Chapter in this post:
For a long time I had a Voltcraft battery charger that was controlled by a microprocessor. In 1995 that was still a selling point, but today it is assumed that every charger has a built-in microprocessor. But even today this cannot be taken for granted. There are still some super-cheap chargers that are sold in sets with batteries that have simple charging electronics and therefore charge very slowly.
Tired of reading the entire article? Then this goes straight to my recommendation: that Voltcraft Charge Manager CM2024.
I've been using the device for over a year now and I'm so satisfied with it that I use it as a Pick of the week KW7 in 2021 have chosen. Certainly not everyone has a use for this 200 euro chunk, but if you use a lot of batteries and want to monitor their capacity, the Voltcraft CM2024 is a good device at hand.
I use an extremely large number of AA, AAA size batteries and also some baby cells. In most cases these are NiMH batteries, but some of them are also NiZn batteries. And for very few devices I also use 9 volt blocks that can be charged.
On the one hand, this means that I have a wide range of different battery types and a decent selection of sizes. With the usual 50 euro battery chargers that can only charge AA and AAA cells, unfortunately I don't get very far.
For this reason I started looking for a successor to my old Charge Manager from Voltcraft and actually found it: Charge Manager CM2024.
The battle star Galactica among chargers!
Sorry, but I just had to include this customer review in the article. I think it fits very well. : D
The technical data of the Charge Manager CM2024 are quickly explained, but they do not show the great features that the device actually offers:
Here we come to a few nice features that we find in the CM2024:
The “PC Interface” is a bit worthless for us Mac users, because there is no software that would evaluate the data from the Charge Manager via the USB port of the Mac. This is also one of the negatives that the charger has from my point of view. But if you can live with the text evaluations on the display, you won't miss the software.
On the charger's display, you can call up the charging and discharging curves as well as data such as the maximum charging current and the maximum voltage, as well as the milliampere-hours that flowed during charging or discharging.
For me, everything is important because I can see how much capacity the batteries currently have.
When I switched on the CM2024 for the first time, I thought at first that the display was broken. It's an LCD display that looks like it was stolen from the 80s. There are sometimes ghost images and overall the quality is no longer up-to-date. The funny thing is that the ghosting is only visible in the view of the charge and discharge curves. The presentation in the text ad is flawless.
With a 200 Euro charger, I would expect a color touch display by now. I very much hope that Conrad or Voltcraft will revise the display here in an upcoming version and possibly also provide a Mac connection in terms of software. I would buy the new version right away.
A proper battery charger can of course do more than just charge batteries. The Charge Manager CM2024 does not have to hide here, because it can handle six battery programs:
If the battery remains in the charger and the Charge Manager deems it necessary, it starts trickle charging (TRI = TRICKLE).
I usually only do normal charging (RCH) and maximize (MAX), as modern battery types such as NiMH no longer have a memory effect. With Maximize, however, I was able to restore some NiZn batteries to halfway usable capacity, which had previously plummeted.
What I particularly like about the CM2024 is the ease of use. If I don't want to stop for long, I can just insert a handful of batteries and go away. The charger automatically detects the battery chemistry in each compartment and then starts the charging program.
In between or at the end of the charging process, I can use the dial and the display to look at the measured capacities and quickly see whether a battery has become extremely weak.
But even if I want to start a battery maintenance program, this is very easy: Put in the battery, then briefly turn the rotary control to the charging mode and select, for example, "MAX". If I don't do anything else, the maximization process starts.
If I insert more batteries, the last mode is automatically suggested so that I can just insert the batteries and go. It couldn't be easier. The battery chemistry (NiCd, NiMH or NiZn) is also recognized automatically. You couldn't really ask for more.
At first I thought you could actually put different types of batteries in each compartment, but it's not quite like that. If I insert a NiMH cell into the left or right side, the other batteries on the respective side must also be of this type. I cannot set another battery chemistry to continue to be used in a slot. But what works: If I charge NiMH batteries on one side, I can charge NiZn batteries on the other side, for example.
My last charger made quite a racket to be honest. The built-in fan was about as bad as the highest fan setting on my MacBook Pro (and the old one from 2017). Sleeping or reading a book was virtually impossible.
The Charge Master CM2024 surprised me here, because although I have filled all the slots regularly, the charger makes no sound - because it has no fan. It works quietly and quietly and still fills the batteries in record time.
I haven't packed all the details into this post by a long way. There are still numerous setting options for maximum charging and discharging currents and much more. I don't use any of this, but I am more than satisfied with the charger.
The display and the lack of software for Macs or iPhones or iPads are the only points of criticism I have about the Voltcraft battery charger. For me, however, both are just a “goodie”, so I would definitely like to mention the Charge Manager CM2024 as a recommendation.
I converted the instruction manual into a searchable PDF for you. Unfortunately, what you can find at Conrad is only the instructions for the software with which you can connect the charger to the PC. I looked for the instructions for the CM2024 and it is here as a PDF download verfügbar.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.