18650 battery recharging system
Posted 11 December 2017 - 11:17 AM
I"m a big fan of XTAR and Nitecore chargers. My most recent purchases were four Nitecore SC4s, which are working beautifully.
The metering and heat sinking on these units, are excellent - especially useful when charging larger batteries at higher charge rates (although pictured, here, charging some Duracell NiMhs - generally charged at 500 mA. You can set the channels individually, for up to 3 Amps x 2, or whatever combination, not to exceed 6 Amps, in total, variable from 300 mA to 3 Amps.
The charger will also charge LiFePO4s, if needed.
Metering includes, 4-segment status bars, elapsed time, charge rate, mAh placed on the battery, internal resistance. The lights will flash quickly if the battery has been placed backwards.
I was able to get the SC4s on a group buy, through Budget Light Forums, so I couldn't pass up the price.
My recommendation would be based on your charging needs.
- How many batteries do you need to be able to charge simultaneously?
- Will you be charging any other battery types (or sizes), or strictly the 18650s?
- How quickly do you need the batteries charged?
- Are you going to be traveling with the charger(s)?
- What's your budget?
- Do you want any advanced features (analyzing, elaborate metering, ability to charge multiple chemistries simultaneously, etc.)?
There are a lot of choices, and in all price ranges lol.
I do a lot of charging, on a regular basis, and every model has its strengths and weaknesses.
Posted 11 December 2017 - 02:37 PM
I use a Nitecore. Had a couple others but they quit on me. The Nitecore is on it's 3rd year with no issues.
I used this pair of D4s for about three years, before (semi)retiring them, to replace them with the four SC4s (The D4s were preceded by a pair of i4 V2 - my very first Nitecore/lithium ion chargers, ever).
The D4s ended up being relegated to almost strictly AA NiMh charging, because they were fairly slow to charge (500 mA x 4 slots). Aside from that, I liked them quite a bit, and they were plenty reliable.
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