Review: Charger Soshine SC-S7 UK

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HKJ
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Review: Charger Soshine SC-S7 UK

Charger Soshine SC-S7

DSC_0642



This is a smart charger that can handle both LiIon and NiMH batteries, it can charge one battery at a time and is rated for a 1A charge current.

DSC_0640

I did not get the charger in a full retail package, but instead in a envelope.

DSC_0641

The envelope contained the charger, a universal voltage (100-240V 50/60Hz) mains power supply and a usb cable.

DSC_0657

The plus connection is slightly raised, this means that the charger can be used with flat top batteries.

DSC_0658 DSC_0659
DSC_0644

The minus connection is a slider that can be manually moved . This gives a span from 26 mm to 70 mm long batteries.
I would have liked a spring in one of the ends, this would have made the adjustment easier.
The negative end can be used as a spring, but then it must be moved in, before the battery is placed in the charger.

DSC_0643

Power can be supplied from a 12 vold adapter or from a usb power supply, in both cases it requires a 1A power supply.

Display%20poweron

Instead of the typical red/green leds, this charger uses a display to show status information on.

Display%20standby

When no battery is in the charger it shows this standby display. There is a faint clicking sound from the charger in this mode.

Display%20NiMH%20start Display%20LiIon

While charging it shows the voltage and the time used, with LiIon it will also show an estimate of how many percent capacity is charged into the battery.
The voltmeter has some limitations, for LiIon it will not show below 3.3 volt or above 4.2 volt, it will stay at these voltages.

Display%20NiMH%20done1 Display%20NiMH%20done2
Display%20NiMH%20done3

When done the display will show a battery full message, then show the time used and the capacity charged into the battery, these 3 displays will cycle. The capacity is not a precision measurement, but good enough to compare LiIon batteries and see when it is time to replace a battery (Remember the battery must be empty to measure the capacity).
For NiMH the value will be way above the battery capacity, these batteries need some extra current when being charged.

supportedBatteryTypes

supportedBatterySizes DSC_0653 DSC_0655 DSC_0660 DSC_0654 DSC_0656

The charger can handle 70 mm long batteries including flat top cells.



Measurements

Below 0.7 volt the charger reports standby and is pulsing 130mA current to test for a battery, this will also reset a protected battery.
Between 0.7 volt and 2.3 volt the charger assumes it is a NiMH battery.
Above 2.3 volt the charger will assume LiIon.
When a battery is put into the charger it will start with about 300mA and after some time switch to full charge current.
When charger is disconnected from power, but with a battery in, it will discharge with 2 mA from a NiMH and 7mA from a LiIon.
When the charge current goes below the termination current the charging is stopped and it will discharge with 2 mA from a NiMH and 10mA from a LiIon, but due to pulsing the battery will stay charged.
The charge will always restart charging when a battery is put into it or after a power loss and for NiMH it might charge a significant amount of current.

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(PA18650-34)

The first test is with a 18650 battery, the charger does a CC/CV charge profile, but when it report battery full (At the yellow line) it starts doing some very strange pulses.

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(PA18650-34)%20USB

Same battery, this time with usb power. The charger starts at full current, but reduces the current during charge, maybe because it cannot supply full current with the lower voltage difference between battery and usb voltage?
It does look like the pulses stops after some time. The pulses will not damage the battery, but the battery will be charged slightly higher.

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(AW18350-IMR)

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(AW18350-IMR)%20USB

A smaller LiIon battery works exactly like the 18650 I tried first.

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(AW16340-IMR)

My old IMR cell, did not work as expected, after a short time the "Poor cell" text turned on and it showed "FAIL" on the display. The charger has a point about the cell.
I have also seen the charger only show "Poor cell", but continue to charge.

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(Eneloop-XX)

Soshine%20SC-S7%20(Eneloop-XX)%20USB

When charging NiMH the 300mA current on for much longer time, than when charging LiIon and this makes it visible in the charts (My guess is that this current is used to detect a LiIon battery with). The charge current is the same on 12 volt and usb power.
This charger might use -dv/dt terminations for NiMH.
The charger also has the pulsing after the charge is terminated and it does not look like it will stop, this is perfectly fine for a NiMH battery.

ChartNiMHStartup

This is the charge current, just after a NiMH battery is put into the charger, it is pulsing with 300mA current.

ChartNiMHCharge

After some time (about 10 minutes) it switches to the full 1A charge current, but still pulsing. During the low part of the pulse it is discharging the battery (The red curve is below the 0.0 line)

ChartLiIonStartup

This is the charge current, just after a LiIon battery is put into the charger, it is pulsing with 300mA current, it will after a few seconds change to the full current.

ChartLiIonCharge

Full charge current into a LiIon battery. This does not do any discharge in the pulses.

ChartLiIonFull

The LiIon battery is full and the charger is pulsing and also doing a weak discharge in between the pulses. The average will continue to charge the battery. Note: I have changed scale.



Conclusion

The charger has many interesting features: Charges both LiIon and NiMH, shows charged capacity, detect bad batteries, shows charge state for LiIon.
But all these features are only interesting, if the charger does a good job. It looks like it does a good job on NiMH and an acceptable job on LiIon, but I am not impressed with the pulsing when the charge is supposed to be finished. The discharge of a few mA is not really significant, except if leaving the batteries in the charger for days.



Notes

The charger was supplied by illuminationGear.com for a review.

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

Edited by: sb56637 on 06/25/2015 - 14:19
march.brown
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Is it possible that the strange pulses ar due to a faulty charger ?

Would another one of these chargers show the same strange pulses ?

Have you looked inside to see what chips are being used ?

Great review , many thanks.

march.brown

HKJ
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march.brown wrote:
Is it possible that the strange pulses ar due to a faulty charger ?

No.

march.brown wrote:
Would another one of these chargers show the same strange pulses ?

Yes.

march.brown wrote:
Have you looked inside to see what chips are being used ? Great review , many thanks.

No, I would expect a microprocessor and a buck converter.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

phlowcus
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Superb review, thanks HKJ!

iron potato
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For those who want to see the retail packing

Photobucket

Charge using the supplied adapter, Li-ion end voltage 4.19V, while on USB power end voltage was 4.14V, same battery, is it due to my USB power adapter cannot supply enough current ?

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Thanks HKJ!  What kind of retail price are we seeing on this?  Is this charger worth using to measure capacity of Li-Ions?  Is the capacity reported close enough to "true" capacity?  I realize this won't give us capacity at high discharge currents (i.e. 3A or 5A), but would the stated capacity be similar to a 1A discharge rate capacity?

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sixty545
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Thanks for the review. But I miss something in the conclusion about 14500/16340/18350/10440 being charged at 1 A. Do you think that 1A is OK.

HKJ
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iron potato wrote:
Li-ion end voltage4.19V, while on USB power end voltage was 4.14V, same battery, is it due to my USB power adapter cannot supply enough current ?


If you look at my curves, you will see the same, when using USB power the final voltage is slightly lower. My guess is that it is due to voltage, i.e. the difference 0.8 volt between 4.2 and 5 volt is just at the of the charge.

garrybunk wrote:
What kind of retail price are we seeing on this?  Is this charger worth using to measure capacity of Li-Ions?  Is the capacity reported close enough to "true" capacity?  I realize this won't give us capacity at high discharge currents (i.e. 3A or 5A), but would the stated capacity be similar to a 1A discharge rate capacity?


For price, try searching (DX is $17.40). For LiIon the measured is fairly good, for the AW18350-IMR the display showed 804mAh and for PA18650-34 on USB it showed 3325mAh, you can compare that to where the blue and yellow line crosses in my charts.

You cannot really compare it to the discharge rate, if you discharge at 5A and then charge the battery, the display will show how many mAh you did use (Within a few %).

sixty545 wrote:
But I miss something in the conclusion about 14500/16340/18350/10440 being charged at 1 A. Do you think that 1A is OK.


I do have a table with supported battery sizes, the 14500/16340/18350/10440 are all to small for it, except IMR types.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

hank
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> will always restart charging when a battery is put into it or after a power loss
> and for NiMH it might charge a significant amount of current.

So putting in a nearly-charged NiMH risks cooking the cell? or having a power flicker cause a reset when one is almost charged?

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hank wrote:
> will always restart charging when a battery is put into it or after a power loss > and for NiMH it might charge a significant amount of current. So putting in a nearly-charged NiMH risks cooking the cell? or having a power flicker cause a reset when one is almost charged?

NiMH is fairly tolerant with over charging, i.e. I do not know how much damage it does and how this behaviour compares to other chargers.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

vēer
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Thanks alot, HKJ, for another quality review ;)!
Im looking at this as a cheap and portable, no clutter Li battery capacity tester, I know hobby charger would be more versatile and with better accuracy and option, but it will cost more and take up much more space with all the wires and caddies, so Im not sure why would someone who needs only simple testing to make sure their batteries are within manufacturers specifications choose something more complicated and expensive.

HKJ
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vēer wrote:
Thanks alot, HKJ, for another quality review ;)! Im looking at this as a cheap and portable, no clutter Li battery capacity tester, I know hobby charger would be more versatile and with better accuracy and option, but it will cost more and take up much more space with all the wires and caddies, so Im not sure why would someone who needs only simple testing to make sure their batteries are within manufacturers specifications choose something more complicated and expensive.

Do not expect it to show if a battery is 2500 or 2600 mAh, the actual reading will depend on how much you discharged the battery.

But it will be good to check if the battery has lost a lot of capacity or you got a fake cell.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

sb56637
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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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hank
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Could you use this charger to tell whether a NiMH cell is weak or damaged?

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hank wrote:
Could you use this charger to tell whether a NiMH cell is weak or damaged?

As long as you always run the cell empty, before charging, the mAh display is a good indicator of problems with the cell.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

spaceboy
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Would the Xtar WP2 II be a better option than this? Is it true Xtar will be releasing a new version with a display very soon?

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spaceboy wrote:
Would the Xtar WP2 II be a better option than this?

That is difficult to say:

  • They uses the same style of charging algorithm.
  • The SC-7 does charge after reporting ready, but only for a limited time.
  • The SC-7 shows mAh, this is useful to see how far a battery has been run down and to see if a battery is nearing end of life.
  • The SC-7 will also handle NiMH
  • The WP2 does two batteries at a time and terminated completely, but are missing the display.

Personally I would prefer the WP2, but I can always use some other charger to check the capacity of a battery.

 

spaceboy wrote:
Is it true Xtar will be releasing a new version with a display very soon?

I have seen some rumors on CPF about it. If these rumors are true I would very much like to test it.

 

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

how2
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How can I measure the charging rate for my chargers with a DMM?

I want to charge My Trustfire 10440 blacks when they arrive.

My charger are the Trustfire TP 001 and Ultrafire WF 139

how2
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How can I measure the charging rate for my chargers with a DMM?

I want to charge My Trustfire 10440 blacks when they arrive.

My charger are the Trustfire TP 001 and Ultrafire WF 139

how2
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How can I measure the charging rate for my chargers with a DMM?

I want to charge My Trustfire 10440 blacks when they arrive.

My charger are the Trustfire TP 001 and Ultrafire WF 139

HKJ
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fran82
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HKJ, I have a question for you…

I dont know if you have tried, but…

You said that it needs 1A no matter you use USB or 12v.

What happens if you connect the charger to a USB port or a USB power supply capable only of delivering 500mA??

It will not charge? It will charge, but at 500mA? It will give error message?

Thanks!

PS: veeery good review. Thanks for sharing

Enjoy BLF

HKJ
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fran82 wrote:
I dont know if you have tried, but... You said that it needs 1A no matter you use USB or 12v. What happens if you connect the charger to a USB port or a USB power supply capable only of delivering 500mA?? It will not charge? It will charge, but at 500mA? It will give error message? Thanks! PS: veeery good review. Thanks for sharing

I have not tried it, but I would guess that the current is reduced when the usb voltage goes down, i.e. it will simply charge with a lower current.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

asval
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HKJ wrote:

I have not tried it, but I would guess that the current is reduced when the usb voltage goes down, i.e. it will simply charge with a lower current.

that’s nice to know, I bought one thanks to your review to use it to charge NiHM cells with a 4 18650 box that gets power from a solar panel. Would be nice if I could hook it directly to my solar panel though, I’ll post back results when it arrives.

fran82
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HKJ wrote:

fran82 wrote:
I dont know if you have tried, but… You said that it needs 1A no matter you use USB or 12v. What happens if you connect the charger to a USB port or a USB power supply capable only of delivering 500mA?? It will not charge? It will charge, but at 500mA? It will give error message? Thanks! PS: veeery good review. Thanks for sharing

I have not tried it, but I would guess that the current is reduced when the usb voltage goes down, i.e. it will simply charge with a lower current.

Do you have any way to test that? Because if it charges when conecting to a 500mA USB source, but at a lower rate than 1000mA, I will buy it on Sunday or Monday….

Enjoy BLF

HKJ
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asval wrote:
that's nice to know, I bought one thanks to your review to use it to charge NiHM cells with a 4 18650 box that gets power from a solar panel. Would be nice if I could hook it directly to my solar panel though, I'll post back results when it arrives.

I will not recommend using any NiMH charger directly from a solar panel, this has to do with the charge termination.

With this charger, you might also get problems with the microprocessor.

fran82 wrote:
Do you have any way to test that? Because if it charges when conecting to a 500mA USB source, but at a lower rate than 1000mA, I will buy it on Sunday or Monday....

I did a partial charge with 4.5 volt on the USB input (Most usb supplies will reduce the voltage when overloaded, not turn off).

The input current was reduced to 700mA, but the "smart" part of the charger did have some problems, it reported my battery as "poor" and there was a slight flashing in the display.

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

fran82
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OK, thanks HKJ, now I will not buy it.

You have saved me 18$…

My purpose was to use it always at 5v USB and 500mA to charge batteries at 500 not at 1000.

Now, you said that it starts to do “estrange” things, such as reportin bad cell and some flashing in the screen….

Thanks a lot for your time and work, HKJ!!

I will continue searching for the perfect (or almost-perfect) USB charger

(I already have a sanyo AA/AAA USB charger for 9$ which is for me the best, but it charges only NiMh)

Enjoy BLF

HKJ
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fran82 wrote:
I will continue searching for the perfect (or almost-perfect) USB charger

For LiIon the ML-102 is a good charger, but you do not get any fancy display.

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fran82
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Yes. Thanks HKJ, I was searching for a USB charger capable of charging both NiMh and Li-ion

Enjoy BLF

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hello HKJ, i saw that you make a lot of good reviews, and i´m new here, i don´t know much about the graphics that you showed here, but how about this charger, it´s dangerous to charge 18650 cells? can explode the batteries? cause this charge can handle all kind of batteries and has a good price, has many functions… i don´t have any charge at the moment, i bought one like this http://dx.com/p/universal-ac-charger-for-aa-aaa-6f22-18650-battery-ac-10..., but my light is always showing green when i try to charge the batteries. have you tried that?
this one from soshine has a good price… and functions… i will have problems with it?
many thanks, sorry for my ignorance about batteries and chargers…

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