Commercial NiCd/NiMH Battery Charger, As you may have noticed, are not that Efficient when it comes to charging time. There might be some expensive models but we are not referring to that. One of the solution is using Intelligent NiCd/NiMH Battery Charger created by Peter Hayles. This Efficient NiCd/NiMH Battery Charger build using microcontroller PIC 16C711. Because it will reduce the complexity of the circuit. He says that with the DIY charger he managed to cut the charging time from 4 hours to 1.5 hours max. This sound good to me.
"This cheap and easy to build NiCd/NiMH Battery Charger is suitable for automatically charging a wide range of batteries for many applications. Proper chargers are usually expensive and cheap chargers supplied with the original equipment often incorrectly charge the cells and dramatically shorten their life. This 'intelligent' charger was designed for high current and rapid charge applications such as cordless power tools and model racing cars."Download for the schematic and document (Zip file), click here.