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Several years ago, I asked about what rechargeable batteries to use in my Legacy controller, and I have bought and have been using these ever since:


While advice was also to not use the Legacy base for charging, I still do and now am planning for the eventual receipt of my Base 3.

I want to continue using my Legacy base as a cradle only and charge the batteries with an external charger.

The Legacy base will not be plugged in to avoid signal interference with the new Base 3.

I see several different “Tenergy” chargers on Amazon, I am wondering which to buy.

While I’m at it, are the batteries above still the recommended ones to use? Do they significantly degrade over time?

Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions!



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Last edited by stangtrain
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@BillYo414 posted:

Wait why shouldn't we use the Legacy base as a charger?

The Base 2 generates a lot of heat which degrades the batteries over time.  Either a dedicated charger or the 993 cradle are better.

Per GRJ's suggestion. I bought a Tenergy charger that monitors each NiMH battery's charge individually.  The one I bought is discontinued, but there are lot's of good options now that also monitor each battery individually.

Last edited by SteveH

When it comes to chargers, you want to get a smart charger (chargers with built-in protective circuits to control charging).  Tenergy has smart charger models if you want to stick with the brand, but there are lots of good models out there.  Rapid chargers and "dumb" chargers (without protective circuits) work, but will reduce the lifespan of the batteries.

Smart chargers let you maximize the life of your batteries and in many cases can refresh them if they start to under-preform or lose capacity to hold a charge.  My smart charger revived my oldest rechargeables that had almost become useless due to the "dumb" charger they came with.  I have been exclusively using rechargeables now for over a decade, and I've only had 3 batteries that couldn't be revived.  Personally, I use Eneloop (by Panasonic) batteries, but if you look at comparisons, most brands perform about the same these days.  The only real down sides to smart chargers is that they take a little longer to charge batteries, and refreshing a degraded battery can sometimes take 24+ hours in a smart charger to revive, but neither of these matter much if you have charged extras on hand.


The NI-MN AA Panasonic Enelope Pro mentioned above, are the most used and recommended AA battery for cameras by the photo fans.  I have had several for at least 10 years and they are very good, much better than other brands I have.

Recently, after 10 years or more, a couple of mine have only been holding the charge for a few weeks and when new, they held charge for many months.  I use an old time charger and I often leave then on for many hours probably contributing to there deterioration.


For Lithium batteries, I have one of these, but I normally use the other one I posted for bulk recharging Ni-Mh batteries.  I got this one for the large Lithium SC cells for some work lights.  The 12 cell capability of the Powsx charger is a big plus.

Universal Battery Charger EASTSHINE S2 LCD Display Speedy Smart Charger for Rechargeable Batteries Ni-MH Ni-Cd AA AAA Li-ion LiFePO4 IMR 10440 14500 16340 18650 RCR123 26650 18500 17670 & Car Adapter


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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

The battery and charging issues have now been sorted out!

I ordered and already received the charger that John recommended above as well as the batteries to go with it.

NOW:  I am moving on to the next part of the (eventual) transition. I constructed this shelf under the layout that will be the home of my Base3 hopefully later this year. Since I had some Mianne benchwork rails that I couldn’t use (came from my old liftgate prior to downsizing it from a 4’ to a 3’ gate opening), I cut them up and together with some scrap wood and other spare parts put together this shelf.


“Little Stevie” is now partly hidden LOL!

I already also purchased an LCS SER2 and cable to connect to the Base3 and my AMC (Accessory Motor Controller) that I use to control my turntable with Legacy.

With this arrangement, should there be a problem with the Base3 I will be able to easily plug back in the Legacy base and keep trains running no matter what. I even still have a TMCC base and controller if ever needed!

I suppose now I am ready for the Base3, albeit maybe 6 or more months early!


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I like the Tenergy Centura Low Self Discharge NiMH batteries, they stay charged for many months in storage.  That way I can keep a stock of fully charged batteries on the shelf.


Could you tell me what is the “rating” on the batteries you use??? The originals I have show:

NIMH 2400 mAh 1.2v

The rechargeables I find locally seem to show lower than 2400. Can I use rechargeables with other than 2400???


Just tacking on here…

The absolute best NiMH batteries I’ve ever bought are the Panasonic low discharge Eneloop batteries. I bought a Tenergy replacement pack for my Roomba and that thing runs better than the brand new with the original battery, and the Roomba is almost 10 years old.

The absolute best NiCd and NiMH battery charger I’ve ever used/bought is the LaCrosse BC1000

It’s since been discontinued (like all of the best stuff) but there are several other brands that make a similar charger that are available on Amazon.

I also own the Opus BT-C2400 and the Tenergy TN456. These are very similar and both do a pretty good job.

Features I look for from chargers… adjustable charging rates, discharge/charge refresh modes, and a readout to see how much capacity the battery still has. This helps to weed out the bad apples.

Yesterday, I ran a "common" wire from my common terminal strip to the shelf where my (eventual) Base3 will reside, as well as a PDI cable from my SER2 to the same shelf.

While it will likely be several months, all I will need to do will be to plug in power, attach the common wire, and start running my layout with the Base3!

How's that for positive thinking!

That's "Little Stevie" under the soon to be Base3 shelf BTW, LOL!



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