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Thread: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

  1. #1

    Default NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    I bought an XTAR VC4 recently and it's a real disappointment.
    It never tops up my Eneloops properly. It's really noticeable in my torches and causes very short run-time in a digital recorder. My old broken ReZap charger was far better in this regard but was very noisy and extremely slow.


    Can someone please recommend a reasonably priced charger that will properly top-up NiMh AA and especially AAA? From what I've read on here, this probably requires -dv/dt termination. I'd like it to have an analysing function but it's not a deal breaker so long as it just does it's job really well.

    These are my requirements:
    -Definitely NO fan.
    -Can charge 1,2,3 or 4 cells at a time independently.
    -Uses a suitably low current to charge AAA NiMh cells without shortening their life.

    -Excellent performance with NiMh AA and AAA. I won't use it for any other sizes/chemistries.
    -Suitable for use in Australia (i.e. 240V 50Hz power supply included or easy to obtain cheaply, or perhaps USB powered like the XTAR)


    I was considering the LiitoKala Lii-500 and the Powerex MH-C9000 but have read that both of these also tend not to fully charge cells because they don't use -dv/dt termination.
    Would the Opus BT-C700 fit the bill? Any other recommendations?

  2. #2

    Default Re: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    Hello Steve, welcome to the CP-Forum.

    There are most likely as many opinions as there are respondents to this post, so my personal opinion is just that, personal.
    I've been using the MH-C9000 since about a decade, or slightly over, even, with no issues whatsoever.

    What it lacks in -dv/dt, it makes up for with a gentle charge to 1.47V, and then a two hour top up charge at 100 mA.
    I was rather concerned when I bought my MH-C9000, that it didn't do -dv/dt, thinking it wasn't as well designed as others, more simple and crude. Right now in hindsight, and some more years of using it, that simplicity is a main point for recommending it, for me. :-D
    You are correct that some cells aren't fully topped up once the charger says "Done", but if one has the time to spend to let it gently top up for two additional hours, you're good to go.

    I usually don't pay too much attention to see if it says "Done" or not, I peek at the Voltage instead, once the top up charge is done, the reported Voltage drops back a bit, and that's my queue to take them out.

    As stated, all of the above, my personal opinion, and considering how well the C9000 has served me for over a decade, I haven't had reasons to try anything different.
    Others will no doubt chime in as they see fit.

    Regards,
    /Dennis

  3. #3
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    That's my thought exactly. Steve do you take your cells off charge as soon as the charger says done, or do you let them top up with the trickle charge for a few hours?
    P

  4. #4

    Default Re: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    Thanks guys, that's a good question.

    I don't watch it closely, so the VC4 has always been left on for a while after it said 'done'. I'm fairly sure it would have been left over 2 hours in a couple of instances - eg I've forgotten about it and left it overnight before with just 2 or 3 AAA cells. But thanks for pointing it out, I'll do a trial run on the weekend and make a point of timing it.

    If that improves things I might not hurry to replace it.

    I'm still keen to get a charger with -dv/dt termination though, and I'd like the ability to analyse (sorry Aus spelling) cells so i can match them for capacity.

    Another thing potentially worth mentioning - mine has printed on the back "For Domestic China Only". The Australian eBay seller didn't disclose that before the sale. I emailed XTAR and they said these were made to test the market and were not intended for export. Apparently they are the same, though I don't quite have 100% trust in that. If a production run was made to test the market, it wouldn't be that surprising if revisions were made afterwards.

  5. #5
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    I never buy a charger withjout consulting the Guru, HKJ.
    Here's his comparaison chart for chargers.
    https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCell...ndex%20UK.html
    You can change the oder by clicking on the column titles.
    You should get the info you need there.
    P

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: NiMh charger to replace XTAR VC4

    Take a look at the Skyrc NC1500, it looks like it meets all your requirements. It has very flexible charge currents options, terminates on –dv, will discharge to give you capacity and has a USB power input. RCjuice has them on sale right now but they are a US seller. I don’t own a NC1500 however I do own a few MC3000’s made by the same company Skyrc. In my opinion the MC3000 is by far the best cylindrical charger/analyzer on the market so my confidence in the NC1500 doing what Skyrc says it does is reasonably high.


    Frank

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