4 Bay Charger Recommendation

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checkerfred
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4 Bay Charger Recommendation

Hey guys, I need a good 4 bay charger. I just need a basic charger without all the extra bells and whistles, although a display would be nice to see the charging status. I currently have the Xtar VP2. I will be buying one for me but also two for gifts for my dad and father in law. They will just need to do charging as well. I would like to have 1A charging on all 4 bays so it doesn’t take forever to charge.

I’ve looked at the LiitoKala lii-500, and Nitecore Q4. I see a lot of people here use the LiitoKala but I do wonder about the build quality and longevity of it. The Nitecore Q4 I can’t seem to find any info on.

I’ve also looked at the Xtar SV2…it’s only 2 bay but is a fast charger.

checkerfred
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Also looking at Liitokala Lii-402 and Nitecore SC4

Andrew_Debbie
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I’ve had the Lii-500 for about a year. No problems at all so far. It is a bargain. It doesn’t feel like a precision instrument but the voltage readings agree with my DMM.

It is pretty foolproof which makes it a good choice as a gift.

It will run all 4 slots at 1A. The default charge rate is 500mA. You have to push the Current button twice right after putting a battery in a slot. A minor annoyance. I wish there was a secret memory mode or 1A jumper.

My expensive charger is an ISDT C4. Despite the name it only has two 18650 slots. It is good at what it does but the unique form factor greatly limits flexilbity. I can’t recommend it as a general purpose charger. It not suitable as a gift for dad unless he has an engineering degree, likes to read battery datasheets, and can download firmware updates.

Andrew_Debbie
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checkerfred wrote:
Also looking at Liitokala Lii-402 and Nitecore SC4

I have two slot Lii-202 in a drawer somewhere. I got it on one of those coupon sales, used it once and put it away. I also have an Lii-100 that I sometimes use to charge single 26650s. I think I paid 99 cents for the Lii-100.

THey all work but the Lii-500 is the one I use the most.

checkerfred
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Andrew_Debbie wrote:
I’ve had the Lii-500 for about a year. No problems at all so far. It is a bargain. It doesn’t feel like a precision instrument but the voltage readings agree with my DMM.

It is pretty foolproof which makes it a good choice as a gift.

It will run all 4 slots at 1A. The default charge rate is 500mA. You have to push the Current button twice right after putting a battery in a slot. A minor annoyance. I wish there was a secret memory mode or 1A jumper.

My expensive charger is an ISDT C4. Despite the name it only has two 18650 slots. It is good at what it does but the unique form factor greatly limits flexilbity. I can’t recommend it as a general purpose charger. It not suitable as a gift for dad unless he has an engineering degree, likes to read battery datasheets, and can download firmware updates.

Thanks! It’s pretty cheap but I wasn’t sure if it would be a foolproof easy to use charger. I’ll go ahead and pick these up

2100
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Bro, I suppose this is going to be for your new powerful light(s)? If you are selecting high-drain batts like the VTC6, LG HG2 etc (which you should), a high current fast charger is what you should consider. This enables charging up to 3 amps and charging a set of batteries that you have just used in a light be it 20 minutes or 2 hours would feel less of a hassle, and you’d actually be encouraged to use your powerful lights more often simply charging won’t take much time, if you know what i mean.

500mA to 1A is ok for lower power 1000 lm flashlights and batteries that are rated for 5-10A drain. You don’t deplete the batteries quite a lot usually.

2-3A is just going to be that much more efficient for a 6000-15000 lumen light and high-drain battery set, you are very likely to use a 4 × 18650 set comfortably below 60% even in a short run. And i believe from the other thread, you might even have a use for 2 lights simultaneously sometimes, so that’s 2 sets of batts. It’s not going to be dangerous as well as long as you are aware of what you are doing and do the necessary checks like voltage, temp etc.

I can recommend the Miboxer C4-12A. It even has a batt temperature readout which other chargers do not have, which i find that very useful in real life. It can even regulates the current down from 3A should the cell get too hot during charging, making things sort of idiot-proof.

This is a true 3A 4 bay charger and doesn’t cost much more than the other 4 bay chargers. Other 3A chargers switch to 3+2+2+3 amps or 4 × 1.5A (2 cells = 2 × 3A) when you slot in 4 cells as their electronics cannot supply that high an overall current.

checkerfred
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2100 wrote:
Bro, I suppose this is going to be for your new powerful light(s)? If you are selecting high-drain batts like the VTC6, LG HG2 etc (which you should), a high current fast charger is what you should consider. This enables charging up to 3 amps and charging a set of batteries that you have just used in a light be it 20 minutes or 2 hours would feel less of a hassle, and you’d actually be encouraged to use your powerful lights more often simply charging won’t take much time, if you know what i mean.

500mA to 1A is ok for lower power 1000 lm flashlights and batteries that are rated for 5-10A drain. You don’t deplete the batteries quite a lot usually.

2-3A is just going to be that much more efficient for a 6000-15000 lumen light and high-drain battery set, you are very likely to use a 4 × 18650 set comfortably below 60% even in a short run. And i believe from the other thread, you might even have a use for 2 lights simultaneously sometimes, so that’s 2 sets of batts. It’s not going to be dangerous as well as long as you are aware of what you are doing and do the necessary checks like voltage, temp etc.

I can recommend the Miboxer C4-12A. It even has a batt temperature readout which other chargers do not have, which i find that very useful in real life. It can even regulates the current down from 3A should the cell get too hot during charging, making things sort of idiot-proof.

This is a true 3A 4 bay charger and doesn’t cost much more than the other 4 bay chargers. Other 3A chargers switch to 3+2+2+3 amps or 4 × 1.5A (2 cells = 2 × 3A) when you slot in 4 cells as their electronics cannot supply that high an overall current.

Yup it will be for them. I also have a few lights that use some Panasonic NCR18650B’s that I have…..I was planning on getting one charger for me and two to gift to family….will this charger charge those Panasonics ok?

Andrew_Debbie
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This data sheet for the NCR18650B suggests charging at 1950mA maximum :

https://na.industrial.panasonic.com/sites/default/pidsa/files/ncr18650.pdf

This one quotes the standard charging rate as 1625mA —> https://www.batteryspace.com/prod-specs/NCR18650B.pdf

2Amps is close enough to 1.950A to be ok. Charging at 3A might shorten the life of the battery. I stick to the data sheet guidelines and don’t experiment with charging at higher rates.

HKJ gave the C4-12 a good review:

https://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20Miboxer%20C4-12%20UK.html

Andrew_Debbie
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HKJ review of the 402.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/58909

Here is his review of the Lii-500:

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/41442

samsat
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The Lii 500 price ranges from $14 to $30. Are there knock offs or are the low price ones the same unit as the high price ones?

lfowner
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Andrew_Debbie wrote:
Charging at 3A might shorten the life of the battery.
Often discharge with high current rates might shorten battery’s life, too. Batteries are not designed as a lifetime-dropin, so what…
d_t_a
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samsat wrote:
The Lii 500 price ranges from $14 to $30. Are there knock offs or are the low price ones the same unit as the high price ones?

I think most reputable sellers of the Lii-500 Engineer would be the same thing (unless it is a rebrand), maybe one includes the power adapter, while another does not include the power adapter, or the optional 12v car power adapter cable too.

Though I’d prefer the ZanFlare C4 for the same price range as the Lii-500 Engr, as the Lii-500 doesn’t give reliable IR readings.

But +1 to the Miboxer C4-12.

justanotherguy
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Miboxer C4-12.

Yea..I have been a charger buyer over the years… Xtar…Xtar wp6 for more slots… Then two folomov a4 for 4× 2amp….

In all reality I think I would just want 1 or 2 Miboxer C4-12 and be done with it… But it was a learning curve…

With this charger, you can be one and done... It’ll do whatever rate you might need….You can throttle it back for those panasonic, or if you get 30Q or VTC6..Go for the 3 amp rate..

I got some cheap nitecore for friends.. 4x .375 amp. UG! Brutal….

Barkuti
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Sirstinky
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I like my Zanflare C4. Does 1A on all bays, easy to use and runs on 12 volts out of the wall (no USB). Well built and never over charged or really undercharged my batts (li ion to 4.17-4.18v 1.48 to 1.45 on nicad, nimh). Also does 0 volts recovery. I have had zero issues with it for around $30 shipped.

hank
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Hm. Zanflare C4 discontinued at GB:
https://us.gearbest.com/chargers/pp_658679.html

Is there a newer model?

WalkIntoTheLight
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I have both the Nitecore SC4 and the Liitokla Li-500. Both are nice chargers. I tend to use the Nitecore the most, even though it is a little quirky (only two charging channels for 4 slots, so depending where you put the batteries they may only get half the charge rate).

But I like the Nitecore because it is a little larger than the Liitokala, so it’s easier to put in and remove 18650’s if you’re doing several at once. It also supports up to 3 amp charging, if you need a fast charge.

The Liitokala has some nice features, such as discharge testing and operation as a USB powerbank. It also has a more simple interface, which is nice. I should probably prefer it, and I would if it was just a little larger.

Sirstinky
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Strange. I got mine on Amazon. I don’t think there’s a newer version. Amazon usually lists if there’s a newer model. I’ve had mine since December 2017 and last I checked it was the same version.

ChrisGarrett
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Opus BT 3100/3400 v. 2.2, or 3.1.

Well regarded, longish track record and a analyzing charger.

Will do all voltages and chemistries.

Only charges at 700mA (four bays) for NiMH, but that’s fine.

1A discharge for four bays.

12vdc, so it can work with 12vdc solar panels, if that matters, or in the car.

Chris