Here is the circuit diagram of a low cost universal charger for NiCD - NiMH batteries. This circuit is Ideal for car use. It has ability to transform a mains adapter in to a charger . This one can be used to charge cellular phone, toys, portables, video batteries, MP3 players, ... and has selectable charge current. An LED is located in circuit to indicate charging. Can be built on a general purpose PCB or a veroboard. I hope you really like it.
This table indicates the minimum and maximum voltages to supply the charger. See supply voltage selection chart below.
To charge a 6V battery a minimum supply voltage of 12V is needed, the maximum voltage is then 15V.
Before building the circuit, you must determinate how much current will be used to charge the battery or battery pack. It is advisable to charge the battery with a current that is 10 times smaller then the battery capacity, and to charge it for about 15 hours. If you double the charge current , then you can charge the battery in half the time. Charge current selection chart is located in diagram.
A battery pack of 6V / 1000mAh can be charged with 100mA during 15 hours. If you want to charge faster, then a charge current of 200mA can be used for about 7 hours.
The higher charge current, the more critical the charge time must be checked. When faster charging is used, it is advisable to discharge the battery completely before charging. Using a charge current of 1/10 of the capacity will expand the lifetime of the battery. The charge time can easily be doubled without damaging the battery.
Mount the transistor together with the heatsink on the PCB, bend the leads as necessary. Take care that the metal back of the transistor touches the heatsink. Check that the leads of the transistor do not touch the heatsink.