[Review] XTAR FC2 - Micro USB nimh, nicd, li ion (21700 capable) multi speed charger

Budda

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Nov 30, 2009
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559
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Italy
I received the Xtar FC2 for review from XTAR for the review.

The FC2 is a simple 2 bay battery charger, compatible with Li-ion, nimh and NiCd batteries, it is possible to select the overall charging current. It is compatible with protected 21700 batteries. It is able to reactivate batteries with tripped PCBs. The FC2 is powered via micro USB port.

You can also find a video review of the XTAR FC2 here

It comes in this box
XTAR_FC2_01.jpg

XTAR_FC2_02.jpg


The content: the FC2 charger, manual, micro USB cable.
XTAR_FC2_03.jpg


The FC2 measures 109 mm in length, is 30 mm deep and 53 mm wide, and weights 63 grams.
The slides can fit batteries up to in length, and are very smooth to operate. They can fit batteries up to 78 mm in length.
XTAR_FC2_04.jpg


The back of the FC2, with additional specs
XTAR_FC2_05.jpg


The micro USB charging port on the top part of the charger
XTAR_FC2_09.jpg


The contact points at the positive side are 2 raised portions, allowing both for contact with flat top cells and with smaller cells.
XTAR_FC2_06.jpg


The same goes for the negative contact points.
XTAR_FC2_08.jpg



Here on the side you can see the switch that allows the user to manually change the charging current. It has a good tactile feedback and requires some pressure to be moved, so it is unlikely that it will move accidentally.
XTAR_FC2_07.jpg



If there is only one battery inserted in the FC2, it will receive the whole charging current that you selected, with a maximum of 2.0A for a single channel
If there are 2 batteries in the FC2, the charging current will be split in half over the 2 slots, with a minimum of 0.5A for each channel.
Noteworthy feature, if you set the FC2 at 2A, and you charge 2 batteries at the same time, each of them will get 1A; but when you remove one of the batteries, the other will now get 2A. Useful when charging batteries while being in a hurry.

Each channel has 4 blue LEDs that flash indicating the charging process of each channel. They also act as indicators for the charging current selected when you insert the battery (or the batteries):
For 0.5 A, the first LED of each channel will blink in an asynchronous matter (on light on, the other off and viceversa).
For 1A the first LED of each channel will blink, in sync.
For 2A, the first 2 LEDs of each channel will blink, in sync.

My thoughts
The FC2 is a compact charger that can fit most batteries and have a charging current that is able to charge the majority of batteries (for some of the smaller, non IMR cells the 0.5A current can be a bit too much). I like that It can charge a bigger battery (like an 18650 or 21700) with good speed. The charging currents are well spaced and can accommodate most needs, and changing it is easy and immediate.
The lack of a power adapter is compensated by the smaller size and that the FC2 works with a simple micro USB port, but you must have a USB power supply capable of the proper output (not a hard thing, since devices with an output under 5V 2A are a rarity today).
 

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