May 2021, 1:44 am   #12
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Default Re: 'Household' battery chargers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
My default battery-charger is this little one bought from Halfords at least 25 years ago. The four AA NiCd cells it came with have long since gone to meet their maker.

It is designed to 'fast charge' 700mAH cells - doing so in two hours. There's a built-in cutoff after 2 hours, so charging 1300mAH cells takes two 'cycles' and 2000mAH cells need three cycles.

The case was originally white but a combination of heat and age has caused it to go distinctly yellow.
I have got a slightly younger one of those 4 cell ones with two timer settings.
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