I've been absent from the forum for a couple of years as I pursued a career in industrial design. Hello again! I'll be selling my gear pretty soon, but in the meantime, I can announce the first new Abetek product in quite some time.
I was able to partner with my company in a joint venture to bring this out. For everyone who uses a lot of NiMH AAs, this is for you. On many shoots I was using at least two racks of 12 AAs per day. At the end of the day, unloading all the batteries to be charged, and reloading them the next day, was a hassle. So I can now present to you, my baby, the RadCad.
It pretty much does what it says on the tin, with features you know and love from your current charger.
Simple, one-second, one-handed operation
It will charge 2700 mAh in less time than your turnaround, about 7 hours, without your batteries ever leaving the caddy.
Five-step battery meters on clear, backlit LCD.
One-button deep discharge goes to automatic charge, to improve performance and elongate battery life.
Compact size, upright operation means minimum footprint.
Compatible with popular 12-AA battery caddies (sort of, see below).
We also made our own caddy, which completes the set. Once all of your batteries are charged, do you need to reverse each one to show it's charged? NO! Simply remove the bottom of the caddy and snap it on top. Now all of your batteries indicate properly. As a bonus, they won't tear the battery casing every time you take them out (now half as much!), or mess up your fingers.
Since I know you all are professionals, I will give you the downsides now, so you have them in advance.
The popular 12-AA caddy fits perfectly into the charger. However, the old caddy kind of hides the contacts on one side. So it can take some smooshing of the spring contacts to get them to line up. You can avoid this annoyance by using our caddy.
We had to put a 30mm fan in there - there was too much heat in the enclosure otherwise. It measures about 28 dB at 1' ('whisper level') or 13 dB at 6' (comparable to pin drop). So I wouldn't put it next to your boom, but there are camera battery chargers that are much louder.
This should be available from some of the usual suspects by the middle of Feb. As of this writing the MSRP will be $79. I will post here with any updates.
Thanks and I will leave you with this fanciful image (or nightmarish depending on your perspective).