Steve's Digicams

Lightning Pack 4000N

Very Fast - 100 Minute
NiMH Battery Charger

Posted 3/12/01
Updated 10/27/2005

Lightning Pack 4000N Charger

(The latest update to this charger gives it a higher charging current to handle the new high capacity 2500mAh NiMH cells.)

The Lightning Pack 4000N is the successor to the popular Lighting Pack 4000 and the previous Lightning Pack 2000. The primary difference being capacity and speed: it charges two or four cells at once, in an hour and a half to three hours (charge time varies due to cell capacity.) It is the perfect charger for anyone needing the fastest performance, greatest battery protection, and the need to to charge 2 or 4 cells at once. The LP4000N is an inexpensive "intelligent" rapid charger designed for AA or AAA size NiMH or NiCd batteries.   (Shown here with Sanyo 2500mAh NiMH).

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. It can charge 2 or 4 cells at a time, each pair has its own charger and circuitry. Special "Thermal Sensors" monitor the temperature of the cell during recharge cycles. It will reduce current if it senses the batteries getting too hot. This is the primary cause of "memory effect" in all rechargeable batteries! Reduce the temperature and you increase the longevity of the cell.

Automatically detects fully charged batteries to prevent overcharging. Goes into reduced trickle charge (50mA) 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 4000 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. International Power Compatibility means it runs on any AC current worldwide! (96-240V, 50-60 HZ) All you need is an open wall socket, a prong adapter (varies for each country,) and you're charging fast and SAFE anywhere in the world. Combined with its small size, light weight, and no DC transformers, the Lightning Pack 4000N is quite possibly the perfect travel charger.

Changes from LP4000 to new LP4000N

The addition of an onboard Battery Conditioner. Using the SLOW switch on the back of the unit, the charger can be set to discharge 2 or 4 cells all the way down to 1V before beginning a normal charge cycle. This is great for initially breaking in new cells, and to ensure peak capacity at anytime. (As you know, NiMH cells don't need this procedure done as much as older NiCd cells did. NiMH is much less prone to "memory effect".)

Battery Size and Type. It now charges AAA, as well as NiCd, cells, which the previous model could not.

Charge Temperatures. Most "rapid chargers" use large charging currents to achieve fast times. This makes for quick recharges, but causes batteries to get extremely hot as a result. High temperatures are the number one culprit of "memory effect," (not short cycling, as is commonly thought.) The Lightning Pack 4000 is the only "less than 2 hour" charger that keeps the temperature under 90 degrees, assuring both fast as well as SAFE recharges. (Both the Maha C204F and Rayovac 1 hour chargers are up around 145 degrees; making the batteries quite hot to the touch.) These temperatures seriously degrade cell capacity, and have a significant impact on the overall number of recharge cycles.

The LEDs indicate the various charging states. Solid green means charging, fast blinking is the discharge cycle and slow blinking means that they are now fully charged and the unit is now Trickle Charging to keeps the batteries fresh after being fully charged.

Lightning Pack 4000N Specifications

Operating Voltage 100-240VAC 50-60HZ 160mA
Charge Current (max) 1600mA
Output Power 5.92 watt (Max)
Battery Cell Configuration 2 or 4 AA or AAA NiMH or NiCd
Discharge Current 200mA
Charging Efficiency >85%
Supported Battery Chemistry NiMH or NiCd
Overcharge Protection -DeltaV (-50mV) max, thermal, timer
Dimensions 65×105×29 mm
Weight <8 oz.

Steve's Conclusion

The Lightning Pack 4000N is a very compact, fast and safe 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 green OEM Sanyo 2500mAh NiMH batteries are definitely "heavy duty" cells that equal (or better) other brand 2500mAh NiMH at a lower cost.

There's "fast" chargers and then there's "fast but safe" chargers such as the Lightning Pack 4000N. This charger will recharge your cells as quickly as possible without overheating them which causes damage and shortens their lifespan. This also gives a cell a "fuller" charge which means it will deliver more power to the device it's used in - in digicams this means more pictures per charge.

RipVan the seller, is so confident about this charger that they offer a LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - which simply means that for as long as you own it, you're guaranteed to enjoy it or your money back.

Buy It !

$24.95 charger alone

RipVan also sells Sanyo 2500mAh AA and 900mAh AAA NiMH batteries

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