Pick me a charger.

Buck_nekid

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Oct 14, 2008
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11
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West Virginia
My favorites are the Opus C3400 and the XTAR Dragon VP4 Plus.
I am an novice in the battery world. Both of these chargers seem almost equal in features. I will be charging eneloops, 18650s and any other battery I come across in the future. Are there any other chargers I might of missed?
Thanks, Jack.
 

tripplec

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Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
397
Location
Belleville, Ontario
MiBoxer C4-12 and don't look back.
Great desktop charger, display and power brick and everything works. I used 18650's a lot along with AA & AAA cells. Its quite reasonable priced and manually set charge current is possible without too much fuss.
 

brachypelma44

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Nov 16, 2019
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Maryland
Vapcell S4 Plus is my favorite. I bought a couple of them. Charges at up to 3A per bay, displays plenty of info for whichever bay you're viewing, auto/manual control, and there's a notification beep when the batteries are done charging (I like this, some people don't.) There are also capacity tests and stuff like that if you feel like messing with them.
 
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tripplec

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Jun 2, 2013
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397
Location
Belleville, Ontario
Vapcell S4 Plus is my favorite. I bought a couple of them. Charges at up to 3A per bay, displays plenty of info for whichever bay you're viewing, auto/manual control, and there's a notification beep when the batteries are done charging (I like this, some people don't.) There are also capacity tests and stuff like that if you feel like messing with them.
Looks like a pretty good model have read review and spec's Brick charger port and not a USB charger. I hate having to use a USB adapter few are built for the task required!!

Aliexpress carries them. Said new version although its not clear how to know or what the change was.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Feb 2, 2012
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5,727
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Miami, Florida
I've got two Opus 3400s--a 2.2 version and a 3.1 version and I love them both.

I have about 15+ Xtar chargers, so I'm a fan, but I never bought the Dragon.

Chris
 

brachypelma44

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Nov 16, 2019
Messages
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Maryland
Looks like a pretty good model have read review and spec's Brick charger port and not a USB charger. I hate having to use a USB adapter few are built for the task required!!

Aliexpress carries them. Said new version although its not clear how to know or what the change was.
I got mine for $40 apiece here, and it took less than a week from order to arrival. Power bricks for both. It can be hard to tell exactly which version of something you're getting on AE, and I doubt the returns system is very fast.
 

SYZYGY

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Sep 6, 2019
Messages
320
i've had a few chargers including opus BT-C3400 V3.1, and i wish i just started with a skyrc MC3000. this would be a good choice for 18650s and eneloop.

the downside is you have to learn a bit about batteries and charging to use it effectively. the upside is you can ask questions here, and people are pretty helpful.

if you're curious, i asked several questions as a brand new MC3000 user starting here:


the idea behind this charger is you create a separate profile for each kind of battery you have. if you're starting from scratch with only the instruction manual as a resource, it takes time to learn. but honestly you could just ask for a profile for a specific kind of battery, and people can help you out.

the nice thing is it's the only charger i've used that does everything i want. i have charge, analysis, and storage modes for every kind of battery i'm using. and the slots are all independent.

opus was annoying because the 'storage mode' on it was a hack. i had to cut a hole in the enclosure to access a switch on the pcb to change the charge target voltage, and i had to flip the switch every time to go between charge and storage. a consequence of this is you can't do full charge (~4.2V) in one slot while simultaneously charging to storage voltage (~3.7V) in another slot. also, it won't discharge to storage voltage, only charge. unless you use the analyze/measure mode, i guess.
 

Buck_nekid

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Oct 14, 2008
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West Virginia
Storage mode as I understand it fully charges a cell then discharges it to 3/4 (I think.) I will only have a pair, maybe three sets of cells. Basically a in use pair and a backup. Should I use or need that feature? As I said I'm new to the rechargeable world. My only experience with rechargeables is the old ni-cd ones.
 

SYZYGY

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Sep 6, 2019
Messages
320
Storage mode as I understand it fully charges a cell then discharges it to 3/4 (I think.) I will only have a pair, maybe three sets of cells. Basically a in use pair and a backup. Should I use or need that feature? As I said I'm new to the rechargeable world. My only experience with rechargeables is the old ni-cd ones.

for your liion cells (like 18650s)... storage mode gets the cell to about half full (~3.7V). ideally, it would directly do this by charging or discharging as needed (not fully charging and then discharging down to halfway or something). otherwise you're just wasting time and battery cycles.

if you're not using a cell for more than a week or so (maybe a few weeks especially), store it half full. if you store a cell full or empty for an extended period of time, you lose some capacity. if you regularly use a flashlight, but it takes a long time to discharge it in regular use, that's fine.. some wear on the cell from keeping it fully charged in the light is the price of having a fully charged light ready to go. however, you should avoid doing that when it doesn't benefit you. i.e. don't improperly store cells for no reason.

NiMH batteries (like eneloops) don't need a storage mode. just store them charged.
 
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SYZYGY

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Sep 6, 2019
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with that said, how important that is is up to you.

i first got high quality 18650s in 2019. NCR18650GA which are rated at 3500mAh

i used them fairly actively and generally kept them stored fully charged because i didn't know any better. i mostly use zebralights which are pretty efficient, so sometimes it would take me months to swap batteries and recharge.

maybe a year ago, i made some effort to keep them stored half full, but it was very inconvenient on my opus as i described in a previous post. so i only did it sometimes.

this july, i got that fancy skyrc MC3000 (which i love). i also got some brand new NCR18650GA cells at the same time.

of course, i tested all my cells with my fancy new charger.

results:
  • brand new ones i just got are ~3350mAh (note that this capacity is lower than 3500 because of how i programmed the test cycle.. it reflects real world usage in my lights since my lights don't discharge super deep to protect the cells from damage)
  • my old cells from 2019 are now ~3000mAh

how much of that lost capacity is from improperly storing them at 100% charge? who knows.
maybe this real world anecdote can help you decide if it's worth your effort though.
 
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Buck_nekid

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Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
11
Location
West Virginia
SYZYGY, I thank you for the good information. I had looked at the skyrc MC3000 and honestly it's a lot more charger than I need. I think I will go with the Vapcell S4 Plus , easier to use than the ms3000. Like you said, I'll just need to pull the batteries when they are near 50%. Thanks again
 
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