The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Xtar VC2 battery charger review.

The review I did earlier here of the Xtar H1 flashlight showed that it used a 3.7 volt rechargeable battery, the 14500, as well as std AA batteries. To recharge the 3.7 volts you need a charger that will cope with the lithium ion battery obviously.
Xtar as well as making quality flashlights also make excellent smart chargers.

I was sent a VC2 charger FOC with the flashlight to review as an end user. The latest smart charger.

What’s in the box.





The VC2, takes two batteries simultaneously but the smart thing is that it reads each battery channel seperately and has a unique dash board type gauges to keep you informed of what's happening to each cell. There are no switches, knobs, sliders etc, its all very neat and tidy. Just an LCD display.



The power is supplied by a USB - micro USB cable.

There is no mains plug socket supplied, probably due to the many configurations of pins around the world and to keep costs down. I suspect we have all got a few usb power sockets lying around anyway but ensure that the one you use is compatible.

The charger has a sliding negative position to allow the charging of numerous lithium ion battery sizes.
It will charge the following types without the need for any spacing. Battery lengths can vary from 30mm - 71mm and also includes the flat top type as well as button top.

Battery compatibility Li-ion.

  • 26650
  • 25550
  • 22650
  • 18700
  • 18650
  • 18500
  • 18490
  • 18350
  • 17670
  • 17500
  • 16340
  • 14650
  • 14500
  • 10440
  • Compatible with IMR lithium and small capacity batteries.

Power.
The maximum charge per channel is 0.5A. This is non adjustable by the user. The charge times will vary for each battery type from 0 charge.

The smart thing about this charger is that it can bring life back to those batteries that have over discharged or “sleeping” lithium ion batteries. In some other chargers this facility is missing and therefore the batteries get discarded as useless.
Screen. LCD digital display.
When in charge mode the last digit in the capacity display flashes.
Will charge with 2.4mA from 0 volts and the display will show ERR.
At 0.2V it will start charging at 340mA and display will show mAh.
At 2.9V the regular charge current will apply.
The chance is that when charging 2 batteries they will not charge at the same rate.
When charging is complete it drops to 0.3mA.
Charging will re-start if voltage drops to 3.9V
Charge will restart after power loss or a battery insertion.
If batteries are left in the charger but no connected to mains then a discharge drain of 0.1mA will occur.
If USB voltage drops too much then current will step down and visa versa if one battery finishes charging before the other then voltage will step up.
mAh display flashes FULL when the battery is charged and the background lights will flash.
In the event of an incompatible battery being inserted then NULL will be displayed.
It has reverse polarity and short circuit protection.
Shell material is fireproof.








Conclusion.

A very smart well made and well thought out charger. I think the 0.5mAh charge per channel is about right considering the variety of USB/mains chargers on the market. 1.0mAh would seem a better option for the larger batteries but some batteries may not take such a high rate. As this charger is not controllable by the customer i think 0.5mAh is the right decision.

The LCD screen is clear and precise and its great to see just what is happening per battery rather than just a red light to say its charging and a green light to say its full.

The 0 voltage recovery is fantastic feature and could save the cost of the charger itself.

Cost in the Uk is a very keen £12.80 here. with free shipping.

Thanks to Xtar for allowing me to review their product.




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