"Review" of SKYRC MC3000

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Budda
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"Review" of SKYRC MC3000

This is the first “review” I make of a charger.
I have almost no knowledge about electronic, however, I’ve been using flashlights, batteries and chargers for 8 years as a consumer. So in this thread I’ll give you my honest opinion on this product as a user.

I got the SKYRC MC3000 Courtesy of BangGood for the review. I wanted to have a multichemistry charger/analyser with advanced features, able to connect to smartphones and PC.



The charger comes in a very big box, well protected during shipping. Inside the box there are the charger, the external power supply and the instruction manual.
The MC3000 is relatively big, here you can see it with the Imax B6 and the Nitecore D2.



The external power supply decreases the size of the charger and the heath that the charger needs to dissipate during work.

On the side there is the blue led status for Bluetooth connectivity, USB 2.1A ouput and micro usb for connecting to the computer.

Here’s some specs:





The charger has 4 slots, one switch for each slot, plus 4 additional switch. The display has backlight and it’s easy to read, with a wide angle of view.
Here for example is the “mode” menu
The positive pole is raised, so no problem with flat cells. At the negative there are 2 nobs for each slots. No problem for lenght, all my protected 18650 fit.

For each switch slot there is a led wich indicate if the slot is working (solid red), has encountered an error, or requires user intervention (flashing green and red) or has finished its work (green).
The charger has 3 modes: dummy, simple and advanced.
On dummy mode, the charger automatically recognises the tipe of battery (only li ion and nimh), and the user has only to select the charging current. This mode is the simplest and fastest one to use, and provides only charging function. The charging current can be set from 0.1 Amps with 0.1 Amps increments.

The 2 other modes, simple and advanced, became gradually more complex, the user can: Charge, Refresh, Breakin, discharge and storage.
In simple mode you have some control on the parameters of each process.
In advanced mode you can set everything, for example: target current of a discharge process, the resting time between different phases of a cycle (for example charge, wait 5 minutes and then star discharging), Cycle (For example, D>C, C>D, C>D>C…), set the termination (CC-CV…), restart voltage (if after the battery is charged the voltage drops under set value, re-start the charging), trickle charge, delta peak….
Also, you can set a time cutoff, and a capacity cutoff. This are IMHO additional features that are nice to have.

All these settings are memorized inside a PROGRAM, the charger can store up to 30 PROGRAMS and recall them.
This means that you can have one program for charging big li-ion (ie charging at 1A, 4,2v Cutoff), one for smaller li-ion (ie charging at 0,5A ….), one for charging big nimh, one for smaller nimh and so on.
Similar, you can also set programs to store li-ion (li ion have a terrible aging that effects both capacity and internal resistance, if you have many li-ion that you don’t use it is recommended to discharge them around at 3.7 volts) with a determinate voltage cutoff.

So, while in dummy mode in a few second you can start charging the battery, in the advanced modes it is required to save a program first, and then you can recall it and start the MC3000.
You can pass through all the 30 programs, and for each one you see all the settings. The first things you see are the battery type and the charging current, and if you scroll down you can see all the others parameter (such as target voltage, additional cutoff…).

The slots features memory so when you insert a new battery they will use the last program used, however the program doesn’t auto start, it needs user confirmation.

Some programs view:

Li ion charging at 1A

This progam Discharges Li-ion at 1A

And this charges Li-ion at 1A and then discharge them at 1A a small pause in between.

If you have eneloop, the charger has already the manufacturer advised values, so all you need is set the battery you are inserting. But you can change them as you wish.

When you have all set and started, this is the main view, where you see for each slot what is the operation (charging with the arrow pointing up, discharging with the arrow pointing down, cycle with an alpha…), the voltage, the current and the overall mAh value (both for charging and discharging)

You can also check the details for each slot, where you’ll se the main parameters value of the program that is running, time, temperature, W and so.

Other than the complete control of all the settings, the MC3000 offers connectivity to smartphone and pc.
I tested the MC3000 app that I got on the Google Play store for my LG with 5.1 android, and the MC3000 monito software that I got on their website on Windows 7 and 8.1, both 64 bits.
For the pc connection it is required a micro usb cable, for the smartphone it uses the Bluetooth. The connection between the software/app and the charger is fast.
With the pc/smartphone you can monitor what is happening, accessing the same information that are on the charger’s screen, and you can set programs from your device.

The charging/discharging curve looks much better on the computer screen, since on the display there are no indications on the axis.

I made a crop of the single slot.

You can also save a very detailed excel logfile, with sampling time 1”.

Unfortunately, I was not able to do anything but monitor the status of each slot, because the app and the software crash when I try to start a process or I try to save a new mode.

Also, on the PC software I have trouble showing the whole software window, on both my computers.

With the PC software you can also update the firmware of the MC3000. My MC3000 came with FW version 1.3 installed, and from what I read on forums, the 1.4 version never left its beta status, and the 1.5 version will be released soon.
I hope that with this new FW version also new software and app will be released, leading to improved control of the charger, more stability and other bugs (for example I can’t see the whole window of the software on both my computers).

I’ve been using my MC3000 for more than a month now, and after the first few days, where I was constantly looking at the manual, now I can use it without having to check it.
After the first days, I switched to simple mode, but I felt the need to control some additional parameters, so I got in the advanced mode and never went back.
I memorized different programs that suit my needs (3 for charging nimh at 0.3, 0.5 and 1Amps, 4 for charing li ions at 0.3, 0.5, 1 and 1.5Amps, 3 for discharging li ions at 0.5, 1 and 2Amps, 1 for storing li-ions, 3 for discharging nimh at 0.4, 1, and 2 Amps).
These are 14 programs, and I still have 16 more programs to set, so I don’t feel the lack of additional memory space.
The changes I made to the default settings are mainly:

- Increase the max charging time for li-ion at 4 hours.
- Increase the max capacity for li-ion, that was set to 3000mAh, to 3800mAh.
- In order to prolong the life of my li ion batteries, I set the charging cutoff at 4.15 volts.
- The discarghing process for li ion has a target voltage of 2.8 volt (so I can compare my results to many reviews)

When charging 4 18650 at 1Amps each, the charger becomes a bit warm, but the fan Is almost silent. However, when discharging at 1A even a single 18650, the charger gest warmer and the fan start rotating and making noise.
With the MC3000 you can also set the fan settings: off until a certain temperature (and then on at full speed), or auto (speed regulated based on the internal temperature). Do not confuse the inner temperature of the charger with the temperature of the battery, because each slot has a separate temperature sensor (that is used for safety and nimh termination).
I hear people needing to replace their charger fan because they had noise issue. On my sample, the fan is just as noisy as all the small fans rotating at high speed, and produces a noise on the high frequency range, making it just annoying.
So, I keep it in another room when I need tranquillity and I’m discharging batteries.

The MC3000 can be reset to factory calibration or you can calibrate the voltage of each slot manually, inserting a battery of known voltage and inserting the voltage in the charger with a specific procedure. I found my sample accurate enough to not require calibration. However it is nice to have the chance to do it.
If you think you messed up some parameters of process, the MC3000 also has a reset function that sets all settings back to factory default.

Here’s some test results of almost all the LG MJ1 I got.

My thoughts
The MC3000 has successefully replace my Nitecore D2 on my desk and I have charged more than 100 cells and discharged about 40 with it.
This MC3000 is pretty much a hobby charger, but with an easier interface and 4 conventional battery slots (no wires and cables around).
If you plan to use this MC3000 just as a simple charger of cells, I believe there are many smaller and cheaper charger that can get the job done… if you don’t need more than 1A for channel.
It offers the greatest chemistry compatibility of all chargers (don’t know any “smart” charger that featuers lifepo4, li-ion, nimh, ram and nizn) and allows the user to set all the parameters for the operative cycle, and works with precision.
So, it requires a bit of knowledge on cells (I recommend you to read the manual, the CPF FAQ and spend some time on Battery University) for fully exploiting its potential, but gives me more information and satisfaction.:candle:

There are many hobby chargers that could get the job done in an equal way, but usually hobby chargers operate only one battery at the time, for more batteries simultaneously some cabling work is required, and can charge only one type of chemistry at a time.
The MC3000 is more user friendly and quicker to operate, working most of the cilindrical cells I know (it’s too big for smaller cells like 10180). Thinner cell like AAA needs to be inserted with some care in order to work.

I’d like a bigger and more quiet fan. Bigger fans can move more air at lower speed compared to smaller fans, producing lesser noise.
To my knowledge this is the only charger of this segment that has PC and smartphone connectivity and firmware updates (other chargers to go from 2.0 to 2.1 version means you have to buy a new charger), but SKYRC has some work to do in order to make the connectivity function 100% reliable and working, at least for my setup.

I will update the review if there will be any changes with the updates.

Thanks for AntoLed for lending me the camera.
Thanks for reading.

Here are all my reviews on BLF

Edited by: Budda on 05/29/2016 - 16:41
Streamer
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Very nice review. Very nice charger.
BUT… the price is $100 Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

http://www.banggood.com/SKYRC-MC3000-Multi-chemistry-Universal-Bluetooth...

Budda
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Yes, but it is very helpful when you want to really test some batteries, like these 20 LG MJ1



Here are all my reviews on BLF

sidecross
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Looks to be a very good charger with extra capabilities for those who would know how to take advantage of them.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

The Miller
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Thanks for this review!
You can surely remove the “” Wink
Great work

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Nice review.
Not all review has to be technical, it is also nice to see how people like using the charger and if they can use the result for something.

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

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HKJ wrote:
Nice review.
Not all review has to be technical, it is also nice to see how people like using the charger and if they can use the result for something.

+1

I have found it curious how people can be so interested in flashlights without a shared interest in battery chemistry and charging.

Having spent a working career as an automobile mechanic I have seen a similar situation where people have bought an advanced performance automobile, and refuse to spend for quality service items like tires and lubrication items.

“You must have a plan, if you don’t have a plan, you will become part of someone else’s plan.” Terence McKenna

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My MC3000 has been working well for a couple weeks, til a spring popped for one of the slots. Turns out the plastic stem the spring loops on snapped off. So, the slot is now pretty useless. I took it apart - 1 2nd spring retaining stem is about to break, and one of the threaded posts for a screw fell apart.

kreisl has a huge thread over on CPF all about this charger: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?389700-SkyRC-%97-IFA-2014-%97-MC3000-charger-analyzer. kreisl used to be an active BLF member under the name of kreisler, where he also had an active interest or some sort of relationship with the charger maker: Opus. I think he got banned or something - his account was dropped.

It seems like what kreisl is saying is that the manufacturer that made the housing at some point started making them from plastic that falls apart, and they since stopped using that manufacturer.

So, I got the bad version. Funny, I now understand why GearBest has a replacement housing for this charger, listed for $20: http://www.gearbest.com/led-accessories/pp_392591.html.

This is pretty bad. I opened a ticket with GearBest, but I know how that will go - down the 'we need a video' trail, and eventually 'so sorry, how about $5 credit' for your troubles...

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Tom E wrote:

My MC3000 has been working well for a couple weeks, til a spring popped for one of the slots. Turns out the plastic stem the spring loops on snapped off. So, the slot is now pretty useless. I took it apart – 1 2nd spring retaining stem is about to break, and one of the threaded posts for a screw fell apart.


kreisl has a huge thread over on CPF all about this charger: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?389700-SkyRC-%97-IFA-2014-%97-MC3000-charger-analyzer. kreisl used to be an active BLF member under the name of kreisler, where he also had an active interest or some sort of relationship with the charger maker: Opus. I think he got banned or something – his account was dropped.


It seems like what kreisl is saying is that the manufacturer that made the housing at some point started making them from plastic that falls apart, and they since stopped using that manufacturer.


So, I got the bad version. Funny, I now understand why GearBest has a replacement housing for this charger, listed for $20: http://www.gearbest.com/led-accessories/pp_392591.html.


This is pretty bad. I opened a ticket with GearBest, but I know how that will go – down the ‘we need a video’ trail, and eventually ‘so sorry, how about $5 credit’ for your troubles…

Man, this is REALLY bad. I was going to buy one but not if this is inevitable. Facepalm

HKJ
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Zebretta wrote:
Man, this is REALLY bad. I was going to buy one but not if this is inevitable. Facepalm

The design was changed long time ago. The plastic posts was made much more sturdy.

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

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HKJ wrote:
Zebretta wrote:
Man, this is REALLY bad. I was going to buy one but not if this is inevitable. :FACEPALM:
The design was changed long time ago. The plastic posts was made much more sturdy.

GearBest gave me some wallet credit which I used to buy/order the replacement housing. Still hasn't arrived yet but it's in the states - lots of delays from GearBest.

I had my SKYRC sitting around a while before I used it, but still I ordered well after the controversy with the housing, so apparently GB had some old stock still.

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I’d order one if I knew for a FACT I was getting the new version. Obviously, there’s no way of knowing.

Boycott Nike