Xtar FC2 Charger ( test - review - )

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old4570
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Xtar FC2 Charger ( test - review - )

Xtar FC2 Charger – Made available for review by Xtar

A) Uses USB input ( 5v 2A needed )
B) Can charge one battery at 2A or two batteries at the lower 1A and 0.5A settings . ( dependent on USB power supply )
C) Starts charging at constant current till ( at or close to ) 4.2 volts it switches to constant voltage ( 4.2v ) and begins to drop the charge rate .
D) LED’s flashing indicate the battery is being charged – when they all go solid the battery is charged .

The build quality on the FC2 looks to be excellent and the sliders are put together to a very high standard . The sliders slide flawlessly and just feel really nice compared to chargers made 10 or 15 years ago ( They still be out there ) . I have only charged a few batteries so far but !
A) The batteries are coming off the charger at room temperature ( 0.5A charge rate )
B) It does look like the batteries are terminating at 4.2v and depending on their quality and age will determine final resting voltage .

There will be more to this review ( updated ) , after I charge more batteries . ( Just wanted to put something out there )

AA Update !
I spent the entire day ( April 20 ) charging AA batteries and some AAA . I have some dedicated AA chargers and they are brutal on the AA batteries , by that I mean the AA can come off the charger seriously hot . Heat is bad , and these dedicated AA chargers are just killing weaker AA . I am talking about charging at the lower charge rate of 500mAh .
Xtar FC2 – They were coming off at 5 to 10 deg C above ambient room temperature @ the 500mAh charge rate . Temperature would be related to how good a condition the battery is in . Batteries in poor condition got to 10 deg C above ambient and batteries in good condition got about 5 deg C above ambient . I even charged AA that were down to 0.7 volts . At this low voltage the charger did trickle charge to start with . I did check from time to time ( voltage ) and at around 1.2v the FC2 was still trickle charging . I was in a little bit of a rush to get through 20 or so AA so at 1.2v I restarted the charge cycle . I had two bad AA and a bad AAA and all were brought back . I still have another 20 to 30 AA / AAA needing charging , but they can wait .
So in regard to the AA , I really like the way the FC2 charger does it’s job and does not cook the AA batteries when charging . ( I really like that ) That was one of my pet hates for the over priced dedicated AA chargers ( cooking batteries ) . Kudos to Xtar here !

Time to play with some 16340 . Starting a 16340 which is at 2.4 volts . I did hope it would trickle charge , but looks like the battery voltage went straight up .

AAAAAaaaaargh ! ( I’m all batteried out )

No seriously , testing the FC2 set off the great battery purge of 2021 ! Not just Li-ion and Nimh but also by Lipo collection . ( I fly RC after all ) . So where are we ? Quite a few 16340 have been purged , almost all of my 14500 , some Lipo and AA/AAA . Simply getting to be too old with many if not most being over 10 years old . I found the FC2 to be a great help here . Li-ion that wont charge much past 4 volts or even reach 4 volts have been purged . Honestly I only reach for a few lights these days ( about 5 ) and the days of having 20 flashlights ready to rock N stroll is a thing of the past . Just having fresh batteries to swap into a light does the job . And those batteries need a good reliable charger .

A) FC2 did not overcharge any battery
B) I charged mostly older batteries – Li-ion / AA / AAA
C) I really liked that the FC2 did not cook batteries – I really liked that .
D) It is a true 2 channel charger – I did a AA on one side and a 18650 on the other without issue
E) So far I have only seen TC ( Trickle Charge ) with the low voltage AA and AAA , haven’t been able to get it into this mode with a Li-ion .
F) At 500mAh , even 18650 don’t take that long to charge . Must be that Constant Current state .

I really do like the FC2 , it’s USB powered so makes for a great mobile ( Car – Truck – Camper) charger . Because it’s 5v USB , I guess a decent solar set up will work with it as well if you need a camping charger . These days I am no longer into fast charging , I’m more into slow charging and as such I would happily trade the 2A charge rate for 200 or 250 mAh . I have made a small harness for charging 1s lipo batteries ( RC ) for these chargers . And to charge small RC hobby batteries I like lower current . ( Even 150mAh would be crazy good )
Different strokes for different folks . I like the FC2 and will be using it as much as possible as I still have a huge number of batteries to get through . And as a tool for assessing batteries ( oh and charging them ) the FC2 is doing a great job . Now if I have to give the FC2 a score , then as far as the FC2 doing what it’s meant to do , it’s 10/10 . For my own personal expectations for a charger ( What I want ) it’s 9/10 . Bottom line , does the FC2 meet your expectations ? If it does then maybe you should buy one because Xtar makes serious kit .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Edited by: old4570 on 04/23/2021 - 07:27
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very interesting review, many thanks!