The making of the BLF UC4 charger: the start of a new venture, INTEREST LIST, UPDATE 3(Finalized UI and starting design)

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timbo114
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I am definitely 1000% IN to purchase a BLF custom designed charger!

AguassissiM
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Simply awesome idea, thank you BlueSwordM . Thumbs Up

Sign me up please i`ll be more than happy to purchase some.

***Rofis MR70 - just perfect *TurnRaise - Cree XM-L2 ***Catapult V6 - awesome ***BLF Q8 - spring mod
***BLF Mini ***BLF Micro ***Haikelite MT09R ** Convoy C8 ***BLF D80v2 SST40***

azj
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I’ll keep my eye on this. I’m interested, although not convinced I NEED another charger… Silly

BlueSwordM
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@azj, that’s why I’ll convince you.

@CLB, thanks for the support. I saw that thread at CPF. Not as long as the Q8 and FW3A threads, but still very long.

There’s actually another good reason for why I want to make this charger, and it is this website:
https://secondlifestorage.com/

I’ve learned so much stuff over the years, did a paper on a specific lithium-ion cell subject(low-voltage recovery), and managed to meet amazing people.
It’s the reason I’m on BLF now.

So, to thank BLF and SecondLifeStorage, I want to make the charger to rule them all.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

EDCba
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Great to see 10180 support.

Can it still have a “dark mode” with a color LCD screen?

hank
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Make it meet UL rather than Chinese flammability test.

https://www.flameretardants-online.com/news/archive?showid=17892

Quote:
The glow-wire tests for end products and materials to IEC 60695-2-11 to 13 are required in Europe and increasingly in Asia, while they do not play a major role in the USA. The European standard EN 60335-1 “Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety – Part 1” contains safety requirements in Section 30 Resistance against fire and heat. It refers to the glow wire tests described in EN/IEC 606952-10 to 13:

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&channel=tus&q=china+%...

The UL test using contact with an open flame
https://www.google.com/search?q=underwriters+lab+flammability+electronic...
is more likely to reveal a problem than the glowing-hot-wire test, I’d think.

BlueSwordM
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Yeah, that’s not enough.

We need to use graphite electrodes that can reach 2000C.

600-1000C is not enough.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

bhstinger
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Excellent Idea and I am totally interested.

 

Agree with your bare minimum requirements. Want to reiterate them and also have a few questions:

1. Adjustable charging current (0,1A-3,0A) in 0,1A steps. - Could this be done using Constant Current (without PWM on low end) from .1-3A? (Upgrade from OPUS)

2. Support for multiple chemistries. - Perfect

3. Temperature monitoring (45C max below 2A, 60C max below 3A).  - Temp sensor to monitor cell temp (approximate) or internal board temps?

4. 4 cell channels - Perfect

5. Active cooling if temperature exceeds 45C, and if all channels are active above 2,5A.  - Temp at cells or board location? If for cells, maybe active cooling can turn on lower, say 35C? Variable speed fan please, or connector for us to plug our own in.

8. Nickel coated phosphor bronze/brass rails. - Perfect

9. Internal resistance measurement. - Perfect

11. Adjustable max voltage for lithium ion charging: 3,90V-4,20V in 0,1V steps. - Perfect

12. Storage charge mode: 3,6V. - Could this also be adjustable (from say 3.2-3.7V) or would discharge mode have adjustable termination voltages?

15. 100-200-350-500mA-750mA discharging functionality.  - Adjustable termination voltages possible? Say 2.X-3.7V?

 

BlueSwordM
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1. Most chargers use individual buck converters, unlike the OPUS, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
2. Great.

3. Temp sensors right beside the terminals. At max power(charging 4×30Qs at 12A total), the C4-12 doesn’t get too hot. It’s the cells getting hot, so monitoring cell temps is more important than the electronics’ temps.
4. Great.
5. Same thing as number 3.
8. Would be very nice, and would make inaccurate internal resistance measurement a thing of the past, most of the time anyway.
9. Great.
11. Great.
12. Storage charge mode would just charge/discharge the cell down to 3,6V. I would really like a it down to 3,4-3,5V, but 3,6V is a happy medium.
15. Yes, from 2,6V-3,3V. 3,7V is rather high. What would you want to do with it?

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

The Burgh
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Tip o’ the hat to BlueSwordM! May your knowledge in this area and interest in BLF see you through to the end of this customization project.

As to those who will point out the possible/probable length of time for the project to end in product fruition, either help or wait patiently. Input is easy; Output is hard.

For me, the mere vibrant, constant, and constructive discussion in this thread and constancy of BluSwordM’s leadership will put my acquisition of any more “shelf” chargers on hold (perhaps for many months) pending the outcome of a final product.

There will always be more darkness than I have lights.

mattlward
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If it really were to be designed and built, I know the focus will be on big and long cells. But, if the low charge rate is really going to be 100mah… please make sure it will at least fit 10440 cells without spacers.

I for one, think this community could design a charger to put most chargers to shame and would love to see it happen!

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

bhstinger
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Thanks Blue!

3. Totally agree that monitoring the cell temps is most important. Very happy this charger will attempt it.

15. It would be nice to select discharge cutoff from our storage voltage of around ~3.6V all the way down to 2.6V. Sometimes I know I’ll need a light for only a few hours and I have a mostly charged cell. 3.7V seems to be the sweet spot since it will end up around 3.5-6V after use. Then it’s ready for storage.
If its easy enough to accomplish in software, I guess its good to have a wider selection range but don’t think its a deal breaker.

Very happy to see such a large response to this thread so far. Seems others also feel there is a void in chargers still.
Let us know how we can help make this a reality.

California_Prepper
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I’d buy one for sure

DOHC20
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this could force me to spend more money! why do i read these things Facepalm

gehrmo
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And we want it by Christmas.

mrheosuper
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How about degrading test?, you put battery into it, it will charge/discharge for a number of times in setting, and logging data into micro sd card.

It’s a tedious task if done by hand

Forgot my pen

Agro
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slmjim wrote:

“The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.”


Captain of Engineering Montgomery Scott (Scotty), USS Excelsior, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock


 


Guess I’m an outlier here.


I’m a hands-on, button-pushin’ guy.  The more automation, the more things can go wrong.  I’d prefer a minimum of automation, only what’s necessary for safe operation.  Otherwise, this looks like an outstanding device that could appeal to advanced muggles outside the flashlight community.


 


slmjim


You should try ISDT UI. It’s really quite simple. Yet it allows to conveniently do advanced stuff.
Fox
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Interesting project. Will pay attention on it

The most ugly place in the world! Surprised

i42dk
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Awesome idea Beer

All I would like to see in a charger would be:

  • 4 × 2A charging
  • Storage charge/discharge

Basically an upgraded Nitecore SC4 (my main charger now)

Some of those bells and whistles suggestions I could most def be without.
I fear it ending up like this

Like Bluetooth/WiFi connectivity, RGB lighting… Calm down X to the Z Xzibit, don’t pimp my charger.

raccoon city
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BlueSwordM, you might want to think about moving this thread to the BLF Special Edition Products subforum.

I think it belongs there, and more people will pay attention to it if it's in that awesome subforum.

JakeDjanitor
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I would love to have a charger that I can set for max voltage of 4 volts

WalkIntoTheLight
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i42dk wrote:

All I would like to see in a charger would be:
  • 4 × 2A charging
  • Storage charge/discharge

Basically an upgraded Nitecore SC4 (my main charger now)

Yup, Nitecore SC4, and also add

  • Adjustable termination voltage

(3.6v to 4.35v in 0.05v increments, since that would cover storage voltage ranges, and other li-ion chems as well. It already handles 3.6v, 4.2v, and 4.35v, so should be an easy upgrade)

Done!

The complete list of features proposed sounds great, but I’m really concerned it would never get built, or never meet the price target. And, it might be a nightmare to coordinate, like the FW3A 2-year project, with people eventually dropping out of the development team.

teacher
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Ok, here are the basic features of the chargers that I want:

1. Adjustable charging current (0,1A-3,0A) in 0,1A steps.

2. Support for multiple chemistries (NiMH, lithium-ion, lithium ion HV, LiFePO4).

3. Temperature monitoring (45C max below 2A, 60C max below 3A).

4. 4 cell channels, with support for AAA sized cells all the way to the largest 21700/26650/D cells up to 78mm length.

6. Full current cutoff according to charging current (10%).

7. 12V-20V compatibility.

8. Nickel coated phosphor bronze/brass rails for highest conductivity and accurate internal resistance measurement. Or just well plated nickel plated A3 steel if everything goes wrong.

9. Internal resistance measurement.

10. Low voltage recovery
Below 2,5V, charge at 150mA.
Below 2,0V, charge at 100mA.
Below 1,0V, charge at 25mA.

11. Adjustable max voltage for lithium ion charging: 3,90V-4,20V in 0,1V steps.

12. Storage charge mode: 3,6V. Lower would be better, but it is too low otherwise for most people.

13. Individual channel selection.

17. Automatic charging current adjustment available.

Other features are nice, but not necessary.
If I can get them on this BLF charger, that would be dope.
These are the bare minimum requirements for me.

I’d be in for this, no ‘bells & whistles’; just a solid charger.

Nice work Blue…. Beer

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

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scintillator
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I am a little confused by this,
1. Adjustable charging current (0,1A-3,0A) in 0,1A steps.

I am no expert but AAA sized cells need less than 1 amp for charging?
teacher
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scintillator wrote:
I am a little confused by this,
1. Adjustable charging current (0,1A-3,0A) in 0,1A steps. I am no expert but AAA sized cells need less than 1 amp for charging?
That is 0.1A – 3.0A in 0.1A steps

0.1A = 1/10A (one tenth Amp)….. Wink

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him up to a heavy load./"Bear" Bryant 

 .................................. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" ...................................

       Texas Lumens Flashlights / M4D M4X Deals : sign up - save $$$$  

         Rudeness Level _ mΩ _ {width:70%} _ LightWiki _ LED Tint Chart  

      Xlamp size chart _ BatteryU _ Flashaholic? Need Professional Help???            TheOriginal _ TAB _ LightSearch _ BatterySearch _ 14500's _ DiCal 

 

                                             

Agro
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scintillator wrote:
I am a little confused by this,
1. Adjustable charging current (0,1A-3,0A) in 0,1A steps. I am no expert but AAA sized cells need less than 1 amp for charging?
That’s a tenth of an amp. In some countries written as 0.1 while in others as 0,1. And that was already updated, the range is said to start at mere 50 mA to work better with 10180 cells.
scintillator
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That is awesome!

WalkIntoTheLight
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This sounds like a SkyRC MC3000, without the bluetooth and PC interface. Which is great, because I have no need for the buggy bluetooth stuff or awkward PC connectivity.

So, the obvious solution is to ask SkyRC to see if they will produce it for $39 (or $49 with the USB stuff, which I don’t need). Has BlueSword asked SkyRC, and if so, have they responded?

If they come back with nothing but laughter, maybe a Plan B is needed. Or, increase the price.

ToyKeeper
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CLB wrote:
It’s confusing to me that some BLF’ers who agonize over every detail of flashlight hardware and firmware seem content with a simple Nitecore or LitoKala charger.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, the difference boils down to two things — usage and availability.

Usage:

  • A flashlight is something I carry around constantly and use dozens of times per day. So I want it to be good because I spend a lot of time using it.
  • A charger is something I only spend a few seconds with once every few weeks. As long as it refills my batteries safely, I don’t really care about the details. I plug it in, put a cell inside, then go do something else. A few hours later I take the cell out and unplug the charger. If I’m curious, I might also glance at it once in a while to check progress, so a display is nice to have.

Availability:

  • I make flashlights because I wanted something and it didn’t exist. The desired features simply weren’t available.
  • With chargers, what I want is widely available and there’s a lot of room to grow if desired, without having to do anything custom.

I mean, with flashlights, first I tried not making it… but that didn’t work. So I fell back to Plan B. But with chargers, when I tried Plan A (not making it), the result was agreeable. So no need for Plan B; the market already met and exceeded my battery-charging needs.

Parametrek
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BlueSwordM wrote:
did a paper on a specific lithium-ion cell subject(low-voltage recovery)

I’ve been googling around for this and haven’t been able to find it. Link? It sounds very interesting.

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

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