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Batteries/Charger Don't Seem To Perform As Advertised
Posted on
I liked the concept of the Energizer 'Family-size' charger and had good experience with other brands of NiMH batteries. So, I coughed up about $70 for the charger and an assortment of AAA, AA, and D Energizer NiMH batteries. I plugged the charger in, and charged all of the batteries according to instructions.

I inserted 2-AA batteries into my digital camera and journeyed into the garden to take some snaps. The camera (Canon PowerShot A560) took three pics and began flashing 'low battery'. I inserted the other set of Energizer NiMH AAs...again about 2-4 shots and then a low battery indicator. I inserted another brand of AAs and found I could not exhaust the batteries. (Note: The Energizers were from different lots, the first thing I checked). I also inserted one AAA Energizer NiMH into my digital AM/FM radio...the low battery indicator began flashing immediately. So, I tried charging the Energizers in my other charger...same results. Also, a 'fully charged' cell goes completely dead if it is not inserted into any device...even though Energizer claims storage losses of 0.5% to 1% per day.

I've tried these cells in various items (flashlights, cordless phones, cameras (also my Nikon), portable radios, FRS walkie-talkies, and penlights. Same result...dead in a matter of minutes. Same result with a different charger...dead overnight or in a few minutes of use. I have some 'no-name' NiMH cells I bought at surplus...they perform well. Only the Energizers (all sizes and different lots) fail to hold or maintain a charge.

Any other M3C experience on this?
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 05/27/2008:
I've had the same problem with Energizer rechargeables. They drain very quickly making them useless for digital cameras. When I contacted the company they sent me a new charger figuring the original was defective. Didn't change a thing. Charging them in a different unit also made no difference.
Anonymous on 05/27/2008:
Thank you PassingBy for the info. It is helpful to know if others are having the same experience with this product. The batteries are pretty expensive.
MRM on 05/27/2008:
Thank you Doc, for the product review! In other note, I have a similar Canon model, the A580, and I bought it on sale at Office Max for $130.00. I used to own a Nikon L11, but prefer Canon brands because they have less shutter lags than Nikon.
Anonymous on 05/27/2008:
Thanks for the feedback, folks. I posted this for two reasons: 1) to see if other had experienced this or had suggestions, and 2) to prevent others from dumping several sets of 'charged' NiMH Energizers into their camera bag...and finding out the next day...the day of 'the wedding' or whatever, that the batteries were dead or could not be depended upon for more than a few shots. I made an inquiry with Energizer...no response yet. I will post their response at M3C. Cheers!
Anonymous on 05/29/2008:
Update: Energizer e-mailed me. They are sending a call tag for the batteries so they can be evaluated. More to come. I'm impressed that they responded quickly and offered to evaluate their product. I will keep an open mind.
MRM on 05/29/2008:
Hey Doc, thanks for informing us of the update. I'm curious as to what they say about the product.
Anonymous on 05/29/2008:
My cynical nature says they will find no fault with their product. BUT, I know that to be pure cynicism on my part. Thus far, they've shown enough concern to impress me. It would be fun to have an electrical engineer do his/her own tests...just not enough hours in the day...or enough contacts.
Anonymous on 06/05/2008:
Update: When the batteries were placed in the Energizer charger or in my off-brand charger, the batteries did not get warm. The 'universal' charger has a lower rating than the Energizer charger. I put the batteries back in the Energizer charger and opened/closed the lid several times. After a few minutes the batteries got very warm (different result). After the display showed the batteries were fully charged, I tried them. I got several hours of use in a AA flashlight and the D cells powered a flashlight for over two hours. So, they should be fine in a camera. The Energizer charger is the problem and my other charger was not powerful enough to charge the Energizer batteries. I will be contacting Energizer for a replacement charger...the door switch on mine only works intermittently.
Anonymous on 06/05/2008:
Two things, many chargers have different settings for Ni-Cads and Nickel Metal Hydride type batteries, it's possible to confuse the two and charge them inappropriately. Secondly, NEVER put warm or hot batteries into any type of delicate type of electronics - they could leak or overheat sensitive electrical parts or soften up the solder on boards etc.
Anonymous on 06/05/2008:
Thanks Rick. Good info...I rewarded you. The other charger simply says "universal" and no info about Ni-Cad or NiMH compatibility. Good advice too about not installing warm/hot batteries. I bought the 'universal charger' several years ago after a Ni-Cad leaked inside of it during charging (Radio Shack brand battery). Thanks!!
Anonymous on 06/05/2008:
Ni-Cad are quickly becoming old-school, relegated more so to toys rather than expensive electronics - unless the device is really cheap and they come with it. Ni-Cads of course build up a memory if not completely discharged, something that NMH batteries supposedly don't do. That being said, even NMH don't have an infinite charge lifetime.
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