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Thread: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

  1. #1

    Default Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    I have a Klarus CH-1 charger, which charges both Li-Ion and NiMH batteries. It also acts as a power bank. I like it.

    But it is a bit bulky in my traveling kit, so I am very attracted by the newer style of magnetic end-cap chargers, e.g. the Nitecore LC-10 or the Folomov A1 charger that SkyLumens sells.

    However, neither of those chargers specify that they can charge NiMH cells--they only talk about Li-Ion cells. That makes me think I should stick with my Klarus CH-1, because I definitely need to be able to charge Eneloops.

    But I just checked my Nitecore Digicharger D4, which charges both chemistries. And I checked it with a DVM, and the pos and neg contacts are putting out 4.5 volts.

    So that makes me wonder: maybe the chargers that claim to charge both Li-Ion and NiMH cells are just putting out the same voltage no matter what cell you drop in.

    In which case, maybe I could use the Folomov or the new Nitecore LC-10 for NiMH cells, even though they are not listed?

    Anyone want to give me advice on this? Anyone have any experience charging Eneloops on the Folomov or similar chassis-less chargers?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    I have a lot of multi-chem chargers: Opus BT-3400 v. 2.2, Xtar VC4, Xtar XP-1 Hummingbird, Liitokala 100s and 202s and they all work as intended, with slight differences.

    If you want a classic, for NiMH only, the Maha/PowerEx C9000 is pretty good for half the price of the SkyRC MC3000.

    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

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    I have a Klarus CH-1 charger, which charges both Li-Ion and NiMH batteries. It also acts as a power bank. I like it.

    But it is a bit bulky in my traveling kit, so I am very attracted by the newer style of magnetic end-cap chargers, e.g. the Nitecore LC-10 or the Folomov A1 charger that SkyLumens sells.

    However, neither of those chargers specify that they can charge NiMH cells--they only talk about Li-Ion cells. That makes me think I should stick with my Klarus CH-1, because I definitely need to be able to charge Eneloops.
    The nitecore LC10 or the Fomolov A1 are only intended to charge Li-ion 3.6/3.7V cells. I don't know if they've brought out a version that can charge NiMh 1.2V cells as well.

    If you want something compact, I have added the Olight Universal Magnetic charger to my hiking/camping kit. There's an old thread from when they released it a while back http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...-amp-USB-input

    The other ones I have for my hiking kit that can charge both Li-ion and NiMH are the Littokala Lii100 and Lii202, but the Li100 is the same size/bulk as your Klarus CH-1 and the Lii202 is bigger (2 cell charger).

  4. #4

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    I have the Nitecore F1, Klarus CH1, and 47s/Olight Flexi/Universal Charger and am looking for something similar.... thanks for pointing the other new chargers.

    A work around to at least partially charge (~60-70%?) NiMh is to link 3 in series with a half dozen small Bucky Ball/rare earth magnets. This will also allow you to power bank 3x NiMh or alkalines (AA/C/D) to a smartphone in a pinch.

    The CH1 charges at bit high A (1A) and V (>4.2) but is OK for my Keeppower 16650 (which is a ~4.3v cell). I like the F1 for the built in Li-ion voltmeter, but it won't do single NiMh and it's a PITA to power bank smaller (<50mm), or multiple, cells due to a mechanical lockout, and a non-magnetic terminal. The 47/Olight chargers will charge Li-ion and NiMh OK, but won't powerbank or do voltmeter. Wish someone would combine all features into one unit.... until then, I lug 2 and Bucky Ball magnets.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    BTW, just put a volt meter to it and my NC Digicharger D2 does charge at the proper voltages for both Li-ion and NiMh - or just a bit higher than the resting voltage of the cells.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by reppans View Post
    BTW, just put a volt meter to it and my NC Digicharger D2 does charge at the proper voltages for both Li-ion and NiMh - or just a bit higher than the resting voltage of the cells.
    So you mean: it charges NiMH cells at 1.2v (or a bit higher), and Li-Ion cells at 4.2v (or a bit higher)?

    Mine seemed to be charging the NiMH cells at 4.5v. But perhaps that is because I took the cell out of the circuit, and put the DVM into the circuit without a cell, so then the charger reverted to thinking it saw a Li-ion cell instead of throttling the volts down for an NiMH cell. Maybe??

    Okay, different approach to my initial question:

    I want a charger that has the following features:
    1) compact design without a chassis, using just magnets for the terminals
    2) handles both Li-Ion and NiMH chemistries
    3) also works as a power-bank to charge USB devices.

    My Klarus CH-1 does 2 & 3, but fails on 1.
    The Folomov does 1 & 3, but fails on 2.
    The Olight UC does 1 & 2, but fails on 3.

    Anybody know a charger that satisfies all three criteria?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    So you mean: it charges NiMH cells at 1.2v (or a bit higher), and Li-Ion cells at 4.2v (or a bit higher)?

    Mine seemed to be charging the NiMH cells at 4.5v. But perhaps that is because I took the cell out of the circuit, and put the DVM into the circuit without a cell, so then the charger reverted to thinking it saw a Li-ion cell instead of throttling the volts down for an NiMH cell. Maybe??
    Yes to both - definitely test voltage with a cell in place, stick a paperclip or piece of tinfoil between the pos. terminal and batt if you can't access the pos terminal with the batt blocking it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Thanks, reppans, that is useful info.

    So when the 2-chemistry charger "sees" a NiMH cell, it throttles down the voltage. Which means that a charger that *only* charges at Li-Ion voltages will *not* be safe for NiMH cells.

    Okay--anyone know of a charger that will help me on all three issues above?

    (I guess if I were to buy the Folomov and the Olight, it might take up slightly less room than my Klarus CH-1, and give me both kinds of functionality, i.e. 2-chemistry charging from the Olight and power-banking from the Folomov. Clumsy solution, though, and expensive.)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    [...] I want a charger that has the following features:
    1) compact design without a chassis, using just magnets for the terminals
    2) handles both Li-Ion and NiMH chemistries
    3) also works as a power-bank to charge USB devices [...]

    Anybody know a charger that satisfies all three criteria?
    I haven't seen one, but it is very easy to make one from the PCB of a Liitokala Lii-100 (< $5) - see photo below. This will charge Li-ion (4.20V), LiHV(4.35V), LiFe(3.60V) and NiMh at 0.5A or 1A, and has 5V/1.3A powerbank output, e.g. see HKJ's review.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gauss163 View Post
    I haven't seen one, but it is very easy to make one from the PCB of a Liitokala Lii-100 (< $5) - see photo below. This will charge Li-ion (4.20V), LiHV(4.35V), LiFe(3.60V) and NiMh at 0.5A or 1A, and has 5V/1.3A powerbank output, e.g. see HKJ's review.
    Thanks, Gauss163.

    I think that would take more fabrication know-how than I have. I can do a little bit of soldering, in a semi-competent manner.

    But the Liitokala has several buttons and displays needed to select voltage and amp-rate, and I do not see how to connect those.
    Also, I do not have a source for leads with magnetic end-caps on them.

    I think on balance that is not a project for someone with my skill-level. But maybe some other readers will be able to use your idea.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Li-Ion chargers for Eneloop Cells?

    Quote Originally Posted by lampeDépêche View Post
    Thanks, Gauss163.

    I think that would take more fabrication know-how than I have. I can do a little bit of soldering, in a semi-competent manner.

    But the Liitokala has several buttons and displays needed to select voltage and amp-rate, and I do not see how to connect those.
    Also, I do not have a source for leads with magnetic end-caps on them.

    I think on balance that is not a project for someone with my skill-level. But maybe some other readers will be able to use your idea.
    It's extremely simple: just solder on your leads then (shrink) wrap/tape the pcb to prevent shorts, then label the leds. You can press the single button through the wrap. You could even crimp instead of solder if you don't have soldering tools. And you can reuse the magnetic leads from your other chargers (solder/crimp jacks on them to swap them between chargers).

    Note: I don't know how it behaves when shorted or in reverse polarity, so you'd need to check that. Also you'd need to ensure it has adequate ventilation after wrapping it to prevent overheating.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 07-15-2018 at 06:35 PM.

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