Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer Review with IMEDION 'Low-self Discharge' NIMH Rechargeables Quick Review
Environmental friendly products are ones that are catching on in the North American market. It seems that the trend has shifted toward utilizing green products and being able to reduce, reuse and recycle has never been of more importance in our lifetimes until now. We have been advised of the devastating effects of global warming by scientists and high ranking officials of government and now we’ve seen with our own eyes. Being able to reduce, reuse and recycle has got to be implemented by lifestyle changes. One way to achieve change is to stop using disposable products. It seems that we’ve been a disposable society for far too long and that has come back to bite us.
Take for instance the problem of batteries, particularly disposal battery types. I can’t fathom how many disposal batteries that we use in North America alone and how it continues to outsell rechargeables by a large margin. And consider the fact that these disposable batteries will end up in our landfills and in our ecosystem because of irresponsible recycling or lack thereof by the people who use them. I think everyone can attest to the fact of having bags or bins or even boxes of old batteries sitting around in their homes somewhere in the basement and not knowing what to do with them. Well for starters, it would be great if we can all recycle them in a responsible manner. And thankfully stores such as The Home Depot and IKEA have free drop-off bins that allow us to do so for our disposable batteries and even light bulbs.
Rechargeable batteries have been in the market for quite a long time and the technology is pretty much perfected so there shouldn’t be any excuses not to own some. The prices of modern day NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) rechargeable batteries are about the same as disposable Duracell’s or Energizers so it’s really affordable and the capacities have grown to where they are comparable to disposables as well. Sure, they initial cost may be a little more expensive but considering that they can last anywhere from 500 to 1000 charges, I’d say it pays for itself pretty quickly.
But not all chargers are made alike, and not all rechargeable batteries are made alike. Some are better than others and today I’d like to share with you about a company who has been in the business for close to 20-years of designing, manufacturing and distributing battery and charging technology for both industrial and consumer divisions. Maha Energy Corporation is a trusted name in the industry and many enthusiasts can vouch for their loyalty to such a company.
Today I will be reviewing a ‘smart charger’ and a pack of ‘low-self discharge’ NIMH batteries that you can consider in your future purchase. I present to you the review of the Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer and the IMEDION 2100mAh ‘Ready When You Are!’ NIMH rechargeables.
About Maha Energy Corporation
“Founded in 1993, Maha Energy Corporation is a global leader specializing in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of battery and charging technology for various industrial and consumer sectors. With state-of-the-art research labs and production facilities in Asia, and sales & marketing offices in North America and Europe, Maha creates a global service network for both standard and custom-designed applications.
In addition to PowerEx brand products, a significant percentage of Maha Energy's revenue is generated from OEM & custom manufacturing businesses. Today, Maha manufactures millions of batteries and chargers sold under OEM and private brands for leading corporations in all industrial sectors. Maha's custom battery program also won key contracts from government and military agencies. “
Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer Product Overview
Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer Product Specifications
The MH-C9000 comes packaged in a lovely corrugated box with an upscale feel. I can’t believe how pleasant it looks, and all for a battery charger! The top of the box features an image of the product and the words ‘Charger-Analyzer from the Future’, which I found a sweet touch. Apart of Maha’s Powerex brand, the slogan is ‘Empowering Your Digital Life’. Around the sides of the box are the main features and superimposed LCD screen in action.
Opening the $69.95USD Maha Energy MH-C9000 Wizard One Charger-Analyzer box will reveal the following items…
Not really a bundle but all you really need. It would have been nifty if a battery case was included and/or some battery adapters but it is what it is. The MH-C9000 does not come included with rechargeable NiMH batteries so you must supply them yourself.
Going over the MH-C9000
The first thing that caught my eye was how large MH-C9000 charger was. I don’t think I’ve come across such a large sized charger for just AA/AAA batteries before. But it all started to make sense after being utilized over the span of four months to observe the long-term quality of the product. Much of the size is actually accumulated by the large LCD display.
The whole unit measures approximately 6.5 x 4.3 x 1.6 inches (LxWxH), while the LCD display measures 3 x 1.5 inches (LxW) providing you with large font text and numbers that can be easily seen and being displayed on the bright white-backlit LED screen.
Above the LCD screen lays four independent battery terminals which can handle AA and AAA recharageable NiMH and NiCD battery types. The advantages of having four independent battery terminals means that you are able to charge one single battery if you desire instead of being forced to charge two or four batteries together in other lesser quality battery chargers.
The battery terminals are not of a spring loaded design, which I gladly approve of. Personal preference, but I don’t enjoy spring loaded battery terminals as it can have too much resistance and be a struggle to fit batteries inside. The battery terminals on this MH-C9000 are a perfect fit and resistance.
Notice how spaced out the battery terminals are. They are not squished in and thus the batteries have enough space to dissipate heat effectively and maintain lower cell temperatures (resulting in longer lifetime) compared to regular battery chargers having the batteries sitting literally right beside each other, almost touching. Having generously spaced out battery terminals not only keeps battery temperatures low, they also provide easy removal of batteries once they are done charging. Some of my previous rechargeable battery chargers were a pain to remove the batteries as they sat too close to each other, you basically needed long nails to help remove the batteries, and if you hadn’t had long nails, you basically were stuck. Well with the MH-C9000, long nails are not needed, just pick and remove any battery you wish with ease! The designers at Maha Energy Corporation really think things through.
Lastly on the bottom of the charger are four buttons (up, down, slot, enter). A very minimalist design indeed but having less buttons is a good thing has it creates less points of failure.
The top portion has the POWEREX brand logo and vents to keep the innards cool as possible.
At the very top of the MH-C9000 is where the power adapter plugs in to.
Coming to the rear of the unit we find four rubber feet at each corner to prevent slippage of the charger on flat surfaces (such as on tables) and it also raises the MH-C9000 up a bit for the vents to do their job exhausting heat out. For further height, for when the MH-C9000 is placed on carpets, the MH-C9000 also has an extra fold out metal rod that raises the charger even higher and at an angle. The rubber feet makes a difference and the fold-out metal stand is another genius idea. The group who designed the MH-C9000 is real smart!
How the LCD display looks
Powering on the MH-C9000, the charger performs a countdown from 1 to 10 as it initializes for use. During this countdown, all the possible characters are displayed and you simply cannot believe how clear and bright the LCD display really is. No one will have problems reading anything on the screen.
Please view the videos I have taken of the MH-C9000 LCD display while recharging batteries. The LCD display rotates information from different slots continuously. It is located on YouTube.
Is the Maha Energy MH-C9000 easy to use?
Very much so. The MH-C9000 is a powerful charger and battery analyzer but it’s also very easy for the average Joe, who knows little about charge rates or currents, to use because Maha has already placed their recommended charge/discharge rates as default values in the MH-C9000.
Safety is also taken care of on the MH-C9000. It automatically checks each battery you place in the charger if it is indeed made of NiMH or NiCD composition. If it sees a non-rechargeable battery, it will not charge the battery. Additionally with the MH-C9000, it analyzes the internal resistance of the battery and if it is deemed high (a high internal resistance indicates near the end of life of a battery), it will refuse to charge and indicate “HIGH” on the screen. Remember that NiMH and NiCD batteries by nature have low internal resistance. Once the battery is near its end of life, the internal resistance rises and the capacity continuously becomes worse.
Having a battery analyzer that can read the real capacity of a certain battery, such as is the case with the Maha MH-C9000, is such a valuable asset. Why? Simply put, every rechargeable NiMH/NiCD battery on the market has a stated capacity stated in mAh, for example 1500mAh. The higher the mAh, the higher the capacity and the longer the battery can last in a device. However, not all batteries can achieve the stated mAh capacity. The lesser known brands usually don’t perform as well as the well known brands (falsified or not), so by using the MH-C9000 to verify the real capacity of a battery, you can make informed purchases, purchasing a battery that is known to have its real capacity close to the marketed capacity. Let me give you a real world example. I have four NiMH batteries that are stated as 2700mAh but in actuality the capacities are approximately 35% less than stated capacity which is horrendously bad and has made me upset at my purchases and has reminded me never to purchase the particular brand ever again.
Charging batteries in the Maha MH-C9000 is simple. Place a rechargeable battery in the battery terminal and the LCD screen will indicate an arrow on the left pane, allowing you to choose which of the five modes of operation you wish to perform, by using the up and down buttons. If you want to discharge a battery, push the down button three times (to DISCHG) and press enter, next will follow the discharge rate selection where you may use the up and down buttons to scroll through the discharge rates (example: 100,200, 300, 400, 500mA). Once you select the discharge rate, the MH-C9000 begins to discharge the battery. Once completed, ‘DONE’ will be read below the specific battery terminal number on the LCD screen. The same type of setup is done for all other modes of operation.
Here is a snippet from the manual stating what the five modes of operations are used for. The manual also has other information pertaining to general battery education and is very informative and clear.
Refresh & Analyze Mode
Break-In Mode (IEC capacity analysis)
Editor’s tidbit: NiMH and NiCD batteries cannot be discharged past a certain point. Do not discharge any NiMH or NiCD batteries down below 0.90v or else permanent damage will follow. The MH-C9000 is smart charger that will never discharge past this point.
So be careful not to do this to your NiMH/NiCD batteries. Having them in flashlights for too long can potentially be a bad thing because you don’t realize how drained they actually are. These batteries are best in smart devices such as a digital camera where it has a low battery indicator or an Xbox 360 gamepad where it cuts out at a certain voltage or a cordless mouse with battery indicator. Flashlights do not have any low battery indicators.
Long-term Quality Assessment
I have used the Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer for a span of approximately four months and have found it to be reliable, valuable and well-built exhibiting very little problems. The single random minor problem I came across with the MH-C9000 was that it did not register the capacity of the battery. But this only happened once and never again had it occurred.
Curious to the quality of the MH-C9000, I opened it up to see the innards and was very impressed with what I saw. Please view the gallery to see the innards of the MH-C9000 with the PCB and LCD screen. I don’t think I need to tell you the difference of a bad soldering job vs. a professional one, and the MH-C9000 has one of the best looking soldering finishes you’ll ever come across. There are no greasy globs of solder lying around or does it look like it was done by hand. This one has a beautiful soldering job done by machine (I would venture to say) as everything is precisely completed.
The other things that I noticed were…
The Maha Energy MH-C9000 WizardOne Charger-Analyzer is without a doubt one of the best investments you can make in regards to a very capable battery charger, analyzer and rescuer. It receives the Editor’s Choice Award for having top-notch construction, excellent features, and having great long-term quality.
Pros and Cons
IMEDION “Low-self Discharge” NIMH Rechargeable Quick Review
The Maha Energy Powerex IMEDION rechargeables aren’t your standard NiMH batteries. Standard NiMH batteries will self-discharge on their own (meaning lose capacity while out of use) when you don’t use them. Let’s use for example the rechargeable batteries that you see at the local store. You have no clue to when and how long they were sitting on the shelves for. It could have been on the shelves for a couple of years and you wouldn’t know unless otherwise shown on the package. Well, let’s say that you buy the battery pack and come home only to realize that they don’t have any power left. This is quite common. You are forced to recharge them.
Or let’s say you place regular NiMH’s in your digital camera (fully charged) and do not use it for six-months. Come back after six-months and you’ll find out that they are probably run flat and need to be recharged.
Low-self discharge batteries like the IMEDION are great for applications where battery capacity won’t be immediately used up in full. It’ll be great for remotes, wireless Xbox 360 gamepads, digital cameras, and more.
The IMEDION batteries are the new types of NiMH’s that are ‘low-self discharge’ and can be stored for an extended period of time without substantial loss of power. These new revised chemistry types can retain up to 85% of their charge after one year of inactivity, which is pretty fantastic. It means that they only lose 15% of charge for a single year. So after 3-years of inactivity, the IMEDIONS would have retained 55% of their charge and still be able to be used. Compare them to regular NiMH batteries which can lose 85% of its charge within one-year of inactivity.
IMEDIONS are pre-charged from the factory so they will be ‘Ready When You Are’. They have a capacity of up to 2100mAh (with 2000mAh being typical) and can be charged on any standard NiMH chargers, you do not need a special type of charger. Purchasing the batteries, they will come inside a handy battery case.
I tested the batteries capacities in the MH-C9000 battery charger-analyzer and came away with more than stated capacity for each and every battery in the package. The capacities hovered close to 2200mAh real capacity, which is more than the stated label!
The IMEDION 4AA ‘low-self discharge’ retail for $13.95USD which makes them an affordable alternative and I wholeheartedly recommend them to everyone.