Standardization of charge indicators (Not!)

These days we all have at least half a dozen gadgets whose batteries require charging, and they each come with their own charger (incompatible with all the others, of course). Now, I won’t push for standardizing the chargers – can’t aim that high – but here is a more modest goal: can we please standardize the status indicator LEDs on them?

Nikon camera battery chargers

Here are two chargers that came with my two Nikon cameras, the old point and shoot and the newer DSLR. No, they are not interchangeable, even though the batteries are both Li-Ion and of the same voltage. Both have a LED indicator that blinks during charging and stops blinking when done; however, in one it stays lit when there’s no battery inserted, and in the other it stays unlit.

Nikon D40 battery charger closeupBut the bigger problem is remembering what’s what when you come back later and the light is stable. You see, in these, this means charge complete; but in my cordless shaver it means that it isn’t; there, blinking indicates a full charge. Different vendor, and they probably just flip a coin at design time…

My own solution was documenting it all on a post-it note stuck near these chargers; but then Nikon must have realized that this is an issue, because in the later camera – my D40 DSLR – they labeled the charger itself to remove any doubt. Good move!

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