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February 2009
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La Crosse Charger is a Must-have For Gamers

I actually found this in an article from This Old House about saving money during the recession.  It’s a charger for rechargeable batteries, but it’s not like the kind you see sold in the battery aisle at most stores.  It’s the AlphaPower Battery Charger from La Crosse Technology, and it is amazing.

First off, this charger paid for itself immediately.  Let me tell you how.  In addition to charging batteries, it can also discharge them.  It has a “refresh” mode that continuously charges and discharges batteries to remove the “memory” effect.  Some of my old NiMH batteries took four days, but it fixed all but two of them.  These are batteries that I’ve had for 6 years, and which I thought were all completely dead (but don’t ask why I didn’t throw them out; I don’t know).


That’s right.  It paid for itself right away by rejuvenating its own value in old rechargeable batteries.

On top of that, it comes with 4 AA and 4 AAA batteries.  AND it came with adapters to use them in devices that need C or D batteries (if you’re curious, all of these batteries are 1.5v; the different sizes just last longer). has this charger for $45.  Sounds like a lot?  Well, add up how many batteries you put in your wireless controllers every year.  It also pays for itself there.

Honestly, its best feature is the “refresh” mode.  For that, I rate this “most useful non-video game appliance I have ever bought.”  Okay, that’s a huge exaggeration (I’m sorry, Toaster).  But it’s definitely up there.  Seriously.

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