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Thread: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    There are many ideas on how to implement automatic charge current selection - some simple, some very sophisticated. None of those ideas have yet to yield a safe and efficient algorithm that works under general conditions at the consumer level. If the problem had a simple solution then that feature would already be implemented in consumer level chargers.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 10-02-2016 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggressor View Post
    No one is talking about measuring state of charge. That is complete unnecessary for the purpose of automatic charging current selection. Please re-read what I said from the very beginning. All that is required is to measure speed of cell voltage rise, once the charging starts. This allows to relatively accurately estimate remaining capacity until cell will be full and select appropriate current. It does not allow to accurately estimate total cell capacity, but that is completely unnecessary for the purpose.

    Examples:
    500mAh cell, with 50mAh remaining charge:
    charger starts at 0.25A, by the speed of voltage rise in the cell estimates charging at 0.25A will take about two hours, stays at 0.25A, finishes in about two hours.

    3500mAh cell, with 3000mAh remaining charge:
    charger starts at 0.25A, by the speed of voltage rise in the cell estimates charging at 0.25A will take about two hours, stays at 0.25A, finishes in about two hours.

    3500mAh cell, with 50mAh remaining charge:
    charger starts at 0.25A, by the speed of voltage rise in the cell estimates charging at 0.25A will take about 14 hours, raises current to 2A, finishes in about two hours.
    For what it is worth, Aggressor's statement is pretty much what I was told when I contacted Olight. I have ordered one on the hopes that it works the way they told me it would. I will wait patiently for a review by HJK for final approval on this charger. But for $6, this would be a great portable and flexible charger.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by brighterthanthesun View Post
    For what it is worth, Aggressor's statement is pretty much what I was told when I contacted Olight..
    It's snake oil marketing hype - just like Nitcore's claims to do the same.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss163 View Post
    If the problem had a simple solution then that feature would already be implemented in consumer level chargers.
    Beautiful argument! The statement is wrong, because if it were right, someone would have made it earlier :-)

    Consumer level chargers for standalone Li-Ion cells are a tiny part of overall Li-Ion cells and chargers market. Most Li-Ion cells are used in integrated packs so chargers already know the optimum charging parameters.

    There may simply never been a strong enough incentive to develop automatic current selection. Let's hope this will change soon. Because there is nothing complex about it. Chargers already estimate remaining charging time accurately enough, and that's all the info they need to implement this feature.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Got one of these in the mail a couple days ago. A little bigger than I thought, especially the magnetic ends. It does not come with a portable carrying case, but I found a near perfect little long rectangular tin to put it into for storage or if I want to put it in a to-go bag of some sort or pocket.

    Did a little test.


    Battery Initial Voltage USB Input I @ 5.1V (Initial) USB Input I @5.1V (after 1min)
    AAA NiMH 1.245V 122mA 240mA***
    AA NiMH #1 (eneloop) 1.178V 115mA 240mA***
    18350 LiIon (XTAR 850mAh) 2.958V 650mAh* 660mAh (690mA** @ 5min)
    18650 LiIon (TF 2500mAh) 3.786V 739mAh* 739mAh



    1. Quiesent USB input current (i.e. no connection) was 0.0055mA.
    2. Note measured current in Input current from the USB power source, not the battery charge current.
    3. Only did test on each cell for 5min to get summary initial charge stats.
    4. ***Current after 1min was fluctuating between 200mA and 240mA, I didn't scope it but there may be some pulsing. Unless indicated current was the same @ the 5min mark.
    5. * reading occurred very quickly ~10-12sec
    6. ** current was still increasing



    Based on this short test. It would work OK for 16340 & 18350 cells, and would be not too bad for 18650 when you are not in a hurry. Of course this is just a very simple preliminary test so I look forward to hearing from others on complete charge cycles with this charger. I've got it completing the AA charge now to see if it might pickup steam at some point.


    Update 1: after an additional 3.5hrs of charging the AA NiMH battery the input current was unchanged and input energy had reached 3.764Wh so I stopped the test. Battery voltage was 1.43V (essentially Full), the battery was not warm at all. The charger was slightly warm, I didn't measure temp, but it was mild. So no expected completed charge signal, but I'm curious on why the input power was still so high.

    Update 2: after an additional 78min the 18350 Terminated correctly with green light (4.205V). USB monitor reported 3.95Wh of energy had been consumed. Input current decreased as the charge reached the end of the cycle as expected for a LiIon charge algorithm.

    Update 3: It was able to complete the charge on the 18650 an properly terminated the charge 4.2V I didn't monitor the time. Input power was 6.25 Wh. So I'm happy with LiIon charging, but AA and AAA charging needs further investigation.

    Update 4: I had it complete the charge on the AAA cell in 71min reported input power was 893mWh. The cell was a bit warm.

    Update 5: I had it charge another AA cell and it did terminate correctly, but reported input power was 5000mWh which seem to indicate very poor efficiency, but I was not able to record the time it took to charge. Still not liking this charger for AA cells. I may try a more detailed test, but I'm not likely to use it for AA or AAA anyway.
    Last edited by StandardBattery; 10-11-2016 at 06:28 PM.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by brighterthanthesun View Post
    Hey everyone, I talked to Chris (I think) at Olight World this morning and was told that the charger is actually smart enough to identify the capacity of the cell being charged and adjust the output accordingly. Sounds like a very interesting travel/go bag charger.
    In order to refute this highly dubious claim we went straight to the source, Olight. On October 2, we sent queries to all of the support email addresses for Olight (US, Germany, and China), viz. techsupport@olightworld.us, kontakt@olightgermany.de, customer-service@olightworld.com. We quoted the above claim, and asked for the specific current(s) used to charge Li-ion cells. We received no reply from the US contact. The German CSR forwarded our email to China, and we received replies only from someone named Shirley in China. The first few replies from Shirley simply quoted vague information already available in their brochures. Finally, after many requests for specifics, she supplied some test results (see below). The data seems to imply that the charger does not adjust the output using some capacity heuristics (as claimed above). Rather, it appears to use a fixed current of about 750mA for all Li-ion cells (except it precharges at about 250mA for cells below 3.0V). Of course such tests results are by no means definitive, but this is the best info we could obtain from Olight after many rounds of emails.

    It is bizarre that no one from Olight could supply a definitive answer. They had to run tests to attempt to infer what charge currents are used. I don't expect a company like Olight to have in-house expertise on Li-ion charging, but they should be able to obtain that info by contacting the OEM who designed the charger. Answers to questions like those we posed are essential knowledge required in order to know if the charger can be used safely with smaller cells.

    Below is the test data supplied by Olight.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 10-12-2016 at 01:13 PM.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    I've been using this for a few days now just to see if I like it. I love it! Li-Ion and NiMH, tiny, simple. I sure wish there was a voltage readout, but this will do. Too cheap and small NOT to have one somewhere for emergencies or just to top off that EDC or single cell light.
    GOOD TINT!

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Seems to align with my test for Lithium. AA charge time seems crazy though in how long it takes to charge. And my test showed it used basically the same rate for AAA and AA. I think it's just easier to carry a single cell charger from XTAR and forget NiMH or get a Lii 100 and get more flexibility with an increase in size, but not that much and you get 2 cell capability which is good for NiMH and no messing with magnets.

    I need to play with it more, but I think it's worth the $1 on sale although I would not pay $10 for it.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    The charger can identify the polarity of the battery so it does not matter what end you use to plug it to. It can detect polarity and battery type so that the battery is not overcharged and damaged but the speed and output will not adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss163 View Post
    It is impossible for such a charger to be "smart enough to identify the capacity of the cell being charged". Pure snake oil.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Bought a unit, I really like its ultra portable size...





    only thing is I wish they up the charging current to 1A instead of 750mA... well, one can always hope...
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  11. #41
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    please ignore [dupe]

  12. #42

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    FYI, these are now available on Amazon for 10.50$, bundled with some sort of mini led flood lights.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    I just bought one of these.

    I have a question.

    What happens if the two magnetic contact touch together while it is powered on?

    I guess these is some type of protection but i prefer to know for certain.

    Thanks

    John.
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  14. #44
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Nothing happens...it's nearly impossible to keep those magnets from grabbing each other at some point during the process, so I know from personal experience.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Toohotruk View Post
    Nothing happens...it's nearly impossible to keep those magnets from grabbing each other at some point during the process, so I know from personal experience.

    Thanks, I though so.

    John.
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  16. #46
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    I must admit that it freaked me out the first time they clacked together after I had already plugged it in, LOL!

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    I just bought it out of feed my addiction for battery chargers, 750ma is just to high for my RCR123 cells and to low for my 18650 cells

    John.
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  18. #48
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    I just bought it out of feed my addiction for battery chargers, 750ma is just to high for my RCR123 cells and to low for my 18650 cells

    John.
    Yeah, I think they should have made it 500mA. At least then it would work with 18350's and just be slow for 18650's. 750mA is an oddball decision. Alternatively, the best option would have been a switch on the plug for 250, 500, and 1000mA. Then it would have been a really cool little charger.

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    Yeah, I think they should have made it 500mA. At least then it would work with 18350's and just be slow for 18650's. 750mA is an oddball decision. Alternatively, the best option would have been a switch on the plug for 250, 500, and 1000mA. Then it would have been a really cool little charger.

    I wonder if it could be modded, maybe change a resistor to lower the current.

    John.
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  20. #50

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    Yeah, I think they should have made it 500mA. At least then it would work with 18350's and just be slow for 18650's. 750mA is an oddball decision. Alternatively, the best option would have been a switch on the plug for 250, 500, and 1000mA. Then it would have been a really cool little charger.
    That would have been perfect and absolutely unbeatable for the price (considering a few more $$ for that feature).
    GOOD TINT!

  21. #51

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Just a quick heads up if anyone is interested in one of these:

    Fasttech have it for USD$9.99, but using their New Year's coupon "TOAST" it brings it down to $8.49. Not sure when the coupon expires.

    Might be useful for those of us not in North America that couldn't take advantage of the $6 intro deal.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Here is something and wonder if anyone knows why.

    It seemed to charge just fine when plugged into a wall outlet powered USB. Tested an AA,AAA,14500 and 18650. But when plugged into a power bank so far two power banks failed to work with lithium ion. Have not tested more. It will glow red then after the time when the powerbank shut down due to not being used the Olight charger would also turn off. It did seem to charge an AA from a USB powerbank but didn't test that to completion and will tomorrow. I have a feeling this won't be solar friendly either. So why won't it charge a lithium ion from powerbank but do a LSD NiMH AA?
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  23. #53
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Ok seems to work with a flat Mycharge and smaller Anker but not F1 or a larger POM. Not sure why some work with lithium ion but not others.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  24. #54

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by Woods Walker View Post
    ]I have a feeling this won't be solar friendly either. So why won't it charge a lithium ion from powerbank but do a LSD NiMH AA?
    That's interesting. I am intending on using this in my backpacking kit as a backup 18650/14500 charger from powerbank and solar - I currently bring an MC0 which can do 14500 but not 18650, and the Xiaomi Zi5 which can only do NiMH.

    I am still waiting for mine to arrive, so can't test it out with my kit yet.

  25. #55

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    I just bought it out of feed my addiction for battery chargers, 750ma is just to high for my RCR123 cells and to low for my 18650 cells

    John.
    I thought it started out lower on RCR123 and then ramped up? (see chart in post 36) So, won't that still work for you?

  26. #56
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by steeps View Post
    I thought it started out lower on RCR123 and then ramped up? (see chart in post 36) So, won't that still work for you?
    By the information above, it charges at 260ma till 3.1v and then jumps to 750ma until it hits 4.1v and then it starts to get lower to complete the charge.

    John.
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  27. #57

    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    By the information above, it charges at 260ma till 3.1v and then jumps to 750ma until it hits 4.1v and then it starts to get lower to complete the charge.

    John.
    So, would you say it's safe to use with RCR123?

  28. #58
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    FWIW, been using 2 of this UC cable for past 2 months to test recharging my RCR123, IMR16340, 14500, 18650, 26650, NiMH AA and NiMH AAA, they work great with my phone USB charger, Aukey QC2.0 5-port USB charging station as well as my Yoobao, APC and Aukey powerbank. Until it develops problem or someone reported serious defects, this UC charger is going in every BOB in the family...
    changing sigline ...

  29. #59
    Flashaholic* TinderBox (UK)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by steeps View Post
    So, would you say it's safe to use with RCR123?

    I could say i was an expert, but that would be laughable, until HKJ does a review, He has already said 750ma is too high for small cells, But how much of the charging time does it spend at 750ma ??

    John.
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  30. #60
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    Default Re: Olight UC (Universal Charger) Magnetic & USB input

    Quote Originally Posted by keithy View Post
    That's interesting. I am intending on using this in my backpacking kit as a backup 18650/14500 charger from powerbank and solar - I currently bring an MC0 which can do 14500 but not 18650, and the Xiaomi Zi5 which can only do NiMH.

    I am still waiting for mine to arrive, so can't test it out with my kit yet.
    I will test for solar ASAP. I keep the flat MyCharge in the solar kit as it's 4000 mAh which is plenty for a little panel. So if it works with solar will add it to the solar kit including the MyCharge. Anyone know a good cheap battery voltage tester. I been using the one on my charger but want something purpose made and inexpensive.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

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