Xtar VC4S - How concerned should I be about the automatic current selection?

TheCowGod

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Jan 31, 2009
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Knoxville, TN
Hi guys. I'm returning to the hobby after quite a few years. I've had an Ultrafire WF-139 for like 10 years, and it has served me well for the RCR123a's that my main flashlight uses, though it's a bit annoying having to use spacers. I'm considering getting something larger that uses 21700's, so I'm looking at a 2-4 bay charger with a nice display, that can handle all the way from CR123's (without spacers), up to at least 21700.

I've been doing a bunch of research, and I see that people seem to really like the Xtar chargers, particularly the VP2, VP4, and VP4 Plus. Those are definitely on my radar, but I came across the VC4S, which seems like it might be a nice middle ground for what I'm looking for. It has a very informative display like the VP4 Plus, but looks a little simpler to operate, has Storage mode, and of course the price is much lower. However, I've seen a few comments about how its automatic current selection can sometimes pick too high of a current for batteries with a low max charging current but also low internal resistance. How much of a concern is that?

The cost of the VP4 Plus isn't necessarily a deal breaker, so I might go that way for the increased control. But I don't really want to have to wade through menus just to charge my batteries each time, and I'm not sure if you can just throw some cells in there and it will charge them with reasonable defaults. It also doesn't seem to have a storage mode, which I'd like to use for the cells I'm not using regularly.

So the VC4S seems like a nice option for my needs, but I'm not sure how wary I should be about that automatic current selection. Any input?

Thanks!
 

peter yetman

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Mar 23, 2014
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North Norfolk UK
I avoid Automatic Current Selection like the Plague!
Sorry Xtar, but a charger that can push 2 amps into a cell that should only receive 750ma is not for me. If it had a manual overide I'd be much happier, as I can see the advantage of the automation.
The VP4 plus works for me, I have two and they do everything I ask of them.

I just had a conversation about the Storage Facility and decided that just using the discharge function down to 50% is fine.
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/v...tteries-and-has-storage&p=5410419#post5410419
P
 

TheCowGod

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Jan 31, 2009
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Knoxville, TN
Thanks. It sounds like I'll be skipping any chargers without manual current selection as well.

In that case, the VP4 Plus sounds like an appealing choice, but I'd love to know if it's able to be used simply, assuming you don't need to change settings. If I'm charging the same type of batteries each time, does it remember all the settings? Am I able to just plug it in and plop some cells in, and it will just charge? If so, then I think it's the one for me. Thanks!
 

LithiumSunset

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Aug 29, 2021
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6
Location
Rome
There's a workaround: to use an usb powe supply that is not able to reach 2a and concurrently charge 4 batteries at once, to further lessen the amp...
 

ChrisGarrett

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Joined
Feb 2, 2012
Messages
5,628
Location
Miami, Florida
I've got perhaps 15-17 Xtar chargers and while I'm not a fan of automatic current select, I have both a VC4 and VC2 Master-Blaster, which both do automatic current selection.

I'm personally more concerned with low charging rates 200mA/300mA and either 1A/4, 1.5A/2, or 2A/2.

I run a lot of 16340 lights and hence, I need 200-300mA rates for longevity.

Chris
 
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