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sinetwo

8xAA + 18650 smart charger, USB-c possible?

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Hey folks, I'm trying to streamline my setup a bit. 

 

Currently I have this charger which I love but it's problematic that it's only for 4xAA slots. You have to be on charge swap duty with this for 2 strobes. Youshiko YC4000: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00N7GHUH0/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_K2QH1ZJ1ND8YJYWFYCYG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

 

Is there a recommended 8xAA charger which allows you to adjust the charging like the one above? This is particularly useful if you're in a rush, although I am aware pushing for higher speeds lowers the lifespan.

 

Bonus point if it is run on usb-c! worst case scenario I'll get another one of the above but that's more bulk... 

 

CC @TimG as I'm almost certain you have an opinion here haha

Edited by sinetwo
updated heading for people to find it easier

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This one: 

https://mahaenergy.com/8-cell-chargers/

has been my go-to charger, they have a good reputation for looking after your cells.  I mostly use the soft charge mode.  I believe my model in the second one in the list, but read through the specs to see if others appeal.

 

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Thanks @ChrisRoss, I'll look into it.

 

Any idea if these type chargers ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07HT17GZ6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_80E3GEBFXABCEEHSQ710 ) support these type batteries (https://www.fogstar.co.uk/collections/batteries/products/bak-n18650ck-18650-battery) per chance? 

EDIT: seems like it does! 

Edited by sinetwo

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9 minutes ago, sinetwo said:

Thanks @ChrisRoss, I'll look into it.

 

Any idea if these type chargers ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07HT17GZ6/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_80E3GEBFXABCEEHSQ710 ) support these type batteries (https://www.fogstar.co.uk/collections/batteries/products/bak-n18650ck-18650-battery) per chance? 

EDIT: seems like it does! 

Looks like you have worked it out - you would need to look into the charging algorithm to see how it compares to the MAHA as the MAHA has a good reputation in that regard.

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7 minutes ago, ChrisRoss said:

Looks like you have worked it out - you would need to look into the charging algorithm to see how it compares to the MAHA as the MAHA has a good reputation in that regard.

Agreed, I hope it doesn't cook batteries but most reviews seem to state its fine. I'll get this one and try it out, the added bonus of charging 18650s is just too tempting. 

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Thanks for posting this, sinetwo. There's always interest in battery charging and anything (relatively) new is of interest.

Pity though that both this charger and the (excellent) MAHA suggested by Chris need a mains plug adaptor too. Another thing to lug ;) (and go wrong!)

There was a round of discussion of chargers some months ago and someone (sorry, can't remember who now) put me on to these :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077XCKC2G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Although this model is only a 4x AA/AAA charger, it does have the advantage of being USB/USB-C powered. I've got a pair of them so charge 8x batteries in one go. They are light and easy to travel with and seem to do the job fine on Eneloop Pros. Chances are of course, that when traveling you already have a USB charger with you and the necessary cables. In fact since orderingthese I've gone all USB charging now when travelling: toothbrush charger, camera batteries etc etc :crazy:

Just another way to go.....

 

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True, you're not wrong in terms of redundancy there and relying on an AC adapter. I might as a result bring both the 8 and the 4 charger I've got.

USB-C is definitely nice, but I usually travel with a UK extension lead for all my charging needs so it's not a big deal what they use. Unfortunately even with USB-C I'd still need to plug them in somewhere. Although for my primary tech (laptop, headphones etc.) USB-C is a must :D

The nice thing about the one I posted is that I can charge all my 8x eneloops overnight (and backup amazon budgets daytime). In addition it'll allow for charging of my oddly shaped focus light and backup torch batteries, which is a crazy good bonus (the usb charger I have for those are super flakey).

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6 minutes ago, Barmaglot said:

XTAR VC8 looks like it will take 8x18650 or AA and charge from a USB-C input.

Thanks, I looked into that earlier and there are a lot of caveats to them if you have a look at the amazon review for it, unfortunately. 

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I like having a dedicated battery charger, rather than competing for one of the USBs that we never seen to bring enough of.  I've had the same Maha charger that Chris linked for about 10 years, and it has kept a couple dozen Eneloops in great condition. If it also charged 18650s it would be perfect.  

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There are multi-port high-output USB chargers available these days which will let you run a bunch of devices off a single wall socket. Example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002037978734.html - I use this one to power my laptop with two external displays, a remote WiFi access point to access my work network, and charge my phone at the same time. The idea of using it to charge the camera/torch/strobe batteries at the same time does hold some appeal.

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12 minutes ago, Barmaglot said:

There are multi-port high-output USB chargers available these days which will let you run a bunch of devices off a single wall socket. Example: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002037978734.html - I use this one to power my laptop with two external displays, a remote WiFi access point to access my work network, and charge my phone at the same time. The idea of using it to charge the camera/torch/strobe batteries at the same time does hold some appeal.

You're not wrong! If the MiBoxer above was powered via USB-C it would be such an ideal charger, as it'd be able to do AAs and 18650s. One day.

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You might want to look at lygte website - guy does really in depth chargers/batteries review:

https://lygte-info.dk/info/roundCellChargerIndex UK.html

These forums are also pretty useful - below example links VC8 Plus review:

www.candlepowerforums.com VC8 Plus

 

Think the USB-C tech is only starting to finally show up in the charger world, and even then there is plenty of ones that have just the C socket, but still charge with the same power as previous USBs...Somehow manufacturers still prefer those damn DC adapters instead.

Edited by makar0n

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48 minutes ago, makar0n said:

You might want to look at lygte website - guy does really in depth chargers/batteries review:

 

Holy smoke! That's some listing!

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13 minutes ago, TimG said:

Holy smoke! That's some listing!

You know you're in for a hell of a time when someone only care about content and not website design :D J/k - thanks for the suggestion @makar0n

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34 minutes ago, TimG said:

Holy smoke! That's some listing!

Heheh just look at his main page ...also individual batteries, analyzers, USB chargers and gazillion of other things...dude seems to know what he is doing :D

https://lygte-info.dk/

20 minutes ago, sinetwo said:

You know you're in for a hell of a time when someone only care about content and not website design :D J/k - thanks for the suggestion @makar0n

 

NP. good luck with your search....was in a similar boat a few months ago, looking for a 4-slot...finally gave up on USB-C and settled for VC4S...does the job for Eneloops and any odd Li-Ion ones...guess that will keep me going till some proper 4 slot USB C charger appears. One that can do both battery types that is.

 

Edited by makar0n

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I was going to suggest the sites that makar0n listed.  They are good sources of tech info.  I use a MAHA C800 for AA and AAA batts.  The 800 does not use the larger power block of the 801 and 808, so easier to travel with, but a bit slower charging.  I use it on soft charge and it takes a max of 3-4 hours to charge 8 cells. Not using soft charge would halve that.   Frequently, the batteries are only about half discharged, so it takes far less time.

I also use a Fenix ARE X single bay charger for 18560 batts.  It takes other sizes as well, but I try to limit the rechargeables that I travel with to AA, AAA and 18560.  It has settable charge rates and  runs off a USB cable so I can use it via either a computer or wall outlet.  It will also charge AA and AAA, but doing so one at a time could get tedious.

I like to use chargers with a proper charge rate or one I can set.  Slow charging so the cells stay cooler extends their life, generally speaking.

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We use the MAHA 4-battery chargers (now more than 6 years old). I worry a lot about having redundant charging capability; we had a guy set his wet housing on top of one of our chargers and it failed the blue smoke test. So we take 4 x 4 battery chargers for two strobes and a set of 4AA for a video monitor back. 

At home I use the Nitecore 8x charger for all types of batteries but it is a bit large for travel.

Bill

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10 hours ago, sinetwo said:

Thanks, I looked into that earlier and there are a lot of caveats to them if you have a look at the amazon review for it, unfortunately. 

I'm using xtar vc8. Charge the usb-c port use and 18650 lithium rechargeable battery and aa rechargeable battery.

 In the vc8 I use, port 4 measures a little higher voltage. So the lithium rechargeable battery does not use slot 4. However, the Panasonic Eneloop Ni-MH battery charges.

The charging algorithm of lithium rechargeable batteries buffers with voltage, so inaccurate slot 4 is not used.  
The charging algorithm of the Ni-mh rechargeable battery stops charging by measuring the voltage drop after full charge. Therefore, although the voltage measurement is inaccurate, it is believed that slot 4 buffers Ni-mh.

 There is a disadvantage to slot 4( slot 7), but I have been using it steadily for usb-c high-speed charging and convenience. And it's cheap.

Of course, it is not clear whether these shortcomings are just my product's problem.

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@Edy park unfortunately it seems like other amazon reviews are saying the same things. That's why I ended up going for the Miboxer C8. It doesn't have usb c but the reviews have been really good. 

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