Steve's Digicams

Maha C401FS
NiMH / NiCd Charger

Review posted 01/01/03

This is the 100 minute Maha MH-C401FS "Cool" charger. It rapid charges NiMH or NiCd type AA / AAA batteries with the precision that only microprocessor technology can provide. Designed with four seperate charging circuits to handle one to four batteries independently of each other. And thanks to its lifetime warranty, it may be the last charger you'll ever buy.

The C401FS uses a unique FLEX negative pulse charging algorithm which allows the battery to be more completely charged. In addition to charging batteries more efficiently, the FLEX pulse method also eliminates the old fashioned battery conditioning mode. Select either the fast 100 minute charge mode or the slower and cooler 5 hour mode which greatly enhances the battery life.

Operation of the charger is very easy. Place one, two, three or four AA or AAA cells in the charger, plug in the AC adapter and then plug the cord into the charger. If you need your batteries charged as quickly as possible slide the switch on the side to "FAST" (1000mA) and your cells are charged in approximately 100 minutes. In this mode the cells get noticeably hot but not beyond the manufacturer's specs. If you select the "SLOW" mode (300mA) you get a gentler five hour charge cycle and the cells never get more than a little warm.

The C401FS automatically analyzes each cell before it begins charging. Normally all of the LED indicators turn red until the charge cycle is completed. When finished, the LEDs turn green to indicate that the charger is now in trickle mode. This trickle mode uses a safe, 50mA current and most NiMH batteries can accept this level indefinitely. I always have a set sitting in my charger so I know they are fully charged.

Charge your batteries fully, and then leave them in the charger to maintain a continued full charge condition and your batteries will always be ready for use.

You can use the Maha C401FS at home with the included AC adapter or in your car or boat or anyplace that has a 12V cigarette lighter plug with the included 12V power cord. You can carry your batteries safely thanks to the included battery holders. Each one can hold one to four AA or AAA cells.

You can also order the C401FS "Worldwide" travel package that includes a 100-240V 50/60Hz power supply for use in Europe. The Worldwide power adapter (shown above) is smaller and lighter than the standard AC power supply.

Steve's Conclusion

I've been using the Maha C204F for about two years now but it's recently been replaced by the new C401FS. It's the same (small) size and with its new pulse charging technology it extends the life of your cells and does away with the old "refresh" cycles. Add in the four independant circuits and the lifetime warranty and it's simply a no brainer -- at less than $40 this is the BEST charger on the market.

The standard package includes both AC and 12VDC power adapters and if you need to travel then buy the worldwide power adapter. Happy Trails !

Order your

Maha C401FS from Thomas Distributing

You can purchase the charger, the charger with four 1800mAh or 2000mAh AA NiMH cells or the charger with the Worldwide travel power adapter.

Check out the new Maha 2000mAh NiMH AA batteries, very high capacity.

Powerex/Maha 2000mAh NiMH

Want a second opinion?

Imaging-Resource's Maha C401FS review

Return to the
Accessories Reviews Index



Content copyright © 1998-2003 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.