Dual Battery Charger for the PD150 / VX2000
an article by Mike Rehmus

Distributor :

VideoEquip.com

Price :

$49.00 USD

Capacity :

2 Li-Ion batteries simultaneously

Range :

9 different batteries from 5 different manufacturers. Both 3.6 and 7.2 volt batteries can be accommodated Also charges replacement batteries not manufactured by the listed sources

Power :

U.S. Standard wall sockets (120 VAC, 60 Hz, 18.3 Watts nominal) or 12 VDC cigarette lighter socket.

Indicators :

Red/Green LED, one for each charging socket of the charger.

Instructions :

Somewhat limited and not quite complete.

Manufacturer :

Unknown; made in Taiwan

This is a good unit for the pro or consumer who has a camera that only charges the battery installed in the camcorder or will only charge a battery or run the camera, not both.

This Li-Ion battery charger, with two qualifiers (stated below), rates as an excellent unit for use in the U.S. It will charge one or two batteries (simultaneously and with no apparent reduction in charging speed). It will also charge a 3rd party replacement for Sony batteries that the Sony chargers would not charge. Hoorah for that!

One qulaifier is that there is no specification for the grounding polarity of the 12 VDC power source. An omission that could just cause the charger not to function or, what seems more likely, to fail. I assumed it was designed for a negative ground power source and tried it in my Wifeís car. All is well and it works no differently when powered from this source.

The other qualifier, a serious blooper, is the molded lugs that engage channels in the batteries (thereby holding and keeping them properly aligned) are a bit too large. Persons with low hand-strength will not be able to insert or remove batteries. I thought I might actually break the charger or the batteries when I first started using the unit. Things never got easier but understanding the force required made it easier (mentally) for me to mount and dismount the batteries. Note that I only have two types of Sony (and a 3rd-party substitute) batteries for test. Your experience might be different.

The charger measures the level of charge in the inserted batteries and changes the red LED to green when the battery is within 1 hour of full charge. Checked against a Sony charger with an, the red/green changeover seems accurate. And the charger appears to be as fast as any of my Sony Li-Ion chargers. It would have been better to illuminate both colors during that period since otherwise; one would have to continuously watch the charger to know when that 1 hour period started.

This would be a great charger with which to travel, but the included transformer-based power supply is designed for only 120 VAC, 60 cycle power. The price of the system probably prevents them from using a more universal switching power supply. However, the standard travelerís power converter should work very well, given the low power consumption of the charger.

Whatís needed to round out the package? A better instruction sheet. The information presented is incomplete and leaves me (a quasi-engineer) not really understanding some of the information that is presented. The existing documentation appears to suffer from too little proof reading and would greatly benefit from a quick once-over and clarification.

Mike Rehmus is the owner of ByVideo, a Video Production company located in Vallejo, California. In addition to the video business, Mike co-teaches Acting for Television and Television Production at the local community college. Leaving a long history in marketing Silicon Valley computer products and Internet services for startup companies, Mike decided to get into a more artistic activity and made the transition from a still photography hobby into video as a business.

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Written by Mike Rehmus.
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