VistaLite battery question

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by amirm, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. amirm

    amirm New Member

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    Hi everyone:

    Does anybody out there use VistaLite NiMH batteries? Can any one tell me what's the output voltage on the charger? I currently have a NiCad. The charger has a 7.2 V output. I've bought a new NiMH battery, and would like to use the old charger. Don't know, though, whether VistaLite NiMH chargers have a different output voltage. Any help is appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Amir.
     
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  2. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Give me and day or two & I'll get back to you about that.
    Hopefully, other folks with Vistas should have revelent advice for you.
     
  3. amirm

    amirm New Member

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    Thanks cfsmtb.

    I just found an old thread on this forum (May 03, by Gemma Kernich) through Google. The fact is both type batteries use 7.2 V output. The NiMH charger pumps 600mA whilst the NiCad does 300 mA. From the look of it, using NiCad charger will be safe, but it will take longer to charge the NiMH with the NiCad charger.

    Having a smart charger seems a better way to go. I'll check it out at Tandy's or Dick Smith's.

    Cheers,
    Amir.
     
  4. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "amirm" wrote
    > Hi everyone:
    >
    > Does anybody out there use VistaLite NiMH batteries?
    > Can any one
    tell me
    > what's the output voltage on the charger? I currently have
    > a NiCad.
    The
    > charger has a 7.2 V output. I've bought a new NiMH
    > battery, and
    would
    > like to use the old charger. Don't know, though, whether
    > VistaLite
    NiMH
    > chargers have a different output voltage. Any help is
    > appreciated.

    It's not the output voltage that is critical here. It's the
    charge rate and time. NiMH batteries need a special charger
    which turns itself off after a specific time. You can use
    your existing charger if you watch the time. Do not leave
    the NiMH batteries in your NiCad charger overnight.

    Theo
     
  5. "Theo Bekkers" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > It's not the output voltage that is critical here. It's
    > the charge rate and time. NiMH batteries need a special
    > charger which turns itself off after a specific time.

    I have the Vistalite NiMH battery with supplied charger and
    I don't believe it does this. The documentation warns about
    not leaving the battery on charge beyond about 4-5 hrs to
    avoid damage to the battery

    > You can use your existing charger if you watch the time.
    > Do not leave the NiMH batteries in your NiCad charger
    > overnight.

    As stated that's what i've done so far.

    BTW will the battery be damaged if fully charged then stored
    for some months? I am only an occasional user of the
    Vistalite, for off road night rides. The tourer with its
    dynamo set gets more use around town at night.

    Cheers Peter
     
  6. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    "Peter Signorini" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > BTW will the battery be damaged if fully charged then
    > stored for some months?

    No. NiCd and NiMH both self discharge over time - NiCd seem
    to lose about 20% a month, NiMH more like 50% a month. This
    means if you leave a fully charged battery on the shelf,
    after month it'll only be good for 80%/50% of its full
    charge, depending on chemistry. This means there's little
    point in charging a NiCd or NiMH battery before putting it
    in storage.

    Lead-Acid batteries, such as used on some Cateye lights, are
    different. They do self discharge, but it takes a *long*
    time. Leaving them flat causes nasty things to happen to the
    chemistry, so *always* charge your Lead-Acid battery as soon
    as possible after use.

    From a basic charging point of view there's not much between
    NiMH and NiCd. Both like constant current. A nominal 2400mAH
    battery like I believe the NiMH nightstick is will takes
    around 5 hours to fully charge off 600mA, and about 10 hours
    to charge off 300mA. The 600mA charger makes it easy to
    overcharge - 5 hours on charge for a 50% discharged battery
    could easily damage it. 300mA can be left on for longer -
    you're unlikely to damage a battery if you only ever leave
    it on charge for 10 hours, even if you've only been riding
    for a short time. I've no idea what the capacity of the NiCd
    nightstick is, but a guess would say around 1800mA - don't
    leave it on charge for more than about 6-8 hours, and that's
    from empty.

    If you don't use your lights much, the standard charger
    should be fine. If you're using them all the time it's
    probably worth investing in a cheap timer to ensure the
    charger is switched off after an appropriate time, or a
    decent charger that does this automatically. To work out
    charging time, work out how much power you've used, then add
    10-20%. Nearest half hour should be fine. For example, say
    you've used a 10W bulb for 40 minutes. That's 10w/6V*
    (40/60) = ~1.1 amps. You need to put in around 1.2 amps, so
    a 2 hour charge is appropriate. Going up to 2h 15m puts in
    1.35 amps and will ensure the battery is fully charged, with
    a relatively low probability of damaging the battery. I
    wouldn't go beyond 2.5 hours.

    If you've got an old NiCd charger you're probably better off
    using this more often if you've got NiMH batteries. Assuming
    you're using them for around 90 minutes a day with a 10W
    bulb you're going to have chewed most of the battery. Get
    home at 7 and they'll be nicely charged by 7 the next
    morning on the 300mA charger. The 600mA will be done by
    midnight, which means you need a timer to turn them off or
    you've got to stay up and watch Sports Tonight. Eewww.

    Dave - who has heard good things about "Maha" chargers,
    and uses an "MW1768" charger. Google should find suppliers
    for either.

    --
    Dave Hughes [email protected] Random miscellany, as
    opposed to that other kind of miscellany -- Patrick
    Shaughnessy
     
  7. amirm

    amirm New Member

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    Hi Dave:

    I found your post very useful. It gave me the basic understanding that I needed. Thanks heaps.

    Cheers,
    Amir.
     
  8. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "Peter Signorini" wrote

    > I have the Vistalite NiMH battery with supplied charger
    > and I don't
    believe
    > it does this. The documentation warns about not leaving
    > the battery on charge beyond about 4-5 hrs to avoid damage
    > to the battery

    Then it's a crap charger. I have two NiMH chargers and I
    stick the batteries in and forget it. It turns on a green
    light when finished and stops charging. I can take the
    batteries out next week. Having to monitor the damn thing
    would be a pain in the proverbial.

    > As stated that's what i've done so far.
    >
    > BTW will the battery be damaged if fully charged then
    > stored for some months? I am only an occasional user of
    > the Vistalite, for off road night rides. The tourer with
    > its dynamo set gets more use around town at night.

    As some-one else said, they leak down quite quickly. You
    should recharge it every couple of weeks if you want to use
    it. No damage will occur if left for six months or more.

    Theo
     
  9. Drs

    Drs Guest

    Theo Bekkers <[email protected]> wrote in message
    [email protected]
    > "Peter Signorini" wrote
    >
    >> I have the Vistalite NiMH battery with supplied charger
    >> and I don't believe it does this. The documentation warns
    >> about not leaving the battery on charge beyond about 4-5
    >> hrs to avoid damage to the battery
    >
    > Then it's a crap charger. I have two NiMH chargers and I
    > stick the batteries in and forget it. It turns on a green
    > light when finished and stops charging. I can take the
    > batteries out next week. Having to monitor the damn thing
    > would be a pain in the proverbial.

    Hear! Hear!

    I can't believe that anybody would use any charger other
    than a smart charger in the 21st century. Why are we even
    talking about this stuff?

    --

    "I'm proud that I live in a country where witnessing two
    hours of bloody, barbarous torture in gloating detail is
    considered indicia of religious piety, whereas a mere second
    gazing upon a woman's breast is cause for outraged
    apoplexy." Betty Bowers,
    http://www.bettybowers.com/melgibsonpassion.html
     
  10. Random Data

    Random Data Guest

    "DRS" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I can't believe that anybody would use any charger other
    > than a smart charger in the 21st century. Why are we even
    > talking about this stuff?

    Because Vista, to my knowledge, still provide a "dumb"
    charger, as do other suppliers. A very quick and nasty
    constant current charger can be made for a few cents. It now
    costs less than a dollar for a one-chip solution to do smart
    charging, but that's fairly recent. Notice the number of new
    manufacturers providing NiMH with smart chargers. I suspect
    Vista will change very shortly, if they haven't already.

    Li-Ion is still in its infancy. However, anyone not
    providing a smart charger for Li-Ion (it may be
    incorporated into the battery pack) is asking for a
    lawsuit. Li-Ion fails in an amusing manner, unless you
    happen to be close. This is why you can't buy Li-Ion cells
    off the shelf, at least easily.

    Dave - who is sorely tempted by some of the HID toys.

    --
    Dave Hughes [email protected] "The problem with
    people whose minds are in the gutter is that they keep
    blocking my periscope." - Peter Gutmann
     
  11. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    "Random Data" wrote
    > Because Vista, to my knowledge, still provide a "dumb"
    > charger, as do other suppliers. A very quick and nasty
    > constant current charger can be made for a few cents.

    If you go to your local Post Office, you will find a
    smart charger for AA batteries sells for $29.95. It will
    charge 4 x NiMH batteries or 4 x NiCad batteries. You
    can't mix them but it figures out what type of battery
    you put in and charges accordingly. Even comes with 2 x
    2100mAh AA's included.

    It's obviously not expensive technology, nor rocket science.
    You'd have to be dumb to buy a dumb charger now.

    Theo
     
  12. Kingsley

    Kingsley Guest

    On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 22:55:31 +1000, DRS wrote:

    > I can't believe that anybody would use any charger other
    > than a smart charger in the 21st century. Why are we even
    > talking about this stuff?

    Well, because Vistalight sets come with crap chargers...

    I left mine on accidently went out for a BBQ, had to drive
    home and turn them off. When I got back them, they were hot!
    (like side of a mug of coffee hot) probably reduced the
    quality of the batteries significantly.

    The problem is you can make-do with the crap chargers that
    you've already paid for, or shell out another hundred
    dollars or so for a quality charger. Although I'm not known
    for sparing expense when it comes to bike stuff, I can't
    seem to justify the extra cash. I might walk down to Jaycar
    today and see what they can do... ;)

    I bet my battery is flat tonight after talking about this
    sort of stuff... like I was thinking about the p*nct*re
    fairy the other day - never even made it out of central
    station...

    -kt
     
  13. amirm

    amirm New Member

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    All points are valid. However, for my routine rides where the duration is almost the same everyday, now have started using a timer that turns the dumb charger off. Found the timer among other things that I don't use (junk??) in the garage. For now, it's better than forking out $$ for a smart charger. Problem is that I have such chargers for AAA/AA betteries, but not Vista ones.

    Cheers,
     
  14. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    AH, yes the P*nct*re Gods paid me a visit on Sunday arvo whilst cycling down Myers Creek Road (MBTC Mad Ride) Ever had a blowout in a thornproof tube, (front wheel), while doing 40-45k's?
    Agghhhh :mad:

    Lesson, don't combine LX brakes with shagged out rims.

    Anyway, was going to repond to amirms question a couple of days back. But others have dealt with it, no point duplicating information. cheers.
     
  15. "amirm" wrote:

    > All points are valid. However, for my routine rides where
    > the duration is almost the same everyday, now have started
    > using a timer that turns the dumb charger off. Found the
    > timer among other things that I don't use (junk??) in the
    > garage. For now, it's better than forking out $$ for a
    > smart charger. Problem is that I have such chargers for
    > AAA/AA betteries, but not Vista ones.

    One good thing about a smart charger, and not having to time
    the charge, is that you can start charging a battery in any
    unknown state of charge. Discharged, half charged, whatever
    - the charger should sense full charge and drop back to a
    maintenance charge indefinitely.

    I don't have a VistaLite system, but I can suggest a good
    cheap, smart charger. It's the ZA0100 from Oatley
    Electronics (http://www.oatleyelectronics.com/battery.html).
    It's $29, and they supply two for that price. I use one for
    my Cateye HL-1600 rechargeable bike light (6V, 5-cell NiMH).

    Without internal modification, it can be switched to handle
    one of three battery voltages: 4.8V, 6V or 7.2V. I see
    reference to the VistaLite charger as 7.2V, but that might
    just be the charger's output voltage, and not the battery
    voltage (the charger must put out a higher voltage than the
    battery to be charged). A 7.2V nickel-chemistry battery will
    have 6 cells, and take a 7.2V bulb. If the bulb is 6V, then
    it will be a 5-cell 6V battery. Switching this charger to
    the correct voltage is very important.

    The main downside of this charger is that you've got to
    solder some leads to its terminals to connect it to your
    battery pack. The terminals are not marked. Looking at the
    front panel of the charger, the +ve terminal is on the right
    (behind the wording "PRO-CELL"), and the -ve terminal is on
    the left (behind the word "Fuzzy"). Note that the photo of
    the charger on the Oatley site above is correct - it looks
    nothing like the unit drawn in the PDF "User's Manual" at
    http://www.oatleyelectronics.com/pdf/za0100.pdf. The
    functions a nd button names are correct though.

    John
     
  16. On Wed, 31 Mar 2004 15:26:25 +0800, "Theo Bekkers"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> it does this. The documentation warns about not leaving
    >> the battery on charge beyond about 4-5 hrs to avoid
    >> damage to the battery
    >
    >Then it's a crap charger. I have two NiMH chargers and I
    >stick the batteries in and forget it. It turns on a green
    >light when finished and stops charging. I can take the
    >batteries out next week. Having to monitor the damn thing
    >would be a pain in the proverbial.

    Absolutely! I would only buy lights from a company that
    supply a smart charger. The light on mine glows when fully
    charging, and blinks when trickle-charging.
     
  17. Drs

    Drs Guest

    cfsmtb <[email protected]> wrote in message
    [email protected]

    [...]

    > AH, yes the P*nct*re Gods paid me a visit on Sunday arvo
    > whilst cycling down Myers Creek Road (MBTC Mad Ride) Ever
    > had a blowout in a thornproof tube, (front wheel), while
    > doing 40-45k's? Agghhhh :mad:

    What sort of tyre?

    --

    A: Top-posters.
    B: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet?
     
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