SkyRC MC3000 Charger. Post your thoughts. Better than average?

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ARsee
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SkyRC MC3000 Charger. Post your thoughts. Better than average?

What’s the consensus on this SkyRC MC3000 charger. Is this thing the pièce de résistance?
I read the reviews and test results, watched some video reviews. I’m about to buy one.
My batteries need charging. If you purchased this thing, what are you true thoughts? Was it worth it? What’s another $20 above the rest?

Edited by: ARsee on 01/26/2018 - 19:44
tatasal
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I have both the SkyRC MC3000 and the Opus BT-C3100 v2.2, both analyzing chargers.

The MC3000 has all the features of the Opus, however, it has other features that are IMO too many they actually are not really needed to an average flashaholic, which is to charge, discharge to get capacity, get the cell’s IR, refresh, all of which the Opus also has but can be done in a very much simpler way, at just at little bit over $30 at GB.

Someone even made a Cheat Sheet for the MC3000 just to operate it, which I also tried, yet still too complicated for me.

After the hoopla of the MC3000 is gone, you will realize that plain basic charging, (and discharging for capacity), some IR tests, are all we need after all, and this is where the Opus is good at.

ARsee
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My reason for considering the SkyRC MC3000 goes beyond flashlights. Note the name I have. I’ve been involved in Radio Control (Nitro power) for over 30 years, so the charger is a little more attraction for me.
Even with my R/C involvement, I’m having a hard time rationalizing the need for all the features the charger has. In fact, I would rather hear the negatives why I should stay away, and get something different.
I’ve had interest in the Opus BT-C3100 v2.2, but the previous fan issues have kept me away from them. While researching more into them I found mention of a V.3, though I could not find this on the Opus website.
I bought a MiBoxer C4-12 that seemed to work alright. Then Bay-3 quit and I returned it to Amazon. Another of the same model has been ordered to try the brand again. I suppose I’m mentally setting myself up for the C4-12 to fail again. Possibly. I just get frustrated when things fail when good money is put out for a product. Such as life.

Keep the feedback coming everyone. I’d like to hear more about the SkyRC MC3000

Thanks for the feedback tatasal Thumbs Up

tatasal
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ARsee, using my iCharger (pretty much the same UI as the SkyRC’s B6 and the others) was truly simple and straightforward to use, that’s why I decided on getting the MC3000, on the assumption that it’s just like a hobby charger but with four channels and bays. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

I know you got a defective C4-12, and a replacement is on its way, but if you like its UI, then you’ll be amazed how simple can a charger be designed like the C4-12, literally a “just put the cell in and off it goes” UI.

You can’t have that in the MC3000.

ARsee
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I have not given up on the C4-12 just yet. I’m doing a little research. There are many many threads regarding chargers. The problem is (for the most) the info is dated. I’m sure if I took the time to read, some of them I would find the answers I seek. The problem with that is, the forum search function pulls up 10+ pages of them! I wonder if there’s any review pages like Consumer Reports? That would be nice.

Thanks for the reply, tatasal Smile

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tatasal wrote:
ARsee, using my iCharger (pretty much the same UI as the SkyRC’s B6 and the others) was truly simple and straightforward to use, that’s why I decided on getting the MC3000, on the assumption that it’s just like a hobby charger but with four channels and bays. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

I know you got a defective C4-12, and a replacement is on its way, but if you like its UI, then you’ll be amazed how simple can a charger be designed like the C4-12, literally a “just put the cell in and off it goes” UI.

You can’t have that in the MC3000.

I have an order at GB for a SkyRC MC3000 after I read all the good reviews. Are you saying you can’t just put a battery in there and charge but instead have to toggle a bunch of settings? You’re already giving me buyers remorse.

tatasal
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SKV89 wrote:
tatasal wrote:
ARsee, using my iCharger (pretty much the same UI as the SkyRC’s B6 and the others) was truly simple and straightforward to use, that’s why I decided on getting the MC3000, on the assumption that it’s just like a hobby charger but with four channels and bays. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

I know you got a defective C4-12, and a replacement is on its way, but if you like its UI, then you’ll be amazed how simple can a charger be designed like the C4-12, literally a “just put the cell in and off it goes” UI.

You can’t have that in the MC3000.

I have an order at GB for a SkyRC MC3000 after I read all the good reviews. Are you saying you can’t just put a battery in there and charge but instead have to toggle a bunch of settings? You’re already giving me buyers remorse.

Technically it’s highly rated, good graphs, etc. however,_ a good ‘technical spec result’ should not be an ‘end-all’ as our only basis for conclusion because, in the case of **_the first generation of the MC3000, no review ever showed that, IIRC, it shuts down when discharging 4×1A because of over-heating, the fan was blowing in the wrong direction, the pins of the plastic casing that retains the slider springs broke easily, the fins of the heat sink should have been in a vertical position instead of horizontal, and numerous other bugs that continue to show up every now and then.

No need to go far, just read this link, it’s all documented in this humongous thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?389700-SkyRC-%97-IFA-...

…but since you already have it coming in, let’s see how will you find using it.

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Don’t get scared off of the opus. I have the 2.2 mine literally runs day and night. I bought the back up replacement fan because I was worried about it. But several months of 24/7 usage it’s going strong. Between my wife going through 4 to 8 powerbank batteries a day, me using 4 or 5 between vape and light at work. And sorting pack pulls from recycle bins. It’s charging or discharging non stop. Fan is holding up fine. In a quiet room its a little noisy. With a TV on or something it’s not bad. My ps3 is much louder then the opus fan. I plan on purchasing a second opus when opportunity allows.

I like the 1 amp discharge rate. The lii 500 only does .5

The one thing I’d want a skyrc for is the 2 amp discharge rate. But I think I maybe better off getting a real hobby charger.

But big thumbs up for the opus instead of sky rc. But it’s what your needs are. For that price could probably get a really nice hobby charger

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ARsee
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Speed4goal wrote:
Don’t get scared off of the opus.

Nice post Thumbs Up
I’m curious since your v2.2 has been doing well. have you looked into the newer versions at all?
I would like to know what has changed since v2.2. There’s nothing listed on their website.
tatasal
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ARsee wrote:
Speed4goal wrote:
Don’t get scared off of the opus.
Nice post Thumbs Up I’m curious since your v2.2 has been doing well. have you looked into the newer versions at all? I would like to know what has changed since v2.2. There’s nothing listed on their website.

The v2.2 is still the latest. There are two model designations (BT-C3100/BT-C3400) v2.2 but they are basically the same, only some parameters was changed (like maximum discharge voltage, from 2.8v to 3.0v). It was requested to be changed by an Amazon dealer of Opus.

Like in my case, in my Opus I only charge sometimes 2×18650, then on the remaining bays either I charge or refresh some Eneloops…they’re a breeze to use.

Try doing that in the MC3000….

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A user suggested the SKYRC MC3000 to me over the Xtar Dragon. I usually like to look up reviews before I invest money in a product. Ultimately I didn’t choose the SKYRC as it is littered with issues anywhere from firmware bugs/slider pin breakage to cheap buttons. I also read allot of people requesting what firmware/hardware versions before buying.

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The SkyRC is the most flexible and precise charger on the market. To improve precision people with precise equipment can calibrate their own chargers very easy.
The first batch had one hardware issue (Sometimes a pin breaks inside). At the same time this was fixed the fan was also turned around, this improved the cooling, before that the charger had to automatic reduced the discharge rate to avoid getting too hot.
The software has been updated a couple of times, but all the basic functions works in all software versions. The newer versions has fixed some obscure details and added a lot of new stuff to the charger. Because the software is user upgradeable all owners of the charger can upgrade the charger.

Opus and Dragon is nowhere near the functionality and precision of the SkyRC charger.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

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Better than average is an understatement, this is the best charger there is for this hobby. Build a cell shaped contact holder with external leads and you have a powerful charger/analyzer for all sorts of batteries.

After getting the MC3000 you won’t even think about spending money on other chargers. I followed very closely the MC3000 development thread on CPF and was an early adopter, the details they took into account when making this charger is amazing.

Of course, it is now time for them to launch a V2, few things can be improved specially an easier UI and more efficient cooling system. But that’s the only complain I have after 1yr+ of use.

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tatasal, sovereignknight, HKJ and will34

All things considered, I would like to have the SkyRC MC3000. I feel it would be beneficial to me in many ways. The UI /programming is a bit much though. If they update the charger to a more simple interface, I may consider purchasing at that time.

I just ordered two Opus BT-C3400 V3.1’s.
If I come to not like them, I’ll gift them to my kids (they’re vapers) for the flashlights I gave them for Christmas, and move on.

Thanks for responding to my post! Smile

tatasal
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HKJ wrote:
The SkyRC is the most flexible and precise charger on the market. To improve precision people with precise equipment can calibrate their own chargers very easy.
The first batch had one hardware issue (Sometimes a pin breaks inside). At the same time this was fixed the fan was also turned around, this improved the cooling, before that the charger had to automatic reduced the discharge rate to avoid getting too hot.
The software has been updated a couple of times, but all the basic functions works in all software versions. The newer versions has fixed some obscure details and added a lot of new stuff to the charger. Because the software is user upgradeable all owners of the charger can upgrade the charger.

Opus and Dragon is nowhere near the functionality and precision of the SkyRC charger.

The SkyRc is the most flexible and precise charger — I never disputed that, nor posted anything contrary to that, and at almost 3X the price of the Opus, it should be more precise.

On the other hand, my point is about the UI of the SkyRC —- the SkyRC is nowhere near, not even close, compared the Opus and the Dragon when it comes to UI. Beer

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ARsee wrote:
The UI /programming is a bit much though. If they update the charger to a more simple interface, I may consider purchasing at that time.

The charger has 3 modes, two of which are simpler and easier to use. However, to unlock its full potential one must go with advance mode and manually program each charging settings to suit a specific group of batteries (it memorizes 30 settings). After the initial steep learning curve it gets relatively easy to use.

The opus is a good charger, but not for people who look for absolute accurate readings.

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My MC3000 has been pleagued by all the hardware problems of the 1st generation but they have all been solved in later iterations.

My biggest pet peeve is the UI, i have nothing against UI that you have to practice and memorise (was a fan of the M43 UI) but this one is poor, i don’t think it has any internal consistency or relatedness to intuition, it’s just bizarre and clonky., i master it but i don’t like using it.

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JamesB wrote:
i don’t think it has any internal consistency or relatedness to intuition, it’s just bizarre and clonky., i master it but i don’t like using it.

Exactly…I was at loss for the correct description, and you got it right….not intuitive, just bizarre.

No trace of the K.I.S.S. principle ( Keep It Simple, Stupid)

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I have an Opus BT-C3100 v2.2 already and A SKYRC MC3000 in “packed” status on GB. I’m a newbie when it comes to batteries. Should I stick with the Opus BT-3100 or use the MC3000? I have a bunch of old eneloops that have been used in my solar lights for years that I want to refresh but I also have a bunch of 18650 batteries. I read from HKJ’s review that the Opus uses pulse charging and I’m afraid that might not be good for the batteries.

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SKV89 wrote:
I have an Opus BT-C3100 v2.2 already and A SKYRC MC3000 in "packed" status on GB. I'm a newbie when it comes to batteries. Should I stick with the Opus BT-3100 or use the MC3000? I have a bunch of old eneloops that have been used in my solar lights for years that I want to refresh but I also have a bunch of 18650 batteries. I read from HKJ's review that the Opus uses pulse charging and I'm afraid that might not be good for the batteries.

 

Good question, too bad nobody answered it.  I want to buy a new charger too but still on the fence about which one. If a simple charger can help me identify fakes by letting me know the capacity of a battery, I would be happy.  I think it would be too much to ask for if a charger could check and verify protection circuits on protected batteries as well, but that would be really nice.

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I’m really happy with my mc3000.
I didn’t program the charger itself, but have set al different charge and discharge settings i have on my phone.
So yust put in the battery, select what i want to do on my phone and of it goes.

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I’ve had the Opus v2.2 for a few years, and has always served me well, and the fan never bothered me. However, I was always looking for a way to discharge or “store” batteries. I have close to (60) 18650, 350’s, 340’s, 26650’s & 14500’s. Was going to buy the MC3000 because of this function. Then decided to just use 2 Miboxer C4-12’s, and dedicate the Opus to discharge cells for storage. Set the switch on the bottom of the Opus to 3.7v. Discharge the cells, then charge. They stop at 3.67v which is perfect for long term storage.

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tatasal wrote:
ARsee wrote:
Speed4goal wrote:
Don’t get scared off of the opus.
Nice post Thumbs Up I’m curious since your v2.2 has been doing well. have you looked into the newer versions at all? I would like to know what has changed since v2.2. There’s nothing listed on their website.

The v2.2 is still the latest. There are two model designations (BT-C3100/BT-C3400) v2.2 but they are basically the same, only some parameters was changed (like maximum discharge voltage, from 2.8v to 3.0v). It was requested to be changed by an Amazon dealer of Opus.

Like in my case, in my Opus I only charge sometimes 2×18650, then on the remaining bays either I charge or refresh some Eneloops…they’re a breeze to use.

Try doing that in the MC3000….

I do it all the time no problem. In dummy mode the MC3000 is just as easy as the Opus which I also own but have no reason to use any more. If you are satisfied with the preloaded charging amps value then its a one button start. The Opus is beaten by the MC in every single aspect but the price. I can afford $85 so quality and features won over value and I’m very satisfied.

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I am about to buy a second MC3000, as this is the first charger I encountered, which can be set to NOT cook my NiMH batteries (I use them in many of my devices, but a considerable majority are with li ion batteries).

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I’ve got several chargers now: Xtar VC4, SkyRC MC3000, Opus BT-C3100 v2.2, Miboxer C4-12, Lii-500.

For place-and-forget, I think the Miboxer C4-12 wins for ease of use. (just place the battery in the charger, and it charges automatically based on the battery’s internal resistance (so VTC6 and 30Q will charge very fast, most of the time, when at least half-discharged, the Miboxer will auto-select a 3.0A charge current — not sure if this would be bad for battery cycle lfe for the VTC6/30Q though.)

But for other analyzing and precision tuning stuff, then the MC3000 is simply the best (can adjust charge current and discharge currents in 0.01A increments), can also specify at which voltage to stop charging, and I think this is the only charger which can be configured to stop charging when battery temperature reaches a user-specified temperature.

I’m not sure if any other chargers has temperature sensor, other than the MC3000 and the Miboxer C4-12 (I don’t see temperature sensor on the Opus BT-C3100 and certainly not on the Lii-500/Zanflare C4/XTar VC4).
For the Miboxer C4-12 — it shows battery temperature, but I’m not sure at which temperature it will pause charging (I’ve seen around 50 deg C battery temperature when charging VTC6/30Q at 3.0A charging current).

As I’m sort of a control freak, I like the fine tuning of the MC3000, even though basic charging does require a few more steps (ie. select the pre-programmed number), plus the graphs (that can output to PC) also tell me something about the batteries charging behavior (not that these are needed for casual charging; but useful when comparing different batteries performance). Some features of the MC3000 can be hidden or not easy to access, after owning the MC3000 for a few months now, I just recently discovered how to do an internal resistance check for all batteries (previously, I had to do a charge or discharge and scroll down to see the “Battery IR”) — by pressing the Up and Down arrow keys simultanenously, it shows the IR of all batteries (when the batteries are idle and not “charging/discharging” states), which is very handy (equivalent to the “Quick Test” of the Opus BT-C3100.)

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I recently bought the MiBoxer C4-12 at Amazon. The UI is kept very simple as there is just one single button you can press. Unfortunately, my C4-12 indicated unreasonable IR values on all of my tested batteries (Enerciq TN14500HP with 180 mOhm, Keeppower 14500 840mAh with 280 mOhm, Samsung 30Q Button Top between 770 and 999 mOhm), causing the device to charge with less than 0.5A. Slot 4 of the C4-12 mistook my 30Qs @ 3.67V with NiMH instead of Li-Ion. I cleaned all contact surfaces but it did not improve anything. With a heavy heart, I sent it back to Amazon as I still believe that the C4-12 is a very good charger (when working correctly).

I will have a look onto the MC3000 (Model 2018 with 2 cooling fans) now as I am enthusiastic about all those features many other charges do not have. There were only some minor complaints about too loose retaining clips with the updated 2018 version. For the time being, my Enova Gyrfalcon All-44 will remain the “insert battery and forget” charger.

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FlashTom wrote:
I recently bought the MiBoxer C4-12 at Amazon. The UI is kept very simple as there is just one single button you can press. Unfortunately, my C4-12 indicated unreasonable IR values on all of my tested batteries (Enerciq TN14500HP with 180 mOhm, Keeppower 14500 840mAh with 280 mOhm, Samsung 30Q Button Top between 770 and 999 mOhm), causing the device to charge with less than 0.5A. Slot 4 of the C4-12 mistook my 30Qs @ 3.67V with NiMH instead of Li-Ion. I cleaned all contact surfaces but it did not improve anything. With a heavy heart, I sent it back to Amazon as I still believe that the C4-12 is a very good charger (when working correctly).

I will have a look onto the MC3000 (Model 2018 with 2 cooling fans) now as I am enthusiastic about all those features many other charges do not have. For the time being, my Enova Gyrfalcon All-44 will remain the “insert battery and forget” charger.

What is happening is that these chargers are not laboratory-grade devices that can accurately provide the IR to last milliohm, and in fact, their manuals give such disclaimer about it. Nevertheless these chargers can at best approximate the IR of any given battery, features that we neglect and even consider before the advent of these chargers.

The C4-12 has very sensitive IR feedback that its auto-mode may err on the safe side than the other way around, automatically selecting a leisurely rate of .3A and thereabouts.

Choosing its Manual mode is actually like what we are used to experience when we used the ‘old’ chargers that don’t have digital displays nor gives out IR readings but just keep on pumping 1A regardless of the cell’s IR, but we are just not aware of it then. That’s the reason why with these dumb chargers, high IR cells will just heat up rapidly and dangerously and yet continue to charge it…while the C4-12 will never allow that if it is in ‘Auto’ mode, in my experience, some cell’s IR when charged at a very low starting voltage (like my numerous brand-new Samsung INR-18650G that arrived to me at a very low .72v) of about 230 to 260 milliohms, started at .3A but when the voltages started to rise in the 2.5 to 3v range, the IR started to go down and the charging rate started to go up, some as high as 1.80A, though some of those cells of mine never recovered.

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tatasal wrote:
in my experience, some cell’s IR when charged at a very low starting voltage (like my numerous brand-new Samsung INR-18650G that arrived to me at a very low .72v) of about 230 to 260 milliohms, started at .3A but when the voltages started to rise in the 2.5 to 3v range, the IR started to go down and the charging rate started to go up, some as high as 1.80A, though some of those cells of mine never recovered.

Low voltage do not necessary have anything to do with IR, many chargers will implement a low volt charging mode with low current.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

tatasal
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HKJ wrote:
tatasal wrote:
in my experience, some cell’s IR when charged at a very low starting voltage (like my numerous brand-new Samsung INR-18650G that arrived to me at a very low .72v) of about 230 to 260 milliohms, started at .3A but when the voltages started to rise in the 2.5 to 3v range, the IR started to go down and the charging rate started to go up, some as high as 1.80A, though some of those cells of mine never recovered.

Low voltage do not necessary have anything to do with IR, many chargers will implement a low volt charging mode with low current.

That’s my experience…have you ever used or charged using the C4-12, put in a .72v Samsung INR-18650G that stayed in that state for months? You can’t argue with my first-hand observation, regardless of what your high-end instruments tell you with your brand-new cells.

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tatasal wrote:
That’s my experience…have you ever used or charged using the C4-12, put in a .72v Samsung INR-18650G that stayed in that state for months? You can’t argue with my first-hand observation, regardless of what your high-end instruments tell you with your brand-new cells.

I did not say anything about your cells IR, just that many chargers would have used a low current, because they do that at low voltage. It has nothing to do with high or low IR.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

tatasal
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Joined: 02/15/2012 - 08:40
Posts: 4612
Location: Far East
HKJ wrote:
tatasal wrote:
That’s my experience…have you ever used or charged using the C4-12, put in a .72v Samsung INR-18650G that stayed in that state for months? You can’t argue with my first-hand observation, regardless of what your high-end instruments tell you with your brand-new cells.

I did not say anything about your cells IR, just that many chargers would have used a low current, because they do that at low voltage. It has nothing to do with high or low IR.

Well, I am talking about MY cells, and the IR showed by the C4-12, and will select low current when in Auto mode but my Xtar VP2, (charging the same cell/s with high IR based on the c4-12’s) will nevertheless charge it will at 1A. How do I know it charged it at one amp? I took note of the time it reached full-charge.

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