A question to the reader, have your battery chargers keep keeping up with modern technology?
In the mid-2000s I started using simple battery chargers for stuff like AAA, AA, C and D batteries. It was easier, cheaper in the long run, and easier on the environment to use rechargeable batteries then to buy new ones.
Just about all of my gear used wither AAA, AA or D batteries.
- GPS – AA
- Flashlights – AAA, AA, and D
- Camera – AA
All that changed when I was contacted through YouTube and asked if I wanted to review some flashlights. As various companies sent me free samples which used 18650 batteries, I realized my old battery chargers were not going to work. The chargers I had would only do the standard types of batteries.
I got on Amazon and shopped around for a battery charger which would charge 18650 batteries. It was at that time I realized how badly out of date my charging devices were. I had always used a charger that plugged into a wall outlet. The new chargers were USB compatible. To use with a wall outlet, simply get a 110 volt / USB adapter.
New Battery Chargers
The nice thing about chargers which have a USB plug, they can be used with portable solar chargers. During the power outage after Hurricane Harvey, I used a foldable solar panel to charge the cell phones, LED lanterns and various batteries. The battery charger I had purchased for 18650 batteries also charges a wide range of other batteries.
Not only do the newer chargers charge a wide range of batteries, they have more features than the older chargers. The old chargers just had a light which would be either green or red. Green for fully charged, and red for charging. Some of the new chargers have a battery meter to show how charged the batteries are. So there is no more guessing at how charged the battery is.
The USB is wonderful in that it allows the batteries to be charged where a USB plug is at. How many cars have a USB plug for charging phones? There a great number of solar panel on the market with USB ports. Charge the batteries from a lightweight battery pack.
Outdated Battery Chargers
The days of having to charge batteries from a 110 volt outlet are long gone.
Then there is side number of batteries these new chargers will charge, Some of the batteries I have never even heard of. The old chargers will charge just the classic – AAA, AA C, D and 9 volt.
I am going to take my old battery chargers and move them to the hunting camp so other people can use them.
However, I am going to keep one quick charger just for AA batteries. My main camera for pictures and videos uses four AA batteries, and the charger holds four AA batteries. This quick charger will charge those four AA batteries in around 15 minutes. Then it takes around five minutes for the batteries to cool down. So in around 20 minutes the batteries are ready to go.
Then there is a large trickle charger that plugs into a 110 wall outlet. Rather than taking 15 minutes to charge a AA battery, it can take a couple of hours. That one for sure will be moved to the hunting camp.
When I order some new solar panels some new battery chargers will be ordered with them. I want at least two battery chargers per solar panel, and then a couple of backup chargers.