Claims of a battery charger that can recharge Alkaline

Do they sell them? Do they work?

Yes. No, IMO, not really.

There are special rechargeable alkaline batteries that are not single use disposable batteries. I think they’re mostly a waste now, since NiMH low discharge batteries pretty much do everything better and cheaper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rechargeable_alkaline_battery

Some people do recharge the single use alkaline batteries with varying degrees of success and personal injury. If you mess up you can get hurt pretty bad. I don’t think there’s any real reason to take this approach.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recharging_alkaline_batteries

Alkaline still have uses when you want the voltage to be 1.5V instead of 1.2V of NiMH. The chargers will often work multiple types and brands now a days. Read the product details to be sure you get a charger that does what you want.

A better question is “Why would you want one?”
Today’s low-self-discharge NiMH batteries (like Sanyo’s Eneloops) have nearly the same capacity as Alkalines, can be recharged a thousand times, and only cost 2-3 times as much initially.

I recharged disposables for several years. One went “pffff” once and had to be tossed.

I have the Rayovac Renewal Alkaline battery recharger. Can’t get the batteries any more. It won’t work with regular alkaline batteries, the batteries are designed slightly differently so regular alkalines won’t make contact in the recharger.

I bought it well over ten years ago. I thought it was a good idea then because the bateries were 1.5 volts (supposedly, but see Telemark’s first link), and some things back then wanted 1.5 volts, not 1.2. I suspect rechargables are in so much use now, most things can take 1.2 volts now.

Now, I’d use it for batteries that go long periods between use (except for the they’re-not-making-them-any-more problem).

I tried wiring up a regular alkaline battery to see if it would recharge it, but the recharging light never turned on. Maybe I’ll try again some time.

I remember Dick Clark used to do an infomercial about a charger that will recharge all those ordinary dead batteries lost in your kitchen drawer at home.

The claim was no special batteries to buy, don’t know if it worked but there must’ve been a claim of some sort to it.

I had one. IIRC it was called the “Buddy L.” I wonder what I ever did with it. It didn’t work well…you’d put the batts in and get a little more life out of them. For high drain items like electronic flash, forget it.

The renewal system was the first one that was made for a brand of batteries and that was readily available. They did only allow charging of the Renewal brand of alkaline batteries. The Renewal charger I have allows for charging NiMH also. With the expansion of other major brands into chargeable Alkaline and NiMH you can purchase other brands of chargers and batteries that can be used with each other. The batteries will say they can be charged in any brand charger. They all have the slightly smaller diameter positive tip that indicates it was made to be used with the chargers. I still use my Renewal charger for these batteries, and we have a Duracell charger that works on the same batteries too.

I can charge and use the same alkaline batteries for years for stuff like my keyboards and mouse. The important thing is you can’t take them to the dead point. You have to charge them before they discharge all the way or there total life is severely cut.

That was the first one available but was a order and ship product. I don’t think it was likely a good one by today’s standards.

The modern chargers use a chip that pulses the charging and adjusts the current. This is important in not over charging the battery and ruining it.

Is the 1.2V vs. 1.5V difference that Harmonious Discord mentioned an issue in some devices?

It is.

Think of when it uses 6 batteries. Alkaline is 9 volts and NiMH is 7.2 volts. When devices are designed for the lower voltage it’s not a problem.

Would it be an issue in devices that use four batteries?

So hold on, hold on. Enough of this “alkalines designed to be recharged” crap.

How do you recharge an ordinary alkaline? How does it work? How effective is it?

It appears to be. I have several digital cams that work fine with fresh alkaline batts, but turn off when the voltage drops to below 1.3. So I never use rechargeables, as they are too expensive, have too little shelf life, too few cycles, and won’t power the camera for more than a dozen shots. Worthless.

Your cameras must either be cheap or ancient.

The ones not designed for recharging don’t fit in the charger and charge. It’s that simple.

I’m referring to Markxxx’s post about Dick Clark recharging “ordinary dead batteries.” A post which, oddly enough, you replied to.

i have devices that don’t last long with a NiMH with a fresh charge but do fine with a disposable alkaline.

Sure are. Way back, y’bet. Vintage ca. 2005, 2007 & 2008. Stone age, eh?