About 7 years ago I purchased a charger ATABA AT-508... At that time, according to the characteristics and user reviews, it was one of the best options in terms of price-quality ratio. The device has the ability to automatically charge two or four AA or AAA batteries (R6 and R3). In addition to charging, the device is equipped with a discharge function, which allowed to extend the battery life by reducing the memory effect. Battery memory effect is a reversible loss of capacity resulting from a violation of the recommended charging mode - more precisely, if the battery is not fully discharged during operation. In fact, after some time it turned out that the charging current (and it is in ATABA AT-508 - 500 milliamperes) is high enough for batteries with the current capacity at that time. The batteries that I used in my digital camera and charged in the ATABA AT-508 failed literally in no more than a year, despite the fact that their use was not intensive. Empirically, after buying another set of batteries, it turned out that the charging current was higher than that recommended for batteries of that time. The manufacturer positioned the charger as "fast", for which it increased the charging current. Also, a big disadvantage is the pair charging of batteries. If one of the batteries is charged, and the second is not yet, the charger will still turn off the charging process and turn on the green LED, signaling its end. The situation is similar with the discharge function. All this has an extremely negative effect on the longevity of the batteries. One of the couple, who regularly does not gain the required capacity, in the end, refuses to work at all.
For the entire time of using the charger, I and several of my friends have accumulated in total up to thirty pairs of poorly working batteries. For some time they were saved by replacing elements between pairs - but, in the end, this stopped helping. Moreover, almost all pairs were of different capacities.
The ergonomics of the ATABA AT-508 charger makes it convenient to use it only in horizontally located sockets (for example, a lying extension filter). The device has a significant weight, concentrated in the part above the battery compartment - and sags in a vertical outlet, trying to fall out.
Paired battery charging makes it almost impossible to use the charger in combination with devices designed for three batteries (for example, flashlights). The charger does not have a built-in temperature sensor, and there have been cases when it was impossible to touch the batteries during charging due to overheating. This point also negatively affects the battery life.
Technoline BC250 and Technoline BC700.
The aforementioned disadvantages, in conjunction with the purchase of another, more voracious, digital camera, made me think about the advisability of buying a new charger, which will finally get rid of the inconvenience.
Today the choice fell on Technoline BC250 and Technoline BC700. One of the main selection criteria was the price. The BC250 is several times cheaper, but after a careful study of the functions, it turns out that the price-quality ratio (more precisely, the price-function) is still on the side of the BC700. In addition, I was embarrassed by the regular need to take a charger with me on trips (on vacation, on business trips), where there is a possibility of dropping it, losing it or simply forgetting it. In the case of the BC700, this would be a very serious blow to the family's budget. Without thinking twice, I bought both chargers - Technoline BC250 and Technoline BC700... ВС250 for business trips, and for charging batteries at work. ВС700 for restoration and training of old sets, and charging stationary at home (in the photo on the left ВС250, on the right ВС700).
I will not go into details of the technical subtleties of the line chargers. Technoline - information about them can be gleaned from the pivot table, which can be easily found on the Internet.
I will dwell briefly on the functions of each of the chargers I am considering. The BC250 model is functionally a significantly reduced version of the BC700. It can charge batteries with a current of 250 milliamps. Keeps the battery in working condition with "drop current" after the end of the charge cycle. Shows, in percentage, the charging process on the screen, voltage and identifies defective batteries (questionable function). Charges rechargeable batteries one by one, makes it possible to charge different types at the same time. There is no self-discharge function, but judging by user reviews and manufacturer's recommendations, modern batteries do not require regular forced use of it.
The BC250 model is much smaller than the BC700. Power supplies are not interchangeable (by the way, I was counting on the opposite). The power supply unit for the BC250, as well as the charger itself, takes up less space in comparison with the unit from the BC700.
Technoline BC250 often identifies batteries that have been left unused for a long time as defective. The BC700 model, with the same batteries, behaves as with normal batteries; defines as defective only batteries discharged to zero Volts, and which do not take charge at all.
Due to the low charging current, Technoline BC250 practically does not heat up the batteries. But it charges them for a long time. This is not a problem for me, as a rule, I put the batteries on charge at night. If anyone needs fast charging, then you should pay attention to chargers with a large charging current. Keep in mind my experience with the ATABA AT-508. Although some of the manufacturers of modern batteries allow charging their batteries with high currents (for example, Sanyo Eneloop XX). The passport indicates that the maximum capacity of the batteries used is 2500 milliamperes. As practice has shown, the Technoline BC250 model works with elements with a large capacity.
The Technoline BC700 charger, in addition to functions that intersect with the BC250, can charge batteries with a current of 200, 500 or 700 milliamperes. Recover or test batteries. In these modes, it discharges the batteries with half of the set charging current. Shows on the screen voltage, amperage, degree of charging process, capacity of a charged cell, type of process.
Technoline ВС700, unlike ВС250, has 2 temperature sensors (one for each pair of batteries), which shut off the charging process in case of overheating.
During operation, the BC700 charger emits a quiet high-frequency squeak. Judging by the reviews, this is a mass phenomenon, and not a defect in my copy.
When installing rechargeable batteries, the device waits for user commands for a few seconds, after which it switches to the "charge" mode with a current of 200 milliamperes. Technoline ВС700 is easy to operate, but it reacts to buttons rather inertly - you need to get used to it. When I turned it on for the first time, I had the feeling that they work every other time. It turned out that it should be so, you need to maintain a pause between clicks. The charger restored the damaged sets of my accumulators. Unfortunately, their capacity is no longer equal to the passport. And there is no way to use these elements in devices that consume high current. But it was worth it. Now I have a lot of "batteries" for radio mice, flashlights and remote controls.
After the end of the charging process, it is possible to view information on the display about the capacity of the battery, the time spent on the charging process, and the current voltage.
The Technoline BC700 charger was worth the money. In my opinion, there is no alternative for such a price in the segment of "smart chargers".
Summary ... Charger ATABA AT-508 suitable for use by users with limited resources, in undemanding household appliances (flashlights, clocks, remote controls) using rechargeable batteries in pairs. If it is possible to double the amount planned for the purchase of a charger, you should pay attention to Technoline BC250... The charge of batteries by the piece, the charge of different types of cells at the same time makes it more attractive to the consumer. A lower charge current will only be a disadvantage for those who care about fast charging. Although, in comparison with ATAVA, the speed will differ by a maximum of two times. The lack of a discharge mode, when using new, modern batteries that do not require frequent "training", I suppose, will not be a big hindrance. On the Technoline BC700 should pay attention to advanced users; people who use rechargeable batteries in professional activities, for whom the charging speed is important (high currents). Or users who have a lot of damaged batteries (as in my case).