Some battery chargers only charge NiMH and NiCD cells. While a few battery chargers on the market can charge all the different types of batteries. That would be NiMH, NiCD, Li-Ploy and Li-ion batteries.
1. One of the first things you need to consider when purchasing a rc battery charger, is how it is powered.
Some battery chargers are AC only, can only be powered by using a 110v outlet. While other battery chargers are DC only.
These require either a power supply or a 12v battery to power them. Some DC powered battery chargers include a power supply in the package. While some do not and a separate power supply needs to be purchased. To confuse matters even more, some battery chargers can use either AC or DC as their power supply.In choosing how your rc battery charger is powered depends on where and how you enjoy your rc vehicles. Is there going to be 110v outlets available where you are at or not?
2. One of the next things to consider, is do you want your battery charger do more than just charge batteries?
Do you need to break-in electric motors, run a commutator lathe or a tire truer? Yes, some chargers have many more functions than just charging batteries.What are some of the other features that can be included in a RC battery charger. Almost all battery chargers will have three basic settings, trickle charge, peak charge and discharge. With a control knob for setting charging amps.
This is one area that is very difficult to explain, because each manufacturer approaches this a little differently. So, it would be a very lengthy decision about how each manufacturer lists these functions. I will leave it up to you to how each manufacture lists these settings. It will be easy for you to recognize how each one does it.
3. Digital battery chargers are a little more complex. The charging rate, capacity and voltage are all stored as a digital binary number. This number will not drift over time. Nor is it affected by temperature. Digital peak detection is the only way to achieve an accurate peak charge.
Using a digital battery charger gives you a very good idea on how your batteries and battery packs are performing.
Computerized type battery chargers are the most sophisticated on the market. The charging rate, capacity, voltage and all other information is stored digitally. They will give you the options of charging most all types of batteries and battery packs. Plus storing information on a large number of different batteries or packs. This type of charger is a small computer.