Author Topic: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs  (Read 5680 times)

Offline Carl

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LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« on: September 13, 2016, 09:18:18 AM »
Moderator...feel free to locate in a better place.

This BC-700 charger has been a great tester/charger with my ENELOOP AA cells for a couple of years now
and I looked at it today and find "THE HORROR" as it had COOKED 4 of my ENELOOP AA cells to DEATH.
I ordered a NEW charger,pulled from stock the spare and thought I would see if anyone else had had this
happen . The charger reverts to trickle charge and is said to be safe for long term battery's in place.



The ENELOOP cells all split outer shells and 3 were leaking with the body of the charger also melted a bit and leaked upon.
What a mess!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 09:24:30 AM by Carl »
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Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 10:13:17 AM »
Wow.  I run a nitecore charger, and when not in use I have a habit of unplugging it.  I'm told I don't need to, but I feel better, especially with no-name chinese *Fire 18650s

In your estimation were older AA eneloops a factor, or is this completely the fault of the charger?

Online FreeLancer

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 10:35:03 AM »
I've cooked Eneloops after weeks on a 16-slot trickle charger, but no canister failure. I use that same LaCrosse unit (bought it on your recommendation, actually) but haven't left any cells on it for more than a couple days.

No problems with 18650's sitting overnight on the XTAR, Nitecore, or Foxnovo, knock on wood. I usually charge the sketchy ones outside overnight and I never charge over half an amp, usually a quarter amp. But I need to make a fireproof charge and storage box. Can't be too safe with this stuff.
23:57:30

Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 10:43:28 AM »
That's a little on the scary side.  Could've started a fire.  I always worry about something like that, take less power than it would to trip a breaker, but still enough heat to make fire. 
-Dave

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 11:15:50 AM »
ONE of the cells was a 2nd generation ENELOOP that was at least 5 years old , though all 4 cells were heat and leak damage as was the charger.
I feel it was the charger that gave up as two slots on the 'old' charger never indicate a cell is in them by a NULL reading on the readout.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

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If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 07:50:45 PM »
Wow Carl, that's scary looking.

FWIW, I'm using an old Titanium-branded 8x charger from Battery Junction.  Things get pretty hot just as things top off, but they cool down after charging is complete.  I always pull them out as soon as I notice that they're charged.  Sometimes that amounts to the next morning.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online FreeLancer

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 08:02:30 PM »
FWIW, I'm using an old Titanium-branded 8x charger from Battery Junction. 

That's the brand of the 16x I used.  It's not the charger's fault that I left perfectly good eneloops on it way too long.  It's actually a great charger when you got a bunch of cells that need charging at the same time.
23:57:30

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 08:28:40 PM »
It's actually a great charger when you got a bunch of cells that need charging at the same time.
So good so far.  (Where's the cross-fingers emoji?)

FWIW, I keep batteries in 3 tupperwares: 'just charged', 'charged', and 'discharged'.  Whenever the 'discharged' gets a half-dozen or more in it, they get charged and put in the 'just charged'.  Whenever the 'charged' gets empty, all of the 'just charged' get bumped to there.  It guarantees that nothing gets sidetracked in the cycle and doesn't stay topped up.

I'm sure the computer science guys have a name for this kind of rotation scheme.  Obsessive, I know, but it works for me.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online FreeLancer

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 08:38:04 PM »
Psychiatrists might have a name for that, too.  ;)
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Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2016, 04:38:02 AM »
I just use ONE container as ENELOOP cells do not have self discharge so I charge then and put them in a cell holder till something stops working correctly and then just trade them out to the next device.
I use thhem in wall clocks and remote controls too .The NEW charger ran a TEST CYCLE and showed a set of 4 ENELOOP AA cells at 2.04 to 2.1 Amp hours  and that is a bit better than they are rated.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

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If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 06:23:42 AM »
Psychiatrists might have a name for that, too.  ;)
I live in a constant state of dread that I might pull a half-dead battery of the drawer.  :tinfoily:  Oh noes!

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2016, 06:28:45 AM »
I live in a constant state of dread that I might pull a half-dead battery of the drawer.  :tinfoily:  Oh noes!

E.D. ,I am told...is a common problem (Electrical Disorder)
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2016, 08:19:31 PM »
E.D. ,I am told...is a common problem (Electrical Disorder)
Somehow, I am glad that we don't have an emoji for that one!

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Online FreeLancer

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 01:49:36 AM »
I live in a constant state of dread that I might pull a half-dead battery of the drawer.  :tinfoily:  Oh noes!

Maybe GreekMan can help us out with the proper nomenclature for that particular phobia.  Something-thanato-something-phobia. It's a common prepper malady. We need a fancy name for it.
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Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 03:49:34 AM »
Maybe GreekMan can help us out with the proper nomenclature for that particular phobia.  Something-thanato-something-phobia. It's a common prepper malady. We need a fancy name for it.

DISCHARGULATION?  And seriously ...ENELOOP cells cost about the same as any other rechargeable cell BUT THEY HAVE VERY LOW SELF DISCHARGE...sitting for YEARS and still maintaining a very high percentage of their power. After the third or fourth recharge ,your cells have paid for themselves and the real ECONOMY comes into the equation.


I discovered the damaged charger would immediately shift to maximum current charge on the batteries and it literally COOKED the 4 cells that were damaged .
I suspect a lightening strike during the previous days as it took quite some time to develope the thermal energy to melt the charger body and cells.
I failed to keep an eye on my surroundings and suffer a $40 loss, it will be OK.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

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If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2016, 06:00:50 AM »
DISCHARGULATION?  And seriously ...ENELOOP cells cost about the same as any other rechargeable cell BUT THEY HAVE VERY LOW SELF DISCHARGE...sitting for YEARS and still maintaining a very high percentage of their power. After the third or fourth recharge ,your cells have paid for themselves and the real ECONOMY comes into the equation.
And that is what I'm running.  The rotation scheme is overkill, left over from the bad old days when Energizers were all we had and they would lose half their charge in a month, and I had teenagers constantly going through the battery stockpile.  It was a way of keeping some minimal order on top of the chaos.  Even then, those early NiMH's paid for themselves many times over, and they got me through Katrina.  Nowadays, Eneloops make it all so easy.

I swear, there are times it seems like "Baofeng" is Cantonese for "hot mess."

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2016, 07:21:56 AM »
I also suggest that users AVOID the high capacity (above 2000 MAH) as they don't yet have the chemistry of the "white' 1900 to 2100 now, recharge cycle cells. The 2100 or fourth generation appear just fine even though they are now PANASONIC and not the original maker SANYO. I still use ,over 6 year old ,second generation ENVELOP AA and AAA cells and all wall clocks ,remote controls etc that they fit are holders of the ENELOOP cells. Hey...stuff happens and electronics occasionally does fail.
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Offline Ralph

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 10:39:23 AM »
I haven't been in the forum for a while, but this topic caught my eye. I've used a LaCross BC-1000 for quite a while with Eneloops. When I bought it through Amazon I seem to recall some reviews saying older models had a heat problem in the charger. The BC1000 has an overtemp shutdown in each slot. Ditto on the 2000+ mAH Eneloops. I still use my 2500 XX Eneloops but only in remote controls, and should really throw them out.
What I have noticed is those 2500s get really hot when charging. Recently I switched to a Steven Harris XTAR charger and those 2500s get so hot I usually take them out before full charge to cool off. The 2000s, gens 1-3 all work fine. The XTAR only charges at 0.5 or 1 amp, but now that I am using Li ions I like the XTAR since it handles all battery types. I used to charge at 200mA in the LaCrosse. One downside of my XTAR is it only has 2 charge slots, but that is usually enough and I have other chargers if needed. I do miss all the bells and whistles of the LaCross, but now I charge Li ions more often than Eneloops.
I number my cells and try to rotate them in sequence so they get similar usage. Probably overkill, but my thought was that I can track how the cells age over time. I should run them through the CBA again to see how they're doing. When I get around to running the tests I'll post the results.

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2016, 05:42:47 PM »
All good RALPH, the BC-700 I had the failure with was about four or more years old and though it had thermal detection...it worked poorly without a top cover closed over the cells.
I neglected the charger and the failure was mostly MINE.
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Offline Greekman

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2016, 07:15:59 AM »
why didn't you call? I found that thread by accident.

1. The proper term is called flashaholism,
It is mainly about flashlights but it extends to the paraphernalia soon enough.
if you do not believe me go to candlepowerforums at the battery section. there you will find folks that not only individually mark their batteries, but also have excel spreadsheets to monitor usage (x times charged, remaining capacity etc). Spreadsheets are available for download too  ;)
(I have caught a similar but smaller bug like this, I now mark the Internal Resistance of my lithiums, as I deal with laptop extracts too)

2. Carl, there have been cases of -not that severe- cook-offs where the the eneloops got VERY hot.
They either involved fresh eneloops, a generic copy of your charger (after all LaCrosse subcontracts all its products), or a combination of.

Bingo! look what I found in my archives! http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=103802
If you dig further in CPF you might find more topics like this involving a lacrosse upgrade etc.
edit: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?252188-LaCrosse-BC-9009-BC-900-The-Melt-Downs-Continue
there an update on the charger power supply is also referenced at page 11

Post disaster, it is difficult to isolate the parameters of your case,
BUT for the better life of your eneloops do NEVER trickle charge them. Low self discharge batteries do not like it. it is no accident that the Sanyo/panasonic Eneloop chargers do NOT have a trickle charge mod.

Also i have made it a habbit to never let any charger unattended. i have been meaning to refresh cycle a set of LSDs but i did not manage to find a time where i will be constantly at home for 1.5 days straight.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 07:23:20 AM by Greekman »

Offline Chris Gilliam

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2016, 05:23:54 PM »
I loved my BC-700 until I got my Foxnovo. I use it more than any of my 7 or so smart chargers. I have a few battery test vids on my YouTube channel. Haven't tested Eneloops yet because everybody else has, but Bakth makes a good battery, and the current Energizers are great. (Made in Japan.)
I wonder if that BC-700 is a real one or counterfeit? Test it by putting a magnet up to the metal pieces the battery makes contact with. The real LaCrosses are copper. If the Magnet sticks you have a counterfeit.

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2016, 05:28:20 PM »
I loved my BC-700 until I got my Foxnovo. I use it more than any of my 7 or so smart chargers. I have a few battery test vids on my YouTube channel. Haven't tested Eneloops yet because everybody else has, but Bakth makes a good battery, and the current Energizers are great. (Made in Japan.)
I wonder if that BC-700 is a real one or counterfeit? Test it by putting a magnet up to the metal pieces the battery makes contact with. The real LaCrosses are copper. If the Magnet sticks you have a counterfeit.

They were copper and the internal board was labeled,also correct IC chips inside...I had another BC 700 ordered before the smoke cleared and will look into FOXNOVO as a future purchase.I like the TEST feature and amp hour readout on the BC-700 but I do own a NITECORE 4 slot charger that is only different in NAME from the FOXNOVO and may go with
a less costly FOXNOVO when my FIVE NITECORE chargers begin to fail.
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Offline Greekman

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2016, 12:36:04 PM »
guys the FOXNOVO chargers are rebranded chinese makes.
they can also be found as Nokoser and FL

now....there is a chance that Enova makes the Foxnovos, and if this is the case they are brothers with the Nitecores

Offline AcedBee

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2017, 12:10:59 AM »
Pretty scary, I checked and mine is like that too.  :o

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2017, 04:34:10 AM »
Since a spammer has dredged up this thread, I'll jump in while I'm here!

As for storage of AA batteries I keep a supply of Duracell's in MTM .50AE ammo boxes.  Very compact means to store 50 batteries.  I have one for the "older" dates (2017 - 2022) that I will use first, and another box for the newer batteries (less than 5 yrs old).  I usually use alkalines when I give them to someone else or traveling.  Don't use them nearly as much as I did before Enloops.

Having fewer Enloops, I store them in two Powerex plastic holders (12 per).  I have been recharging them all every three months (takes a few days to swap them out as I think of it).  Is that too often?  I have dark blue, light blue and most of them are white Enloops; but I think they are all labeled 1900mAh.  I recharge any batteries I swap out during use within a day or two, and then in bulk every three months.

But now my Enloops are even getting far less use now that I have migrated most of my lights to 18650 Orbtronics.  I recently bought a Xtar VP4 Dragon charger which seems really great for both the Enloop (has a refresh mode) and the Li-ion.  I know it is Chinese and the "manual" sucks, but it does seem to perform well.  I like that it can be powered by USB or AC outlet adapter, can be used as a battery pack, has a NiMH refresh mode, and displays the percentage of discharge/charge (though not volts directly). It has external probes for testing voltage. I charge everything at its lowest setting of 0.5A as I am never in a hurry, that is why I have an ample supply of extras on the shelf ready to go.  I have pretty much retired my 8-slot Haha AA/AAA and Xtar VC4 chargers.  I might give one away soon and keep the other for emergency backup.  I've never noticed any of the three chargers or batteries in them getting hot at all, and I usually end up leaving batteries in the charger for 24-48 hours.

I am not very disciplined about taking batteries out of the charger right away and never had heat issues with any of my chargers.  But from this post it seems something can fail and suddenly behave differently.  I will have to set up a fireproof box for my charger  I think.  Please post any info you have on what you end up using for a charging containment box.  I would think just an open top box made of glued together drywall would be fine, no?
There have always been times like this, and there will be again. Will we rise to the challenges or get run over?

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2017, 05:06:33 AM »
  I am usually in the room where my charger lives and also modified the folding table with a metal plate as the table has a plastic top. I am the original poster with the charger melt-down. ENELOOPS WERE NOT AT FAULT as the charger did have a failure (it was several years old) and though I bough another just like the failed unit ,I did add an in-line fuse . I normally charge my first,second,and third generation AA 1900 Mah cells at 500 milliamps and have had no further problems and as the first generation cells are as much as 9 years old,I am impressed as they still maintain their rated output. I only recharge when a TOY important electronic device indicates that batteries are in need...I use the ENELOOPS in wall clocks,remote controls ,radios ,lights,cameras and flash units...most everything and find that even low draw devices allow me to benefit from the economy of rechargeables.
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Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2017, 08:35:52 PM »
So, was the problem that the old charger starting charging at too high an amperage, or that it kept charging long after needed?  How long after full charge do you estimate the damage started happening? Did the charger normally have an auto shutoff feature that failed?  Or was it the power adapter that failed and passed too much current to the charger and batts?

The reason I ask is that my old Maha charger does not say anything about having an automatic shutoff feature, yet I have left a full load of AA Enloops in there for at least 48 hrs at times and never noticed any excessive heat or appearance of continued charging.  I assumed even chargers from several years ago would have auto shut off and it was no longer note worthy to advertise as such.  I know the VP4 has auto shut-off protection, but not sure about Maha.

Anyway, agree with you that Enloops are amazing capacity and reliability and I have saved tons of money using them over disposables.  I probably throw out more long expired alkaline batteries from my stash now then I actually use.  I just tossed out a bunch with expiration dates 2007-2012 (I organized my desk battery drawer and discovered some in hiding).  Everything left is 2017-2027.   I guess I could use whatever remains in them but I like to work with known quantities and would rather just slip in known fresh batteries than hassle with indeterminate duration.  Thinking about it maybe I should put my expired batts into my bluetooth mouse.  That is non-critical device, lasts a long time and convenient to swap out.  Not like having a light fade out at a bad time.  About 90% of all my battery use now is either Enloop AA or Orbtronic 3400mAh 18650.
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Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2017, 01:24:53 AM »
  The charger starts at 200 milliamp when not button pressed to higher level though a couple of power spikes from lightening and TWO WEEKS with the batteries left in the charger were contributing factors though I think the aged charger failed with my neglect costing me the loss of 4 batteries. I still use the same make and model and have a couple of spare chargers in back stock 'cause sometimes...stuff happens.
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Offline Greekman

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2017, 10:53:29 AM »
The reason I ask is that my old Maha charger does not say anything about having an automatic shutoff feature, yet I have left a full load of AA Enloops in there for at least 48 hrs at times and never noticed any excessive heat or appearance of continued charging.  I assumed even chargers from several years ago would have auto shut off and it was no longer note worthy to advertise as such.  I know the VP4 has auto shut-off protection, but not sure about Maha.

most don't have an automatic shutoff feature, because most market trickle charging / toping off as a feature. Time has passed and we know better, and trickle charging in not prefered, cos it is not good for battery life to keep it on a constant state of charging. Which means you are keeping it constantly hot. It is the no1 reason for diminishing battery useful life (see laptop battery life).
Also the newer battery chemistries (eneloops and li-ion) do not "like" trickle charging and you do not need it anymore for that matter.

The charger failing for random reasons is a different thing. it IS possible, but not likely.
I have foregone using any metal can for ordinary charging of quality cells, but i use it when charging li-ions pulled from laptops. Just this week I had two batteries short and almost go into thermal runaway.
But, like Carl, i NEVER leave a charger unattended, or even plugged in.

Offline Carl

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Re: LaCrosse BC-700 AA AAA charger FAILURE damaged ENELOOPs
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2017, 11:11:04 AM »
  I trust my chargers,but now plan not to leave them ignored for weeks at a time,I think a spike from lighting got to mine as I have no real fear of such a failure happening again. I now check the chargers each day as I am in the room for this PC and try not to ignore them ,especially when batteries are being charged. La Crosse actually asked that I send it to them and paid the shipping to them....they sent a new charger to me. I did not request the support they gave.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?