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 these Dragons, 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 other chargers (My SC4s, for instance) 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, since I can do that with my VP2 or SC4s :-)