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Charger Recommendation

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by superpacker, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    Bout to dive into the world of rechargeable batteries and want to get one quality nice battery charger that I won't want to replace or upgrade in a few years. I Won't be charging a variety. Mostly AAs and AAA with maybe one rcr123. Any recommendations?
     
    #1 superpacker, Aug 28, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  2. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    How many batteries will you be charging at once? Will you also need the ability to test the batteries?
     
  3. dml24

    dml24 Loaded Pockets

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    MAHA, Fenix, XTAR and Nitcore make good chargers with capacities that range from one battery, typically 18650s for single battery chargers, up to chargers that can charge 8 batteries at one time.

    Do some market research and you will find a charger that meets your needs.
     
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  4. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. I think I will be charging no more than 4 at a time. My headlamp needs 3 most of my lights need 1
     
  5. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    The Panasonic charger that is bundled with most Eneloops is pretty good for AA/AAA. It's the BCC-17 I believe, although I think there's a newer one as well. It's a simple charger, but still a smart charger. That along with a Maha would be a good start.
     
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  6. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    What budget are you looking at?
     
  7. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    $40ish. My most common used lights are a headlamp (3xAAA) and Theunite Archer (1xAA). While both are used regularly and lights are something I greatly appreciate, I don't EDC either (to give you and idea of charging needs). Thought I'd pick up an 8 pack of Amazon AAA For headlamps. And an 8 pack of eneloops mostly for family appliances and my Archer. Also kicking around trying an edc light with a single cr123. So if it can charge those that's also helpful, but if not I'd be willing to pick up one of the micro USB charges (like from olight) to handle that single battery
     
  8. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    But 30ish would probably be better. :)
     
  9. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    LiitoKala Lii-400. 4-bay's, multi-chemistry, 15 bucks shipped from china. You might still want something like the olight charger or the liitokala 202 for the ease of charging a cell or two from a USB source but you can always decide if you need something like that later on. Do get your liitokala from a 'reputable' source as copies are being made in various different qualities. The liitokala official store on aliexpress is a decent place to get one.

    Here's a more than in-depth review of the model;
    http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20LiitoKala%20Lii-400%20UK.html

    Also, i hope you mean rcr123/16340 as regular cr123's are not rechargeable ;)
     
  10. jcwagers

    jcwagers Loaded Pockets

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    Look into the eneloop power packs. You can find them on Amazon for varying prices. They have a charger and usually 8aa and 4aaa or maybe even 10aa, 4aaa(that one is prime only at the moment) but it is between your budget of $30-40. You can always buy more later. If you're more interested in wide compatibility(which would be good), look for something that will charge 18650 and 26650 as well as the smaller cells. Xtar and Nitecore should have chargers that will do both. I know you don't need that capability right now but down the road you might decide to try some higher draw lights and then you'd already have a charger that can handle those needs. Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)
     
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  11. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    Western Dutch and JCwagers, thanks for the great thoughts. I think you're right that down the road I may want more comparability than the eneloop charger would offer.
    I like the Liitokala and also the Xtar vc4
     
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  12. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    The vc4 is great, can't really go wrong with one of those. Do make sure you get a good usb charger to go with it tho.
     
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  13. superpacker

    superpacker Loaded Pockets

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    You mean an adapter or a single cell charger with USB connection? If I get rcr123 soon it will likely be an olight and I know they make a compact single cell USB chargers
     
  14. jcwagers

    jcwagers Loaded Pockets

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    I suspect that Westerdutch means one of the wall adapters that you can plug a usb cable into...like one that comes with some cell phones. If not, I'm sure he will clarify. :) . The vc2 and vc4 are, if I remember right, usb only so you need some way to get power to them from the wall. Another option is to look into one of the Anker(or other brands) multiple usb hub connectors. It plugs into the wall and will allow you to plug multiple usb devices into it and charge them all.

    One advantage that I do like with the vc2 and vc4 is that they will be compatible with most solar chargers from anker, ravpower, goalzero, etc. You can plug them straight in and they'll start charging. That was one of my main goals to getting the vc2 and vc4. I wanted something that I could use with a solar charger if needed. Your needs may be different but that might be something to consider if you need to take batteries with you to go camping or hiking. That gives you the ability to do some recharging while you're "off grid", so to speak. :)
     
  15. Westerdutch

    Westerdutch Loaded Pockets

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    +1
    Apologies for being vague, it's late over here ;)

    The liitokala comes with is own 12v wall adapter. Wall adapters have upsides and downsides over usb charges, it's a case of picking your poison.
     
  16. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I have quite a number of chargers (almost all XTAR and Nitecore- both highly reputable manufacturers), and, while I tend to be more of an XTAR fan, I could easily recommend Nitecore's new SC4, which is extremely flexible.

    You can program each slot, for whatever charge rate you want. They're independent of each other. As with many smart chargers, it will automatically sense what chemistry and battery size you have and adjust the charge rate accordingly, allowing you to override it with whatever you'd like. You could mix and match NiMh, NiCad, lithium ion, and hybrid batteries, without a care.

    It also has reverse polarity protection, greatly improved readout, and nice heat sinking.

    Here are a few pictures of the chargers, in action:

    [​IMG]
    Pictured, charging a 16340, 14500, 18650 and a 26650, simultaneously. They'll also charge D NiMhs, as well as LiFePO batteries. Metering is very easy to read.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I was fortunate enough to pick these up through a Group Buy on Budget Light Forums. Killer price, and delivery happened in about eight days, from the seller (have had great experiences with them).

    I started a thread on chargers, a few years back, here on EDCF, which now includes many comments and photos from various members, discussing all of the chargers, including this one. Feel free to check it out!

    https://www.edcforums.com/threads/xtar-vp2-vp4-plus-dragon-vc4-vc2-plus-sv2-ant-mc-1-plus-mc6-nitecore-i4-v2-d4-sc4-chargers.121077/
     
    #16 david57strat, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  17. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    The BCC-17 is kind of a one trick pony. I'm not sure whether the charging slots are independent of each other. On some chargers, you have to charge your batteries, in pairs (not the best scenario).

    You can read an exhaustive review of this charger (Actually, the BQ-CC17 - same model...?), posted below:

    http://lygte-info.dk/review/Review%20Charger%20Panasonic%20BQ-CC17%20UK.html
     
  18. turbo6

    turbo6 Loaded Pockets

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    They are independent, so any number of cells can be charged together. I don't think it's bad in the sense of a back up, where you might be charging 4 cells in a good charger and just need to top off a few Eneloops. For that it does the job.
     
  19. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    I've had a pair of these VC4s, since March of 2015, and they are very solid chargers, that are USB-power-able. A USB power supply that is capable of delivering the required 5 Volts, 2.1 Amps, is a must, though, to get the full charging power out of these chargers. They come with a cable with a USB to 5mm barrel plug. All you need to supply is the power source.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. david57strat

    david57strat EDC Junkie!!!

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    True - but the original poster specially said that he wanted to purchase one charger that he wouldn't need to replace, or upgrade, for a few years, and that could charge Eneloops, as well as a 16340 (lithium ion) battery (i.e., multiple chemistries) - which was why I recommended chargers that could charge those, and many other types, easily and dependably.

    While I understand, the Panasonic charger is often bundled with Eneloop batteries, it's not truly free. You could walk into most any Target or WalMart, and buy a 4 or 8-pack of Duracell 2400 LSD NiMh ("Ion Core", as they're called) batteries, which work beautifully, are cost-effective, and without having to mail order them.

    With the remaining money saved, you could buy a nice, smart charger that would support multiple chemistries, right off the bat; so the charger(s) you had would grow, with you, not requiring you to make additional charger purchases, and as your charging needs grew - unless you're a fanatic, like I (since I like to charge, sometimes, two or three dozen (or more) batteries, simultaneously, and of different chemistries.
     
    Last edited by david57strat, Aug 29, 2017
    #20 david57strat, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017