Newbie need help with charger descion

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Pipeliner542
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Newbie need help with charger descion
Hello all, I charge a bunch of eneloops in aa for kids toys and rc cars. mostly the 18650 for flashlights (i can see that changing to include the 26650 and 14500 as well). I am looking to get a couple chargers i use the eneloops aa and 18650 for myself and would have a charger in the shop. and i would be leaving a charger in the house for the wife and kids to use to keep aaa aa and d’s recharged. the house charger would be a drop in and take out when charged kind of charger. The shop charger was be something with analyzing properties and possibly condition the abused cells from the house.. i dont mind buying dedicated chargers for the eneloops if something like the maha c9000 is best for them and something else for others. i have been reading about chargers for over a week now and it seems to be getting a little confusing. i have a nitecore i4 which seems to be doing a good job. other charger is something wife picked up next to rechargables in box store. I keep the i4 in the truck to charge whatever needs charged. I seem to be getting bit by my new found hobby of messing with led flashlights. Who would have thought? I guess to complicate things i have some chargers for the rc car stuff. my better charger is a Hyperion eos720I net 3ad i was wondering if i could add a cell holder and charge a bunch of batteries at one time with that. I was hoping to buy some good chargers right up front and possible grow into one as my hobby progresses. seems like opus 3400 and xtar vc2+ or vc4 were good options IMHO. The nitecore chargers seem to work well and seems most people here have one. I liked some of the info on the sky rc mc3000 just wondering if i would ever “grow” that much into it.
Joat
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Location: Minnesota

Likely the charger from the box store isn’t a good one, most cheap NiMH chargers tend to over charge cells. HKJ did a good write up on charging NiMH , also check his web site for charger reviews. http://lygte-info.dk/

Pipeliner542
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Still looking for the mythical single” best charger” I might just be overthinking or over wanting my needs at this time. I usually try to buy things once and speculate my future needs. I like the xtar vc2 plus. (Any chance of a vc4plus?). The skyrc mc 3000. (still ciphering all the graphs) has me interested as well.

Maybe a powerex mh-C 9000 for all the AA eneloops. That would replace the garbage box store one the wife has now. It will be used heavily in our house. Lots of AA NimH use here. Would a nitecore I4 or D4 provide a long term quality charge solution used primarily for the eneloops vs the MH-C9000. I could get another I4 for house use and then the MC-3000 for the shop. Question for the people that have or used a Nitecore I4 and a D4. Is it worth buying a D4 to replace an i4? the I4 is the newer version and not a clone. if that matters. I have always had a hard time trusting a light vs a metered reading.(once confirmed with a meter anyway) or is it just an irrelevant issue. I would like to thank HKJ for the reviews and tons and tons of info..
Joat
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The I4 is good, but if you look at HKJ’s review it does over charge if you leave cells on the charger.

Pipeliner542
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I did note that. I(we) wont leave batteries in a charger for that reason. I had a multi cell pack catch fire years ago using cheap plug in wall charger. Someone brought it over as an extra charger to use while burning through rc car packs at a kids b-day party. It was around house plugged in on porch and forgot about. I dont know what failed but was found when smoke was coming from porch area. plastic wrapper was on fire.

FWIW That is a good indication that charging cycle is approaching slightly overcharged..

Just trying to figure a total cost for the life cycle of the cells. If a charger was twenty dollars more but provided a better quality charge for 500 cycles or whatever and extended the use of the cells by 50 cycles etc.. It could offset some of the replacement cost of new cells. Its hard to find any long term data of a charger and specific cell and the type of use unless you compile it yourself. I am new to this application so I dont have any of the newer,better chargers or even the first hand knowledge of different cells to use in different lighting situations. Its a big learning curve for me again. These led’s are way more efficient compared to high current rc car motors.
Pipeliner542
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Thankfully there are sites like this with multiple lifetimes of information for us to use and enjoy

My kids love adding lights to lego projects and barbie doll houses. Not to mention having the brightest flashlights in the neighborhood….

SawMaster
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HKJ- best testing I’ve found for chargers and he goes deeply into the specific needs of the different types of cells and how well the charger deals with them. To make your decision easier first decide on what cell type, then how many cell slots you need, then compare from there. With the heavy in-house use planned and the chance that someone will forget the charger is on, the end-of-charge design is critical here; you need one with a complete stop when the cell is charged. There are some good deals with Xtar but don’t let price influence your decision- all the best chargers are well worth their cost in durability and peace of mind.

Phil