Looking for new charger

chaosdsm

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Feb 11, 2014
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Florida
I currently have an Opus BT-C3100, which I will still use for my 18650 batteries, but it does not support 21700 protected cells.

I'm kind of leaning towards a couple of models from Xtar:
> Xtar Dragon VP4L Plus - I really like the battery tester leads on the VP4L Plus, but it is about $20 more than I would prefer to spend...
> Xtar VC8 Plus - I like the idea of being able to charge up to 8 batteries at once at 1.0Ax8
> Xtar VC4SL - great price compared to the Dragon minus the separate tester leads (I do have a multi-meter I can do the same thing with, but I keep it out in my shop) & "Record last 64 times testing data" which I don't really care about



Any other charger options I should look at???
 

MyUsernameTX

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Apr 22, 2016
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I just got the Nitecore UMS4 and I am very happy with it. Has some good weight to it which makes loading and unloading batteries easy. The two gotcha's are that its Micro USB and not USB C which is not a big deal for me, and the default charge profile is 2A, which is pretty heavy. But, that drops if you add more cells, and you can change it with the buttons. Not a huge deal for me, but you could accidently charge something with too much current
 

chaosdsm

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Feb 11, 2014
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I just bought the VC8 Plus, which I'll primarily be using out in my woodworking shop to recharge the 10 18650 flat-top batteries that power my custom 200W Bluetooth speaker cabinet! But still thinking of a new 4-slot charger for use in the house.

I just got the Nitecore UMS4 and I am very happy with it. Has some good weight to it which makes loading and unloading batteries easy. The two gotcha's are that its Micro USB and not USB C which is not a big deal for me, and the default charge profile is 2A, which is pretty heavy. But, that drops if you add more cells, and you can change it with the buttons. Not a huge deal for me, but you could accidently charge something with too much current
The Xtar VC4SL seems like it might be a better option, and not only because it uses USB C QC3.0 (without a special cable), but it also supports charging @ 0.250A which is better for AAA NiMh batteries, and it's cheaper. Lygte-info reviews also shows the UMS4 tends to run up to 11C hotter than the Xtar-VC4S, though that heat differential may not translate through with the newer VC4SL version.

Neither charger supports the newer 1.5V Li-Ion batteries, but that's fine because I just picked up the Xtar-BC8 charger that does both 1.2V NiMh & 1.5V Li-Ion.
 

vicv

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Mar 22, 2013
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I just bought whatever single bay 21700 charger that convoy sells for three dollars. Works fine if you don't mind waiting for one cell at a time. Using an IMAX B6 with magnets.
It's funny I have three different miboxer chargers that are supposed to be able to charge 21700 cell. But none of my button tops will fit. Which is kind of annoying. But yet a button top 26650 will
 

chaosdsm

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Feb 11, 2014
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Location
Florida
I just bought whatever single bay 21700 charger that convoy sells for three dollars. Works fine if you don't mind waiting for one cell at a time. Using an IMAX B6 with magnets.
It's funny I have three different miboxer chargers that are supposed to be able to charge 21700 cell. But none of my button tops will fit. Which is kind of annoying. But yet a button top 26650 will

My Opus BT-C3100 has the capacity to charge 21700's less than 72.5mm, so unprotected flat-top & possibly some button top. Have to be careful, if it doesn't say that it charges 21700 protected cells, it may only support 21700 unprotected flat-top & short button-top cells. I've seen a bunch of the "21700" chargers show somewhere else on the box or in the info "Does not fit Protected 21700". Although your button top may not be a protected cell (not mentioned) it may be as long as a protected flat top cell which is typically 73mm to 74mm.

> For unprotected 21700 button top cells, you probably want a charger that has at least a 73.5mm long slot - longest cells I've seen so far are listed as 72.6mm (+/- 0.2mm)
> For protected 21700 button top cells, you want a slot at least 78mm long, possibly longer. Nitecore NL2150RX is listed as 78.8mm long, but that's because it has a built-in USB-C charging port.... I've seen a couple different brands 5000mAh cells listed at 77.2mm to 77.6mm without a built-in charging port.
 

chaosdsm

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Florida
After reading several reviews, and looking at specs on several chargers, I decided to get the Xtar VC4SL
Xtar VC4S. It allows complete discharge and storage settings
VC4S does not support protected 21700 batteries, only unprotected 21700's. It's newer upgraded version - VC4SL/VC4 Plus does support protected 21700's and it's about the same price
 

sim1tti

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Jan 15, 2018
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I'm in a similar situation as the OP, deciding weather to go with another Opus or try an Xtar VC4SL. Aside from not being able to set different charging currents for each individual slot, is there any real disadvantage to the Xtar VC4SL? Anyone here have real world experience with both that specific Xtar and the BT-3100?
 

chaosdsm

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Feb 11, 2014
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281
Location
Florida
I'm in a similar situation as the OP, deciding weather to go with another Opus or try an Xtar VC4SL. Aside from not being able to set different charging currents for each individual slot, is there any real disadvantage to the Xtar VC4SL? Anyone here have real world experience with both that specific Xtar and the BT-3100?
The VC4SL is said to have 4 independent channels... but doesn't act like it :( Most of the time I'm charging pairs anyway, and I still have the Opus if I need to do different charging current in different slots!

Not saying the VC4SL is a bad charger, far from it in fact, but I do like the Opus better. Actual voltage numbers instead of a digital dial, can truly configure each independent channel on the Opus separately from the other channels. A real DC plug-in.

I bought two of the Xtar QC3.0 power supplies for this thing, and they don't work correctly, or don't seem to work correctly anyway. Where it should be running 4 slots at 1A, it will run 2 slots @ 1A and 2 slots @ 0.5A, or will even drop to 4 slots @ 0.5A, and charging two 26650's only, it will only charge them @ 1A, and a single will only charge at 2A.

I may pickup some QC3.0 chargers from other manufacturers to see if it's Xtar's power supplies, or the charger itself.
 

sim1tti

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Jan 15, 2018
Messages
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The VC4SL is said to have 4 independent channels... but doesn't act like it :( Most of the time I'm charging pairs anyway, and I still have the Opus if I need to do different charging current in different slots!
I followed your lead and ordered both a new BT-3100 and a new VC4SL.

Generally I'm either charging 18650 cells or I'm charging AA Eneloops, so the Xtar would be fine after. But I often need to mix and match on the fly with several different types of cells, and from what I've read the VC4SL is pretty bad with intelligently prescribing a charging current. One video showed it deciding to assign 2A to a triple-A NiMH.

But the Opus wasn't perfect at all. It started becoming unreliable in unpredictable ways after five years, and flipping a switch on the motherboard for a Li-ion storage charge always bothered me.

The Opus is so straightforward and functional in all the ways the VC4SL isn't. Seems like they will compliment each other nicely. I'm very glad to hear your experience seems to confirm this.
 
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