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Offline acidjack

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Good battery tester?
« on: September 29, 2009, 11:05:04 AM »
I'm looking for a simple battery tester. I was going to just buy one on Amazon, but I saw user reviews saying one is basically useless unless it tests "under load."  Trying to search that particular term on Amazon wasn't terribly helpful, so I thought it'd just be easier to ask: What is a good, cheap battery tester to use?
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Offline bucsab12

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 11:14:47 AM »
I am not sure what is your price range but for around $40-$50 you can get both the Lacrosse BC-900

http://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Technology-BC-9009-AlphaPower-Battery/dp/B00077AA5Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254236995&sr=8-1

Or the Maha C9000

http://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Technology-BC-9009-AlphaPower-Battery/dp/B00077AA5Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1254236995&sr=8-1

These chargers support AA and AAA batteries and both have all sorts of charging and testing options. I can't speak about the BC-900 but the C9000 is working great for me...

Offline travelinbeat

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 11:40:50 AM »
I'll piggyback-- any good ones especially for Sanyo 2700 NiMH's?
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Offline mmadd29

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 11:45:04 AM »
I have the Crosse Tech charger mentioned above.  It is great!!
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Offline bucsab12

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 02:01:16 PM »
I own the C9000 along with 6 Sanyo 2700 and 4 Sanyo Eneloops. It has been working great. I have bought the charger and the batteries to power my Zoom H2 (bad recorder, stay AWAY!!!) and all the batteries have been working great. It has all the regular modes (charge, discharge etc.) and also has cycle mode that can be used to revitalize old cells with high internal resistance.

You should take these few issues into consideration before buying:
1. The BC-900 is smaller than the C9000.
2. The BC-900 has a very small screen that is divided into 4 parts, one for each battery. The C9000 has a large backlit screen that shows all the stats about one battery at a time and then moves on to the next cell.
3. In the C9000 there is a bigger space between the 4 cells for better heat dispersal. In the BC-900 they are pretty packed together so the batteries may heat up during charging/discharging. That may eventually hurt their performance.
4. The BC-900 is cheaper by about $15.

If you go into the link that I provided for the C9000, there is a photo that someone added of the C9000 and the BC-900 side by side. It may help you understand what each unit is like.

Before I bought the C9000, I researched a lot on another forum (I am not sure if I am allowed to post its name here. In case it is allowed I will add the address) and over there everyone said that the C9000 is the best way to go. I am not saying that the BC-900 is not a great charger as well but I decided to follow the people and I am not disappointed.

I think you will be happy with what you get, whatever choice you make...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 02:08:30 PM by bucsab12 »

Offline travelinbeat

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 05:08:36 PM »
If you go into the link that I provided for the C9000, there is a photo that someone added of the C9000 and the BC-900 side by side. It may help you understand what each unit is like.

Thanks for the great input!

Here's that photo for future visitors:

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Offline junkyardt

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 09:46:08 PM »
you guys really have some detailed info here, which probably makes this a useless post, but i bought this earlier in the year:

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tester-Volt-Universal-Tool/dp/B000RB60H4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1254275038&sr=8-2

at the time i bought it it was 3.99 with free shipping, now it's 8.99 + shipping. anyway, all i ever need to test are 9 volts and AAs so it does the job for me just fine.

Offline huskerdu

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2009, 12:16:31 PM »
I may be mistaken, but I think the OP was looking for a battery tester, not necessarily a battery charger.
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Offline bucsab12

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2009, 12:54:38 PM »
I might have understood it the wrong way...  :)

If that is the case, I have never used one of the small battery testers like the one junkyardt uses.

It depends how accurate do you need you readings to be. The small battery testers do not show exactly how much power is left on the battery. They only show if it is still good on a scale that has a green part (good) and a red part (drained). Maybe it is enough for what you need. If not you can get a multimeter for around $20 or less and it will give you a more accurate reading.

Offline acidjack

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 01:28:28 PM »
I may be mistaken, but I think the OP was looking for a battery tester, not necessarily a battery charger.

Yes - main concern is testing. Correct me if I'm wrong but it looks like the two mentioned above do not charge/test 9vs?   having a combo tester/charger would be great, but my main concern is testing the 9v batts that go in my battery boxes, preamps, etc.
Mics: Schoeps MK4V, MK41V, MK5, MK22> CMC6, KCY 250/5, KC5, NBob; MBHO MBP603/KA200N, AT 3031, DPA 4061 w/ d:vice, Naiant X-X, AT 853c, shotgun, Nak300
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Offline bucsab12

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 01:35:35 PM »
In that case I would forget about the C9000 and BC-900 because they only work with AA and AAA batteries AFAIK.

About the tester, here is a link for a decent one that is not too expensive:

http://www.amazon.com/Equus-3320-Auto-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter/dp/B000EVYGZA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1254302652&sr=8-2

If you look on its scale, there is a "Battery Load Test" option. That will give you pretty accurate readings for how much power is left on your battery. You can also check other batteries with the 1.5V, 6V and 12V options.

Craftsman also has nice multimeters for a cheap price but I couldn't find one on Amazon. Here is a link to one:

http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/ProductDisplay?cName=Equipment&storeId=10155&keyword=multimeter&vName=Tools+%26+Equipment&partNumber=03482141000P&sName=Electrical+Shop&catalogId=12602

Offline rigpimp

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 01:37:36 PM »
.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 10:54:26 AM by rigpimp »
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Offline Ziggz

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 11:04:27 PM »
I have this multimeter but no idea how to test the battery life. The manual is useless- is this capable of battery testing?



Offline Sherpa

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 01:05:16 AM »
I have this multimeter but no idea how to test the battery life. The manual is useless- is this capable of battery testing?




Yes, it should work fine.  I believe if you set it to the DC Voltage (the 'V' with the straight line and three dots) closest to but still greater than the voltage of the battery you're trying to measure (ie. set the multimeter to '2' in the case of a single AA battery, which are typically rated at 1.5 or 1.2 V), you'll get an accurate reading of the battery's voltage. 

You'll have to become familiar with a given battery's rate of discharge to be able to figure out approximately how much power you've got left given a used battery, but you should at least be able to quickly identify which batteries are fresh by whether the match their voltage rating or not.

The following link has a brief tutorial on testing batteries with multimeters about a third of the way down:

http://www.ladyada.net/learn/metertut/voltage.html

Offline bucsab12

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 10:30:04 AM »
This thread may also be helpful: "when to change battery in batbox":

http://www.taperssection.com/index.php/topic,127365.0.html

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2009, 05:29:27 PM »
If you go the multimeter route AND if you have a suitable retailer nearby...I picked up a decent multimeter at a Harbor Freight Tools (cheap import tool megastore) for 5 bucks.

this one:
http://tinyurl.com/qbv95


Offline mattmiller

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Re: Good battery tester?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2009, 09:02:18 PM »
This was highly reviewed when I was in the market for mine a few months ago.  It's worked flawlessly for me.

http://www.amazon.com/ZTS-Mini-Multi-Battery-Tester/dp/B0002EH4YO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&
qid=1255741250&sr=8-1
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