Test/review of Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016

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HKJ
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Test/review of Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016

Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016
Nitecore has fixed the problems, click here for the updated review
DSC_5414
DSC_5415 DSC_5416
The i2 charger gets an update once in a while, this time with support for multiple chemistries, higher charge current and larger cells. The design it also updated.
DSC_5397 DSC_5398 DSC_5399 DSC_5400
The cardboard box lists lot of specifications, battery types and features.
DSC_5412
The box contains the charger, a mains cable, manual and a warranty card.
DSC_5417
The charger has two power connectors, one for mains input (100-240VAC 50/60Hz) and one for 12 VDC input.
DSC_5418 Lights
The user interface has changed completely, now it has buttons and the leds are place behind a dark cover.
It has the usual 3 status leds, this time in green and a red led to signal full current (1A). The status led also has a secondary function, they are used as indicators for selected voltage.
The charger is a bit special with current selection, usual it will select current depending on battery length and chemistry, but it can be overridden in one case: Two long LiIon batteries can be charged at 1A, but then they will be charged in sequence, not simultaneously.
To change voltage or current the button above that slot must be pressed shortly, next hold the C or V button down to select (Look at leds) and release when the correct value is shown. Press again shortly on the button above the slot or wait for timeout.
DSC_5419 DSC_5420
The slots uses the usual construction and works well. They can handle batteries from 27mm to 71mm long.
Notice the long bar at the plus end, due to this the charger can handle anything up to D or 32xxx size.
supportedBatteryTypes
supportedBatterySizes DSC_6286 DSC_6287 DSC_6288 DSC_6310
DSC_6289 DSC_6290 DSC_6291 DSC_6292
DSC_6293 DSC_6294 DSC_6295 DSC_6296
The charger can easily handle 70 mm long batteries, inclusive flat top cells.
Measurements


  • Power consumption when idle is 0.35 watt
  • Will charge a LiIon with 0.15mA when charging is finished.
  • Will discharge a NiMH with 0.15mA when not powered
  • Will discharge a LiIon with 0.5mA when not powered
  • Change between long/short cell at around 58mm
  • Below 1V the charger will report error (All leds flashing) and charge with about 1mA.
  • Above 1V regular charging is used.
  • Will assume LiIon above 2.0V
  • Charger will not restart if battery voltage drops.
  • Power cycling and insertion of a battery will restart charging.

4.2V LiIon charging
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(PA18650-31)%20%231
The charger uses a CC/CV charge curve with termination a around 350mA. This termination current makes the charger fast, but also means the batteries are not completely filled.
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(PA18650-31)%20%232
The second channels looks the same.
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(BE18650-26)%20%231
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(PA18650-34)%20%231
Different capacity, means different charge time.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(AW18350-IMR)%20%231
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(KP14500-08)%20%231
The two other small batteries are also charged fine, the charger automatic selects 0.5A charge current, but the termination current is not changed, this means these cells are even less filled.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(2xPA18650-31)
With two long batteries the charge rate will be 0.5A if charging simultaneously, it is possible to select 1A and charge the two cells in sequence.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%2012V%20%282xPA18650-31%29
Using an external 12 volt supply the charger uses below 0.6A.
Temp3433
M1: 43,7°C, M2: 44,3°C, M3: 55,3°C, M4: 49,2°C, HS1: 70,5°C
StartupLiIon
The charger starts very fast.
3.6V LiIon charging (LiFePO4)
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20%28SO14500-LiFePO4%29%20%231
There is the same high termination current here and the charge voltage is a bit above 3.6V.
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20%2818650-LiFePO4%29%20%231
This one looks the same.
4.35V LiIon charging
Nitecore%20i2%201A%20%28LG18650-30%29%20%231
It charges to 4.35V as expected, but the 350mA termination current is the same.
NiMH charging
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloop)%20%231
This NiMH battery is filled and also gets an hour extra charge, not very good.
Strange termination with 10 minutes at half current.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloop)%20%232
But the other channel do not exactly fill the cells, it stops way early.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopXX)%20%231
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopPro)%20%231
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(powerex)%20%231
All the different cells get the extra hour charging.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopAAA)%20%231
The AAA cell stops a bit early, no 1 hour extra charge.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20full%20%28eneloop%29%20%231
Even a full cell gets the extra one hour.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(2xeneloop)
With two batteries in the charger it maintains the 0.5A charge rate.
Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%2012V%20(2xeneloop)
The input current is around 300mA while charging two NiMH batteries, notice that the secondary slot stops after about 1 hour (Same as the test above on slot #2).
Temp3452
M1: 43,3°C, M2: 42,7°C, M3: 58,9°C, M4: 47,4°C, M5: 42,7°C, HS1: 63,4°C
The charger gets fairly warm, but the batteries are not too hot.
StartupNiMH
The charger is also fast to start with NiMH batteries.
SpikeNiMH
I did take a look on the short spikes in the charge chart, they a about 4ms long.
Testing with 2830 volt and 4242 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.
Conclusion
Usual the i2 has been a fairly good charger, but this time around it is not. The high termination current on LiIon means the batteries will not be filled completely. With NiMH one slots over chargers and the other slot do not fill much into the battery.
Until Nitecore has fixed this the charger is not very good.
Notes
The charger was supplied by a Nitecore for review.
2014 version, Review of old i2 (V2)
Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger

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

Edited by: HKJ on 01/19/2017 - 12:03
sidecross
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Thank you for the review.

This charger seems to be similar to Nitecore SC2 Charge but limited to 1 amp each channel. The SC2 has a 5 amp total or one channel 3 amp the other channel 2 amp.

Batteries of 70mm or greater like most if not all Nitecore chargers do not fit.

I hope your test of the Nitecore SC2 has more favorable results.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

flydiver
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You would think an outfit like Nitecore would have an engineer/development/and test department as least as good as HKJ and would not put out chargers that were as unprepared for distribution as this one is. That’s kind of pathetic, and somewhat alarming. Cheap Chinese, well somewhat understandable, or at least expected. But when the ‘big guns’ start screwing up it’s time for concern.

atbglenn
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IMO, Nitecore chargers have always been mediocre at best. This one is just another strike against them in my book . I’ll stick with Xtar.

Boycott Nike

will34
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Thanks for the review!

Maybe the reason behind high termination is to make it appear to charge faster, but the I don’t understand the Ni-Mh inconsistency.

And really, how hard is to make a 2× 1A Li-ion charger? Nitecore seems to have forever struggled with that. They’re very good making flashlights but disastrous when it comes to batteries and chargers, maybe they just hire a third party manufacturer and put the brand on the products.

RollerBoySE
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The phase when they established themselves as a market leader, with inventive and quality stuff, is officially over. Now they’re just maximizing the profit…

light-wolff
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atbglenn wrote:
IMO, Nitecore chargers have always been mediocre at best. This one is just another strike against them in my book .

+1
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Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Boycott Nike

HKJ
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atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.

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

sidecross
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HKJ wrote:

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.


I hope they do fix what ever short comings this charger does have.

For a novice user getting up to speed on charging can be made easier by a charger with fewer readouts kike this one. but it must too be free of the problems HJK pointed out.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

freeme
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I have a new set lying around in my room for weeks. I am going to power up one to test now. cool

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light-wolff
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HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.

I doubt they will be able to “fix” that it cannot charge 2 cells with 1A simultaneously.
It takes 20 hours to charge two 26650s and render the ability to handle large cells rather useless.

sidecross
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light-wolff wrote:

I doubt they will be able to “fix” that it cannot charge 2 cells with 1A simultaneously.
It takes 20 hours to charge two 26650s and render the ability to handle large cells rather useless.

My most used lights use 26650 batteries and I use two XTAR SP2 chargers that can charge at two amps for each of the two channels. The XTAR SP2 can also handle 70mm plus batteries with room to spare. Smile

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.

In the mean time users can do beta testing for just 17$ while their engineers scratch their Oops

Society is like a pot full of nuts and bolts, finest pieces always end up on the bottom...

 

atbglenn
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chiefinspectorfinch wrote:
HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.

In the mean time users can do beta testing for just 17$ while their engineers scratch their Oops

backs? lol!

Boycott Nike

wolfdog1226
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atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nothing wrong with my Fenix ARE-C2. I have had it 3 years and each slot can charge up to 1A and it has that spring to activate the 1A. Smaller batteries charge fine and ALL the batteries charge faster than any other charger that I have,,N’core, Efest and K’Power. Thumbs Up

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chiefinspectorfinch
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atbglenn wrote:
chiefinspectorfinch wrote:
HKJ wrote:
atbglenn wrote:
Both Fenix and Nitecore should stick to only making flashlights. Leave the chargers to the experts.

Nitecore makes very usable chargers and I will also expect them to fix their new generation.

In the mean time users can do beta testing for just 17$ while their engineers scratch their Oops

backs? lol!

I had something like this on my mind Crazy

http://www.tinydeal.com/cycling-bicycle-night-warning-taillight-rear-led...

This is a budget light forum after all…

Perhaps sb should add “derailed thread counter” to user statistics Big Smile

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kramer5150
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Ugh… I just ordered one of these. I should have checked here first.

So just “how bad” of a charger is this? I mean its still useable… right? Its not like its dangerous or overcharging right?

HKJ
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kramer5150 wrote:
Ugh… I just ordered one of these. I should have checked here first.

So just “how bad” of a charger is this? I mean its still useable… right? Its not like its dangerous or overcharging right?

Useability can be discussed, but Nitecore may have fixed this now (I am testing on a new i2).

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

kramer5150
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Yaay thanks HKJ for the updated re-test… I have been using mine since Late december. I think I got one of the updated ones from Amazon. But I am not exactly sure how to tell. It certainly seems to fully charge all my cells. Even over-charge my NiMH eneloops… which seem to be warmer than typical after charging. I have other chargers though for NiMH so its not a big deal for me.

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I bought my NEW i2 a few weeks back and I have been itching to void my warranty. I’ve got to open this thing up and implant some test leads after reading this thread and find out which charger I bought.

Sadly, even though Nitecore sent a “fixed” charger to HKJ to review, imagine now many flaky chargers are out there in warehouse’s around the world waiting to be sold.

I liked my charger before I read this thread, now I have a project on my hands, darn it!

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HKJ wrote:
kramer5150 wrote:
Ugh… I just ordered one of these. I should have checked here first.

So just “how bad” of a charger is this? I mean its still useable… right? Its not like its dangerous or overcharging right?

Useability can be discussed, but Nitecore may have fixed this now (I am testing on a new i2).

Thank’s for deep review, I had one this kind of charger and I’d like to know the batch number for fixed one. I got “NEW i200880000”