Impressions of Allmaybe TC2 (nee XTAR ET1 Polaris) battery charger

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TheIntruder
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Impressions of Allmaybe TC2 (nee XTAR ET1 Polaris) battery charger

Just received a new charger, the Allmaybe TC2, an English-language version of the XTAR ET1 Polaris.

For some odd reason, the ET1 is marketed only in China, and I had resigned myself to a VC2 Plus, despite some minor reservations about it, before making an inquiry to XTAR directly.

Unbeknownst to me, and maybe most, XTAR has an alternate brand called Allmaybe, and I was informed that they do sell an English-language version of the ET1, as the TC2. It’s available directly from their Aliexpress and eBay stores, so I ordered one from the latter.

The specs are pretty typical for a USB-input charger, but what makes it unusual for XTAR is that it doesn’t have a sparse display like their more recent models do, nor does it require the special USB-to-barrel connector input cable that the VC series uses. The display indicates voltage, mAh input, current (albeit as a mode and not instantaneous measure), status, and cell type, for one channel at a time. It will also provide up to 2.0A, for one slot, or 1.0A for both, given the limitations of USB.

Additionally, it is also capable of measuring capacity, using a charge-discharge-charge cycle. It remains to be seen how well this function actually works, but aside from the VP4 Plus Dragon, I don’t recall any other XTAR charger having this feature. This wasn’t originally known to me, or an initial selling point, but is nice to have as a bonus.

All in all, I think this is what the VC2 Plus should have been, but at least a facsimile finally arrived. Being housed in a slightly longer version of the SV2 form factor, it’s not quite as compact, but still quite manageable.

Without being put through the rigors of an HKJ test procedure, I can only surmise how the TC2 actually performs. But I think XTAR chargers generally get the fundamentals of the charging process right, which is a big part of their appeal (despite compromises like the sparse displays), and I expect this one to follow suit.

I’ll try to add more as I gain some experience with it, but here are some pictures:





Edited by: TheIntruder on 04/11/2018 - 02:25
TheIntruder
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More impressions…

Took the opportunity to try out the capacity test function with an almost new Samsung 30Q (< 5 cycles).

The cell was nearly full, so it didn’t take long for the initial charge phase to complete, but overall, it still required about 13-14 hours total for the whole process.

During the discharge, the slot indicator light turns blue, the activity bars rotate counter-clockwise, and the mAh counter counts increases until the TC2 decides the cell has been drained. In this test, it registered 2984 mAh, and I think the voltage was ~2.6v at that point (I wasn’t watching it closely). Then it automatically starts another charge cycle, while keeping the discharge capacity figure displayed (as opposed to the input counter during a normal charge).

After the process was complete, and the indicator turned green, the cell oscillated between 4.20/4.21v on my DMM. Incidentally, I think this is one of those chargers whose voltmeter will not display a value above 4.20v. At no point during the test process did the charger or battery emit any discernible heat above room temperature.

Another behavior I noticed is that the TC2 seems to be reluctant to charge the cells I have at 2.0A. The 30Q initially starts at 2.0A and then quickly drops to 1.0A, with two different USB mains adapters both capable of supplying 2.4A. Therefore I suspect the charger’s internal logic is the deciding factor, and unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a manual override. The Olight 18650 cells I’ve tried always indicate 1.0A.

I’m still quite new at this hobby, so I lack much in the way of being able to try different batteries and such. But it’s looking very much like this is a still more of a “safe” layman’s charger than a hobby/enthusiast-oriented charger, despite the test function and 2A capability.

It appears that the company is making an effort to expand distribution of this charger to other outlets, and has added some other new models (D2, D4) as well.

I must say that the new logo reminds me of the 80s, though, and their email host has been down for a while, and recently joined by the web server. Odd way to run a brand, especially from a company with an already well-established brand and reputation.

digyver
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Hi,

Can you tell me if this charger is better than xtar vc4 ? In terms of discharging ,it is a plus then the vc4,can you give me you feedback about all the features? The tc2 charges the 26650 with 2.0a or with 1.0 amp in CH1?And a final question,does it says the real MAH of a battery cell ?

Best Regards.

clemence
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Funny branding. Perhaps the intention was “All Possible”. Because to my understanding “All Maybe” rings with “All Perhaps” LOL

- Clemence

Funtastic
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I purchased 10pcs of the Allmaybe TC2 and they don’t charge to 4.20v. They stop early anywhere from 4.08v – 4.16v. Very annoyed since I can’t really sell them now! I’ve tested the batteries with a multi-meter also and it’s confirmed that it’s undercharging the cells. Kind of defeats the purpose of the test function when it’s not charging up to 4.20v and then measuring the full capacity.

Why would Xtar release a product when it’s not functioning properly.

I’ve also had the Test function reset mid test.

I can’t recommend this ALLMAYBE brand yet.

I have pictures of my tests that I’ll upload shortly

Edit: The Intruder made the comment of 2A current not working properly but for me the charger works at 2A for the full charge.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

TheIntruder
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Interesting, what is the serial number range of the units you have? Mine is <1000, which indicates it’s an early unit.

After further usage, I’ve found that the TC2 has some quirks.

Mine hasn’t had any issues charging to 4.2v, or very close to it, but the voltage reading upon first inserting cells often disagrees with what a DMM indicates.

The times I’ve tried the test function haven’t exhibited any issues so far.

It’s also picky about what it needs to operate at 2A. I have a 5-port 40W Anker desktop adapter (which has been otherwise fine and received a good review from HKJ) that doesn’t meet the standards, with either the original cable, a short 2A-capable cable, and another good thick cable. My USB meter indicates it operates at very close to 5.0v and 2.0A, so just short.

It does operate at 2A with a 2-port 24W Anker wall adapter that outputs 5.1v, or higher with no load, with the same set of cables.

I went with USB input to avoid having to use a dedicated mains adapter, but I just may pick up a Raspberry Pi adapter to feed this thing.

Hopefully, at some point, HKJ gets his hands on one and puts it to a real test.

Funtastic
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Where’s your serial number?

There’s the barcode at the back of box and on the side is the Warranty No. and Anti-counterfeit sticker.

The warranty number ends in 01334

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Funtastic
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Strange…I changed the USB adapter and it’s charged two batteries now up to 4.18v.

These chargers are really picky on what suits. I’m now using my Blitzwolf. I was using a GBTIGER 3.1A before.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

TheIntruder
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Mine is 744, so it came off the line before yours.

Have you tried measuring a cell’s voltage before charging and seeing if the TC2 agrees?

Let’s say a DMM says a cell measures 3.75v, but when put into the charger, it displays 3.9v.

After the cycle is complete, it does measure 4.2v or close to it, fresh off the charger with a DMM, but that wouldn’t make the display truly reflective of voltage, or reliable.

Funtastic
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Quote:
Have you tried measuring a cell’s voltage before charging and seeing if the TC2 agrees?

Only slightly. Cell measures 3.77v on DMM, inserting into the TC2 CH1 it shows 3.81v & CH2 3.79v. I’m not impressed at all since I expected top quality from Xtar.

The TC2 doesn’t show true cell voltage as the display on charging will stay at 4.20v for 300mAh before finishing. I’d like to know an accurate reading charging this type of cell. I’ve never had it overcharge but still frustrating.

The name Allmaybe is living up to it’s name of “maybe it won’t work” haha

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)

Funtastic
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I just received 5pcs of the Allmaybe D2 and it has issues too.

CH1 charges to 4.15v and CH2 charges to 4.12v

This is one brand to stay away from until they fix their products!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tyl3pw5e8v2tjgc/IMG_20180606_180551.jpg?dl=0
Fully charged 2pcs Sanyo NCR18650GA

https://www.dropbox.com/s/20gihu5m5fwe1d7/IMG_20180606_180646.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/znohvb6hydu25oj/IMG_20180606_180738.jpg?dl=0
Voltage measured. Voltage tester has been calibrated to match my DMM

Temperature
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kz66thmw70i6crn/IMG_20180606_171422.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9yef17h223sqfe8/IMG_20180606_171202.jpg?dl=0

Maximum temperature in Manual 0-40C

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

New Zealand store – https://www.piercingthedarkness.co.nz (NZ customers only)

YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUWi2vYp4CWrRkOJM70t_w/videos (Demos for my customers, and reviews)