I think I have narrowed my choice down to these two chargers and I hope I can get some feedback. I want a 4-bay charger that is able to charge, discharge, and analyze NiMH and LiIon in a variety of sizes, including reporting the capacity (mAh ) in the cell. I rely heavily on HKJ’s reviews. These two chargers look like they meet my needs and are pretty similar. The main weak points of each that I see are:
1) The Opus uses pulse charging (HKJ would prefer it didn’t) and that the LiitoKala slightly undercharges NiMHs.
2) The LiitoKala takes much longer to do a discharge/charge if I want to know the mAH capacity of a cell—like 10 hrs vs 4 hrs for 18650 and 6 hrs vs 3 hrs for AA NiMH.
The only other main difference I can see is that the Opus has an individual display for each bay so you have to toggle to get all the information for that bay, while the LiitoKala has one large display that shows all the information for a bay at once, but you have to toggle between bays.
Stuff that is less important to me is being able to use the LiitoKala as a power block and including a car adapter, but all else being equal, those would seem to be a plus.
Am I missing any other significant differences between them? And of the ones I mentioned, do any seem important enough to decide on one or the other, or are they so close that it is really only a matter of personal preference?
The opus is a very capable charger, but both of my units had faults, it also reads higher capacity than actual. Haven’t tried the lii500 yet as I upgraded to the MC3000 instead and am very happy with it.
Well, I have/had 2 Opus 2.0, also 2 Opus 2.1 and the 2.2 versions. Somewhere in BLF I have posted a result of my 2.1 having a discharge capacity difference of only 8 mah compared to the result I got from iCharger 106B+ hobby charger. In all my tests with the Panasonic NCR18650PF/PD cells I run it through with, there was not much difference among them the Opuses AND the iCharger (and in every discharge session made, the test cell was charged by my Xtar VP2, btw).
I also have the MC3000 but have not tested it yet because of my disappointment of it not friendly to flat-top cells (and I don’t want to use magnets), I still have not tried it yet until now.
As to your observation that Opus reads a higher capacity, well, it’s either all my Opuses and iCharger (which is highly unlikely to my mind) all read too high or the MC3000 reads too low.
The Opus charges to 4.22v(DMM) and discharge to 2.80v. All the test I did with all my brand new cells (B, GA, LG HG2, LG MJ1, Eneloop Pro, etc) results with a higher capacity than the cells rating. A18650B 3400mah has a max capacity of 3350 if my memory is correct. All my results were around 3500mah.
You probably have a superspecial unit but I don’t think so. All the results I saw when I gave feedbacks on Aliexpress are around the same as mine. You have the MC3000. Take the datasheets of the cell and settle your MC3000 according to them. You will have your answer. If your results are the same with your Opus, your charger is really special.
Edit: If your results are the same with the MC3000, I will give you my mail and you could send me the photos. If you do not want to try your MC3000, do a charge test(C>D>C) with your Opus and send me a picture of your screen with the cells on your charger.
Yes, your memory is correct that the NCR3400B (which I also have and tested several times) has around 3350mah of capacity, that’s the usual ballpark figure I get too in my Opuses and iCharger when discharged to 2.8v.
I just check the ncr18650B capacity: min 3250-3350mah at 25celsius.
Lol…read my edit ….If you could prove me that your Opus BT3100 doesn’t read high, I will say in this thread that you were right.
You say that you have 3350mah when you discharge at 2.80v. The cells spec says that you have 3350mah max(I give you a chance) from 4.20 to 2.50…. just with that, you see that it is not accurate. Where is the capacity between 2.80 and 2.50? To be fair with you, there is not a lot but there is a little, around 50-100mah probably… I will check it later. We will go with 50mah…+3350 you have…3400. Your higher at this state.
If I do the test with the MC3000 from 4.22-2.80 like the opus, the results are between 3125-3200mah with brand new B cells. With the Opus with the same cells, 3540-3610mah.
Mc3000 from 4.20-2.50 with a 10 cycle B that I removed the pcb, 3252mah and 3502 with the Opus. Don’t forget the cell capacity should be between 3250-3350mah according to the specs.
Testing with 2500 volt succeeded, but 5000 volt between mains and low volt side on the power supply failed. This means this power supply is only safe for 110VAC, not for 230VAC (This is the US supply, the EU supply passed the 5000V test in the first review).
The charger has been improved with the updated software, but many of the problematic areas are stil present:
The user interface is fairly easy to use, but it may take a some time to learn what the different modes does.
The high current peak from the power supply is not good for the power supply and makes the charger show wrong readings.
Generally the peak charge and discharge current for LiIon are a bit high, especially on the outer slots.
The resistance measurement has limited use, not only due to contact resistance, with NiMH the precision is generally low.
I would have preferred constant current, instead of the pulsing.
The NiMH termination has changed, but it is a bit slow to terminate now (It does definitely fill the cells).
LiIon charging now works on all slots. The NiMH charging is probably not as good as in the first version, because the -dv/dt is rather slow to terminate
The analyzing function makes the charger very useful for anybody that wants to know something about the state of their LiIon cell.
The charger is not perfect, far from it, but as long as the problematic areas are know, the charger is a very useful tool
Liitokala Engineer Lii-500:
Testing the EU mains transformer with 2500 volt and 5000 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.
I like the user interface, put a couple of batteries in and select mode/current with the respective buttons. As long as the number keys are not touched the selection is for all slots (Showing all slot numbers would have been nice).
The charger is very good at charging LiIon, but stops a bit early on NiMH.
The fast test works fine on LiIon, but with NiMH it shows too much capacity (the full test looks more correct).
As usual I am not impressed with the resistance function.
The usb output has very low noise, but need multiple cells to work well with 1A load.
The final result must be that it is a good charger with a useful analyze function.
I have both & prefer the Liitokala UI & I think it charges a little faster when charging 4 x 18650 cells than The Opus, although that could just be me. (the Liitokala is also a bit cheaper in the UK than the Opus)
I also have a Nitecore D4 as well as the Opus & Liitokala.
The D4 is fine as a basic charger, just a little slow when charging multiple cells which is not a problem really.
Of the 3 chargers the Liitokala is my favourite.
With Opus you can charge up to 4.35V (but you have to open it to get to the switch). You have the refresh program for NiMh batteries, you can charge up to 2000mAh on bay 1 and 4 with only two batteries. On the negative side, you have the noisy fan.
So I have two Opus BT C3100 V2.2 and two Lii 500 chargers. If I need to test or charge in the night, I use Lii 500, on the day Opus.
go for the Opus, its voltage are spot on, on my 2 DMMs my Liitokala 500 overcharges to 4.22V
and since this question has been asked many times, (it was something i wondered myself for a long time, until I bought both), i will paste here what I already written on 12/21/2015 - 07:24 in the Lii500 review topic https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/35224/64