The making of the BLF UC4 charger: the start of a new venture, INTEREST LIST, UPDATE 3(Finalized UI and starting design)

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BlueSwordM
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The making of the BLF UC4 charger: the start of a new venture, INTEREST LIST, UPDATE 3(Finalized UI and starting design)

Hello again BLF. BlueSwordM here.
So, I’ve noticed something interesting here.

We’ve had BLF group buys, for flashlights, for individual flashlight components, and even battery GBs in some rare cases.

So, why not make a BLF charger, the ultimate charger from companies that we know, trust, and have confidence in their skills and experience?

It would be the best charger on the market, with amazing features such as these:

COMPLETE FEATURE LIST

1. Adjustable charging current: (0,03A-0,05A-0,08A-0,12A-0,18A-0,25A-0,50A-0,80A-1,00A-1,50A-2,00A-2,50A-3,00A).
- Limited to 2,5A for NiMH cells.

2. Support for multiple chemistries (Lithium-ion 3,6V-4,2V/3,8V-4,35V, LiFePO4, NiMH, NiZn)

3. Temperature monitoring (45C below 2,5A, 60C below 3A).
For NiMH, if temperature excees 45C, drop charge current.

4. 4 cell channels, with support for 10180 cells all the way up to 78mm 21700s.

5. Active cooling if temperature exceeds 45C, or/and if all channels are active above 2,5A.

6. Full current cut-off according to charging current (8%).

7. (5-10V)-30V input voltage compatibility. Stops charging if voltage goes below 10V, but keeps charging settings. DOES NOT RESET ON CHARGING INTERRUPTION.

8. Nickel plated brass rails for accurate internal resistance measurements. Or nickel plated A3 steel just in case. I have a backup plan for that last one

9. Internal resistance measurements.

10. Manual low voltage recovery for lithium-ion cells. Numbers based on 18650 capacities
- Below 2,5V: maximum charge rate of 100mA
- Below 2,0V: maximum charge rate of 50mA
- Below 1,75V: has to be manually activated
- Below 1,0V: maximum charge rate of 25mA

11. Adjustable max charging voltage for lithium-ion: 3,50V-(n1+0,1V)…(n6+0,1V)-4,2V-4,25V-4,30V-4,35V

12. Storage charge/discharge mode: 3,6V

13. Individual channel selection

14. 8 button UI (4 for voltage control, 4 for current control and other functions)

15. 100-200-350-500-700-1000mA constant current discharging functionality for measuring capacity and internal resistance.

16. Automatic charging current adjustment available.

OTHER BASIC FEATURES AND EXTRAS*:

1. Factory voltage calibration.

2. Reverse polarity protection.

*3. Charging/discharging data to USB drive.

Wouldn’t that be great to have? Our own perfect little charger.

BLF INTEREST LIST

Instead of an interest list on the forum, here’s a spreadsheet where you can see how many of each you want.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kW8bxtq9QAx0-ROUPvrxYCS74DHZgwxn...

SecondLifeStorage Interest List
1. 1x BlueSwordM

Target price: 49$US with power supply, and possibly 39$US without one.

UPDATE 1

UI is in conception. With an 8x button UI, all functions should be easily attainable without going close to Anduril levels of customization.

Now that we are in the UI design stage, this shouldn’t take too long actually.

It’s the 2nd stage, being external charger design, which would be rather hard.

People that will be testing and reviewing the charger:

-HKJ
-Mooch (Confirmed)
-BlueSwordM (Confirmed)
-Maybe Lexel

UPDATE 2

UI is in progress. Waiting for feedback from DLYFull, and wondering if they could use Cheali as a base.

UPDATE 3

Physical design is currently in process.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Edited by: BlueSwordM on 10/08/2019 - 19:46
BlueSwordM
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Here are the manufacturers that I would like to be working with:

- Folomov
- MiBoxer
- SkyRC.

However, the chosen manufacturer has been:

DLYFull

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

tatasal
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Here are the manufacturers that I would like to be working with:

- Folomov
- MiBoxer
- SkyRC.

My friend Henry Xu of Opus is unfortunately MIA for a very long time I could easily propose the idea to him. Sad

BlueSwordM
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Oh, I hadn’t thought of OPUS. I’ll try to contact them alongside the others.
I think we have the highest chance of success with Miboxer or SkyRC, since they already have a lot of experience in these fields.

What would the ideal target price be? 39$ for the charger with every non-USB feature and 49$ for the charger with USB features?

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

raccoon city
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I am not a charger expert, but this looks impressive so far!  :THUMBS-UP:

Can the charger automatically choose a suitable charging current based on which type of battery is inserted?

(That's the feature that I would be looking for.)

Jtm94
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I’d love something like this. Has been much needed as most chargers on the market are severely lacking.

DBSAR
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i’m in for this! Thumbs Up

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

BlueSwordM
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@raccoon city, that is an excellent idea. It would have to be rather conservative however, as to only allow currents based on previous charging measurements or set in by the user.

@Jtm94, yeah, same thing here.

Adjustable charging voltage and low capacity recovery are two things that no charger on the market currently have right now.

@DBSAR, excellent.

BTW, if you want to give suggestions, just do! I want as much community feedback as I can get, and note of course.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

contactcr
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Miboxer’s C2-4000 can do ~1A*2 discharge with a noisy ass fan. Get a better fan and run it at half power and I would propose 1A discharge if possible.

tatasal
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It should be easy to use, like using a hobby charger (which has already the features this project aims) but this time having 4 individual bays.

hank
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Enable it to keep four cells in trickle charge indefinitely and put a floody LED with a smart (TK) user interface on it — so it becomes a grab-and-go item for those of us in earthquake territory.

BlueSwordM
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@contactcr, no problem. Just upped the discharging current to 700mA. 1A could be possible, but you’d have to limit discharging current to 1A/2 bays to help with heat dissapation.
Also, putting a small aluminium heatsink on these resistors would help a lot.

@hank, that is easy peasy. Just set the charging voltage to 3,9V, and be off with it. Charge it normally up to 4,2V once you need it.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Pwsmith
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I love the idea of a perfect charger. I have to use a Folomov A1 to charge my Wuben 21700 that is 75.1mm. Could this project somehow ensure that the longest 21700s fit?

BlueSwordM
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Yes, absolutely.

What is the absolute longest 21700 that exists?

Is it that 21700 from Acebeam that uses a buck-boost converter to charge USB devices and charge itself?

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

raccoon city
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BlueSwordM wrote:

@raccoon city, that is an excellent idea. It would have to be rather conservative however, as to only allow currents based on previous charging measurements or set in by the user.

I was thinking of something plug-and-play.

The charger recognizes the chemistry and length of the cell being charged, and chooses a suitable charging current.

(I don't know if that's possible.)

BlueSwordM
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That is possible, but is slightly harder and more error prone.

Chemistry is just based on the internal resistance analysis, but it has to be conservative. Currently, the C4-12 that I have likes to go at 3A on my 30Q during automatic charging, while I would prefer 1,5A at max.

Length would be slightly harder, but would require additional hardware.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

contactcr
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would be cool if it did it based on length + resistance so high current 18350’s dont get overcharged but still allow like a VTC5A to be fast charged

zeroair
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How about a BLF firmware for the MC3000?

Wouldn’t that cover just about everything you’ve asked for?

BlueSwordM
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Yes, but not in this case.

The MC3000 doesn’t have:
- Support for long 21700 cells.
- USB data out.
- The higher conductivity brass contacts.

And other miscellaneous stuff that I haven’t included.

The design of the MC3000 isn’t also optimal. I prefer the C4-12’s design.

And it’s also rather expensive.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

raccoon city
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BlueSwordM wrote:

That is possible, but is slightly harder and more error prone.

Chemistry is just based on the internal resistance analysis, but it has to be conservative. Currently, the C4-12 that I have likes to go at 3A on my 30Q during automatic charging, while I would prefer 1,5A at max.

Length would be slightly harder, but would require additional hardware.

Okay, cell length might not need to play a factor if internal resistance is being analyzed.

I told you I'm not a charger expert.  ;)

sbslider
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definitely watching this one, looks very interesting. Thumbs Up

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

DBSAR
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BlueSwordM wrote:
That is possible, but is slightly harder and more error prone.

Chemistry is just based on the internal resistance analysis, but it has to be conservative. Currently, the C4-12 that I have likes to go at 3A on my 30Q during automatic charging, while I would prefer 1,5A at max.

Length would be slightly harder, but would require additional hardware.

I would refer the option to custom selecting cell chemistry, type, size, and amps-charge rate when required, ( but have a auto 18650 LiIon & AA NiMH as standard automatic with a default charge rate, ( but also customizable. Also woudl be good to have one of the charge Bays adaptable with an output port, (the charger would be great with at least four bays) that output port would have leads for charging wired cells like square LiIon and other packs, large cells like 32650s, (i have 7 of them) and even have the lead-adapter with tiny magnetic positive & negative connectors so they can snap to everything in cell size from a 10180. I know cost may be an issue for that, but a true “universal” charger needs to be able to charge every type of cell at every amp range selected, and connect to them easily. One great single cell charger i really like that can charge nearly every size cell is the Olight mini USB magnetic charger, (I have 5 of them) ( that senses the polarity and charges them, But the only issue its set at one charge rate only.

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

oweban
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My interest is piqued! Consider me interested.

BlueSwordM
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Added adjustable automatic current feature.

Perhaps I should do a UI chart for this. Smile

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

freeme
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Longest 21700 i have is Rofis RF21700 at 76mm.

BlueSwordM wrote:
Yes, absolutely. What is the absolute longest 21700 that exists? Is it that 21700 from Acebeam that uses a buck-boost converter to charge USB devices and charge itself?

©freemex1thedeals.com

BlueSwordM
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Added to the list of features.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Neal
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interesting
I can ask some manufacturer

1stein
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What an awesome idea. Yes, yes, yes, we need BLF ultimate charger Thumbs Up
What about BT App? Since SKYRC is on the mouth, they are also (hmm…) experienced in incorporating BT module and Application. But I must say the one going with MC3000 is kind of primitive (sorry SKYRC). The good one could shake the market if the price is “friendly”.

(definitely subscribing this thread Crazy )

Agro
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I’m all in. All my chargers are at most mediocre. I’d like to buy a high end one but there’s nothing that really suits my taste.

A few comments:

  • 100 mA minimum current is quite high for 10180, 50 mA would be better.
  • making the 2 outer slots larger (deeper, with a larger slot cutout diameter but without larger width) would enable 32650 support
  • 4.35 V cells are rare nowadays but I don’t think it would hurt to enable the top voltage this high
    • this could possibly be also used to overcharge regular cells to 4.2xV for that tiny output boost…with x depending on the precision of voltage measuments
  • I see no mention of capcity measurements. I suspect this is an omision. Wink
    • discharge current should have high adjustment range, ideally the min would be 100 mA or so for 10180 and max 10A+ to test powerful cells
    • adjustable discharge terminal voltage would be useful as well, some would like 3V, some 2.5V, some probably different numbers as well
  • ISDT may be a good maker
    • they make good chargers
    • their UI rocks
  • USB PD input would be nice

KevinZA1988
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Definitely interested.

If it has active cooling, how about putting one of those PWM controlled 120mm slimline fans in the bottom of the charger? It would be quiet and effective, sucking in air at the bottom and pushing it out at the sides/top of the charger.

Astrolux SC01, BLF Q8, BLF A6, BLF FW3A, BLF FW3C, Convoy L2, Convoy L6, Convoy C8+ , Convoy S3, Convoy M21A, Convoy S11, Emisar D4, Fireflies E07, Jaxman E2L, Lumintop EDC18, Olight S1R Baton II special edition series, S2R Baton II, Nitecore HC65, Olight H1R Nova.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/JaJaDv4V838AEJf39

Slayer1
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I am interested.

Let’s move away from traditional black body colors for this charger.

Red, yellow, camo or any other body colors with color LCD display.

Just a suggestion.

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