Test/Review of Charger Xtar MC1

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HKJ
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Test/Review of Charger Xtar MC1

Charger Xtar MC1

DSC_5183

DSC_5184 DSC_5185

Xtar makes many LiIon chargers, this is their smallest charger that can handle 18650/26650 batteries. The charger is small and light weight, it can only charge one battery at a time and only with 0.5A.

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I got the charger in a small cardboard box with the specifications printed on it.

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The box contains the charger, a usb cable, a instruction manual and a warranty card.

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There is no power supply included with the charger, you must supply your own usb power supply/charger. With a maximum charger current of 0.5A the charger can run will most usb supplies (Some of the cheaper ones does not supply specificed current: See my test).
The connector is micro usb, i.e. most mobil phone chargers can be used.

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There is not much user interface on the charger, only a red/green led. It is red while charging and green at all other times.

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The charger can handle both button top and flat top batteries.
The slider moves smoothly and can hand cells from 31mm to 72 mm long.

supportedBatteryTypes

supportedBatterySizes DSC_5194 DSC_5193 DSC_5195 DSC_5196 DSC_5192 DSC_5191

The charger can easily handle 70 mm long batteries, including flat top cells. (See my small LiIon comparison for length of different brands).
The current is to high for 10440 batteries.


Measurements

  • Below 2.9 volt the charger charges with about 70 mA (Red led is on).
  • Above 2.9 volt the charger applies regular charge current.
  • When the charge is finished the charger is charging with a few uA.
  • The charger will restart if the voltage drops below 4.12 volt, but the led will first indicate charge if the voltage drops below 4.09 volt (This probably depends on the actual reference voltage of the two charge chips).
  • Power cycling or battery reinsertion will not restart charging.
  • When charger is disconnected from power, but with a battery in, it will draw about 25 uA from the battery.
  • Charger has two parallel charging circuits.



Xtar%20MC1%205V%20(PA18650-31)

In the first curve I have both measured the charge curve, the input current and the temperature. With only 0.5A charge from 5 volt, there is not much heat in the charger.
It does a fairly good CC/CV, it is slightly below maximum possible speed, because the charge current drops slightly when battery voltage raises and it changes to the CV phase a bit early. The termination current is around 40mA, but the charger reports battery full at about 130mA.
It will probably be random what charge circuit finish first, i.e. on half the chargers the led will be correct.

Xtar%20MC1%20(PA18650-34)

A 3400mAh battery takes longer to charge.

Xtar%20MC1%20(BE18650-26)

And a 2600mAh battery is faster to charge

Xtar%20MC1%20(AW18350-IMR)

No surprise with the 18350 cell.

Xtar%20MC1%20(AW16340-IMR)

Even my old 16340 cell is charged perfectly.

Xtar%20MC1%20(KP14500-08)

A 800mAh 14500 cell.

Xtar%20MC1%20Input%20voltage

The charge current varies slightly with input voltage, i.e. a usb supply that can deliver stable 5 volt will mean slightly faster charging than one that drops to 4.5 volt.
The charger can supply 0.4A with about 0.6 volt drop in the charger, this can also be seen in the charge curves, it maintains nearly full charge current until the battery voltage is above 4.1 volt.

Temperature

M1: 27,5°C, M2: 26,1°C, M3: 27,2°C, HS1: 28,7°C

With only 0.5A charge current, there is not much heat in the charger. This is very good.

Poweron

The charger is a simple charger and does not need any time to initialize when power is turned on, it simply starts charger with 0.5A.



Conclusion

For a simple and light weight charger, this is a good charger.
The charge indication led may report finished before the battery is full, but it is usual only a few percent charge that will be missing.



Notes

The charger was supplied by XTAR 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 - 14:21
pipifax
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Thank you for the review!

Does the product twist if you try to twist it?

Looks so small and cheap thin plastic china Smile

HKJ
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pipifax wrote:
Does the product twist if you try to twist it?

Looks so small and cheap thin plastic china :)

 

Yes, but I have to twist rather hard, for the size I will call it strong.

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

pipifax
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Thank you for your honest evaluation. I will put it on my short list!! Cool

Chloe
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Thanks for the review! This is a good feature but 500mA is really both too high and too low for my needs from a small USB charger. ML-102 v5/6 is better buy I think; with some modification it can accept protected cells.

Quote:
Power cycling or battery reinsertion will not restart charging.

HKJ
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Chloe wrote:
Thanks for the review! This is a good feature but 500mA is really both too high and too low for my needs from a small USB charger. ML-102 v5/6 is better buy I think; with some modification it can accept protected cells.

There will always be individual preferences. I believe Xtar has selected a good current for a light weight charger. 500mA is the maximum current you want for 16340 cells and you can also charger 26650 if you have a some patience.

The ML102 has a couple of other tricks (usb output), but it cannot handle this wide span of battery sizes. It is very good value for money.

For a really universal small charger, you need the SP1, but that is another price and not nearly as light weight.

 

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

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I have one of these, or should say “had” one of these

MAJOR flaw in the design…they use the VERY flimsy surface mount micro USB connector and not the substantially stronger thru hole usb connector, a good tug on the cord (if it slips off your desk or whatever with a decently hefty 18650 in it) there is a very good chance it will literally tear that tiny micro USB loose from the soldering…how do I know this…it happened to me 3x times and I resoldered it, and it is NOT easy reasoldering those teeny tiny pins

Only way to open it is destructive by literally cracking open the bottom to get to the board, then supergluing/epoxying it back on (it uses rails on the bottom cover for support of the slider rails on top, without the bottom cover securely held in place the rail can flex, and the slider spring slips/falls off the little support stud [no more retractable slider])

I even tried epoxying over the connector (after I resoldered the little feet back to the board, but it came off again…got fed up and stripped the board, soldered on a pigtail and soldered down to one of the HKJ reviewed TP4056 USB charging modules…works great but would much rather have the stronger thru hole USB micro connector

With that said…it is an INCREDIBLE charger, not many offer the sliding different size charge platform, you can’t beat it for $5.95~

P.S. It uses the TP4057 IC chip
http://www.tpmicro.com/goods.php?id=48

My writeup here
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/27948

However, must say, awesome writeup as usual HKJ…love to see the CC/CV curve in the graphs Smile

leaftye
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I love the size, and that it uses the same usb cable as my Kindle and tablet. Very convenient.  Not crazy about the weak usb port.  I hope they fix that usb port.  It'd be really awesome if that added nimh charging capability.

The low mode should be lower.

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leaftye wrote:
Not crazy about the weak usb port.  I hope they fix that usb port. 

I have never had this kind of problems, but I am usual careful when plugging and unplugging small connectors.

Micro usb is the usb connector that has the longest life (most mating cycles).

leaftye wrote:
It'd be really awesome if that added nimh charging capability.

That would give heat problems and in my opinion a single channel is to little for AA(A) batteries.

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

leaftye
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Why would it cause heat problems?

Single channel would be perfect for me.  Zebralight H52.  It'd be nice to carry both battery types and have one charger work for both.

The low mode should be lower.

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HKJ wrote:

leaftye wrote:
Not crazy about the weak usb port.  I hope they fix that usb port. 

I have never had this kind of problems, but I am usual careful when plugging and unplugging small connectors.

Micro usb is the usb connector that has the longest life (most mating cycles).

leaftye wrote:
It’d be really awesome if that added nimh charging capability.

That would give heat problems and in my opinion a single channel is to little for AA(A) batteries.


It’s not the connector that is the problem…it is the physical mounting of the connector on the PCB inside the charger that is the problem


This is the type of USB connector on the Miller Version 6, it’s a surface mount but has the thru hole feet, as you see they hang thru the board and are soldered in the board, MUCH stronger than the below


This is a SMD surface mount, notice the feet go out away (like wings rather than claws), they are soldered to pads on the board, as we know solder on chromed metal doesn’t stick all that well…thus a good tug lifts the feet, pulling the teeny pins usually breaking them…which means kaput charger

Externally they look the exact same…until you see the board, you don’t know if you have the stronger USB Micro connection or not…some USB micro connectors only have one foot to solder down, most of the USB Mini have two

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leaftye wrote:
Why would it cause heat problems?

Problems may be to strong a word, but instead of having 0.7 watt of heat it will have 1.4 watt of heat to get rid of, due to the lower voltage on the battery.

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

musicmagic
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I was thinking of getting a few as gift chargers, but my only concern is if this charger has reverse battery protection?

Thanks for the review.

Edit, just found the data sheet, it looks like it does. I think I answered my own question.

If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullcrap.

The real currency in the world is not money, it’s trust.

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musicmagic wrote:
I was thinking of getting a few as gift chargers, but my only concern is if this charger has reverse battery protection?

Thanks for the review.

Edit, just found the data sheet, it looks like it does. I think I answered my own question.

Yup…put the battery in backwards the charging LED goes out…ask me how I know Wink
brad
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The Xtar MC1 seems like an excellent choice for a car, cigarette lighter, usb adapter, since it sounds like it handles fluctuations.

Am I correct, and if so, running or not running the car should make no difference?

The terrible ifs are accumulating.
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They charge great…500mA but charge VERY good…and are teeny tiny

HKJ
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brad wrote:
The Xtar MC1 seems like an excellent choice for a car, cigarette lighter, usb adapter, since it sounds like it handles fluctuations. Am I correct, and if so, running or not running the car should make no difference?

Being without a microcontroller it handles fluctuations easy, i.e. solar panel or car ought to work well.

But it can probably not handle spikes from the electric supply, the 12V -> 5V adapter must handle that.

 

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

brad
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The car charger is an authentic AT&T Micro-USB Car Charger with USB Port 2Amp, so I guess that it would handle the spikes?

I just realized that my small Rosewill inverter has a USB 1Amp port, so it would probably handle spikes better than the above. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882021123

The terrible ifs are accumulating.
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well it only is sooo slow, takes 10h to get a 2600 mah protected eagletac battery from 3.6 to 4.2
(yes indeed 10+ hours!)

/ Just a Byte /

harry218
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LanWolf wrote:
well it only is sooo slow, takes 10h to get a 2600 mah protected eagletac battery from 3.6 to 4.2

Are you sure? Should be around 6 hrs.
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can it accept a 5v 2Amps travel adapter used for tablet phone or it only accept a 5v 0.5Amps adapter only?

HKJ
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mingjae wrote:
can it accept a 5v 2Amps travel adapter used for tablet phone or it only accept a 5v 0.5Amps adapter only?

Yes, more amps is not a problem.

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

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can i ask more question?

it is not written in the batteries support list, but can it charge a Samsung INR18650-25R cell?

and what makes a 18650 charger good for charging an IMR batteries?
I see an intellicharger i2 Nitecore’s advertisement is state “Revolutionary Upgrade for IMR Batteries”,
does this MC1 as good as i2 when charging IMR cells?

thankyou

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“Revolutionary Upgrade for IMR Batteries”
That just marketing, sales pitch.

Charging IMR is that same as normal Li-ion. Any cc/cv charger will charge Samsung INR18650-25R. This Xtar MC1 will work.

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mingjae wrote:
can i ask more question? it is not written in the batteries support list, but can it charge a Samsung INR18650-25R cell? and what makes a 18650 charger good for charging an IMR batteries? I see an intellicharger i2 Nitecore's advertisement is state "Revolutionary Upgrade for IMR Batteries", does this MC1 as good as i2 when charging IMR cells? thankyou


Easily, all IMR, ICR, INR batteries uses the same charge algorithm and most of them also uses the same charge voltage (4.20 volt).

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

mingjae
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ow ok, I see..

I think MC1 will become more popular on budget tight and has good compact design.. :cheers

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Was re-reading this MC1 basic charger, and the “Measurements” portion says:

Quote:
Measurements

-Charger has two parallel charging circuit

“two parallel charging circuit” = ?

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d_t_a wrote:
“two parallel charging circuit” = ?

Two charging chips in parallel. This is done to increase charging current.

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