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Lotech, I'd vote for just buying a small solar battery charger for them. If you plug something into an inverter hanging on the solar panel, it may or may not work, as the inverers are designed to run off 12V "pure" DC from a battery or alternator in a car, and all sorts of gizmos make all sorts of "not quite pure" 12V DC and 117 VAC. (110/120 is really 117 in the US, but that's a whole other story.)

Easier to get "one box" that holds the batteries and sits in the sun to recharge them.

Having said that...yes, you can cobble together all kinds of chargers, but the dedicated ones often do a better/faster/safer job with NiMh cells today, and adjust to handle NiCd and NiMh alike. (There are some differences that sometimes can be ignored, sometimes not.)

One thing I'd suggest no matter how you recharge them: SHOP CAREFULLY the batteries are not at all the same. I've got no-name chinese NiMh cells that go dead after 3 weeks sitting on the shelf, while Japanese name brands like Panasonic hold more than 1/2 their charge after six months on the shelf. Yes, I'm willing to pay Panasonic twice as much for that.

And there's a company calling themselves "Targus" selling junk batteries--which is not related to the outstanding Targus/Kensington company that sells all sorts of computer and electronics equipment.

If you haven't bought the batteries yet, contact the maker and ask them up front "What is the self-discharge rate? How long can I keep these on the sheld and how much power will they still have?" If you use 'em up daily and swap, that won't matter. If you charge 'em and expect things to last for a couple of weeks (like a pocket radio) with intermittent use...Yeah, it makes a big difference. Flashlight in the drawer? BIG difference.
 

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"The manufacturers only offer discharge rate info for the ideal temperature of 60 degree F."

So? That still beats nothing. At a more typical 74F the self-discharge will still reflect a similar comparison between products.
 
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