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Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by david57strat, May 11, 2014.
I will wait until Friday to post my updated charging station that's going to include an Anker PowerPort 6 and an Xtar VC4 when they arrive
...and Friday is finally upon us.
Picture, picture, picture lol.
Upgraded charging station!
Anker PowerPort 6
Etekcity UT120C Multimeter
XTAR VI01 USB Current/Voltage Detector
Nitecore UM10 (normally kept in my EDC bag organizer)
Panasonic BQ-CC17 (need to find a place for this but it's just for charging my now more seldom used Eneloops)
Now that I have a lot more batteries and more batteries incoming still, I'm planning on expanding this over the course of the next few months. Probably with another VC4 and another BT-C3400.
I know - as the batteries start multiplying (seemingly exponentially), the battery chargers seem to follow suit.
How are you liking your BT-C3400? I've heard good things about Opus chargers, but haven't owned one, myself.
Really like it so far! The main reason I got it was so I could perform diagnostic tests/discharges/refreshes now that I'm accumulating so many batteries.
Latest picture, showing all chargers:
Nice as always Do you have a preference yet between the VC4 and D4 chargers? I'm thinking about getting two more of them. I mainly like them because of the USB, so I can plug them into my Anker PowerPort since my main power strip is actually full now
Thanks, brother. I appreciate it!
Sounds like you may need a bigger power strip, and more USB hubs.
I know - I'm such an enabler, huh?
Both, the VC4 and the D4 chargers are excellent. They both have very different feature sets, and I use both, for very different reasons.
Here are some very specific observations I've made on both chargers, now that I've had a chance to use all of them extensively:
The VC4 has a higher charge rate than the D4 (1 Amp x 2, or 500 mAh x 4, in the VC4, as opposed to 750 X 2, or 375 x 4, in the D4), and have two intentionally wider outside slots, to accommodate 26650 batteries.
I do not like that the inside batteries are so hard to get to (so close together), if you use all four slots simultaneously, but that's just a pet peeve. In all other ways, I love this charger. The charge rate is displayed, for two channels at a time (choosing Channels 1 and 4, or 2 and 3, and there's a snazzy, very well-back-lit, tachometer-style metering system - super easy to read. The charge rate boosts in a slow ramping fashion, supposedly to go easy on the batteries.
I've read that when the battery has actually been fully depleted, the VC4 will analyze the actual capacity of that battery, once it's fully charged. I've never used this feature, since I don't run my batteries down all the way. This is their analyzing feature - which I'll probably never use lol.
The metering screen on the D4 shows bar graph charge status for all four channels simultaneously, but if you want individual data (charge rate, elapsed time, battery type in a specific slot, you press the slot switch, to reveal each channel's specific information.
I cannot stand the way the display goes dark (on the VC4), after a minute or so, automatically. I like deciding, for myself, when the display stays on. You don't get that choice, with the VC4. The D4 stays on, constantly, unless you defeat it (albeit not being as bright, ever, compared to the VC4 or VP2 chargers). Same with the VP2 (stays on). As long as there's a battery in the D4, the display stays on. VP2 is always on no matter what (battery, or no battery), unless you defeat it.
The LED back lighting on the D4 is very dim, compared to the VC4 (which has the brightest metering of all the chargers. You have to pretty much be right on top of the D4 to easily read it - especially in a brightly-lit room. You can press and hold a button, to defeat the metering altogether, if you choose, on the D4 (just like the VP2, but the D4 metering automatically shuts off, after a few moments, if there's no battery in it).
The power input jacks for the VC4s are my favorite (no bulky-as* wall wart to plug into a power strip; just plug the USB cable into your USB hub, and you're good to go.
There are no power supplies needed for the D4s. They have standardized power cables that plug directly from the AC socket to the back of the charger. I wish all chargers were like this. I can't stand wall wart power supplies. They're often proprietary, cheaply-made (with flimsy wiring), and way overpriced, if you have to replace them, and they run hot, to the touch. Not a very efficient way to power something, but definitely cheaper to make (as opposed to an internal power supply). Those power cables on the D4 can be purchased almost literally anywhere where power cables are sold. You can also find them all over the internet, very inexpensively. Same with the VC4 (only it uses a standard USB to 5mm barrel plug.
Neither of these chargers tend to run hot (They both use supposedly fire-resistant materials, and run relatively cool to the touch. Batteries, on the other hand, can get pretty warm, but that's par for the course, when you're charging big, high performance batteries.
The VC4s are not designed to charge LiFePO4 batteries. I have five lights running on those batteries, so I have to stick to either, the VP2s, or the D4s, for that. My older i4 Intellichargers won't work, either, for those batteries (they'll overcharge them - won't terminate properly, for that battery type).
Sorry...this has probably confused things, more than clarifying them. All in all, what I need to charge, and how quickly I need to charge it, will dictate which charger I choose. I like having all three, for the features found, that exclusive to some of them. It gives me the most options, since I have so many batteries, of different types, (and so many 18650 batteries), I need those options.
I would actually recommend picking up at least one XTAR VP2, because:
it will accommodate the longer 18700 battery, if you decide to buy those, down the road, it'll actually fit them. Neither the VC4, or the D4, will)
manually selectable charge rates (via a button on the front), regardless of which batteries you have installed, or which wells you're using
the ability to actually use that battery charger as a device charger (removing the power plug, ad placing the battery in one of the wells, if you need to charge your phone, or other USB device, in a pinch.
It's all strictly a matter of preference, and depends on what your specific needs are, battery-wise. They're all fine chargers, in my book.
I would recommend strongly AGAINST buying the XTAR VP4 charger. It is not a VP2, but with four channels, as many people would falsely believe. You lose many of the amazing features that the VP2 has. They lowered the price, but the lowered the feature set too. It's not worth it. They should have labeled the VP4, something else - some other series (maybe VWD4, WD being for watered down lol. That's why I never purchased one - and never will.
At least, the VP2, has a lower price, too. It used to be fifty bucks. Now, it's $35.00 (with AC power supply and car charging cable, included) - and worth every penny
Thanks for the detailed response as always I guess there's no harm in me getting a VP2 and a D4 the next time I grow my charging setup, which will probably be as soon as the TM16 comes in.
Good deal. Please do share your comments about these items, after having a chance to use them. I'm sure there's stuff I missed, and hearing another person's perspective enlightens everyone. That's always a good thing.
I love these forums. We come from such vastly different walks of life, and we don't all share the same needs, opinions, or even pocket books; but we do seem to have some, or possibly even many common interests, in varying degrees, naturally):
We love EDC, and the options afforded us, because of it, whether we're full-blown preppers, or died-in-the-wool minimalists.
We appreciate hearing from others, about their experiences about items we may not previously known about - people who are willing to share, in detail their, comments, concerns - whatever.
We can share these experiences with like-minded, fellow EDCers, without fear of being ridiculed.
For the most part, people here are very kind, and all too happy to voice an opinion, respectfully sharing their differences. I like that.
I really appreciate you guys - a lot.
Okay...I'll stop being all sappy; but you know what I'm talking about, and I'm sure many of you feel the same way. I'm very grateful for that.
I’m just starting this flashlight addiction. The first modern led-light I bought was an Olight S15 last year. My first idea was to stick to AA and AAA format but though it works, having more output is just more fun and the S15 is much brighter on a 14500 so bought these too. Then I bought an AAA-light, works fine with Eneloop´s but much more fun with a 10440 so bought these too. Then I went against my better judgement and bought an 18650 light and before you’d realize it you’d have a whole collection of different batteries to recharge.
Before I’d only had NiMH chargers so with the first 14500 I ordered a D2. Chose that one because it was cheap (and so am I Hé, am Dutch, I'm supposed to be!) and I really liked the feature that you can lower the charging rate for small batteries like AAA’s and 10440’s and I knew I wanted these too.
So, I have the D2 for about half a year already and really like it. Use it a lot, also for the NiMH’s for it gets them better charged than my old junk. I did notice that when the D2 says 4.2v my multimeter says 4.17v, don’t know what device is most accurate but a bit lower is better than too high I guess.
The first charger I bought was the Fenix ARE-C2. It is a 4 bay charger. I got it from Amazon from EdisonBright. Then a while back I bought a Xtar VP2 from Xtar Direct. I also have a digital multi-meter. It is the Extech MN35. I have been happy with all 3 purchases. Of the chargers, I prefer the VP2. I like the large digital display, and is very easy to read. The Extech MN35 has been flawless. I got it on Amazon for close to 17 bucks. (I got the manual version of it)
I've been reading about XTAR's new VC2 Plus Master Charger, and am seriously considering picking one up. The XTAR store is maybe five minutes away from me, so the temptation is all the greater .
I like the USB power inputs (no bulky-a** wall warts), the countdown time and percentage readouts. I really like my VC4 chargers, and have a feeling I'd 'd be very pleased with this one, as well. If I like it enough, I'll pick up a second one .
I only wish they made a 4-port version of this new one (just like I wish they made a 4-port version of the VP2, retaining all of the same spec's/features (unlike the VP4 :| )
Has anyone already gotten their hands on this new VC2 Plus charger? If so, what are your thoughts on it - especially compared to any of the other XTAR chargers?
I just picked up a second VC2 Plus charger. These are extremely handy little chargers. They charge all NiMh and Lithium Ion batteries, with wide enough slots to accommodate a pair of 26650 batteries; .5 or 1 Amp x 2, with display for percentage of charge remaining and timer countdown to full charge; USB-power-able. Able to charge a small device (5 Volts, 1 Amp output) with the USB output on the back of the charger.
Looks like I'm overdue for an updated picture lol. I have to go to work, in the next hour or so, so I'm not going to have "the light" (nice afternoon sun coming into my bedroom window, which I combine, with some warm-tinted, ceiling bounced lights, for the best picture I can get).
At long last, an updated picture:
The VC2 Plus chargers (in the bottom row of this picture) seem to get the most use of them all, when charging my EDC lights' batteries at the end of an evening, for instance.
1st Row - Left to Right:
Nitecore i4 V2 (These were my first lithium ion chargers) (2)
Nitecore D4 (2)
2nd Row - Left to Right:
XTAR VP-2 (2)
XTAR VC4 (2)
La Crosse BC-700 (This is used strictly for AA and AAA NiMhs)
4th Row - Left to Right:
XTAR VC2 Plus (4)
When I'm leaving for the day and am going to be using lights very heavily, I'll take one or two of these, throw them in my duffle bag, and am set! A Pelican 1010 case with extra 18650 batteries is also an option, and leaves me ready to go, at all times.
Anyone out there notice that, as your battery collection grows, your battery chargers also inevitably start multiplying like bunnies?
Actually, not really...., I always thought I'd use my lights a lot myself but looking at you I guess not really that much. I have just one charger and that one is not even used daily. My most used light at this moment with a 18650 battery I've used every evening for over a week for things like walking 2 black dog's thru the forest up to just walking thru the house without turning on the regular lights and after over a week I checked the battery: still 3.97v!!! These batteries seem to last forever so it seems.
I'm going to have to pick up one of XTAR's new SV2 chargers . Looks intriguing, and I love their chargers. If I love it, I'll pick up a second one. Updated pictures, to follow!
Still wanting to grab an SV2 charger. Has anyone picked one up, yet; and, if so, what are your impressions?