What charger for 2017?

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wdkingery
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What charger for 2017?

Hey guys,

I had to give away my Opus BT3100.. dad was winding down the batteries dangerously low without knowing it.

I was happy with that charger.. yeah the fan was basically for fun and went nuts often, but it never got hot, charged at a good 2 amps across 4 cells at a time. But I feel like there could be more.

I am attempting to wade the HKJ’s work but he doesn’t outright recommend a particular charger.

I could spend $50 on a charger. Prefer amazon or mtnelectronics, don’t mind going fasttech if it’s going to save a bunch.

I don’t think I’d like one of those $259 hobby chargers though. I really just need a good step up from the stalwart nitecorn i4.

What would you get?

loneoceans
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How about the Nitecore Digicharger D4? The only thing I'd like is to have a higher capable charge current Smile

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You are correct, I always avoid to generally recommend a specific charger because it depends on what you need from a charger.
For a analyzing charger I usual recommend:
Opus BT-C3100/3400
LiitoKala Lii-500
SkyRC MC3000 (Top end model with a price to match and not the easiest user interface).

Of course there are other good analyzing chargers, but none with the track record of the above.

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

bella-headlight
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For $50 you could get a Liitokala Lii-500 4 bay analysing charger & an Xtar SV2 Rocket 2 bay charger.
The Lii-500 will charge 4 cells at a max of 1A each & for faster charging, of say 26650 cells, the Rocket will charge both bays at 2A but has no analysing features.
Both good solid chargers.
You will get both for $50 probably with a bit of change as I recently just got a third Lii-500 for $14 delivered & the rocket for about $30.
Of course you could always get another OPUS but I found the fan noise annoying on mine & the capacity shown to be a little too “optimistic” (high) for my liking so have stopped using mine.

Ian

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bella-headlight wrote:
[…] Of course you could always get another OPUS but I found the fan noise annoying on mine & the capacity shown to be a little too “optimistic” (high) for my liking so have stopped using mine.

In this recent CPF thread are many examples where one user’s BT-C3100 capacity tests are 5-10% higher than HKJ’s results. Are those errors consistent with your results? I doubt you’ll get much better in that price range, but you should expect better for 3x the price, e.g. MC3000.

ARsee
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I'm in need of a charger myself.

*Tagged*

 

 

bella-headlight
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gauss163 wrote:
bella-headlight wrote:
[…] Of course you could always get another OPUS but I found the fan noise annoying on mine & the capacity shown to be a little too “optimistic” (high) for my liking so have stopped using mine.

In this recent CPF thread are many examples where one user’s BT-C3100 capacity tests are 5-10% higher than HKJ’s results. Are those errors consistent with your results? I doubt you’ll get much batter in that price range, but you should expect better for 3x the price, e.g. MC3000.

Yes I found my OPUS to show about 5%-10% higher on capacity than the true capacity (often 10% higher) as reported by HKJ & members using other analysing chargers such as the MC3000.
I find my Lii-500“s more accurate than the OPUS on capacity testing.

Ian

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gauss163 wrote:
bella-headlight wrote:
[…] Of course you could always get another OPUS but I found the fan noise annoying on mine & the capacity shown to be a little too “optimistic” (high) for my liking so have stopped using mine.

In this recent CPF thread are many examples where one user’s BT-C3100 capacity tests are 5-10% higher than HKJ’s results. Are those errors consistent with your results? I doubt you’ll get much better in that price range, but you should expect better for 3x the price, e.g. MC3000.

That thread is mine. Yes, it is true that it can be 5% to 10 % off. I accepted that before I bought the charger because that is what other members were reporting. I have also had several batteries within 2% to 3% of HKJ’s numbers. VTC5 and VTC6 among Two of them.

@bella-headlight: What version do you have? Do you have the 2.2Version? My fan is not loud at all. Sometimes it is on when I go to bed and I am able to fall asleep w/ no problem and I am a very light sleeper!

If people were more like Dogs the world would be a better place. There would be much less conflict and violence,instead there would be true harmony and grace.

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Also consider the XTAR DRAGON VP4 Plus for a reliable workhorse. Review link is in my signature.

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wolfdog1226 wrote:
Sometimes it is on when I go to bed

Is that not blasphemous in the eyes of the Li-Ion safety gods?

leroycp
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stephenk wrote:
Also consider the XTAR DRAGON VP4 Plus for a reliable workhorse. Review link is in my signature.

The Dragon IS a reliable workhorse. They run 89USD but IMR has them 2 @ 60USD each. Maybe you could get together with someone and split. I think you will like. (add 5USD ship each)

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wdkingery wrote:
I don’t think I’d like one of those $259 hobby chargers though. I really just need a good step up from the stalwart nitecorn i4.

Unno. Nitecorn i4 2017 version?

Depends what you’re going for in a charger. How “smart”? How many cells? Etc.

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The Miller
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Well when there is one advised that has 4 bays, charges, analyzes and costs less then a lot of simple dual bay chargers (thus the $14-20 Liitokala li500) it seems like a no brainer to me Wink

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+1 Thumbs Up to the Lii-500 The Miller Smile
I have 3 Wink

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The price of the Lii-500 is actually what puts me off! I mean how can it be so good and be so cheap?

I constantly hear complimentary comments about this charger so maybe this really is just great bang for the buck…. I’m off to look at the usual retailers, give my trusty WP2 a rest…

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wolfdog1226 wrote:
gauss163 wrote:
bella-headlight wrote:
[…] Of course you could always get another OPUS but I found the fan noise annoying on mine & the capacity shown to be a little too “optimistic” (high) for my liking so have stopped using mine.

In this recent CPF thread are many examples where one user’s BT-C3100 capacity tests are 5-10% higher than HKJ’s results. Are those errors consistent with your results? I doubt you’ll get much better in that price range, but you should expect better for 3x the price, e.g. MC3000.

That thread is mine. Yes, it is true that it can be 5% to 10 % off. I accepted that before I bought the charger because that is what other members were reporting. I have also had several batteries within 2% to 3% of HKJ’s numbers. VTC5 and VTC6 among Two of them.

@bella-headlight: What version do you have? Do you have the 2.2Version? My fan is not loud at all. Sometimes it is on when I go to bed and I am able to fall asleep w/ no problem and I am a very light sleeper!

Yes mine is the 2.2 version.
My fan was noisy from new, it whined like it needed lubing.
I lubed it & it was quiet for a short while then started whining again.
After a few months it just stopped working so I stopped using it.
It always read high on capacity sometimes 8-10% higher.
Many members have posted similar to the above with some regularly lubing them & some fitting a different fan & the charger reading high.
I have found that the Lii-500 is within 1-2% by comparison & obviously silent as it has no fan.
If you are lucky with the fan then the OPUS is a good charger & as it always reads high is fine for tracking the health of cells but it was just to far out for me as I like to confirm a cells true capacity when I first get it.
I was disappointed with the OPUS TBH.

Ian

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The Miller wrote:
Well when there is one advised that has 4 bays, charges, analyzes and costs less then a lot of simple dual bay chargers (thus the $14-20 Liitokala li500) it seems like a no brainer to me Wink

Yes, and I meant to add….all of the Liitokala chargers are great and priced right,

The Miller
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Jinx wrote:
The price of the Lii-500 is actually what puts me off! I mean how can it be so good and be so cheap?

I think we have no idea how cheap electronics are to make.
it is just a piece of molded plastic, a pcb, some chips and few metal parts.
The Lii500 is not cheap, the rest is expensive Wink

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I have 3 x Lii-500“s, 2 x Lii-202“s & 6 x Lii-100“s all perform well Thumbs Up
Although I also have 2 x D4, 2 x i4, 2 x C4 & a broken Opus they are my “go to” Li-ion chargers, unless I want to charge a cell at 2A when I use the Rocket.
From what I have been told Miboxer have a 4 bay 2A charge/discharge/ capacity test across all 4 bays that will take 4 × 26650“s charger under development (with proper termination).
That should be an interesting charger Thumbs Up

Ian

Jinx
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The Miller wrote:
Jinx wrote:
The price of the Lii-500 is actually what puts me off! I mean how can it be so good and be so cheap?

I think we have no idea how cheap electronics are to make.
it is just a piece of molded plastic, a pcb, some chips and few metal parts.
The Lii500 is not cheap, the rest is expensive Wink

The electronics are cheap yes but just think of the cost to engineer and design. Imagine paying a western design engineer the time to design and thoroughly test just one simple charger! It would be thousands!
BLF rock here, just imagine the hours the Q8 has taken you and the team, done for the love thank god Thumbs Up

The components used are not always the right components either, take cheap multimeters. Most hobbie versions get away with it because of the applications but if you look inside, the expensive protection is substituted for an inadequate alternative. The fuses in some flukes cost more than some dodgy DMMs, nobody knows until it injures them or the equipment! HKJ shows us inadequate isolation distances weekly in alsorts.

Not really sure where I am going with this reply but I’m still impressed the Lii500 appears to be so budget friendly Big Smile

Ps, the Miller, did you get my PM I sent? Maybe a week ago now?

teacher
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Jinx wrote:
The price of the Lii-500 is actually what puts me ofo agreef! I mean how can it be so good and be so cheap?

I constantly hear complimentary comments about this charger so maybe this really is just great bang for the buck…. I’m off to look at the usual retailers, give my trusty WP2 a rest…

I’ll have to agree with what has already been said about the Lii-500. It is a fine charger & certainly priced right. My OPUS works fine, no fan issues at all….. but I prefer the Lii-500 hands down for my go-to analyzing charger. A part of the reason is the greater accuracy than the OPUS.

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bella-headlight wrote:
For $50 you could get a Liitokala Lii-500 4 bay analysing charger & an Xtar SV2 Rocket 2 bay charger.
The Lii-500 will charge 4 cells at a max of 1A each & for faster charging, of say 26650 cells, the Rocket will charge both bays at 2A but has no analysing features.
Both good solid chargers.
You will get both for $50 probably with a bit of change……
This is a fantastic idea & stellar advice!!!

These 2 chargers have been my go-to pair for several months now.
At this point in time you will not find a better analyzing charger, for the money; than the Lii-500. Combine that with the faster charging capability of the Xtar mentioned and you have a winning combination. Smile

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The Miller
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I charge at 500mA because I read that is best for the cells, right?
In the summer, even at that low current I place the charger on a big CPU heatsink for easy airflow at the charger and put a piece of 2mm copper on the cells with a couple of CPU heatsinks on top if that to get heat away from the cells.
Can’t imagine 2A, but we don’t have or want airco Wink

wolfdog1226
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korpzgrinda wrote:
wolfdog1226 wrote:
Sometimes it is on when I go to bed

Is that not blasphemous in the eyes of the Li-Ion safety gods?

Maybe,,but my God, My Husky and me being a VERY light sleeper works for me! Wink

If people were more like Dogs the world would be a better place. There would be much less conflict and violence,instead there would be true harmony and grace.

                                                                                                           Wolfdog-5.23.2017

teacher
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No, I do not think that 500ma is best for the cells. It migh be for a 700 mAh 14500 but not for a 5000 mAh 26650.
For the 26650 the 2000 ma charge would not even be .5C …
A 500 ma charge for the same battery is only .1C …… much to slow in my book. It might even miss termination. Not good…….

      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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wolfdog1226
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The Miller wrote:
Well when there is one advised that has 4 bays, charges, analyzes and costs less then a lot of simple dual bay chargers (thus the $14-20 Liitokala li500) it seems like a no brainer to me Wink

It is ALL about preference! I like to see ALL 4 bays at once instead of data from One1 channel at a time! No Thanks!

If people were more like Dogs the world would be a better place. There would be much less conflict and violence,instead there would be true harmony and grace.

                                                                                                           Wolfdog-5.23.2017

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Charging at 500ma, I assume you mean for 18650“s & 26650“s may result in a few extra cycles out of the cell but Li-ion charging is recommended up to 1c or the capacity of the cell per hour.
500ma charging on a 3000mah 18650 will take around 6 hours to complete assuming the cell is pretty much fully depleted & around 10 hours with a fully depleted 5000mah 26650.
I generally charge 18650“s at 1A which is still only .33c of a 3000mah cell & at 2A on a 5000mah 26650 cell which is still only .4c.
I am still charging at less than .5c but it takes half the time you do & if I lose a few cycles compared to charging at 500ma so what.
If I had a 4 bay charger that charged at 1.5A across all 4 bays that is exactly what I would charge my 3000-3400mah 18650s at, which is still only about .5c, & given the option I would charge my 5000mah 26650“s at .5c or 2.5A rather than 2A Wink
Good quality cells are cheap & life is to short to warrant really low charge rates just to get a few extra cycles in my opinion.
Good cells are only around $4-$6 each & even if I were to only get 100 cycles from my cells the way I charge them & charged them once a week that is still 2 years life from a $4-$6 cell.
Each to their own obviously & what is important to me charging wise may not be important to others as I know for instance that some people don“t like to charge their cells to 4.20v to help increase their life.
I am happy with the way I charge my cells & my cells life, & at the rates I charge at the cells stay cool so I doubt I am reducing their life by much.
Just my take on it The Miller Wink

Ian

teacher
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The Miller wrote:

In the summer, even at that low current I place the charger on a big CPU heatsink for easy airflow at the charger and put a piece of 2mm copper on the cells with a couple of CPU heatsinks on top if that to get heat away from the cells.
Can’t imagine 2A, but we don’t have or want airco Wink
You actually do all that ‘The Miller’? Charging at 500ma? Why? Have you found “you” need it or are you just being very precautious?

My high capacity 18650’s do not even get warm at 2000ma charge…. much less the 26650’s.
And they have no “extra” cooling at all.

What brand & model charger are you using?
.
Smile

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The Miller
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OK thanks
But in summer temps are a real concern here with 35°C
I feel both charger and cells get warmer at 1A charging over 500mA
The CPU heatsinks help but still iblike lower temps.
(When I feel a hotspot on a phone I usually take off the back cover and place it on a big CPU heatsink up side down (so the flat of the heatsink has max area of touch)

But if charging at 500mA is bad well I must not do that and charge in a cooler room/kitchen (but losing sitting next to it most of the time)

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We only get a max of probably around 25-26C in my house here in the UK on the hottest of summer days & 18650“s charged at 1A & 26650“s charged at 2A barely get warm Smile
As I said I would happily charge high capacity 18650“s at 1.5A & 5000mah 26650“s like the Liitokala“s at 2.5A Wink

Ian

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40C days are not uncommon here in the summer…… FacepalmTired

But, I do not charge in the direct boiling sun either. I’ll charge in the garrage, where it might br a slight bit cooler; or on the kitchen table where the room temp is around 28C. (no, I do not like it cold indoors…. just a slight bit cool) Wink

Charging the two type batteries mentioned above at 2000ma in either place mentioned, I can tell no difference in battery temp besides that of “room temlerature”.

I charge both 18650’s & 26650’s at 2000ma and never think twice about it…. because “heat” has not been an issue at all for me with the good cells mentioned.

I’ll go even high on charge rate when a reasonably priced charger is avaiable that offers that choice. (as long as heat remains a non-issue)

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