When you have kids, you need batteries – lots of them. And it can get expensive really quickly if you buy rechargeable batteries in an effort to be environmentally friendly.
The Second Wind Recharger was suppose to change that because it is designed to recharge alkaline, or “normal” batteries. I had really high hopes for this product when I first read about it and I wanted so desperately for it to be a good. When I went online to do more research however, there were red flags that indicated I would be disappointed. First, this is not sold on Amazon; if it was, at least there would be some legitimacy and probably lots of helpful customer reviews. Second, almost all reviews found on Google weren’t really reviews at all – they simply re-stated or paraphrased the manufacturer’s marketing material, like these excerpts from Real Simple and Gadget Review. There was even one site that give what appeared to be a positive review, only for the author to admit in her final sentence that she’s never actually tried the product.
Despite my common sense telling me otherwise, I went ahead and bought this recharger anyways. I figured $60 was worth the risk to find out if this product could do as advertised. After having it for several months, here are my observations:
The Second Wind website posts some “best practices”, including putting the battery back into the original device it was powering and leaving the batteries in the charger to continuously “trickle-charge” until you actually needed to use the battery. I don’t know that either recommendation is practical, however. I probably can’t wait for the battery to recharge before I can use the original device again, nor do I want to waste electricity keeping a battery recharged until I need to use it. I thought about investing in a battery tester to read the power levels and see how effective the Second Wind Recharger is, but even the 4.5 star battery testers on Amazon had reviews that ranged from “it worked perfect” to “doesn’t work well at all” so this time, I am going to listen to my better judgement and not waste money on another product of unknown reliability.
I am currently testing the “trickle-charge” and plan to leave a set of batteries in the Second Wind unit for a couple of days to see if they can fully recharge to the levels of a new battery. I will update this post with my findings.
UPDATE 1/09/2013: I am happy to report that the Second Wind charger will fully charge a used battery to levels of a new, unused battery. I let a set of used alkaline batteries trickle charge for 2 days, removed them from the recharger and placed them back in. 3 out of the 4 returned a blinking green light, meaning it was fully charged. I have a lot more confidence in the capabilities of the Second Wind alkaline battery charger now.
28 December 2012
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