Test/Review of Charger NiteCore Intellicharger D2

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HKJ
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Test/Review of Charger NiteCore Intellicharger D2
Charger NiteCore Intellicharger D2

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This charger is based on a i2 with a display added and a couple of improvements. This makes it possible to charger more battery types than the i2 and also follow the charging in more details.

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The cardboard box lists lot of specifications, battery types and features.

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

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The charger has two power connectors, one for mains input (100-240VAC 50/60Hz) and one for 12 VDC input.

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The charger has two switches:
SLOT: Used to select slot, holding it down will turn the display off or on without affecting the charging.
MODE: Used to change value displayed (Volt, mA, time), with longer presseds it can also be used to select low charge current and LiFePO4.

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The charger has a large display with background light.

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The display looks good, but is a bit on the technical side. The lower part of the display shows the two charge bays, the upper part shows the status for one bay. The actual bay is selected with the SLOT switch.
The numbers will automatic switch between volt, mA and time, but can also be switched with quick presses on the MODE switch.
Holding the MODE switch for about one second will select "Low", i.e. 300mA charge current.
Holding the MODE switch for about two seconds will select "LiFePO4", i.e. 3.6 volt charging. Releasing the button and pressing again will select low current.
There is a small "Chg. Finished" text on the upper display, this is used on finished channels. When all channels with batteries in are charged the charger will show "ALL" in the numeric display.

DSC_7086 DSC_7087

The slots uses the usual construction and works well. They can handle batteries from 30mm to 69.3 mm long.
That excludes some of the longest batteries, especially some protected 26650.

supportedBatteryTypes

supportedBatterySizes DSC_7432 DSC_7433

DSC_7431 DSC_7430 DSC_7429 DSC_7428 DSC_7427 DSC_7426 DSC_7425

The charger can handle 69.3 mm long batteries, inclusive flat top cells.
With C batteries there is a problem with the small button top sliding off the plus pole on the charger.




A look inside the charger

Nitecore asked me to show the inside of the charger:

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Four screws has to be removed to get into the charger.

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The display uses a long zebra connector between it and the circuit board. The background light is a separate module.

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On the circuit board can be seen:
A long isolation slot between the mains and the rest of the circuit.
Mains input has a fuse, NTC, a noise suppression capacitor and uses a IC for controlling the mains switcher.
Safety capacitor between mains and low volt side.
The two inductors marked 101 is for the two charge channels.

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Measurements
  • Discharges LiIon with 2.2mA and NiMH with 0.16mA when not connected to power
  • With a empty battery the charger will try to activate it, then show "Err" after a short time.
  • At 0.8 volt the charger will assume NiMH and start charging.
  • The charger will assume NiMH below 1.8 volt and LiIon above 1.8 volt.
  • Will not restart if battery voltage drops.
  • Charges with 0.2mA when LiIon battery is full.
  • Voltmeter readout freezes when charging is finished
  • Voltmeter is within 0.03 volt above 0.8V.
  • Voltmeter has a max. readout of 4.20 volt.
  • Current readout is not average charge current.
  • Charge will restart charging after power loss or battery insertion.
  • The button marked "SLOT" will change the display to the next slot with each press.
  • The button marked "MODE" will change value displayed (Volt, mA, time), with longer presseds it can also be used to select low charge current and LiFePO4.
  • C cells has a tendency to slide off the plus pole, i.e. some aluminium foil must used to get a stable connection.
  • The charger has two charge circuit, i.e. the slots are independent.


LiIon charging

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(PA18650-31)%20%231

The charger does a simulated CC/CV charger with a 50mA termination, this is fine.
I do not know where the jump in current comes from, it does make the charging a bit slower, but does not affect the quality of the charging.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(PA18650-31)%20%232

The other channel does also have a CC/CV curve, but this time the termination current is 100mA

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(BE18650-26)%20%231

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The charge time varies with capacity.

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Selecting low current mode will reduce the peak charge current to 300mA, due to the variation in termination current it is a bit difficult to say if it is lower.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(AW16340-IMR)%20%231

With my old 16340 cell the charger is a bit slow to reduce charge current whne charging at 0.5A.

Digicharger%20D2%200.3A%20(AW16340-IMR)%20%231

Reducing current to 0.3A looks much better.

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Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(KP14500-08)%20%231

Both the 18350 and the 14500 is fine.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(2xPA18650-31)

This charger will not reduce current when fully loaded, it chargers with full speed.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%2012V%20(2xPA18650-31)

When using the DC input the charger needs about 0.6A. Notice the temperature is about the same with DC supply as with mains supply, i.e. the build in mains supply do not generate much heat.

Temp1241

M1: 35,2°C, M2: 32,6°C, M3: 41,7°C, M4: 44,7°C, HS1: 52,2°C

StartupLiIon

The charger need some time to start a charge.

ChargeLiIon0.5A

The charger measures voltage with current off.

ChargeLiIon0.3A



IFR (LiFePO4) charging

Holding the MODE button pressed for about 2 second will switch to LiFePO4 mode.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(18650-LiFePO4)

The charge voltage is too high, but this is not as critical with LiFePO4 as with ordinary LiIon batteries. The charge is a CC/CV charge with termination at about 100mA and no trickle charge.
The voltage is no accident, the charger is marked 3.7 volt for LiFePO4 charge.



NiMH charging

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The NiMH charging stops on -dv/dt and do not use trickle charge.

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The other channel works the same.

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The eneloop XX needs a bit more time.

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Powerex also terminated on -dv/dt.

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The charger also terminates correctly when charging with 300mA (very good).

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Of course the AAA cells terminates correctly, but the charger was a bit slow to terminate, i.e. the cell get warm.

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With -dv/dt termination it takes some time to detect a full battery, but this charger is very slow with 26 minutes.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(2xeneloop)

No reduction in current with two cells.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%2012V%20(2xeneloop)

Charging NiMH uses less current on the DC input, compared to LiIon cells, only about 0.35A.

Temp1287

M1: 32,6°C, M2: 37,1°C, M3: 38,5°C, M4: 43,6°C, HS1: 50,1°C
The side with the two inductors for the charge circuit get significantly warmer.

StartupNiMH

The charger uses a low test current, probably to check for LiIon/NiMH, before it switches to the full charge current.

ChargeNiMH0.5A

Voltage is measured with current turned off.

ChargeNiMH0.3A




LiIon+NiMH charging

Charging one NiMH and one LiIon at the same time works fine.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(eneloop+PA18650-31)

Here with measurements from NiMH.

Digicharger%20D2%200.5A%20(PA18650-31+eneloop)

Here with measurements from LiIon, except temperature that is placed on the NiMH.




Testing the mains input with 2500 volt and 5000 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.



Conclusion

The charger does a good charging on both LiIon, LiFePO4 and NiMH.
The charge can be used for 26650 cells, but are not ideal for it, I would have liked the slots 2 mm longer, some protected 26650 are rather long.
I like the display, but it is a bit technical to look at and it only shows data for one channel at a time.

The D2 is a good universal charger and the low mode makes it better for small cells than the i2. The 0.5A charge current makes it a slow charger for large cells.



Notes

The charger was supplied by a Nitecore for review.

Review of old i4 (V2)

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
kralyevski
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thanks for the review, i guess i’m not the only one who was waiting for your review of this charger before i order it… Big Smile

“the easiest way to become a MILLIONAIRE is: first you become a BILLIONAIRE than you start to be flashaholic”

how2
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As always a nice review HKJ

kloppholz
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Thanks HKJ for the excellent review. Right on time for the 11.11. sale! Thought about the Engineer Lii-260, the new Nitecore UW20 and the D2. The Nitecore is slightly larger and has lower charge current, but it is the real allrounder.

sinner
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Excellent review once again, these graphs are just amazing thanks for showing this to us.

contact(at)sinnercustoms.com

Patrickbateman
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Thank you for the review.

Do you think these batteries will fit ?

https://www.fasttech.com/p/1143804

I’m looking for an idiot-proof charger for my sister, this one looks good.

HKJ
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Patrickbateman wrote:
Thank you for the review. Do you think these batteries will fit ? https://www.fasttech.com/p/1143804 I'm looking for an idiot-proof charger for my sister, this one looks good.

Probably, but it will be a tight fit.

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

Patrickbateman
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Ok, thank you.

hank
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Anybody know if the Nitecore D2 that Gearbest is offering for $18.89 is the same thing as the “Nitecore D2 Digicharger 2015 New Version” that Amazon is seliing for $19?

(More generally, what’s with the year dates on Nitecore chargers? I’ve seen “New 2014” for a while and now this “2015 New Version” —- what’s the diff?

Nygaard
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Note the misspelled “Two conveniently locatedside buttons…” on the back of the box.
This made me suspicious of the D2 i received today – but apparently the misspelling is “supposed” to be there on a original Nitecore.

MascaratumB
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Hi HKJ!
Thanks for the review of the charger (yet I’m a bit late)!
I have one of the Digi D2 and today I noticed 1 thing: I left 2 AA Ni-MH cells (Tronic, bought in Lidl supermarket) charging during the night. Normally I don’t do that but I needed them charged in the morning.

This morning the charger presented the “ALL” message, meaning that both would be charged, supposeddly somewhere bewteen 1.48 to 1.5V. When I went to sleep they were at 1.47V.
However, to check if they were charged, I took them out of the charger, and then put them back again.
To my surprise, they were at 1.40V. Seeing the some criteria mentioned on the “Measurements” on your post, I find this Voltage drop strange.

Is it normal? The charger never went OFF.
Does this charger (or another one) discharge the cells even when it is ON?
Or maybe is it a battery problem?

HKJ wrote:
Measurements Discharges LiIon with 2.2mA and NiMH with 0.16mA when not connected to power […] Charge will restart charging after power loss or battery insertion.

Thank you in advance!! Thumbs Up

HKJ
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Chargers may discharge when finished, I do not always check that for NiMH, usual it is at a very low level and it is often some work to get the charger to the done state when I have my sensitive test equipment connected.
There is also the other detail: NiMH will drop in voltage when the charging is done.

You can see I usual test with a full battery in the charger, it will always be charged some before the charger reports done.

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

MascaratumB
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Well, thank you very much for the clarifying and quick answer HKJ! Wink
I didn’t knew about the after-charge “discharge” these batteries have! Of course it is a small %, but I was also worried about if there was or not a problem with the charger or the batteries! I have to check it out with the other types I have !!

Thank you very much once again Thumbs Up