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Thread: What is going on with my Xtar VC4 charger??

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Christo Pull Hair What is going on with my Xtar VC4 charger??

    Lately, I've noticed that when I put a 16340 or 18650 on the charger by itself, with no other batteries in any of the other 3 slots, it will gradually reduce its charge current. I didn't think much of it because I assumed it was because the battery was getting closer to full charge, and the charger was just dialing back it's charge current as a result. Whether or not my old Nitecore i4 charger behaved like that was unknown, because it didn't show charge current.

    Then tonight, I agreed to charge a single Eagletac protected 3100mah 18650 for the guy who I recently sold my Eagletac G25 C2 to. He hasn't bought a charger yet, but despite using it daily for about a month in his job as an armed security guard, that Eagletac battery didn't FINALLY run low until yesterday! So I brought it in and put it on the Xtar VC4 that I bought almost 2 years ago. I first set it into the 3rd slot from the left, which normally charged at 0.5A. The battery was measured At 3.0v by the charger. At first it seemed ok. After over 2 hours, it had only added 360mAh to the battery, and it was now charging at just 0.1A. I took it off, put it back on again, but it quickly dropped back to 0.1A.

    The battery was NEVER even remotely warm throughout this experience btw. So I unplugged it, removed the 18650, plugged it in, and installed 4 Eneloop XX batteries from my Fenix TK-41 that I NEVER use. I had charged the other 4 last night, albeit VERY slowly(6-8 hours to add roughly 980mAh to them). But now these 4 XX's were also starting out low, and after 30 mins, they had only picked up 44mAh.

    So I removed them, found an old Duracell charger to finish them off, and re-installed the Eagletac 18650. It was still at 3.6v. This time it quickly dropped to 0.1A again, then after at least 25 mins, it had only added 24mAh, and was now reading 0.0mAh charge current! I picked it up, unplugged the barrel plug from the back, plugged it back in, and now it's showing ALL 4 charging bays at 4.2V and FULL charge, despite the fact that there was only 1 battery in 1 slot, and it was really only at 3.6v!

    So I fooled with that barrel plug in the back of the charger some more, then noticed that it started losing all power when the plug was properly pushed all the way in. I removed the 18650, but at least 3-4 more times, with no batteries in the charger, it once again began saying all 4 bays were at 4.2v and full.

    So I pushed the barrel connector only part way in, set it down, installed the 18650 again, and for the past 20-30 mins it's been steadily charging it at 0.8A, having added a whopping 428mAh to the battery in the time it's taken me to compose this!
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 10-20-2018 at 11:40 PM.
    Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: What is going on with my Xtar VC4 charger??

    It sounds to me like you have corrosion on the power connector or plug. This problem is common with USB powered high current draw chargers. The VC4 is playing it safe and reducing current to avoid damaging the power supply - because this will also occur if you use a weak power supply. This also happened to my VC4!

    Get yourself some contact cleaner spray or IPA. Unplug the USB cord from the USB power supply.
    Apply contact cleaner to the barrel jack including the hole for the pin in the middle, wipe it off with paper towel. Repeat a couple of times.
    Also clean the USB-A connector: Cut out a square of paper, fold it up so it fits into the USB-A plug of the cable reasonably snugly, put some contact cleaner or IPA on it and rub the contacts.

    Then get the barrel jack plug "wet" with cleaner spray, insert and remove it from the charger several times and also rotate it around while doing this.
    Leave everything to dry.

    This should fix it and make everything good again. Let me know if it doesn't.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What is going on with my Xtar VC4 charger??

    What charging block are you using? Are you using a 1 amp block?
    hunter, fisherman, flashlight enthusiast

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is going on with my Xtar VC4 charger??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigburly912 View Post
    What charging block are you using? Are you using a 1 amp block?
    No. I actually ordered this charger 22 months ago, having forgotten that it does NOT come with a regular a/c plug. I had reviewed quite a few chargers before ordering it, and somehow forgot that the VC4 also needs a USB power supply. But after reading up on the specs the day after I'd ordered it, I was reminded of its need for an a/c adapter, so I saw it needed at least a 2.1A adapter, so I spent another 30 mins looking for a good one. I ordered the Anker PowerPort 2. It has 2 USB ports and has an output of 5v/2.4A per port, with a max output of 4.8A. But honestly I don't typically notice a significant difference in charge times when compared to my old Nitecore/Sysmax i4 from 2012.

    The worst part of this, is that I bought the VC4 because it had decent reviews, but also because it was like $16 less than the Opus BT3100. But after having to buy the VC4 AND a separate a/c adapter along with shipping fees, I had spent the same as I would've spent on the Opus.
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 10-22-2018 at 01:55 AM.
    Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

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