Steve's Digicams

Lightning Pack 2000

NiMH / NiCD Battery Charger

Posted 10/9/00

Lightning 2000 Charger

The Lightning Pack 2000 is an inexpensive "intelligent" rapid charger designed for AA and AAA size NiMH and NiCD batteries.  It is capable of charging high-capacity (1600mAh) NiMH batteries in about 2.5 hours, lower capacity batteries will charge even faster.   (Shown here with Sanyo 1600mAh NiMH - more on these below).

The charger's microprocessor insures safe, fast, and precisely metered charging. Its voltage sensor matches the output power to the battery voltage with no damage from overheating. Choice of FAST or SLOW charging modes (2.5hr quick or 6hr overnight charging.) Accepts any input voltage from between 90-264VAC for worldwide usage.

Automatically detects fully charged batteries to prevent overcharging. Goes into reduced trickle charge after the regular charge cycle to keep batteries fresh. Batteries are checked for shorts or improper polarity before charging to protect the charger's circuitry from damage.

Lightning 2000 Charger

The charger is self-contained, no external "wall wart" transformer is needed. Simply flip out the AC connector prongs and plug it directly in the wall socket.  It works with any 90-264 VAC 50/60HZ electrical system.

The switch on the back has a "Fast" and "Slow" position. The Fast setting is used with AA size NiMH cells.  Use the Slow setting for AAA size NiMH, AA size or AAA size NiCD type batteries.

NiCD batteries when improperly charged or stored for long periods of time will often fail to fully charge.  To prevent this the Lightning Pack 2000 has the ability to "condition" these batteries.   Just press the button on the front to begin the deep discharge cycle.   Normal charging begins automatically after discharging is complete.

Lightning Pack 2000 Specifications

Operating Voltage 90-264VAC 50-60HZ
Charge Current Fast: 650mA
Slow: 325mA
Output Power 6.5 watt (Max)
Battery Cell Configuration 4 AA or AAA NiCd / NiMH
Discharge Current 200mA
Charging Efficiency >90%
Supported Battery Chemistry NiMH, NiCd
Overcharge Protection -DeltaV (-50mV)
Dimensions 65 X 105 X 29 mm
Weight <8 oz.

Sanyo 1600mAh NiMH Batteries

Sanyo 1600mAh NiMH Batteries

They don't come in a fancy package and they don't advertise them on TV, but they'll beat the pants off the Energizer Rabbit's alkalines and most other high-capacity NiMH batteries too.

These are "industrial grade" Sanyo NiMH rechargeables that are very conservatively rated at 1600mAh.  Fully compatible in any digital camera, electronic flash, camcorder or other device that uses regular AA size batteries.  Most NiMH batteries have a capacity of 1000-1300mAh, real-world testing of the Sanyo "green" batteries shows them to be about 1750mAh per cell!

Sanyo pioneered the rechargeable battery technology.  About 25 years ago they began making the first nickel-cadmium (NiCD) type batteries.  These NiMH cells were made for use in professional, high-drain electronic devices and are built to much higher specifications than normal consumer grade batteries.  Good for around 1,000 charge/discharge cycles with performance and reliability as the key design factor.

Steve's Conclusion

The Lightning Pack 2000 is a very compact and fast charger that can be easily stowed in your camera bag by folding back the AC prongs.   In fact, it makes a great holder for your second set of batteries when not in use as a charger. The Sanyo 1600mAh NiMH batteries are definitely "heavy duty" cells that equal (or better) the Kodak 1600mAh NiMH at a lower cost.

Click on the link below and get the charger and 8 of the Sanyo batteries for about the same price as the Kodak charger with just 4 batteries!

Buy It !

$24.95 charger alone or
$45.95 w/8 Sanyo 1600mAh NiMH cells

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