Hohm Tech Base 4 vs Vapcell S4+ vs XTAR VC4S

Wurkkos

bcm00re

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If you have one or more of these chargers please chime in with your likes or dislikes. The 'rejuvanate' features on the Vapcell and Hohm Tech models really interests me. I do find it odd that no one has done a detailed review of the Base 4 charger.
 

jayflash

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I've had the Vapecell for a couple months and like the numerous features, flexibility, and independent channels, but it can't accept D cells unless you add a metal extension to the + terminal. I also have the XTAR Dragon and like the D size cell capability and suspect the separate leads for testing IR may be more accurate than relying on the sliding terminal contacts on other chargers. I haven't used the Dragon enough to determine consistency of testing results.

If I had only one charger it would be the Vapecell for its completely independent channels and greater charge/discharge range.
 

bcm00re

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Thank you for the feedback jayflash! I have seen that XTAR Dragon, but I don't think I can bring myself to spend that much. :) Have you used the Repair mode on the Vapcell S4+? If so, was it on NiMH or li-ion cells -- and how did it perform?
 
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jayflash

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I haven't used the repair mode yet. FYI: my first Dragon only lasted one charge cycle and froze up. I returned it and took a chance on another - so far so good. Often, electronics will fail when new or old. Generally, if it works for the first few weeks, the electronic stuff will usually last for awhile in my experience.
 

bcm00re

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I end up buying the Vapcell S4 Plus from 18650 Battery Store, and it arrived yesterday. So far I am VERY underwhelmed with how this charger handles well-used and/or older NiMH batteries. :( I will report more after further testing…
 

bcm00re

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I have mainly tried using the Repair mode. On most cells the charger only charges them for a few minutes at most to get to 100%. Then it discharges (the supposedly fully charged cell) in just seconds. After using it with more cells and switching to Manual, I think the issue is the Repair mode always discharges at at least 500mA — so at this point I get the impression the Repair feature won’t really do much for my NiMH cells.
 
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hammerjoe

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I have mainly tried using the Repair mode. On most cells the charger only charges them for a few minutes at most to get to 100%. Then it discharges (the supposedly fully charged cell) in just seconds. After using it with more cells and switching to Manual, I think the issue is the Repair mode always discharges at at least 500mA — so at this point I get the impression the Repair feature won’t really do much for my NiMH cells.

Hmmmm, from what I gather repair mode does not allow current selection.
Im not sure what to make of your experience with the repair option and I dont recall using it yet, I might do a test or two to see what it does.

With that said Im not sure if charging and discharging a battery three times really repairs anything imo...
The only repair that could be done with a NIMH is to reduce the resistance but I dont think that its possible at all.
 

bcm00re

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I am doing some more testing. Surprisingly my 2010 cells — which are Rayovac 4.0 LSD NiMH rated at 2000mAh — are looking pretty decent according to the charger’s Capacity Test mode. It is reporting capacities of 1600-1800 mAh.

The 2008 cells I started testing with — which are Nexcell’s EnergyON LSD NiMH rated at 2000mAh — are looking pretty worn out. Many cannot even handle a 250mA discharge, but a few will (but not a 500mA discharge). Those test with capacities of 1100-1400 mAh. Since the Repair mode does a minimum of 500mA discharge, I am not able to try that mode on them.

I did test two of those Rayovac 4.0 AAs using the Repair mode of the Vapcell S4 Plus charger, and neither gained any capacity — in fact both appeared to lose a little. Using the Capacity Test mode one measured 1757mAh and the other 1670mAh. I then did the Repair mode, then after that did another Capacity Test. This time their numbers were 1720 and 1632 respectively. After that result, I do not plan to run Repair mode on any of my other Rayovac cells as long as they measure out with a capacity of 1600+mAh.

I should mention one issue with the Capacity Test mode on this charger; it only partially recharges NiMH cells after the discharge part of the test. So when it shows they are done and ‘fully charged’ you need to kick it over to Charge mode to really get them full. HKJ saw the same issue when he tested this charger.
 
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