By Andrew Liszewski
I probably wouldn’t have given this battery charger from La Crosse a second look were it not for the LCD display that caught my eye. But on closer examination I’m ready to throw away the bundled charger that came with my Energizer rechargeables and replace it with this one. Did you know that the best way to recharge a NiMH battery is the slow and steady route? Sure it might take hours and hours, but it will considerably prolong the life of the battery. Fast chargers actually put more strain on the batteries making them wear out quicker, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying them in the first place.
So the Alpha Power charger from La Crosse automatically defaults to a 200mA charge mode which is the optimal setting for prolonging battery life. But if you’re in a hurry you can manually set it to 500, 700, 1000, 1500 or 1800mA to reduce charging times. And when the battery is fully charged the Alpha Power automatically switches to a trickle charge mode to ensure maximum battery capacity. It works with all NiCd and NiMH AA and AAA rechargeable batteries and you can even charge AA’s and AAA’s at the same time.
It includes a set of 4 AA and 4 AAA NiMH 1.2v batteries, a travel bag, an AC power adapter and adapters for converting the batteries into C or D cells. All that for just $39.99 from Amazon.com.