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Ultralast Charger Comes with Hybrio Batteries, and can run off USBport (plus 120-240 VAC and 12 VDC)

 
 
ASAAR
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      07-09-2007
On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 20:39:42 -0700, SMS wrote:

> The USB NiMH battery chargers are necessarily low current, but still
> practical for overnight charging. ASAAR is wrong of course about the USB
> port on the Ultralast charger being there as an output port to charge
> other devices, it's one of three ways of powering the charger, same as
> the two other chargers I listed with that capability. There are a load
> of other such chargers as well, though powering from USB makes it less
> desirable to do individual charging circuits because of the limited current.


I didn't say that the USB port on the Ultralast charger would be
used to charge USB devices. I said that without more information
(you provided none) it probably would be used to supply USB power
rather than use the USB port as a power source, since to do it that
way would be a pretty stupid design. If you're correct, that the
Ultralast charger actually gets power from the USB port, then it
really is a poor design.

Energizer also makes a USB charger that's powered through the USB
port, and it probably charges much faster than the Ultralast, taking
only about 5 hours to charge 2,500mAh NiMH cells. But because it's
limited to the USB power supply, it can only charge one or two NiMH
cells at a time. Energizer's Product Datasheet also warns that :

> Multiple devices using the USB ports will greatly reduce charge
> current to a slow charge. The AC adapter will always provide a
> quick charge current.


What this means is that if the charger has to share the USB bus
with other devices so that it can't draw the full 500ma that it
wants to use, which is also the design spec. for the USB's 5v power
supply, it will drop to a slow charge rate, drawing only 100ma from
the USB port. Guess what happens to the charge time? It jumps from
5 hours to well over 20 hours to finish charging only two AA cells!

Since the Ultralast charger can charge four AA cells
simultaneously, if it uses the full 500ma of the USB's power supply,
it could charge the cells in as little as 10 hours, much slower than
the 90 minutes when powered by A.C. But it would then also have to
deal with other devices sharing the USB, and either drop down to an
incredibly slow rate when other USB devices are used, or start off
using less than the full 500ma for the charger. If it only draws
350ma, it would probably charge 2,500mAh cells in 14 hours, and
there are several other slow, 'overnight' chargers that take that
long. If it draws 250ma, then it would take 20 hours to charge, but
that's so much longer than 'overnight' that I doubt that Ultralast
would use that as it's maximum charge rate. Why not buy one of the
Ultralast chargers and end the speculation? You'd also get four of
the Hybrio Li-Ion killers. <g>

Last - getting back to the stupidity of the design, if for some
reason you want to use a slow charge rate, the right way to do it
with an AC powered charger is to provide a switch to select between
high and low charge rates. Requiring that the charger get its power
from the USB port to get the slow charge rate is pretty stupid,
because most people would keep a computer running all night long
just to be able to provide the USB power to the charger. That's
incredibly, stupidly, wastefully inefficient. But if you don't
notify Al Gore, I'll keep the lips zipped too.

 
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Ron Hunter
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      07-09-2007
Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.
>> Duracell makes a similar charger that has independent charging
>> circuits, is supplied with four NiMH AA cells (not Hybrios,
>> obviously), and also has a USB port. It is NOT powered by the USB
>> port. The Duracell charger's USB port is used to charge USB devices.
>>

>
> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend if
> you ask me ... charging via USB.
>


hardly worthless. I charge my GPS battery that way when traveling, and
I find it very convenient to NOT have to mess with finding another
outlet in the motel room, and mess with yet another charger. Plug it in
before I go to bed and it is fully charged by morning.
 
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Ron Hunter
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      07-09-2007
Allodoxaphobia wrote:
> On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:41:54 GMT, Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
>> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.
>>> Duracell makes a similar charger that has independent charging
>>> circuits, is supplied with four NiMH AA cells (not Hybrios,
>>> obviously), and also has a USB port. It is NOT powered by the USB
>>> port. The Duracell charger's USB port is used to charge USB devices.

>> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
>> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend if
>> you ask me ... charging via USB.

>
> http://www.usbgeek.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=0320
>
> Well, not actually "charged". But, part of the "worthless trend".
>
> Jonesy


Who needs pencils? Aren't they for people who make mistakes? Grin.
 
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SMS
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      07-09-2007
Allodoxaphobia wrote:
> On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 00:41:54 GMT, Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
>> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.
>>> Duracell makes a similar charger that has independent charging
>>> circuits, is supplied with four NiMH AA cells (not Hybrios,
>>> obviously), and also has a USB port. It is NOT powered by the USB
>>> port. The Duracell charger's USB port is used to charge USB devices.

>> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
>> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend if
>> you ask me ... charging via USB.

>
> http://www.usbgeek.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=0320


That link doesn't work.
 
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ASAAR
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      07-09-2007
On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 06:08:58 -0700, SMS wrote:

>>> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
>>> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend if
>>> you ask me ... charging via USB.

>>
>> http://www.usbgeek.com/prod_detail.php?prod_id=0320

>
> That link doesn't work.


It did for me. It showed a USB powered pencil sharpener.

 
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SMS
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      07-09-2007
Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.
>> Duracell makes a similar charger that has independent charging
>> circuits, is supplied with four NiMH AA cells (not Hybrios,
>> obviously), and also has a USB port. It is NOT powered by the USB
>> port. The Duracell charger's USB port is used to charge USB devices.
>>

>
> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend if
> you ask me ... charging via USB.


Yeah, makes much more sense to add another connector to the device for
charging, plus in that way you can add another unique wall wart to your
collection. In reality, the mini-USB connector is the best hope we have
to reduce the proliferation of different power plugs on low-current devices.

I wonder how many wall warts are present in the average home. Now the
first thing I do when I unpack a device is to label the wall wart, at
the plug end, with a description of what it goes to.

Powering/charging from USB is a great idea in many cases. 500mA is
sufficient for a lot of devices, and of course most USB ports can supply
up to 1000mA. As we see with USB powered NiMH chargers, you can even
trade off speed for convenience, with lower current but longer charge time.

I added two sections to the web site.

First I added a section "USB Current Limits" since some people don't
understand how the USB current limits actually work.

Second, I added a section on how these chargers that can accept
different DC input voltages work.

Steve
http://nordicgroup.us/chargers/
http://batterydata.com
 
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ASAAR
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      07-09-2007
On Mon, 09 Jul 2007 09:58:08 -0700, SMS wrote:

> Powering/charging from USB is a great idea in many cases. 500mA is
> sufficient for a lot of devices, and of course most USB ports can supply
> up to 1000mA. As we see with USB powered NiMH chargers, you can even
> trade off speed for convenience, with lower current but longer charge time.


It would be nice (not to mention honest) if you'd list a few of
the products that have USB ports that can supply 1000mA. Otherwise
this can only be seen as another of your bogus, unsubstantiated
claims. 500mA may be sufficient for many devices, but it is NOT
sufficient for a battery charger unless you don't mind it being a
*very* slow charger. Energizer's USB powered charger gets by with
only a moderately slow charge time, but does so by only having the
capability of charging up to two AA cells at a time, and even here,
if the USB has to provide power to any other devices, the charge
time leaps from 5 hours to well over 20 hours. So using two of
Energizer's USB chargers at the same time to be able to charge 4 AA
cells wouldn't really help very much. Charging two sets of 4 AA
NiMH cells that way would take a full weekend!

Now if Ultralast also makes a charger that can use the USB port to
charge USB devices (as the Duracell charger is able to do), *that*
could really be useful. And for hikers that might need to travel
very light but want to have some way of charging their cell phones,
or their little mp3 player's Li-Ion batteries (ruling out carrying a
laptop in a backpack), Energizer also makes several USB chargers.
One model uses a single AA battery, and the other uses two. They're
both small enough that several could fit in a small shirt pocket.

They are also widely available, being sold in many convenience
stores (Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens) and supermarkets (Pathmark), etc.
The one that uses two AA cells includes two lithium AA cells, but
alkaline AA cells do almost as well, and are much more cost
effective. I could use that for my Sony mp3 player, but it wouldn't
be necessary for my small iAudio mp3 player because it gets 50 hours
of life from a single alkaline AA battery. In this case I could get
up to 150 hours from the iAudio player by using the Energizer USB
charger just as a small case to hold two spare AA batteries.

 
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GMAN
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      07-09-2007
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Ron Hunter <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Thomas T. Veldhouse wrote:
>> ASAAR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.
>>> Duracell makes a similar charger that has independent charging
>>> circuits, is supplied with four NiMH AA cells (not Hybrios,
>>> obviously), and also has a USB port. It is NOT powered by the USB
>>> port. The Duracell charger's USB port is used to charge USB devices.
>>>

>>
>> And as we all know, the most popular device every to have the ability to be
>> recharged via the USB port is the Apple iPod. Just another worthless trend

> if
>> you ask me ... charging via USB.
>>

>
>hardly worthless. I charge my GPS battery that way when traveling, and
>I find it very convenient to NOT have to mess with finding another
>outlet in the motel room, and mess with yet another charger. Plug it in
>before I go to bed and it is fully charged by morning.

I agree. i plug in my Kids Sandisk Sansa C250's into the back of my DirecTV
tivo (Its USB ports are rather useless unless the TIVO is hacked) every few
nights to charge the batteries up.
 
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Ilya Zakharevich
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      07-09-2007
[A complimentary Cc of this posting was sent to
ASAAR
<(E-Mail Removed)>], who wrote in article <(E-Mail Removed)>:
> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.


You are confused. USB is not symmetric. So the answer is very
simple: if it is a USB client port, it is (probably) for powering the
charger (probably in long-charge mode; not a big deal, IMO - if there
is no alternative). If it is host port, it is (probably) to be a
power source for USB-powered devices.

Wikipedia should provide enough info to distinguish client ports from
host ones. (If non-mini, client is squarish, and host is
elongated-ish.)

Hope this helps,
Ilya
 
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ASAAR
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      07-09-2007
On Mon, on the 9th day of July, the seventh month, of the year 2007
at 23:15:46, aka 11:15:46pm +0000 (UTC, which may or may not be
Greenwich or Zulu time), a complimentary Cc of this posting was
neither created nor sent to Ilya Zakharevich, who previously created
his own complimentary Cc which will never arrive where he intended
it to go, and who wrote like a man possessed:

>> More likely, the USB port on the charger is there for the purpose
>> of allowing it to charge cell phones, PDAs and mp3 players.

>
> You are confused. USB is not symmetric. So the answer is very
> simple: if it is a USB client port, it is (probably) for powering the
> charger (probably in long-charge mode;


You are the confused party. Read the thread again. Someone else
saw the charger in a store and did NOT describe the type of
connector on the charger. He even said that the package provided
little information, and mentioned little more than it had a 90
minute charging time, but *guessed* that the USB port was supplying
power to the charger, and if used that way, would take much longer
to charge than 90 minutes. That much I agree with, if that's how
the charger was designed. But try to understand this. Absolutely
NO information has yet been provided that accurately describes the
function of the charger's USB connector. The one I own works the
way I said, and it is used to charge USB devices, not to power the
charger. I admitted that the one described could be either type,
and there is unfortunately little information about it. The
manufacturer doesn't even have it listed on their website.

What *you* should do is think very carefully after you read
messages. Maybe even re-read them a few times before replying since
you have a tendency to not understand what you've read, and make
replies that don't help anyone, although I'll admit that unlike a
certain SMS we all know and love, your replies are well intentioned.

Hope this helps,
Not Ilya
Not SMS
Not that it matters.

 
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