Test/review of Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016

HKJ

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[SIZE=+3]Charger Nitecore Intellicharger new i2 2016[/SIZE]

[size=+2]Nitecore has fixed the problems, click here for the updated review[/size]


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The i2 charger gets an update once in a while, this time with support for multiple chemistries, higher charge current and larger cells. The design it also updated.



The cardboard box lists lot of specifications, battery types and features.

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The box contains the charger, a mains cable, manual and a warranty card.

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The charger has two power connectors, one for mains input (100-240VAC 50/60Hz) and one for 12 VDC input.

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Lights.jpg


The user interface has changed completely, now it has buttons and the leds are place behind a dark cover.
It has the usual 3 status leds, this time in green and a red led to signal full current (1A). The status led also has a secondary function, they are used as indicators for selected voltage.
The charger is a bit special with current selection, usual it will select current depending on battery length and chemistry, but it can be overridden in one case: Two long LiIon batteries can be charged at 1A, but then they will be charged in sequence, not simultaneously.
To change voltage or current the button above that slot must be pressed shortly, next hold the C or V button down to select (Look at leds) and release when the correct value is shown. Press again shortly on the button above the slot or wait for timeout.

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The slots uses the usual construction and works well. They can handle batteries from 27mm to 70mm long.
That excludes some of the longest batteries, especially some protected 26650. Notice the long bar at the plus end, due to this the charger can handle anything up to D or 32xxx size.

supportedBatteryTypes.png


supportedBatterySizes.png
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The charger can handle 70 mm long batteries, inclusive flat top cells.


[SIZE=+2]Measurements[/SIZE]


  • Power consumption when idle is 0.35 watt
  • Will charge a LiIon with 0.15mA when charging is finished.
  • Will discharge a NiMH with 0.15mA when not powered
  • Will discharge a LiIon with 0.5mA when not powered
  • Change between long/short cell at around 58mm
  • Below 1V the charger will report error (All leds flashing) and charge with about 1mA.
  • Above 1V regular charging is used.
  • Will assume LiIon above 2.0V
  • Charger will not restart if battery voltage drops.
  • Power cycling and insertion of a battery will restart charging.


[SIZE=+1]4.2V LiIon charging[/SIZE]

Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(PA18650-31)%20%231.png


The charger uses a CC/CV charge curve with termination a around 350mA. This termination current makes the charger fast, but also means the batteries are not completely filled.

Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(PA18650-31)%20%232.png


The second channels looks the same.

Nitecore%20i2%201A%20(BE18650-26)%20%231.png

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Different capacity, means different charge time.

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(AW18350-IMR)%20%231.png

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(KP14500-08)%20%231.png


The two other small batteries are also charged fine, the charger automatic selects 0.5A charge current, but the termination current is not changed, this means these cells are even less filled.

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(2xPA18650-31).png


With two long batteries the charge rate will be 0.5A if charging simultaneously, it is possible to select 1A and charge the two cells in sequence.

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%2012V%20%282xPA18650-31%29.png


Using an external 12 volt supply the charger uses below 0.6A.

Temp3433.png


M1: 43,7°C, M2: 44,3°C, M3: 55,3°C, M4: 49,2°C, HS1: 70,5°C


StartupLiIon.png


The charger starts very fast.



[SIZE=+1]3.6V LiIon charging (LiFePO4)[/SIZE]

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20%28SO14500-LiFePO4%29%20%231.png


There is the same high termination current here and the charge voltage is a bit above 3.6V.

Nitecore%20i2%201A%20%2818650-LiFePO4%29%20%231.png


This one looks the same.



[SIZE=+1]4.35V LiIon charging[/SIZE]

Nitecore%20i2%201A%20%28LG18650-30%29%20%231.png


It charges to 4.35V as expected, but the 350mA termination current is the same.



[SIZE=+1]NiMH charging[/SIZE]

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloop)%20%231.png


This NiMH battery is filled and also gets an hour extra charge, not very good.
Strange termination with 10 minutes at half current.


Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloop)%20%232.png


But the other channel do not exactly fill the cells, it stops way early.


Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopXX)%20%231.png


Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopPro)%20%231.png


Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(powerex)%20%231.png


All the different cells get the extra hour charging.

Nitecore%20i2%200.5A%20(eneloopAAA)%20%231.png


The AAA cell stops a bit early, no 1 hour extra charge.

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Even a full cell gets the extra one hour.

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With two batteries in the charger it maintains the 0.5A charge rate.

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The input current is around 300mA while charging two NiMH batteries, notice that the secondary slot stops after about 1 hour (Same as the test above on slot #2).

Temp3452.png


M1: 43,3°C, M2: 42,7°C, M3: 58,9°C, M4: 47,4°C, M5: 42,7°C, HS1: 63,4°C
The charger gets fairly warm, but the batteries are not too hot.

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The charger is also fast to start with NiMH batteries.

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I did take a look on the short spikes in the charge chart, they a about 4ms long.



Testing with 2830 volt and 4242 volt between mains and low volt side, did not show any safety problems.



[SIZE=+2]Conclusion[/SIZE]

Usual the i2 has been a fairly good charger, but this time around it is not. The high termination current on LiIon means the batteries will not be filled completely. With NiMH one slots over chargers and the other slot do not fill much into the battery.

Until Nitecore has fixed this the charger is not very good.



[SIZE=+2]Notes[/SIZE]

The charger was supplied by a Nitecore for review.

2014 version, Review of old i2 (V2)

Here is an explanation on how I did the above charge curves: How do I test a charger
 
Last edited:

CuriousOne

Enlightened
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Oct 14, 2012
Messages
812
Why they can't go straight, and offer "NORMAL" 1 amp charge current per slot? or even 2A ? this is not an usb charger, so not limited by power....
 

RollerBoySE

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The phase when they established themselves as a market leader, with inventive and quality stuff, is officially over. Now they're maximizing the profit...
 

StandardBattery

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Wow, maybe the clones work better than the real thing.
I always have a couple Nitecore ones around just for testing, but I've not been able to do that for a while.
 

markr6

Flashaholic
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Jul 16, 2012
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Why does it seem like more junk is being pushed out there? Is it hard to make a good charger WITH all these extra features?

Remember the Xtar WP2 II? That was a great, simple charger. I wish manufactures would just expand on that one.
 

StandardBattery

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Why does it seem like more junk is being pushed out there? Is it hard to make a good charger WITH all these extra features?

Remember the Xtar WP2 II? That was a great, simple charger. I wish manufactures would just expand on that one.
Maybe you mean the WP2H, that was/is a great charger. Nice, simple, works. Given the current price of the VP2 though I'd go for that one today. If you have a fancy one, I still recommend a couple simple ones for everyday stuff, good cells are very reliable these days.
 

StandardBattery

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No just the good ol WP2 II. They were around $15 new when I bought it.
OK the WP2H was the first one that finally got me hooked on XTAR ... never looked back. How they messed up the VP4 I'll never understand... they could have had it all :)
 

ChrisGarrett

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OK the WP2H was the first one that finally got me hooked on XTAR ... never looked back. How they messed up the VP4 I'll never understand... they could have had it all :)

The Xtar WP2 II was my first li-ion charger and while I wanted the 'king of the hill' at the time (2/2012)--the Pila IBC, it was about $50 shipped, vs. $20 for the Xtar.

I still have the WP2 II and it's still a decent charger.

Chris
 

Overclocker

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Except you are probably not measuring the positive terminal, but the plastic.
It looks to be in the same range as my IR photos.


I marked the shiny metal with a black sharpie coz IR doesn't work well with shiny metal
 
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