Budget charger for AA and AAA batteries available on AliExpress

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charged_foxy
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Budget charger for AA and AAA batteries available on AliExpress

Hi, I’ve been looking for a budget (up to $50) charger that would be used mainly for AA and AAA batteries, that could test/analyze the batteries, and could be bought on AliExpress.

I’ve seen this document https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellChargerIndex%20UK.html, some posts here, and on Reddit, but I’m still not sure which charger to get. Some look a bit “overkill” and many recommendations are for discontinued chargers or available only in the US (Maha/LaCrosse/Powerex).

My current chargers are Sony CycleEnergy, like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Sony-BCG34HLD4EN-Energy-Charger-Batteries/dp/B000... (this, and the newer version of this).

Some models that gathered my interest based on user feedback are:
- Vapcell S4 Plus
- Xtar VC4S
- LiitoKala Lii-500/Lii-500S
- Nitecore UMS4
- SkyRC NC1500
- Opus BT-C700

I’m also looking for some cheaper alternatives for the Eneloops batteries, but haven’t researched much here.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Edited by: charged_foxy on 09/06/2022 - 09:19
Johnny_Bravo
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If you want to charge fast or/and use LiIon the Vapcell is the one to get; except you need a compact size. My standard recommendation.

I can´t say anything to the VC4S but I have the “better” VC4SL which is unusable für NiMH, so I can´t recommend it.

The UMS4 is not an Analyzer.

The Skyrc is IMHO getting to hot (and the cells also) if you charge AA with 1A or higher, and it have problems with the termination which lead to overload cells. Not my favorite

The BT-C700 is a nice charger for AAA with a good selection of charging currents, with AA it´s getting also a bit hot because of it´s size, but 4 cells are limitited to max. 700mA, so it´s only interesting if you don´t need to fast very charge. It´s also a good analyzer for it´s price

raccoon city
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Thanks for stopping by, charged_foxy!

raccoon city
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I have a couple of Vapcell S4+ chargers.

They're really nice, and they charge quickly, but I don't think they're analyzers.

They charge some large cells like 26650 and 21700 cells, but not D sized cells.

If you ever get into Lithium-Ion cells, a universal charger like the Vapcell S4+ is really convenient because they charge AA and AAA as well.

Johnny_Bravo
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Depends on what you understand as Analyzers. It can do a capacity test with uncharge-capacity and also also discharge. It´s enough for get an idea how the cells perform. For advanced analyzing a charger like Keeppower L4 (which I don´t really recommend), ISDT C4 EVO or Skyrc MC3000 is needed

raccoon city
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For Eneloop-like batteries, I usually just get Eneloops.

I get them either on (American) eBay or amazon.com, but that probably doesn't help you much because you're in Brazil.

Maybe check out Brazilian eBay/Amazon?  :BEER:

charged_foxy
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
If you want to charge fast or/and use LiIon the Vapcell is the one to get; except you need a compact size. My standard recommendation.

I can´t say anything to the VC4S but I have the “better” VC4SL which is unusable für NiMH, so I can recommend it.

The UMS4 is not an Analyzer.

The Skyrc is IMHO getting to hot (and the cells also) if you charge AA with 1A or higher, and it have problems with the termination which lead to overload cells. Not my favorite

The BT-C700 is a nice charger for AAA with a good selection of charging currents, with AA it´s getting also a bit hot because of it´s size, but 4 cells are limitited to max. 700mA, so it´s only interesting if you don´t need to fast very charge. It´s also a good analyzer for it´s price

Thanks for the reply, Johnny_Bravo!

Taking another look at the options, it seems that the Vapcell S4 Plus and the Xtar VC4S charge small cells (NiMH?) too fast, which seems to be bad for the batteries.

The Xtar seems to be worse because it seems you can’t set the charge rate according to this review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPF9LoOvYY0 – in both cases, it seems I’d need to keep setting the charge rate manually instead of using the auto mode, something I’d like to avoid doing.

So, maybe a charger dedicated to AA/AAA batteries would be better for my case? Something that I could just set it to auto, and it would just work. (Not sure if I’m asking too much here).

So, now I’m leaning towards the Opus BT-C700, although the display on the Vapcell S4 Plus is much nicer. The BT-C2000 also appeared as a recommendation in one of the videos I watched.

The ISDT C4 Evo also seems pretty cool, but it’s a bit more expensive, and I’m not sure if it’s worth the difference.

raccoon city wrote:

Thanks for stopping by, charged_foxy!

Thanks raccoon city!

raccoon city wrote:

I have a couple of Vapcell S4+ chargers.

They’re really nice, and they charge quickly, but I don’t think they’re analyzers.

They charge some large cells like 26650 and 21700 cells, but not D sized cells.

If you ever get into Lithium-Ion cells, a universal charger like the Vapcell S4+ is really convenient because they charge AA and AAA as well.

My main worry with the Vapcell S4+ is the auto mode with AA/AAA batteries, which seems to have a high charge rate. I know very little about the subject, so if I’m getting something wrong, please let me know.

raccoon city wrote:

For Eneloop-like batteries, I usually just get Eneloops.

I get them either on (American) eBay or amazon.com, but that probably doesn’t help you much because you’re in Brazil.

Maybe check out Brazilian eBay/Amazon?  alt=:" />

I see. I can get Eneloops on Amazon here, I heard they’re the best, but they’re very expensive, so I was wondering if there was something a bit worse that is not as expensive, but not too bad. Thanks again!

If you guys have more suggestions for AA/AAA chargers that work well with auto mode, please let me know.

charged_foxy
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Also saw the Opus BT-C3100, not sure about this one.

smurcod
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I’ve got a Maha Powerex MH-C9000 – I’ve had it for many years now. It’s only made for nicad and nimh, but has all the functions you could possibly want. It’s got a normal “Charge” (you can set the current), “Refresh/ Analyze”, “Break-in” and “Discharge” functions. It’s an old model now https://mahaenergy.com/mh-c9000/ . The only issue I’ve had is AAA batteries will sometimes pop out in one slot. (The metal contacts needed some “adjusting”…)

The new model is here https://mahaenergy.com/mh-c9000pro/

charged_foxy
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smurcod wrote:
I’ve got a Maha Powerex MH-C9000 – I’ve had it for many years now. It’s only made for nicad and nimh, but has all the functions you could possibly want. It’s got a normal “Charge” (you can set the current), “Refresh/ Analyze”, “Break-in” and “Discharge” functions. It’s an old model now https://mahaenergy.com/mh-c9000/ . The only issue I’ve had is AAA batteries will sometimes pop out in one slot. (The metal contacts needed some “adjusting”…)

The new model is here https://mahaenergy.com/mh-c9000pro/

Thanks for the suggestion. The problem with this one is that is not available on AliExpress.

Johnny_Bravo
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charged_foxy wrote:

I can´t say anything to the VC4S but I have the “better” VC4SL which is unusable für NiMH, so I can recommend it.

charged_foxy wrote:

Taking another look at the options, it seems that the Vapcell S4 Plus and the Xtar VC4S charge small cells (NiMH?) too fast, which seems to be bad for the batteries.

The Xtar seems to be worse because it seems you can’t set the charge rate according to this review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPF9LoOvYY0 – in both cases, it seems I’d need to keep setting the charge rate manually instead of using the auto mode, something I’d like to avoid doing.

So, maybe a charger dedicated to AA/AAA batteries would be better for my case? Something that I could just set it to auto, and it would just work. (Not sure if I’m asking too much here).

So, now I’m leaning towards the Opus BT-C700, although the display on the Vapcell S4 Plus is much nicer. The BT-C2000 also appeared as a recommendation in one of the videos I watched.

The ISDT C4 Evo also seems pretty cool, but it’s a bit more expensive, and I’m not sure if it’s worth the difference.

I see. I can get Eneloops on Amazon here, I heard they’re the best, but they’re very expensive, so I was wondering if there was something a bit worse that is not as expensive, but not too bad. Thanks again!

If you guys have more suggestions for AA/AAA chargers that work well with auto mode, please let me know.

Sorry, I meant I can´t recommend the Xtar. Xtar have some chargers which are having problems with NiMH, the termination works real bad in the opposite of the NC1500, the Xtar stops at 50-70% or <50%. Ant Xtar mostly extreme slowly at measuring the capacity.

The BT-C2000 is also nice, I have the Everactive-version called NC3000. It´s a good charger, faster than the BT-C700 and because of it´s size it´s getting not so hot.

The S4 can also charge at 250mAh which is OK for low capacity NiMH.

The Auto-modes use the internal resistance to decide about the charge current, so it works different good/bad for the cells. I set my S4 directly to manual.

The Opus BT-C3100 is a good charger but the noisy fan is annoying to me. And it´s not optimal for low capacity cells because of it´s charging algorithm, pulsing current which is a bit high. If you also want to charge LiIon I would recommend the quiet and good designed S4+

The ISDT is also a bit annoying because of it´s fan and expensive but it looks nice Smile

charged_foxy
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
charged_foxy wrote:

I can´t say anything to the VC4S but I have the “better” VC4SL which is unusable für NiMH, so I can recommend it.

charged_foxy wrote:

Taking another look at the options, it seems that the Vapcell S4 Plus and the Xtar VC4S charge small cells (NiMH?) too fast, which seems to be bad for the batteries.

The Xtar seems to be worse because it seems you can’t set the charge rate according to this review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPF9LoOvYY0 – in both cases, it seems I’d need to keep setting the charge rate manually instead of using the auto mode, something I’d like to avoid doing.

So, maybe a charger dedicated to AA/AAA batteries would be better for my case? Something that I could just set it to auto, and it would just work. (Not sure if I’m asking too much here).

So, now I’m leaning towards the Opus BT-C700, although the display on the Vapcell S4 Plus is much nicer. The BT-C2000 also appeared as a recommendation in one of the videos I watched.

The ISDT C4 Evo also seems pretty cool, but it’s a bit more expensive, and I’m not sure if it’s worth the difference.

I see. I can get Eneloops on Amazon here, I heard they’re the best, but they’re very expensive, so I was wondering if there was something a bit worse that is not as expensive, but not too bad. Thanks again!

If you guys have more suggestions for AA/AAA chargers that work well with auto mode, please let me know.

Sorry, I meant I can´t recommend the Xtar. Xtar have some chargers which are having problems with NiMH, the termination works real bad in the opposite of the NC1500, the Xtar stops at 50-70% or <50%. Ant Xtar mostly extreme slowly at measuring the capacity.

The BT-C2000 is also nice, I have the Everactive-version called NC3000. It´s a good charger, faster than the BT-C700 and because of it´s size it´s getting not so hot.

The S4 can also charge at 250mAh which is OK for low capacity NiMH.

The Auto-modes use the internal resistance to decide about the charge current, so it works different good/bad for the cells. I set my S4 directly to manual.

The Opus BT-C3100 is a good charger but the noisy fan is annoying to me. And it´s not optimal for low capacity cells because of it´s charging algorithm, pulsing current which is a bit high. If you also want to charge LiIon I would recommend the quiet and good designed S4+

The ISDT is also a bit annoying because of it´s fan and expensive but it looks nice Smile

Thanks! Smile Now I got it, was a bit confused about you’re recommending or not. Do you think that even the Xtar VP4 Dragon would be bad like the others? It seems to be highly rated in the review.

My goal is to charge only AA/AAA, so I think NiMH compatibility only would be fine. I could not find the Everactive chargers on AliExpress, but it seems I could get it from eBay.

The difference from the Opus BT-C2000 vs. BT-C700 in price is very small, so the benefit of the BT-C2000 would be that it doesn’t get so hot because it’s bigger. I think I also prefer a smaller/fanless design, so the BT-C3100 and the ISDT C4 EVO are out. Big Smile

I tried to find the Opus-BTC2400 on AliExpress, but couldn’t find it. So, I suppose it’s an improved version of the BT-C2000?

Also found two other options around the budget on eBay:
- Technoline BC-700
- Everactive NC1000

Both look really similar to the LaCrosse BC-700, which is often recommended, I think. Not sure how they compare to the Vapcell S4+, though.

And some more expensive than what I’d like:
- Everactive NC3000
- Panasonic BQ-CC65

So I’m considering those, besides:
- Opus BT-C700
- Opus BT-C2000
- Vapcell S4+

The auto modes of these NiMH-only chargers would work like the S4+, where it would be better to set to manual (to charge at 250mAh)?

About the Vapcell S4+. Do you have to set the charge rate manually every time you’re going to charge, or do you set it once, and it remembers for that setting for small cells somehow?

Thanks again for your recommendations and explanations.

Johnny_Bravo
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The Dragon seems to work fine also with NiMH, however Xtar get it work. I think if you charge mostly same type of cells it would be OK, but for me it´s a NoGo that you can´t select different charge currents for the single bays. TBH, after I bought the VC4SL I´m not a fan of Xtar.

Don´t know the BT-C2400, can´t say anything. Looks like my Everactive NC3000, maybe the 2400 is really an updated version.

I have the BC700 but I don´t use it anymore, have bought other chargers because I don´t want to use it anymore. The buttons are awful, I think it´s luck if it reacts after a button press, mine also stops sometimes the charging of an 1000mAh-cell after 197mAh or something. I don´t know why it´s so good rated.

The Panasonic chargers seems to have problems with Non-Eneloop-cells, but I don´t have any experience with it. It works good if you only use Eneloop.

The Opus 700/2000 don´t have an Auto Mode, if you don´t select a current it will charge with 400mA which is OK for most AAA. If you have low capacity AAA with 600mAh or less it´s maybe better to set the current to 300 with the C700, the 2000 only offers 200/400 in this area, not 300.

Yep, the S4+ have 250mA, good for low capacity cells. Have in mind the S4+ charges around 15-20% slower than the selected current, so you need a bit time. The Opus-chargers load most of the time at selected current but slows down at the end of charging to 1/2 current (c700) or to something lower than selected (C2000)

The S4+ will not remember what you selected last time, it will start with NiMh always at 500mA.

charged_foxy
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Johnny_Bravo wrote:
The Dragon seems to work fine also with NiMH, however Xtar get it work. I think if you charge mostly same type of cells it would be OK, but for me it´s a NoGo that you can select different charge currents for the single bays. TBH, after I bought the VC4SL I´m not a fan of Xtar.

Don´t know the BT-C2400, can´t say anything. Looks like my Everactive NC3000, maybe the 2400 is really an updated version.

I have the BC700 but I don´t use it anymore, have bought other chargers because I don´t want to use it anymore. The buttons are awful, I think it´s luck if it reacts after a button press, mine also stops sometimes the charging of an 1000mAh-cell after 197mAh or something. I don´t know why it´s so good rated.

The Panasonic chargers seems to have problems with Non-Eneloop-cells, but I don´t have any experience with it. It works good if you only use Eneloop.

The Opus 700/2000 don´t have an Auto Mode, if you don´t select a current it will charge with 400mA which is OK for most AAA. If you have low capacity AAA with 600mAh or less it´s maybe better to set the current to 300 with the C700, the 2000 only offers 200/400 in this area, not 300.

Yep, the S4+ have 250mA, good for low capacity cells. Have in mind the S4+ charges around 15-20% slower than the selected current, so you need a bit time. The Opus-chargers load most of the time at selected current but slows down at the end of charging to 1/2 current (c700) or to something lower than selected (C2000)

The S4+ will not remember what you selected last time, it will start with NiMh always at 500mA.

Got it. Thanks a lot Johnny_Bravo, this helped a lot! I guess it’s hard to beat the S4+ right now, and since it charges at 500mA for NiMh by default, maybe it’s okay for the cells (950mAh/2550mAh) if I ever forget to set it to 250mA.

Johnny_Bravo
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Yep, I also charge most AAA with 500mAh, in average the S4+ charges at this selection with 420mA

And again a typo, I meant “but for me it´s a NoGo that you can´t select different charge currents for the single bays”

The Dragon is maybe interesting for someone aho charges D-cells

charged_foxy
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Great! That’s even better then. Thank you a lot!