A Battery Charger for Alkaline Batteries?

Yes, there is such a thing. One of my DestinySurvival Radio guests, Dennis Evers, told me about it. So I bought one. It’s the Rosewill RGD-CT505 Battery Charger for AAA/AA Alkaline and Ni-MH Batteries.

Please note, if you look for this charger on Amazon, and it’s not available, check out the Maximal Power Universal Rapid Charger. Or search for alkaline battery chargers.

Several years back I remember seeing ads for a name brand battery company’s alkaline battery charger. But I think you could only recharge their brand of batteries.

Not so with the Rosewill RGD-CT505 charger. It will charge up to 4 AA and AAA alkaline and NiMH batteries rated up to 2700mAH. I have charged NiMH batteries several times without incident. I’ve had good success with different brands of alkalines, too.

This particular charger is about the size of a pocket transistor radio and comes with a small wall wart adapter. Red LED’s glow while batteries are charging. Green ones shine when batteries are done. Supposedly neither will glow if the battery is completely dead. I haven’t had that happen yet.

It takes about four hours for alkalines to recharge. The instructions say to charge NiMH batteries twice for a total of eight hours to give them a full charge.

Tips from Amazon reviewers have been helpful. I’ve successfully taken advice to give some alkalines more than one four hour charge. My old analog battery tester indicated that some batteries needed more of a boost.

If you don’t have a battery tester, pop the battery out and back in after the light goes green. If the light comes on red, leave the battery in for more charging. If it’s green, you’ve charged the battery as much as the charger will allow. It might be a good idea to unplug the charger and plug it back in to reset it before you try charging a battery for a second time.

This charger gives alkaline batteries 2/3 to 3/4 of a full charge, which is comparable to the voltage you get from rechargeable batteries. The maximum output current per charge is 350mA.

If you have a digital camera or some other device that requires X amount of voltage from batteries, it may not be happy with recharged alkalines. Chances are your recharged alkalines will do quite well in radios or other less fussy gadgetgs. At least that’s been my experience.

Material that came with the charger says you can recharge alkalines up to 20 times before they’re depleted. I have my doubts about that. I haven’t had that kind of luck.

The number of charges probably depends on the battery brand. Nonetheless, if you get 4-5 charges out of alkalines, you’re saving considerable money.

When charging batteries in any charger, it’s not wise to mix battery sizes, different brands or batteries with different levels of voltage. If you don’t have a way to test batteries, charge one or two at a time to avoid problems like leakage. Fortunately, the Rosewill charger is designed to prevent overheating.

I paid roughly $20 plus shipping for my charger, but I’m not certain what the price is now, if you can get this one. You may have to pay a higher price for another brand.

If you follow the example of Dennis Evers, you could retrieve the batteries others have tossed into the recycle bin and get new life out of them for yourself.

If we find ourselves without electricity altogether one day, a charger that charges alkaline batteries and many other chargers will be nothing more than paperweights. But for now, you can save money by not buying new batteries as often. Plus, you might be using your recharged alkalines as long as they last when no other batteries are to be had.

As much as I’d like for you to have a charger that charges alkaline batteries, here’s a tip you might want to try. A friend told me once that it’s possible to recharge alkaline batteries for an hour or so in a solar battery charger normally used for rechargeable batteries.

I haven’t tried this, so I don’t know how long you can safely leave batteries in the charger. You don’t want them to leak or explode. I also don’t know how many times you can recharge alkalines this way. It’s worth a try, if you don’t mind experimenting.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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