Test/Review of Charger LiitoKala Engineer Lii-500

372 posts / 0 new
Last post
Nicolaas
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 10/31/2012 - 15:38
Posts: 458
Location: Netherlands

Older cells have higher resistance and lower capacity.
They can still be used, provided the amp draw is moderate and you are not looking for max output or throw.

I plan to use this charger to roughly analyze my cells as well – especially the laptop pulls.
Will report back on that.

Grtz
Nico

Ormbett
Ormbett's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 02/26/2015 - 09:55
Posts: 1245
Location: Sweden

HKJ, thank you very much for the review! Do you always test the included power adapters regarding safety and stated capacity?

Kind regards

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7448
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Ormbett wrote:
HKJ, thank you very much for the review! Do you always test the included power adapters regarding safety and stated capacity? Kind regards

With dedicated adapters I do all my charger tests with it and do the 5000 volt test on the adapter.

With usb adapters I usual use my own power supply and do a abridged usb adapter test on the usb adapter.

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

Windsurf
Windsurf's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/22/2014 - 15:27
Posts: 343
Location: Boston, MA

poster wrote:
i had 50 or so pulls before i even bought any charger and i started with empty DIY power banks for $1-$4 and i was happy
then i bought a D4 and not so happy it was slow like the DIY power banks
i recently bought some Lii-500 and i am very happy at the same time i started to buy 18650 the best ones Sanyo NCR18650BF but i still use my old pulls as with the Lii-500 i can spot the good ones and most are and i am happy

BTW between the old GOOD pulls (say the ~2200mAh ones) and the new Sayno 3400mAh i get 2x the run time with my small leds so there is something to say about getting new cells

Poster I wish I were in your position. I certainly would try those Sanyo’s you told us about, except that I hardly use the 18650’s that I have now since I mostly use an L2M for EDC. Maybe if I buy a Trustfire R-J12 or 16 and need those 18650’s I will change my mind. I already have 8 18650’s from Dell pulls and have another 2 battery packs that will give me 12 more. (I plan on opening these last two this weekend. They are red 18650’s. (can’t figure out which brand they are but work great so far.) Maybe I’m finally getting the cure for flashaholicism. :>)

poster
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 07/29/2014 - 02:28
Posts: 78
i go through 30-40 a week for various lights where i need them and i guess i am willing to pay for not have to charge as many cells all the time with most of my pulls (mostly 2200-2600mAh) my new 3400mAh NCR18650BF run 2x as long

maybe i need to try NEW 2600mAh cells
NEW Samsung ICR18650-26F 2600mAh are ~$2.10 for 50pcs
NEW Sanyo NCR18650BF 3400mAh are ~$3.86 for 20pc

or does anyone know what Laptops packs have the highest rated cells inside
do any use 3000mAh or higher the most i have seen are 2800mAh

seb
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 09:10
Posts: 6
Location: Estonia

Excellent post HKJ!

I got this charger about month ago. This time there were no any reviews so had to test and open the device.
What I like:
1. 4 totally indipendent channels, no matter where to place Li-Ion or NiCd/NiMh
2. Charging curve for Li-Ion is very good (compared with my iCharger 206). “Semi-fast” charge, ended with 1/10 charging current.
3. mOhm (mR for chinese people I guess) reading is not very precise but at least it is same (+/-1mOhm) for all slots. For comparing – good enough.
4. 1A charging for all 4 slots together is good to have
5. NOR test is informative.
6. Place all 4 batteries, plug the power and change only one slot’s current (or charge/fast test/not test) – all slots are changing simultaneously. This is handy option.

What I don’t like:
1. Voltage display showing diffrent voltage. There is strictly 4,20V, display shows 4,22V. In lower values it’s off even by 0,1V.
(measured with voltage reference calibrated multimeter) Dicharging voltage shows more accurate. Something to do with rail’s resistance maybe?
2. FAST test is for what? Would be “fast” if charger immidiately starts discharging – showing then SOC for particular battery.
3. LCD backlight is turning off complitely. Yes, it would consume current in USB mode, but during charge it is hard to see without pressing any button..
4. Charger becomes very hot when charging 4 batteries together. There are 4 little chokes 64uH with 0,4mm wire. They become wery hot. So does schottky diodes.
5. NiMH charging stops in 1,52V and no deltaV protection. It means that some batteries can be ovecharged and most undercharged.
There are two (interesting why 2 and not 4) NTC resistors thermally connected with plastic case but didn’t help with older Eneloops. Overcharged these poor things.
6. No 4 electrolytic capacitors in charging circuit. There are empty places for caps. For purpose or manufacturer tries to keep prices low?

What I did:
1. Added resistor to backlight switching transistor. Now BL after while goes just dimmer (not off) and consumes still only few milliamps. So no problems even with USB charging.
2. Changed chokes to bigger ones but nearly same inductance. Much less heat.
3. Added big heatsink (just copper plate) to schottky diodes. I guess that in such hot enviroment inside the case they just blow out after some time.
4. Addede some hetsink to MOSFET’s in discharge circuit.
5. Added 100uF capacitors.

Can add some pictures of circuit if someone’s intrested…

chuckhov
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:57
Posts: 1178
Location: Florida, AKA God's Waiting Room

seb,

I can see that you really know what you are talking about – Welcome to the BLF!

I do not know what I am talking about:-)

I just ordered this charger yesterday, and am hoping for the best.

Thank you so much for your post, and I do hope that you will stay with us!
-Chuck

seb
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 09:10
Posts: 6
Location: Estonia

Thanks chuckhof Smile
Hard to find a good 4-bay universal charger these days but I guess Lii-500 is not bad at all.
With little tweaking it becomes even better. For those who use it mostly for Li-Ion.

poster
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 07/29/2014 - 02:28
Posts: 78

seb wrote:
Can add some pictures of circuit if someone’s intrested…
i would love to see what you did to this otherwise great charger

BTW is this the only under ~$25 charger that will do 1amp for each bank

chuckhov
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:57
Posts: 1178
Location: Florida, AKA God's Waiting Room

+1… !

Not that I would know what I am looking at – I just want him to continue posting!

Seems like a great guy!

Thanks!
-Chuck

seb
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 09:10
Posts: 6
Location: Estonia

Original pics:

1kOhm resistor for LCD transistor Q35 (sorry for bad soldering..):

Original coils:

Bigger coils:

Original, without heatsink:

Heatsink (It touches only schotty diodes underneath, with thermal paste. Diodes seen below doesn’t heat much):

If you want pictures bigger rez. please tell me, didn’t know how big forum allows..

poster
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 07/29/2014 - 02:28
Posts: 78

Awesome may i ask while i am handy can you do the before and after pics or circle the spot you added to and what you did there when i get my next 2 in i will do these mods to them
since i just ordered them can you show i parts list as i probably do not have all the parts and i will have time to order them

thanks again nice work

seb
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 09:10
Posts: 6
Location: Estonia

poster wrote:
Awesome may i ask while i am handy can you do the before and after pics or circle the spot you added to and what you did there when i get my next 2 in i will do these mods to them

Well, I’ll better try to explain Smile
1. Changed original coils (chokes) to better ones as you see on picture. They are bit bigger in size and actually don’t fit original places. But they fit,
there is plenty of room under LCD. Coils can be 40…100uH (microhenry), at least I tried these values and charging curve was almost the same.
Wire thickness is 0,8mm, they work with currents up to 4…6 amps.
2. On LCD’s circuit board I soldered 1,2kOhm resistor between transistor’s legs. You don’t have to use tiny SMD resistor, it can be bigger in size,
but value must be 1,0…2kOhm. It depends how bright you want your LCD after “shutting off”. If you use your charger as PowerBank (charging phone etc.)
then you want dimmer light (1,2kOhm would be good value), because it consumes precious amps from your batteries.
By the way…USB output cannot be used with NiMH/NiCd batteries in charger, only Li-ion.
3. Heatsinks on big MOSFET transistors are simply pieces on copper. Have to think something better…Whole idea was to relieve thermal stress from these transistors,
as there is very hot inside chargers case.
4. Added 4x electrolytic capacitors 100uF/16V (blue ones near coils). Do we need these? Good if someone can measure more deeply..
5. Big copper plate (thickness 0,5mm) touches only 5 schottky diodes undeneath. With white thermal paste. It is soldered from 4 edges to circuit board.
As we know, tiny SMD diode use it’s legs to carry away heat. So the circuit board too gets very hot. Copper plate helps alot. This charger doesn’t have fan, remember…
will34
will34's picture
Offline
Last seen: 41 min 19 sec ago
Joined: 12/18/2012 - 00:12
Posts: 4112

Nice mod! What are the blue capacitors for?

Why in stock form it has the space but no components?

seb
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: 08/27/2015 - 09:10
Posts: 6
Location: Estonia

will34 wrote:
Nice mod! What are the blue capacitors for?

Why in stock form it has the space but no components?


They are for some filtering I guess. Lii-260 has these electrolytes parallelled with little ceramic capacitors.
Lii-500 has only ceramic ones. Maybe manufacturer found that output voltage ripple is low enough and left them out.
Or in some versions they still do exist? Wonder if someone could measure with and without…

There are many reasons to leave cicuit partly “unpopulated”. Main reason is to cut costs if some components are not critical
and can be left out. This is very common approach in cheap electronics.

USSR
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 07/12/2012 - 15:13
Posts: 74
Location: Pakistan

 aliexpress uses escrow for buyer protection . works similar to paypay but anyone having credit card can use it.

 now regarding it available for cheap. 

i doubt this item..because my experience with aliexpress tells me if something is very cheap then its normal price (like in this case) then its a fake order.. the seller gives fake tracking id..

happened 4 times for me ..  

poster wrote:
i want add that i figured a way to SET ALL BANKS TO THE SAME SETTING AT ONCE if you have all cells in the charger *_UNPLUG the power and plug it back in_ +THEN within a second+ _SET 1 bank to the feature and current you want_* the rest will be set to the same setting _IF ITS DONE WITHIN A SECOND OR SO_ now that the Lii-500 has the seal of approval i can point you to a low price for the Lii-500 (from Ali E. no paypal) "its now $21.60 or less ":http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Lii500-LCD-charger-3-7V-Liitokala-18650-b... " or here for $24":http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Lii500-LCD-charger-3-7V-Liitokala-18650-b...

 

 

 

madhaka7
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/29/2015 - 14:27
Posts: 1
Location: zimbabwe

I got mine a few weeks ago the charger works fine for 18650s i bought it mainly for laptop pulls which i use to build battery packs when using the internal resistance at which range shows cells in still in good condition average condition and those not so good

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

I occasionally read the chargers tests done by HKJ and I thank him very much for his work Smile .

I’ve some questions about the LiitoKala Engineer Lii-500. It’s OK for Li-ion batteries but HKJ says the termination is too quick for NimH batteries. What is the good termination for a NimH battery? If it stops at 1.45 V instead of 1.52 V (for example), do I lost a lot of power or just a little : 2400 instead of 2500 mAh for example?

2 years ago, I bought a Lacrosse RS-1020 before HKJ did a test. I was a little disappointed because it seems it’s not a good charger (too much current after termination). When I charge AA Eneloop Pro XX at 200 mA (the most convenient, I’ve nothing to do and I’m not in a hurry), it never exceed 1.49 V (I have the same tension with my multimeter) and when it stops, the tension is 1.46~1.47 V while the RS-1020 climbs to 1.52 V with 1 A on HKJ’s tests.

With AA Tronics (Lidl), when it stops, the tension is about 1.44 V.

It seems to be similar with the LiitoKala when it charges an Eneloop at 300 mAh.

What do you think? Can we hope a correction for this new charger? I don’t use a lot of electrical devices which use batteries. Then I should want to avoid to buy a lot of chargers Wink .

Thank you Smile .

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

Nobody to help me Sad ? HKJ ?

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7448
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

sjlouis wrote:
Nobody to help me Sad ? HKJ ?

You cannot terminate a NiMH charger on voltage, if you want a full battery. Some chargers cheats a bit and do a top-off charge after they terminate, that way it is much more likely you get a full battery.

Another way to terminate charging on NiMH is -dv/dt, this looks for a small voltage drop, before terminating. This will fill the batteries, but can miss termination in some cases (Especially with low charge current).

In my reviews I look at the temperature, when it starts raising the cell is full. A charger could also do that, but it can be a bit tricky to make reliable.

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

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

Ok, I know a little how do a charger but it’s not very easy to control it and I’ve red that the voltage decrease when the battery is full, that’s why I control it on the screen and I’ve seen it on my RS-1020.

Then how can I know the battery is well filled?

Does the LiitoKala misses a lot the termination : 10%, 20%…?

Thank you Smile .

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7448
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

sjlouis wrote:
Then how can I know the battery is well filled? .

Only by discharging it and measuring how much capacity is in it.

sjlouis wrote:
Does the LiitoKala misses a lot the termination : 10%, 20%...? Thank you Smile .

I did not see any during my test and with the voltage termination low enough it will never miss a termination.

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

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

Ok. I didn’t explain well what I should want to know : when you said the LiitoKala ended too quick for an Eneloop (~2000 mA), how much does it fill it : 1500? 1800? 1900 mA…?

Thank you.

HKJ
HKJ's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 05/24/2011 - 12:23
Posts: 7448
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

sjlouis wrote:
Ok. I didn't explain well what I should want to know : when you said the LiitoKala ended too quick for an Eneloop (~2000 mA), how much does it fill it : 1500? 1800? 1900 mA...? Thank you.

I would expect around 1700mAh, but it will depend on ambient temperature.

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

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

Ok, effectively it’s too earlier :~ . I’m going to wait a little more before buying another charger.

Thank you HKJ Smile .

hammerJoe
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 02/12/2015 - 19:56
Posts: 150
Location: Canada

It looks like theres two versions of this charger. One has written on the back the Patent # and the other doesnt.

Does anyone know which one is newer (with the patent or without)?
And what are the differences between the two?

I am wondering if they fixed the nimh charging and it terminates properly?

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

Interesting or a copy and an original charger ?

chuckhov
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 12/24/2014 - 02:57
Posts: 1178
Location: Florida, AKA God's Waiting Room

hammerJoe wrote:
It looks like theres two versions of this charger. One has written on the back the Patent # and the other doesnt.

Does anyone know which one is newer (with the patent or without)?
And what are the differences between the two?

I am wondering if they fixed the nimh charging and it terminates properly?

.

On the back mine says:

“Patents No.: 201320736605.8”

I’m very pleased with mine, though I continue to mostly use my Nitecore D4 for just charging. – Only really wanted the LiitoKala for it’s analyzing.

I have 3 or 4 other chargers too, so I really didn’t need this one – I just wanted it;) I say 3 or 4, because three are Xtar’s and I am waiting for the fourth to arrive – The LiitoKala 100 – Too cute to pass up! ;)

I can recommend the 500.

-Chuck

sjlouis
sjlouis's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 days ago
Joined: 03/07/2014 - 07:44
Posts: 53
Location: Bordeaux, France

And have you noticed the same problem as HKJ with the Night termination?

TheBo
TheBo's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 14:52
Posts: 612
Location: OBLIVION, ITALY

I now have both this and the opus 3100 v2.2 and to reply to the usual Question…. I can say That… Not considering for a moment the pulsing stuff… and prefer the opus for many reasons over the lii500

Rufusbduck wrote:
Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.

Pages