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Thread: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The 12W Apple charger is very good, I have just published a review of it.

    As alwaysthank you

    Just looked at my latest chargers, iphone 6+ and the air2,air 2 is 10W on mine




    I wonder why 10w and 12w differences,more so if regulated in the ipad for example........

    Cheers ven

  2. #32
    Flashaholic* Christoph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    my VP1 plug will fit into my VC4
    C
    Chris

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    I wonder why 10w and 12w differences,more so if regulated in the ipad for example........
    Looks like yours is an older generation, they have probably increased the power to charge some of the new iPads faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christoph View Post
    my VP1 plug will fit into my VC4
    Then you have to be careful. I wonder why they have changed the connector.
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    [QUOTE=HKJ;4639692]Looks like yours is an older generation, they have probably increased the power to charge some of the new iPads faster.



    Latest in UK at time,its from the ipad air 2 i got around 1 month ago as the kids have pinched my ipad2

    Checked on line and for sale at around the £15 mark,although its probably worth it,i will use one of my older apple chargers as i dont * think* it will make any benefit powering this charger.........It shows the 1a with bay 1+4 and 0.5 over all 4 bays when i checked earlier.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Thanks for the great review.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hello All,

    thank you for the detailed review of this charger!
    I bought this charger because somewhere else - probably on this forum - it was mentioned that the internal charger in my flashlight is useless.

    I just powered it up today and I bought 3x 26650 batteries (eFest 5200mAh).
    I plugged in two cells in channels 1 & 4 and went out to lunch. When I came back (~2hrs later) it was still at ~600mAh and the charge current was very low ~0.2A.
    I thought it could be due to my apple USB wall wart - so i changed it to a Samsung one and that gave a more respectable 0.6A.
    However in doing so the mAh reading was reset to 0.

    What does the mAh reading actually show - charge delivered to the batteries or actual charge in the batteries?

    Sorry for the basic question - I am used to chargers with just a green and red led to indicate charging and complete.

    br
    James

  7. #37
    Flashaholic* RI Chevy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Welcome to the Forum!

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    I plugged in two cells in channels 1 & 4 and went out to lunch. When I came back (~2hrs later) it was still at ~600mAh and the charge current was very low ~0.2A.
    I thought it could be due to my apple USB wall wart - so i changed it to a Samsung one and that gave a more respectable 0.6A.
    It can be the cables, it is always a good idea to use short and thick usb cables when charging.


    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    However in doing so the mAh reading was reset to 0.

    What does the mAh reading actually show - charge delivered to the batteries or actual charge in the batteries?
    The mAh reading is how much current is filled into the cells, not how much is in the cells.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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  9. #39

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Thank you for your quick response.

    So since it shows the charge delivered to the cells - i wonder if there was any way I can use this charger to weed out dodgy batteries which do not provide the advertised mAh.

    I understand that having one poor battery in a group can significantly degrade performance overall.

    On car batteries (Lead-Acid) I used to run a drop test where a known load is applied and if the voltage drops below 9V then the battery is not good enough for use.
    Is there such a test on these Li-Ion batteries?

    Sorry for the detailed questions - I use my batteries for a flash-light while swimming and changing batteries in the sea may lead to salt water ingress into the flash-light so i'd like to be sure the batteries I put in it before entering the water are good ones.

    thank you!
    br
    James

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Having had a while now i am full of discontent ,tried different apple chargers which cover the required 5v 2.1a ,even bought extra plugs and same issue. Then paid almost £15 from a UK shop for a "good" travel charger ,again rated at 5.0VDC/2100mah. Again 2 cells in 1+4 with 1a charge only lasted minutes before dropping to 0.75 or 0.5 later...........i can not get a 1a charge rate for 2 cells for the charge duration.

    One cell i can manage........useless .

    So my overall expectations ,now weeks later is disappointment, in what is a poor design imo. Why cant Xtar do a proper plug option for it........?? I dare not try their 5v 2.1a effort(looks very cheap and suspect its charger and not plug/s) as i have bought better quality ones with no avail. Maybe it is faulty .....my cost on this charger has doubled with buying new USB plugs(not cheapo ones)to get this working as should(never again) .

    Shame as i like the nimh support over my vp4,now i have a jack of all trades in the opus BT-C3100 V2.2 ............should have missed the vc4 out

    Odd reading has been 2.xxV on a 3.8v cell,remove ,re-fit and back to a more accurate display...........guess confidence is lost now and can't trust it. The vp1/2/4 /sp1 and wp6II have been perfect..... will take this as an Xtar bad apple(for me anyway).

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    So since it shows the charge delivered to the cells - i wonder if there was any way I can use this charger to weed out dodgy batteries which do not provide the advertised mAh.
    Yes, as long as you can discharge the batteries in a controlled way, i.e. you need something that uses one battery and automatic turn off when the battery is empty.
    Then you can charge the batteries and compare the mAh.

    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    I understand that having one poor battery in a group can significantly degrade performance overall.
    Correct, when you uses batteries in series.

    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    On car batteries (Lead-Acid) I used to run a drop test where a known load is applied and if the voltage drops below 9V then the battery is not good enough for use.
    Is there such a test on these Li-Ion batteries?
    You can something equivalent on LiIon with a voltmeter and a resistor (1ohm power resistor is fine). The actual drop will depend on the battery, but all batteries used together must have about the same drop.
    Checking tailcap current on a single cell high power flashlight can also be used, all batteries must again show about the same value.
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  12. #42
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Having had a while now i am full of discontent ,tried different apple chargers which cover the required 5v 2.1a ,even bought extra plugs and same issue. Then paid almost £15 from a UK shop for a "good" travel charger ,again rated at 5.0VDC/2100mah. Again 2 cells in 1+4 with 1a charge only lasted minutes before dropping to 0.75 or 0.5 later...........i can not get a 1a charge rate for 2 cells for the charge duration.
    Are you are using more cable than the cable supplied with VC4?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    One cell i can manage........useless .
    You obvious need your cells charged fast, for many people it is not a huge problem if it takes a few hours extra to charge.

    My guess is that either you have been very unlucky with the usb power supplies (i.e. they are all max. 5.0 volt) or your copy of the VC4 is extra critical with the charge voltage.
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  13. #43

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Yes, as long as you can discharge the batteries in a controlled way, i.e. you need something that uses one battery and automatic turn off when the battery is empty.
    Then you can charge the batteries and compare the mAh.



    Correct, when you uses batteries in series.



    You can something equivalent on LiIon with a voltmeter and a resistor (1ohm power resistor is fine). The actual drop will depend on the battery, but all batteries used together must have about the same drop.
    Checking tailcap current on a single cell high power flashlight can also be used, all batteries must again show about the same value.
    Thank you for your response once again.

    I can try to compare the tailcap voltages of the batteries in my light when they finish charging.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hi HKJ,yes i use the original cable supplied with the vc4,tried a good few plugs now,ordered a 5v 3a as a last port of call.

    I dont mind a slightly slower charge but it can drop at times down to 0.25 or bellow the mid way 0.5a on display. I would expect to see 1a on bay 1+4 and using all bays a drop to 0.5a. In effect its like using all 4 bays for charging yet only 1+4 are occupied by 18650 cells. It does the same on AA eneloops too,so its either the cable/plug.......or charger itself! Unfortunately i dont have another usb cable to fit the charger.........this i am working on

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Get yourself one of the ZTS battery testers. I know at least one model will test 3.7v Li-Ion cells. It only provides a five step readout, but if you test the set on a regular basis as you use it, any cell that is not pulling its weight will show up with the ZTS tester. If one cell consistently tests lower than the others, it is a pretty good indicator that it isn't holding its charge as well as it should.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  16. #46
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hi there,thanks for suggestion,can get readings off the opus(resistance/capacity) but cells i have tried have been from older to new/ish and tried many. No issues on other chargers at all. So i cant even say its a specific cell/s............defo charger/cable/plug or maybe all....

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothybil View Post
    Get yourself one of the ZTS battery testers. I know at least one model will test 3.7v Li-Ion cells. It only provides a five step readout, but if you test the set on a regular basis as you use it, any cell that is not pulling its weight will show up with the ZTS tester. If one cell consistently tests lower than the others, it is a pretty good indicator that it isn't holding its charge as well as it should.
    With a LiIon cell a voltmeter/DMM is better, for most other battery types the ZTS is best.
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by jc9121 View Post
    I can try to compare the tailcap voltages of the batteries in my light when they finish charging.
    Not voltage, current.

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    Hi HKJ,yes i use the original cable supplied with the vc4,tried a good few plugs now,ordered a 5v 3a as a last port of call.
    It is not really the ampere that is important (As long as it can deliver enough), but the voltage. The VC4 uses the voltage to adjust the charge current and it only needs to drop a bit below 5.0 before it will reduce the current.
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  19. #49
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Not voltage, current.



    It is not really the ampere that is important (As long as it can deliver enough), but the voltage. The VC4 uses the voltage to adjust the charge current and it only needs to drop a bit below 5.0 before it will reduce the current.

    Having tried apple air2 chargers(bought another to use separate to my ipad),even tried older ipad chargers which should be fine on paper,i am a little stuck now

  20. #50
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hi ven,

    Do you have any deoxit or contact cleaner? I have had dirty USB sockets transfer dirt to plugs causing a voltage drop. I'd recommend cleaning the USB cable for your VC4 (both ends), the power input socket on the VC4 and the USB socket on your apple charger.

    Re-test after doing that, keep using the apple ipad charger as they are known to work well with the VC4.

    If you want to just verify this theory, try pulling the USB plug slightly out of the power supply and see if things improve. Usually they will as a different contact point will be in use. If things are really dirty that might not help though.

    (Do you have a USB voltmeter? They are great for situations like this)
    Last edited by zipplet; 08-01-2015 at 05:35 PM.

  21. #51
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hi zipplet,yes i have an xtar usb for checking the voltage so will double check(cant remember results now) will try that too,is odd as everything new.

    Will try and get back

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Two plugs i am testing now

    Apple

    Both same results





    Xtar usb showed 5.1v or 5.3v at one short time.........

    Everything usb wise is spotless,tried to clean but nothing to clean,Q tip spotless.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hmm, I'm not sure what to suggest. Your charger or cable might be faulty.

    To be honest, I would contact XTAR and get them to try sending you a replacement cable. I don't think they would quibble over that.

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Hi Zipplet,the mail was sent yesterday suggesting cable or also if they had a USB plug thats known to work. Just to add,the cable is not tied up,its fully undone from the tie.

    Will see how i get on

    Cheers...........least my "noisy" bt-c3100 works as it should,luckily i have a good few Xtar chargers,if it was the only one and i depended on it,i would not be happy.................

  25. #55

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    I am a bit confused reading the test and the thread and would appreciate some clarifications.

    Is the reason why the charging was so slow when charging four 18650s batteries (1100 seconds, twice as long as NiteCore D4) because of the resistance from the additional cables you had to use to perform the tests? Should one expect faster charging with high quality 5V adapter, without needing to increase the voltage above 5V?

    And if so, what would qualify as a high quality adapter? I don't have a high current 5V power supply (ignoring old PC PSUs, which I find to be too bulky for this purpose). Previously mentioned 12W apple costs nearly as much as the charger, and it seems that even then some people are not getting specified charging currents.

    I initially thought that this charger would be better and faster than D4 but now I am no longer sure.
    Last edited by KenSrf; 08-02-2015 at 06:28 PM.

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by KenSrf View Post
    Is the reason why the charging was so slow when charging four 18650s batteries (1100 seconds, twice as long as NiteCore D4) because of the resistance from the additional cables you had to use to perform the tests? Should one expect faster charging with high quality 5V adapter, without needing to increase the voltage above 5V?
    Yes, but both charger and usb power can have tolerances on voltage, making it difficult to predict the exact result (I.e. if you get full charging speed).

    Quote Originally Posted by KenSrf View Post
    And if so, what would qualify as a high quality adapter? I don't have a high current 5V power supply (ignoring old PC PSUs, which I find to be too bulky for this purpose). Previously mentioned 12W apple costs nearly as much as the charger, and it seems that even then some people are not getting specified charging currents.
    A good adapter is something that keeps a high output voltage, even at 2A. You can check my tests for candidates: http://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html (Xtar has one that looks promising).
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: lygte-info.
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  27. #57
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Been lurking on this thread since I own one of these, been a while since I posted on CPF, Ven I think your unit is screwed. albeit a little slow I find mine to charge Li-ion's and Ni-mh's full and accurate, without blasting them too hard. I just ordered another to take on the road (union musician, and I can't have wireless unit's or flashlight's, pedalboard light's etc failing, ever...)
    I did invest in a couple of Anker 40W 5-port (71AN7105) HKJ reviewed very well, but even on an std issue apple 1ma it seem's about the same. Just my experience. VG

    ps, De-oxit is a must for my road gear, but alcohol and a tooth brush should be enough to clear any kinda home dirt off even old USB's...
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  28. #58

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post


    Increasing the usb voltage to 5.2V to compensate for wire losses improves the charge speed.
    The display shows 2781mAh 2764mAh 2884mAh 2857mAh.
    In your opinion why is charging rate dropping from 500mA to about 350mA after two hours of charging?

  29. #59
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    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    I have a new Apple 12w 2.4A wall wart, but right now, I'm using my Ruinovo 4x18650 power bank and my VC4 now, having just discharged two Sanyo 2600mAh FMs down to 3.62v and I'm getting 1.07A/1.08A into the Xtar via my Xtar current/voltmeter at 4.91v after 90 minutes. Charge current is 600mA, but started out at 1A.

    I'm about 900mAh into the charge. Display is off.

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  30. #60

    Default Re: Test/Review of Charger Xtar VC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Yes, but both charger and usb power can have tolerances on voltage, making it difficult to predict the exact result (I.e. if you get full charging speed).



    A good adapter is something that keeps a high output voltage, even at 2A. You can check my tests for candidates: http://lygte-info.dk/info/ChargerIndex%20UK.html (Xtar has one that looks promising).
    I missed this message, thanks.

    Did you ever test this charger with Xtar adapter, that seems to be a nice match for their charger given the higher voltage?

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