Author Topic: Rechargable AA LiFePO4 batteries  (Read 249 times)

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Rechargable AA LiFePO4 batteries
« on: February 08, 2013, 05:02:14 PM »
I beat the no-fly rule for lithium batteries on the second try. The first package out of Hong Kong was refused. Singapore Post took it. LiFePO4 don't burn like organic lithium batteries do, but I guess the airlines aren't chemists.

I have a Canon camera that was among the last made to use AA alkaline batteries. Even the Radio Shack manager told me the store AA's won't work properly in cameras because of the abusive current requirements. There was never a lithium battery made for my camera, so I did what many others are doing and use a 3.2v AA LiFePO4 cell and a dummy battery made from a dowel and foil tape.

My camera works well from this.

The catch in all this is the 3.2v AA cells are sold in the US at Radio Shack as replacements for solar landscape lighting, so there is no separate charger for them. I bought a charger from China with 8 additional AA cells for less than $25US.

I don't know who made the charger because the package is in at least one Asian language, but no other. It has a ISO9001 bug on the package, but I doubt that's real. It just allows importing to an EU country. There is a retail bar code. 6 950310 410010.

There is one strange/annoying feature on this charger. There is a switch labelled 1 2 3 4 on one side and 1.2v 1.5v 3.6v 4.2v on the other. The switch was tested and it sets the cutoff voltage AND the number of cells that can be charged at the same time.  :o  Actually set to 3 it barely charges 3 at a time, but the voltage is safe enough for the cells I bought. The cutoff is just under 3.6. It's decently quick, too. Maybe 1/2 hour. The shell is cheap thin plastic so I wouldn't leave it plugged in for longer than that. It did get a bit warm.

There is a power tap in the back for 12vdc, but retail it didn't come with a car plug. I went back to Radio Shack and bought one with different size tips and found one that fits and works. The RS car adapter has an on/off switch on it so I can leave it plugged in.