_Hardware Reviews
  La Crosse Technology BC900 (US Model) / RS900 (European Model) Battery Charger  

Here is a review of the LaCrosse Technology BC-900 / RS-900 Rechargeable Battery Charger. It is also known in Germany as the Technoline iCharger IC8800 and it is the exact same model of charger. I have no idea which of the companies designed the charger. I suspect that it is actually Technoline. LaCrosse offers mainly weather stations which of course need batteries, so it would make sense for them to seek an OEM partner that makes a quality battery charger. Anyway that is only speculation.

When this product became known on the digital camera forums, it was seen to be a new favourite battery charger of many digital camera enthusiasts because it is the first battery charger with an LCD readout and all the functions you need are provided. Unfortunately availability was bad in the beginning but that appears to have been solved now.


Here are the modes above. There are quite a few modes in the unit. It has 4 independent charging banks so each battery is charged individually. This is something which you should expect in a quality battery charger. If the battery charger does not have independent charging banks then you will not be able to fully charge every battery in one set if some are less discharged than others.

You can also set each bank to an individual charge mode and current.

  The Discharge / Refresh are particularly interesting enabling you to get tired batteries working again at their maximum capacity. The refresh mode is also interesting because when you buy new NiMH batteries, they will not perform at their maximum capacity until they are charged and discharged fully 3-5 times. This is inconvenient and so you can use the recharger to perform the initial conditioning of the batteries and use them in your camera for the first time, holding a maximum charge.  
  The test mode I am particularly interested in. It is great for matching batteries better into sets for the camera. It will also be great for identifying dud cells and eliminating them from your sets instead of not knowing the bad batteries and wastefully disposing of entire sets.  
  As well as the battery charger and power pack you get a bag, and 4 AA 2300mAh batteries. You also get 4 converters to use AA batteries in C cell units and 4 converters to use AA batteries in D cell units. You can see the converters above.  
  Where can you buy the product?  
  I found a UK based shop called Weather Front and ordered the battery charger. They shipped it the same day and it was received very fast. They have it hidden in their site as icharger. Please note that they will supply with a UK power adapter plug. You may need a UK to european plug converter.  
  Here are the rest of the links to the La Crosse Companies and some online shops which also offer international sales. The french sites dont have full translation in English so you have to email them instead.  
  La Crosse Technology USA  
  La Crosse Technology France  
  US Based - RipVan100  
  France Based - Meteotronic  
  France Based - Nouveau Objets  
  Finland Based - Digitarvike  
  There is also the following company :  
  New Zealand Based - Tesa Electronics  
  Germany Based - Heavy Weather  
  Germany Based - Conrad  
  Germany Based - ELV  
  Austria Based - NiEDERMEYER  
  The LaCrosse battery charger is an interesting product but you must take note that functions like Refresh will take several days to complete. Also I found the mode selecting to be annoying, it was not as easy to select modes as it could have been. However you will get used to it after some time and it will not be a problem.  
  This battery charger performs many functions that are not available in other models. The lcd readout is also very useful to see exactly what is going on with the batteries. Therefore it is a recommended product.  
  Update 2008/02 : I am still using this charger on a daily basis and it has proved reliable. Recently I started avoiding using high speed chargers as in my experience the high current charging reduces the battery life. So I try to only use this charger and at a reasonable setting of 700mah.  
The ultimate AA / AAA battery charger?
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