[REVIEW] MiBoxer C4-12 (NiMH/NiCd/Li-ion Smart Battery Charger)

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SoCalTiger
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[REVIEW] MiBoxer C4-12 (NiMH/NiCd/Li-ion Smart Battery Charger)
[REVIEW] MiBoxer C4-12 (NiMH/NiCd/Li-ion Smart Battery Charger)

The MiBoxer C4-12 is MiBoxers's newest lithium-ion battery charger. The MiBoxer C4-12 is a 4 bay high-current smart charger which can charge up to 4 Li-Ion batteries at 3A per slot (12A total). The C4-12 is great for anyone who needs to charge multiple cells at high current simultaneously.

I was provided a copy for review by MiBoxer (Amazon US stock).
 



 
Official Product Specifications
Parameters: 
Size: 6.2in*4.7in*1.7in
Weight: 485g
Material: Fireproofing PC+ABS
Color: Black
Input Voltage /Current: DC12V 5A 
Output Voltage: 4.2V±0.1%/1.48V±0.1%
Output Current: Li-ion maximum 4*3A /Ni-MH/Ni-Cd maximum4*1A 

Apply to: 
Li-ion(4.2V) (IMR/INR/ICR) 10340 / 10350 / 10440 / 10500 / 12340 / 12500 / 12650 / 13450 / 13500 / 13650 / 14350 / 14430 / 14500 / 14650 / 16500 / 16340(RCR123) / 16650 / 17350 / 17500 / 17650 / 17670 / 18350 / 18490 / 18500 / 18650 / 18700 / 20700 / 21700 / 22500 / 22650 / 25500 / 26500 / 26650 Ni-MH / Ni-Cd(1.48V):AAAA / AAA / AA / A / SC / C / D 

Package information: 
Package include: 
1*C4-12 Battery Charger
1*Adapter( 12V 5A)
1*User Manual

Adapter information: 
Input Voltage: 100-240V 
Output Voltage: 12V 
Output Current: 5A 
Material: PC 

Advantage: 
Super Fast Charger 3A for each slot, total 12A; four slots charging independently with a power bank function.

Attention: 

Only 4th slot have the usb output function, and only for li-ion battery. It can’t charge for LifePO4 and 4.35V li-ion battery. 
 

 
Packaging and Contents
1 x Battery Charger
1 x Power Adapter
1 x Manual







Included wall adapter outputs 12V 5A.
 


 
Fit and Finish
The MiBoxer C4-12 is made out of ABS plastic and has a mild "texture" which gives the appearance of a subtle sheen as well as helping to reduce the visibility of finger prints.

Size-wise, this charger is significantly bigger than the Opus, Littokala Lii-500, Xtar VC4 and Nitecore D4 among others. It is even wider and more spacious than the Zanflare C4.

All 4 slots are evenly spaced, which helps make it easier to insert/remove batteries from the center slots. When charging 4x18650 batteries, the spacing is perfect and it is relatively easy to insert all 4 cells. However, care must always be taken to make sure that you don't accidentally knock out an adjacent cell when inserting or removing multiple batteries.

 




Size is approximately 4.5"x6" (12cm x 16cm)
 






OCD ALERT: The plug from the wall to the adapter does not seat all the way in. No impact on functionality.
 



User Interface and Modes
Operation:
* When multiple batteries are inserted, press button to cycle display between slots.
* When batteries are inserted, long-press button to enter current selection mode. Once in current selection mode, press button to cycle through the charge current options. The range is from 0.1A (100mA) to 3A. After you cycle past 3A, there is also an "Auto" which will determine the appropriate charge current automatically. When using 18650GAs, it determined that the best charge rate was between 1.3A - 1.7A.
 
0.10A
 
3A
 
 
Display - Always Displayed:
The display automatically cycles through stats for the selected slot.
* Temperature
* % Capacity
* Time - Cumulative charge/analysis time
* mAh - Cumulative charge
 
Display - Rotating Display (Top Right):
* V - Voltage
* mA - Charge Current
* mR - Internal Resistance
 
Voltage
 
Charge Current
 
Internal Resistance
 
Battery Chemistries Supported:
* NiMH and NiCd
* Lithium-ion (4.2V ICR, INR, IMR, etc.)
x Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePo) Not Supported

Battery Sizes:
* 10340, 10350, 10440, 10500, 12340, 12500, 12650, 13450, 13500, 13650, 14350, 14430, 14500, 14650, 16500, 16340(RCR123), 16650, 17350, 17500, 17650, 17670, 18350, 18490, 18500, 18650, 18700, 20700, 21700, 22500, 22650, 25500, 26500, 26650, AAAAA, AAAA, C, SC, D
* Protected 18650s Fit. The Protected Panasonic NCR18650GAs fit at about 69-70mm. 
* You can charge 4x26650 simultaneously.
 


 
Power Bank:
With 1x18650 battery, and main power disconnected, the unit can output 5V 1A via the USB port. The battery has to be inserted in the 4th bay and only the 4th bay will provide power.
 



Wish List / Recommendations
1) Quick Test - I wish that this charger also had a drain and test function to determine capacity for all 4 bays.
2) Storage Mode - I wish that this charger had the ability to automatically drain or charge to 50% for storage.
3) LEDs - I wish that each bay had an illuminated color LED (Green=Done, Red=Charging, Flashing Red=Error) This would make it easier to tell if charging/analysis is complete from a distance.

Summary and Conclusion
Overall, the MiBoxer C4-12 is a good smart charger. It works well, especially for people looking to charge their cells quickly and it also looks very nice. My favorite aspect of this charger is all of the information available on the display. For example, I like that it shows both capacity in percentage as well as the voltage. I also like that this charger displays cell temperature which is something most chargers do not do. You can charge cells at up to 3A but make sure that your cells are able to support that much current first.
 
Since this charger can also support charging NiMH and NiCd and it is straight-forward to use, it is a good universal/family charger. It can also fit protected cells and the bays and nice and spacious. This is one of the few chargers which can fit 4x26650. When charging 18650s, there is a nice amount of space in-between each cell. You can even charge C and D cells, which is also rare. It does not support LiFePo cells.

I like the wide range of charging options. You can charge as slow as 0.1A (100mA) all the way up to 3A. This provides tremendous flexibility. For 18650s, I normally charge them at 1A. For smaller cells like 14500s, you'll want to use a smaller current, more like 300mA. Charging multiple cells at 3A would get pretty warm, though.
 
I like that the unit is powered with a proper wall plug and not USB-powered.
 
The sliders move well (not too stiff or too sloppy).

The power bank functionality works well and outputs 1A although it only uses the 4th slot. So, if you need a ton of energy you will need to swap batteries to the 4th slot. Using cells as a power bank is also a good way to discharge cells (either for storage or testing) without "wasting" energy.
 
The only thing that I wish this charger did was automatically drain and charge batteries in all 4 slots to analyze the battery capacity. This charger will show you the cumulative charge but you would need to drain the battery first in order to get a good approximation of capacity.

 
Pete7874
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Thanks for the review. Great job.

I’m working on my own review of this charger. Hoping to post it up in a few days.

ssschen
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Many thanks for the full photo of the AC Adaptor. Good to know that it accepts 100-240V inputs Big Smile

Would you guys say that this is a good 2nd charger to the Liitokala 500? I came very close to ordering the Zanflare C4 last week when it was a flashdeal special on GB for only US$22.xx shipped.

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If you already have an analyzing charger like the Lii-500, this makes a good 2nd. I have both the Zanflare C4 and this. If you are stuck between them, my main points of comparison are this:

Function:

  • Zanflare has full capacity test function
  • Both have resistance function
  • MiBoxer can charge faster and will automatically select charge current (may be a negative if you prefer charging slower by default)
  • Both have dedicated power adapters included
  • Zanflare can use all 4 cells for the powerbank function (MiBoxer only C4)

Ergonomics:

  • MiBoxer is wider and deeper. It’s much easier to get cells in and out, also less likely to knock cells out accidentally
  • Neither have inset notches on the positive terminals that help hold cells down (Xtar does this and it’s very helpful to prevent knocking a cell out)

Appearance:

  • MiBoxer is “right-side-up” (Zanflare is “upside down”)
  • Overall construction quality and appearance is similar

Display:

  • MiBoxer has better display overall IMO and I like that I can view a lot of information for a single cell at once
  • Zanflare allows you to view info on all 4 slots at once but you have to click on the display for each slot to rotate
  • MiBoxer shows temperature
  • MiBoxer automatically rotates through stats
ssschen
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SoCalTiger wrote:
If you already have an analyzing charger like the Lii-500, this makes a good 2nd. I have both the Zanflare C4 and this. If you are stuck between them, my main points of comparison are this:

Function:

  • Zanflare has full capacity test function
  • Both have resistance function
  • MiBoxer can charge faster and will automatically select charge current (may be a negative if you prefer charging slower by default)
  • Both have dedicated power adapters included
  • Zanflare can use all 4 cells for the powerbank function (MiBoxer only C4)

Ergonomics:

  • MiBoxer is wider and deeper. It’s much easier to get cells in and out, also less likely to knock cells out accidentally
  • Neither have inset notches on the positive terminals that help hold cells down (Xtar does this and it’s very helpful to prevent knocking a cell out)

Appearance:

  • MiBoxer is “right-side-up” (Zanflare is “upside down”)
  • Overall construction quality and appearance is similar

Display:

  • MiBoxer has better display overall IMO and I like that I can view a lot of information for a single cell at once
  • Zanflare allows you to view info on all 4 slots at once but you have to click on the display for each slot to rotate
  • MiBoxer shows temperature
  • MiBoxer automatically rotates through stats

Thanks very much for the detailed breakdowns of the differences between the two chargers. Big SmileThumbs Up

I see from your signature you have done reviews of both chargers too, so will check out your reviews later. At this stage, I am leaning towards the MiBoxer C4-12 mainly because of its ability to fast charge at 3A over all 4 slots. Will have to keep an eye out over the next week or so. Hopefully GB will do a good deal on it during the 11.11 shopping festival. Not sure why BG is not carrying it?

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ssschen wrote:
At this stage, I am leaning towards the MiBoxer C4-12 mainly because of its ability to fast charge at 3A over all 4 slots.

You may want to read my review regarding this part specifically.
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Pete7874 wrote:
ssschen wrote:
At this stage, I am leaning towards the MiBoxer C4-12 mainly because of its ability to fast charge at 3A over all 4 slots.
You may want to read my review regarding this part specifically.

Thanks for that. Just read it. A bit concern about the sporadic reboots. And that it won’t revert back to the last saved charging current (3A), so you could end up with 3A of charging for a small time only. You didn’t mention this on the 2A charging, so sounds like 2A charging is more reliable? I haven’t read the Zanflare review yet but my guess is its max charging current is probably the same as the Liitokala 500, ie. 1A?

_Charging Li-Ion at 4×3A
Here is a graph of charging current when charging a Samsung INR18650-30Q button top using a manually selected 3A rate. All four channels were being charged at 3A while data was being logged on Channel 1. As can be seen, my unit is not capable of sustaining 4×3A charge throughout the whole cycle. It will reboot after some time and will restart using lower charging rates. Once finished, when removed from the charger, cell voltage was 4.18V._

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ssschen wrote:
You didn’t mention this on the 2A charging, so sounds like 2A charging is more reliable?
Yes, 4×2A charging posed no issues for me. Possibly even 4×2.5A may have been OK – I have not tested that yet.

In all honesty though, I don’t see myself needing to use 4×3A much if at all. I don’t own any cells larger than 18650. A typical high drain 18650 has about 3000 mAh capacity. It’s not going to be that much quicker to charge it using 3A vs 2A or 2.5A. Now, if you own large 26650 cells with 5000+ mAh capacity, that difference in charging speed will become more noticeable.

Quote:
I haven’t read the Zanflare review yet but my guess is its max charging current is probably the same as the Liitokala 500, ie. 1A?
Correct.
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I recently purchased this charger and haven’t had any re-booting problems when charging at 3A. It looks like they may have fixed the re-booting issue as you mentioned in your review:

However, what I have is a first version of this charger and Miboxer told me they tweaked it since and that in the newest version, the charger will better control temperature and will not reboot.

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myst999 wrote:
I recently purchased this charger and haven’t had any re-booting problems when charging at 3A. It looks like they may have fixed the re-booting issue as you mentioned in your review:

Yup, but if yours is an updated version, then you should see current rate dropping below 3A in order to prevent temperatures from climbing.

Also, just to be clear, in my case the re-booting did not happen when charging only 1 or 2 cells at 3A. It happened when charging all 4 cells at 3A.

Also, the rebooting is fairly quick, so unless you are watching the charger throughout the entire cycle, you might miss it.

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Pete7874 wrote:
myst999 wrote:
I recently purchased this charger and haven’t had any re-booting problems when charging at 3A. It looks like they may have fixed the re-booting issue as you mentioned in your review:

Yup, but if yours is an updated version, then you should see current rate dropping below 3A in order to prevent temperatures from climbing.

Also, just to be clear, in my case the re-booting did not happen when charging only 1 or 2 cells at 3A. It happened when charging all 4 cells at 3A.

Also, the rebooting is fairly quick, so unless you are watching the charger throughout the entire cycle, you might miss it.

Also, based upon battery level and resistance , the current rate will drop even if you set it at 3A – so those are additional things that will lower the charge rate. The next time I have 4 batteries pretty well depleted I will keep an eye on the current rate to see how it behaves.

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myst999 wrote:
Also, based upon battery level and resistance , the current rate will drop even if you set it at 3A – so those are additional things that will lower the charge rate. The next time I have 4 batteries pretty well depleted I will keep an eye on the current rate to see how it behaves.

Yes, try with 4 depleted high current drain unprotected cells, such as Samsung 30Q.

You don’t want to be pushing 3A of current into low current / high IR cells to begin with.

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My review Charger did not reboot with 4×3A charge

[Reviews] Miboxer C4-12, C2-4k+6k, C2, C4 / Astrolux K1, MF01, S42, K01 / BLF Q8 / Kalrus G35, XT11GT / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF36, SP35 / Imalent DM21TW / Wuben I333 / Ravemen PR1200 / CL06 lantern / Xanes headlamp

[Mods] Skilhunt H03 short / Klarus XT12GTS / colorful anodisation

[Sale] TA drivers Narsil or Bistro, XHP35 E2-3C

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Lexel wrote:
My review Charger did not reboot with 4×3A charge

Good to hear. What was the highest temp you observed during 4×3A charging? Starting with fully depleted cells, how long were all the cells at 3A before current started ramping down?
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Pete7874 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
My review Charger did not reboot with 4×3A charge
Good to hear. What was the highest temp you observed during 4×3A charging? Starting with fully depleted cells, how long were all the cells at 3A before current started ramping down?

I switched to 3A after 15 minutes
the other charger is 1A all the way

[Reviews] Miboxer C4-12, C2-4k+6k, C2, C4 / Astrolux K1, MF01, S42, K01 / BLF Q8 / Kalrus G35, XT11GT / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF36, SP35 / Imalent DM21TW / Wuben I333 / Ravemen PR1200 / CL06 lantern / Xanes headlamp

[Mods] Skilhunt H03 short / Klarus XT12GTS / colorful anodisation

[Sale] TA drivers Narsil or Bistro, XHP35 E2-3C

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Lexel wrote:
Pete7874 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
My review Charger did not reboot with 4×3A charge
Good to hear. What was the highest temp you observed during 4×3A charging? Starting with fully depleted cells, how long were all the cells at 3A before current started ramping down?

I switched to 3A after 15 minutes
the other charger is 1A all the way


Because of the rapidly cycling current/voltage/IR display in your video, I can’t tell when it started ramping down. I also can’t see what the other 3 channels are doing… what level of charge they’re at.

But your temps are much lower than mine. Mine reached 53C, and that’s when the reboot happens.

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Pete7874 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
Pete7874 wrote:
Lexel wrote:
My review Charger did not reboot with 4×3A charge
Good to hear. What was the highest temp you observed during 4×3A charging? Starting with fully depleted cells, how long were all the cells at 3A before current started ramping down?

I switched to 3A after 15 minutes
the other charger is 1A all the way


Because of the rapidly cycling current/voltage/IR display in your video, I can’t tell when it started ramping down. I also can’t see what the other 3 channels are doing… what level of charge they’re at.

But your temps are much lower than mine. Mine reached 53C, and that’s when the reboot happens.

I looked at the pictures
to 4208 is last with 3A
start picture 4101 with 30 seconds pause
so at 4116 12,5min I switched to 3A manual
54minutes till current ramp down

charge for a 3000mAh high drain cells took 86 minutes

[Reviews] Miboxer C4-12, C2-4k+6k, C2, C4 / Astrolux K1, MF01, S42, K01 / BLF Q8 / Kalrus G35, XT11GT / Nitefox UT20 / Sofirn SF36, SP35 / Imalent DM21TW / Wuben I333 / Ravemen PR1200 / CL06 lantern / Xanes headlamp

[Mods] Skilhunt H03 short / Klarus XT12GTS / colorful anodisation

[Sale] TA drivers Narsil or Bistro, XHP35 E2-3C