Batteries require several charges in order to reach fully capacity
This relatively new 15 minute charger charged my batteries fully the first time but subsequent charges have yielded considerably shorter battery life. 25 hours in a headset initially then about 5 hours. I discovered if I charged the batteries more than one time in the charger I could eventually get the battery life up to the original 25 hours. The actual number of charges to reach full is more like 3-4 times in the 15 minute charger. I have not talked to duracell about this but plan to contact them for their explanation for this behavior. Why do you think the 15 minute charger is not fully charging before it shuts off?
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it can be left on and unattended for 24 hours
as the battery reaches full charge the charge rate is slowed down until it is just working
if however the power to the charger is turned off , there is every possibility that the battery will discharge back through the charger
most ipab, laptop ,phones take around 4 hours to be fully charged from 5% charge
Charge time depends on the mAh capacity of the batteries (should be listed on the package, or the side of the battery) most AAAs are under 900mAh so 2 hrs should be sufficient, but AAs vary greatly in capacity so heres a link to check after you look up your mAh rating
The first charge is - as you suspect - longer than the normal charge in order to "wake up" a battery that may have been on the shelf for a considerable time since manufacture. Typically 30 hours for the 2500mah batteries and 16 hours for the 1350mah.
I assume that your charger charges at a rate of 140 to 160 mA. This info is usually printed on the charger itself. (Quick chargers is a different story and the chargers are usually intelligent and can regulate the charging electronically.)
If your charger charges at a rate different to the typical 140/160mA, then increase or decrease the time for charging accordingly, i.e. reduce the charge time if the charge rate is higher. A good and safe test would be to check the batteries from time to time for heating. Stop the charging as soon as you find that the batteries are heating to anything warmer than a mild temperature rise.
your lucky then,,, they take 16 hourse to fully charge unless you rapid charge them? a nasty thing to do to a new battery? all ways slow charge them first,,
never fast charge any battery only charge at whats called "the C10 rate!" they live much longer that way,
in other words slow charge when first charge,,,faster after that! ok,, did you not know you must "form the cells first" before you use them?
gripfitter is incorrect, that charger is made to charge in 15 minutes. It has a cooling fan and when batteries are inserted a red light comes on and the fan starts. When light goes out and fan stops, the batteries are charged. (light should not blink as that indicates one or more of the batteries has a problem)
When the duracell lights blink during charging, AT YOUR OWN RISK, try a reverse charge. Instead charging positive to positive and negative to negative, try positive to negative and negative to positive. I did this for 2 minutes. This solved the problem. After the 2 minutes, I gave the batteries a normal charge. You will have to force the battery and charger contacts to touch.
When batteries are placed into the charge mode, the red light will come on. When fully charged, on those units with a green light, the green light will be an indication that your batteries are charged and if your unit has no green light, the fully charged indication will be when the red light turns iff.
I would go to Radio Shack and have them explain the proper charging procedure as well as inquire about the red and green lights as not all chargers go green when fully charged-Normally red indicates a charging action and if a charger has no fully charged light, then a required charge time period is noted in the instructions. Batteries can be ruined by over charging!