Test/review of Zanflare C4

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deleted-200707
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hmmm…just got it
tested the cells in my TOMO’s for ir

TOMO1
88 fenix arbl23400
78 keepower p1834j 3400
76 Sanyo/Panasonic NCR18650GA 3500mAh protection
68 orbtronic orb3500p

TOMO2
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh

2nd test

TOMO2
18 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
24 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
20 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh

3rd test

TOMO2
18 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
18 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
16 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh
14 Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh

no, I wasn’t anal about which cell was in which slot.

2nd test
TOMO1
86 fenix arbl23400
72 keepower p1834j 3400
62 Sanyo/Panasonic NCR18650GA 3500mAh protection
64 orbtronic orb3500p

I’m done

Lightbringer
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pennzy wrote:
Good to hear that . I have got to stop buying chargers. I am getting more than I need.
Tell me about it. I was agonising over which analysing charger to get, researched all the different types, etc., and ended up pretty much with 1 (or more) of each. Tired

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hIKARInoob
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Just get more batteries, so you can use different chargers simultaneously. And what to do with all those batteries… well get more flashlights. Problem solved.

pennzy
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hIKARInoob wrote:
Just get more batteries, so you can use different chargers simultaneously. And what to do with all those batteries… well get more flashlights. Problem solved.

I guess I have to get out more. With summer here , it gets dark so late that I don’t even use my lights much. And they are like guns , no matter how many you own , you can only use one , maybe two at a time . So many lights and so little time.
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pennzy wrote:
And they are like guns , no matter how many you own , you can only use one , maybe two at a time .

Mmmm, not quite. Go watch Raw Deal.

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pennzy
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Without watching it , I’ll guess he shoots multiple guns at once?

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Lightbringer wrote:
pennzy wrote:
And they are like guns , no matter how many you own , you can only use one , maybe two at a time .

Mmmm, not quite. Go watch Raw Deal.

Or just watch me transition from weapon to weapon on the field Smile

There is no such thing as too many guns. Only too little time and too little ammo.

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And you gotta blast “Satisfaction” from yer car-radio. Big Smile

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Lux-Perpetua
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Well…actually, you can carry more than one or two weapons at a time. One’s just need to use some scotch tape. Cool Every once in a while I love to see Ripley kickin’ those Alien asses… Crazy

flydiver
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I’m not even sure the IMAX style hobby charger will get you much further ahead, unless you are lucky. I have an Opus, several Lii-500, and 2x Zanflare C4, along with an Acucell-6 and Turnigy MAX80W both of which are in the same ‘family’ as the IMAX B6.
I just finished a test of small camera Li-on tests. I get results with a spread of ~ 20% between the 2 hobby chargers. Which one is right? It may be a problem of working with small capacity batteries, tiny wires (high IR), shaky connections, and only able to throttle the discharge down to 100mA. But, at least I’m comparing various cells to one another using the same equipment.

On regular 18650 the hobby chargers are reasonably close to the 4-bay chargers. I seldom use those anymore.

The other 3 4-bay chargers are close enough I don’t worry about the results much. I use what is convenient unless I have a special test to do. The Opus has more options and power, the Zanflare does IR better than the Opus, or is at least more consistent. The IR on the Lii-500 is useless. I’ve have 3, all acted the same, so it seems to be a problem with them in general. The other functions are good.

These are all consumer grade ‘hobby’ chargers. I’d say unless your unit is notably out of whack, you get what you pay for.

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I recently got a Zanflare C4 on sale for 17.99 shipped. I don’t have 5 other chargers to compare it to, so for me it is perfect. Perhaps it reads high in capacity, but it will certainly show when the capacity is reduced, and when the IR increases. A man with one watch knows what time it is, while a man with two watches is never sure . . .

As the previous poster said, you likely get what you pay for.

PocketSammich wrote: I don’t need this, but I want it. Please sign me up.

Lightbringer
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Yeah, even if you know your watch loses 13min/day, you can still guesstimate the “real” time.

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finch
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Hello, everybody,

as a new owner of a Zanflare C4, I've been busy cycling LSD cells that for the most part have been sitting unused for the last year or so, or employed in low-discharge devices.

HJK mentioned that the C4 would discharge his Eneloops down to 1.05 V, however, I'm seeing cells below the 1 V mark, currently staring at two cells reading 0.92 V, and one has gone down to 0.87 V.

Will the C4 keep discharging as long as the battery is capable of providing the required current of 0.5 A, regardless of the voltage?

Is this voltage realistic or an artifact?

Assuming the data is not garbage, I'm guessing a low discharge voltage does not bode well for the battery's real world usability?

Any other idea or things I should be informed of?

d_t_a
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finch wrote:

Hello, everybody,


as a new owner of a Zanflare C4, I’ve been busy cycling LSD cells that for the most part have been sitting unused for the last year or so, or employed in low-discharge devices.


HJK mentioned that the C4 would discharge his Eneloops down to 1.05 V, however, I’m seeing cells below the 1 V mark, currently staring at two cells reading 0.92 V, and one has gone down to 0.87 V.


Will the C4 keep discharging as long as the battery is capable of providing the required current of 0.5 A, regardless of the voltage?


Is this voltage realistic or an artifact?


Assuming the data is not garbage, I’m guessing a low discharge voltage does not bode well for the battery’s real world usability?


Any other idea or things I should be informed of?

I’ve tried out the ZanFlare C4 charger’s NOR Test and noticed the following:

the lowest displayed voltage (discharge portion) when using NiMh appears to be 0.87v (exactly the same as what you noticed) – it stops discharging when it hits 0.87v (what I’m not sure is that the 0.87v is probably the voltage under load? or could it be unloaded voltage?)

the lowest displayed voltage (discharge) when using Li-Ion appears to be 2.76v (after the display touches 2.76v, it will stop discharging)

finch
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HJK mentioned that the discharge curve is constant, so the voltage displayed should be under load.

Since voltage drops more under load in a cell that has higher internal resistance, I wonder if the explanation is simply that HJK's Eneloop have lower internal resistance than the cells I'm using. His NiMH IR test table shows about 100 milli Ohms, lower than most my NiMH cells, so there's that.

The charger employs fixed discharge cut-off thresholds to avoid damaging cells, maybe HJK's Eneloops could no longer provide the required current before hitting that voltage, I'm not sure.

2.75V is a common cut-off voltage for discharging LiIon, your result seems consistent with HJK's charts.

 

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d_t_a wrote:
  the lowest displayed voltage (discharge) when using Li-Ion appears to be 2.76v (after the display touches 2.76v, it will stop discharging)

FWIW, I conducted capacity testing on four Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650GA  batteries today using my Zanflare C4 and happened to catch one (a straggler) hitting  the same 2.76 v minimum value. One second the value was 2.76v and then the next it was 2.8 v and rising. Missed the other three because they were in the lead.

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I received four new NCR18650GA batteries from Orbtonics and tested their 1 kHz internal resistance (IR) with my RM8124A, and capacity with my Zanflare C4 analyzing charger. The IR reading were well-grouped and met the Sanyo NCR18650GA specification of < 38 mΩ. But the C4 capacity readings were too high compared to the typical capacity listed in the NCR18650GA datasheet of 3450 mAh. This caused some misgivings about the C4 and led to additional testing, as shown in the tabulated data below:

Evaluation of New Panasonic-Sanyo NCR18650GA Batteries with
Zanflare C4, MiBoxer C2-4000, and LiitoKala Lii-500 Analysing Chargers
Sep 7 - 11, 2018

 
Battery
Number
Capacity1(mAh) 1 kHz Internal Resistance (mO)
Zanflare C42
Trial 1
MiBoxer
C2-40003
Zanflare C4
Trial 2
LiitoKala
Lii-5004
1 3627 3317 3744 3361 19.4
2 3708 3300 3768 3392 18.8
3 3737 3322 3812 3382 18.9
4 3674 3300 3702 3325 18.8
 1. All three chargers were configured with a 0.5A discharge rate.
 2. The minimum Zanflare C4 discharge voltage was about 2.76 V.
 3. The minimum MiBoxer C2-4000 discharged voltage was about 2.80 V.
 4. The minimum LitoKala Lii-500 discharged voltage was not observed.

So, I decided to re-test the batteries with my MiBoxer C2-4000 - which provided results somewhat low when compared to minimum capacity listed in the datasheet of 3350 mAh, but seemed more reasonable than the Zanflare C4 results.

The Zanfare C4 got a second trial at evaluating the batteries, but the results were even higher than the first trial.

The final test was with my LiitoKala Lii-500 which provided the most reasonable results. Most of the Lii-500 measurements fell between the minimum capacity of 3350 mAh and typical capacity of 3450 mAh. It also closely resembles the data in the chart below from this HJK post.

CONCLUSIONS:

  1. I no longer consider my Zanflare C4 a reliable analysing charger [for measuring the capacity of 18650 batteries - Edited].
  2. Until I can find something better, my LiitoKala Lii-500 will be my go-to analyzing charger.
  3. My SM8124A Internal Resistance meter still performs reliably.
  4. After conducting these tests, I am confidant that my new NCR18650GA batteries will work well.
flydiver
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Wonder how much variation there is in individual units, components over time, and just plain assembly?
I’ve had 3xLii-500 and 2xC4. They are very similar units. I consider my C4 to be more accurate than the Lii-500 using an Opus and 2 different hobby chargers to help compare results. All of mine are more than 2 years old. Maybe that makes a difference…?

The IR of the Lii-500 is completely useless on all units. The C4 IR seems more reliable than my Opus, but they are kinda close. Neither of those is very accurate but they seem to get in the ‘ball park’ and determine good from OK from poor.

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ActiveAl
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What is interesting is that I've had very good luck measuring capacity of Ni-MH batteries with my Zanflare C4 very recently, as illustrated in this post.

pennzy
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Just charged 4 30Qs new from LiionWholesale on my Zanflare C4 . Although I bought it long ago, it was my first use. IR was showing each cell in the hundreds of M ohms, even after charging the cells and cleaning the contacts. Same batteries in a Jionrun charger measure 40 M ohms. These IR measurements are all over the place . Don’t see much usefulness in them .

flydiver
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Which makes me further think there may be some significant variation in components. My particular C4 has the most consistent IR measurements of all the chargers I have that will do it. It’s one of the major reasons it’s one of my favorites.

I’ve seen a fair number of electronic products brought down by ‘success’. They work hard to get a decent unit to market > the market likes it because it works well and is a great deal > word spreads, purchases flood in > small company can’t keep up with the demand > they desperately start shopping for alternative component sources (often inferior but cheaper, or at least available) and slapping new units together as fast as they can to keep up, but they simply cannot > quality falls, failures accumulate > the market sours on them with the new rapid distribution of information.

On to the next ‘victim’. It’s a whole new world. It’s no longer dog eat dog, so much as rabid bear vs. enraged wolverine.

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Dave_C
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Anyone know if the C4 has been discontinued? I noticed the link to it on Amazon comes up with a page not found error and Zanflare’s merchant page no longer has any link at all to it, though it still shows a picture of the C4 on that merchant page.

Zanflare’s website still shows the product, with no mention of discontinued, but they have the same dead link to Amazon, page not found error.

Seems like Amazon would have been a primary US sales point for this so it is curious that the whole page was pulled. They still have the C2 (USB charger) and Sh54 solar charger.

The C4 also shows “Discontinue” (can’t add to cart) on Gearbest.

I sent Zanflare an email asking what’s up, will report back if they reply.

Edit: Heard back from Zanflare:

Quote:
It is not discontinued on Amazon. it will be displayed on it soon. It still on Gearbest and Amazon. You can order the product from above two websites.

… and yet, those two don’t have stock, nor does Banggood or anywhere else I looked.

Dave_C
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It’s back in stock on Amazon now, also discounted like it was 5 months ago, with a -$12 coupon code 3H3FEL8G discount bringing it down to $18, but I don’t know when this discount will end. Since it has been out of stock for a while it might sell out faster than usual.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07428G1G2

wellerus
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Did someone try to charge 21700 battery with this charger, is it possible?

rcwiily
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Yes it can charge 21700. My particular unit is wildy inaccurate though so if you don’t already own it, I’d look into other chargers.

Checking voltage with a DMM after charging has resulted in 4.15 to 4.25!

Lightbringer
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wellerus wrote:
Did someone try to charge 21700 battery with this charger, is it possible?

Yeah, it’s snug, but they do fit just fine. Slooooooow, though.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/64391

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Lightbringer
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rcwiily wrote:
Yes it can charge 21700. My particular unit is wildy inaccurate though so if you don’t already own it, I’d look into other chargers.

Checking voltage with a DMM after charging has resulted in 4.15 to 4.25!

Hmm. I just got some 26650s, will have to try ‘em and see. Good pernt.

On my 21700s, they all kicked off at the same voltage reading, but dunno how that’d correspond with actual measured voltage on a DMM, same meter across each of the 4 cells.

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flydiver
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Don’t have any issues with 26650 with my C4.

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wellerus
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Thanks for reply.
Yes i already have C4 charger, but no 21700 battery yet and if i buy C8F or FT02, will need to buy some.
Will check next time all four 30Q batteries before and after charging with a multimeter.

rcwiily
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Lightbringer wrote:
Hmm. I just got some 26650s, will have to try ‘em and see. Good pernt.

On my 21700s, they all kicked off at the same voltage reading, but dunno how that’d correspond with actual measured voltage on a DMM, same meter across each of the 4 cells.

Yesterday I charged 4 fresh 30Q’s…2 at 1A and 2 at 500mA. After the first 2 finished I swithed the 2 500mA over to the 1A slots to finish up so I could test out my new BLF GT before going to bed. Charged another set of 4 on other chargers. I wanted to make sure they were all charged to 4.2. Checked the first 4 from the XTAR chargers and they were all 4.2. The 4 from the Zanflare were 4.17, 4.18, 4.24, 4.25. I didn’t note which ones were from the 1A charge and which were from the 500mA + 1A but either way 4.25 ain’t cool.

My guess from reading this thread is the that the 4.17 and 4.18 were the 1A and then discharged because I wasn’t hovering over them and they probably sat for awhile after they were done charging before I swapped the 500mA’s over.

I’m used to better quality chargers like my iCharger 106b I use for LiPos so I ordered an MC3000 and it can’t get here soon enough.

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