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Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by david57strat, May 11, 2014.
...and the MC6 - probably my least favorite of all my XTAR chargers.
I've recently read about Nitecore's new SC4 model, and am very intrigued by all the improvements they made, over the D4 model. I may have to pick up one of these. Is anyone considering buying one of these units?
Just ordered the SC4 unit. Will post pictures and comments, after it arrives.
This is the new Nitecore SC4 charger. I just received it a few days ago, and am loving it, so far.
I'm afraid my pictures don't seem to do the charger justice. Nitecore did an amazing job, with their website pictures, though (as they always do).
So far, I've only charged a handful of 18650 batteries (and some AA NiMhs, as pictured above) in it, but it does exactly as promised, and has the ability to charge at up to 3 Amps, through two of the slots (perfect for the bigger 26650 batteries, for speed charging).
The spring tension feels a little bit wimpy, compared to all of my XTAR chargers, but that's just being nit picky.
The display is a far cut above that of the D4 it replaced (both, clearer, and more colorful). It is not defeat-able, but dims, after three minutes of non-use.
It's significantly larger than the D4 (taller, deeper, and wider), but that's not a big deal. The heat sinking in this one is certainly better (it barely warms up, to the touch, even with bigger batteries - compared to the D4).
I like that they placed the buttons on top, rather than on the side, as the D4 had, so I could set these, side-by-side, without blocking access to the buttons.
I'm still getting used to the program-ability of the individual charging slots. Maybe in the next few days or so, I'll try and get some better pictures of it, and have some more comments; but I can say that I liked it so much, I've ordered a second one (through BLF Group Buy - killer deal).
This one arrived in a little over a week.
I'm still an avid XTAR charger fan, but this is really a step up, for Nitecore (I previously had a pair of i4 V2s, and a pair of D4s, before these two), and I'm glad to have made the purchase.
Great reviews. I've been looking for a 4 bay charger because all I have now is a single bay. After your review, I think I'm going to buy the SC4. Although one question I didn't see in your review or the website, does this charge 16340?
Thanks for the kind words.
Yes, it will. Since my last post, I've charged some 14500, 16340, 26650, and a couple of D NiMhs, with great results.
After eight months of daily use, my Dragon failed. I placed batteries in the charger, and the read-outs looked okay, initially. When I removed a battery, the readout displayed as if it was still charging.
I unplugged the power supply, and plugged it back in to re-initialize the charger. No good. The displays showed readings as if there were batteries in them channels, regardless. I, also , could not adjust the charge rate to 2 Amp/hr.
I also noticed tapping of the test leads switched modes over, from charge, to volt/internal resistance metering, but the double tap of the display button no longer switched the unit back over to charge mode. It was stuck in voltage metering/test leads mode.
I left the unit unplugged and messaged Lumens Direct (The XTAR distributor, from whom I had purchased the charger).
The next morning, I plugged the unit in, and it did the diagnostic function, then powered off completely for a few seconds, then did the initialize screen, and repeated that, every few seconds or so.
When the seller got back to me, they apologized for the problems, and advised me to ship back the charger (their physical store was no longer there. They had moved), and they provided me with an RMA #, following up with a prepaid shipping level, sent in an email, to ship the unit back.
They told me to send only the charger, and none of the accessories (which meant keeping the case, the two power supplies, test leads, etc.). They also told me that the didn't have stock of the Dragons, and it would be a few weeks before they did. This was fine with me, since I had a slew of other chargers; although I admit, I was disappointed that their flagship charger would or could ever fail.
But, it happens, right? Could be a car, a TV set, or anything else, regardless of price.
Some weeks passed, and I checked their on-line store, but they weren't expecting stock until the end of November. I followed up with them, and after a few exchanges, we agreed that they would ship me two SV2 units (which I really loved), and refund the balance - which they did. They took care of me - always have.
In the meantime, I purchased a second Dragon charger, on one of Andrew and Amanda's "Deal of the Day" sales, for $49.00 - a steal, as far as I was concerned. When the unit arrived, I tested it out, and it seemed to have the same problem; but that wasn't the case. I realized that I had plugged the test leads (using their USB plug) into the wrong USB outlet. Plugging it, into the appropriate plug, fixed everything.
If only that had been the case with the initial unit I purchased elsewhere. That first charger was sitting on the desk, for eight months, and used, the same way, every day, and the test leads had been plugged in, and left that way, from Day One.
The unit was unresponsive, even when I tried unplugging the test leads.
So, I still have one of this Dragon, and it appears to be working flawlessly.
No complaints. Since then, I purchased two Nitecore SC4 chargers, which have replaced my old D4s, and are pretty amazing little chargers, that I got through a Group Buy, on Budget Light Forums.
At first, I assumed the problem I had with the Dragon was a production issue, and was very saddened to feel that I needed to return the second charger; but equally relieved/pleased that this wasn't the case. Of course,Andrew and Amanda immediately issued an RMA, which I never ended up needing to use.
The bottom line, is I'm still very confident about the quality of XTAR chargers, and have never received anything less than first rate customer service, any time I've ever had an issue with one.
I will gladly continue buying XTAR products.
As for improvements they could possibly make for the "V2" version of the Dragon:
1) I would make the display characters smaller, so that it could show the status of all four channels, simultaneously, rather than just two at a time. The display is gigantic (I look at it and I feel it's for the visually impaired, or something lol); so, I think this is entirely possible, while still being easily readable;
2) I would also make the current/refresh and record/test buttons protrude, just a bit, so they're more easy to feel and find, in the dark. They're too flush with the rest of the panel, making them kind of hard to find, otherwise.
As for the chargers inability to set each channel, for independent charge rates ,etc. I have plenty of other chargers (My two - soon to be four SC4s, as of 09-08-17) that will do that, so it's still not really a deal breaker, for me. The same holds true for a charger that can charge LiFePO4 and 4.3 volt batteries.
This always seems to be my luck: I buy something, and just a short time later, they come out with a newer model that's better. , I just bought my Nitecore D4 on June 27.
Loving these SC4s, the more I use them
I hear you, brother. When I initially purchased my two i4 V2s, it didn't seem that long before Nitecore came out with the D4s, which were greatly improved, in many ways.
Then, with the advent of the SC4 charger, once again, those pretty much blow my D4s out of the water, in all ways - and at a somewhat comparable price point.
But this holds true with any tech - especially computers. You can buy something that's top of the line, now; but in 6 months or so, it may not be the latest, greatest thing, feature-wise. It's impossible to keep up; but in the case of battery chargers, a far less expensive scenario, upgrading them.
Newest picture, with all four SC4s, in action.
Latest charger family shot, showing all the chargers:
Which one would you recommend, with an eye towards both general use and also helping discern genuine cells from fakes (so, accurately measuring capacity, whatever else will help)?
I'd ordered the BCT3100, but now considering SkyRC-M3000 or VP4 Dragon.