Review of SysMax/NiteCore Intellicharger i4 V2 Charger

fonzerelli

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Anyone want to change a very slightly used Pila for one of these?

O.K. Even I am not sure if I am joking or not....but this charger looks very good. If it was out before I bought the Pila just a while ago, I would have gone with this one.

But on the serious side, does anyone see this replacing the Pila brand?

I'd be more than happy to buy an i4 and get it shipped to you in exchange for that pila ibc!
 

sspc

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Just received mine today and I love the simplicity of it. Currently have it charging a new Eagletac 3100 mah 18650 in bay 1 and an older 2400 mah 18650 in bay 4.

I'm curious though, could a single NIMH batt be charged in slot 1 with a lion batt being charged in slot 3? With slots 1&3 (and 2&4) being on the same channel, would this work for the single NIMH?
 

HKJ

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Just received mine today and I love the simplicity of it. Currently have it charging a new Eagletac 3100 mah 18650 in bay 1 and an older 2400 mah 18650 in bay 4.

I'm curious though, could a single NIMH batt be charged in slot 1 with a lion batt being charged in slot 3? With slots 1&3 (and 2&4) being on the same channel, would this work for the single NIMH?

That is exactly what I do in the chapter "Test with NiMH and LiIon and the same time", i.e. it works fine.
 

tandem

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But on the serious side, does anyone see this replacing the Pila brand?

If the SysMax holds up longer term I could see sales of this unit taking some market share within the flashlight community. It probably is a reasonable charger for those with a smallish collection of cells of either type; if you have a lot of NiMH *and* Li-Ion cells, maybe a dedicated 2 or 4 bay Li-ion charger and a better NiMH charger (something with additional features to exercise NiMH cells) would be a better buy.

As open-mindedly as I can approach your question, if I were buying new chargers today I think I would largely still go down the route I've already gone down:

1) A dedicated advanced NiMH charger; the Maha/Powerex C9000 is a very good charger that helps me manage the ~ 100 NiMH AA and AAA cells we use. The SysMax doesn't offer the scope of features the C9000 has.

2) Would I purchase the Pila again? Yes or probably yes. The only thing that has me hesitating is the number of bays - would I reach for a 4 bay charger from someone else? I think not and I'll explain:

I find the Pila convenient when I want to charge cells with a minimum of effort. In most of my lights I run either one or two cells but most often an 18650. A couple of lights I run 2x18500 or 2x16340 or 2x18350. During peak riding season I sometimes discharge 2 or 4 18650's in a single night, but that doesn't happen often. In short, a 2 bay li-ion charger meets a large part of my needs. If need be can charge 4 large capacity cells during my work day and then they are supervised for the duration.

I also prefer that my charger not try to max out the charge capacity because I am convinced through research that I'm going to achieve much longer cycle life. All this points to a Pila or something like it that treats cells more gently even if we can't really quantify that.

3) When I need to to charge a large batch of cells, which admittedly does not happen often, I prefer to use my hobby charger. As I use this gear for much more than just supporting my flashlight needs, certainly I'd buy another one. I could even drop the Pila and use the hobby charger - it is, almost, as convenient as using the Pila. The hobby charger also allows me to run cell discharge tests and charge or discharge cells as need be to a "storage charge" level when they aren't in use. My extra 18650's I use for cycling are a case in point - I only use them about half of the year.

My usage isn't horribly advanced but does go beyond simply placing cells in a charger and accepting whatever the charger will do to them. For the reasons outlined this charger wouldn't appeal to me.

In short the SysMax tries to appeal to li-ion users who judge the success of a charger by whether it always achieves 4.2V at charge completion (this isn't my preference), and it provides a simple but probably useful capability to charge NiMH cells (which doesn't describe my need).

Provided it holds up a good safety record over the longer term it looks like it is an ideal charger for those with straightforward requirements including having to manage only a moderate number of cells of mixed chemistries. I must say that probably does describe the needs of a great many folks so yes, perhaps it will indeed eat into Pila sales, as may others.

Personally I believe a hobby charger for li-ion cells is, all-in-all, the best investment (better than Pila or SysMax) for li-ion flashlight enthusiasts if they have a wide mix of capacity types especially much smaller capacity and much larger capacity cells. Likewise a hobby charger might be the better investment for those who are finding they need to regularly charge 4 big capacity li-ion cells. The SysMax takes too long IMO in that overly long charge times could be a safety issue.

For those who only need/want, or only should use, a consumer style cradle charger, SysMax V2 is a contender
 
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sspc

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That is exactly what I do in the chapter "Test with NiMH and LiIon and the same time", i.e. it works fine.
I actually read that the other the day and proceeded to forget it (wow I'm getting old). Thank you for taking the time to answer a question you already answered.
 

Gryffin

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That is exactly what I do in the chapter "Test with NiMH and LiIon and the same time", i.e. it works fine.

So, even though both slots on the same "channel" share a supply of current, they're still independently controlled as far as voltage? I'm glad to hear that.

I need another charger like I need a hole in my head, but this one looks like it could replace at least a couple three...
 

sspc

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This charger will become very popular over time.
 
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HKJ

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So, even though both slots on the same "channel" share a supply of current, they're still independently controlled as far as voltage?

The V2 charger can easily handle two different batteries from the same charging circuit with independent control, but the V1 charger could not.
 

Theatre Booth Guy

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I ordered a second of these to leave in my luggage for traveling. I now use a mix of enelope AA and AAA along with lithium rechargeable batteries so, only 1 charger needed! It seems like an unbeatable product with V2 and the price
 

Sensination

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Hi all,

I,m new to the community and I got "the sickness" :)

Part of it was buying Intellicharger i4, therfore I have a question:

When one battery is charged, do I have to wait for the others to finish charging or can I remove just one??
 

sspc

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Hi all,

I,m new to the community and I got "the sickness" :)

Part of it was buying Intellicharger i4, therfore I have a question:

When one battery is charged, do I have to wait for the others to finish charging or can I remove just one??
Really good question. I believe (someone with more knowledge will confirm or correct) in instances where you charging batts on the same channel so that they do not receive full charging power (NIMH AAA, 10440s) then you would have to leave the finished charging batt in the charger so that the power going to the remaining charging batt will not increase.

I do have a follow up question (hopefully HKJ or someone else can answer). I noticed that the led lights cut off after a short time on a batt that's fully charged...has it been confirmed that the charger still reads that this fully charged batt is still in the slot (say slot 1) so that full power is not being received by the remaining batt still charging (in slot 3)? Apologies if this had been asked.
 
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sspc

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No, when a battery is full the charger will deliver full power to the other slot, removing the battery will not change this.
Wow. Thanks for this. I had no idea that the charger delivers full power to 1 battery when the second battery is fully charged. That's an important fact and with that in mind, I will generally not use this charger for AAA batts.
 

HKJ

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I do have a follow up question (hopefully HKJ or someone else can answer). I noticed that the led lights cut off after a short time on a batt that's fully charged...has it been confirmed that the charger still reads that this fully charged batt is still in the slot (say slot 1) so that full power is not being received by the remaining batt still charging (in slot 3)? Apologies if this had been asked.

I have not seen the lights cut off on a fully charged battery.


Wow. Thanks for this. I had no idea that the charger delivers full power to 1 battery when the second battery is fully charged. That's an important fact and with that in mind, I will generally not use this charger for AAA batts.

It is no problem with a NiMH AAA battery, it can take the current.
 

Sensination

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Thanks HKJ, that's really helpful!

I loooove this charger BTW :) Probably best on I ever had from the cheapo's
 

oKtosiTe

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Should I ever be careless enough to over-discharge my protected 18650s, what would be the recommended approach to "revive" them as the owner of only this charger?
 

HKJ

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Should I ever be careless enough to over-discharge my protected 18650s, what would be the recommended approach to "revive" them as the owner of only this charger?

The i4 will automatic reset the protection, for chargers that do not reset the protection you can do this:
DSC_0293.jpg


You only need to touch the batteries for 1 second or less.
 

oKtosiTe

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The i4 will automatic reset the protection, for chargers that do not reset the protection you can do this:
DSC_0293.jpg


You only need to touch the batteries for 1 second or less.

That is very good to know. Thanks for the quick, clear reply and the very informative review. I ordered one of these a few days ago with four protected Eagletac 3100s.
And greetings from Sweden.
 
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alex21

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This or Xtar WP6 II (for slight more $) if I don't need to charge any NiMH?
 
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