Xtar VC8 Charger review / test ( Part 1 & 2 )

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old4570
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Xtar VC8 Charger review / test ( Part 1 & 2 )


http://www.xtar.cc/product/XTAR-VC8-Charger-125.html


For review / test I have the Xtar VC8 charger . What we have is a multi battery ( 8 ) , multi charge rate , Nimh / Li-ion charger ( 1.5v / 4.2v ) . Depending on the charge bay used , you have 3000mAh / 2000mAh / 1000mAh / 500mAh and 250mAh charge rates to chose from . These charge rates should cover just about 99% of your charge requirements . The power source required is either 5v USB or 9v USB making this charger very mobile ( any USB source ) .


Charging 18650 :

I really like the way this charger rolls with Li-ion , good quality batteries come off the charger at 4.19v and batteries with higher internal resistance ( older batteries ) come off the charger at lower voltage as the charger does not appear to try and force 4.2v onto batteries of lower quality . I really appreciate modern chargers that are so much safer than the chargers from say 10 years ago .


Charging AA :

I really like the VC8 for it’s 8 charge bays . Charging 8 AA at a time really makes charging batteries easy . ( Especially if you have a lot of AA ) Now a lot of chargers terminate AA charging at about 1.46v or maybe 1.48v . The VC8 takes my Nimh over 1.5v , I pulled one battery off the charger at 1.52v and it was still charging . At this time I don’t know how high the VC8 might take the AA , but anything over 1.5v is probably a waste as NIMH just don’t do what dry cells and Alkalines do voltage wise .


USB Power Source :

I am still waiting on two USB power supplies so I can test the VC8 further . Right now I don’t have a USB power source capable of doing the charger justice and I had to resort to using a Y cable , so I could use two USB power sources to feed the charger . I would at this time say that the achilles heel of this charger is the power source . If you start doing some math , you will quickly find that very few USB power supplies can do this charger justice . Which is why I would love to see in the future a better option ( or added option ) , like 12v to 18v DC power supply support built into the VC8 .


Conclusion :

At this time I am not going to draw a conclusion as I don’t have a USB power source that comes close to doing the VC8 justice . It’s Saturday today , so hopefully I will have some better USB power sources early next week ( locally sourced – I thought ? ) . So there will have to be a part 2 to this . So maybe this was just a preview ?

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Edited by: old4570 on 11/26/2019 - 18:52
Couchmaster
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Thanks for part 1! Looking forward to part 2. The Xtar chargers seem to do very well by all accounts. I have several VC4 and they works well for what I want. HJK has reviewed several and had done the VC4 4 years back. He doesn’t have the VC8 however. https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellChargerIndex%20UK.html

old4570
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PART 2


AA Batteries = They all came off the charger very nicely . I was charging them at 250mAh as these days I like the idea of looking after the batteries and I feel that high charge rates just overly stress the battery for no real reason other than convenience . Just own a few more batteries . I really did not care for the higher than average voltage that the AA were taken too ( 1.52v ) , but the batteries did remain relatively cool through out the charge cycle .

AAA Batteries = Everything I said about the AA batteries .


NIZN Batteries = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93zinc_battery / Anyone remember these batteries ? I originally had about 8 of these but over time and the stress of charging some 4 have gone to battery heaven or hell . I remember I had a charger that would charge the Nizn , but they always got hot . Using the VC8 charger @ 250mAh the Nizn got charged and stayed cool through out the charge cycle . I was actually happy with the way the VC8 handled the Nizn batteries .


18650 Batteries = Again , very happy with the way the VC8 charger behaved with the 18650 . There was one battery in my collection that the VC8 refused to charge . A low quality 18650 that I have rubbished in the past . My other 18650 chargers will charge this battery , but not so the VC8 . So the VC8 can actually pick out garbage , that’s really nice . I charged over 20 18650 and the good ones come off the charger at 4.2v or 4.19v . Older batteries and batteries of lower quality come of the charger at lower voltage . The lowest of the VC8 might have been about 4.08v , but this is a 10 year old battery .


USB power source = This really is the Nuts and Bolts of it . With some 8 × 18650 batteries on the charger at 250mAh my USB power monitor reported some 1.8A to 1.9A current form the USB power source . If you increased the charge rate to say 500mAh then you would need almost 4A ( 5v USB supply ) to feed the VC8 . So think about that . The VC8 is really limited by the USB power source you are using . I would not dare try to charge batteries at high current simply because I would be scared to cook the USB power source . I have run USB power supplies at their maximum and they do get hot ( 1A ) . The one I ordered is a little better than the single or duel outlet ones , but not really what I would consider heavy duty . Xtar themselves have posted 5v 2A and 9v 2A as the power required for the VC8 , …. That means ( manual ) one battery at 3A , two batteries at 2A , 4 batteries at 1A , and 8 batteries at 0.5A . But I wont vouch for any cheap USB power supply to do 4A .


Conclusion :

I think the VC8 has just become my go to charger , for now . 8 battery slots and since I am already charging my batteries at 250mAh the VC8 charger fits me like a glove . I love charging at lower current rates as you are just looking after your batteries so much better . There are three ways to shorten the life of a battery . High discharge rates , over discharge and high charge rates . High discharge can’t be helped in some applications , but the other two are well within a users control . I really like the VC8 charger , and the only downside I can see is the power source chosen to power the VC8 . Would I recommend the VC8 , hell yes !

I like the size ( 8 slot ) and the build quality looks to be really good . Also the VC8’s ability to charge Nizn has warmed my heart and I might start using my Nizn batteries again without fear of killing them when recharging . Companies like Xtar are really making the flashlight hobby a more rewarding one , and I would just like to thank Xtar for sending me the VC8 for review / testing .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

confucius
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Enjoyed this review old4570. I have this charger and learned a little more about it from your review. Didn’t realize it was smart enough to terminate the charge at lower volts when battery has high resistance. Thanks!

t-soung
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Thank you for this review. I like the VC8 too. What is the max. charge current at 4×18650. My VC8 can not do 4×1A. I use a XTAR QC3.0 power adapter.

Please correct the electrical units in your report. The charging current is given in mA. The capacity of a battery is measured in mAh.

“I was charging them at 250mAh…” ist not correct. Better: 250mA

klrman
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I think Xtar missed the boat on this charger by not offering a wall plug.  I read a review on amazon that said no matter what he tried he couldn't get more than .25A charge rate from bays 5 to 8.  Whats the point of releasing a charger that performs so bad.  They could have easily released a 20 bay charger and include fine print that says  "max charge rate  0.1A on all slots"

M4D M4X
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mine killed a 45W Xtar PD3.0 power plug

and also does charge only to 4,13 to 4.16 Volts (same cells are charged correctly in any of my other chargers including Xtars)
its a lottery which slot terminated where 



not happy with it tbh

 

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justanotherguy
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I will take my (2) 4 slot Miboxers at up to 3 amps a cell. I want it now, so to speak.
If I shorten a $5 cell’s life from 5 years to 3 or 4…. oh well

anyone in NE ILLinois into get togethers?

d_t_a
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M4D M4X wrote:

mine killed a 45W Xtar PD3.0 power plug


and also does charge only to 4,13 to 4.16 Volts (same cells are charged correctly in any of my other chargers including Xtars)
its a lottery which slot terminated where 




not happy with it tbh

Just curious, can you elaborate how it “killed” the PD3.0 power plug?

So far, my VC8 appears to charge properly (battery immediately taking out from the VC8 charger when it gets fully charged, tested voltage with DMM is around 4.19v, which is pretty spot on).

The VC8 display indicates it’s charging 4 batteries at 1A charging current. (my USB meter displays 9.0v @ 2.1A from the QC3.0 power adapter)

M4D M4X
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the power plug just switches off after a few seconds. 

pd2.0 is no longer recognized (QC worked on another charger before it switched off)

 

I do not want to damage another charger, so I put the wallplug away... 

 

I charged 30 to 50 cells 

 

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ftumch33
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Curious how many `C` cell nimh batteries will fit in this charger at one time.
I have the Nitecore I8 and I can only use the 2 outer slots (4 total) in order to charge C cells.

d_t_a
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ftumch33 wrote:
Curious how many `C` cell nimh batteries will fit in this charger at one time. I have the Nitecore I8 and I can only use the 2 outer slots (4 total) in order to charge C cells.

Should be able to fit 4 “C” cells (alternate slots)