[Review in progress] Enova Gyrfalcon S8000 (updated 2024-02-18)

Enova was so kind to send me one of their new Gyrfalcon S8000 chargers. It’s a programmable analyzing charger with four slots, very similar to the famous SkyRC MC3000.

Testing chargers takes a lot of time. Setting up the measurement, waiting for it to finish, then analyzing the results. There are so many combinations of battery types with different properties, modes, settings etc. that it is almost impossible to test everything. I guess a lot of you are eager to see more details about this charger and I don’t want to let you wait several weeks until the review is finished.

Thus I decided to make this an incremental review. I will update it whenever I have new results. This also allows me to respond to your questions and suggestions.

Table of contents

  1. Changelog of review
  2. Unboxing and hardware
  3. User interface and documentation
  4. Li-ion batteries
    1. Charging Li-ion
    2. Discharging Li-ion
  5. NiMH batteries
    1. Charging NiMH
    2. Discharging NiMH
  6. Other functions
    1. Internal resistance
    2. Storage mode
    3. Grading mode
    4. And more
  7. Conclusion

Changelog of review

2024-02-10: Initial publish with “Unboxing and hardware”
2024-02-18: Battery compatibility and inserting/removing batteries

Unboxing and hardware

When I received the package, I was surprised by its size. So much packaging? But no, it was just the box of the charger.

There’s no indication of the model number/name on the box (and the charger itself). So I just assume it’s the S8000. Let’s open the box.

It comes with the following parts:

  • Charger
  • Power supply
  • EU power cable
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Manual

The power supply is rated at 12 V output at 4 A (48 W). This is something you could also achieve with a USB PD or QC4 power supply. But the S8000 is not a compact travel charger, so it might not matter that much. It has a universal input and can be used all around the world, though.

The supplied Micro-USB cable is very impressive. It claims to be rated for 120 W and has a diameter of 6 mm! I’m not sure the USB standard allows so much power over a Micro-USB connector. But again, probably doesn’t matter because it is only used to update the firmware as far as I can see.

Enough about the accessories. Let’s have a closer look at the charger itself:

It’s massive! It has a size of 227 × 141 × 62 mm and a weight of 552 g. That’s more than the XTAR VC8S – which has eight slots instead of four.

At the underside you’ll find four rubber feet and a lot of ventilation to cool the electronics.

The backside is also well ventilated and includes two little fans that are active during discharge. Here you will also find the barrel connector for power.

The Micro USB port to update the firmware is located at the right side at the front and is protected by a little silicone flap.

Battery contacts are what you expect from a charger. The negative sliders are spring-loaded and have a little nub. I wish there was also a nub on the positive contact, because many flat-top batteries might not make contact without it.

Here is an example with an AAA battery. The nub on the negative terminal still makes contact. Might be different, if the wrapper would be longer. No problems at the positive terminal due to the button.

And here is a AA battery. It fits perfectly.

This flat-top 18650 makes bad contact. The positive terminal is not really recessed, but the stiff wrapper is enough to cause problems.

What battery sizes are supported by the charger? The slots have a length from 31 to 76 mm and an approximate width of 27 mm. That means you can fit up to four protected 21700 Li-ion batteries. Four 26650 will fit as well. 26800? Nope. The length is probably enough for all 21700 batteries, including protected button top with integrated charging (like the Nextorch 21700). Small batteries like 16340 will fit as well. Even shorter batteries are supported with a DIY spacer.

While using the charger I experienced a few problems with inserting and removing the batteries. The sliders are very rough and don’t slide easily. Because of the high case, batteries must be inserted at a steep angle, at which the sliders often don’t want to move at all.

You might think you could pull the sliders back with your finger. But then there’s not enough room for the battery!

Similar problem when you want to remove batteries. As usual there’s not enough space between the batteries to grab them from above. But because there’s also no space around the terminals, it is almost impossible to remove a battery from the middle without removing the outer batteries first.

The dot-matrix LCD has a rather faint bluish backlight, but is also readable with external light, thus no problems with direct sunlight. It has a resolution of 192 × 64 px (no, I haven’t counted them, it’s mentioned in the manual).

That’s it for now! I’m still trying to understand the user interface and will then start doing some measurements. I also noticed a few things that could be improved and sent my feedback to Enova. Maybe they have a firmware update ready before I continue with my review of the user interface.

User interface and documentation

In progress…

Li-Ion batteries

Charging Li-ion

In progress…

Discharging Li-ion

In progress…

NiMH batteries

Charging NiMH

In progress…

Discharging NiMH

In progress…

Other functions

Internal resistance

In progress…

Storage mode

In progress…

Grading mode

In progress…

And more

In progress…

Conclusion

In progress…

12 Thanks

Great to see this fella in the flesh. Nice review so far, will be very interested in the rest of it. There needs to be more competition at this tier of charger.

1 Thank

Looking forward to further testing and review.
All the Best,
Jeff

Hopefully they also turn on when charging too, correct?

Hopefully we can see a teardown to get a look at the internals.

No “nub” on positive terminal is very big issue IMO, as silly as it is - it might be one of those “make or break” things - fiddling with magnets for half of flat tops is not really an option…

10 Thanks

Looks like a very beefy charger. Looking forward to reading the rest of the review.

1 Thank

I think they are intended to cool the heatsink during discharge, not the batteries during charging. Don’t know if there are temperature sensors in the charging contacts either.

After having a few measurements I’ll try to open it.

Indeed. Even the single nub on the negative contact might not be enough for various battery diameters.

Have you tried AAA with isolated - pole, I see problems with the contact there.

So far I haven’t tested any batteries, just took the photos and played with the UI. I have a few of those batteries and guess they will only work when angled and/or with a spacer underneath to align them.

1 Thank

Nope, 12W at most :sweat_smile:
Maybe they accidentally slipped in a 0 too much ^^

Looking forward to the full review, specs look good and pictures of the unit look promising!

Huge charger

I wonder why I need a 120W-cable for updates :confused:

Photos of the charger with different cells would be nice

Not sure about the cooling concept, I think there is not much space between the charger bottom and the table.

What are the things you noticed about UI?

The nub is really important. For those who want to charge smaller AA, AAA, or flat top cells that could cause bad connection or no connection, that or high resistance. This needs to be updated. Even the S4+ has nubs and sometimes long cells or shorter 14500 flat tops have issues with a solod connections.

3 Thanks

Several small things like many unimplemented menu options, some settings that are hard to change and a sluggish UI due to the button handling. What I got is more like a prototype and I’ll give Enova a chance to improve it. They already told me that many of my suggestions were implemented and that I should receive an updated firmware soon.

While it would be absolutely awesome to get the source code, I think that is very unlikely. But at least Enova is very responsive and open to suggestions.

2 Thanks

Jep, but still the S4+ is one of the better chargers in this category.

Dlyfull A4 and A4L are quite good with AAA/AA and Flat top cells

Hopefully the unintelligible and incomprehensible abbreviations and the non-existent structure of the individual texts will be thoroughly revised. In general, more structure and logic in the UI would be nice.

Something like this (from manual) definitely does not help users:

CHLI^1.00AF4.20V-0

or

STꞱLID>C1#-1

or

BRNID>C2#2500mAh-2

whatever that is supposed to mean.

1 Thank

Charge Li-ion at 1.00A to 4.20V which is program slot 0.

Ok, and now it should be displayed that everyone understand this. KISS principle.