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Thread: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

  1. #1

    Default What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    As the title states. I'm getting some batteries and id like to take care of the investments I'm about to make. Also I want at least 4 banks.

    Is there one that will do them all?
    Last edited by ScaryFatKidGT; 06-13-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* TooManyGizmos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    ~

    You'll need what it commonly referred to here as a "Hobby style charger" .

    Thats the only way to have only ONE charger to charge ALL types of cells .


    I think they start around $40.00 ....... and there is a learning curve .


    Study about all the various internal battery chemistry used .

    ~
    ~ "She" says ... ... I have ... TooManyGizmos ~

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Hi Scary. There really isn't any "all-in-one" solution for charging both eneloops and Li-Ion cells, unless you follow the route TMG suggested. The problem with hobby chargers is that unless you are always charging welded, or soldered NiMh battery packs, which is what they are designed to do, they aren't that suitable for charging individual NiMh (or NiCd) cells. The exception is, if you always charge them at a 0.1C rate (~14-16hrs) setup in a series string, or one cell at a time at any rate faster than that.

    The best solution is to obtain a decent NiMh charger, and a hobby charger, if you want to always have the capability to charge up to four cells at a time. 99% of the time, that's how I do it. There are a few cheap "consumer type" cradle chargers that will charge both NiMh and Li-Ion cells, but most are only one or two bay and the quality is rather low, so personally, I'd steer clear of them.

    Dave

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    Enlightened
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    I have a Detrum DC 6 hobby charger which I use on my Liion cells and Lipoly packs. I also charge my 4x AA and 4 x AAA flight packs quite successfully. Occasionally I have grabbed a generic 4/6/8 x AA cell battery holder and loaded them with nicads or NiMh cells - I had to make up a 9v snap to charger lead but that seemed ok. I can't see the difference between charging a ready bought eneloop flight pack and putting four seperate eneloops into a plastic 4xAA holder and charging them. I usually charge at .5 C without problems. If there is a difference, I'd be happy to find out!

  5. #5

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    ..............
    Last edited by beerwax; 07-04-2011 at 03:53 PM.

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhn.holgate View Post
    If there is a difference, I'd be happy to find out!
    The difference is that with an R/C pack, you have 4 cells welded together and you have no choice but to charge them in series. For the most part, this is OK. The cells have been charged together, as well as dicharged together, so they are pretty much in the same condition.

    On the other hand, four random individual cells that have been installed in different devices, not as a "set", eg. two used in a two cell device and the other two used in two different single cell lights, for example, are not going to be exactly the same when you go to charge them. When these cells are charged in a NiMh charger with independent channels, each cell will receive a charge customized for it's needs.

    If these same four cells are hooked up in series, and charged with a hobby charger, some of the cells will end up being overcharged, and some cells undercharged. Over time this imbalance will add up, which will shorten cell life. There's really nothing that can be done about it, except to only charge cells in series at a 0.1C rate, when charging in series. The same drawback applies to chargers that only charge in pairs. They charge in series as well, and this is why they are not a preferred type of charger, again, unless they charge at 0.1C, or "overnight".

    If you've ever noticed, battery packs never last as long as individual cells. The above explanation is usually the reason why that is. The exception here, is that some "pack" chargers charge "overnight" or at 0.1C. These chargers generally promote decent cell life.

    Again, concerning NiMh and NiCd cells, hobby chargers are primarily designed for charging welded battery packs where you have no choice but to charge cells in series. They fall short however, when the option to charge cells individually in an independent channel charger is available.

    Dave

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    Enlightened
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Yes, I would not contemplate putting cells of different charge states in series to charge. I was thinking of a batch of cells pulled from the same device which should be in a similar state of discharge and even then I would sometimes check them with a multi meter. Most of the better nicad/NiMH dedicated chargers monitor individual cells so I would agree that they are a better choice. But with a little care, hobby chargers can be incredibly versatile.

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhn.holgate View Post
    ...... I was thinking of a batch of cells pulled from the same device which should be in a similar state of discharge and even then I would sometimes check them with a multi meter.
    Yes, in this situation you stand a better chance of obtaining reasonable cell longevity. Checking cell voltage with a DMM is not a very accurate method to determine the SOC of nickel based cells however. A load tester along the lines of the ZTS that applies a load during testing would be a better solution. Even this type of tester only gives an approximate evaluation of the charge state, but gives a more accurate estimate than measuring voltage alone.

    Just the same, It's unusual for cells in a welded pack to last even half as long as similar cells that are loose, and charged in an independent channel charger. I might add that I've been at this since I started using individual cylindrical NiCd cells in the early 1980's. NiCd's were and are much more tolerant of overcharge, than NiMh cells and stand a much better chance of surviving abuse. I think this is why many tool battery packs still use NiCd cells.

    Also, as I mentioned previously, device specific pack chargers that charge packs for 14-16hrs (0.1C), do better, but even they don't seem to preserve cell life as well as charging cells individually.

    Dave

  9. #9

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Isn't the eneloop MQR05 the 4x4? and the MQR06 the 4x2 that they sell now?

    Any way Il get 2 chargers then. I want the eneloop AA/AAA/C/D charger to have at least 4 independent bays then Il get a lith ion charger for both id like them to have auto shut off or something to prolong battery life but I want it to have the batterys FULLY charged first obviously.

    For the lith ion I'm only really going to charge 18650's but it would be nice to be able to charge 14500's and RCR123's.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    MQR06 is 4 independant channels with a choice of fast medium or slow charge. it has no visible led charging indicators but they are there they shine thru the plastic.

    if the sanyo charger you are looking at has 2 led charging indicators then it is a 2 channel charger and will charge in pairs. there is a lot of these on offer and they will work but you are better off with the mqr06. or the sony.

    these chargers are good performing chargers at a medium price. you can pay more for a better charger but im not qualified enough to comment on em. but someone will chime in and these guys really know there stuff. the mid price chargers i have mentioned wont do a discharge or a capacity measure.
    the sony i mention was being sold on amazon US for about 6 bucks with batteries.
    Last edited by beerwax; 06-15-2011 at 03:51 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Well is the MQRO6 the best NmHi charger? Iv heard the Pilla charger is the best for lith ion?

    I searched and I don't think the MQR06 is available in the states :/
    Last edited by ScaryFatKidGT; 06-15-2011 at 01:36 AM.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    I use the Pila when my 18650's are more than 20-30% depleted and a Trustfire Multifunctional Model TR-001( brought recently from Going Gear,( hopefully seems like latest version)) for my 14500 and 18650's an 16340's to top them off. Then I use a Maha MH C9000 for my rechargebles AA and AAA NiMH. The Maha is great as well as the Pila. I use a ZTS pulse load Multi Battery tester and a good Multimeter for sure on the Lithion Ions. Tomorrow I'm buying a piece of tin or something to set the chargers on while charging. Also a safer fireproof box to store my batteries in. Like an old lined ammo box or a lined toolbox, maybe put some ventilation hole in them. So if they do vent I might have at least some protection.. I keep my batteries stored in car trunk in a Pelican box (12 xCR123's) and another with Eneloops AA and AAA. Does anyone know if this is safe since they are so airtight in these boxes. I keep them in the trunk, which usually is fairly cool. When the outside temp are over 85 to 90 I bring all but the lights in the house. Have not had a problem so far. Anyone see's any safety issues please let me know. So to answer you questions Pila and Maha, and then poss Trustfire although I know there have been issues in the past I believe. Good luck!

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by samm View Post
    I use the Pila when my 18650's are more than 20-30% depleted and a Trustfire Multifunctional Model TR-001...... for my 14500 and 18650's an 16340's to top them off......

    ......and then poss Trustfire although I know there have been issues in the past I believe. Good luck!
    It is this "topping off" ability that is a major flaw in most all of the inexpensive Li-Ion chargers. This is the primary deviation from the recommended charging algorithm that promotes damage to Li-Ion cells.

    When the voltage of a Li-Ion cell is near it's maximum, towards the end of charge, this is when the cell is most vulnerable to rapid oxidation of the electrodes due to the charging process. In order to reduce this negative effect, the proper charging algorithm recommendation calls for a reduction in charge rate at this stage of the charge. This is called the "CV", or "Constant Voltage" stage whereupon the charging circuit voltage is maintained at a constant level (4.20 Volts for LiCo/LiMn, and 3.60 Volts for LiFe cells) and the current level is allowed to drop to a certain predetermined point where the charge process is terminated.

    Most chargers (a couple of exceptions being the Pila IBC, and hobby chargers) either eliminate the CV stage entirely, or modify it so as to maintain the higher charging current of the initial CC (Constant Current) stage until the cell voltage (not the charging circuit voltage) is at, or near the maximum allowable cell voltage. This alteration of the recommended charging algorithm will result in a higher state of charge of the cell, but at the expense of the aforementioned excessive oxidation of the cell's electrodes. The same result can be obtained by charging the cell at a higher CV charging circuit voltage, which is not recommended, as this also will promote unnecessary oxidation of the cell's electrodes, as well.

    So anyway, yes, you can use these chargers to "top off" cells, but there is a penalty. The preferred method to obtain a fuller charge when charging Li-Ion cells, is to use a lower charge rate utilizing a proper algorithm. This will allow a more fully charged cell and at the same time reduce the length of time the cell spends in the CV stage thus reducing any unnecessary oxidation of the cell. As for the Pila, while not perfect, it does a pretty good job of following the recommended charging algorithm with cells of ~1500mAh or higher. Any additional charge applied to cells of this capacity range will likely cause some degree of damage to the cells. The downside of the Pila concerning smaller cells, is that it will terminate the charge prematurely, as the CV stage current termination level is a bit high for such cells. This will result in slightly less capacity, albeit, not that much.

    Dave

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    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    MAHA C9000 for NiMh

    Pila IBC for Li-Ion

    My results with both have been top notch :~)

    samm knows...

  15. #15

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    HUH? so the PILA's good or not? you guys totally lost me
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    Flashaholic* TooManyGizmos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    ~

    Yes , Scary ,

    Overall , the PILA is a good choice .

    ~
    ~ "She" says ... ... I have ... TooManyGizmos ~

  17. #17

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyGizmos View Post
    ~

    Yes , Scary ,

    Overall , the PILA is a good choice .

    ~
    Ok I think that's what I'm going to go with. I want something thats going to protect and prolong the life of my 18650's
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Thanks 45/70 for your excellent answer and for explaining the "CV Stage" which I was wondering about and all the other info. I get most of it, still being somewhat new. Are the any specific changes you would make in my routine? Different type charger or like letting the cells discharge more so I don't need to not use the pila (which shows charged/green at around 4.0 V.) And use the Trustfire, which will show red for half another hour or more with the same cell. Just that the pila won't charge a cell over 4.0 and the Trustfire will. My AW's will go directly to green/charged if the MV says anything close to 4.0 which I understand is about 80% charged. Any opinion on keeping them stored in the airtight Pelican for my trunk in all but extreme heat? I still have a ton to learn, so thanks again. (And if it doesn''t make sense it's because its 4 AM, lol.

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by samm View Post
    Are the any specific changes you would make in my routine? Different type charger or like letting the cells discharge more so I don't need to not use the pila (which shows charged/green at around 4.0 V.) And use the Trustfire, which will show red for half another hour or more with the same cell.
    Hi samm. What I'll say here is that my routine is different, not that yours is wrong, with the exception of the use of the TrustFire, your routine seems fine.

    I have many Li-Ion cells, over 100, in many different sizes and varieties. With this many cells, most of them are in storage, most of the time. They are stored in the Fridge at about 35-40F in a ~40% state of charge (SOC).

    When I know that I am actually going to use a "set" (usually one to three cells for the light, plus a backup set or two if deemed necessary), I charge them up. After they have been used for the "mission", I don't worry too much about returning them to storage if the cells were not discharged to an acceptable storage level, but go ahead and use them normally. This may take days, or weeks. When the cells are discharged to ~40% capacity, or lower, I prepare them for storage again. Cells that are below 40% capacity are charged up to 40%. Of course, this is easy to do with a hobby charger, as the "storage charge" function charges (or discharges, which seems a waste to me) cells to ~40%. The ~40% SOC isn't really all that critical, as long as the cells are about half charged or less, and not fully discharged (~3.6 volts OC (open circuit) voltage for a LiCo, or LiMn cell). In other words, you don't really need a hobby charger, anywhere between roughly 3.70-3.85 Volts OC is fine for storing.

    So anyway, I don't really run into the problem of finding it necessary to top cells off, that are at 4.00 volts, or higher. I just use them until they reach a suitable voltage level, replace with a backup, and then mix the discharged cell back into the storage rotation.

    I don't own a Pila IBC, so someone else may have a "trick" that will allow you to top up your cells. It seems I remember someone saying that for cells that are too fully charged to start charging in the Pila, if you run them briefly in a light for a few seconds at a high output level, and then quickly slap them into the charger, they will start to charge. It's worth a try anyway.

    Any opinion on keeping them stored in the airtight Pelican for my trunk in all but extreme heat?
    I personally don't like the idea of storing Li-Ion cells in the car. If nothing else, high temperatures will degrade the cells much more quickly. This is a better situation for the use of lithium primary cells, as they hold up well to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. When the WX isn't so hot, I don't see any problem with Li-Ions, or if I'm on a "mission", I don't worry too much about it either. The less time Li-Ion cells are exposed to high temperatures though, the better.

    I still have a ton to learn
    If you haven't already, you should check out Battery University. There is a wealth of information there, not only about Li-Ion batteries and cells, but most other common rechargeable cells, as well.

    And if it doesn''t make sense it's because its 4 AM, lol.
    Makes sense to me.

    Dave

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    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT View Post
    HUH? so the PILA's good or not? you guys totally lost me
    Scary, the Pila is the best known "consumer type" charger that I am aware of for charging LiCo, or LiMn cells of 600mAh capacity or above. When I mentioned that it's not perfect, that's true, but it comes the closest of any of the "plug and play" chargers available. The only chargers that are possibly better, are the hobby type chargers. This is because they allow tailoring the charge to each specific cell being charged. They are also more complicated to use, require additional hardware, such as a charging cradle, often a separate power supply, and thus are not as convenient to use.

    Dave

  21. #21

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    I somehow missed this thread and had my own thread asking pretty much the same questions, So i got my answers here.
    I started out owning a TR-001 and from the research ive found it was said it wasnt a bad charger, But it didnt do your cells any favors in helping to prolong their lives.
    My Pila was ordered yesterday, And i use a BC-9009 for my NiMH cells. It seems i have more money invested in chargers and batteries than i do in lights since i main buy those from China. So i wanted to make sure they were well taken care of.
    The Pila could use a digital LED screen so you can see whats going on, But thats just my opinion.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45/70 View Post
    Scary, the Pila is the best known "consumer type" charger that I am aware of for charging LiCo, or LiMn cells of 600mAh capacity or above. When I mentioned that it's not perfect, that's true, but it comes the closest of any of the "plug and play" chargers available. The only chargers that are possibly better, are the hobby type chargers. This is because they allow tailoring the charge to each specific cell being charged. They are also more complicated to use, require additional hardware, such as a charging cradle, often a separate power supply, and thus are not as convenient to use.

    Dave
    Costly too ;~)

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    Flashaholic* pobox1475's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by DasFriek View Post
    The Pila could use a digital LED screen so you can see whats going on, But thats just my opinion.
    I just use a simple $5 Harbor Freight multi-meter and trust the LED indicators.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    I have a DMM, But getting a voltage reading would require removing the cell from the charger to get an accurate reading. And i find that not to be a good thing while a cell is being run threw its paces on a charger.
    That may be why i like the BC-9009 NiMH charger as i can see everything thats going on except for a temperature reading which would be nice.
    But my DMM will take thermistor probes so i could put one under a cell and watch that. Then again if the Pila had all those option it would cost $130 instead of $50.

    Ive also seen it mentioned the Pila will only handle certain mAH cells and at what point does it start working like its supposed to with what cell chemistry?
    This is aimed at you for clarification 45/70 as im sure there is a reason your using two different numbers.

    45/70:
    As for the Pila, while not perfect, it does a pretty good job of following the recommended charging algorithm with cells of ~1500mAh or higher.
    45/70:
    Scary, the Pila is the best known "consumer type" charger that I am aware of for charging LiCo, or LiMn cells of 600mAh capacity or above.
    My main concern is my Trustfire black/red 145000 900mAH cells that im worried about not being charged correctly.

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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    There is no reason the check you cells each time you charge. The first few times you use a new charger it is a good idea to see that the cells are between 4.1 and 4.2 volt when they come out of the charger. If you at any time see a cell with more than 4.25 volt from the charger, throw the charger into the recycle bin (Some would do that already at 4.21 volt).
    If you run unprotected cells down, you have to check them before charging, if they are below 2.5 volt they goes into the recycle bin.

    Note: If the charger shows too high a voltage, replace the battery in the DMM and do another check (or verify with another DMM)!

    The general rule charging LiIon is to keep the charging current below 1C, i.e. a 900mAh cells must not be charged with more than 900mA, a lower charge current will extend the lifetime of the cell.
    Last edited by HKJ; 06-16-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    I come from a EE background and OCD about my hobbies, I use a DMM almost anytime i handle a cell and keep records written on masking tape on the cell.
    My TR-001 will always stop at 4.17v or 4.18v and id let it trickle too 4.2v, But after what ive read i wont be doing that anymore, I dont have enough Li-Ion cells to be taking risks of shortening their lifetimes.
    I ordered the Pila last night despite the TR-001 doing a decent job on the surface, But since it would trickle charge past the point of the green light coming on i wasn't willing to risk a cell to see how far it would go before cutting off completely.
    Im sure there are a few tricks to get the Pila to charge too 4.2v which i wouldn't mind since it does it the correct way with CC/CV methods.

    I just got my BC-9009 charger yesterday and its been running 24/7 since then charging 36 cells ive pre purchased with another 12 on the way.
    But i stay at .5C rates which is 1000 mAH charge and 500 mAh discharge on AA's rated from 2000 mAH - 2700 mAH as i want to somewhat condition them instead of burning them in. Even tho it sounds boring its actually been fun doing all this.
    12 Sanyo 2500 mAH cells were purchased off EBAY as "store returns" for $10 shipped where someone obviously abused them with a crap charger and two even read .002v. Since these are known to be good cells in most peoples eyes i felt it would be fun trying to revive them, And for now im not doing the "Refresh" cycling as that can take days for four cells and i have so many that need thier first charge yet. The "Test" cycle lets me do the same thing 1 cycle at a time when i get bored of doing new cells.

    The first test cycle on them netted me 480 mAH - 700 mAH im doing a second "test" cycle now and one finished fast and showed 1274 mAh and the rest have been discharging for 3:30 hours and not even close to being empty. I feel these should be well over 2000 mAH after this cycle.
    Thats why paying $50 for a good NiMH charger was worth it to me.
    Last edited by DasFriek; 06-16-2011 at 02:50 PM.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by DasFriek View Post
    Ive also seen it mentioned the Pila will only handle certain mAH cells and at what point does it start working like its supposed to with what cell chemistry?
    This is aimed at you for clarification 45/70 as im sure there is a reason your using two different numbers.

    45/70:
    As for the Pila, while not perfect, it does a pretty good job of following the recommended charging algorithm with cells of ~1500mAh or higher.
    45/70:
    Scary, the Pila is the best known "consumer type" charger that I am aware of for charging LiCo, or LiMn cells of 600mAh capacity or above.
    You're right Das, that is a bit confusing.

    First of all you have to take into consideration that Pila has designed their charger for charging their cells. I forget what the Pila sizes are called (and they changed them not too long ago), but in actuality they are 17500, 17670, 18500, and 18650 LiCo cells, last time I looked anyway. So these are/were the target sizes and associated capacities the charger was designed for.

    As for "what point does it start working like its supposed to", well, it always works like it's supposed to. It's when you charge different size cells than the charger was designed for, that things can get a little "off". This isn't too big a deal, as long as the cells are 600mAh, or greater in capacity.

    The 600mAh miniumum is because the CC charge rate of the Pila is 600mA. As HKJ mentioned, the general rule of thumb for charging LiCo Li-Ion cells is, do not charge cells at a rate of more than 1C. Some cells of 18650 and larger size actually have a maximum charge rate of less than 1C.

    It's always best to check the cell manufacturer's data sheet to determine the maximum charge rate for cells. In the case of TrustFire and most of the "Fire" cells and many others, this is difficult, as you really have no idea who actually manufactured the cell. In addition, their suppliers change from lot to lot and day to day, but the wrapper usually stays the same. So, the "rule of thumb" approach is best for these "unknown" type cells.

    Cells from manufacturers such as Sanyo, LG, Panasonic and so on, it's usually not too difficult to find a data sheet for specific cells. And while AW is not a manufacturer, he does supply charge and discharge limit information for most of his cells.

    As for cell chemistry, the Pila IBC is pretty much limited to charging only LiCo (ICR) and LiMn (IMR) chemistry cells. For LiFe (IFR) cells, while the charging algorithm is basically the same, the voltage points are set too high for this chemistry thus making the Pila unsuitable for LiFe cells.

    Dave
    Last edited by 45/70; 06-16-2011 at 07:56 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Great explanation Dave, And i was with you all the way until the last paragraph as i didn't see any terms that meant it would charge a Li-Ion 900mAH 145000 ok?
    I know its my lack of knowledge on terminology, But that would be my smallest cell so if it will work as intended on that cell ill be happy.
    Im gonna download the owners manual now so i can read up on it before it gets here and also stops me from asking dumb questions which the manual would answer.

    Im pretty sure as i go along ill get better torches and better cells to run them, But for the moment im not running anything over $100 and Trustfire black/red cells seem to have a good reputation to cost percentage that fits into my budget.

    Besides AW cells, What are the others i should look at?

    (EDIT) NVM, I found the answer and many more in the "Pila IBC Charger Compendium"
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...ger-Compendium
    Last edited by DasFriek; 06-16-2011 at 10:37 PM.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    Quote Originally Posted by DasFriek View Post
    ......And i was with you all the way until the last paragraph as i didn't see any terms that meant it would charge a Li-Ion 900mAH 145000 ok?
    I know its my lack of knowledge on terminology, But that would be my smallest cell so if it will work as intended on that cell ill be happy.
    Hey Das. As long as the capacity of the cell you want to charge is 600mAh or higher, and you can physically fit it into the charger, you're good to go. You may have to use additional spacers, or both of the ones that come with the Pila on one side for example, but as long as you can rig it up, it'll work. Some folks run wires from the charger terminals and charge 26500-32650 cells. It's a bit slow naturally, but it'll work.

    So, your 14500 cells (which are likely only about 700-750mAh, at best) will charge fine in the Pila. Just don't try to charge a 10440 cell (the highest capacity of these cells is about 300mAh, regardless of what distributors print on the sides of the cell) or something with a capacity of less than 600mAh. Some RCR123/16340 cells are actually under 600mAh (again regardless of what's printed on the side, eg. "1200mAh", but are actually 550mAh), but you can get away with charging them since they're close to 600mAh, it's just not ideal.

    Besides AW cells, What are the others i should look at?
    To each their own, Das. You pretty much always get what you pay for though. That doesn't mean you can't get decent xxxxxFire et al cells, but the quality varies, so you can never be quite sure what you're going to get.

    For cell consistency from batch to batch, dependability and so on, I'd go with, LG, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sony, Samsung, Redilast, AW's etc. With the exception of the last two, these are all manufacturers, but a lot of AW's cells are these brands also, as are Redilast's (Panasonics), under the wrapper. Some of AW's aren't, like some of the weird sizes that I use (14250, 15270 etc.) that the "big boys" don't even make. For these oddball sizes we're pretty much stuck with unknown Chinese manufacturer's cells. I have to say in these weird sizes, I've had the best luck with AW's cells.

    Also, if you want protection circuits on the cells, or positive nipples, you'll have to go with a distributor that adds these on, such as AW. There aren't any Li-Ion cell manufacturers that I'm aware of that manufacture anything but unprotected flat top cells. This is because Li-Ion cells are manufactured for the making of battery packs, not cells for flashlight use, or anything else requiring individual, or "loose" cells, as they are called. The manufacturing of battery packs does not require positive nipples, or individual cell protection, as the protection circuitry is added to the pack, not each cell individually.

    Dave

  30. #30

    Default Re: What is the best charger for Eneloops, 18650's and 14500's?

    So the PILA will trickle charge up to around 4.2v then shut off?

    I also want to know what 18650's to get. From what I see the AW 2900mah look like the best but will the flat top be ok in Fenix stuff? And a lot of people seem to use Trustfire.

    With the Sanyo MQR06 I can charge 4 AA's all with a different SOC just fine??
    Fenix LD01 R4, E05 R4, PD31, TK20, TK35, E11, Jetbeam BC25, RRT-0, Klarus NT20, iTP A3 R5, A3 Ti S2, 4Sevens Preon 1, Quark X 123^2, Sunwayman V10R Ti, Surefire G2X Tactical, ThruNite TN31, Mag-Lite XL50, Mag 2D XP-E

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