Share your opinions about XTAR products’ upgrade

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xtarflashlight's picture
Last seen: 9 hours 33 min ago
Joined: 01/21/2013 - 21:25
Posts: 176
Location: Shenzhen
Share your opinions about XTAR products’ upgrade

For products’ upgrade, many customers tell the price could be the deciding factor, and think minimal but useful improvements are still reasonable improvements. Such as new VC4L, FC2 chargers, they are designed to have improvements in some aspects with more budget offering, which could be the basic go-to chargers’ recommendation. While, some people think the price is not the main decisive factor, and want to see much greater advancements, even if the products are with higher prices. How about your preference?

Besides, a few people asked why manufacturers didn’t design products “perfectly” at the first time, then avoided some modification or upgrades? Actually, there may be technical limitations, cost control during specific periods, which impact the products’ overall design. For example, the USB-C specification was finalized in 2014, and 21700 cells began to see adoption in 2017. Considering what technologies are mature, it’s reasonable to design xtar VC4 with Micro USB port released in early 2015, and upgrade it into VC4L with type C input, compatible with protected 21700 batteries. Apparently, with the technology developing and better materials applying, products upgrades are inevitable.

Welcome to share your views on xtar products’ upgrade. And also thanks for your guys’ support to XTAR all the time! Smile

zoulas's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2020 - 08:35
Posts: 1287

I am all for quality. I would pay more for the best quality. It does not pay to buy cheap stuff as it keeps failing and needs to be replaced often.

Lux-Perpetua's picture
Last seen: 23 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 03/01/2018 - 04:39
Posts: 2998
Location: Post Tenebras Lux

I agree with zoulas. It's crystal clear that higher quality usually comes with significantly higher prices. Talking about higher prices: According to the pandemic, the global shortages of semiconductors, raw materials like polyamides, rubber or steel, even finished products like lithium-ion batteries, we may face much higher prices anyway anytime soon. So, keeping prices on a "budget level" will require to reduce quality even more, i.e. cheaper, less accurate, less reliable components. The process has already started as far as I could learn by reading between the lines. Maybe I sound very pessimistic but I do not expect these high prices to go down again.

Eventually, we soon face even more products being scrap from the very beginning or at least with a short lifetime. On the other hand, high precision instruments may become less affordable. I am sure it will be challenging to find the new sweet spot between a reasonable price, good quality, good service and large scale revenue. A high quality charger that meets everyone's needs and which is still affordable will be hard to realize. My wishful thinking for the ideal charger is:

  • Simple UI + Advanced UI in one device, i.e. simple for the average customer topping up their batteries every once in a while but advanced and sophisticated with plenty of features for enthusiasts
  • User defined termination voltages between 2.50V and 4.35V both for charging and discharging
  • User defined termination currents in the CV-phase (< 10mA if possible) to get very precise resting voltages after charging has finished
  • Analyzing capabilities for charging/discharging incl. log-file export (via USB-C or wireless over Bluetooth protocol)
  • Failsafe-charging of LiFePO4 batteries after power interruption (no fallback to 3.7V Li-Ion profile!)
  • Full support for batteries between 10180 and 26800 size, maybe offering charging slots with up to 100mm battery length
  • Fine resolution of selectable charging currents below 500mA for small size batteries like 10180, 10440, 14500, 18350 etc.
  • 4-point-probe accurate internal resistance (DC method) and internal impedance (AC 1kHZ method) measuring
  • USB-C PD 3.0 (PowerDelivery with PPS) support, i.e. up to 20V 5A input power for chargers with up to 8 slots
  • easy inserting and removing of batteries into/from the charging slots (enough space between slots, support-grooves for fingers to grab batteries easily, ...)
  • maintenance friendly design (cleaning of terminals, removing dust or debris)
  • ...

This is just a brief summary of what's on my mind. Certainly, this charger would cost way beyond $ 150 but it would be worth it if made with the proper level of perfection and accuracy. The question is, would enough people buy it to meet break-even?

wle's picture
Last seen: 17 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 2254
Location: atlanta ga

i had an xtar light, WK-42
i liked it til i dropped it one time and that killed it
an inductor came loose – it was not glued or potted
i would have paid $5 more for it to have been glued
but you did not offer that
or say how sloppy the assembly was

and then you quit making any CR123A light at all

so i can’t actually ‘support you’

though if you want to make things better, that is ok with me

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.

Bort's picture
Last seen: 9 min 33 sec ago
Joined: 06/01/2012 - 17:15
Posts: 7618
Location: Holding the proverbial flashlight

UI changes should not cost much but seem to be hard to convince companies to adopt.
There are many lights where the UI is silly, but the company is often resistant to change the software for the better.

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texas shooter
Last seen: 2 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 08/26/2012 - 02:14
Posts: 1541
Location: Texas

I’ve never had an Xtar charger fail and I own a several. So you’ve got the quality issue done right. I would like to see some simple chargers like the ANT MC1 Plus, SC1 and MC2 Plus 2. Extended to 85mm’s for extended protected batteries and future cells so batteries don’t feel jammed in. I’d like to see a battery bank options in 1 and 2 cell compact chargers.

stephenk's picture
Last seen: 11 hours 45 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2016 - 05:09
Posts: 1580
Location: Australia

My VP4 Plus Dragon (one of the first off the production line) just failed. The model needs to be updated with longer slots for protected 21700s.

Last seen: 1 hour 50 min ago
Joined: 03/22/2019 - 14:35
Posts: 256

Quality needs to be improved. I’ve had 4 Xtar slider springs break off the little plastic pegs inside – a poorly made shoddy design. I no longer recommend Xtar chargers because of this. My only Xtar charger that hasn’t broke is a old VP2, which is great except that it does not charge NiMH’s and 21700’s don’t fit.