Difference between Opus BT-C3400 & BT-C3100 v2.1?

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viper
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Hello everyone,

This is Thomas and I just registered, as I will need your valuable help for an issue that I have a BT-C3100 unit.
I bought it 1 year ago from Chinese reseller everbuying, after I had seen all the good reviews about this model.
I am charging mainly AAA batteries and it was doing its job quite good, until a few weeks ago.

Suddenly the unit started behaving really funny. Sometimes, even if there were 1-2 batteries inside the slots, the readings were not working properly and were showing null after a few minutes.
Or other times, the screen was stopping responding at the buttons, when I was trying to change the screen readings.
Also, the fan is not moving any more. I don’t remember if it should start working since the first second that you enter a battery for charging or it starts after a few minutes though.

I have read most of the other comments and I couldn’t find any similar behavior, which is really strange. And I don’t know what to think about these problems. Is the unit faulty or maybe there is an issue with the power supply, although the screen never stopped being on so far.

Any ideas about what to check or to do?

chrisc
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I dont have any help for most of your problems but one of mine became very noisy and the fan was “sticking”. I took it apart in a matter of minutes and gave the fan a good whack and it’s working fine again now.

I’m tempted to put a better fan on mine as the fan really is noisy and annoying!

Healthy Guy
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Dave_C wrote:
FYI the Opus BT-C3100 is currently on sale at Gearbest for $26.61, but recently sold out. You might want to check back later to see if more stock comes before the sale is over: http://www.gearbest.com/chargers/pp_173012.html?wid=8&utm_campaign=404255[/quote]

GearBest is the worst company I have ever dealt with. A better name for this company is GearWorst. If I had known they were a Chinese company before I ordered, I would have never ordered from them, but they fooled me by offering me PayPal for my payment. Chinese company policies are very different than US company policies. They don't care about their customers in China. They just want your money.

This is nothing more than a scam company. After sending me an $85 defective XTAR Dragon Plus charger, they said I could keep the defective item and they would refund me $15. WTF, and here's the punchline. They will only refund me credit to be used when I buy another item. My refund goes into my GB Wallet. Who in their right mind treats their customers like this? I'll tell you who. Scam companies in China!

I will never do business with GearBest again. I went to a GearBest review site and found hundreds of similar complaints about this company. Don't believe the fake positive reviews or the employees. They are lying. I wish you the best of luck should you choose to do business with this scam company.

https://gearbest.pissedconsumer.com/

HG

HKJ
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viper wrote:
Suddenly the unit started behaving really funny. Sometimes, even if there were 1-2 batteries inside the slots, the readings were not working properly and were showing null after a few minutes. Or other times, the screen was stopping responding at the buttons, when I was trying to change the screen readings. Also, the fan is not moving any more. I don’t remember if it should start working since the first second that you enter a battery for charging or it starts after a few minutes though.

Try another 12V power supply.

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

Speed4goal
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Fans issues are known with this unit they give out eventually and it has thermal shutdown if it gets to 60c inside it cuts current not much higher the system shuts down until it cools enough. With your fan not working might be something thermal GearBest sells replacement fans for under $2 I bought a couple a week or so ago just to have on hand. To me its s great charger even if I have to change a fan occasionally no big deal takes 5-10 minutes

Dave_C
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^ A multimeter could be handy right about now. Viper could check the input voltage from the PSU, and check whether there’s power getting to the fan header. No sense in replacing a fan if there’s no power getting to it. I mean yeah it is handy to have a spare, might as well order one considering the price and time it takes to ship, but usually you can just take your finger and see how the old fan is rotating…

If it’s giving some resistance or wobbling then it’s time to lube it. If wobbling, it was overdue to be lubed and you’re going to need a thicker goop to pump out less and make up for the play in the bearing (bushing). Personally, I mix 0W-20 or 5W20 synthetic oil with standard automotive lithium grease to salvage badly worn fans, till it’s just thin enough to flow.

Everyone has their own philosophy about lubing fans but there is some science and reason behind this. If your fan wasn’t worn you would want a thin oil, that is absorbed through capillary action into the bronze bushing. Once it is worn it most likely has an elliptical wear pattern and a thicker film strength is useful to reduce wobble and resultant lubricant pump-out, but with a thin base oil so it can still seep into the bushing better.

I’ve gone steps further in some cases to include a felt pad for a reservoir or a plastic backing sealed with epoxy to provide a lube reservoir, but in this case the fan is so small and inexpensive that the effort may not be worth the bother to do more than a basic lube.

viper
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I appreciate all replies.
And I do have a multimeter, but I need more info regarding what I should check exactly.
How do I check the power to the fan?

Speed4goal
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Good tips I’ve heard of people lubing the fans and trying to. Havnt heard of a opus failing at sending power to the fan. But its a big enough known issue if replacement fans are readily available. Just like sky rc its big brother they sell just the shells because the case isn’t that tough. I’ve ran my opus heavily daily for several hours or more for 3+ months roughly no problems yet. I’d just rather be prepared with a fan. They can still charge at low currents without a fan. Usually with 2 batteries at 500mah the fan won’t even come one. Especially with just one cell it won’t come on. Next time GB runs a sale like this last one. I believe imma pick up a second unit. I’d like a rc 3000 but I can justify $80 on a charger. I like the 2amp discharge rate without going to a full on hobby charger. That’s more realistic to what flashlights use 2-3 amps for stock lights.

RobertB
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I have the BT-C3100 v2.2 and have always heard someone oem’d the “3400” to make people think it was a newer charger which it isn’t. Same exact charger as the 3100 2.2. The vape community has been discussing this for close to two years. Also heard the only difference between the 2.1 and the 2.2 was supposedly a fan upgrade.

flydiver
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Fan issue….rises like a Phoenix from the threads.
What about similar chargers……without a fan…..that do a similar job? Seems the Opus at least tries to keep cool. The others don’t bother. Is there something “special” in those that doesn’t get hot, or do they just get hotter?

I lube my fan. 10 minute job, good for 6 months. I don’t see this as a big deal.

Dave_C
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viper wrote:
I appreciate all replies. And I do have a millimeter, but I need more info regarding what I should check exactly. How do check the power to the fan?

It’s a typical DC fan, when you think it should be spinning, you should measure voltage on the two power leads. While I’ve read that it’s a 12V fan, that doesn’t necessarily mean the charger is giving it the full 12.0V, but it might be, and I’d expect at least 5V to get it spinning reliably. You could insert thin meter probes into the back of the fan connector, or flip the PCB over and measure at the connector solder joints, or if the sticker is off the fan, measure at where the two wires are soldered to the fan PCB, though being a tiny fan, clearance might be an issue there.

Since it’s supposed to spin intermittently, rather than constantly holding multimeter probes to the pin header, it could be easier to tack (temporarily solder) jumper wires to the pin solder joint on the back of the PCB, then wrap the other ends of those wires around the multimeter probes if you don’t have probe alligator clip tips or equivalent to latch onto the wires.

The other option since it is a 12V DC fan, is see if the PSU is outputting 12V, working still. If it is, observing the correct polarity, take a couple scraps of wire and jumper from the PSU barrel plug to the fan connector, or use a bench 12V supply, or whatever. Describing what is easiest to do depends on what you’re familiar with and what equipment you have at hand. For example if you had a spare fan from some other PSU, like a PC PSU, often they have a similar if not identical connector so you could just plug a different known-working fan into the fan header, but personally, I’d just measure for voltage at the pins, then decide what to check next based on whether there is any.

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flydiver wrote:
Fan issue….rises like a Phoenix from the threads.
What about similar chargers……without a fan…..that do a similar job?

Lii – 500
teacher
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flydiver wrote:
Fan issue….rises like a Phoenix from the threads.
What about similar chargers……without a fan…..that do a similar job? Seems the Opus at least tries to keep cool. The others don’t bother. Is there something “special” in those that doesn’t get hot, or do they just get hotter?

I lube my fan. 10 minute job, good for 6 months. I don’t see this as a big deal.

Thumbs Up+1Wink

And if one ever does wear out or quit working, like ‘Speed4goal’ says; GearBest sells replacement fans for under $2.
I have a couple on hand myself, just in case they are ever needed.

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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teacher
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RobertB wrote:
I have the BT-C3100 v2.2 and have always heard someone oem’d the “3400” to make people think it was a newer charger which it isn’t. Same exact charger as the 3100 2.2. The vape community has been discussing this for close to two years. Also heard the only difference between the 2.1 and the 2.2 was supposedly a fan upgrade.
You pretty much hit the nail on the head ‘RobertB’ concerning the C3100 v2.2 & the “3400”. No difference at all, just the model #‘s.
Click on the link and it will explain the v2.1 & v2.2 difference, which was just two little items.

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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flydiver
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Have and Lii-500. Bought it just to check it out. IMO it’s not in the same league as the Opus. The Opus has a lot more capability and just flat works better. The Lii is a $20 charger, and amazing because of it, but it’s just not as good.

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flydiver wrote:
Have and Lii-500. Bought it just to check it out. IMO it’s not in the same league as the Opus. The Opus has a lot more capability and just flat works better.

Both can charge and discharge and measure capacity. What are some important Opus capabilities that Lii-500 does not have? How does Opus work better?

I’m genuinely interested. I own products from both companies.

teacher
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Pete7874 wrote:
flydiver wrote:
Have and Lii-500. Bought it just to check it out. IMO it’s not in the same league as the Opus. The Opus has a lot more capability and just flat works better.

Both can charge and discharge and measure capacity. What are some important Opus capabilities that Lii-500 does not have? How does Opus work better?

I’m genuinely interested. I own products from both companies.

I also would like to hear your thoughts ‘flydiver’. I know which one of mine I use the most but I really have nothing sound to base that on. Wink

      You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load. / Paul "Bear" Bryant ~/~\~ "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast"

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Dave_C
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I don’t have the Lii-500 but would have considered it for the price if it was a US merchant so the delivery wait wasn’t based on use of a calendar. A few things I noticed were… and I could be wrong, just throwing some things out there.

Only one bay status visible at a time
Max 1000mAh charge rate – and no fan but needs one less due to this
only two thermal sensors between banks 1/2 and 3/4

More flimsy spring contact rail, wider PCB opening and fewer soldered down attachment points, and

soldered down spring arrangement, and that solder looked poor on pictures I’ve seen

Another thing that struck me was barely any capacitors, one tiny electrolytic on the input but then only a

scattering of SMD ceramic. I don’t have one to scope but that seems like a tight budget omission.

No 3.7 / 4.2 / 4.35 selector switch

Old style open inductors – potential high freq noise source (yes I’m ignoring fan noise on BT-C3100)

Negatives about BT-C3100

Display zebra strip contact may go bad over years’ time. Display death = charger death, not reasonable to try to fix that beyond wiping the contacts and hoping for the best while any other discrete component besides main processor can be desoldered/replaced. Lii-500 is all soldered up display AFAICT.

25mm fan! Who needs to stack something on top of a BT-3100? No inherent need for it to be as short as possible. If only it were about 5mm, 10mm at most taller (original fan sits above the bottom plate of the housing so wasted space) to fit a 40mm fan, it could have been more reliable due to size AND lower RPM, and then had more room for airflow and case venting. With the right 40mm fan it could have been just about inaudible and last much longer.

… then again, I have a much better selection of higher flow to noise and current ratio 50mm fans but that’s large enough that it would require another level of customization to make it fit.

chrisc
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I looked at the SkyRC for $80.00 on a decent offer to compliment my two Opus chargers. Instead I purchased three replacement fans and used points to get them for £3 delivered Shocked

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I have posted these photos before in other threads here in BLF but since this Fan thing is again hot, I am sharing my mod that will not win a beauty contest yet fulfills my intention and experiment of a quieter fan, cooler operation, virtually no additional cost, and controlled by the charger’s own power for hands-free operation, just like the OEM fan. The fan is a 12vdc, .13A taken salvaged from a busted pc psu.

The fan sucks air from above, drawing fresh air from the atmosphere downward, passing through the batteries and cooling them in the cradle as the air pass through the rails, then go down below to cool the pcb, then exiting through the holes at the bottom of th the casing, all automatically controlled by the charger’s fan requirement as needed.

Note the holes drilled in the charger housing bottom.

The finished product:

For all intents and purposes, the current v2.2 OEM fans are already improved and good enough actually, but hey, we want to mod, don’t we?

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Dave_C wrote:
Negatives about BT-C3100 Display zebra strip contact may go bad over years’ time. Display death = charger death, not reasonable to try to fix that beyond wiping the contacts and hoping for the best while any other discrete component besides main processor can be desoldered/replaced. Lii-500 is all soldered up display AFAICT.

25mm fan! Who needs to stack something on top of a BT-3100? No inherent need for it to be as short as possible. If only it were about 5mm, 10mm at most taller (original fan sits above the bottom plate of the housing so wasted space) to fit a 40mm fan, it could have been more reliable due to size AND lower RPM, and then had more room for airflow and case venting. With the right 40mm fan it could have been just about inaudible and last much longer.


Another negative for C3100 is that it uses PWM/pulse charging instead of constant current. Personally, I haven’t been able to find any proof that it harms Li-Ion batteries, but HKJ seems to think constant current is better.
viper
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It’s really weird that noone had the same kind of issues like me.
Even in other cases that the power supply was problematic, the results were different.

Speed4goal
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I read a article somewhere while googling pulse charging that it maybe better for the batteries. As the chemicals have time to balance out in between pulses. And stabilize before the next pulse hits. The electrolyte doesn’t get to do this with constant current.

Isn’t it preferred with nihm to pulse charge?

Another thing that’s different that was noted in hjk review iwnthe opusndoes a cc/CV charge on nihm. I’ve noticed this as well. I like it does something different. He didn’t see any harm with it doing that. I’ve put equally drained batteries in this opus and the 2000? Nihm only version I have and they are done at the same time the. Strange two charging methods but finish at the same time

flydiver
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Quote:
I also would like to hear your thoughts ‘flydiver’.

In a word….control. If I JUST wanted a drop in charger, I’d have kept my Xtar VC4 I think. Nice charger. I sold it to get the Lii-500. Seemed like a respectable analyzing charger that would combine the characteristics of the VC4 and the Opus. Well, sorta.

Lii-500 functions:
Charge/Fast Test/Normal Test – @ 300/500/700/1000
Supposedly it shows internal resistance. Maybe I have a funky unit but ALL of my batteries have the same IR, so that’s a completely useless function.
I have opened it up, inspected carefully and all components and soldering seem to be OK.
The ‘backwards’ way the batteries load is a pain, but not a deal breaker. Hard to get a full load in and out easily.

Opus Functions:
Charge/Discharge/Discharge-Refresh/Test/Quick Test (internal resistance) – @ 200/300/500/700/1000/1500/2000
The Quick Test (internal resistance) is functional on the Opus, not great, but semi-reliable and reproducible. It’s a crude stick to measure the battery health.

I got these chargers as ANALYZERS. I can control the Opus more finely and do some tests I can’t on the Lii, simple straight Discharge with more current options than the Lii being a big one.

Absolutely I use the Li-500, but mostly now just as a drop-in charger. If I want some detailed battery analysis I use the Opus.
I’m certainly not going to dispute HKJ but my previous best NiXX charger [ MAHA MH-C808M AA – AAA – C – D Battery Charger] that I’ve been using for over a decade (got top reviews in CP forums from Silverfox way back then) uses pulse. I hope the MAHA engineers are not completely out to lunch. I haven’t seen any problems with it in a decade+ of hard use. I still use it regularly. I also only have a couple li-on batteries smaller than 18650 so don’t see that as a problem. I think HKJ’s objection is for small batteries as the pulse is potentially too high.

If you just want to charge and occasionally get a reasonable idea how you batteries are, the Lii seems to be fine.
If you want more control and a finer analysis with more options I think the Opus takes the lead.

FWIW anecdotally I’ve seen more issues with Lii-500 failures than Opus here on BLF, but maybe I have a personal filter active Wink . Opus mostly seems to get people bitching about the fan. Smile

Note/clarification – I think the MAHA uses PULSE charging, while the Opus uses PWM, not the same thing, but I’m not qualified to discuss the difference or the issues.

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Speed4goal wrote:
I read a article somewhere while googling pulse charging that it maybe better for the batteries. As the chemicals have time to balance out in between pulses. And stabilize before the next pulse hits. The electrolyte doesn’t get to do this with constant current.

I’ve read the same, but apparently Opus doesn’t actually do pulse charging. It does PWM which is not the same…

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1073633#comment-1073633

This is strictly regarding Li-Ion chemistry, BTW.

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Pete7874][quote=Dave_C wrote:
N

Another negative for C3100 is that it uses PWM/pulse charging instead of constant current. Personally, I haven’t been able to find any proof that it harms Li-Ion batteries, but HKJ seems to think constant current is better.


This is one of my main concern and I’m surprised it doesn’t get mentioned more. With those high pwm surges,2amps if I m not mistaken this charger is only useable with 18650 and other high capacity cells. So that would mean all those low current charge settings are completly useless except maybe for reviving dead cells. Also chargin aaa would not be recomended.

I have one on order and I am very much thinking of returning it when it arives. Maybe save up for the skyrc

flydiver
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PWM > high current pulses…..harmful! Yes? No?

I know li-on is not li-poly, but in the RC world for a long time it was thought that charging lipos in excess of 1C was damaging. But a number of ‘battery gurus’ and at least one high end charger manufacturer FMA-Cellpro were charging at much higher levels. This was thought to be dangerous, stupid even. Now pretty much all RC chargers and li-polys are OK to charge at 1-5C, except maybe tiny ones.

Just to experiment I did some charging (hobby charger Accucel-6 and some others) at rates higher than 1C while I monitored them. The charge would start out high, then rapidly ramp down as the charge approached completion and at the end be essentially the same as the termination on a 1C charge rate. At no time ever did I get any cell that got hot or puffed, not even warm. Cell size didn’t seem to matter. It didn’t seem to hurt them at all.

OTOH, there are still people out there advocating charging at 1/2C for safety, reliability, and long term cell health, and say it with a profound conviction, as only men can do, that they, and they alone know the proper way to charge batteries. There seems to be nothing really to support that belief system.

I don’t KNOW it, but my strong suspicion is that in the myriad ways a cell can be abused and ultimately die, being charged with PWM is way way way down on the bottom of a very long list.

dekozn
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As you said liion is not the same as lipo. My limited understanding is that lipo can handle way more current than liion.
A hobby charger still usses a cc cv curve even if you charge at higher rates. Do you use the opus for small cells? How do they handle the high current pulses? I would not want to charge my eneloop aaa in the opus.
How do older, recovered laptop cells handle the pwm. It is an analyzing charger after all so that would be my main use: analyzing questionable cells.
What is the use of having an 100mA charge setting if it still puts 2A pulses in the cell?

flydiver
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I haven’t found any problem that I can determine using the Opus for any cell, AAA and recovered laptop included. I usually don’t use it for AAA unless I’m analyzing though. I have a Lacrosse I tend to use for that. I dislike AAA, I think it’s a poor size, but a lot of things do use them.

I guess ultimately it’s a question of control and the hated fan vs. PWM, and what you are primarily going to do with it. Both have their compromises. Try to be clear what is important to you when you chose. I like control.

In terms of current handling, there are lots of BLF users that are battery abusers Crazy , looking for current output in a li-on that some of my older, larger (2200mA 3S) lipos can’t match.

chrisc
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If I could charge some of my cells quicker I would.

The imalent 4400mAh cell is currently getting hit with 2A and its brand new.

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