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Thread: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

  1. #1

    Default New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I would be interested to see any review or evaluation report on this:

    http://charger.nitecore.com/CHARGER/SC/SC4/

  2. #2

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I'll probably buy one to review on my channel, looking as the specs it would appear to be closer to a D4 replacement in terms of functionality. Could be a while before it's available to buy, let's hope they've sorted out their termination issues and heat problems. The last batch of chargers new i2/i4 were not as good as they should have been. Price might be a problem the SC2 is relatively expensive it also lacks any testing capabilities which probably won't fly if it's priced too high - if so it won't be the new D4 because it will be at a different price point.
    Far as most buyers are concerned there won't be a lot of demand for an expensive charger if it can't test cells
    Last edited by Mr Baz; 07-01-2017 at 10:33 AM.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by lonelyboy View Post
    I would be interested to see any review or evaluation report on this:

    http://charger.nitecore.com/CHARGER/SC/SC4/

    Looks good and seems to do it all. I am not sure if the default charge current is adjustable or not. I expect this is a 4 channel charger but I could not be certain. Looks quite good and a top candidate to buy once some questions are answered. I have an I4 and other than speed or rather lower current rate for more than two cells its an excellent charger. Now with a useful display and significant charge rate increase it has to be a top contender if they got it engineered right.

    I'll be watching for more on this one.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Got my SC4 in the mailbox today. It charges my NL189 batteries very fast, silent and cool. I'm not sure why the unit buzzes on standby so i can't leave the unit plugged in 24/7
    Last edited by Xiphex; 09-04-2017 at 09:41 AM.
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    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I'll await HKJ's testing, otherwise, it's still a NiteCore charger.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Comments from any other users?
    Oveready Boss 35 & 70; LensLight Mini; HDS Rotary 325 XP-L, Clicky 170W; ZebraLight SC 600 MK III HI, SC600W, SC62W, SC60W, SC52W, SC51C, SC5W; EagleTac NW D25LC2, NW D25A, DX30LC2 Clicky; Fenix PD35; Quark Ti AA & 2-123-T; Quark AA-T and 123-2-T; Nitecore D10R2 and D10R2 (Tribute); Elzetta Alpha

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I'm happy with mine so far, but like Xiphex mentioned, it buzzes on standby.
    That buzzing can be from vibration in a coil or similar, and more mechanical stress means shorter life, so I'm suspecting it's not a "buy it for life"-type of thing.

    Would I recommend it? Probably not to a newbie, default charge current on an 18650 is 2A, while I'd want a configurable default, factory-set to 1A or less.

    If you know what you're buying, have had a few Nitecore chargers before, and reasonable expectations, then it's not a bad purchase

    If charging at 2A is fine for your cells, I'd rather buy this than a D4 charger for example.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I've got one. Sure -- the buzz on idle. And UI is not even close to intuitive. Starting at 2A is an issue as well: in case of wall socket voltage drop you may find your 16350 in a very dangerous condition. Or does it manage to reidentify a cell?

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    Starting at 2A is an issue as well: in case of wall socket voltage drop you may find your 16350 in a very dangerous condition. Or does it manage to reidentify a cell?
    Just tested two 18490 cells, and it started charging them at 500mA, so there seems to be some kind of smart choice involved, but not even all 18650s should be charged at 2A, even though most can take it.

    Would have been cool with a charger that automatically took IR/voltage rise into account, as well as temperature, and automatically adjusted charge current. Dual sensors, perhaps at top and center, with a safety cutoff as well, and things would be very interesting. Might be just about possible with the hardware of the MC3000, if they added support in software.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    Just tested two 18490 cells, and it started charging them at 500mA, so there seems to be some kind of smart choice involved, but not even all 18650s should be charged at 2A, even though most can take it.

    Would have been cool with a charger that automatically took IR/voltage rise into account, as well as temperature, and automatically adjusted charge current. Dual sensors, perhaps at top and center, with a safety cutoff as well, and things would be very interesting. Might be just about possible with the hardware of the MC3000, if they added support in software.
    I guess there might be some size measurements involved. Have no idea how might they evaluate expected capacity otherwise.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I guess there might be some size measurements involved. Have no idea how might they evaluate expected capacity otherwise.
    Nitecore started selecting current depending on length some time ago.

    The user interface is not that bad, but then I did not read the manual, I just tried (I am testing on it at the current time).
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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    The user interface is not that bad, but then I did not read the manual, I just tried (I am testing on it at the current time).
    Having giving it some thought, I'll second this. It's not bad.
    But it's not good either. Too much work if you're regularly charging a bunch of 18650s at 1A for example. I'm using mine at 2A for cells that are happy there's so it's not a huge issue for some users, just something to be aware of when making a buying decision.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Addition: The SC4 has a button to select which channel you're configuring. Having a fifth channel called default, that was the active channel for configuration when no batteries are in, would solve this. Set it to 1A, and any batteries you insert (that isn't too short) starts out at that voltage, until you change the default. Have default be remembered between power cycles, and things are good.
    Would take no extra buttons, one extra field on the display, which is already custom, and a few non volatile bits, which are likely available already, and cents if not.

  14. #14

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I have two of the new SC4s, and two more on the way :-) (I liked them so much). I picked them up, for a fantastic price, through a Group Buy on Budget Light Forums.


    These two SC4s have replaced my D4s (which I used for three years), and those D4s replaced my i4 V2s. Pretty drastic improvements have been made, from model to model. These SC4s are the nicest, most elaborate Nitecore chargers I've ever owned.

    I still have sixteen XTAR chargers (I'm a charging fanatic), but Nitecore have really stepped up their game with this SC4, or I wouldn't have even considered this new model. As it was, my D4s pretty much ended up being relegated to strictly AA Nimh charging duties.


    A pair of D4s, pictured next to the retired i4 V2 (which was my very first lithium ion charger purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by tripplec View Post
    Looks good and seems to do it all. I am not sure if the default charge current is adjustable or not. I expect this is a 4 channel charger but I could not be certain. Looks quite good and a top candidate to buy once some questions are answered. I have an I4 and other than speed or rather lower current rate for more than two cells its an excellent charger. Now with a useful display and significant charge rate increase it has to be a top contender if they got it engineered right.

    I'll be watching for more on this one.
    It is a four-channel charger, and the charge rate can be adjusted, for each of the four channels (from 300 mA to 3000 mA, not to exceed 6 Amps, in total, for all channels, combined). You can even set priority for the first two channels to remain at what you've set, and the other channels will re-adjust themselves automatically, based on how much amperage is left (if that makes sense). You can't exceed 6 Amps, total output, between the four channels - a nice safety feature.


    The display is super clean, and gives a lot of extremely useful information.


    Not the greatest color picture I've taken of these, and it does not do justice to the clarity of the display.


    The heat sinking on these units is substantial. They're also physically larger than the D4s, but it's worth it, for the far superior heat sinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    I'm happy with mine so far, but like Xiphex mentioned, it buzzes on standby.
    That buzzing can be from vibration in a coil or similar, and more mechanical stress means shorter life, so I'm suspecting it's not a "buy it for life"-type of thing.

    Would I recommend it? Probably not to a newbie, default charge current on an 18650 is 2A, while I'd want a configurable default, factory-set to 1A or less.

    If you know what you're buying, have had a few Nitecore chargers before, and reasonable expectations, then it's not a bad purchase

    If charging at 2A is fine for your cells, I'd rather buy this than a D4 charger for example.
    I'm in total agreement with you, about choosing the SC4, over the D4. I never liked how slow the D4 (or, the i4 V2, before that) charge rates were (375 mA x 4 was pretty awful). It was like watching the grass grow. Trying to charge 18650 batteries on that charger was a painful process.

    One of my two units has that barely audible (and only when no batteries are installed; or the batteries, fully charged)..more like a whining sound, than a buzzing. It's really hard to notice, and the charger seems to be functionally as good as the other one, which has no whine (It's dead silent).

    Edit - 09-19-17 - The additional chargers arrived in yesterdays mail. I went ahead and fired them up, then threw some batteries in them. Good deal. The whine is actually now on all four chargers; but, to me, at least, it's a negligible amount of sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I guess there might be some size measurements involved. Have no idea how might they evaluate expected capacity otherwise.
    They do assume a certain battery capacity, based on size.

    According to the manual, batteries less than 60mm (2.4") are assumed to have a capacity of less than 1200 mA, and the default charge rate for those is 500 mA. You can override any setting, at any time, though, which is nice.

    Also, if your battery just barely needs a top off charge, the 2000 mA default won't be set; but it'll adjust itself down to a more reasonable (lower) charge rate, which is very nice (easier on the battery). I figured all good smart chargers do this, now days, but I'm not sure. It's definitely a welcome feature, though.

    So far, no complaints. Charging has terminated reliably, no matter what batteries I've placed in the chargers (AA and D NiMh, 14500, 16340, 17650, 18650, 26650. I've put protected and unprotected batteries in these, and have had zero termination problems.

    The i4s were known to have termination issues, which was one reason I was prompted to pick up the D4s. Both were dog slow, to charge anything, though.
    Last edited by david57strat; 09-29-2017 at 10:50 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I've got one. Sure -- the buzz on idle. And UI is not even close to intuitive. Starting at 2A is an issue as well: in case of wall socket voltage drop you may find your 16350 in a very dangerous condition. Or does it manage to reidentify a cell?
    I found the opposite to be true. I feel it's very intuitive; but I've been using the D4s, prior to this, for three years, so I guess the learning curve wasn't an issue for me. The instructions seem to be clear, though, which is a plus. Some instruction manuals are terrible.

    When you say wall socket voltage drop...are you talking about a power failure? Why would the voltage drop, from a wall outlet?

    When the unit is plugged (or power, restored), it re-initializes, and re-assesses the batteries. But, if you've set the charge rate to a lower one, it won't remember that, so smaller batteries would automatically be reset to a 500 mAh charge rate - if that's what you're asking...?

  16. #16

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Nitecore started selecting current depending on length some time ago.

    The user interface is not that bad, but then I did not read the manual, I just tried (I am testing on it at the current time).
    I am, very much, looking forward to reading your review, HKJ!

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by david57strat View Post
    It is a four-channel charger
    This can always be discussed. You could also call it a four slot charger with two charge channels. This is the same system Nitecore uses in the i4 and D4, here the current is just higher.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    This can always be discussed. You could also call it a four slot charger with two charge channels. This is the same system Nitecore uses in the i4 and D4, here the current is just higher.
    I'm confused. I've always thought slots and channels were one in the same. Would you please elaborate?

    In both, the i4 V2, and the D4, the charge rate drops in half (from 750 mAh, to 375 mAh), within moments after I stick a third battery in the charger, regardless of which slots are used.

    With the SC4, for the first three batteries (assuming they're larger batteries, like a 18650), the charge rate stays at 2000 mAh (well...1998, oddly). Once the fourth battery is installed, the charge rates starts re-adjusting. It takes considerably longer, on this unit, than on the D4s, but it does happen; and it doesn't just chop the charge rates in half.

    Just for clarity's sake, how is the new SC4 a two channel charger?
    Last edited by david57strat; 09-15-2017 at 04:34 PM.

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by david57strat View Post
    I'm confused. I've always thought slots and channels were one in the same. Would you please elaborate?
    Depends on how you interpret the word channel. I look at it as number of charge circuits and the 4 channel charges SC4, i4 and D4 all has two charge circuits that timeshares on four slots, on the SC4 you can disable the time-sharing by selecting priority on a slot, then it will do it in sequence instead.
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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    Depends on how you interpret the word channel. I look at it as number of charge circuits and the 4 channel charges SC4, i4 and D4 all has two charge circuits that timeshares on four slots, on the SC4 you can disable the time-sharing by selecting priority on a slot, then it will do it in sequence instead.
    I would think number of circuits to be irrelevant, in itself?

    I mean, I see no problem with a concept like a dual-channel circuit?

    I've always seen the distinguishing thing between one and two channels to be if the channels are operated independently, and fed independently, as a matter decoupled from how that is accomplished.

    As an example:

    If you set a charger for 2A, and insert a full and a nearly empty battery, a dual channel would charge the empty at 2A, and the nearly full at a reduced rate, while a single-channel would have to feed either the same current or voltage to either cell.

    And thus the dual channel are operated as independent channels, and the single is operated as one single channel, both cells getting the same electrical treatment.

    How many circuits are used to drive it, would then become just an implementation detail, and not a defining characteristic in terms of number of channels.

    Obviously some bits would have to be pr. channel, but that'd be the case with most single-channel chargers as well.

    Not trying to complain or be difficult here, the terminology is just interesting in itself. Am I off here?

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    The number of circuits is relevant, because it will affect the charge current. When time-sharing on two slots you have to double the charge current to maintain the same average current or you can maintain the same current and halve the average current (This is what SC4, i4, D4 does). This also means if you set all 4 slots to charge with 0.5A, the average current will be 0.25A due to the time-sharing.
    With time-sharing chargers I try to use slot to describe the slots and not call them channels. You can also have chargers with a circuit for each slot that will reduce current, but they usual only reduce the maximum current and do not change current when charging at lower rates (In this case I may use slot/channel interchangeable).
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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    I'd like to know if any of you with the SC4 have tried and or use various Protected 18650 cells (which are longer). From the spec's and my own measurement of my cells they either would not fit or would be so tight removing/inserting may break the plastic.

  23. #23

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by tripplec View Post
    I'd like to know if any of you with the SC4 have tried and or use various Protected 18650 cells (which are longer). From the spec's and my own measurement of my cells they either would not fit or would be so tight removing/inserting may break the plastic.
    I have been able to fit longer protected 18650 batteries in this charger, that didn't fit in any of my others, except for my XTAR VP2. Also, the spring tension on the SC4 is fairly light, compared to all of my other chargers, so I don't get the feeling I'm going to overstretch the spring and make it snap apart lol.

    How long are your longest 18650 protected cells?

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    The charger i have my eye on is an "Gyrfalcon All-44" HKJ gives it 3 smiley faces.

    http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%2...l-44%20UK.html

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by TinderBox (UK) View Post
    The charger i have my eye on is an "Gyrfalcon All-44" HKJ gives it 3 smiley faces.
    I have the big brother, the All-88. It's a tiny bit quirky, slightly odd interface, weird choice in LED-colors, but it's worked flawlessly, and so far never given me any grief. :-)

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    I have the big brother, the All-88. It's a tiny bit quirky, slightly odd interface, weird choice in LED-colors, but it's worked flawlessly, and so far never given me any grief. :-)
    The user interface has change a bit on the new generation of the All chargers (I believe), I have them in queue and will look on them after a few chargers more.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    4x1.5A...I like it!
    GOOD TINT!

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    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by david57strat View Post
    I have been able to fit longer protected 18650 batteries in this charger, that didn't fit in any of my others, except for my XTAR VP2. Also, the spring tension on the SC4 is fairly light, compared to all of my other chargers, so I don't get the feeling I'm going to overstretch the spring and make it snap apart lol.

    How long are your longest 18650 protected cells?
    They just under 71mm but for sure more than the 70mm in the review. I posted about it then but don't have my calipers handy to do it again.

  29. #29

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    I have the big brother, the All-88. It's a tiny bit quirky, slightly odd interface, weird choice in LED-colors, but it's worked flawlessly, and so far never given me any grief. :-)
    I need more chargers, like I need a hole in the head lol (I have 20, to date; well, 22, if you count the 2 D4s, which haven't entirely been put out to pasture) - 7 (or 9, if you count the D4s) of which are 4-slot chargers, and 1 is a 6). But, for the hell of it, I went ahead and watched a few YouTube video reviews on the All-88, and wasn't very impressed with the interface, or the overall appearance of the charger. The quality seemed a little bit cheesy.

    There were also some complaints about the wells not properly making contact with larger batteries like D NiMhs. They kept falling out of place, and had to be continually re-adjusted (pressure put on the batteries) to make a positive contact. This seems like a serious design flaw, to me.

    Maybe they worked out this issue. I certainly hope so.

    On the other hand, I like that the readouts seem to give you a host of information, for all channels simultaneously, without having to toggle through separate screen displays. That's a nice touch.

    Do you really have to pre-program each and every slot, for the specific battery type and voltage with which you're going to charge that battery, before you can even install the battery? That would be a pain in the neck, for me. I have way too many batteries to be bothered with that.

    I'm happy to manually override a preset (default) charge rate, etc., when I feel like it's warranted, but to have to do that with each and every insertion of a battery...oh, hell no.

    Lastly, evidently, the charger comes with spacers, to accommodate the smaller batteries. I am vehemently against using spacers in any of my chargers, I feel the spring tension should be adequate that it can accommodate any size battery I want to use in it (assuming the battery is on the specified compatibility list for that charger, naturally), without adding even more parts, in between my batteries and the charger, itself.

    I also believe a smart charger ought to be to automatically distinguish the type of battery chemistry in a battery you insert in each its wells, and all independently of each other, so you can mix and match chemistries, without ever having to tell it what you're installing in any given slot. I thought all mixed-chemistry chargers did this.

    They don't?
    Last edited by david57strat; 09-27-2017 at 04:56 PM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: New Nitecore Superb Charger - SC4

    Quote Originally Posted by tripplec View Post
    They just under 71mm but for sure more than the 70mm in the review. I posted about it then but don't have my calipers handy to do it again.
    Unfortunately, I don't have digital calipers, either, to take a length measurement on my oversized batteries, or I would.

    I have a question for those people who have measured their battery length, with calipers. How do you do this, accurately, without shorting out the battery? It seems, to me, that with both ends of the calipers, making contact with both ends of the battery, that would cause it to short/fail. Using any kind of spacer would defeat the purpose of calipers, unless you had something that was s fixed width, and subtracted that width, from the overall measurement...?
    Last edited by david57strat; 09-15-2017 at 05:14 PM.

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