Monday, March 16, 2015

Panasonic BQ-CC17 Battery Charger Review

I needed some AAA batteries, so I bought some Eneloop AAA batteries without the charger. The only charger I had was more than 5 years old and didn't appear to have a good selection of features, so I bought this thing. A more advanced charger, the PowerEx MH-C9000, actually caught my eye, but I decided to settle on something cheaper, simpler, and smaller -- the lack of a cord on this Panasonic BQ-CC17 did a lot of the convincing too. That's about it...
Panasonic BQ-CC17 Package
A Panasonic branded battery charger, model BQ-CC17. I bought the K-KJ17MCA4BA package that came with batteries too -- couldn't find only the charger for sale locally and there was some room in my life for four extra AA batteries. This was the white plastic version, not the black version that I saw with eneloop pro batteries. It supposedly had slots for both AA and AAA batteries, individual battery charging, and a retractable or folding plug.
Panasonic BQ-CC17 Opened Up

Panasonic Battery Charger with eneloop AA

Paid: CAD$ ~30

Panasonic BQ-CC17 Battery Charger in Infrared

Paper or cardboard back with a clear plastic shell up front. I did not have any trouble opening this. Inside the package, behind the charger was a small paper instruction pamphlet. Having dealt with a more troublesome battery charger package recently, this was a pleasure to deal with. The experience wasn't as satisfying once I got into the package. A slip of cardboard was wedged between the top of the AA batteries and the charger's upper terminals. I assumed they were there to keep the batteries in place or to break the circuit. Regardless, taking the batteries out required a bit more force than I was comfortable with. Two or three of them came out without much trouble, but one felt wedged in pretty good. They all eventually came out undamaged though.
Panasonic BQ-CC17: All LEDs Lit Up
General Usage
This was purchased very recently, and I used it to charge the four eneloop batteries it came with and two 5-ish year old Energizer NiMH batteries I had so far. Naturally, trying the Panasonic BQ-CC17 charger with the included eneloop batteries felt like the safest way to break it in. I reinserted the AA batteries, unfolded the AC plug, and plugged the charger into a power bar. Four green LEDs lit up solidly and the LEDs all turned off after about two hours -- two turned off about half an hour earlier than the other two, all one at a time. For new, unused batteries that were supposedly factory charged, the time felt about right given the charge rates in the manual (300 mA for AA, 150 mA for AAA). Assuming constant charge rate, that was about 700 mAh added out of the 2100 mAh battery capacity? I'd need a battery analyzer to get better info.
BQ-CC17: One LED remaining
I was skeptical if the non-Panasonic branded Energizer batteries would work, but they didn't give me any trouble. Both batteries caused two green LEDs to light up solidly on the charger. They turned off about 6.5 hours later. I previously used them in a TV remote and hadn't charged them in a while. It was long ago enough that I can't even remember when so maybe a year or more. Assuming a constant charge rate, that was about 1950 mAh added out of at least 2000 mAh -- not sure what the true capacity was after 5 years, the label said 2300 mAh. Just to make it clear, this isn't a recommendation to try charging batteries not recommended by the manufacturer.

So far so good. Inserting and removing the batteries from the charger didn't give me trouble. Charging stopped on its own in what looked like reasonable times. It worked with all six batteries I tried, two of which were not Panasonic branded.
BQ-CC17: All LEDs Turned Off
One thing that bugged me a bit was the off-center placement of the AC plug on the back. This caused about 1/3 of the charger to not be supported on the back by anything when pushing it into the outlet. It made it ever so slightly more difficult to mount the charger to the receptacle. Not a big deal, just a thought.

My AAA eneloops were pretty full and I didn't have any others, so I didn't try the AAA ports out yet. The diagram in the manual made it look like the batteries were mounted on an angle?
With Energizer Batteries Inserted
They worked fine thus far. The indicator LEDs appeared to work, charging terminated at what looked like a reasonable time, and they worked on both the provided eneloops and some old Energizer batteries. At CAD$ 30, I was pretty satisfied.

1 comment:

  1. The charger works well with the eneloop batteries. however I have some older tenergy and lenmar batteries that never finish charging according to the indicators, and they don't get warm. Anyone know whats going on?