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Prying Eyes: Is the Mighty Charger worth it?

03 Nov 2015  | Brian Dipert

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The small rectangular IC near the AC-input wires is labeled "MB6S." It appears to be a Vishay bridge rectifier (PDF). The longer rectangular IC in the opposing PCB quadrant has no discernable label, unfortunately. Perhaps it's the "intelligent real-time battery technology detector chip" mentioned in the product literature (yes, my tongue is firmly in my cheek).

Turn the PCB over and here's what you'll see:



Here's a closeup of the circuitry "guts":



The rectangular IC in the lower left corner of the transformer is Lii Semiconductor's LN5R12C AC/DC switching power supply controller. To the left of it is a 0.22µF polypropylene safety capacitor. And below the transformer is another IC, whose identity remains unknown to me in spite of abundant Google searching. Its two-line mark is:

BI427

817C

Let me know in the comments if your research is more fruitful.

Conceptual skepticism aside, does the Mighty Charger deliver on its promotional promises?

Does it work?

My so-far experiences are mixed at best. Thankfully, unlike some folks, it hasn't (yet, at least) shot exploding batteries across the room.

My test suite consisted of four Sony-branded AAs, all barely into the "replace" zone according to the battery tester when the experiment began:



Two nearly-fully charged Duracells:



And two essentially dead ones:



The Mighty Charger flat-out refused to recharge the latter, which wasn't a surprise; both the product documentation and user reviews had indicated that this would likely be the case. Two of the four Sony batteries supposedly completed their charge cycles in four hours, but were left in a barely "good" state:




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