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Thread: Need help picking a charger!

  1. #1

    Default Need help picking a charger!

    Hello fellow CPF Users.

    I have been wreaking my brain out on what charger to choose and there must be loads of these threads been made etc..

    OK I need it for odd things around the house..

    Mainly AA, AAA
    But in the future I am looking to using other kinds of battery's.

    I have been recommended a Nitecore D4.
    But I "Like" the look of the Nitecore SC4 or the Xtar Dragon VP4+ Plus.

    Unsure what to get.. as I need it mainly for my "Steam Controller" for gaming. And oddities around the house.
    But love the idea of getting involved and learning the chemistry and the stats of things. As I do with Desktop PC's.

    I have been guesting the forums for about a month and like the work of HJK and many others on the forums.

    If anyone can help me I would be greatfull.
    *I have bought some Eveloop AA batteries recently.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Forgot to mention that I have £60 Budget and a few vouchers for Amazon UK.
    But can go up to £65.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Quote Originally Posted by LdDrew View Post
    Hello fellow CPF Users.

    I have been wreaking my brain out on what charger to choose and there must be loads of these threads been made etc..

    OK I need it for odd things around the house..

    Mainly AA, AAA
    But in the future I am looking to using other kinds of battery's.

    I have been recommended a Nitecore D4.
    But I "Like" the look of the Nitecore SC4 or the Xtar Dragon VP4+ Plus.

    Unsure what to get.. as I need it mainly for my "Steam Controller" for gaming. And oddities around the house.
    But love the idea of getting involved and learning the chemistry and the stats of things. As I do with Desktop PC's.

    I have been guesting the forums for about a month and like the work of HJK and many others on the forums.

    If anyone can help me I would be greatfull.
    *I have bought some Eveloop AA batteries recently.
    Stay away from the NiteCore chargers and look to the Liitokala Lii 500 Engineer, the Opus BT-3100/3400 chargers and/or the SkyRC MC-3000, if you want the best of the best and like to fiddle with charging parameters. The Xtar Dragon is a worthy charger, but if you're going to sport for that, you might as well just spend a few extra bucks and get the SkyRC and learn how to use it.

    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.

  4. #4
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Quote Originally Posted by LdDrew View Post

    But love the idea of getting involved and learning the chemistry and the stats of things.
    Based on the above statement I would recommend an analyzing charger. Of the three you mentioned the xtar dragon xp4+ is the only one that qualifies as an analyzing charger mainly because it discharges to test capacity. The SC4 will show you charge capacity which includes energy into the battery plus heat. The discharge test is a universally preferred capacity test over charge. If the xp4+ dragon is in your budget for a little more money you could have a skyrc mc3000 which is considered the most versatile cylindrical battery charger/analyzer on the market. Others to consider are the opus BT-C3100/BT-C3400 and the acupower IQ338XL. I have nothing positive to say about the D4.

    After I bought my second mc3000 I gave away or threw away at least 5 other chargers knowing I would never use them again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Currently OPUS BT-C700 is my favorite AA/AAA charger, because

    • I prefer compact dedicated NiMH chargers for AA/AAA batteries rather then bulkier multi-chemistry ones
    • charges relatively quickly (at 700 mA), and is gentle to the cells at the same time (halves the current at the end of charging)
    • is able to measure "remaining capacity" of the batteries. Lii-500 can not do that
    • has a refresh function (3x discharge-charge) for breaking in new batteries or trying to revive old ones. I don't really use this feature. I wish it did only one discharge-charge cycle and displayed both discharge and charge capacity. This would be a more useful feature to me.
    • has a test function (charge-discharge-charge) for measuring battery capacity
    • has a reliable internal resistance meter - a good indicator of battery health


    Using this charger I apply the following rules for weeding out old batteries. I toss old batteries into the bin whenever one of the following occurs
    • the 700mA charge current is lowered to prevent old batteries from overheating
    • if the battery is not able to provide 500 mA discharge current
    • when the internal resistance reads higher than 800 mOhms


    I also have an OPUS BT-C3100 and it's fine, but I don't use it because of its annoying fan.

    You said you bought Eneloop AAs recently, excellent choice, they will serve you well...

    For your future other-chemistry batteries get an XTAR VP2, it will cover your 3.2V LiFePO4, 3.6 LiIon and 3.8 LiIon round cell needs if you want only a charger and not an analyzer...

    Cheers,
    AA Cycler
    Last edited by AA Cycler; 10-07-2017 at 03:07 PM.
    Cycle count tests of AA batteries - http://aacycler.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Nitecore D4 is fine. Mine runs all the time. NiMH or lithium or lifepo4 it does all my batteries. Iím not into 26650 or anything bigger than 18650. My only gripe is on a rare chance lots of items need new batteries Iíll have a pile in que waiting to be charged. So only 4 slots is my gripe. Iíll end up getting an 8 slot nitecore sometime in the future. Other than that the D4 is run a lot and it keeps on keeping on. My batteries all go through it.

    Now I am not a huge techie type. Iím just a guy who lives way out and needs light at night. Iím not sitting around the TV playing with them. For for a normal user of batteries, the D4 will do. If you need features to tell you this battery runs longer than that battery then ok. I learn real quick what battery has itís real capacity printed on the side and what ones donít. Like, my Nitecore 750mah 14500s run a bit longer and hit a little harder than my 650mah Nitecore 14500s. I can see it when I use the two regularly. Donít need a charger to tell me that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    Quote Originally Posted by fmc1 View Post
    Based on the above statement I would recommend an analyzing charger. Of the three you mentioned the xtar dragon xp4+ is the only one that qualifies as an analyzing charger mainly because it discharges to test capacity. The SC4 will show you charge capacity which includes energy into the battery plus heat. The discharge test is a universally preferred capacity test over charge. If the xp4+ dragon is in your budget for a little more money you could have a skyrc mc3000 which is considered the most versatile cylindrical battery charger/analyzer on the market. Others to consider are the opus BT-C3100/BT-C3400 and the acupower IQ338XL. I have nothing positive to say about the D4.

    After I bought my second mc3000 I gave away or threw away at least 5 other chargers knowing I would never use them again.
    Yeah I was considering that charger the Skymc3000
    Only problem is that I am in the UK and not sure where to buy it close to my price point unless there is coupon codes that can bring it down.

    Then there is the Duties Tax and whatnot.

    *I am still very unsure on what to buy and everyone here has been nice enough to give me replys!

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    My personal priority goes to Xtar chargers. They treat Li-Ion and NiMH chemistries best (SV2, VC4).

    OPUS BT-C100 sample Iíve got is kind of... smelly.

    Nitecore SC4 looks nice, but its termination voltage is not a constant value (because of high termination current) and it emits annoying hiss at zero load (empty slots or batteries are full).

  9. #9
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Need help picking a charger!

    If youíre considering the MC3000, then Iíd highly recommend you do so. None of the other chargers can seriously compete with it (in my humble opinion, based on a mix of experience and reviews).

    I normally donít mention vendors, but since OP brought it up.... youíre familiar with nkon, gearbest and banggood? Those would be typical places to check, in that order.

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