[Review] XTAR VC4L Charger || Nice and Simple Li-Ion and NiMH Charger

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bilakos10
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[Review] XTAR VC4L Charger || Nice and Simple Li-Ion and NiMH Charger

The charger was sent to me by XTAR for review.
Here's the product's link: XTAR VC4L  

The VC4L comes in a simple cardboard box.



Other than the charger, XTAR also includes a vinyl carrying pouch and a multi-lingual user manual.



Here's a quick rundown of the features of the VC4L.

  • Support for both Li-ion and NiMH chemistries.
  • 0V activation / revive feature.
  • Input: 5V @ 2.1A via USB type-c.
  • Output: 4 x 0.5A  || 2 x 1A.
  • 4.2V cut-off voltage - I've measured my cells at 4.196V right after a full charge.
  • Reverse polarity, short circuit, overcharge, overheat protection.

 

The VC4L is a 4-bay charger that can accommodate any of the common battery sizes. 

 

It comes with a large back-lit display with a gauge-style interface.



A spring-loaded negative terminal is used to allow for different sized cells to fit into the charger.



As soon as a cell is inserted, the charging process automatically begins - No user interaction is required.



At any given time, the display shows information for two of the four charging slots (CH1 and CH4 / CH2 and CH3).
The user can switch between the slot groups via pressing the 'CH' button.



Here's a picture explaining all the info displayed in the VC4L's screen.
As can be seen, the whole interface is very straightforward.



The charger supports both 0.5A and 1A output current.
If the user populates only slots CH1 and CH4, then the charge will automatically switch to 1A charging mode.



The charger can accommodate pretty much any commonly used Li-Ion and NiMH cell.
Here it is shown charging the following cell types: 26650, 21700, 18350 and 16340.
It's worth noting that the 21700 cell displayed here is the longest cell I currently own.
I've measured it at 75mm and you can see that there's at least 2-3mm of available length left in the slot.



The rear side of the VC4L is plain and simple.



A USB type-c interface is used as the power source for the charger.
As stated by the manufacturer, the charger works with 5V @ 2.1A



While idle, I measured 0.49W of power usage with the backlight turned ON.



The backlight can be turned OFF by long pressing the 'CH' button.
Once no backlight is present, the standby power usage dropped to 0.37W.



And here's the VC4L running at full blast.
I measured 2.1A of input current while charging two cells @1A.



Overall I've really liked the XTAR VC4L charger.
Its operation is very straightforward with no user interaction required.
The user interface is appealing to the eyes and I'm especially pleased by the fact that it can accommodate my unusually long 21700 cells smile

Edited by: bilakos10 on 03/28/2021 - 10:06
how2
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For 10440 batteries can the charge be adjusted?

Like to 0.2 amps.

d_t_a
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how2 wrote:
For 10440 batteries can the charge be adjusted?

Like to 0.2 amps.

Based on the review above, the charging current doesn’t seem to be user-adjustable (charge current of 0.5A or 1.0A depends on the slots used, and likely addtionally on how much power the USB power source can supply to the charger).

My guess is that a very long USB cable, or a very weak USB power source, might (I’m not that sure) make the charge current lower than 0.5A, but it’s just my guess…