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Thread: Pila IBC Charger Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Hitthespot's Avatar
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    Default Pila IBC Charger Review

    Since there are always so many questions about rechargable batteries and the appropriate chargers to charge them, I decided to post this mini review. I have asked a lot of questions myself lately which led me to this charger.

    Model: PILA IBC CHARGER
    Description: Pila Intelligent Li-ion Battery Charging System with 4 Stage Charging Process.
    1) Automatic Analyzing Battery Status.
    2) Quick Charge.
    3) Slow Charge.
    4) Standby mode, Trickle Charge. (EDIT:See first post below by SilverFox)
    Specs: Charges both independent stations at 4.2 volts 600mah
    Charging time listed at 3.5 hours -Approximate
    ( I would not recommend charging "any" battery rated below 600mah.)
    Made In: China
    By: Permalight ( Asia ) Co. LTD
    Price Paid: 49.99 Plus Shipping

    LET ME CLEARLY NOTE WHAT PILA STATES IN THEIR MANUAL AND DIRECTLY ON THE CHARGER, "FOR CHARGING PILA LI-ION BATTERIES ONLY".

    Now having said that this charger is probably used more for 18650, R123, 14500, 17670, 17500, more than it is for Pila batteries, but, I take no responsibility on how it's used, I'm just reporting on how I have used it with great results.

    Included in the (nice) Box: Battery holder ( Charging Station ) Xfmr with plug for 120V and I believe what is a Europe Plug. See Photo Below. Carry Bag, Manual, Two Spacers. I thought this was a nice package for the price.



    The Charger has two lights for each of the two "Independent" Charging stations. A green led and a red led. Also included is a reset button for each station. More clear on the next picture.
    The LEDs perform the following functions:
    Green on and Red flashing: Battery Compartment Empty
    Red on Green off: Battery Charging
    Green on Red off: Battery Fully Charged
    Green on and Red Flashing fast: Defective battery
    RESET BUTTON Manual Explanation: "If batteries were used for a while but green LED's indicate battery is charged press reset to charge to 100%.


    I charged one AW 14500 (750mah)and one Ultrafire 14500 (900mah) to start. The Ultrafire had a voltage of 3.65 to start and the AW was just received and had a starting voltage of 3.91. I wish I would have timed them but hindsight being what it is. The Ultrafire came off at 4.17 volts. The AW which was complete in around 30 minutes came off at 4.07. I placed it back in the charger and hit the reset button. 15 minutes later when the light turned green, it also came off at 4.17 volts. I can see the reset button is going to be a nice feature.
    I charged another AW and Ultrafire and both of these came off the charger at 4.17v after the light turned green.

    It is nice that the Pila Charger already came with spacers ( removed spacer at the bottom of the charger in above photo) These spacers worked perfect for charging 14500 batteries. I had also purchased a set of Aluminum ones but didn't need them. They would come in handy for charging R123's. I believe the two spacers together would be just about the right size. The spacers that come with the charger screw in and out easily.

    Conclusion: I really like this charger. Considering my Ultrafire 139 quit working after two charges. This charger is definitely a step or two up from the 139 charger. I'm not sure why Pila is so insistant that you only charge their 300P, 300S, 600P, 600S batteries with this charger. It is obvious is does a really nice job on any 3.7V Li-ion battery with a true capacity larger than 600mah. Maybe others with more experience than me could shed some light on this.

    Bill
    Last edited by Hitthespot; 07-21-2011 at 11:06 PM. Reason: corrected grammer errors
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    Albert Einstein

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Thanks for the review. I also purchased this charger as part of a Pila package with a Gl2 light almost a year ago.

    One thing is for sure is that it is very well made and even looks high quality. I tend to believe that there are some things worth paying a little more for and I think the Pila charger delivers. There is no "cheap" look or feel to it as compared to some things that are low priced and built with the low cost in mind. I am glad I paid a little extra for something I tend to keep and use for many years.

    PS: I have only charged 1 Pila battery in this light and most of them are not Pila.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Hitthespot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Agreed. Like I said in the review the first charger I purchased went bad after only two uses. I just don't see that happening with this charger. It does have a better quality feel to it.

    Just out of curiosity what batteries are you charging and at what voltage do they come off. ( if you know )

    Thanks

    Bill
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    Albert Einstein

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    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    My comments regarding the Pila IBC have not been so kind...
    强光手电是我最爱得

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    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    I just ordered one of these from Flashlightz for $36.65 plus shipping. Should arrive any day now. Thanks for the review and nice job neighbor. It looks like a well made charger and at this price, it's hard to beat. It should serve me well.
    "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    I have a couple of Ultrafire 18650 unprotected cells, a 17650 Ultrafire unprotected cell (that I run in my Fenix P3D), AW 14500 protected cells, some generic RCR123 unprotected cells (that do not get use now and will probably go by by), and of course the Pila 18650 protected cell. I think they typically charge to 4.1 - 4.2 but I have not paid a whole lot of attention. I will look the next charge time.

    I prefer to use name brand protected cells. I never leave the charger unattended when charging any cells though. I would like to limit the different types of batteries also.

    In regards to the Pila statement: I remember reading somewhere about Pila changing their batteries and the protection circuit when they also switched to the new charger. There was something about how the charger handled reseting the protection circuit on their batteries once it was tripped. So maybe this has something to do with the recommendation.
    Last edited by regulator; 02-06-2008 at 07:09 AM.

  7. #7

    Question Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Which shop offers international shipping for the Pila IBC?
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  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Hitthespot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    adamlau, I will keep an eye out for the quirks you list in your referenced post. When you say it resets, what do you mean. Does it stop the other battery from charging?

    Regulator, It is interesting that Pila recommends you remove the batteries and unplug the charger once charging is complete. I just bought a 4 station eneloop charger and 12 eneloops. They state you can leave the battery charger plugged in and the batteries in the charger. I realize it is two different technologies, Li-ion vs Nimh, but I guess not even the manufacturers feel comfortable with Li-ion batteries yet. It is interesting that the Pila is listed as a trickle charger. I usually associate a trickle charger with a charger you leave plugged in and the batteries installed all the time to keep them fresh until you need them. I don't know how you would use this charger as a trickle charger if you remove the batteries once their fully charged? I'm still learning but there seems to be some discrepancies to say the least. It is no wonder noob's (including myself) get so overwhelmed at first.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Bill
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    Albert Einstein

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Hello Bill,

    Pila needs to come out of the dark ages with their terminology.

    They incorrectly refer to the CV stage of the CC/CV Li-Ion charging algorithm as a "trickle" charge. Li-Ion cells can not tolerate a trickle charge without damaging the cell.

    Someday, their marketing department may talk to the engineering department and get it right...

    By the way, if you leave your Eneloop cells to trickle charge for an extended period of time, you will ruin them.

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Hitthespot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverFox View Post
    Hello Bill,

    Pila needs to come out of the dark ages with their terminology.

    They incorrectly refer to the CV stage of the CC/CV Li-Ion charging algorithm as a "trickle" charge. Li-Ion cells can not tolerate a trickle charge without damaging the cell.

    Someday, their marketing department may talk to the engineering department and get it right...

    By the way, if you leave your Eneloop cells to trickle charge for an extended period of time, you will ruin them.

    Tom
    It is nice to know that we have knowledgable (and precious) resources here like you Tom. I can only imagine the testing/reading/studying you've done over the years. Sorry, didn't mean to get mushy on you.
    I'm learning that's for sure; and I'll admit it, I always have fun in the process of learning anything, especially techno stuff.

    Thanks for the tip on the eneloop. I didn't plan to leave them in the charger at all, but you never know I may have. Good Tip!

    Just my own belief. I don't believe on leaving any battery charger unattended. I had a good friend burn half his house down on a unattended hand tool battery charger.

    Thanks Tom,

    Bill
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Enlightened grinsekatz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by CandleFranky View Post
    Which shop offers international shipping for the Pila IBC?
    Hi,

    try this:
    http://www.bugoutgearusa.com/
    http://www.bugoutgearusa.com/bach.html

    Alex

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review


  13. #13
    Enlightened grinsekatz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by luchs View Post
    Very interesting, thanks!
    Unfortunately I don't speak french so I can't understand everything.
    Perhaps I contact them.

    Alex

  14. #14

    Buttrock Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by grinsekatz View Post
    Unfortunately I don't speak french so I can't understand everything.
    There is not so much to understand: Accueil opens the Shop, then you select "chargers" and voila! Payment is via PP. Should be no problem. Shipping is ~8 Euro.
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic d1dd1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    I can't see any prices on their homepage

    Hopefully they will ship to Germany

  16. #16
    Enlightened grinsekatz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by d1dd1 View Post
    I can't see any prices on their homepage

    Hopefully they will ship to Germany
    As CandleFranky already wrote "Accueil opens the Shop" then you see the prices.
    I would like to understand what they wrote under "conditions".
    Some products have quite interesting prices.

    Alex

  17. #17
    Flashaholic d1dd1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by grinsekatz View Post
    As CandleFranky already wrote "Accueil opens the Shop" then you see the prices.
    I would like to understand what they wrote under "conditions".
    Some products have quite interesting prices.

    Alex

    Thanks

  18. #18
    Flashaholic d1dd1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Try translating tho whole homepage with
    http://translate.google.com


    Not the best, but you can catch some information

  19. #19

    Question Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by luchs View Post
    I have written to Neolumen, but no answer till yet. Perhaps they ship only inside France.

    Pila USA have a Paypal-Shop. Do they offer (included) international shipping too???
    Any ideas? I can't find any informations on this.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic* karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Can some one give me a conversion table here for the Pila batteries?
    300s = 123; 300P = ?; 600S = 18650??; 600P = ??. I'd like to take advantage of "free" shipping but need to come up to the $100 for that offer and would consider some Pila batteries to make the difference-----or should I get two chargers and auto adaptors???? Decisions, decisions!!

    Finally, will this charger charge 10180 Lion cells (90ma) although the literature states nothing that small? Anyone have an idea on this?
    Karl
    Last edited by karlthev; 02-10-2008 at 09:06 AM.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* criollo's Avatar
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    Wink2 Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Karl, Here's what i got from AW's battery sale thread.


    Size Reference :

    18650 = 168A / 600P
    17670 = 168S / 600S
    18500 = 150A / 300P
    17500 = 150S / 300S

    *older version Pila Batteries



    Best regards,
    Cassian

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Karl, the Pila cells are very good, but they are also very expensive. You'd be better off getting AWs (IMO) and spending the extra on a 2nd IBC charger. That's what I would do, anyway.

    You should not use this charger for any cell with a capacity smaller than 600mAh. That means it is OK down to RCR123 and 14500, but not for RCR2, 10440 et6c. Certainly not for 10180!

    The reason for this is that Li-Ion cells should not be charged at >1C, and the Pila IBC output is 600mA per bay.

    For a 10180 Li-Ion, I would recommend a coin cell charger, but some people have been using 10440-size Nano-chargers (no accidents reported so far).
    Resistance is futile...

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* karlthev's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Thanks guys, most appreciated!!


    Karl

  24. #24

    Question Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    A question about the IBC --> The Ultrafire 139 overcharges cells after some time through his tickle. But the Pila IBC has tickle too. Does it also overload cells when I leave them in the charger?
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    No, it does not. Please read post #9 above.
    Resistance is futile...

  26. #26

    Thinking Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    No, it does not. Please read post #9 above.
    They call it "CV stage", another name for the same thing. The question is --> Will the Pila IBC overcharge the cells if they are not removed in time - like the Ultrafire Charger?
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    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    No, it will not. The charge terminates properly. However, you should remove the cells from the charger anyway.

    CV stands for 'constant voltage'. It is applied during the second stage of the charge, at 4.20V. When the current drops right down, ie when the cell is fully charged, the charge terminates.
    Resistance is futile...

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Lite_me's Avatar
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    Hahaha Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by CandleFranky View Post
    after some time through his tickle.
    My mind wandered completely off the intended subject matter when I read this.
    "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

  29. #29

    Mpr Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lite_me View Post
    My mind wandered completely off the intended subject matter when I read this.


    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    No, it will not. The charge terminates properly. However, you should remove the cells from the charger anyway.
    Yes, of course. Thank you!
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Pila IBC Charger Review

    What voltage does the AC adapter put out? Is it 12V, so it could be used in a vehicle (with appropriate lead)?

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