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Thread: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

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    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Charger Soshine SC-S7



    This is a smart charger that can handle both LiIon and NiMH batteries, it can charge one battery at a time and is rated for a 1A charge current.



    I did not get the charger in a full retail package, but instead in a envelope.



    The envelope contained the charger, a universal voltage (100-240V 50/60Hz) mains power supply and a usb cable.



    The plus connection is slightly raised, this means that the charger can be used with flat top batteries.




    The minus connection is a slider that can be manually moved . This gives a span from 26 mm to 70 mm long batteries.
    I would have liked a spring in one of the ends, this would have made the adjustment easier.
    The negative end can be used as a spring, but then it must be moved in, before the battery is placed in the charger.



    Power can be supplied from a 12 vold adapter or from a usb power supply, in both cases it requires a 1A power supply.



    Instead of the typical red/green leds, this charger uses a display to show status information on.



    When no battery is in the charger it shows this standby display. There is a faint clicking sound from the charger in this mode.



    While charging it shows the voltage and the time used, with LiIon it will also show an estimate of how many percent capacity is charged into the battery.
    The voltmeter has some limitations, for LiIon it will not show below 3.3 volt or above 4.2 volt, it will stay at these voltages.




    When done the display will show a battery full message, then show the time used and the capacity charged into the battery, these 3 displays will cycle. The capacity is not a precision measurement, but good enough to compare LiIon batteries and see when it is time to replace a battery (Remember the battery must be empty to measure the capacity).
    For NiMH the value will be way above the battery capacity, these batteries need some extra current when being charged.





    The charger can handle 70 mm long batteries including flat top cells.



    Measurements

    Below 0.7 volt the charger reports standby and is pulsing 130mA current to test for a battery, this will also reset a protected battery.
    Between 0.7 volt and 2.3 volt the charger assumes it is a NiMH battery.
    Above 2.3 volt the charger will assume LiIon.
    When a battery is put into the charger it will start with about 300mA and after some time switch to full charge current.
    When charger is disconnected from power, but with a battery in, it will discharge with 2 mA from a NiMH and 7mA from a LiIon.
    When the charge current goes below the termination current the charging is stopped and it will discharge with 2 mA from a NiMH and 10mA from a LiIon, but due to pulsing the battery will stay charged.
    The charge will always restart charging when a battery is put into it or after a power loss and for NiMH it might charge a significant amount of current.



    The first test is with a 18650 battery, the charger does a CC/CV charge profile, but when it report battery full (At the yellow line) it starts doing some very strange pulses.



    Same battery, this time with usb power. The charger starts at full current, but reduces the current during charge, maybe because it cannot supply full current with the lower voltage difference between battery and usb voltage?
    It does look like the pulses stops after some time. The pulses will not damage the battery, but the battery will be charged slightly higher.





    A smaller LiIon battery works exactly like the 18650 I tried first.



    My old IMR cell, did not work as expected, after a short time the "Poor cell" text turned on and it showed "FAIL" on the display. The charger has a point about the cell.
    I have also seen the charger only show "Poor cell", but continue to charge.





    When charging NiMH the 300mA current on for much longer time, than when charging LiIon and this makes it visible in the charts (My guess is that this current is used to detect a LiIon battery with). The charge current is the same on 12 volt and usb power.
    This charger might use -dv/dt terminations for NiMH.
    The charger also has the pulsing after the charge is terminated and it does not look like it will stop, this is perfectly fine for a NiMH battery.



    This is the charge current, just after a NiMH battery is put into the charger, it is pulsing with 300mA current.



    After some time (about 10 minutes) it switches to the full 1A charge current, but still pulsing. During the low part of the pulse it is discharging the battery (The red curve is below the 0.0 line)



    This is the charge current, just after a LiIon battery is put into the charger, it is pulsing with 300mA current, it will after a few seconds change to the full current.



    Full charge current into a LiIon battery. This does not do any discharge in the pulses.



    The LiIon battery is full and the charger is pulsing and also doing a weak discharge in between the pulses. The average will continue to charge the battery. Note: I have changed scale.



    Conclusion

    The charger has many interesting features: Charges both LiIon and NiMH, shows charged capacity, detect bad batteries, shows charge state for LiIon.
    But all these features are only interesting, if the charger does a good job. It looks like it does a good job on NiMH and an acceptable job on LiIon, but I am not impressed with the pulsing when the charge is supposed to be finished. The discharge of a few mA is not really significant, except if leaving the batteries in the charger for days.



    Notes

    The charger was supplied by illuminationGear.com for a review.

    Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

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    Flashaholic Robert_M's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Excellent review!

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    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Excellent review. HKJ!

    Thanks for your effort & good information.

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    I bought one after reading your review, paid just under A$15, had it a few weeks now very pleased.

    Great review, but your costing me $$$

    Norm

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    Flashaholic Teobaldo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Thanks for the review, HKJ!

    I bought one and now I am expecting anxiously that arrive. Seems to be almost my dreamed charger: small, functions with Ni-Mh and Li-Ion, USB, digital display...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    What happens with if charge it from a USB computer with only 500 mAh ?

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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackhawkB View Post
    What happens with if charge it from a USB computer with only 500 mAh ?
    If the USB port shuts down, the charger will be stopped.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    hi HKJ!

    i purchased this charger for lack of a 18700 compatible one AND tis usefulness in measuring charged mA.

    the question is what is the voltage one would expect a NiMh and Li-ion battery to be 100% discharged? (to be used as a starting point)
    1.2 and 3.2V respectively?

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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    the question is what is the voltage one would expect a NiMh and Li-ion battery to be 100% discharged? (to be used as a starting point)
    1.2 and 3.2V respectively?
    I have written an article about LiIon.

    For NiMH you need to load the battery before measuring the voltage, but I do not have a table.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Great resource, thanks

    For NiMH you need to load the battery before measuring the voltage, but I do not have a table.
    The question is what kind of load. I guess you can do it with a resistor and i have been meanign to ask about this.

    A look at the Eneloop datasheet shows that full caapcity is used at 1.2Volt with a 400mA....So to measure if the battery is dead we duplicate that current draw with a resistor of proper value and wait to see a 1.2V reading..correct?

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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    The question is what kind of load. I guess you can do it with a resistor
    A resistor is usual a fine load.


    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    A look at the Eneloop datasheet shows that full caapcity is used at 1.2Volt with a 400mA....So to measure if the battery is dead we duplicate that current draw with a resistor of proper value and wait to see a 1.2V reading..correct?
    Looking at the curve, you got energy down to about 1.1 volt even at 400mA and the battery is declared empty at 1.0 volt.
    With a load you will probably have to wait a little time, before the voltage has dropped.
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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    one more question....
    How accurate is the chargers voltmeter? Mine's is off by more than a volt.
    Strangely the charge percent status is acurate.
    i.e. I am getting a 90% reading and 4.2Volts at the same etime
    Last edited by kosPap; 06-19-2013 at 10:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    I have been using my sc-s7 for a week now with only one issue. A eagletac 3100 i bought from *bay is showing poor cell. I wounder if it has something to do with its a protected cell. None of my un protected cells have any issues.

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
    I wounder if it has something to do with its a protected cell. None of my un protected cells have any issues.
    I purchased this charger because of this thread, so I must have had it for 8 or 9 months most of my cells are protected and so far have never had any problem.

    Norm

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    schizeckinosy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    I have a question and hopefully someone will read this thread, otherwise I'll post a new thread...

    I got this charger recently with some green-label ncr18650A cells. The charger says it charges up to 4.2v, but my DMM says 4.10v. For comparison, I get between 1.603 and 1.609v from a pack of fresh alkalines, so I think my DMM is OK. I understand that 4.1v will protect my cells, but is it low enough that I should return the charger? I might open it up and see if I can maybe replace the chip with a better version. Is it the chip that controls final charge voltage, or some accessory resistor or something?

    Also, one of the cells came with a slightly bent button top. Is this reason to worry or is it normal? Both cells were at 3.6+ when I received them.

    Thanks! Dan

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    From here.
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    With a good LiIon charger the charging voltage is 4.2 volt (+/- 0.05 volt, i.e. between 4.15 volt and 4.25 volt). This does not mean the battery will end up with 4.2 volt when finished charging, usual it will be slightly below.


    This chart slows a typical charge cycle, it is in a couple of phases:
    1) Constant Current (CC), where the charge current is constant and the voltage will rise.
    2) Transition from CC to CV, on the above curve it is absent, because the charger is very good.
    3) Constant Voltage (CV), where the voltage is constant (at 4.2 volt) and the current slowly declining.
    4) When the current has declined to the termination current (At the yellow line), the charge is terminated and the current turned off. This will always lead to a instant voltage drop (Notice that the red line drops when current is turned off).
    5) The resting phase, this can be from seconds to months, depending on when the battery is going to be used. There will always be a slight voltage drop over time. During the first few hours the drop will be fairly rapid (But it usual not more than 0.0x volt).

    How much the voltage drop will be, depends on a couple of factors. The termination current is important, but also temperature, battery age, actual chemistry.


    Some chargers use simulated CC/CV (WP2II, i2, i4) or constant current puls charging (Fenix, WF139), these will often charger the battery to a slightly higher voltage, before terminating (Because they measure the voltage with the charge current off, for simulated CC/CV the difference is small).

  17. #17
    schizeckinosy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Yeah, I had seen the +/- 0.05v spec before, and was concerned that -0.1v was too low. According to this excellent site: http://lygte-info.dk/info/BatteryCha...cent%20UK.html, an NCR1865A (Panasonic 3100mah) retains 94% of charge at 4.1v. I think I will not worry about it, since I have heard that lower charging voltages give more cycles.

    Thanks, Dan

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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    hmmmm where are yuo gwetting your 4.2V figure? From the charger's screen of from yuor multimeter?
    I ask becuase I have observed a 1+V difference between the two in my case, though I do get cells around 4.2V from the charger when done (DMM measured).

  19. #19
    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by schizeckinosy View Post
    Yeah, I had seen the +/- 0.05v spec before, and was concerned that -0.1v was too low.
    Don't forget your meter also has an error spec which will influence the Voltage reading.

    Norm

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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    hmmmm where are yuo gwetting your 4.2V figure? From the charger's screen of from yuor multimeter?
    I ask becuase I have observed a 1+V difference between the two in my case, though I do get cells around 4.2V from the charger when done (DMM measured).
    The charger display says 4.2v when it terminates, and my DMM shows 4.10-4.11 (+/- 2% of reading or +/- .2% full scale which is 40v so about +/- 0.08v - cheap DMM) I have checked voltage while charging and my DMM and the charger are consistently 0.1v off. If I can find a quality DMM to try I will check again.

    The more I read about Li-ion cells, the happier I am that the charger appears to be under-volting thecells. Batteryuniversity indicates that there should be a doubling of life for ever 0.1 less volts that the charger puts in, for not a lot less mah.

    So, your charger indicates that it is charging the cells to 5.2 or 3.2v? That would scare me more. At least my charger *thinks* it is giving the correct charge!

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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Sorry.....The charger shows a difference of 0.13-0.16+ volts.
    My DMM is accurate cos it reads correctly expected voltages in all other cases.

    I just measured a battery (using 2 DMMs) at 4.01V.
    The charger shows it at 4.2V and 90% full.
    it will keep charging it untill it shows 100% full.
    The DMM will show the battery then at 4.17-4.18V fresh of the charger

  22. #22
    schizeckinosy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    I have a feeling that there is a little dial in the charger so that it always reads 4.2v at termination no matter what it is actually doing!

    [edit] I just reviewed the review charts more carefully and they indicate 0.05v less charge on usb. I am using USB because that will be my preferred method to use this - my "travel" charger. I will plug it in to the wall today and see what it does.
    Last edited by schizeckinosy; 08-26-2013 at 10:10 AM.

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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    BTW my charger came from the same retailer as HKJ's but mien is a bit different.
    Came in a cbe like cradboard box, and the dispaly screen is Green, not orange...

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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by schizeckinosy View Post
    I have a feeling that there is a little dial in the charger so that it always reads 4.2v at termination no matter what it is actually doing!
    4.2V is the V that the charger should apply to the battery, you are seeing the V applied by the charger, there is no way of reading the battery V whilst the charger is charging.

    The charging algorithm is CC/CV see the red line in HJK's first graph, where it shows 4.2 V in the final stage of charging.

    Norm
    Last edited by Norm; 08-26-2013 at 10:54 PM.

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    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    aha! and damn!

    I thought it woudl show actual batery voltage and that was one of the buying resons....

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by kosPap View Post
    aha! and damn!

    I thought it woudl show actual batery voltage and that was one of the buying resons....

    My guess is that it shows the real battery voltage, i.e. measures voltage when the charge current is turned off. Due to the small difference (About 0.1 volt), I do usual not check if this is the case.
    But this voltage will drop significantly, when the charge is finished (The voltage is not the same after 0.1 seconds rest as after 10 seconds rest or 10 minutes rest).
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    My charger seems to read only about .03v higher under charge. Norm and HKJ, I understand that what you described is correct behavior - I have been reporting the ~10sec resting voltage, but the charging voltage is also significantly under 4.2. Mine has a green display as well.

    I charged a cell with the AC adapter, and the final v was 4.14 - consistent with the above charts it was higher than with USB, but still a bit low. All in all, I'm pretty happy with the performance so far, and if the cheezy case ever breaks, I'll probably shrink wrap the guts and use magnet leads for an even smaller package!
    Last edited by schizeckinosy; 08-27-2013 at 05:35 AM.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* kosPap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    I did just a simple test....Put the leads of the DMM on the battery when charging....The screen showed 4.0 volts, the DMM was reading a fluctuating voltage between 3.4 & 3.9 volts. I immediately disconnected the power and the battery showed 3.86 volts.
    thanks Norm!

  29. #29

    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The charger has many interesting features: Charges both LiIon and NiMH, shows charged capacity, detect bad batteries, shows charge state for LiIon.
    But all these features are only interesting, if the charger does a good job. It looks like it does a good job on NiMH and an acceptable job on LiIon, but I am not impressed with the pulsing when the charge is supposed to be finished. The discharge of a few mA is not really significant, except if leaving the batteries in the charger for days.
    Great Review!

    You say it only does an "acceptable job" on LiIon - what harm does the pulsing do to the battery? If a battery is kept in the charger for a days or even weeks, would it eventually kill the cell?

    Is the Xtar XP1 a better charger that this, even though it doesn't fit 18650's?
    Credit Card Killers = LightHound : DealExtreme : KaiDomain : Credit Card Saver = Discounts Thread

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Review of / Measurement on Soshine SC-S7 Charger

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfectionist View Post
    You say it only does an "acceptable job" on LiIon - what harm does the pulsing do to the battery? If a battery is kept in the charger for a days or even weeks, would it eventually kill the cell?
    Yes, maybe not in an hour or a day, but it will kill it much faster than correct charging. As long as you remove the battery within a few hours of charge termination I do not believe that the charge will damage the battery.
    I have not tested it, but everything I have read says that LiIon does not tolerate over charge or trickle charge.


    Quote Originally Posted by Perfectionist View Post
    Is the Xtar XP1 a better charger that this, even though it doesn't fit 18650's?
    That depends on what you are using the charger for and how. The slow termination of XP1 on NiMH when used at 0.25A is not exactly a good idea, but it does a very good job on LiIon.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
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