Xtar VP2 vs Opus BT-C3100 v2.1 vs NiteCore Intellicharger i4 V2

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Photons Away
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Xtar VP2 vs Opus BT-C3100 v2.1 vs NiteCore Intellicharger i4 V2

Hello Brothers and Sisters

After having attempted to study the situation with so many chargers on the market it seems the best three might be the Xtar VP2 or the Opus BT-C3100 v2.1 or the NiteCore Intellicharger i4 V2.

So if there are some obvious feature differences that were missed please mention them. Any of these three would be good but why not go for the gold? Some things that are not important here are that the VP2 has only two bays, the price is not important, that a charger may not completely top off/charge fully the battery (say if one had a 4.20v and after a short time the battery tested at maybe only between 4.05-4.19v), that no fan is built-into the charger (since there will be a small fan blowing on the charger next to it.

Some important things are the ability to charge 26650's, four separate channels for charging, a USB output would be nice but not mandatory, the ability to charge the newest high-power batteries (such as the 5200mah batteries with the optimum voltage, current etc.).

It becomes very energy consuming to go through so many choices for chargers especially after just having gone through the flashlight choices (which was just done having spent maybe about 100+ hours doing so) and battery choices as well. The batteries we will be using will be probably some of the very best that once can purchase and maybe they will only be 18650's and/or 26650's.

That about wraps up the request. Maybe one or two feature differences were missed so that is why the reason for this post. This request is not meant to be a technical breakdown as to the best technical charger - it is just about features, really.

The flashlights and batteries chosen will be the first good lights and accessories being bought here so no real experience is being used.

Thank you for any assistance and opinions rendered.





brad
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The 5200 mAh 26650 is 71.1mm long, which ones will charge take batteries that long?

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musicmagic
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My take on it is this:

If you want any and all of your li-ions charged right, go with the VP2
If you want your batteries to be analyzed, combined with a decent charger for both li-ion and nimh, go with the C3100
If you want a charger that just works, or are on a budget, and want to charge both li-ion and nimh, go with the nitecore I4 or I2

Note on the battery voltage not being exactly 4.20: The voltage will fall a little when the battery gets off the charger, less so for newer batteries, more so for older ones. This is normal.

Edit:
Also of note are the xtar SP-1, MC-1, and the XP-1

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Photons Away
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All three advertise being able to accept 26650 batteries. As to if they can all accept long and Protected 26650 batteries is not known by us just now.

Photons Away
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musicmagic wrote:
...Note on the battery voltage not being exactly 4.20: The voltage will fall a little when the battery gets off the charger, less so for newer batteries, more so for older ones. This is normal

Yes we understand this to be the case. The thread with the debate between this being normative and not was read as well. It was in the VP2 giveaway thread recently from around May 2014.

Thank you for mentioning it.

Yves-Marie
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I registered just to mention how precious is this comment Smile

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musicmagic wrote:
My take on it is this:

If you want any and all of your li-ions charged right, go with the VP2
If you want your batteries to be analyzed, combined with a decent charger for both li-ion and nimh, go with the C3100
If you want a charger that just works, or are on a budget, and want to charge both li-ion and nimh, go with the nitecore I4 or I2

Very good advice. I have also faced the same choice of choosing a charger and I purchased Opus BT-C3400 because it allows me to measure the remaining capacities of used batteries.

BT-C3400 Battery Charger Analyzer Tester Li-ion NiMH NiCd 18650 Lithium ion V2.1

Yves-Marie
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Only Opus BT-C does it, as Musicmagic wrote.
But I just bought the 3100 2.1 at 44.39 USD total cost ( free shipping )
when the above ref. is at 68 something total.

No real difference between the two if I’m correct…
Am I ?

But if someone sees the 3400 with free shipping…please post! Mail

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Wait…
The OP says it’s not important that a charger has only 2 bays…then says it has to have 4 channels….that’s something i could not understsand then.
Also you forgot to mention the Liitokala Lii-260 and the unknown Lii-300 from which I’m eagerly waiting the HKJ review since he stated he’s reviewing it since 3 weeks ago.
I believe it could also take 26650 maybe with an adapter (i don’t remember)
Also it could take 72mm long cells
It has usb output (powerbank)
And It is a charger/analyzer, but despite the Opus it only has 1A max CC …so beware

Regarding charging curves it should be better than the OPUS if I recall it correctly

P.S: opus 3400 and 3100 v2.1 are the same thing….so if you find a deal on 3100v2.1 don’t mess seeking for a 3400 which is the same thing

My 2 cents

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Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.
HKJ
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TheBo wrote:
... the unknown Lii-300 from which I'm eagerly waiting the HKJ review since he stated he's reviewing it since 3 weeks ago.

The review is finished, now I just need to find out when I publish it.

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

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Love

You are everywhere! Big Smile

I always wanted to ask you if instead of spending 25-30 euros in one of those analyzing charger would be much better a 30- 60 € for one of those 50-80-150W hobby charger (for under 60€ you could have a 300W discharge one) , considering one always have a spare PSU laying somewhere in the house. Maybe a laptop one or even a Desktop one (maybe a single 12V rail could not be enough thou).

Sure you lose the ability to analyze capacities of 2 cell at the same time if charging in parallel, also different chemistries at the same time. Also don’t know it is totally safe to charge let’s say a 2.8V cell with a 3.2V. Or cells with different form factors..
But Do the charging curves appear A LOT better?
Also is the Opus Pulse current a lot worse than the Liitokala charging current for a “everyweek recharge”? Or am i wrong?

Sorry to intercept you here… :bigsmile:

Rufusbduck wrote:
Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.
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TheBo wrote:
I always wanted to ask you if instead of spending 25-30 euros in one of those analyzing charger would be much better a 30- 60 € for one of those 50-80-150W hobby charger (for under 60€ you could have a 300W discharge one) , considering one always have a spare PSU laying somewhere in the house. Maybe a laptop one or even a Desktop one (maybe a single 12V rail could not be enough thou). Do the charging curves appear A LOT better?

Hobby chargers are more universal and has much better charge curves and more safety, you do also avoid heat from the charger.

BUT: They can only handle one cell at a time*, you need to do you own charge cradle and you often need to push considerable more buttons.

* Except with a balancing rig, and it can slow down the charging.

TheBo wrote:
Also is the Opus Pulse current a lot worse than the Liitokala charging current for a "everyweek recharge"? Or am i wrong? Sorry to intercept you here... :bigsmile:

With 18650 I would not worry much about the pulse current,  but with smaller cells I am not too happy about it. The LiitoKala do not use any pulses but a steady charge current.

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

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TheBo wrote:

P.S: opus 3400 and 3100 v2.1 are the same thing….so if you find a deal on 3100v2.1 don’t mess seeking for a 3400 which is the same thing

Photons Away wrote:
UPDATE! AHA! Just learned the answer of the differences: (From Amazon)
A:
The C3100 had problems. One was overloading the power adapter when charging 4 cells. Those issues have all been resolved in the C3400.

 

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/reply/34663/

trume_3454
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HKJ wrote:

TheBo wrote:
… the unknown Lii-300 from which I’m eagerly waiting the HKJ review since he stated he’s reviewing it since 3 weeks ago.

The review is finished, now I just need to find out when I publish it.

We are eagerly waiting for your opinion, HKJ. Smile

Yves-Marie
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Only two opinions on Amazon. This one was the first…coming from a 3400 seller…Never been substanciated.
But this not the correct thread…How to chose between three very good chargers…

Desmo
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Anxiously awaiting the LiitoKala Engineer Lii-300 review ——

Yves-Marie
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- I’m probably going to buy the 300 . Powerbank function is really usefull when phone/tablet batteries are expensive/hard to change or when the device is meant to be disposed of when batteries are dead ( The case of many bluetooth loudspeakers )
-Support of LiFePo would be nice. I’ll write to the maker

Yves-Marie
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Should be :
Xtar VP2 vs Opus BT-C3100 v2.1 vs NiteCore Intellicharger i4 V2 vs Engineer Lii-300.

TheBo
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trume_3454 wrote:
TheBo wrote:

P.S: opus 3400 and 3100 v2.1 are the same thing….so if you find a deal on 3100v2.1 don’t mess seeking for a 3400 which is the same thing

Photons Away wrote:
UPDATE! AHA! Just learned the answer of the differences: (From Amazon)
A:
The C3100 had problems. One was overloading the power adapter when charging 4 cells. Those issues have all been resolved in the C3400.

 

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/reply/34663/

Amazon as source….? Lol

Anyway
…just continuing reading that topic lately they confirm 3400 and 3100v2.1 are the same… Big Smile

Rufusbduck wrote:
Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.
Jaidmaster
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I’m sure the OP has already chosen a charger, but in my experience so far, I trust my Xtar the most. Very consistent and precise. For simply charging li-ion it’s hard to beat.
I have found my Lii-300 to be useful, but not as well made as I had hoped. Discharge tests are always higher on one channel and the cells terminate charging at 4.26V. It’s been useful for weeding out bad cells from my laptop pulls, and really like the fact that USB out uses both slots, but other than that, I would not use it on a regular basis for charging.

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And that’s a valuable opinion, since you have both.
Thanks for that. Sadly it mixes things up more. As seems there is not a valid charger that charges decently and also measures capacity. Maybe charging with vp2 and analyze with liitokala.
Or just go for Hobby chargers Sad

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Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.
trume_3454
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Great feedback, Jaidmaster. Thank you.

Yves-Marie
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TheBo wrote:
And that’s a valuable opinion, since you have both. Thanks for that. Sadly it mixes things up more. As seems there is not a valid charger that charges decently and also measures capacity. Maybe charging with vp2 and analyze with liitokala. Sad

For the common of mortals/beginners, LiitoKala Engineer Lii-300 could be the one and only charger to have.
Thank you for bringing that device into the thread.

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If you plan on charging low voltage (<2.8V) Li-Ion batteries such as those pulled from laptop battery packs or Li-Ion batteries drained down by your flashlight because they do not have overdischarge protection, Opus BT-C3400 would be able to restore the battery to higher capacity (and prolong your battery life) than LiitoKala Engineer Lii-300 just because the first charge after such a rundown is critically important.

I have lots of laptop battery packs which I have disassembled. I discovered by experience that BT-C3400 would recover significantly more capacity of a 1.5V battery if the first charge is 200mA than a 2.5V battery if the first charge is 500mA. For example, a Panasonic 1,800mAh cell drained down to 2.5V would restore to about 1,500 mAh when the first charge was 500mA and a 1.5V battery would restore to 1,700mAh if the first charge was 200mA. Now, my first charge of any battery discharged below 2.8V is always 200mA. If I missed charging a battery at 200mA at first and charged it at 500mA and it restored to 1,500mAh, then discharging and recharging it at 200mA would not increase the capacity to 1,700mA. So, If the first opportunity is missed, it is missed forever.

Unfortunately, Lii-300 can only charge at 500mA at minimum. It also overcharges batteries to 4.23-4.26V while my BT-C3400 has never gone even to 4.21V. It cuts off exactly at 4.20V. I read a lot of charger reviews when shopping for a new charger a month ago, and since I planned to use the charger mostly for 18650 laptop pulls, I decided that Opus would serve my purpose better.

I believe HKJ once said that if you know the shortcomings of your charger and how to work around them, many chargers would be acceptable. I just did not want to insert a resistor between the battery and LiitoKala to reduce the charging current, nor to stand over the charger all the time while it would be charging my batteries so that I could pull the plug when the display showed 4.21V. If you are are prepared to do these, LiitoKala may be the best charger for your needs.

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Good point ! Thanks Smile

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Thanks for the additional info. But floating around there are incomplete information… I mean 1/10 of a fast charge… Yes, but what is a fast charge? It depends on the battery I think. Samsung inr18650 24R can charge at 4A. But otherwise what do you mean by fast charge? 1C? I think also that fast charge relies con the chemistry itself… Icr should have a far less “fast charge “. Am I wrong? I’m just trying to acquire the more and more correct information from various sources. Sorry

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Getting discouraged is normal but doesn't finish the job.
Photons Away
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trume_3454 - Thank you for the very useful information.

No - have not got a charger yet. Actually had a VP2 for a very short time until it was stolen and liked it but after having read post #23 that changes everything. Almost all the batteries that will be charged are laptop pulls.

In the last several days since the budget is really tight just now I was thinking about just getting a single slot 18650 1.0A charger but having just read post #23 just a moment ago it would not be anywhere near optimum to even consider that.

I am ruined. A bit of advice....do not even look at any charger you cannot afford in the near future. If a SkyRC MC3000 (found only in the current catalog (from their website) but not on their product page) came our way that would definitely seem to be the ticket but it will probably cost at or slightly over $100 and it probably will not be released for maybe two more months. Meantime we need a charger for only 18650 laptop pulls and so it seems the Opus BT-C3400 would be the best logical choice right now. Oh and there may be a few times where charging some AAA NiMH would be convenient.

Thank you all for all the input. If any additional opinions come to mind please share.

 

 

Tacoboy
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The new Xstar VC4 charger ($29.99) might be another charger to consider. http://www.xtarlight.com/05-chanpin/p-001-1.asp?styleid=339
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Yes, saw that one, thank you. I will only get one that can discharge and analyze now that it was explained how valuable a good analyzer and discharge function are ESPECIALLY for used laptop pulls.

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Well, while I was waiting for another review for the lii300, i made the (maybe wrong) idea there must be something very bad about it (HKJ already burned the Lii260 and other chargers shared the same end before he completed his reviews), since he already wrote about other 5 reviews since then , and he stated that everything was almost ready a month or so ago.

So i almost made my decison for a Turnigy Reaktor 300W 20A, should be a good learning tool.
Regarding the VC4, you should wait HKJ review about it, and also keep in mind that comes without power adapter, It is feeded by a USB plug, so if you have a good 5-5.1V @2.0-2.1A power adapter for smartphone or tablet you should be good to go….I’m not that sure if using it that intensively could stress it bytheway, so keep this possibility in account

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

If you are going to charge mostly laptop pulls, there are several factors that will affect how much original capacity can be restored:

1. The smaller the 1st charge current, the better (SkyRC MC3000 with minimum charge current of 0.1A would be better than Opus BT-C3400 with minimum charge current of 0.2A)
2. The quality of the original battery manufacturing process (some brands would probably restore better than others)
3. How many cycles the battery has already been charged in its lifetime (and perhaps, if those were full charges or partial charges) (the fewer cycles, the better)
4. The residual voltage of a laptop pull battery (the higher is still better, but I have had good success restoring 0.4-0.5 Volts batteries to 80+% original capacity)
5. How long the battery been sitting without use at that low voltage (the less time the better)
6. The ambient room temperature of the 1st battery charge environment (charge the battery the first time in the coldest room of your house or outside and use charger with a fan, like Opus BT-C3400, to reduce overheating)

Perhaps, there are more factors that I am still learning about.

You may want to keep these in mind as you have some control over at least some factors listed above. If you can wait a few months for SkyRC MC3000 and afford its price when it comes out (I doubt it would cost $100 as it would be grossly overpriced over already expensive Opus BT-C3400), it would probably be the best choice.

You may also want to read this thread:

How can this be? Li-Ion brought back from 0.1v to full power and working strong?

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