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Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview 3684

Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

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Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:02:02 PM »
Seeing that there is an interest in LiIon chargers and batteries I decided to write a bit on some easily available, working, charger models that I have.
It is a natural progression for many people from really low end to higher end models, still within the lower cost region.
 

LP-101W or similar




This is the basic, cheaper (a few euros) charger that comes in a few varieties. They tend to accept 110 to 240v and charge LiIons and  NiMh etc batteries. This one also charges 9V batteries. They charge one battery at a time.

They are usually included in bundles with a torch and some batteries. They feel cheap but not too cheap.

It works, slowly. These are of varying quality and are known for not terminating when the battery is charged.

If you only have a few batteries to charge it is fine, provided you check their voltage every hour/half hour towards the end of the charging process. The slow charging speed (on this, 320mA for LiIons)means that if you check them then they will not be overcharged. Decent sliders.
 
 
Ultrafire WF-139.




 

Another classic charges, which is also very popular. This one charges only LiIon batteries. There are a few versions of it and all are considered OK but some, from certain dealers, have the reputation of being better.
The version may affect the way the chargers lights work and whether the side charging ports work or not. It is reasonably cheap, ($10) but if you want to also charge regular batteries you will need to buy another charger. It has no manual adjustments.

It is reasonably fast (450mA) and feels solid. I have had problems with it not terminating with some protected Samsung batteries, so make sure you check the voltage of the batteries towards the end of the charging cycle, so that they do not get overcharged (bad thing). Smooth sliders.
This charger has declined in popularity when the model that I discuss next came out.
 
 
The Nitecore Sysmax Intelicharger  I4 V2



Currently (me thinks…) the most popular LiIon multi-charger and has been popular since it came out a couple of years ago. It is currently available for $20 or less (I posted a link in the deals a while back).
This is a smart charger that can charge all types of batteries LiIon, NiMh and is reasonably fast (750mA per channel, for two batteries and half that for four).

The first version had some problems but the 2nd one (Yellow stickers, V2) has a solid reputation. The whole built is good but the sliders used to cater for the differing lengths of batteries do not move smoothly (it can be fixed). It is also a bit tight for longer protected batteries.

The low price is mainly because it has no manual adjustments or any extra functions. You just put the battery in and the charger identifies it and decides how to charge it (some people will like that  :D ). It has 4 independent channels but can provide a higher constant current when only two of these are used. It is fast when charging two batteries and slower with 3 or 4.

I have been using this for a few years and the only problem I have had was with it not terminating with 2450 Energizer/Duracell NiMh batteries. It works fine with LiIons and other batteries. There is also a belief that because you can not adjust the charging rate it may damage smaller batteries. I have other chargers for NiMh so this one is used mainly for LiIons.
 
The BT-C3100 V2





My latest Multi-charger and is about 2 to 3 times the price of the Sysmax (still not expensive and currently available for $36 in a BLF thread, down from about $60). This has 4 independent channels and you can charge or discharge LiIon, NiMh batteries at various selectable rates and do capacity, resistance tests etc. Each battery gets is own LCD so you can perform/view many different functions at the same time.

I have been using it to charge and check the capacity of various batteries and it seems to work well. The 1st version had some issues and a revised 2nd vesion was released. The main issue remaining with the 2nd version seems to be that because of the 3A power supply it can not charge 4 Batteries at 1A each, so, if you select that, it charges the batteries fine but gives a wrong reading for their capacity, which ofcourse can be checked by discharging them.(My reclaimed laptop batteries have 2100 MAh, not bad, but my Panasonic 3400Mah showed only 3085... the rate of discharge will affect the shown capacity, incidentally)
It is capable of charging batteries with a current of up to 2A if only 1 or 2 are being charged (you can still use the other channels for other functions). It can accommodate longer protected batteries easily and has smooth slider movement.

One issue I run into is that when discharging protected LiIon batteries the battery protections stops the discharge before it is fully done, according to the charger (at 2.8V) and the charger shows zero. So you need to keep an eye on the display, to register the number before it cuts off, or, you just need to see the capacity when charging. It has a fan which, in hot climates will run all the time. The fan is not as noisy as people claim. It is a complicated charger and it is possible to do something you had not intended too, damaging the battery, if you press the wrong buttons. So, if you like simple things it is not for you. The quality seems good, considering the number of units that have been bought and the small number of issues raised. Not very happy with really cheap cells

For the functions it has and the rates at which it can charge and discharge batteries it is definitely value for money. The hottest (in the good sense) charger currently.




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Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,666 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 02:44:09 PM »
That's a nice writeup. :hatsoff:

I'm perfectly happy with my Intelicharger i4, but have lately been looking at the Digicharger D4. Looks to be around the same price as the BT-C3100 V2 and has most of the same functions.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

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Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 09:02:55 PM »
A reply !!! :ahhh

Whatever you buy, wait a bit as there always seems to be the need for a version 2 soon after the model is released and people start finding problems with it.

Funny: My ultrafire 3800mAh batteries that came with a torch have only 380mAh. I knew they were bad but it is funny to see how bad.

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Al : "Women!"

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Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 09:35:49 AM »
Update:
Regarding the Opus charger, a 2.1 version will be released in august, with some minor but still useful improvements.

Anouncement on BLF: BLF http://budgetlightforum.com/node/31947?page=7#comment-617661

So, wait a bit before buying one.

I am happy with mine, but any good improvement is welcome.

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Al : "Women!"

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Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

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Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2016, 01:21:05 PM »
I wanted a decent USB powered charger, so I got 3 of these LiitoKala lii - 100 Smart Universal Battery Chargers.
Currently available for under $4

They can charge NiMh and LiIons, of various types, not just the standard ones.
Automatic detection
charge current selection
feels solid
smooth adjuster
good button feel
Can be used a s a powerbank too.

The idea is to use them in cars, or from a computer, when I do not have a proper charger with me.

I have used one to charge AA and AAA batteries, but no LiIons yet.

It works OK, but, it is very slow, compared to my other chargers (it slows down a lot when the battery reaches near full charge)

there is a full review here, on BLF http://budgetlightforum.com/node/44769

As a low cost, capable and universal smart charger, for the price, it is fine. Throw it in a car, and wait untill you need it.
If you need to charge more than 1 battery at the same time you may want to look at other modes, or, buy 2....   :D

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Al : "Women!"

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No Life Club Posts: 1,473
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2016, 07:35:44 PM »
I also bought one last month, seems ok.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,842
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2016, 12:30:39 PM »
There are some great chargers out there. I recently got the Nitecore digicharger D4. Very nice charger. The thing I like most about it is it will charge individual batteries, rather than pairs like my old one. Which is great for the battery for my little torch I carry at work.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 12:34:05 PM by Kevin Davey »
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

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Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2017, 03:28:43 PM »
Liitokala LII-500

Not as good as the  BT-C3100 (less max current) but still very good and cheaper
Around 20Euro

Individual channel display with charge, discharge, check functions.

Very good construction, works well.
Can also be used as a USB charger, when loaded with batteries and unplugged.

Has more functions/flexibility than the i4, for similar money.

I like the fact that you can use a low current for AAA size batteries, so that they do not get too hot, something that is not properly possible with the i4

looks good too

Does nearly as much as the  BT-C3100 for less money. Lacks the ability to display information for all 4 slots at the same time and the higher charging current, but most people will not care.




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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,575 Smurf smash!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 01:05:46 PM »
I knew Chinese brand names were quite random, but c'mon... Have they run out of random English words, so they have to resort to Finnish now?

Liitokala is Finnish for "Flying Fish"  :facepalm:


 :rofl:

"Hoarder of weirdness,
Always posting random things,
I'm AlephZero" :ninja:
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 01:43:32 PM »
I knew Chinese brand names were quite random, but c'mon... Have they run out of random English words, so they have to resort to Finnish now?

Liitokala is Finnish for "Flying Fish"  :facepalm:


 :rofl:

Also sold under the name Skilhunt.

https://www.SPAMCORP.com/chargers/pp_293608.html

I have one of these and so do all my friends who I've persuaded to buy 18650 lights. :D Dirt cheap, small, works well, can charge AA & AAA as well as Li-ion and can be used to charge your phone. What's not to like? :)

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 01:44:49 PM »
Weird, my link got forum softwared.

Basically, Skillhunt M1 on Gear Best.

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2017, 11:14:17 AM »
Weird, my link got forum softwared.

Basically, Skillhunt M1 on Gear Best.
The software thing was added when those websites tried to spam MTO, there's a funny story and everything.  :rofl:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2017, 01:07:19 PM »
Weird, my link got forum softwared.

Basically, Skillhunt M1 on Gear Best.
The software thing was added when those websites tried to spam MTO, there's a funny story and everything.  :rofl:

Gosh, I need to consult my forum history! Any chance of a link? :)

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 01:25:00 PM »
Weird, my link got forum softwared.

Basically, Skillhunt M1 on Gear Best.
The software thing was added when those websites tried to spam MTO, there's a funny story and everything.  :rofl:

Gosh, I need to consult my forum history! Any chance of a link? :)
Found a place to start: :tu:
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,575 Smurf smash!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2017, 08:06:45 PM »
I have the Nitecore i4 v2 myself, perfect for charging Li-ions and NiMH batteries, for my E-cigs and other battery-operated things :cheers:

I recently ordered few Eneloops for my lights and such  :tu:
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 08:10:13 PM by AlephZero »

"Hoarder of weirdness,
Always posting random things,
I'm AlephZero" :ninja:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2017, 12:29:50 AM »
I have the Nitecore i4 v2 myself, perfect for charging Li-ions and NiMH batteries, for my E-cigs and other battery-operated things :cheers:

I recently ordered few Eneloops for my lights and such  :tu:
:like:
Have ordered some more eneloops too. In colours! :ahhh

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2017, 06:32:36 AM »
For the past year LIDL has been selling their own brand rechargeable batteries in funky colours and glitter.

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2017, 01:06:07 PM »
For the past year LIDL has been selling their own brand rechargeable batteries in funky colours and glitter.
Those coloured glittery ones are good too, if they are the pre charged ones, for the price. :tu:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,599 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2017, 01:37:32 PM »
For the past year LIDL has been selling their own brand rechargeable batteries in funky colours and glitter.
Those coloured glittery ones are good too, if they are the pre charged ones, for the price. :tu:

LIDL Spain has those too, and I also recommend them for the money, after years of using them 
 :salute:

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MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2017, 02:41:49 PM »
For the past year LIDL has been selling their own brand rechargeable batteries in funky colours and glitter.
Those coloured glittery ones are good too, if they are the pre charged ones, for the price. :tu:

LIDL Spain has those too, and I also recommend them for the money, after years of using them 
 :salute:
I suspect that they would be great in toys and devices with moderate to slightly heavy power demand.  :like:

Really light power demand calls for eneloops, as does super heavy power demand, for different reasons.  :salute:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2017, 05:09:39 PM »
They say that the Ikea rechargeables are from the same factory and have the same chemistry as Eneloops. I'd be interested if it were true, they are very cheap.

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2017, 05:15:20 PM »
Weird, my link got forum softwared.

Basically, Skillhunt M1 on Gear Best.
The software thing was added when those websites tried to spam MTO, there's a funny story and everything.  :rofl:

Gosh, I need to consult my forum history! Any chance of a link? :)
Found a place to start: :tu:
https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,55947.0.html

I had something like that on an EDC forum, a well known flashlight manufacturer wanted to send me a couple of very nice flashlights, about $80 worth, if I would review them. Then they found out I didn't live in the US and suddenly silence. :D

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2017, 06:35:23 PM »
They say that the Ikea rechargeables are from the same factory and have the same chemistry as Eneloops. I'd be interested if it were true, they are very cheap.
I know those too. They are, unlike the eneloops, made in China(like the Lidl glitter batteries).
But they have decent performance, so I hear, like the Lidl ones or maybe better, and combined with the super low price, makes them a very respectable choice where you don't need the eneloops +5 year low self discharge.  :salute:

And they come in a low capacity version.  :like:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2017, 07:17:19 PM »
I did use them and they are good for high drain applications but do not keep their charge as well as other LSD batteries. (my comments are in the battery types and chargers thread - this current thread is mainly for LiIons)

I stopped using them after two had a black liquid leak out of them- I actually took them back to the IKEA service department, a year ago and they promised to look into it and call me back  - No calls yet, after a year, which tells me all I need to know about their customer service and care - They may have just binned them...

here is my post : https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,66550.msg1275833.html#msg1275833

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2017, 07:37:58 PM »
I did use them and they are good for high drain applications but do not keep their charge as well as other LSD batteries. (my comments are in the battery types and chargers thread - this current thread is mainly for LiIons)

I stopped using them after two had a black liquid leak out of them- I actually took them back to the IKEA service department, a year ago and they promised to look into it and call me back  - No calls yet, after a year, which tells me all I need to know about their customer service and care - They may have just binned them...

here is my post : https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,66550.msg1275833.html#msg1275833
We're talking about the tan and white ones. The green ones were discontinued and I recall people saying that they were no good.  :think:

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2017, 07:43:05 PM »
The green ones are still sold here and I have not seen any other colours, unless they changed them in the past few months.

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 08:05:39 PM »
That's interesting...
These are what I mean:
Ikea Ladda White AA, 2450 mah
Ikea Ladda Tan AA, 1000 mah
Ikea Ladda White AAA, 900 mah
Ikea Ladda Tan AAA, 500 mah

And I can't find the green ones on the ikea website, so I stand by my statement. Your Ikea must either be hiding the new Ladda batteries until all the green ones are sold, or they have old stock.  :rofl:
Ask them where they are hidden?

The white Ladda are equivalent to the black high capacity Eneloop Pros.

The tan Ladda are equivalent to the special low capacity Eneloop Lite(the low capacity makes them more robust chemically and able to stand a trickle charge better,
(did I tell you that I dislike devices with trickle charging?  :rant: ) ideal for cordless house phones, solar lights, etc.  :tu: )
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 08:09:22 PM by Pablo O'Brien »

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,112 Yoo-hoo, big summer blowout!
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2017, 08:10:03 PM »
Notice: Edited for a correction. ^^^

Hooked, like everyone else. ;)

All hail the hook!
No Life Club Posts: 2,534
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2017, 08:13:12 PM »
They say that the Ikea rechargeables are from the same factory and have the same chemistry as Eneloops. I'd be interested if it were true, they are very cheap.
I know those too. They are, unlike the eneloops, made in China(like the Lidl glitter batteries).
But they have decent performance, so I hear, like the Lidl ones or maybe better, and combined with the super low price, makes them a very respectable choice where you don't need the eneloops +5 year low self discharge.  :salute:

And they come in a low capacity version.  :like:

The point of the Eneloops for me was always the low drain potential. Wedding photographers like myself were using them long before they became popular in the EDC world specifically for that reason. Although we would rotate the cells used in our flashguns, the pouch of cells used to swap out half way through a shoot could often contain an AA which hadn't been charged for a couple of weeks, would die too quickly and render the other 3 in the flashgun useless, just when you needed that flashgun like midway through the first dance! At one point I had some 64 eneloops being rotated through two 8 cell Maha chargers working flat out during the busy season (2+ weddings a week). In those days the cells were branded under Sanyo, then they changed over to Panasonic. I think the brand/technology was bought by them. In any case that technology is invaluable in a flashlight. For most of us a flashlight is not used that often. Regular rechargeables will be half drained in a couple of weeks. For a keychain or EDC light, heck I know I can't be bothered topping up my batteries constantly.

In an interesting aside, I did try out NiZN batteries for a bit with my flashguns. Instant recycle even at full power. The slight downside was that they would be dead in 80 shots and when the batteries came out they would be so hot they would burn your hand. :D I went back to Eneloops.

"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,051 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Cheaper LiIon (and some NiMh) classic chargers progression overview
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2017, 08:16:47 PM »
I will check next time I go to IKEA

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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