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31 March, 2009

Sony Super Quick Charger

Time to talk about batteries again. Still, I don't like to use AA/AAA rechargeable batteries. However, I bought a new AA/AAA NiMH charger - Sony Super Quick Charger with LCD Screen (BCG34HRMF4).

You might remember that I mentioned Energizer Rechargeable Dock & Go Charger a while back. The Energizer Rechargeable Dock & Go Charger takes 3 hours to fully charge 4 AA NiMH (upto 2650mAh) batteries.

Sony has a great charger, a charger that allows users to charge batteries individually, it also indicates the amount of power and charging state (in LCD display)

Sony Super Quick Charger

(As usual, more photos follow...)

Most NiMH battery chargers require users to charge batteries by pair (either charge two batteries or 4 batteries at a time). Being able to charge a single battery is a very useful feature.

Another reason I bought this battery charger is that it supports charging of 2700mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries. And I bought some.

Sony Reghargeable NiMH 2700mAh batteries

One bonus about those batteries is that the included battery carry case. Nice simply design making it easy for carrying.

Why did I buy NiMH rechargeable batteries? The manuals of both my Sony GPS Unit Kit (Sony GPS-CS1KASP) and Sony GN58 Flashes (HVL-F58AM) state that NiMH rechargeable batteries perform better than regular alkaline batteries (longer GPS location recording and more fires of flashes).

Now, here's a problem with NiMH batteries. All NiMH batteries discharge themselves at a rate of about 1.5% per day. That is, a full charged NiMH battery will lose all its power in about 6 months time without being used at all. Solution? Get alkaline batteries or get the relatively new low self-discharge NiMH batteries, or better known as Eneloop batteries. (Sanyo Eneloop is the first low self-discharge NiMH battery in the market, and a very popular/well known brand. Eneloop batteries are highly recommended by many professional photographers.)

After some investigations (among a number of retail stores), I discovered that Sony's CycleEnergy is an equivalent of Sanyo Eneloop, and they are easier and cheaper to get (compared to Sanyo Eneloop). I decided to get some Sony CycleEnergy batteries (to Don: Antony is poor.)

Sony CycleEnergy

Wikipeida indicates that Sony CycleEnergy batteries are a rebranded Eneloop manufactured by Sanyo.

Why do I need both 2700mAh rated NiMH batteries as well as 2000mAh low self-discharge NiMH batteries? One is suitable to charging the night before, and the other one has very long storage time.

There's one thing I learned: Unless the rechargeable is low self-discharge NiMH ones, there's no need to charge them once they are empty, unless you want to use them straight away.

The Sony Super Quick Charger also comes with Refresh Function. The Refresh Function is a function that will eliminate the “memory effect” left over by a battery that has been charged without first being fully discharged.
Other features of Sony Super Quick Charger includes 3 safety features (voltage monitoring, safety timer, temperature monitoring). And of course the worldwide voltage support (AC 100V - 240V).
The contents of Sony Super Quick Charger:
Sony Super Quick Charger contents

One important thing to remember. Rechargeable batteries are not suitable on all devices. Reason is that standard AA or AAA batteries provide voltage of 1.5 V (volts), while NiMH provides only 1.2 V. Also, although the name "rechargeable" sounds great, but a NiMH battery can only last about 100s of charges over its lifetime. (Low self-discharge NiMH batteries are said to last more than 1000s of charges over their lifetimes.) NiMH batteries lose their charge at about 1.5% per day. In plain words, rechargeable batteries won't perform well after some time and some uses.

Why did I buy Energizer Rechargeable Dock & Go Charger since I already have an Energizer Ultra Compact Charger? Charging time is obviously the number one decision reason. Spending 8.5 hours on charging batteries while on holiday is obviously a super stupid idea. Timing 8.5 hours is obviously a big hassle.

(to Don: Antony is poor.)

And the important news on the rechargeable battery breakthrough:
The recently released 17-inch MacBook Pro incorporates the world's longest built-in battery (in 17-inch laptop category) that delivers 8-hours wireless working environment and 1,000's of recharge cycles. The typical lifespan of a laptop battery is about 200 to 300 recharges (i.e. the capacity declines to approximately 80 percent). (A recharge is one complete charge and discharge of a battery’s energy.)
More detail at

This entry has Lightbox effect enabled. Click on the thumbnails for larger photos.

related blog entries:
Energizer Rechargeables (11 January, 2009)
Why you need a Sony AC-VQ900AM (9 January, 2009)
tracking myself with Sony GPS-CS1KASP (3 January, 2009)
5.5 hr to fully charge a battery? (5 January, 2008)

Posted by Antony on 31 March 2009 9:52 PM | gadget

more March 2009 blogs. (or 2009 blogs)
from iTunes Store:
And my views:
1) You don't need a super-quick charger, especially one with an LCD when a status LED will do perfectly fine.
2) There's nothing difficult about timing 8.5 hours, especially when considering that you could just run a countdown timer on your iPhone.
3) I already told you that you can get a maintenance charger; that way you don't have to buy expensive low-discharge batteries.
4) Why bother paying for a brand name like Eneloop or Sony when the no-name batteries I bought also came in a low-discharge version?
5) Even if the cell voltage of a NiMH battery is lower than that of an alkaline, it's still cheaper to recharge a NiMH battery than to buy a new set of alkaline batteries. That's not to mention there are no alkaline batteries entering the landfill later on.
6) Quick chargers turn off when the terminal voltage of the battery goes lower than a preset cutoff, which indicates that the battery is fully charged. The last I checked, that property of a battery doesn't change when the capacity is increased, so you don't need a special charger just for high-capacity batteries.
7) And did your beloved Apple mention that the battery isn't removable? If I wanted to, I could just buy HP's 12-cell battery (according to the product page, it lasts 11.5 to 14 hours).
Posted by Don_HH2K on 1 April 2009 4:34 AM.
The truths are:
1)This 'Sony Super Quick Charger' is not actually super quick. It is a little bit slower than Energizer's. The charging time for 1-2 2700mAh batteries takes 160 minutes; and 3-4 2700mAh batteries takes 320 minutes.
1.5) Indicating status is always better than just indicating charging or not.
2) While travelling, it is not practical to allocate or to schedule 8.5 hours just for AA batteries charging.
3) I don't have a maintenance charger, nor have I seen one.
4) There are things called quality, just like the quality of flowers from flowery or supermarkets. For your information, Sony's CycleEnergy is a lot cheaper than Sanyo Eneloop.
5) There are devices that require 1.5 voltage, as well as many devices that requires batteries which last much longer than 6 months.
6) I am not going to show my geekiness just to use something clearly not specified for. It seems logical and safe to use a proper device (charger in this case) for the proper job.
7) Yes, they did. I would prefer to have longer battery time than the ability of removable batteries. Why bother making it removable? I only removed the battery on my PowerBook G4 twice. One to install RAM, the second time was that Apple recalled the battery.
Posted by Antony Shen on 1 April 2009 8:42 AM.
Please note that I did not label my personal views as "the truths", like you did.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 1 April 2009 11:01 PM.
Well, you don't expect a non-English speaker like Antony can word the terms correctly.
Posted by Antony Shen on 2 April 2009 12:15 AM.
English-speaker or not, I would expect him to tell the truth and not lie about whether or not he speaks English.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 2 April 2009 2:48 AM.
“Antony's English is very bad/poor.”
“Antony speaks broken English.”
“Antony does not speak English.”
One way or the other, they all mean the same (or very similar).
Posted by Antony Shen on 2 April 2009 3:27 AM.
First, there are different levels of speaking a language. I know a [very educated] person that actually does speak broken English, but I would not say that she doesn't speak English.
Second, your English is fine, so those three statements are all false to begin with.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 3 April 2009 12:12 AM.
What do you mean "all false to begin with"? I believe those three sentences were grammatically correct.
Posted by Antony Shen on 3 April 2009 12:30 AM.
Truthfully false, not grammatically incorrect.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 3 April 2009 2:58 AM.
When you read the article I wrote, you can find at least 9 grammatical mistakes in every single paragraph. Isn't that qualify for calling "Antony does not speak English" to make life easier?
Posted by Antony Shen on 3 April 2009 10:57 PM.
No. You wouldn't speak English if your sentences were excessively difficult to read. A few grammatical mistakes here and there aren't good grounds for declaring that someone can't speak a language.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 4 April 2009 6:05 AM.
It is not “a few grammatical mistakes here and there”. It is “countless number of grammatical mistakes everywhere”, that qualifies “excessively difficult to read”, hence “does not speak English” applies.
Posted by Antony Shen on 4 April 2009 12:24 PM.
I don't find your speech to be "excessively difficult to read" (in a grammatical sense at least; I find it hard to put up with the half-truths and lies), and your sentences do not feature a "countless number of grammatical mistakes everywhere." Hence, you speak English.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 4 April 2009 2:57 PM.
Thank you for being polite. The fact that Antony does not speak English remains.
Posted by Antony Shen on 4 April 2009 5:39 PM.
I am not being polite; rather, that is the truth. Your good friend Laurent even called it a lie when you told me that you don't speak English.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 4 April 2009 10:01 PM.
Back on the topic,
3) I've never seen a "maintenance charger" available here. So I got one that has "Refresh" function.
6) It also has been well agreed by most people that super quick chargers (15 min or 30 min) will reduce the lifetime of rechargeable batteries. Further, leaving batteries on the charger for long after charging (continue to charge) is not good for the batteries, unless the charger powers off the current.
Hence, many professional photographers have good smart chargers.
Posted by Antony Shen on 4 April 2009 11:14 PM.
3) Are you kidding? You can even build a maintenance charger with just a current-limited power supply. But of course, you always need the brand name, so you would never build it yourself.
6) If you bought the cheap batteries off eBay like I did, you could maybe even buy five pairs for every one pair of name-brand batteries. That would more or less cancel out the economic effects of having to buy new batteries when using a super quick charger.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 5 April 2009 2:54 PM.
"Hence, many professional photographers have good smart chargers."
Are you now declaring yourself a professional photographer?

Posted by on 5 April 2009 8:20 PM.
No, but it won't be wrong if you follow the experts.
Posted by Antony Shen on 5 April 2009 8:28 PM.
"No, but it won't be wrong if you follow the experts."
That's what they said about the team at Los Alamos who gave the world the Atomic Bomb!!
Posted by on 5 April 2009 11:26 PM.
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