Angryfox        
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 93

Thread: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

  1. #1
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    9,240

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Charger Xtar XP4





    Xtar is known for flashlights and a couple of good LiIon chargers. This time they have also included NiMH capabilities in the charger and together with 3 current settings and USB output it looks like a charger that can do just about everything (Except analyze).






    The charger comes in a cardboard box with lots of specifications on the outside.



    The box contains the charger, a mains adapter, a car adapter (Probably optional), a manual and a warranty card.



    The front/top of the charger contains 8 leds and one button:
    • 3 blue leds to show the charger current, a short press on the button will select next charge current.
    • 1 blue usb led, this led will be on when the usb output is active. To activate the output slot #4 must have a charged LiIon battery, power must be disconnected and the button must be pressed for some time.
    • 4 red/green status leds. They are red when charging and green at other times. When slot #1 is discharging the led will flash red (Activated by a long press on the button).





    The charger has a 12 volt input, this input can be supply from the main adapter or from the car adapter.
    The usb output is rated at 1A and uses the battery in slot #4. It can only be activated when input power is disconnected.



    Xtar uses this label to avoid fakes.



    The battery + connection is slightly raised and worked with flat top batteries. The slider works fine.
    The slider can work with batteries between 30.5 mm and 71.8 mm.








    The charger can easily handle 70 mm long batteries, including flat top cells. (See my Small LiIon comparison for length of different brands).


    Measurements charger


    • When not connected to power it will discharges with up to 0.6mA, except slot #4 for usb output, it will discharge with up to 11mA.
    • When power is connected with a full battery, the charger will charge with 170uA (All slots with LiIon).
    • When power is connected with a full battery, the charger will charge with 10mA/30mA/50mA trickle charge (All slots with NiMH).
    • At 0 volt on the battery the charge current is 1.6mA (Green led is on).
    • At 0.22 volt the red led turns on and the current jumps to 90mA
    • At 1.22 volt the full charge current is turned on for NiMH.
    • At about 3 volt the full charge current is turned on for LiIon.
    • Any voltage drop, reinsertion of battery or power cycling will restart charging.
    • The led is flashing red when discharging. This only works on channel #1.
    • The channels on the charger are independent, i.e. there are small differences between them.



    Test with LiIon cells



    Charging a 3100mAh cell with 0.25A is slow, but works perfectly. Notice the low terminations current, this is good. Lower would be even better, when charging small batteries.



    Increasing the current to 0.5A does also look good. The termination current has increased slightly.



    At 1A is also good, the termination current is about 100mA which is fine.





    The other slots works just as well.



    The charge time for 2600mAh is slightly shorter than 3100mAh



    And 3400mAh has slightly longer charge time.



    My old LiIon cell is handled perfectly at full charge current.



    Charging a smaller cell with 0.25mA does, of course, also work.



    Charging 4 LiIon batteries at the same time does generate some heat. My probe measures 41C on the batteries.


    M1: 51,5C, HS1: 77,4C

    The USB port on the back of the charger gets very hot, it is not recommended to touch it.


    M1: 50,3C, HS1: 70,4C

    There is also some hot spots between the batteries and I measure 50C on the batteries. This is at the limit.




    After the charger is powered on it uses about 2 seconds on starting, then 1 second to sense battery type, before ramping up to charge current.



    Changing from 0.25A to 0.5A takes about 4 seconds.



    From 0.5A to 1A it takes about 8 seconds to ramp up. Reducing power is instantaneous.
    Note: These times are neither good nor bad, it is just the way the charger works.



    Test with NiMH cells



    A very slow charge of a 2000mAh AA cell and something went wrong. It terminates at 1.40 volt and has only filled 1250mAh into the cell, but then the charge current is too low for this cell, lets test with a AAA cell.
    Note: The risk with low charge current is usual overcharge, not premature termination.



    Again it terminates early, only about 460mAh has been filled into the cell.



    Lets try 0.5A with a AA cell. Again I get about 1250mAh.
    This is not very good.



    With a AAA battery at 0.5A the charge is nearly ok.



    What about 1A? Again it looks nearly ok, it terminates after about 2000mAh (This is a tad early for a 2000mAh NiMH). When the charge is finished the charger continues with trickle charge.
    Notice the slow charge at the start of the curve, it is probably done to detect battery type.





    Here are 3. other channels. Looking at the voltage curve, it looks like #2 is terminating slightly early, #3 is good and #4 is early.



    With a eneloop XX (2500mAh), the charge curve looks perfect. The voltage has reached a maximum and started to drop, before the charge is terminated.

    My guess is that there is a bug in the "end of charge" detection algorithm, this means that it will not work correctly will all types/ages of NiMH batteries. A bit more work from Xtar will probably fit it.



    Starting a charge with a full battery, is stopped very fast. First the charger uses two minutes to analyze the battery, then it charges 2 minutes, before it detects the battery is full and changes to trickle charging.



    With 4 batteries, there was also some premature termination, but as can be seen on the temperature curve, that battery did terminate properly. Even with one early termination I recorded a temperature of 51C
    Note: I was measuring volt and current on battery #1 and temperature on battery #3.



    Lets try once more, this time both the battery with voltage/current sensor and the battery with thermo sensor did terminate premature. This time, without proper termination, the temperature did only reach 43C


    M1: 51,1C, HS1: 74,1C

    The USB port gets very hot with NiMH batteries.


    M1: 50,9C, M2: 51,8C, M3: 51,2C, M4: 45,7C, HS1: 81,9C

    3 batteries at 51C, the last is charging, but is not as hot.
    Somewhere down on the PCB it gets really hot. It is probably not a problem for the electronic parts and it looks like the plastic can take it, but some heat is transferred to the batteries.



    In slot #1 the charger can also do a discharge. The battery I tested with was only half full. When charging there was no premature termination. When discharging the led is flashing red.



    The current is fairly low, a 2000mAh cell will take nearly 7 hours to discharge and then 2 hours to charge, because the charger only has one slot with discharge function it will take at least 35 hours to cycle a pack of four cells.



    At power on it takes two seconds before the charger starts at the low sense current.



    Here it switches from sense to full charge current.



    Manual switching between the currents happens instantaneous, with NiMH it does not use a ramp.



    Test with both LiIon and NiMH cells



    Charging both LiIon and eneloop does not change much. It looks like there is a bit more noise in the charge current.



    The NiMH does also look fine.



    Measurements USB output


    • The charger can only use one battery for the usb output and it has to be a LiIon battery.
    • USB out does not turn off when loaded with 200% of rated output
    • When battery is empty, the output will be turned off, but there is still drained about 5mA from the battery.
    • Output is turned off when battery voltage is slightly above 3 volt, making it useable for all 3.6/3.7 volt LiIon batteries.
    • Usb output is coded as Apple 1A






    The output is rated at 1A and can easily deliver 2A (To not blow the usb output I stopped at 2A).



    At 1A output it has a good efficiency and runs for about 1 3/4 hour. The output turns off when the battery is down to about 3.1 volt, but it still has a current drain of about 5mA from the battery.



    Reducing the current to 0.5A improves the efficiency slightly and more than doubles the time it can run.



    A 2600mAh gives shorter runtime.



    And a 3400mAh gives longer runtime.



    The usb output has very little noise, only about 7mV at 1A (67mVpp).



    At 0.5A the noise is about the same (6mV and 65mVpp).



    Testing with 2500 volt and 5000 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.



    Conclusion

    The charger has many functions of varying quality:
    • The LiIon charger is good and support a wide variety of cell sizes, this is as expected from Xtar.
    • The NiMH charger obvious has a bug in the "end of charger" detection and is not very useful.
    • The NiMH discharge function is too limited with only one slot and only a slow discharge.
    • The USB output delivers very good power, low noise and stable voltage, but do not leave a empty battery in slot #4 for days.
    • The charger gets hot while working at maximum current, the battery temperature is just at the allowable limit. I would have preferred both the box and the batteries where considerable cooler, this heat does wear the batteries down faster.



    Generally it is a good quad LiIon charger, but the NiMH function is not very good before Xtar get it fixed.



    Notes

    The charger was supplied by Xtar for a review, I believe it is the second production batch.

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

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    5,172

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thanks for your time and effort once again HKJ. You're starting to get an excellent database together. As for this charger, I'm an Xtar fan, but we can't 'always hit it out of the ballpark,' can we?

    It seems that these 'all-in-one' multi-chemistry chargers are a bit problematic and live up to the 'jack of all trades, master of none' adage.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* psychbeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SF norcal
    Posts
    2,792

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    So if you're charging regular Eneloops @1amp & u leave em to trickle a little bit this charger will work ok?

    I wish it had 2amp for 18650

    Thanks for the review!!

  4. #4
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    9,240

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by psychbeat View Post
    So if you're charging regular Eneloops @1amp & u leave em to trickle a little bit this charger will work ok?
    The trickle charge is 50mA and you need it for up to 14 hours in the test I did above.

    Quote Originally Posted by psychbeat View Post
    I wish it had 2amp for 18650
    2A is to much for many 18650 batteries.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  5. #5

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thank you HKJ! some pics and my results



    VP1/WP2S (left) and XP4 (right) adapter









    my short "end voltage" test (I have 2pcs XP4)



    I used cottonpickers voltage meter and I measured immediatly, after the leds changed red to green. Otherwise I don't care NiMH charging, so this is not problem for me (I have MH-C9000). I need good quality four bay real CC/CV li-ion charger with various charge current, not more.

    animations



    Last edited by gopajti; 10-12-2013 at 03:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,322

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thanks for the great review. I was waiting to see it and am glad I waited. I am curious if it is possible for an automatic charger to work for each chemistry properly. It will be interesting if the new Fenix multi-charger has similar issues.

  7. #7
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    9,240

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tone View Post
    Thanks for the great review. I was waiting to see it and am glad I waited. I am curious if it is possible for an automatic charger to work for each chemistry properly. It will be interesting if the new Fenix multi-charger has similar issues.
    It is possible to make a good charge with automatic selection between LiIon and NiMH. It is not that easy to make a prober termination on NiMH, when you have to handle all sizes and ages of NiMH also at low currents.

    The Fenix charger looks like the Thrunite MCC-4.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Baden.at
    Posts
    4,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    the usb output is active. To activate the output slot #4 must have a charged LiIon battery, power must be disconnected and the button must be pressed for some time.

    which makes the "USB-output" as useless, as with the XP2
    (which I have and like)
    what mind does such an "output" come from?

    XTar:
    1. keep that joke of an USB output, for times when there is no wall outlet available AND
    2. ADD a real USB output when charger is connected to the grid

  9. #9
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    9,240

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by yellow View Post

    which makes the "USB-output" as useless, as with the XP2
    Calling it useless is a bit hard, but it would be more useful if it was also powered when mains is connected.

    You can get usb power boxes where the output is active when mains is connected and they are much easier to travel with, than this charger.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thank you both HKJ and gopajti.

    I have been using mine for about two weeks now. It is a relief to know that charging 18650's at 0.25A is okay because I sometimes still forget to change the setting at powering on - got used to WP2 II. I was afraid it could have wrong termination or over charging or something bad, because the lights turned green as soon as I switched to 1A when I finally realized the lower setting. But nothing got warm, battery voltages were okay, only awfully long charging time.

    My only tiny complain is, like my WP2 II's, the sliders were very rough out of the box, so I had to apply some lubricant and all is good now.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Baden.at
    Posts
    4,488

    Default

    thats correct, but I would have to bring them - as well as the charger I would also bring,
    as well as the charger for the cellphone, and ...

    If that USB output were a "real" one, it were only one device
    (so I hope that feature will be added sometimes - but to the smaller XP2, or its following ones)

  12. #12

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thanks for the very informative review.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,322

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    It is possible to make a good charge with automatic selection between LiIon and NiMH. It is not that easy to make a prober termination on NiMH, when you have to handle all sizes and ages of NiMH also at low currents.

    The Fenix charger looks like the Thrunite MCC-4.
    Yeah, I can see why it would be hard to handle the various nimh sizes/capacities automatically. I thought the Fenix looked familiar

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Your reviews are always outstanding, and getting even more so, with the thermal images etc. Good Work! Can't wait to see a review from you of the Maha C9000 and the SkyRC NC2500.
    Mag: 4D LED, Fenix: LD20, TK35, TK70, 47s: Preon 2, Quark Mini AA, ReVO SS, ZL SC600Fd Mk III+, SC5Fd Hi CRI, Sunwayman D40A, Nitecore EC4S, TIP 360, Klarus XT12GT, Lumintop Cu Tool, Ti Tool; UTorch UT01, UT02
    Maha: MH-C808M, MH-C9000, iCharger 206B, SkyRC MC3000, XTAR VP2, Litokala Lii 100

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,572

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thanks a lot for another excellent review. HKJ!

    As far as I remember, you've first measured the temp. on the XP4 charger itself. Is it the deliverate attempt to measure the temp. or did you feel the necessity to measure it due to the unexpected temp. in your hand?

    This is not all-around charger for Ni-MH batteries. Hope and believe they will release the upgraded version in the future.

  16. #16
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    9,240

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    As far as I remember, you've first measured the temp. on the XP4 charger itself. Is it the deliverate attempt to measure the temp. or did you feel the necessity to measure it due to the unexpected temp. in your hand?
    I saw a lot discussion on how hot chargers get and decided to include some temperature measurements in my reviews.

    First I made a adapter to measure battery temperature:

    And then I got my hands on a thermal imager.

    I have been very busy with this and Xtar XP4, Efest BIO V2 and ThruNite MCC-4 all got everything.
    On request I am doing a few older chargers, but only with the thermal images, not with the logging and I do not change the review, only add the images (Until now I have only added thermal images to i4 V2).

    They do each serve a purpose:
    The sensor can be included in the logging and shows when the battery gets hot (With NiMH it also shows when the battery is full).
    The thermal imager shows the temperature of everything, but only at discrete time intervals (I uses between 10 and 30 minutes) and then I pick the hottest one for my review.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    South Korea
    Posts
    1,572

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Thank you for your detailed reply.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    I have an xp4 and can confirm early termination on my eneloops. I tried restarting charger by power cycling the charger and it terminates quickly as if the cell is fully charged.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    I have been using mine daily since October 3rd. Unfortunately, I have to return it as the top and bottom panels, at the bottom right corner, have split apart. I suspect the strong springs caused it.

    According to my dealer, this is the second unit that has this issue.
    Last edited by sbbsga; 10-29-2013 at 03:43 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by sbbsga View Post
    the top and bottom panels, at the bottom right corner, have split apart. I suspect the strong springs caused it.
    penals? at a corner? split apart?


    sure.
    whatever.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    penals? at a corner? split apart?


    sure.
    whatever.


    Here is the photo. Top and bottom panels, split apart at the bottom right corner. Sorry if this is still confusing. Anyway, the context was, the charger failed structurally, could be on any other side, photo or not. I hope yours will not end up like this if you have one or more.


    Sent from mobile device.
    Last edited by sbbsga; 10-26-2013 at 10:55 PM.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic Dirtbasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    117

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by sbbsga View Post


    Here is the photo. Top and bottom panels, split apart at the bottom right corner. Sorry if this is still confusing. Anyway, the context was, the charger failed structurally, could be on any other side, photo or not. I hope yours will not end up like this if you have one or more.


    Sent from mobile device.
    The same thing happen with my NiteCore i4 charger due to tight tension on the springs , I just superglued mine.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbasher View Post
    The same thing happen with my NiteCore i4 charger due to tight tension on the springs , I just superglued mine.
    I thought about that too. Anyway, if the replacement opens up, I would just fix it myself or I could just glue them right out of the box.

    We'll see.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Now i am getting it. Of course. Thanks for sharing the photo!

    Aren't the panels held together with 4 screws?

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by shelm View Post
    Now i am getting it. Of course. Thanks for sharing the photo!

    Aren't the panels held together with 4 screws?
    I thought the screw at that corner was undone but it was fully tightened.


    Sent from mobile device.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* sbbsga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sabah, Malaysia
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Unfortunately, the replacement failed at the same corner too. I will just glue them up this time.

    [UPDATE: 13.11.2013]
    It was the right side that split. Now, the left side. Not so apparent because the right corner has been glued but gap widens when that corner is loaded up.

    I hope XTAR responds to this issue, it cannot be an isolated case as this is my second unit which replaced the first one that have the same problem. Cost of shipping will be raking up if I am suggested to keep shipping damaged units back.
    Last edited by sbbsga; 11-12-2013 at 04:19 PM.

  27. #27
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Anyone know if they fixed the NiMH issue in the production model??

  28. #28

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,631

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by Ares View Post
    Anyone know if they fixed the NiMH issue in the production model??
    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The charger was supplied by Xtar for a review, I believe it is the second production batch.
    Um, this was a review of a production version, not a prototype or engineering sample.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    This charger does a great job charging my Sanyo XX eneloop 2450ma AA nimh batteries. They are barely warm at end of charging. I charge them at .5 amps.
    No problems charging 14350, 18650, and 26650 li-ion batteries. I have not tried the USB port.
    I have not seen any cracks or separations on the case. Also, I have the Xtar VP1 and SP2 chargers.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Review of Charger Xtar XP4

    Quote Originally Posted by ggroyal1117 View Post
    They are barely warm at end of charging. I charge them at .5 amps.
    du

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •